"Bleeding Through" is the 62nd episode of Once Upon a Time.
After Zelena steals Regina's heart, the latter casts a spell so that she can speak across the realms to her dead mother, Cora, in order to discover the truth about why she abandoned her first born, and Belle stumbles across what the Wicked Witch's ultimate end game is. Meanwhile, in the fairytale land that was, young Cora is duped by a man claiming to be a prince and finds herself alone and pregnant, but a chance meeting with a real prince could lead her to the royal life she's always craved. However, she must keep her pregnancy a secret or risk losing everything.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Zelena uses magic to throw Regina through the clock tower in Storybrooke. ("It's Not Easy Being Green") After Charming defeats his Nightroot vision, Regina explains that Zelena stole his courage. ("The Tower") Snow compliments Zelena after helping with her unborn baby. ("Quiet Minds") Rumple swears Zelena will never get near Snow's baby, but she tells him it doesn't matter as she now has his brain. ("Quiet Minds") Zelena curses Hook's lips so that if they touch Emma's she'll lose her magic. ("The Jolly Roger") Regina asks Robin to hold onto her heart. ("It's Not Easy Being Green") During a fight Zelena tries to take Regina's heart but realizes it's not there. She swears that she'll get her heart, but Regina tells her "not today". ("It's Not Easy Being Green")
Zelena pays Regina a sisterly visit.
Regina is stood in her mayoral house, looking in a mirror as she puts on her earrings, when the doorbell rings. Puzzled, she heads over to answer it, but is shocked to find a covered basket waiting on the doorstep for her. She removes the cover to reveal a basket full of green apples, she rolls her eyes. "A gift" Zelena calls out behind her, having teleported into her house. Regina enters the house, putting down the apples as Zelena tells her they're from sister to sister. Regina asks why Zelena is here, so the wicked witch explains that she saw her apple tree and thought she could use something better, stating that red apples too sweet and people prefer something sharper. Regina comments that green apples are just bitter...referring to her sister. As Zelena looks through Regina's belongings, the queen points out that it's not hers, "story of my life" the witch sighs. Frustrated, Regina asks again why she's here. Zelena explains that she's come to give some sisterly advice and to check up on her after the showdown. Regina bitterly assures Zelena she's fine, nonchalantly asking if she is too. Zelena says she's "getting there". As they walk through the house, Zelena compliments its luxuriousness and points out that Regina doesn't appreciate what she has.
Zelena's true intentions are revealed.
Regina mockingly states that it must be because she got everything and Zelena got nothing. Regina tells her that if she wants her "superpower" to be envy then she can go right ahead. Zelena, now serious, states that envy is just another word for ambition...something Regina disagrees with. Zelena points out that she strives for things and works...unlike Regina, who just cast a curse, calling it a fancy form of running away. She goes on to explain that even with all the opportunities she continues to turn her back from happiness. She tells her sister that she doesn't take risks and live her life, calling it a waste. She tells Regina that it's clear why their mother was so disappointed in her, but Regina points out that Zelena is the one she gave away. This comment infuriates the wicked witch, who tells her she has no idea what really happened...because once she knows it'll hurt her. Regina laughs at this, asking once again why Zelena is really here. A dark look comes over Zelena's face as she explains that she needed to ensure Regina wasn't some place else so she could get what she needs...or at least the Dark One could. "Do you feel it sis? He's taking your heart" Zelena wickedly grins, causing a look of horror to come over the evil queen's face. She lets out a wicked laugh before Regina tries to throw a knife at her, however, the witch simply dissipates into a cloud of green smoke.
Robin defends Regina's heart.
Meanwhile. in the woods of Storybrooke, Robin Hood orders Rumplestiltskin to "stop right there", aiming his crossbow at him. The thief points out that his arrow never misses its mark, leading a puppet Rumplestiltskin to explain that if he could stand down then he would. Under Zelena's control, Rumple tells Robin to heed him and give him the heart. Robin refuses and Rumple sighs, fighting against the witch's control. With that, Roland enters the camp carrying firewood. Rumple asks who it is, startling the child. A terrified Robin orders Roland to go back, but Rumple urges the child to come forward. Robin begs Rumple not to, but with no choice, Rumple starts dragging Roland towards him with magic. He then halts the child, burying his legs into the dirt. Roland calls out for help, causing Rumple to fire his crossbow, stating he didn't want to do that either. However, the thief is stunned when Rumple freezes the arrow with his magic. He repeats that the arrow never misses its target, "And I've just changed its target" he says, pointing the arrow towards Roland. As the rest of the Merry Men move to help, Rumple instantly freezes them with magic. He explains that if he drops his finger...he won't want to...but he will.
The Evil Queen swears to defeat the Wicked Witch.
