Once Upon a Time Review: True Hearts Can Lose

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Even true hearts can lose and they did this week, over and over again. 

"The Queen is Dead" featured Snow White struggling with loss after loss until her belief in doing the right thing was strained to its limits.

Rena Sofer on Once Upon a Time

In fairy tale past, a bratty little Snow White paraded around in her pink princess dress and berated servant Johanna for trying on her precious crown. It was satisfying to see her mother put the entitled little girl in her place. 

Apparently, the lesson stuck as Snow has gone out of her way to do good, even when in the end doing so has hurt her and those she's cared about.

But Cora may have taken her evil vendetta a step too far. In one day Snow found out that Cora had murdered her mother, tricked her by pretending to be a fairy and manipulated events to make sure that Regina would one day be Queen. 

The last straw was poor Johanna. Even when Snow handed over the dagger and Regina restored Johanna's heart, Cora still killed her in front of Snow's eyes. Why? For the fun of it? To prove she had the power to do so? As she told Snow in this Once Upon a Time quote

You see in the end it isn't good or evil that wins. It's power. | permalink

As they stood in that clock tower, I found myself hoping that Snow would use the dagger to destroy Cora. She didn't and Johanna died anyway. 

If there was ever any doubt before, in that moment Cora proved herself to be pure evil. Perhaps the arrogance of it all will be her undoing. Snow did finally seem convinced that Cora's demise was a price worth paying for peace, even if it does darken her own soul.

Back in New York, Rumplestiltskin was treating Henry as though he had the plague. So much for grandfatherly love. The seer's warning still rang in his mind more than the happiness of finding his son or learning of his grandson.

Henry barely seemed to notice. He's too busy getting to know his dad and being angry at Emma for her lie. Hopefully he won't hold this grudge long. 

Neal's plan to get them back to Storybrooke was surprising. He knows how to sail a pirate ship. Impressive. 

The moment Neal told Emma things were complicated, I figured he had a girlfriend. He one upped me by making it a fiance. I'm sure the poor woman has no idea what she's gotten herself in to.  

Since all magic comes with a price, what will Rumplestiltskin end up paying to have magic save his life?

A few side notes…

  • To this day, Snow won't celebrate her birthday. That's really sad.
  • I loved Regina's boots as she was digging in the woods. Being an evil queen has its wardrobe perks.
  • Snow got her name because she was born during the harshest winter. Nice back story.
  • Hook took a crowbar to Charming's face? Yeah, I think it's going to take more than "apologies" to make up for that.

Do you think Cora's plan is to use Rumple to do her bidding, or to become the dark one herself?  Will Regina follow in her mother's footsteps?  Or will Snow White find her own dark side and bring them all down?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (113 Votes)

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


I absolutely enjoyed last nights episode....bravo to the Writers and Actors !!
Cora and Snow's mom.....I agree the writers are giving the impression(at this time) that they are/were sisters.....this to me would possibly bring their storyline to a close resemblence to that of the fairytale of SnowWhite and RedRose....in the end one being married to the Prince/King and the other being married to a rich man.... any opionions out there on this theory??? Bael being Peter Pan....x my fingers it's true.... (I and a few others)called it last season....good for us!!


Well, obviously Neal went to Neverland before the real world, but I hope he isn't Peter Pan and is one of the lost boys instead. I can't see Neal as Peter. He's crafty, but he's just not Peter. Plus, how does he go from being Baelfire to Peter? I would love for them to bring in Disney's Spieling Peter to play Peter Pan. I really wanted Snow to stab Cora with the dagger but I'm not surprised she gave the dagger up; it's who she is. And I knew Johanna wouldn't be sticking around, mostly because she's on Downton Abbey and this was just a guest spot. While I love them bringing in new characters and parts of the story, I really wish they would revist some of their past ones. I know Sidney Glass is gone because he's on Revolution now, but some meniton of his character would be nice. What about Ashley/Cinderella? Or Aurora and Mulan back in fairytale world?


