When episode 3x18, “Bleeding Through” aired Sunday on “Once Upon a Time,” fans learned what treachery both Regina’s and Snow White’s mothers had committed and what Zelena’s plan for revenge really is. In an April 20 recounting of the episode by the Wall Street Journal, it seems no one in Fairy Tale Land or this world is without a little darkness in their heart.
Zelena appears at Regina’s house bearing a basket of green apples. After an exchange of sharp barbs, Zelena reveals she only showed up here to make sure Regina was occupied while Rumple stole Regina’s heart from Robin Hood’s not-so-safe keeping. Robin almost had the upper hand but when Rumple threatened the life of his son, Robin caved and gave him the Evil Queen’s heart. Regina turns up at Robin’s camp after the theft and says it’s okay, nothing is worth the life of a child.
Regina pays a visit to Belle and apologizes for all the wrongs she committed against her. She worries what Zelena wants with her heart since she hasn’t used it to kill Regina. She wants to search the antique store for answers. What she comes up with is the remnants of the 2-sided candle Mary Margaret used to kill Cora and this gives her an idea.
Regina gathers the Charmings and Hook along with Emma for séance to talk to Cora’s spirit. She can do this with a spell because both the murder weapon, the candle, and the murderer, Mary Margaret, are present. I spooky looking portal opens in the ceiling but no Cora.
Mary Margaret stays with Regina while the others go off. A mysterious blue door opens in Regina’s stairway and Cora’s spirit makes an appearance. Mary Margaret bond over their pasts and Regina wonders why Cora gave up Zelena. Some unexplained noises draw the 2 women to an upstairs room where ghostly Cora waits. Cora attacks Snow, her murderer and Regina uses magic to hold her off. Finally, Cora evades the magic and possesses Snow, who is now able to see everything that happened concerning Cora, Prince Leopold, Princess Eva and Zelena. Snow explains that Cora was forced to give Zelena up.
Belle enters the scene with news that Zelena is using the ingredients she’s been collecting for a time travel spell. Zelena wants to go back in time to prevent Ava from being born. Even Regina realizes the implications – no Eva, means no Snow White and no Emma or Henry either. Zelena hasn’t cast the spell yet because she needs a baby – the one Snow White is carrying.
Mary Margaret and Regina now bond some more over their mothers. Snow reminds Regina that she knows her very well and that Regina feels things very deeply, even without her heart in her chest. Regina races back to Robin Hood and plants a big wet one on his unexpecting lips. He promises he’ll get her heart back. Looks like he already has it if you ask us.
Meanwhile, Zelena and Rumple have a moment too. She stores Regina’s heart in a box while Walsh, the flying monkey chatters. Zelena makes Rumple dress in a fancy suit for dinner. She wants to celebrate. She has Regina’s heart and Charming’s courage. Soon she’ll have Rumple’s brains. All she needs is Snow’s baby. She explains that her plan will allow him to be reunited with Bae in the past and to have the chance to do things differently. He pretends to go along with this and even apologizes for wringing her. He puts some moves on her and she responds because she’s still in love with him but soon recognizes he was only trying to get the dagger from her. She sends him back to his cage. He says Bae gave his life so Rumple could kill Zelena and that’s just what he’s going to do.
In Fairy Tale Land
A young Cora is working as a bar maid and being wooed by a gentleman who identifies himself as Prince Jonathon. With a ring made from straw, he proposes and promises to return in 2 weeks’ time with a gold ring and to take her away. He must leave on official business in the morning so Cora offers to spend the night with him, since they are practically married anyway. They are to meet at the crossroads but of course, he never shows up.
Cora is walking in the rain to the castle to find her prince. What she finds instead is Jonathon, the gardener. The arrogant peasant scoffs at her, even when she says she is 2 months pregnant. She screams and he runs away. A man comes to save her, Prince Leopold. Younger than when we first met him as a king, Leopold is already balding, but kind. They walk through the woods and she teaches him to build a fire. He really likes Cora but he is already engaged to Princess Eva, Snow White’s eventual mother. Cora suggests a having princely powers is meaning less if you can’t marry the person you love. When next we see Cora, she is wearing an engagement ring and fancy duds.
The gardener approaches Cora in the garden and threatens to expose her pregnancy unless she buys him off with gold. She agrees without realizing Princess Eva has been listening. That evening, Prince Leopold confronts her about a rumor he’s heard. She denies it but Princess Eva tells him to check Cora’s pockets. He does and finds the incriminating loot. He banishes Cora, and Eva suggests that perhaps a more worthy wife will give him the child he deserves.
Cora later gives birth and leaves the child under a tree. Cora tells the child that life is cruel and that if she herself is to have any chance, this is what she must and she leaves the child there alone.