The Miller’s Daughter
Original Air Date: Mar 10, 2013
Wyner C – Senior Reviewer
Our choices in life are so important. Sometimes we’re driven to decide against our morals, our principles. In these cases, who do we become? How do we live with ourselves? For me? Compartmentalize and soldier on – for Snow? I’m thinking a lot of sulking and crying. Let’s see what choice she’s pushed to make.
In Fairytale (pre-curse), we meet a young miller’s daughter, Cora – in a genius casting move, played by Rose McGowan. A young Princess Eva, inexplicably, trips Cora while she delivers flour. Cora is humiliated when the King demands she kneel and apologize. This is the start of the vendetta against Eva – granted, she brought it on herself (choices folks, choices).
Cora sneaks into a ball to seduce the Prince but gets busted by the King. She makes the mistake of boasting about the ability of spinning straw into gold. To humiliate and rid himself of Cora, the King announces to everyone that Cora will have the night to demonstrate her talent and marry the prince or else she’ll die. I don’t understand – why death? So extreme!!
Locked up and not being able spin gold, she freaks out. Good thing Rumpel pays her a visit. He makes a deal, he’ll spin the gold if she gives him her firstborn. Cora is a smart cookie – she wants to learn to spin straw into gold, not content on watching Rumpel do it. The Dark One is impressed and amends the contract. He’s so impressed that he tells Cora his name.
During the lesson, things get sexual – Rumpel is more than captivated. When Cora can’t work the magic, Rumpel teaches her to recall the moment her vengeance boils over and she just wants to kill – that will be her magical inspiration. They bond describing their moment – his: being made to lick boot in front of Baelfire; hers: humiliated by Eva for doing nothing wrong. Cora is successful – drawing strength from Blood Lust.
The King rewards Cora with his son – Cora’s going to become princess. (Technically, the King is a glorified pimp.) Before Cora’s wedding, Rumpel visits – making out with Cora. It seems they are in lurve. They decide Cora will run away with him. Rumpel amends the contract – instead of getting Cora’s firstborn, it’ll be their firstborn. First, Cora wants to learn to take the heart – she wants the King’s heart and watch him squirm as she kills him.
When it is time to kill the king, she changes her mind – the King offers her much more (power and a crown). He reminds her love is a weakness – running off with the “evil imp” will lose her power and citizens at her feet. She meets Rumpel to tell him she’s not running away with him. He’s obviously upset and questions if she ever loved him. His solace is her firstborn…except he amended the contract. Cora’s firstborn will never be Rumpel’s baby. The heart she carries is her own – she doesn’t want a heart to hinder her power lust, her blood lust. She doesn’t want her feelings for Rumpel to stop her.
In Storybrooke, Neal, Emma, Henry and a dying Rumpel arrive. Henry leaves with Ruby so he’s out of harm’s way. Rumpel, Emma, Neal, David, and Snow head to Rumpel’s store. The Dark One makes Emma draw a line with an invisible chalk and create a protection spell. He teaches her to draw from her loved ones – the ones she want to protect – to do magic. Emma succeeds. It’s good because Regina and Cora is coming to get them. The women want to kill Rumpel to take his powers – Cora as The Dark One is something to fear.
Secretly, Rumpel shows Snow the candle – the one she refused to use to save her mother. Rumpel tells her to use it on Cora’s heart to save him and when the heart is back inside the body, Cora will die and he’ll live (saving Henry the heartache). She’s hesitant but is considering it.
When Cora and Regina break the protection spell, Pixie sneaks out and goes to find Cora’s heart. The fight results in David being thrown outside while Neal and Emma head to the back with Emma creating another protection spell. Cora senses someone is messing with her heart and sends Regina to protect it.
Regina finds Snow with Cora’s heart. Snow tells Regina she’s going to give the heart to Regina – imagine the REAL love Regina will feel if Cora had her heart inside her. Snow wants Regina to feel the love of her mother – being loved by her mother is better than Cora being The Dark One. Regina takes the heart while Snow reflects on her actions. When David realizes Snow isn’t with Emma, he finds Snow freaking out – she’s done something horrible and she’s regretting it.
While Cora is trying to break through the protection spell, Rumpel calls Belle. He tells her he’s dying and even though she cannot remember who she was, he can tell her: she’s a hero. She’s a beautiful woman who loved a monster and brought out love in him – brought out the best in him. I mean, dude, it was a heart wrenching speech and was beautiful. He didn’t profess his love but showed her how great she is and her impact on his life – that’s love.
Baelfire didn’t know it was in Rumpel. I think the speech helped Neal see Rumpel as a real man, not the power hungry The Dark One. Gold tells Neal he made the wrong decision and the men experiences closure. Neal finally forgives Rumpel.
Cora finally breaks through the protection spell and vanquishes Neal and Emma to the woods. She tells Rumpel she did love him – that’s why she had to take her heart out, he was her weakness. Just when she about to shove the dagger into Rumpel, Regina shoves Cora’s heart inside her body.
Cora flashes back on naming Regina – the future queen. She smiles at Regina with love while Rumpel heals. That’s right, Snow used the candle. Regina sees love in Cora’s eyes and is ecstatic until Cora keels over – with Rumpel’s fatal wound. Cora dies just as Snow rushes in to stop Regina. Too late.
Favorite moments/Things to ponder:
1. Rumpel wanted Cora’s firstborn because he knows her importance – he can see snippets of the future. He was willing to mess with HIS firstborn with Cora. Dude, is harsh!
2. Emma’s inspiration for magic is her loved ones and Cora’s motivation is Blood Lust. The difference is immense and Rumpel knows it – he knows who is good and who is evil and what will inspire magic in his pupils.
3. When Cora was trying on her wedding dress, she said this is how a bride should look: Snow White. Knowing the future, Rumpel laughed at the irony. Me too.
4. I don’t understand why Regina is so mad at Snow. If someone was gunning for my life and trying to kill my family – watch out bitches. I don’t believe in violence but I think if push comes to shove, I can go there (reluctantly). Snow felt the only way to end this is by Cora dying. I think Snow did the right thing-ish. I get it but she’ll have to live with the consequences (ie a really mad and powerful Regina).
5. Technically, Regina helped with having her mother killed. Ouch. Also, with the candle being the magic that killed Cora, Karma’s a bitch.
6. There’s more to Cora’s story. How did she end up losing her princess status? What happened? Did Eva ruin it for her? Or did Rumpel?
7. Cora did love Rumpel and at the end, loved Regina. The heart is not a weakness except for the power hungry.
8. Snow was really believable when trying to convince Regina she’s trying to help by offering Cora’s heart. I didn’t know she had that in her. Also, it’s weird but if Snow didn’t use the candle on the heart and Regina had restored it to the body, I think Cora may have stopped killing Rumpel – Rumpel would have died but the Regina vendetta may have ended. Choices folks.
How sad is it that Regina only wants to be loved? She’s done all this to be loved by Henry and Cora. How moving was Rumpel’s speech to Belle? I was touched (so was Neal). How will Snow live with herself? What will Regina do? Will Rumpel stop Regina? Will Emma? How nice was it to see the Rumpelstiltskin story told differently? The miller’s daughter isn’t the innocent, but she’s a conniving ambitious woman. RIP Cora – you’ve be awesome!! Discuss away!!!!