Flashbacks: Young Cora (Rose McGowan) is working as a barmaid when she’s proposed to by Prince Jonathan who’s actually a gardener. And after he promises to return for her in two weeks, he reveals his true identity and refuses to help support the child. Broken and alone she then meets Snow’s father, Prince Leopold who offers her a hand in marriage, but when Princess Eva finds out that she’s with a child, she tells Leopold which evidently angers him and he chooses to go back on his word. Thus, when Cora finally gives birth, she realizes that she could never have the kind of life she’d like if the child is with her, so she abandons Zelena. We’re not entirely sure how we feel about Eva’s act being seen as completely malicious because it ultimately wasn’t. Perhaps if Cora hadn’t lied about the baby, Leopold would’ve still wanted to marry her. And what makes Cora different than Snow and Emma is the fact she gave up the baby for herself – tsk tsk tsk.
Present-Day Storybrooke: After Zelena pays Regina a visit to tell her that the dark one’s after her heart, and she has a talk with Belle, she realizes they need to speak with Cora about why she chose to abandon Zelena.
They – Regina, Snow, Charming, Emma, and Hook – make use of the candle Snow was given to kill Cora in order to summon her from the dead. And asides from the freaky shenanigans we prefer not to discuss, the most hilarious part of the scene was Emma and Hook’s awkwardness as they both kept peeking in disbelief at what they were doing. f, and Cora refused to speak to them, the moment was cut short by Hook accidentally kicking the table.
After everyone leaves, Snow decides to stay behind with Regina and help her clean up until they’re interrupted by Cora’s frighteningly angry spirit. She tries to attack Snow, but Regina fights her off as much as she can before Cora knocks her over and possesses Snow to show her what her mother had done. The two then share a heart-to-heart, and we cried our eyes out at the amazing character development.
Lana Parrilla and Ginnifer Goodwin were sublime this week, and with far too many beautiful moments to discuss, they brought Snow and Regina’s complicated history and hopeful future to life gorgeously. Before being bombarded by Cora’s spirit, Snow apologizes for killing Cora and acknowledges her mistakes with such purity which Regina displays an understanding of the reasons behind it. Additionally, the symbolism of Snow playing with an apple while conversing with Regina was genius. A red apple has always served as a barrier between the two women, a product of destruction, but it’s now become a welcoming fruit – Snow was comfortably sitting in Regina’s presence without the fear of being harmed anymore.
Regina’s hand intuitively gravitated towards shielding Snow’s stomach in a lovely effort to protect both Snow and the baby. But the best, most heartwarming, and thrilling moment of all? “But if she wants to kill you, she’s gonna have to go through me!” The audacious and motherly anger that overcame Regina at that moment was great. Parrilla made us believe that even without her heart, Regina has grown to realize just how special Snow is to her, and she’s learned to understand that she cannot hold the little mistake against her anymore because it was done out of pure intentions. Not to mention, Goodwin brought to life Snow’s utter bewilderment at Regina’s genuine concern and protective nature to life masterfully.
Ultimately, all Regina’s wanted was to be enough for her mother even without powers or being a queen, but at the end of the day, it’s something she never got. Once again Parrilla played Regina’s heartbreak in a groundbreaking exquisite manner as she demanded the truth from Cora. Parrilla wore endless years of torment and heartbreak astoundingly as she made the audience believe that Regina’s truly had enough of lies and living the past – she too wants to finally move on but is burdened by the lack of love from someone she wanted it most from.
Essentially, it’s the final heart-to-heart between the two women that blew us away the most. At the end of the day, deep down, Snow’s that little girl who wanted Regina to be with her true love most, and Regina’s the young woman who saved a child’s life because she couldn’t not. Though their past is insanely complicated and dark, their relationship is stronger than ever. There’s not another person who’s seen Regina’s grace and beauty the way Snow has, and even though she’s technically her ‘step-daughter’ they’ve reached that point in their relationship where both women undoubtedly need the other’s support – Regina especially as she makes her way from an evil Queen to a loving and audacious woman.
When Snow said, “Zelena’s not going to win, not with all of us united against her,” there was such a hopeful drive in Goodwin’s performance. At times, Snow’s advice seems neat and tidy with rainbow stickers on top – which isn’t bad at all, it’s who she is and we find it to be wonderful – however, this piece of advice felt more hopeful than others. Even in the real world, optimism seems unbelievable at times, and we wonder how we could possibly believe when such terrible things are occurring, but Snow’s advice felt believably empowering. And when Regina expressed her concerns about feeling hopeless because of her heart’s whereabouts, Snow’s encouraging response while lovingly holding her hand made everything less heavy: “Regina, I’ve seen what life has thrown at you and you still fight against the darkness every single day. Sooner or later, your heart will find its way to happiness…I know you, and you feel things deeply. With or without it, you feel things with your whole soul. Don’t let anything hold you back.” Again, Goodwin brought this scene to life with such purity in her voice and expressions.
It’s no surprise that despite everything that’s happened Snow’s always loved Regina, but this is the moment where we feel that love illuminated most. Throughout their experiences, because Snow’s seen the good inside Regina she’s never stopped believing in the fact that it’ll someday reappear – she knows about Regina’s immense capacity to love and it’s something she’s thrilled to see again. Snow White is someone we all need in our lives – the grace and virtue she possesses is something that evidently rubs off on you and in this scene, you felt it invoke hope into Regina’s soul. And as both women spoke with tears in their eyes, our waterworks made their way as well. Again, Goodwin and Parrilla were naturally brilliant in these scenes; there was such warmth in their portrayals, we don’t know when or if we’ll get over the happiness. Furthermore, the fragmented jokes between the women earlier in the episode added even more light to their already beautifully growing relationship which contributed to their wonderfully inspiring scenes.
