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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 (177 Votes)

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

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Belle & Mr. Gold kissed in the library several times since magic returned to Storybrooke, and before she lost her memory for the second time. Yet, he stil has his powers. I think that's because the magic in Storybrooke is so different. They said it quite often, so I guess Mr. Gold and/or Belle would have to do something else to get rid of the Dark One's powers. In Fairytaleland true love's kiss was a cure for almost anything - if not everything, now that I think about it...

Marissa

Great episode. Honestly I felt nothing for Cora when she died but I did feel for Regina because all she ever wanted was for er mom to love her. I understood snow wanting to kill Cora and I was all for it but manipulating Regina the way she did was wrong and she shouldn't of done that Regina has done horrible things but even she didn't deserve that. Can't wait till the next episode.

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In Cora/Rumple case we have two people, who, while in love, are essentially building up walls and choosing power over love.
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). I know it's not that important to the show and most people are discussing whether Snow is more evil than Regina and all that, but this is something that got my attention somehow, lol.

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@Ace - Still don't believe being the Dark One is a curse that can be lifted. Belle & Mr. Gold kissed in the library several times since magic returned to Storybrooke, and before she lost her memory for the second time. Yet, he still has his powers.

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

If Snow considers Rumple worse than Cora, why *wouldn't* she have chosen the option where he died?
because, as rumple said - it would DESTROY Snow in the eyes of her family, especially Henry.
That's exactly what stops her from doing it - so she merely chooses the one target that would make the least impact with her own family. And I am pretty sure that some part of her truly wanted it all to happen exactly this way -if only to make Regina feel how it feels to lose your mother.

Kitanishi-h-mcdonald

Ace , thank you. I was guessing that could be the solution (Cora and Rumple loving each other, but not being ment to be together in the way Snow and Charming are). But I wasn't sure.
I don't think its about "being meant", but more about what each of them feels at the moment. In heart of darkness, snow/charming kiss did not work at first, remember? Because Snow was choosing her revenge of her love. In Cora/Rumple case we have two people, who, while in love, are essentially building up walls and choosing power over love.

Serenityq2

my most anticipated episode yet the one i never thought i would see. the fact that this episode exists and rose mcgowan is in it makes me think the writers are reading my mind lol. eva eva eva, i cant stand her too fake. never liked royals and this episode shows why. dont want to say she deserves death but i have left sympathy for her now. this the best episode of the season and my second fave of all time. visually stunning and emotionally gripping. oh dreams do come true. but so do nightmares. my favorite character (cora) is no more. i was hoping and praying as she lay there in regina's arms something/someone would save her. i know magic cant raise the dead but it can turn back time. plus there is still much to know about cora's past so i hope we get to at least see more cora (both young and mature versions) in the enchanted forest. did anyone else catch that elated look on emma's face when she did that protection spell? magic is highly addictive let's hope emma is strong enough NOT to become dependent or an abuser of magic.

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@Bored Now - If Snow considers Rumple worse than Cora, why *wouldn't* she have chosen the option where he died? Instead she not only chose magic (comes with a price, dearie), she chose the option where she literally cursed a mother's love (cursed Cora's heart) in retaliation for all the pain her family has felt. So, Rumple not only survives to show her and her daughter, Emma, the way down the dark path. But, she's continued the endless cycle of killing the parents of people who do us wrong while allowing the real manipulator to get off scott-free! Do these characters NEVER learn? Doing what Rumple wants always gets them MORE pain and suffering.

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Ace , thank you. I was guessing that could be the solution (Cora and Rumple loving each other, but not being ment to be together in the way Snow and Charming are). But I wasn't sure. KansasGuest , actually it IS a curse that can be lifted by true love's kiss. Just like Ace explained: Belle could have done it because she loved Rumple and he loved her in a special way.

Ace

@Spookypaws, She did though. As soon as she cast the candle curse over Cora's heart, Snow killed Cora. And to ensure Cora's death, she manipulated Regina's love for her mother to re-insert the heart.

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