Before Rumple can drop his finger, Robin gives in and tells Rumple to wait. He retrieves Regina's hidden heart and gives it to Rumple who sincerely apologizes. He drops his finger and the arrow hurtles towards Roland's face, but freezes centimeters away from hitting it. It then drops to the ground. Robin looks around the camp in horror, only to see that Rumple has vanished with the heart. He then rushes towards Roland, stepping on the arrow and pulling his son out of the ground, embracing him in a tight hug. He assures Roland that it's all right and he's safe. With that, Regina enters the camp, questioning what happened. Robin sends Roland with Friar Tuck, apologizing because the heart is gone. Regina wonders if anyone was hurt, but Robin tells her that luckily nobody was, looking towards his son, implying that he nearly was. He apologizes again as she trusted him and he let her down. Regina tells him he didn't as nothing is worth the loss of a child. She points out that now they have a problem because she's still alive, because Zelena now has her heart and if she hasn't already crushed it then it's because she needs it for something far worse. Robin wonders what could be worse than murder, but Regina tells him it doesn't matter...because she'll stop her.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Belle stands up for herself against Regina.
In Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, Regina is frantically looking items but she angrily states it's all "crap" when she finds nothing of use. Belle bursts in from the back of the store telling Regina to stop moving items. The queen ignores Belle, so she asks what she's looking for. Regina explains that they need to destroy her sister as she has her heart. A nervous Belle steps back, but Regina assures her that she protected it. She reveals that the problem is she doesn't know what she wants it for. She turns to Belle for help and asks what she has in the store. Belle tells Regina that she has self respect, questioning why she'd ever help her after being imprisoned by her, put her in an asylum and done nothing but mentally and physically torture her. Regina smiles and comments that the "bookworm has teeth", causing Belle to tell her to get out. Regina admits to doing all those things, but adds that it was all in the past, and right now she needs to defeat the woman who is controlling Rumplestiltskin, and without help she may never see him again. Belle is quiet for a moment, leading Regina to apologize to her. Belle accepts the apology and explains to Regina that she's been trying to match the ingredients that Zelena has been collecting. She goes on to explain that it'd be useful if she knew what was so special about Regina's heart. Regina says she doesn't know...and then an idea hits her, "The candle..." she whispers. She begins searching for the candle that Snow used to kill Cora. Belle finds it and hands it to her, but states that its power is gone and it's now just a relic. Regina takes the candle and tells Belle "This isn't about how my mother died...it's about how she lived".
Cora agrees to marry Prince Jonathan.
In the fairytale land that was, a bartender hands a young Cora two cups of beer which she carries through a busy tavern to the men that ordered them. On her way she playfully fends off the drunken men who try and touch her, but in the process she accidentally bumps into a handsome well kept man. She apologizes to the man, but he tells her to sit down as she's already worked past her shift, adding that she's earned it. Cora thanks the man and sits down opposite him. He tells her he's watched her the whole week he's been here, stating she works in a tavern but moves like a lady. Cora tells him she's just a miller's daughter and she works at the tavern for a little extra. She goes on to explain that someone once told her to act like what she plans to be, so she acts a little better than she is. The man, seemingly captivated by Cora's beauty, says he wishes he could stay longer but he cannot as he's already stayed longer than planned. Cora wonders why, but he says he thinks she knows why. He then goes to pull something out of his pocket, but accidentally drops a handkerchief with a royal crest on it. He apologizes, stating he didn't want her to know. Cora is stunned to learn that he's royalty. The man tells Cora that he wanted her to know him as the true him, not Prince Jonathan. He explains to Cora that he doesn't feel right with all the other noble women, but he does with her. He puts away his handkerchief and then awkwardly states that "This isn't how it's supposed to go, but I hoped to only ask this question once in my life, but I'm going to ask it twice. Once now with this ring made of straw" he says, picking a piece of straw up off the floor and fashioning it into a ring. He tells her he'll return in two weeks and turn the ring into gold...or at least bring her a gold one and whisk her away to the castle as Princess Cora. He places the straw ring onto Cora's finger and asks if she'll marry him. She happily tells him "yes". He joyfully kisses her hand, stating she's made him so happy. He tells her the next two weeks will be torture and asks her to meet at the crossroads. She assures him she'll be there before asking when he has to leave. He tells her he'll leave in the morning. She offers to keep him company in his room for the night, he agrees and takes her hand, escorting her upstairs.
Regina gathers people for a seance.
