"The Queen Is Dead" revealed Snow White's tragic family history and just how far Cora's been willing to go to make sure her daughter became queen.
Below, our Once Upon a Time Round table Team of Nick McHatton, Carla Day, and Jim Garner are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to ponder Neal's true identity and whether Snow will indulge in her dark side.
What was your favorite scene?
Nick: Snow and Charming finding Rump's dagger, and the aftermath with Cora and Regina. I loved the dichotomy it set up with Snow and Charming doing their best for good, Cora being plain evil, and Regina teetering somewhere in the middle.
Gareth: I'm not sure whether I would classify it as my favorite scene but there was a line in the episode that really struck me. It was when Queen Eva stated that "we all reach a moment in our lives when we are not meant to get better." I recently lost my sister to cancer so the relevance of that line hit home on quite a personal level.
Carla: Rarely are the flashbacks my favorite, but I enjoyed seeing Young Snow with her mother. Even more though, I thought the reveals about how the contentious relationship between Regina and Snow was started by Cora to be telling.
Jim: Young Snow standing over her mom's body saying "I miss you so much." My mom has been gone almost a year and that scene still hit me hard enough to bring tears to my eyes. So well done!
Does Cora want to use Rumple to do her bidding or does she want to become the Dark One?
Nick: Ultimately, Cora wants power, and if she decides to control Rump with the dagger then it will only be for so long. She's not the type of person who likes to share.
Gareth: I think she definitely has her sights firmly set on becoming the Dark One. Regina is just another pawn in her game. Regina was starting to look at Cora in quite a suspicious way towards the end of Sunday's episode. I'm hopeful she will wise up to her and take action against her.
Carla: She wants revenge against Rumple for what he did to her in Fairy Tale Land. She will do whatever she needs to do in order to get that revenge. Which is her plan, I think it could go either way, if she had the dagger. I don't think the dagger she took from Snow was the real one though. More likely, it was Rumple's fake dagger.
Jim: Yes. She will get Rumple to do a few things, but the she will cut out the middle man and take the power for herself.
Will Snow truly find her dark side?
Nick: Snow has never been portrayed as pure white character in Once, and I think she's willing to do dark things if the end justifies the mean, i.e. her family.
Gareth: I think she will come very close and maybe step over that line but hopefully Charming will be around to pull her back. Although part of me really wants to see Dark Snow!
Carla: No. She says she's willing to go dark, but I don't think it will happen. Someone will take care of Cora before Snow has the chance. Perhaps, Cora will be the sacrifice to keep Rumple alive?
Jim: As Kelly Clarkson is fond of bellowing, we all have a dark side. It's our ability to resist it that determines our nature. I think Snow has touched hers before and will again, but that is where Charming comes into to help keep her on course.
Is Neal a fairy tale character and if so, who?
Nick: I'm thinking Neal/Bae is Peter Pan, or has at least been to Neverland. He knows Hook, he knows how to control a ship, and he used a magic bean to head towards other lands.
Gareth: Lot of speculation going on that he is Peter Pan! He certainly has a connection to Hook and it's highly likely he was in Neverland prior to arriving in our world. Maybe he became one of the Lost Boys?
Carla: Like Nick said, he spent time in Neverland. I hope he's not Peter though. I don't believe the Bae we knew would turn into Peter.
Jim: I like Nick's thought on being Peter Pan, but giving his hate of magic, I'm betting he was just a Lost Boy. I can't see him liking the idea of using fairy dust to fly around and not wanting to grow up.
Any ideas on why Cora hated Snow's mother?
Nick: I think Cora just saw an opportunity for more power and went with it. I don't think there's any real bad blood between the two of them.
Gareth: Definitely a history between Cora and Eva. I'm thinking they knew each other when they were much younger and had some kind of rivalry going on. Perhaps Eva cheated Cora out of something or someone.
Carla: Cora revealed herself to be the Miller's daughter, so Eva was either her sister or somehow stole the crown from her. Given Cora's relationship with Rumple, my guess is that Cora made a deal with Rumple with the expectation that she would become queen. And, Eva took that away from her. They could still be sisters, though too
Jim: Carla maybe on the right path, but I'm guessing childhood friends; maybe Cora was the person Eva was mean to the way Snow was to Johanna. That would explain the hatred.
6. Does Rumplestiltskin truly perceive Henry as a threat and how far do you think he'll go to protect himself?
Nick: He may perceive Henry as a threat, but Rump can't exactly get rid of Henry since he's Bae's son. I hope this something Rump is able to keep hidden rather than act upon.
Gareth: Rumple never seems to learn from his mistakes. Right now he sees Henry as a danger to himself, forgetting his own advice, that the future is never quite what you expect. I don't think he would harm Henry though.
Carla: I think the evil Rumple part of Gold believes that Henry is a threat, but that the loving father in him doesn't. Will he kill Henry to protect himself? No. Though, as I've said before, I think the "undoing" that was foretold was a good thing rather than a bad thing. If Cora got the real dagger and becomes the "Dark One" that would be Rumple's undoing, but it would release him to love Belle, Bae, and Henry without restraint.
Jim: I think Rumple is really confused right now and is holding on to the exact wording that the Seer gave him instead of thinking it through. As he has said himself, things are never what they seem when it comes to the future.