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‘Once Upon A Time’ episode recap: 'The Miller’s Daughter'

By Sari N. Kent,

We open in the fairy tale world, in the past. Young Cora goes to her mill and sees her father sleeping on a wagon full of sacks of flour next to a wheelbarrow full of sacks of flour. She tells him to get up and throws a bottle he has been drinking from. She tells him the flour was due to be delivered that morning and that she for one would like to be able to eat that week. Cora then takes the wheelbarrow and goes to the castle. The royal family and Princess Eva approach the door Cora is walking away from. When Cora walks by the royal family, Princess Eva purposefully trips her causing her to fall spilling all the flour. The king then makes Cora kneel before Eva. Cora does so, but refuses to apologize until the king threatens to stop buying flour from her. Then, Cora apologizes and Eva smiles a malicious smile. The king then tells Cora to stay on her knees until they have left the room, the royal family and Princess Eva walk out of the room.

Shoot to present day Storybrooke. On Hook's ship, Henry is driving the ship with guidance from Neal. Emma goes below deck to talk to Gold, who has been stabbed and wounded by poison. Emma asks Gold about his dagger, asking if Cora could use it to get Gold to kill them all. Gold says that they can use it to make him do such things and says that Emma probably wants him to bleed to death. Emma then says that Gold is Henry's grandfather, so that makes them family so she will save him.

Shoot to elsewhere in present day Storybrooke. Cora and Regina are listening in on a call between David and Mary-Margaret. David tells Mary-Margaret that Gold is wounded badly and that Emma is bringing him over to Storybrooke on Hook's ship, since it’s the only place he can be cured since it has magic. Mary-Margaret then tells David to tell Emma that Cora has the dagger and "there's no telling what that wicked woman will do". Cora then knocks over the speaker that Regina and her were listening in on the call from.

Shoot to Cora saying that she does not like what the "enchanted box" said about her and says she's not wicked. Regina then says that it's not an enchanted box, but a phone tab. Then, Cora says she doesn't care since Rumplestiltskin and Emma have been warned. Cora says Rumplestiltskin is smart and has time to think. Regina reminds Cora that Rumplestiltskin injured, Cora then looks at the dagger and sees the "Rum" in Rumplestiltskin’s name fade away. Cora then says that he's dying and that all his power is going to go away without a new Dark One. Regina then says that have to hurry, that Rumplestiltskin can't do anything in his condition and that she, herself must stab him to become the new Dark One. Cora adds that with the power she could do anything. Regina replies, “Henry is never going to forgive that and the whole point of this was…” Then, Regina stops and asks Cora what the whole point of it was. She asks Cora if it's about her gaining power. Cora says that whatever power she gains is for them, so she can protect their family. Cora then says that if they lose the battle they will spend the rest of their short lives on their knees, and that's something she will never do.

Shoot to the fairy tale world, in the past. The king is hosting a masquerade ball to find a wealthy and lovely lady to be his son's wife. Cora walks in in a red dress and puts on a mask. She walks up to Prince Henry. She pretends not to notice that he is Prince Henry. She says that the ball is a way for the king to find wealthy women to purchase his son. Prince Henry says that she's very frank. Cora then turns around and pretends to notice that it's Prince Henry. She says she is sorry and calls herself a goose. Prince Henry then asks her onto the dance floor. Cora says she doesn't want to stop someone from purchasing him. Then, Prince Henry asks why she came and she says it was because of the free food. Then, the king cuts in and begins dancing with Cora.

