We know that she eventually ended up back in Fairytale Land by the present timeline of the show, but that happened in between was a mystery. Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) called the mirror a "portal" to "a specific, annoying little world" that didn't matter to him. But where is that?
We examine a few theories.
Wonderland. This is one of our favorite theories, based on the fact that the portal was a mirror. After all, inJefferson's (Sebastian Stan)hall of portal doorsto other worlds, which we saw in Season 1, Episode 17: "Hat Trick," Wonderland was through a mirror, and in real life the sequel to Alice in Wonderland is called Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Plus, as far as we know, Rumple really has had nothing to do with Wonderland, so it could be a convenient place to dispose of Cora in his mind. This also fits with the theory that Cora may have become the Queen of Hearts.
Neverland. This is another world we know probably exists, since Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) is going to show up this season. There have been behind-the-scenes photos that make it look like Cora will be on Hook's ship in a future episode. Could that be because she was banished to Neverland? That might explain why she doesn't look like she's aged much — in Peter Pan, people don't age in Neverland. We know Hook and Rumple have what seems to be unpleasant backstory, so that could explain his disdain for the world he was sending Cora to.
A time jump. What if the "specific, annoying little world" was in fact Fairytale Land after the curse? Hey, this show is written by the people who brought us Lost, so we're never going to rule out crazy time shenanigans! This would explain why Cora hasn't aged, and also how she wound up back in Fairytale Land. It would be because she never actually left! And, of course, Rumple wouldn't care about post-curse Fairytale Land, since his plan was to get to our world.
Our world. We've seen this one floated around, but we're pretty sure it's not true. Since we're fairly certain Rumple's goal all along was to get to our world to find his son, Baelfire, we assume that a mere portal wouldn't be enough to get here, or he would have gone through it himself.
Catch the next new episode of Once Upon a Time on Sunday, October 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT onABC. Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter@BeccaMartin47.