Back in the present, Emma enters a room in Regina's house, telling Hook, who is sat holding an apple, that he should be careful with the apples in the house. "Aye..." he moans, causing Emma to tell him it was a joke and asking where his sense of humor went. He points out that it left after the witch arrived, so Emma tells him they're gonna take care of it as Regina has a plan. They then sit down at a table where David and Mary Margaret are waiting, talking. David asks Emma to tell her mother that they're not naming the baby Leopold as he'll be made fun of. Mary Margaret points out that it was her father's name and he was a king, but David says which is why nobody made fun of him. She then suggests Eva after her mother, but David is unsure how that'd work for a boy, Mary Margaret tells him it might not be a boy. Regina then enters, apologizing for the wait as she was making a special tea. She pours it into some small cups on the table everyone is sat at, but when David tries to drink some she stops him, revealing it's a deadly poison used to summon a dark vortex. Emma questions what the dark vortex is, so Regina goes on to explain that Zelena visited today as Rumplestiltskin stole her heart. She explains that Zelena was gloating and stating Regina's weakness is not knowing enough about her past, so now she's decided to summon someone who does. "We have to talk to my mother..." she tells the group nervously. Everyone gives her a shocked look.
Zelena has a heart...
At Zelena's farmhouse, the Wicked Witch pulls Regina's dark enchanted heart out of a bag and she looks victoriously at it. A flying monkey comes up behind her and starts making noises, Zelena tells the monkey that the fact the heart looks battered is the point. She then puts the heart away into a small wooden chest, which she then places inside an even larger chest where Charming's sword is rested. A third box is also in the large chest, hinting another ingredient is needed. She then looks through a wardrobe and pulls out a black suit for Mr. Gold, stating it'll do perfectly. The monkey screeches at her and stomps its hand, but Zelena smiles and tells it not to be jealous.
A short while later, in Mr. Gold's underground prison cell, he asks Zelena what he's to do with the suit that he's now holding. She tells him to wear it, stating she's got Regina's heart, Charming's courage, and now all she needs now is waiting inside Gold's head...his lovely brains. She tells him they've got everything they need, but Gold points out that she doesn't have everything. Zelena assures him that the baby will come before telling him to get dressed. He angrily states he's not her doll, leading Zelena to threaten using the dagger on him as she could use it. She goes on to explain the baby could arrive at any minute so she'll give him a choice on how he can live out the rest of his time; one being screaming agony and the other being much more pleasant. "Choose well...doll" she smiles wickedly at him before heading up the stairs and out the prison cell. Rumple breathes heavily with anger and frustration.
The seance is performed.
Meanwhile, back at Regina's house, Regina explains to the group that it's a fairly simple ritual, but one that's rarely performed. Emma questions why people don't talk to the dead more if it's easy, so Regina explains that you need the murder weapon and the murderer. Snow becomes uncomfortable at the mention of this. Regina then lights a match and lights each end of the candle that was used to kill Cora. Emma asks what they need to do, so Regina tells them to focus on Cora. Everyone links hands with each other and then they all silently begin focusing on Cora. Soon the light on the candle begins flickering and a gust of wind swirls through the room, blowing the curtains and the fire in the fireplace out. A magical sound then emits before a giant cloudy portal opens up over their heads. Everyone looks up into the ghastly portal to the dead. Regina begins calling out for her mother, calling her both "mother" and Cora. She asks Cora if she can hear them and for a sign. When nothing happens, Regina angrily tells her mother not to ignore her now. She tells Cora she owes her, but before she can continue, the seance table bumps, startling everyone. They unlink their hands and lose focus, closing the portal. Once it's gone, Hook awkwardly apologizes as it was he who crossed his legs and bumped the table. A disappointed Regina sighs and blows out the candle flames, causing Snow to ask if they try it again. Regina tells her there's no point as Cora ignored her calls. "Guess whatever secrets lie in her past she wants to keep buried there" Regina tells everyone sadly.
Cora is left disappointed.
Back in the fairytale land that was, two weeks has passed and the time that Cora agreed to meet Jonathan at the crossroads has arrived. It's a rainy day, but Cora stands waiting for her charming prince to come...but there doesn't seem to be any sign of him. She's clearly been waiting a while as she is soaking wet. She continues to wait patiently underneath her umbrella for him as she repeatedly looks down both ends of the road, hoping to see Jonathan come...but he never does. A hurt Cora soon realizes that he will never come so she unwraps the straw ring he gave her and she drops it on the ground before walking away.
Jonathan shows his true colors.
A long while later, as Cora strolls through a garden and notices something in the distance...it's Jonathan stood underneath a gazebo. She quietly calls out for him before running towards him with excitement. Once she reaches him, she questions what happened as it's been two months. Jonathan, simply gives her a careless glance as she talks. She tells him that her friends thought it was a trick, but she believed it must have just been an accident or a misunderstanding that she'd find out about at the castle. Jonathan sighs and turns to Cora, telling her she's a stubborn one. A confused Cora examines Jonathan and notices him holding a pickaxe and wearing muddy shoes, she asks if he's a gardener. He points out that he's not Prince Jonathan, laughing that there isn't even a Prince Jonathan. A hurt Cora tells Jonathan that he took her heart, virtue and good name. Jonathan laughs at this, claiming she practically forced it into his hands once she thought he was a prince. "A harlot is a harlot" he snarls at her before turning away. Cora announces that she's with child and a look of disgust comes across Jonathan's face. Cora points out that there may be no Prince Jonathan, but there is a prince and he won't like it when he finds out what Jonathan has done.
