After a brief hiatus, “Once Upon A Time” returns with a vengeance and Snow White showed her dark side. In episode 16, “The Miller’s Daughter,” which aired Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m., fans saw a story arc which took Cora from a poor miller’s daughter to the powerful character she became and then to her unexpected demise.
The showdown between good and evil was waged partly in Mr. Gold’s pawn shop and partly in Snow White’s conscience, often with the battle lines blurring.
Gold, on his deathbed from a poison wound inflicted by Captain Hook, suggests to Snow White that she can use the magic candle in his shop to exchange Cora’s life for his own. Otherwise, Cora will overpower them all, kill Rumple with his dagger and become The Dark One. This is the same candle Cora tempted Snow with when Snow’s mother lay dying.
Rumple reveals that Cora has no heart. It is in storage in Regina’s vault. If she utters the curse over Cora’s heart and then returns the heart to Cora, she will die and Rumplestiltskin will be healed. With Regina and Cora blasting their way into the shop, Show ducks out the back and heads for the vault.
Cora realizes something is up and sends Regina to protect her heart. Once there, Snow and Regina faceoff in a battle of wits, one which Snow ultimately wins when she convinces Regina that Cora couldn’t possibly love Regina since Cora has no heart. Once Cora has her heart back, she will be able to love Regina like the mother the evil queen has longed for.
Regina returns to Gold’s shop with her mother’s heart and plunges it into her from behind just as Cora is about to slay Gold. The dagger falls from her hand as she looks upon Regina with the tenderness of a loving mother. Then she crumples to the ground.
Regina scoops her up into her arms, shrieking her confusion and blaming Gold. Cora looks into Regina’s eyes and murmurs “You would’ve been enough,” before dying in Regina’s arms.
Charming finds Snow on the steps of the mausoleum and she tells him “this isn’t me.” The two race off to try to avert Regina’s action before it’s too late only to arrive just after Regina has returned Cora’s heart to its original owner.
The stage is now set for Regina to wreak havoc in the form of vengeance on Snow White and her loved ones. Snow White will be facing the greatest challenge of her life – to redeem her once pure soul.
“Once Upon A Time” airs on Sundays at 7 p.m. on ABC.
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