Sunday, April 20, 2014

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time 3-18 - Bleeding Through

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 Regina's 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 Regina.  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.

So Regina 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.  Regina 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.


  1. Great episode filling in a lot of things we had been wondering about. My theory that Zelina was born out of wedlock proved true and in a better fashion than I thought. Weird how Cora's daughter goes on to marry now King Leopold when her mother almost married him! I wish Zelina's father had had some kind of red hair :)

    Loved Emma's line after the reveal of how mean Princess Ava was, "Isn't our family supposed to be the good ones?" Ha ha - guess not.

    I too have questions about how these people changed over the course of time. I have been thinking I also need to go back and rewatch the series in light of what we know now. Maybe that will be my Summer project just like Castle was last Summer.

    I believe next week's episode will reveal a lot as we are going to back to the year that disappeared from everyone's memories and we get to meet Glinda! Now in the real OZ story, wasn't Glinda the sister to the wicked witch? Obviously, unless Cora was more promiscuous than we think :), that won't fly here. And speaking of flying - loved the flying monkey's reaction to Zelina wanting to give the suit to Gold to wear. I wonder if her "love" for Gold in going to have a part in her downfall. For a moment there she really fell for his trick and you could see how devastated she was after he went back to his cage.

    1. I think I've mentioned that I spent the break between Neverland and Oz rewatching season 1 and almost half of season 2. Really interesting to go back and watch stuff again knowing what we know now. And it really does still all hold together.

      Last night wasn't the first time we'd seen Eva being mean to Cora. It was also in "The Miller's Daughter." She was the one who tripped Cora, which again makes me think all that was after the events we saw tonight.

      I'm not up on my Oz enough to know if the witches there were sisters or not. I do know that East and West were, which is one reason the Wicked Witch of the West had it in for Dorothy. It wasn't about the shoes (like in the movie). It was because Dorothy had killed her sister.

      Considering they often play off the love is weakness or strength motif on the show, I bet that Zelena's love for Gold is part of her undoing. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Good theory.

  2. Good recap! My favorite lines: Regina to MaryMargaret: I'm not really in the mood for a heart-to-heart. MM: I'm not sure that's physically possible right now...

    I love how Snow/MM has a spunk that I never would have imagined based on the fairytale version of her.

    I was disappointed that there was no Henry in this episode. His character was so prominent and now he's really faded into the background. My boys miss seeing him, too - I think he's a draw for the child viewers. I can't wait until his "heart of the truest believer" is back in business!

    1. I loved that line as well. So funny and so true. And as you say, their version of Snow/Mary Margaret is wonderful.

      Henry always seems to miss a few episodes a season for whatever reason. Usually, I've noticed he's featured more prominently in the one right before or after. From the previews, it looks like he might be more of a factor this Sunday, but we'll have to wait and see.

      I'm really enjoying this flip on season 1 where Emma knows the truth and Henry doesn't. I'm sure he'll get his memories back before the season is over, but for now I'm enjoying this twist on things.