Cora meets a real prince.
Cora demands that Jonathan give her enough to support the child, stating he's stole before so he can do it again. Jonathan simply tells Cora to tell the prince, but wishes her look finding him. He then proceeds to walk away, but Cora tries to stop him. She grabs hold of him and calls out to the guards that there's a scoundrel in the garden, demanding help. However, Jonathan pushes Cora to the ground, silencing her, allowing him to make his escape. A broken Cora sits on the floor of the gazebo, sad to have lost everything. She sits silently for a while until a gentle voice approaches her, asking if she's all right. The man asks what happened to her as she was calling for help, so Cora, without looking at the man, states that "he" got away and took everything she has. The man apologizes for Cora and offers to help in every way he can. Cora tells him there's nothing he can do for her, but he asks for her to let him try, introducing himself as Prince Leopold. With that, Cora's eyes shoot wide open with shock. She looks up at the well dressed prince and takes his hand, standing to her feet. She thanks the prince before taking his hand and walking away with him. As she passes him, she lets out a little wicked smile.
Back in the present, in Regina's house, the group exit the séance room and a frustrated Charming suggests that Belle might have more luck, stating there has to be something that can help them. Emma says that her magic gets more powerful every day so by the time everything goes down she'll be ready. A nervous Regina tells her to make sure she is ready. Emma signals for everyone to leave now, so she and Hook depart. Charming goes to get Snow, but she tells him to go ahead as she's going to stay and talk to Regina and help clean up. Regina tells Snow that she's not in the mood for heart-to-heart, but Snow points out that that's not physically possible right now. Regina can't help but smirk at this comment and agrees to let Snow help, stating she can help with the tea cups. They both enter the séance room to clean up, but once they've gone, they don't notice an archway in the wall mysteriously filling in and glowing a magical blue light, leaving nothing behind but bare wall.
Cora and Prince Leopold take a little stroll.
In the fairytale land that was, Cora and Prince Leopold are walking through the woods as the latter is told a story. Cora tells him about a time some boys tied her oldest nightdress to the top of a windmill for all the village to see, making her the maddest little eight year old. Leopold chuckles at the story and then wonders if she ever got revenge, Cora tells him it's a long term plan, pointing out that there aren't many young people in her village so one of them will probably end up married to her, which should do it. Leopold laughs again and comments that Cora is wonderful...and cold, once he notices her shivering. Cora says it's a bit frosty, but assures him that she's okay. Leopold tells her that he'd offer to make a fire...but embarrassingly he doesn't know how to. Cora tells him that she does before casually leaning towards Leopold's belt and grabbing his knife. He simply watched with shock and curiosity as he sits down on a nearby log. Cora begins setting up the fire as he nervously tells her that he's going to be king. "I gather that happens when you're prince" Cora smiles. Leopold tells her that he wants to do right by that gift and be a man of the people...but he can't be since he can't even make a fire, a task any peasant can do. Cora tells the prince that "this peasant" can fix that. She scratches the knife onto a rock, causing sparks which fall onto dried shrubbery below.
Cora begins her manipulation.
Cora then hands the knife back to Leopold and begins blowing air into the grass. She gets Leopold to help her blow into the grass. Once it starts smoking, she tells him that you simply have to let air get in it. She places the grass under some sticks and the fire starts to burn, so they both sit on the nearby log to warm up. Leopold states that when the throne becomes his he'll have to provide an heir of his own, so Cora points out that he'll have to marry. He tells her he'll have to start a family immediately, to which Cora says sounds nice before asking if he has anyone in mind. "Yes" Leopold says, smiling at Cora, getting her hopes up, "Princess Eva, of the Northern Kingdom, we've been engaged since birth", he finishes. Cora's smile drops. Feigning interest, Cora asks if she's nice, but Leopold says he'll let her know after he meets her, which is tonight. Cora points out that he doesn't sound very excited, assuring him that she's probably a lovely choice. Leopold says he's sure she is, but she's just not a choice that he made. He and Cora stare deeply into each others eyes and they both lean in close. "What's the use in having power if you can't choose whom to wed?" Cora asks him. They both stare at each other once more and then pull away from each other.
Snow laments over Cora's death.
