Once Upon A Time: “The Miller’s Daughter”

ROBERT CARLYLE, ROSE MCGOWAN

Grade: B+

Airdate: 3/10/13

As I have said in a few earlier posts, sometimes I am turned off by promos. Ones teasing the death of a character are always the worst. Usually the promo will give you a group of about five to six characters that might be killed. Right off the bat you know there are characters the show can’t kill. In Once Upon A Time‘s case it is Snow, Charming and Emma leaving the two possible deaths to Cora or Rumple.

The episode seemed to be aware of that fact and told us early on that either Rumple (Robert Carlyle) is going to die from his poisoned chest wound or Cora (Barbara Hershey) is going to be killed by Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin). To keep with the Cora-Rumple pairing, the Fairytale World story line told us about how the two of them met and how Cora went from being a miller’s daughter to high-class. For the past couple of episodes flashbacks were only used to show us story lines we already knew. Luckily, OUAT got away from that his episode.

Young Cora, played by Rose McGowan, goes to deliver flour to the palace. She is then tripped by the visiting princess, who we subtly find out later is Snow’s mom, and is forced to apologize for getting flour on her by the King, who is currently planning to marry off his son, Prince Henry, to the highest bidder.

Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Cora have the dagger and know everyone else’s plans because they tapped Snow’s phone. Cora relieves that she wants to kill Rumple and become the dark one herself. Regina seems only mildly okay with the plan, but helps her anyway because Regina’s motive haven’t made sense for a while.

In the Fairytale World, Young Cora sneaks into a ball and dances with Prince Henry. But his father spots her and tries to kick her out because she can be any help to them. She then says she can spin straw into gold as a last-ditch effort to save herself. The king then locks her in the tower and tells her if she spins all the straw into gold by morning she can marry the prince if not she dies.

Back in Storybrooke, our heroes arrive via pirate ship. Henry (Jared Gilmore) is quickly taken out of the episode by former hero-turned babysitter Ruby (Meghan Ory). The rest of the Charming family plus Neal/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James) take Rumple to his shop. Snow gets into a small disagreement with Charming (Josh Dallas) about killing Cora to protect their family. Rumple has Emma (Jennifer Morrison) put a protection spell on the place, which she enhances with some humorous invisible chalk. He then lets Snow find the enchanted candle from last episode that restores a life for taking a life. Rumple is able to convince her to use it on Cora pulling the I’m-your-grandson’s-other-grandpa card.

In a rather confusing OUAT way, Snow has to hold the candle over Cora’s heart and say her name for it to work. But her heart is in Regina’s vault. So she has to curse it and then somehow get it back into Cora’s body. As Rumple lies dying on the bed in his shop, Regina and Cora break in to square off with Emma, Charming and Neal. Snow runs off to the heart vault without anyone noticing.

The Fairytale World story line was a little predictable but we hadn’t been told it already so it was an improvement. Rumple appears in the tower with Young Cora. He offers to spin the straw for her but she wants to be taught. They make a deal and Cora promised her first born to him. She is able to impress the king, Prince Henry proposes to her. But, she is in love with Rumple — I saw that coming. They change the deal and take the first borne out. Cora was planning to run away with Rumple and not marry Henry but after the king tells her “Love is weakness” she removes her own heart and breaks up with Rumple.

Back in the battle in Mr. Gold’s pawn shop, Emma and Neal make Cora choose between Rumple’s dagger and Regina. She chooses the dagger, but Emma doesn’t kill Regina. She pushes her away and jumps behind the protection spell with Neal. Regina is seemingly unfazed by her mother choosing power over her life and runs off to get Cora’s heart after she realizes someone is getting close to it.

As Emma, Neal and Rumple are hiding behind the spell. Neal/Bae makes up with Rumple. He also called Belle to say good-bye to her as one of the show’s weak attempts to keep Emilie de Ravin as part of the cast. Over in the heart vault, Snow finds Cora’s heart and curses it. Regina then runs into her, but Snow tells her she got the heart for her so that Cora could finally love Regina. That was an early season one, outlaw Snow White level of cunning and maybe a little too evil for the current Snow.

Cora breaks through the protection spell and transports Emma and Neal into the woods. Cora admits to Rumple that she had to rip her heart out because he was the only man she had ever loved and “love is weakness.” She is about to stab him with the dagger when Regina puts Cora’s heart in her body from behind. Rumple is suddenly healed. Cora is happy for a moment before she dies in Regina’s arms. Regina blames Rumple but he says he didn’t have anything to do with it. Snow then runs in remorsefully trying to stop Regina from putting the heart back.

Regina could have easily said “I will destroy your happiness” to Snow right there, because we are back in season one, just with magic and a more messed up family tree. The show seems to be fully aware of that because the next episode is called “Welcome to Storybrooke.” I am interested to see how the story line is going to play out with many characters now having magic. I am also a little concerned that the show is recycling old story lines. It is just killed off is only real villain and replaced it with the sometimes evil, sometimes damaged ally Regina. According to the promo, Regina gets her hand around Snow’s heart in the next episode but like I said earlier the show can’t kill off Snow White.

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