We all guessed Neal would be Rumple's son and now he also seems to be Peter Pan, which was also the leading theory on him. How complex.
I was surprised that Tamara (@Sarah: not Moira, she said Tamara) is not a fairytale character - or at least it's highly unlikely as she would be in Storybrooke otherwise. She does remind me of Princess Tiana, and well, OUAT likes to keep the names similar so it would fit.
Henry is being overdramatic and I'm sensing it won't be long until he comes into puberty.
Regina and Cora use magic to teleport but they have to bother with digging a hole in the ground with a shovel.
I'm excited to see the connection between Rumple/Cora/Queen Eva next week and last but not least... we haven't seen the last of dear Johanna - if you'll excuse me I'm off to Downton Abbey.


There was some talk before about Neal possibly being Peter Pan and the events of this episode just confirmed it for me. He told Emma that he had left for a while, which explains why he's still young even though he wasn't cursed, he knows Hook and he knows how to pirate a ship... But when he introduced his fiance and her name was Moira, the last piece of the puzzle clicked into place. Moira, as in a relative of Wendy Moira Darling, of course!


It hit me in the shower....he's Peter Pan!!!!!


Cheers to the writers for making Neal mention he'd be a couple hundred years old if he had come over to our world as soon as he left fairy tale world. I am pretty sure that makes him Peter Pan. I hope the fiancée storyline is dumped soon though, she's not going to get all the magic and crap going on in Storybrook and Neal is not going to leave once he gets rumple there. If Cora and snows mom were sisters, and they were both millers daughters, how in the world did snows mom pass a tiara down to her? Unless their mom was a princess who married a miller for love? Anyway, Regina has to be the one to kill her now, can't she see that all of this was a game and she was a pawn? Hopefully Henry will tell someone about rumples behavior before he does something stupid. That was scary when he grabbed Henry and yelled at him. Henry should've been like wtf?


P.S.: and I, too, think Cora and Snow's mother were sisters. It was the first thing that crossed my mind when Cora spoke to the dead body. So maybe they both were "a miller's daughter", yet one (with all her goodness, beauty and warm-heartedness) managed to win a king's heart while the other one was left behind and married to a rich, but powerless man. Which would also explain why Cora is so keen on gaining power. A thing Rumple, as a man who knows how to recognize a desperate soul, would have noticed and used for his own purpose.


Handing the dagger over to Cora was just stupid. I know, Snow always wants to do the right thing, but please... it was SO obvious Cora didn't intend to spare poor Johanna! How could Snow be that blind? I was screaming in frustration during that scene.
Cora and Regina can use magic, so it would've been quite easy for them to take the dagger either way. So why bring Johanna? Just to torture Snow, who wasn't able to think straight - the dagger in Cora's hands will cost much more lives than one. Johanna apparently saw that clearly, which is why she begged Snow to not hand it over and let her go. To the Manhattan storyline: I was wondering if Gold's very harsh reaction (in the apartment) to Henry was because of the poison? Like some kind of "the dark curse taking over", making him more like Fairytaleworld-Rumple again? I'm really curious what will happen when they come back to Storybrooke.


I sincerely hope that Snow won't give in to her 'dark side'.
I think Regina will turn on her mother now that she realizes that all her life she has been nothing more than a pawn in her mother's game for power.
I agree with the other's speculating that somehow Cora and Snow's mother are connected. Otherwise, why the animosity between them?

Kitanishi h mcdonald

I love how the title of episode refers to a lot more than just Snow's mother:
Its basically first part of the saying "Queen is Dead, long live the queen" - circle of life and death, good and evil, duality in every person.
So its VERY fitting that the episode explored duality in all of those Queens
- Emma's struggle between who she was and who she is and the "death" of her hopes when she found out Neal moved on.
- Regina's struggle between two sides of her and her trust in mother slowly dying, together with her evil queen side.
- Cora's struggle with her antithesis in form of Snow's mother.
- Snow's struggle with herself, as well as concept of morality, as the "Snow White of fairytales" dies and "Snow of storybrooke", not bound by those moral obligations is born.

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