Back in the present, Snow and Regina are in Regina's kitchen after tidying up. Snow tells Regina that she wants to apologize about her mother, "For, uh..." she says awkwardly before being cut off by Regina who bluntly says "Murdering her?". Snow confirms that this is what she meant and then she goes on to explain that she doesn't take it lightly as she thinks about it every day. "So do I" Regina adds with an angry tone. She then turns to Snow and tells her that when she does think about it she remembers Cora killed her mother, so she'll admit it's complicated. Snow thanks Regina before saying she's sure Regina probably had some things she wanted to say to her. Regina laughs at this and then points out that she's now realizing that her mother walled off a lot of her life from her. She continues to admit that Cora wasn't the warmest mother, but she at least thought she occupied a singular spot in her heart. She then begins thinking about Zelena, wondering why Cora would give her up and make them strangers from one another.
The two women are suddenly interrupted by the sound of wooden squeaking coming from upstairs. Snow wonders what it is, but Regina tells her she has no idea. Snow comments that it's upstairs. A short while later, after Snow and Regina have reached upstairs, they begin searching for the source of the sound. They eventually come across a door which the wooden spinning sound is coming from. A confused Regina states that there's nothing in the room. She then goes to reach for the door handle, but the second she touches it, the door flies away. Both women are startled by the terrifying sight inside. The room is lit with an eerie blue color and lightning seems to flash from inside it. Ghastly sounds are heard and wind swirls. However, in the center of the room is the main feature; a spinning wheel. A ghostly hooded figure is seen spinning it. The ghosts head turns around, revealing it to be the spirit of Cora, in her younger and beautiful form. "Mother...?" a shocked Regina says with recognition. The ghost of Cora simply stares at the two women with a look of anger in her face.
Belle brings news for Emma.
At a closed Granny's Diner, Emma is sitting at the bar with her eyes closed as she concentrates hard on the hot cocoa that is sitting in front of her. After a few moments, the cocoa suddenly disappears in a flash of light, causing Emma to celebrate joyfully over her magic. She turns to one of the tables, where Hook is sat, and sees the cocoa in front of him, "Granny's to Go, I should open a franchise" she says playfully. Hook tells her it's impressive, but Emma asks if he wants to see something really impressive. She waves her hand and Hook notices that his hook is missing, as it's been teleported to a coat hanger. He grumpily goes to retrieve it, stating that it's bad form to tamper with a man's hook. "Okay, seriously, what is up with you?" Emma asks, noticing Hook hasn't been the same recently. Hook apologizes for his rudeness, claiming it's a long story, one that's too long for now. He then takes a swig of alcohol, causing Emma to notice something is actually wrong with him. However, before she can say anything, Belle bursts through the door of Granny's. "Emma! Emma, I found it!" she yells as she runs towards the couple and places a book in front of them. Belle states that they need to tell Regina and the others, but Emma tells her to slow down, asking what she found. Belle reveals that she found and Zelena's plan and she knows what she's doing.
Zelena tells Rumple some good news.
"You should have a woman dress you more often", Zelena tells a dressed-up Rumple before stepping next to him, "Please, do have a seat" she tells him. As Rumple goes to sit down at a table set up for a nice dinner, he wonders how much civility he'll have to endure before this evening's true purpose is revealed. Zelena chuckles and tells him to relax as he knows she's not one for subtlety. "Lucky for me" Rumple says sarcastically. Zelena points out that they both know the dagger didn't bring Rumple into her kitchen, but he retorts that it was coercion and he can assure her he wasn't here for the boiled peas. "No, you're here for my secret, aren't you?" Zelena says as she opens the oven, "Why a heart? Why courage? Why a brain? Why this particular baby", she continues teasingly. Rumple asks why it's of any interest to him. As Zelena plates the food, she tells him that it'll reunite him with his long lost son. Rumple tells Zelena that his son isn't lost because he's dead, and she watched him die. Zelena assures Rumple that this isn't idle cruelty as his son is alive and waiting for Rumple to find him. Rumple asks where he'll find him, but Zelena corrects him, telling him "when". With Rumple's interest peaked, Zelena reveals that she's going to change the past. "No", Rumple says bluntly before explaining that time travel spells have been written since the dawn of the dark arts, but they've never been cast as it's against the fundamental laws of magic. "Magic doesn't fail, people fail" Zelena chuckles as she pours herself some wine, "Laws only exist until they're broken by someone superior" she finishes. "You? You've deciphered the laws of time travel..." Rumple says, leaning in close. Zelena tells Rumple that when the baby is born she'll go back to claim the life that is rightfully hers, and there's no reason he can't come with her. "To find my boy..." a tempted Rumple says, "Perhaps never give him up" he finishes.
Regina protects Snow from Cora.