Shoot to Cora saying that she didn’t expect such an honor. The king says it's wasn’t an honor and that a stolen dress and mask couldn't make it so he didn't recognize the Miller's daughter. He then says that there was straw on her dress. Cora says he had some nerve telling her what was wrong with her when he was selling off his own flesh and blood. The king then tells Cora that he’s doing it because they need the gold. The king then tells her to go, saying there was nothing she could offer them but pieces of straw. Cora then lies and tells the king she can spin straw into gold and that because he insulted her, she would not use her talent for him. She starts to walk away but the king grabs her and brings her before everyone. He then announces that she said she could spin straw into gold. The crowd laughs. Then, he says that she will perform this talent for them. Cora replies that it takes time, so the king says that she will be locked in a room full of straw overnight and that she will spin it into gold by morning. If she is successful, the king says she will marry Prince Henry, if she fails she will die.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Ruby and Neal are carrying Gold off the dock. Mary-Margaret and David run up to them. David helps carry Gold by taking him from Ruby. Henry then tells David that he drove a ship with help from his dad. Neal then introduces himself to David as Henry's father. They then put Gold on the back of a truck and David asks Gold if Cora was using the dagger to control him. Gold replies that if she were, most of them would be dead. Mary-Margaret then says that have to take the fight to Cora before she takes it to them. David tries to stop Mary-Margaret from continuing, but she says that Cora needs to be stopped and killed. David agrees that Cora needs to be punished and says that he has no problem with Cora dying, but not by Mary-Margaret's hand or out of vengeance. She asks why. David replies that Mary-Margaret would never be able to live with herself if she killed Cora. Gold then has them take him back to his shop. Henry goes with Ruby while Emma, David, Mary, and Gold go to his shop.

Shoot back to the fairy tale world, in the past. Cora is looking out the window of a tower. Rumplestiltskin appears and tells her that she could escape but that the fall would kill her. Cora then asks how he came in so she could escape the same way. Rumplestiltskin instead tells her that he will spin the straw into gold. Cora replies that she doubts his ability to do so, but Rumplestiltskin quickly spins some straw into gold. Cora then asks him what he wants. Rumplestiltskin replies, "Funny you ask, can you read?" He then teleports in a contract. Cora reads it and it asks her to give Rumplestiltskin her first born child. Rumplestiltskin adds that she'll be able to marry Prince Henry and get him to kneel before her like she wants. Cora replies that she doesn't want anyone to kneel before her. She also says Rumplestiltskin has to teach her how to spin straw into gold. Rumplestiltskin agrees.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Emma finds the jar Gold asked her to find. She says that it's empty and reaches her hand into it. Gold replies that it contains invisible chalk. He then tells Emma to draw a chalk line at the door. Emma, Neal, and David leave the room. Mary-Margaret also turns to leave, but Gold asks her to put a blanket over a cupboard. She opens the cupboard and finds the candle that kills one to give life to another. Mary-Margaret then asks Gold why he has it. Gold replied that he was saving it for a rainy day.

Shoot to Emma drawing a line at the door. Neal tells her she missed a spot. "Very fun," remarks Emma. Then, David comes in and says that it's all clear outside.

Shoot to Gold tells Mary-Margaret that the candle was the only thing that could save him and that nothing else will do. Mary-Margaret then asks why she should do it, since she couldn't do it for her own mother. Gold then tells her that she’s grown up now and their interests are aligned. Mary-Margaret then remarks there is no coming back from murder. Gold reminds her how the candle works and that she has to hold the candle over Cora and whisper name Cora's name. Mary-Margaret then asks how she can do that when Cora's heart isn't in her. Gold says doing it over her heart will do. After, Mary-Margaret will have to use a body, curse the heart then put heart in Cora, Cora will die and Gold will live. Mary-Margaret then asks Gold why she shouldn't use the heart to control Cora and let Gold die, that way she gets rid of two evils. Gold replies, "Imagine Henry's face when he learns you killed his grandpa." Then, Emma comes and Gold tells her to cast a protection spell. Emma replies that she can't cast the spell. Gold says she can do it and tells her to stop thinking and that her emotion brings magic, not thoughts. Emma then casts the spell.

