“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” brought back Barbara Hershey’s character, Cora Mills in yesterday's March 20 2014 episode. Most fans of the classic series remember her as mother to Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla), “Once Upon a Time’s” classy Evil Queen, but in Wonderland, she ruled as the Queen of Hearts.
In last night’s episode of “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”, through flashbacks, fans were shown a nervous Anastasia before her wedding to the Red King, about to change her mind and run away with Will Scarlet. Cora showed up to change her mind, using maternal manipulations, and apprenticing her to learning magic, as Cora needs someone in the castle to persuade the Red King toward her way of ruling Wonderland. Desperate for a mother figure, Anastasia agrees, having been convinced of Will’s betrayal and abandonment, not knowing Cora had already taken his heart and convinced him to leave Wonderland.
Cora Mills was also Rumplestiltskin’s (Robert Carlyle) apprentice and former flame, before Regina was born. In the episode, “The Miller’s Daughter”, Cora had planned to run away with Rumplestiltskin before marrying Prince Henry, but changed her mind at the last minute, ripping out her own heart in order to commence her marriage with the Prince. The theme of choosing power over love paralleled both episodes.
In another nod to “Once Upon a Time”’s favorite villain, Alice and Cyrus search for Will’s heart in Storybrooke, desperate to find it before Jafar can find it to complete his spell. As they land in present-day Storybrooke, Alice is nearly run down by a familiar black Cadillac, speeding past the Rabbit Hole.
Barbara Hershey, who portrays Cora Mills, was happy to return. Her character had met her demise at the hands of Mary Margaret in “The Miller’s Daughter”. With the flashbacks we may yet get more Cora Mills.
“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” can be seen Thursdays at 8 pm on ABC.