Back at Regina's house, she and Snow stand in awe as they watch the ghost of Cora flying in front of them. Regina says it can't be as the spell opened a limited portal for talking. "It's me.." Snow says, shaking her head. She says that because she killed Cora, Cora was then able to sense her presence and find a way to break into their world. With that, the ghost of Cora dives towards Snow, but Regina stands in her way. She tells her mother to back down, stating she will answer her questions. "Now tell me, what did you do to Zelena?" she asks. However, the ghost remains silent and with a single sweep of her arm, pushes her daughter down to the ground. She then glares viciously at Snow, slowly making her way towards the princess. Snow backs away, but soon reaches a wall. Cora pounces towards Snow, but Regina uses her magic to teleport them to another room in a cloud of purple smoke. For a moment they think their safe, but Cora comes bursting through the wall, smashing objects to the ground. Snow cowers in fear as Regina uses her magic to hold Cora back. Snow tells Regina she's holding Cora off, but Regina points out that she can't hold her forever.
Cora is blackmailed by Jonathan.
Back in the fairytale land that was, Cora, now dressed in royal attire and with a golden ring on her hand, is sitting underneath a gazebo, admiring her jewelry. Suddenly, a hand aggressively grabs her hand and the person looks at the ring on her finger; it's Jonathan. "Well lo and behold, it turned into gold after all" he tells her patronizingly. Cora snatches her hand away, "How dare you?!" she snaps, telling him he must have a brain the size of a pixie to show his face in this kingdom. Jonathan states that he had to see for himself if the commoner that said yes to Prince Leopold's proposal was the same one that said it to him, "...several times in one night, it's quite impressive" he mocks her. Cora points out that in two days she'll be princess and he will bow down and count himself lucky to pull the weeds at her feet. Jonathan feigns a laugh, asking if she practiced that in front of a mirror. He then tells Cora she's as much of a fraud as he ever was. Cora smiles that her love for Prince Leopold is true, as is his for her. Jonathan sits beside Cora, wondering if Leopold knows how much of her there is to love or if she was planning on keeping their baby a secret. Cora asks what it is Jonathan wants, gold or jewels, so he joyfully tells her to get him anything she can get, enough for him to live happily for the rest of his days. He tells her to bring them to him tomorrow night and her secret will remain just that. A bitter Cora looks away for a moment before saying it will be done, "Now leave before someone sees you" she hisses. Jonathan gets up and walks away, leaving Cora alone. However, she's not as alone as she had thought to be...as Princess Eva is standing beside the gazebo, having heard everything that was just said. A royal aide comes up to the princess and says her carriage awaits. Eva whispers that she's coming, signally the aide to leave. Once alone, Eva begins to take in everything she just heard.
Snow is possessed by Cora.
At Regina's house, the ghost of Cora is pushing forcefully against her daughters repelling magic which is stopping her from reaching Snow. As Regina's magic begins to weaken and Cora bashes about the room, knocking things to the floor, she says she's not sure how much long she can hold her off. Snow apologizes to Cora, asking for forgiveness, but this just angers the ghost further. Regina tells Snow to save her breath as Snow's mother was nothing like hers, for all she understood was power and weakness, "But if she wants to kill you she's gonna have to go through me!" she yells, shocking Snow. Regina tells Snow that this isn't about her because it's about Cora and herself. With that, Regina's magic stops. She tells her mother that it's time for answers, "What did you do to Zelena?!" she screams before being knocked to the floor again. The ghost of Cora then enters Snow's body, sending her into a trance where she begins to see flashes of Cora's younger life.
Cora is tested by Prince Leopold.
In the fairytale land that was, Cora, in a gown, is seen walking through a large royal hall with posh dining tables set up. She keeps walking until she sees Prince Leopold stood watching her. "My love, you frightened me" she tells him nervously before they peck lips. Leopold questions why Cora is in the Great Hall at this hour so she tells him that weddings don't plan themselves and there's a lot of work to be done. When Leopold doesn't respond, Cora asks if something is wrong, leading him to explain that word has spread of Cora being with child. "My love...I am so sorry for the terrible trouble that this lie has brought upon you" Cora tells him. Leopold tells her that gossip means nothing to him, stating that he pledged to marry her and he'll keep that promise as long as he knows he can trust her. Cora takes Leopold's hand and assures him that there is no baby, only her love for him. A disappointed look comes across Leopold's face. "You only love yourself" a voice says in the distance, revealing it to be from Princess Eva, walking into the hall. Cora angrily asks what she's doing here, so Leopold explains that she heard Cora's rendezvous in the garden yesterday. "And just as I said, a miller's daughter is a worthless liar" Eva says bitterly.
Eva wins the prince.
