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.


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.


A thought: I don't think Snow will turn Evil or anything like that. She will suffer the consequences of her actions, but it won't make her evil. 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.


@Bored Now Oh my God. That's so simple and obvious I'm quite embarrassed I didn't work it out myself ;-) Makes perfect sense now. @KansasGuest Didn't the King say something about a stolen dress? So some washerwoman might not have paid attention to the stuff she was supposed to take care of. At least that's how I understood it.


@KansasGuest Maybe the Enchanted Forest has knock-off versions of gowns that people can buy. Instead of something like Vera Wang, Cora got a Shera Lang or something.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

Ok, now I'm irritated again - then why did it work with Belle? I mean, at that time Rumple surely was even more embittered (Milah gone, Cora gone) and on his guard (because Regina was all grown-up and very powerful).
Because with Belle, both of them started to BELIEVE it being possible, while that never happened with Cora.
That's the simple difference - being with Belle made him want to choose love he feels over pwoer, being with Cora it did not.


The one thing that bothered me about this episode was where the heck did Cora get her gorgeous red gown to go to that ball? That was out of left field. Rumple? Fairy godmother?


@Amanda - Belle & Gold kissed several times this season when she HAD her memories. She was even shown to be living with him at his home before they became estranged, again, and she took over the library.


Perhaps maybe Belle needs to kiss the dagger. lol


@KansasGuest Huh. You know, I actually don't recall LOL. I'll have to go back in season 2 via Hulu+. Though, I wonder if you are correct, considering The Curse of the Dark One is the only curse so far that is tied to a medium, i.e. the Dagger. All the other curses were inflicted, as opposed to this one where the only release is death, as the curse is either transferred or vanishes.


The reason Gold/Rumple kissing Belle in Storybrooke hasn't worked to break the curse has nothing to do with the "different" kind of magic there. Yes the magic is different, but it's the same reason why, back in their fairy tale world, Charming kissing Snow didn't work when she took the potion that made her forget him. True love's kiss only works when both of them are in love with each other, and currently Belle doesn't love him because she doesn't remember him. Maybe from how he talked to her in the most recent episode she will fall back in love and a kiss will actually restore her memory, but who knows.


@San - Actually TLK (True Love's Kiss) has worked twice in Storybrooke. Once in Season 1, between Emma & Henry. Second, in Season 2 after magic returned, between MM & David to bring him out of the dream state he was put under to find MM & Snow in the Enchanted Forest. So, it works in Storybrooke. But, apparently the TLK cylinders aren't firing between Belle & Mr. Gold to change his Dark One status. You know, Regina could have been *wrong.*

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