For the last couple of days, I've been watching the commentaries from my season 2 Blu-Ray set. One of those is on "The Miller's Daughter," aka the episode where Mary Margaret killed Cora. That led me to remember that this was the one story line from the show that seems to have been forgotten by the writers (and me often, obviously). While they didn't deal with Mary Margaret's heart turning black and
promise that she would turn dark and destroy everyone she loves, they at least
did deal more with some fall out from that.
But we'll get to that in a moment. First, I want to point out from the "Previous on" recap that we know whose brain Zelena is after - Gold's. She'd already made a reference to his brain, and she made several more tonight. She now has most of the elements she needs - she just needs Mary Margaret's baby, and it just for an ingredient in the spell, not for any of the classic Oz things.
But before we get there, let's go to the flashback which once again centered on Rose McGowan's young Cora. When we first see her, she is moonlighting as a tavern to make some extra money. She's still the miller's daughter. (And how this exactly fits in with the previous flashback to her, I'm not certain. All of it before?)
She meets a man who is quite taken with her. Then he turns out to be Prince Jonathan. He proposes and she accepts, promising to be back in two weeks to turn her straw ring into gold. She suggests they go up to his room until he has to leave….
Unfortunately, he never comes back, and it is two months before Cora is able to track Jonathan down. He is not a prince but the royal gardener. And he is not interested in Cora, even when he finds out that she is with child. (Yes, we've just met Zelena's father.)
However, before Cora leaves, she finds herself in the presence of a real prince - Prince Leopold (aka Snow's father aka
Regina's husband). The two start a whirlwind romance even though
Leopold has been engaged since birth to Princess Eva of the northern kingdom
(aka Snow's mother).
And Cora wins the heart of her prince. There's just one problem - Jonathan comes back and blackmails Cora. With her secret, she must pay him to keep quiet about the baby by giving him some of the royal jewels. Only Eva happens to hear this exchange and goes to Leopold.
When Leopold confronts Cora, she tries to deny it, but she is caught with the jewels. Cora is sent out in disgrace and Eva regains her place as Leopold's fiancee, promising to provide him with a child that is pure.
Cora goes off and has her child, a daughter, and then abandons her in the woods. After all, with the baby in tow, she would never be more than a miller's daughter.
Meanwhile, in Storybrooke present….
We start out with Zelena paying a visit to
The two verbally spar, but it's just a pretense to keep Regina
occupied while Zelena's puppet, Gold, goes and steals Regina's heart. Robin Hood and his men attempt to put up a
fight, but when Gold threatens Robin's son, he gives up fairly quickly. He does apologize all over himself when Regina shows up, but when Regina finds out that Gold threatened his
son, she quickly forgives him.
goes to the one place she might get some help - Gold's shop. Belle is reluctant to help, and with good
reason. Look at the amount of time she's
kept Belle locked up. But Regina apologizes for
that (there was a lot of apologizing going on in this episode), and points out
that they need to work together in order to get Gold back from Zelena. Regina
does get the thing she wants most from the shop - the candle that Mary Margaret
used to kill Cora.
And with that, she starts on a spell that us mere mortals would call a séance. She needs the murder weapon and the murderer (at which Mary Margaret looks guilty). Additionally, we have David, Emma, and Hook involved. The spell works and it starts to open a portal, but then Hook bumps the table, and the mood is broken. Everyone leaves but Mary Margaret who stays behind to help clean up and to apologize.
While the two women are talking, they hear a noise upstairs. They investigate, and in an empty room, they find the ghost of Cora (the young version). She starts attacking
Regina and going after Mary Margaret. Regina
tries to fight her off, and manages to hold her for a while, but then Cora
possesses Mary Margaret, giving her the memories we saw in the flashback.
Meanwhile, at Granny's, Emma is practicing her magic, teleporting things around the diner for an unamused Hook. He still has kissed Emma, but that is obviously weighing on him. Then Belle bursts in. She's figured out what Zelena intends to do.
They group (plus David, wherever he was) rush back to
Regina's where Mary
Margaret is just coming out of her trance.
banishes her mother's spirit. While Mary
Margaret is recovering, Belle reveals what she's learned. The three ingredients are used in a spell to
time travel. Zelena wants to change the
past, something that could erase Mary Margaret, Emma, Henry, and even Regina from being
born. It's then that Mary Margaret fills
the rest in on Cora's past, including her own mother's part in it.
The rest of the group once again leaves Mary Margaret and
Regina to clear the
air. Their scene together is very
touching as they work through the murder and betrayal in their pasts. (Cora
killing Eva, Eva betraying Cora's secret.
Lots of symmetry there.) And then
Mary Margaret gives Regina
a pep talk. "You are one of the
most resilient people I know. When you
love, you feel it in your soul, not just your heart. And I hope you grab it next time it comes to
you." (Paraphrased, not her exact
words.) The pep talk worked. The final scene is Regina going and kissing Robin Hood.
But there's one more aspect we need to cover. Zelena invites Gold to dinner and then fills him in on her plan. She pitches it to him as a way to reconnect with Bae, who would still be alive in the past. He seems to go for it, however when he starts kissing her at the end, it's really a play for his dagger. She catches him and sends him back to his cage.
So at this point, I really would like to rewatch "The Stable Boy" from season 1 and see how Leopold and Cora interacted. Did he know who Cora was? Had he forgotten? Or does it not matter because they hadn't thought of that connection yet.
As Mary Margaret pointed out, Princess Eva was very different from her mother. I get the motive for some of her actions, but she was rather mean about it. What changed her for the better?
When will Hook kiss Emma? Or will Emma be the one to initiate it? Will it really work to take her magic? Can they defeat Zelena, who seems to be getting everything she wants/needs for her spell without too much effort.
While it is nice to know what Zelena is trying to do, I think I am most intrigued by the back story and how those characters got to be the people we've seen in other flashbacks. I wonder if we'll ever learn that or not.
I liked the apologizes that went around in this episode. They were needed and felt like they helped to at least start clearing the air. Heck, while Regina and Mary Margaret have been on the same side most of the season, I actually saw a tenderness between them tonight that I loved. I hope we see this continue going forward. As to Belle and Regina, I think they have an uneasy truce at the moment. It will definitely take more than that for them to work through everything, but I do think it is a start.
Thoughts on the episode? Things I missed? Theories of your own? As always, please leave your thoughts in the comments.