Cora calls Eva an awful child before confessing to being in the garden. She goes on to lie that a man was roaming the grounds so she made him leave in fear that he might steal something. She tells Leopold that whatever else Eva told him is the invention of a jealous brat who would say anything to marry him. "Check her pockets" Eva tells Leopold calmly. Cora gets a nervous look on her face. As Leopold moves towards Cora, she gives him a begging look, hoping he won't check her pockets. However, he goes, and he finds hidden jewelry. "There's nothing left to say" an angry Leopold says, walking away. Eva follows the prince, telling him he deserves better than her lies. Two guards enter the hall and begin to escort Cora away. As she's dragged away she calls out for the prince, but he ignores her, walking away with Eva, asking her to help him break the terrible news to the king. As they depart, Eva stops Leopold, telling him that although his heart aches today, a more worthy wife will give him the child he deserves. "One that will be pure, pure as snow" she smiles.
Snow is saved by Regina.
Back in the present, Snow is still in her possessed trance with a blue glow emitting from her. A terrified Regina rushes up to her and calls out for her. She tells her to hold on as she won't let her go, and with that she uses her magic to pull the ghost of Cora out of her. With Cora now trapped in her magic, she starts pushing her towards the portal that opened in the first place. After a lot of effort, she finally manages to push Cora back into the spirit world, closing the portal. As soon as the portal closes, Emma, Charming, Hook and Belle rush into the room, the former asking what that was. Regina states that it was Cora before turning to Snow, who is being checked by Charming to see if she's okay. Charming calls out for his wife, asking if she can hear him. All she says in response is faint whispers mentioning that Cora wanted to communicate. Regina asks what she said, so Snow tells her it was about Leopold and her mother. Emma suggests calling a doctor as she isn't making any sense, but Regina points out that she may know something that could help them.
Belle reveals that Zelena wants to travel in time.
Charming tells her it'll have to wait, but she demands that it can't wait because if they want to stop Zelena then they'll have to know what she's doing and why. "I can help with half of that" Belle points out before revealing that Zelena is planning on going back in time. Regina asks if she's certain as nobody has ever been able to cast a spell to go back in time. Belle says that Zelena clearly thinks she can succeed as brains, courage and a resilient heart are ingredients for every time travel spell she found. Charming questions why she'd want to go back in time, pointing out that they have no idea what she's trying to accomplish. "I do" a weak Snow says, getting her strength back. Snow explains that Cora didn't want to give up Zelena, but she was forced to by her mother, Princess Eva. "She told a secret...just like I did" Snow says sadly. Emma meekly points out that she thought their family were the good guys, but Regina explains that life is too messy to be that simple. Charming points out that if it weren't for Snow's mother than Cora wouldn't have given Zelena up.
And Snow realizes it's to kill Eva.
Belle then points out that Zelena would have been the one to be tutored by Rumplestiltskin. Hook states for a final time that it apparently all seems to be Princess Eva's fault, leading Snow to realize that Zelena is going back in time to kill her. Regina points out that Snow would have never been born, leading Emma to suspect that this is where her help ends, however, Regina states that it'll mean she and Henry will have never been born either. Snow then adds that on this different path, Regina may not be born either. Hook states that it's a good thing nobody has ever succeeded with time travel, causing Charming to realize that it's their baby that is the key. He explains that Zelena went through a lot of effort to get near their child, so it's obviously what she's after. A worried Snow asks what she'll do with it, but Charming says it doesn't matter because they're going to stop her, and since the baby isn't born, she's stuck and they have what they need, time. The couple then begin stroking the bump of their unborn child, "Just not very much of it" Snow tells Charming.
Cora abandons her baby.
In the fairytale land that was, a sweaty Cora, back in her raggedy clothes, is lying in a bed as she screams out in pain. She takes deep breathes as she begins pushing and squeezing with all her might, "One more. Big one" a midwife says at the end of the bed as she helps deliver the baby. Cora grips the sheets of the bed tightly as she forces again, "Push!" the midwife urges her. Cora goes red in the face and then suddenly there is a look of relief on her face.
A short while later, after having given birth, Cora walks through the darkening woods, carrying her newly born baby in a basket. She places the basket down on the ground and then she kneels close to her child, "Poor babe, life is cruel and full of betrayal" she says sadly. She tells the baby that this is her only lesson for her and then she must give her away, "To give me my best chance" she finishes. She goes on to tell the child that as long as she has her then she can be nothing more than a miller's daughter. As the baby begins to cry, Cora stands up and walks away. The baby is now left alone as a storm approaches, turning the sky green. The baby begins to cry louder and louder, but silences in awe as a swirling tornado shoots down towards it.
Zelena warns Rumple that he ruined his chance of being reunited with Baelfire.
