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Once Upon a Time Review: Love Could Have Been Enough

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I was truly impressed with "The Miller's Daughter," as Once Upon a Time made me sympathize with Cora, something I hadn't thought possible.

Rose McGowan was perfectly cast as a young Cora and I felt her rage when Eva tripped her and the King made her stay on her knees. When she told Rumple that she wanted their necks to break from bending, I understood her desire for vengeance. 

A Young Cora

What I never expected was the relationship between Cora and Rumplestiltskin. There were moments when I speculated that Regina could actually be Rumple's daughter but that was not meant to be. 

Rumple has certainly had his heart crushed when it comes to love. His wife and Cora both left him and he may have lost Belle due to her amnesia.

In an episode full of incredible moments, the most emotionally moving was Rumple's phone call to Belle. He told her she was a beautiful woman who loved an ugly man and how she created good where none existed. How she was the only person who had made him want to go back to the best version of himself. 

He spoke from the heart as he believed he was dying and his words not only moved Belle but Neal who admitted he didn't know his father had the depth of those feelings in him. Rumple had to remind his son that he'd spent a lifetime searching for him all to say he loved him and he was sorry. If that didn't push Neal to give his father a second chance I don't know what will.

Despite all the drama, Emma was able to bring in some much needed humor. When Neal questioned her magical abilities she was quick to shoot back in this Once Upon a Time quote.

Are you being judgy about this? Because you're not allowed to have opinions about surprises, son of Rumplestiltskin. | permalink

But the biggest shocker of the night went to Mary Margaret. Still reeling from watching another loved one die at Cora's hand she was certain that the only way to save her family was for Cora to die. When David tried to remind her that she's always been pure of heart, Rumple was quick to interject the reality of Cora's vengeance.

Mary Margaret: There's no coming back from murder.
Rumplestiltskin: There's no coming back from death either and that's what will happen to your loved ones. | permalink

I was truly in awe of Mary Margaret's ability to emotionally manipulate Regina but using her longing for her mother's love to convince her to put back Cora's heart.

Mary Margaret: She can't love you, you know. She doesn't have her heart. | permalink

I really never saw that one coming. I was both impressed and horrified that she embraced such a dark path. If only she hadn't tried to stop it at the last moment. Then perhaps Regina wouldn't have realized the truth.

Heartbreaking was the only word to describe Cora's death and Regina's reaction. For the first time in her life Cora realized that love could have been enough. It could have meant more to her than power but unfortunately that revelation only came as she lay dying in her daughter's arms. At least she told Regina that she would have been enough before she died.

But what does this mean for Henry's family? Is Henry's love enough to stop Regina from eviscerating Snow? Will Rumple's words improve Belle's memory or will she continue to flounder? And how will David, Emma, and Henry react to Snow's actions? I'm guessing Storybrooke will never be the same.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (178 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Ace

Although I would agree that it would've been awesome had Regina been Rumpel's. That family tree would've been crazy even moreso that it is now. That and, if it were true, the blood running through Regina's veins would've been the same blood in Henry's, albeit thinned down.

Ace

@Doe-Rae-Me, I don't belive Cora's powers were a result of the amended contract. Cora asked to be taught as part of her condition to relinquish her first-born child, not to be given powers. Just as Rumpel mentored Regina, he too, mentored Cora before in the ways of magic. Also, the contract is magically binding. If Regina were truly Rumpel's child, Rumpel would've been entitled to her, regardless if Cora lied or not. Remember when they attempted to bind Rumpel and Cinderella's prince got caught in the crossfire? A deal is a deal, especially when magic enforces it.

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I have to say I had serious doubts about Rose McGowan playing young Cora. She has a very distinct voice and mannerisms and I was worried she wouldn't pull off a young Barbara Hershey. I'm SO glad I was wrong. She pulled it off beautifully and there was only one or two tiny moments where she faltered. She really felt like the younger Cora. Although I didn't feel any chemistry with Rumple at all. Belle is the only one I've seen with good tension between them. Boy I hope they fix that!

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(Part II)
She had to think quick and maybe even improvise both times. Someone like Gold or Cora would've been cool enough to reconsider every possible scenario, but Snow just can't do that in such a situation (yet). So I agree with anyolina here: to Snow, this was the best shot she got.

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- She could have given the heart back without the curse.
I doubt that would've been a good choice for her. Even with a heart, Cora could have followed her plan to take Rumple's power. Too much depended on luck in this scenario. - She could have not cursed the heart and just let Gold die without a new dark one.
Again, very much luck needed. Cora could've killed Gold before he died. We know Regina got back just in time. - She could have simply crushed the heart.
Maybe she actually thought about that. And maybe she realised she couldn't do it. Letting a curse-candle do its job and killing by yourself are quite different. Let us not forget we're talking about Snow here. Innocent, pure Snow. Yes, she can be a badass warrior and fight like a lion. But still, she never was a cunning person or a merciless killer. She MIGHT become dark, yes, but in this episode she seemed overchallenged when she got Cora's heart and ran into Regina afterwards. She had to think quick and maybe even improvise both times. Someone like Gold or Cora would've been cool enough to reconsider every possible scenario, but Snow just can't do that in such a situation (yet). So I agree with anyolina here: to Snow, this was the best shot she got.

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I know some people do not agree that Rumple is Regina's biological father, but he must be. I believe Regina was concieved when Rumple and Cora changed the deal from Cora's first born child to a child of Rumple's, before she went to the King and decided to rip her own heart out instead. Cora was pregnant then. If she did not give birth to Rumple's child, her deal with Rumple would not have been fulfilled, and Cora would have lost all her powers. Cora had her powers until she died. She must have given birth to Rumple's child.

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I hope Snow doesn't beat herself too much about what she did although that's probably exactly what's gonna happen. Either way is going to be interesting seing what happens now.

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Oh man! did this episode felt like a season finale for anyone? It felt like it for me! Rumple's speach to Belle was so moving, it had me in tears. There is a reason why he is my favorite character. I'm not sorry Cora died, she had done enough damage for a lifetime and her becoming the dark one was the worse possible outcome. I love that all characters have a dual side so we can't totally hate them. each character is one that one can identifie with and that is terrific writing. Still I have no mercy for Cora; sure she was poor and humiliated but that did not give her the right to become such a Bi·$%. Also, Regina deserved what she got because she just can't commit to one side. She was willing to kill everyone just to get Henry and chose the worse way just cuz her B&%@ of a mother wispered in her ear. In what universe was Henry going to accept that? Bad choices have consequenses and she paid a high price but not an undeserving one. I hope Snow doesn't beat herself too much about what she did although that's probably exactly what's gonna happen. Either way is going to be interesting seing what happens now.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Contrary to Rumple, Cora, and Regina who CHOSE to do black magic to get REVENGE on someone, Snow saw it as the only option to SAVE her family.

Except not.
- She could have given the heart back without the curse.
- She could have not cursed the heart and just let Gold die without a new dark one.
- She could have simply crushed the heart. There were many choices. some lighter, some darker. The one she chose was pretty much the darkest possible. And she wanted to chose it - when Rumple, nealfire, emma and henry come back to ship, Snow starts a monologue about killing Cora, looking DIRECTLY at Rumple. And then in the shop she only chooses the candle after she gets that Rumple wants Cora to die. In a sense, Snow was just like Cora in this episode - talking about "doing it for the family", but in reality fulfilling her revenge.

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So in the bottom line Coras theory that Snow White will turn to the Dark Side came true. However I do not think she will be checked in there for long.

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