Can we all take a moment to discuss how awful Tinkerbell is?  Regina initially confesses to Emma that she did “what I always do” to Tinkerbell, which based on two season’s worth of evidence would seem to suggest that Regina had tricked her, or stolen her heart, or otherwise broken her either while pursuing her own goals, or just in a fit of rage.

But it is subsequently revealed that that isn’t what happened at all.  Tinkerbell came to Regina just after she married the king, while she is very angry at King Leopold and Snow White and still grieving for Daniel.  Tinkerbell immediately tells Regina, who is obviously skeptical, that what Regina needs is True Love, which will apparently remove all of her anger and pain and allow her to live Happily Ever After.  Tinkerbell is reprimanded for visiting Regina at all, which was in violation of fairy rules, but, convinced that she can solve Regina’s problems she steals some pixie dust and drags a largely unwilling Regina off to identify her True Love.  She then points to the back of a man’s head and leaves Regina standing outside of a tavern with instructions to go and talk to a perfect stranger and “let go of your anger”.  Regina runs off and never speaks to the man.  She tells Tinkerbell, later, that the spell didn’t work and calls her a “terrible fairy”, but Tinkerbell, sees through this, and immediately asks if Regina couldn’t summon up the courage to talk to the man she had indicated.  Regina admits that she didn’t want to because “I had true love and he died and I suffered”, at which point Tinkerbell gets angry at her since she stole pixie dust to help her.  Tinkerbell is then caught by the Blue Fairy and punished, not for helping or failing to help Regina, but just for stealing pixie dust, which didn’t belong to her in the first place.  Later she also accuses Regina of having ruined not only her own life and Tinkerbell’s, but also the life of the man who could have been her next true love.

So really Tinkerbell is both wrong and in the wrong.  She breaks fairy rules (which she had already been warned about) spontaneously and of her own free will, to offer Regina a sort of help she neither asked for nor wanted, and she blames Regina for being punished for the rules she broke.  Accusing Regina of ruining the life of the man she never talked to also shows that Tinkerbell seems to have a very poor grasp of the rules she is working within.

Tinkerbell’s earlier revelation that it is possible for someone to have more than one true love is a novel concept for the show and given that the magic of Once Upon a Time rests very heavily on the concept of True Love it is a very unexpected one.  Yet within the same episode Tinkerbell accuses Regina of ruining the life of the man who could have been her second True Love.  This is in total violation of her earlier statement that people have more than one True Love, and so, presumably her supposed partner could be happy with someone else, but it is also, to some extent, counter-factual.  At the end of the episode it is revealed that Regina’s mystery man is Robin Hood, who, it has been shown, is successfully and happily leading the Merry Men and raising a young son, so his life isn’t ruined at all.

Furthermore, even within the Enchanted Forest, where love is an immensely powerful force, falling in love has never been shown to be a panacea.  While some forms of love, like Snow and Charming’s love for each other and Emma’s love for Henry, are capable of great good, but only because those relationships are good.  But other forms of love, like Rumpelstiltskin love for Baelfire or the Genie’s love for Regina are toxic and damaging.  So Tinkerbell’s assertion that Regina can fix her problems just by finding love has already been shown to be false when she says it.

Maybe she is a terrible fairy after all.

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