Back in the present, after finishing their meal, Rumple thanks Zelena. She wonders what for, so he tells her that she showed him something he should have seen long ago. He goes on to say that it's not easy for a man to admit that he's wrong, but he admits to wronging her, and hurt is powerful. As he pours them both some wine, Zelena tells him that those mistakes can't haunt them any more as history will be rewritten soon. They both clink their glasses and then Rumple points out that he'd still like to make amends for his failings. He strokes his hand across her cheek, making her smile. He then leans in and kisses her neck, causing her to moan with pleasure. They stand up and he continues to kiss her body and lips all the while stroking her body with his hands. She continues to moan with pleasure as he kisses her and works his hands down her legs, but suddenly a flash of green magic freezes him when she notices him reaching for his dagger. "Sorry love, afraid not" she hisses at him, "Never on a first date, eh, dearie?" Rumple says mockingly. She points out that he only wanted the knife and tells him she hoped he enjoyed the taste as he just squandered the only chance at saving his son. With a wave of her hand, Rumple is unfrozen, but still under control of the dagger. He angrily points out that his son gave his life so he could stop her, "And I can only see one way to honour that sacrifice, and that's by killing you" he snarls. Zelena bitterly tells Rumple that the celebration is over before sending him back to his cage. Under control of the dagger, Rumple leaves the farmhouse to head back to his cell. Once alone, Zelena tries to hold back her tears of hurt.
Regina and Snow talk about the past.
Meanwhile, at Regina's house, Regina is picking up items from the floor that were knocked down by Cora's ghost. Snow enters and asks if she needs a hand, but Regina asks if she should be on bed rest. She explains to the mayor that Dr. Whale just left after clearing her and the baby, stating the human body has a surprisingly high tolerance to ghost possession. As she begins to help with the cleaning, she asks Regina if she'd like to talk about "it", but Regina asks what there is to talk about, pointing out that Snow has a less damaging relationship with Cora than she does, which is saying something since she killed her. Snow tells Regina that they at least know now that their history is more complicated than they thought, leading Regina to apologize for Snow finding out that Eva had darkness in her past. Snow sits down at a table with Regina, stating that it wasn't the woman she knew, "I wonder what happened that changed her, I suppose I'll never know" she says with slight disappointment. Regina says they can never fully know their past, adding that if they could she probably wouldn't have spent so long trying to kill her.
Regina is told that she feels with her whole soul.
Snow points out that they would've found something to fight about since she was such a brat, "Your mother's child" Regina laughs, holding back her tears. Snow smiles comfortingly and says she thinks they've spent their last day being haunted by the past, "Now we can focus on being haunted by our impending lack of a future" Regina tries to say light-heartedly. Snow assures Regina that Zelena won't win with all of them united against her, but Regina tells her hope isn't easy when she knows the witch has her heart. Snow tells her she'll get it back stronger than ever, which is what it means to be the most resilient, but Regina supposes that could be a trick too. However, Snow points out that she's seen what life has thrown at her and she fights against the darkness every single day, but sooner or later her heart will find its way to happiness. Now crying, Regina says it doesn't feel possible, but Snow tells her it is. She holds Regina's hand comfortingly, "I know you, and you feel things deeply. With or without it you feel with your whole soul. Don't let anything hold you back" she tells her. Regina just tries to hold back her tears, taking on what her new friend is telling her.
I now pronounce this ship official.
A while later, out in the woods of Storybrooke, Robin Hood is crouched over a camp fire holding a stick into it, exposing the lion tattoo on his arm. He's distracted when he hears a noise approaching and is shocked to see Regina headed towards him. "Milady" he says, standing to his feet before apologizing. He admits that her heart was lost to Zelena on his watch, promising to get it back for her. Regina doesn't respond to him, she just grabs his jacket and pulls him in tight, kissing him. They both engage in a romantic kiss for a while and when they break free, they look deeply into each other's eyes. They then leap in for another kiss, this time even more passionate as Robin runs his hand through her hair.
- The title card of this episode features the cyclone that carried Zelena away as a baby.
- Although credited, Michael Raymond-James (Neal Cassidy/Baelfire) and Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Swan) are absent from this episode.
- The title of this episode was revealed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on February 2, 2014.
This episode received 5.95 million viewers.
The episode was met with positive reviews.
- Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly gave it a great review, especially involving the surprising plot line: "There are two main ways to enjoy a twisty, plot- and mythology-heavy series like Once Upon a Time. The first is to endlessly analyze it, carefully examining and picking apart the smallest details to see how well the show hangs together as a whole. The second is to ignore the minutia - or try to, anyway - and simply take the show at face value, accepting that everything in it is, to some extent, made up as its writers go along (and that this fact isn't necessarily a bad thing)." She also added "That said, they are frustrating if you demand a show with a narrative that hangs together like a beautifully made suit. (Remember, though: Once is a direct descendent of Lost. We shoulda known stuff like this was coming.)"
- Gwen Ihnat of The A.V Club gave the episode a B-, noting that "For all of Rebecca Mader’s scenery chewing as Zelena, the Wicked Witch, you’ve got to give her credit for imbuing her witch with not a little sympathy."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.