Now while we’re on the topic of Regina’s heart finding its way to happiness, it’s going to take fans of Outlaw Queen quite some time to recover from that fascinatingly stunning kiss. When Rumplestiltskin tried to retrieve Regina’s heart from Robin’s possession, he was persistent until his son’s life was threatened. This is the part where you know the entire Once Upon A Time fandom collectively sat at the edge of their seats as the most precious child’s life was on the line – no one messes with Roland of Loxley (Hood), plain and simple. However, even though he’s controlled by the Wicked Witch, Rumple didn’t want to harm the child in any way, but he had to and thus Robin had to give him the heart. Being someone who’d never put a child at risk, Regina easily understood why Robin gave the heart up, but right before Regina kisses him, he promises her he’d get it back. With or without a heart, as Snow said, Regina feels everything deeply and while she and Robin have an evident connection because they’re soulmates, the most beautiful part of their kiss was Regina’s leap of faith. Knowing she’s gotten a second chance at love, she’s no longer hiding from happiness, thus being the first one to kiss Robin was a prodigious move. Somewhere in Storybrooke, you could hear Tinkerbell jumping for joy at the fact that Regina chose happiness.
In “The Jolly Roger” Emma verbally expresses her desire to move on from the past, and when she teleports the hot chocolate – an emblem of comfort and familiarity – she’s welcoming Killian into her family. Symbolically the scene served to illuminate the notion that Emma’s ready to let him in. And it doesn’t stop there, once she sits down in front of him, she continues to show off her abilities to the one man who’s encouraged her to embrace them most.
Jennifer Morrison constantly moves us with the passion she brings to Emma’s character, and while she’s always brilliant, she exceeded all our expectations this week by bringing an exquisitely gorgeous light into her scenes. Emma’s happiness both looked and felt genuine. Morrison brought that scene to life with such childlike excitement to where you could feel Emma’s walls tumbling down as she was holding onto the good things in her life, and welcoming everything as openly as a child tends to. And when she realizes that Killian isn’t acting like himself, Morrison’s expression displays Emma’s evident concern with his well-being astoundingly. It’s blatantly obvious where their conversation would’ve gone had Belle not interrupted them – because even though Killian may have been ashamed to tell Emma about his regretful decisions in the year without her, he cares about her and her family too deeply to keep the curse a secret. From what we’ve gathered, he’s simply waiting for the opportune moment.
This week Once Upon A Time emphasized the importance of moving on from the past, and Emma Swan did just that. Emma hasn’t laughed as excitedly as she did when she successfully achieved her goal to move the hot chocolate and the hook. Additionally, whether he’s intuitively placing his hand behind her back to guide her, or truthfully apologizing for his rudeness, Killian Jones is always putting Emma Swan first. Zelena’s curse unquestionably broke his spirit, but you could momentarily see the proudness in his expression as Emma yelled “boom” and enthusiastically walked towards him. Now that Emma’s heart is more open to love and embracing the good in her life, from the start of the episode she could sense something was off with Killian since he didn’t take her joke the way she knew he would. When it comes to Killian and Emma, at this point their amazingly fortified and irreplaceable understanding gives them the advantage of knowing just how the other will respond to certain situations, and when he didn’t respond to her joke with a joke like he normally would, Emma’s senses told her something was off. Thus, at the diner when his initial reaction to her moving the hook was frustration, she confronted him in hopes of fixing the situation.
Quite frankly, there’s no denying that Killian and Emma are each other’s person. Because they’re two people whose hearts beat to a similar rhythm, they’re able to challenge one another to be the best versions of themselves – the natural, magnetic-like force within allows them to honestly and effortlessly be content with their exact feelings when in the other’s presence. Emma’s often uncomfortable while using her magic, but she opened up beautifully this week and a lot of it is a result of Killian’s unwavering support. Since Killian’s the one who devotedly encourages Emma to embrace all that makes her special, opening up with her abilities excitingly comes easier to her when he’s around – she knows she can be herself because that’s the woman he’s fallen in love with. By ceaselessly and selflessly uplifting her, he’s helping her see the gifts she’s often looked passed and as a result, she’s not only finding immense comfort with him, but she’s discovering meaning in the little things while slowly removing her walls for a chance at happiness.
Forgive us for not wanting to discuss the traumatizing kiss between Zelena and Rumple, but Green Green needs to get her paws off Belle’s man. However, we’re entirely impressed with the fact that though Rumple’s being controlled by her, he’s still capable of making his own decisions, and knowing him, he’ll find a way to get his dagger back. Also, it’s incredibly nice to see Belle shine as she did in this week’s episode by allowing her bookworm knowledge to solve the riddle. Essentially, Zelena is trying to go back in time to stop Eva from being born and the last thing she needs is the Charmings’ baby.
In another pretty heavy episode, the lighthearted scenes we got were wonderful. Snow and Charming arguing over what to name the baby was hysterical – while no couple is perfect, these two are the heart of the show. And Killian’s unimpressed expression was genius followed by Emma trying not to laugh at her parents’ bickering about a name. Leave it up to the Charmings to continuously provide Once Upon A Time with the most irreplaceably adorable scenes on a TV show – as cheesy as they may be at times, there’s never a time when their scenes aren’t the most joyful to watch. What do you guys think the baby will be? We’re personally hoping it’s a boy!
What were your thoughts on this week’s episode?