Have a heart! In tonight’s Once Upon a Time (Season 2, Episode 16: "The Miller's Daughter"), Snow becomes a little less pure, Cora and Rumple get to know each other (if you get our drift), and Regina has a new reason to be angry — as if she needed a new reason.
Visible Danger and Invisible Chalk
The episode begins with Cora and Regina realizing Gold is dying, as Rumple’s name is beginning to disappear from the dagger. Cora points out that if he dies, there will be no new Dark One — so she wants to kill him and get his power. Regina isn’t thrilled about this, as Cora might not be quite so concerned about Henry after all. Big surprise there.
Gold and the others arrive in Storybrooke, where Gold gives Emma some invisible chalk — because who doesn’t keep invisible chalk on hand in case of an emergency?
As Emma starts drawing with the chalk at the doorway, Snow realizes Gold has the candle she received in last week’s flashback from Cora, who was disguised as the Blue Fairy. Gold says Snow can hold the lit candle over Cora’s heart when saying her name, meaning Cora will die and Gold will live when Cora gets her heart back. Piece of cake, right?
Gold isn’t able to cast a protection spell to stop Cora, but he thinks Emma will be able to. Emma is skeptical about it, but Gold tells her casting a spell comes from an emotional place, and so she’s finally able to. That’s our girl!
Snow Gone Bad
Regina and Cora arrive at the shop with the dagger and some evil plans. Emma, Neal, and the Charmings try to stop them, but fireballs are more powerful than you might think. However, Emma tosses Regina into a glass case, allowing Snow to head off to the vault. Meanwhile, we have a feeling that when Gold recovers, the first thing he’ll do is send the ladies a bill to replace the glass case that they broke.
Snow makes her way through the vault and manages to locate Cora’s heart. She then proves she has a dark side by lighting the candle and saying Cora’s name in slow motion — and nothing ever good happens when it’s done in slow motion.
Then, Snow spots Regina in the vault but convinces her to put Cora’s heart in her body to make Cora love Regina again. And here we thought August was supposed to be the master at lying! David finds Snow at the vault to stop her but realizes it’s too late.
Goodbye, Cora — We Wish We Could Say We’d Miss You
By far our favorite scene of the night takes place when Gold, who is convinced he’s at death’s door, calls Belle and tells her she creates goodness and makes him want to be the best version of himself. Swoon! Maybe there’s still hope for Rumbelle after all.
Finally, Cora makes it past the protection spell and is about to stab Gold with his dagger when Regina pops by to join the party. Regina suddenly puts Cora’s heart back in her body, and Cora laughs delightedly, as if having a heart was what she was missing all this time. So having a heart is important? Who knew!
However, Gold realizes his wound is gone, and then Cora stumbles over, close to death. Gold tells a distraught Regina he had nothing to do with this — and Snow and David rush in just as Cora dies. Long story short: Regina is not a happy camper. There will be blood.
Cora Makes Promises She Can't Keep
In this week’s Fairytale Land flashback, we meet a young and fetching Cora as she carries flour into the palace and is tripped by a young Eva — who we’ll later know as Snow’s mom. Cora is humiliated and told to kneel until the royals leave. Bad move.
Later, Cora sneaks into a costume ball and flirts with the prince. When the king sees her, he tells her to leave — until she claims to spin straw into gold. He demands her to do so overnight or she’ll be killed. Let’s hope the palace library has a book called How to Spin Straw Into Gold Overnight in Ten Easy Steps.
Luckily, something even better than a book appears in the form of Rumple. He offers to spin straw into gold for her in exchange for her first born, but she wants him to teach her to spin it. She successfully spins the straw into gold by learning to harness her rage — which she happens to have no shortage of.
Gold also gives Cora a very sexy massage, which she seems to be enjoy. We’re not really in the habit of letting weird strangers give us massages on a whim, but maybe not everyone has the same policy. The two kiss, and Cora realizes she wants to have Rumple’s baby, so he amends the contract to say he’ll keep the baby that the two of them conceive.
Before she gets married to the prince, Rumple teaches Cora to remove hearts so she can crush the king’s. However, when she confronts the king, he convinces her to pursue power, so instead of running away with Rumple, she removes her own heart in order to be truly diabolical. And if she was indeed trying to become diabolical, we’d say her mission has been accomplished.
Finally, we see Cora proudly hold up her baby daughter Regina in front of her subjects, predicting she’ll soon be queen. And because Gold amended the contract, he’s no longer entitled to Cora’s first born. So Gold was outwitted by someone? We never thought we’d say those words.
Three Biggest Mysteries of the Night:
— If the people of Storybrooke thought Regina was a pain in the you-know-what before this week’s episode, we’d hate to think what she’ll be now that Cora has been taken from her. By the way, we haven’t seen King George in a while — so might he team up with Regina, now that Storybrooke is minus its primary baddie?
— We’re pretty shocked that Snow actually went through with killing Cora. However, she seemed to regret the decision almost immediately, so we’re wondering how she’ll be able to live with herself moving forward. Note to Snow: If you ever need a hug, we're available.
— Now that Gold is back in fighting shape, we can’t wait to see how he retaliates against Hook for stabbing him. Or will Gold end up taking his anger out on Henry, as he has promised? Either way, it’s safe to assume Gold will be taking out his anger on somebody.
What did you think of all the drama and death? Sound off in the comments!
Read more OUAT spoilers here.