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Once Upon a Time “Bleeding Through” 

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

What a tumultuous episode this week! As usual, the writers take a character we have learned to hate, and give us that missing tidbit of background that allow us to feel sympathy for them. In this case, Cora. We learned early on that she is a woman to be feared and although it was a bittersweet moment, we weren’t too sad to see her killed. Now we see that she was used and abused in her youth and betrayed in her moment of happiness. That makes it hard to see her as the pinnacle of evil we thought her to be, and shows once again how deftly this show can twist our views and beliefs.

This episode starts with a lovely little moment between Zelena and Regina, punctuated with the metaphoric parallel of the apples. I had been wondering why Regina started wearing so much red this season when it seemed logical to wear purple to match her signature smoke. Seeing the apples it makes perfect sense. Of course, the visit is only to ensure the success of the Dark One in getting the heart away from Robin Hood. Not that he needed any help, of course. Rumple is skilled at using any and every weak point to achieve his goals, and Robin’s young son is no exception. What father would voluntarily put his son at risk?

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

Zelena seems to be feeling confident of her chances of success, and is letting her guard down more than she should. Her dinner with Rumple seems a frivolous thing to do, and it shows that on some level she still seeks his approval. It almost looks like she wants him to approve of her plans of his own free will and possibly even hopes that he will choose to help her without being coerced by the dagger. I hope our heroes can find a way to take advantage of this lapse in judgement to save the day.

Belle has finally discovered the real reason for Zelena’s character trait collection – a time travel spell. If she succeeds, she can erase Regina, Snow, Emma and Henry from history with a wave of her hand. Let’s hope Belle can also find some counter-spell to stop her or all may be lost.

Although it still feels totally contrary to their nature, it’s nice to finally see Snow and Regina bonding. This shared history and future threat offers an opportunity for them to work together in a true and honest fashion, and at first glance they seem to be willing to put the past behind them. But will it last? Only time will tell.

This emotional truce they have reached allows Snow to point out to Regina that she is stronger than she seems, and this strength can be used for more than the tyranny of her past. Regina takes the advice to heart and applies it to the lessons Tinkerbell tried to teach her about true love. Perhaps there’s hope for Regina after all, as she is now willing to open herself up to the possibility of love with Robin Hood. But is she able to experience true love without possession of her heart?

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

Is it strange that my favorite moment of goodness in this episode is the tornado? In the final scene we see Cora abandon her crying infant in an attempt to regain some control of her own life. I had previously assumed Cora had sent the child away, but in this scene it looks like Zelena summons the storm herself. What a wonderful twist (pun intended) to the story! Not only does it completely change the perspective of Zelena’s exile from her mother’s life, but it also adds an undercurrent of destiny since the infant would be working completely on instinct, devoid of any plan. This adds a new dimension to the intention to turn back time, since destiny is rarely thwarted by magic.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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1 Comment

  1. MByerly

    I saw Cora’s reaction to the gardener’s betrayal, not as love lost, but a con artist realizing another con artist has bested her, and the gardener said much the same thing. So, I can’t say I felt sorry for her.

    This episode also rewrote Cora’s past, didn’t it? Particularly the reason for her meeting with Snow’s mother and antipathy toward the arrogant princess.

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