Shoot back to the fairy tale world, in the past. Cora tries to spin the straw into gold, but it's not working. Rumplestiltskin tells her to stop thinking about it and that the magic is her emotion. He then tells her to think about when she wanted to kill. Cora asks him if that's how he does it and Rumplestiltskin says yes. Then, he tells her that a man once made him kiss his boot in front of his son and he wanted to rip out the man's throat. That's how magic is made Rumplestiltskin tells Cora… bloodlust. He then put his hands on her shoulders and Cora talks about kneeling to Eva, how she wasn’t doing anything wrong, how the king made her apologize and how it was then that she realized that no matter how good or hard she worked, she would never be better. Rumplestiltskin then asks her what she wanted to do. Cora replies that she wanted to make them bow and have their knee caps break on the stone. She then spins the straw to gold. She says, "I did it, I'm going to live". Rumplestiltskin then tells her not to stop until they are on their knees in a flirting way. Later, Cora spins in front of the king and hands him the gold. "Did you really do it?" asked the king. Cora says you saw it. The king tells her she earned Prince Henry, who then kneels and proposes to Cora. Cora agrees to marry Prince Henry. Meanwhile, Rumplestiltskin is watching.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Mary-Margaret is looking out window. David asks her what's wrong. David asks her if Gold told her something. Mary-Margaret tells him that Gold said Cora is determined to hurt them. Then, Gold’s store begins shaking. David goes to Emma and Neal and says it's them…Regina and Cora were there. Outside of the store, Cora is holding the dagger. Cora and Regina use fire to open door. Emma, Neal, Mary, and David are in the store with swords. Emma tells Regina to think about what she's doing. Regina tells Emma not to talk to her. Mary-Margaret then runs out the back door. The battle begins, David is knocked out of the store, unconscious. Regina then uses magic to choke Emma. Emma breaks free and holds a knife to Regina's neck. The dagger is next to Neal. Emma then asks Cora, "Who's it going to be?" Cora takes dagger. Emma throws Regina, causing Regina to be knocked into a display case. Then, Emma and David run into the back room. Emma then casts a spell that stops people from entering the back room. Cora senses that someone is in Regina's vault with Cora's heart. Regina then leaves the store and runs to the vault.

Shoot back to the fairy tale world, in the past. Rumplestiltskin and Cora kiss. Rumplestiltskin tells Cora that he loves the dress she’s wearing. Cora replies, "Well rags have to be snow white." Rumplestiltskin laughs and says. "When you see the future there's irony everywhere." Cora then tells Rumplestiltskin that she loves him. Rumplestiltskin replies that he can offer nothing, but darkness. Cora remarks back that she doesn't care. Rumplestiltskin then tells her that she believes she loves him and asks what if he amended the contract to be that Cora owes him his child instead of her first born. Cora agrees. Cora then tells Rumplestiltskin how she hates the king and wants to kill him. She then says that she wants to show him his heart so he can see it and know what she's going to do. Rumplestiltskin says, “That's why I love you.” Cora then asks him to show her how to do it and says she will do it that night. Then, they kiss.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Mary-Margaret is in the vault, looking around for the heart.

Shoot to David waking up and calling Emma. He asks if Mary-Margaret is okay. Emma replies she wasn’t there and David wonders where she is.

Shoot to Mary-Margaret finding the heart in a box in a chest. She pulls out the box holding the heart, opens the box and sees the heart. She then closes box and begins breathing heavy. She opens it again and lights the candle. She holds candle over the heart and whispers Cora’s name, then blows out candle.

Shoot back to the fairy tale world, in the past. Cora finds the king and tells him that she doesn't love Prince Henry. The king tells her, “It's not about love, but about alliances.” He adds that love is weakness and that should make her choice easier. He then says she can run off with the imp she thinks no one knows about or sit with Prince Henry with his citizens at her feet. Cora then says if it's a choice between love or power, having a heart is a liability. She then puts her hand on king's chest. "Don't you think" she says. Later, she walks out of the castle with a box, the box is glowing due to the heart in it.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Gold says that his dying may be for the best. He then asks to talk to Belle. Neal asks who Belle is. Emma tells Neal it's his dad's girlfriend.

Shoot to Belle and Gold on the phone. "Mr. Gold, I told you, I don't remember you," says Belle. "I know. It's just that I'm dying. I'm so sorry. I know you're confused about who you are. You’re a hero who helped your people. You’re a beautiful woman who loved an ugly man. Really really loved me. You made me want to go back, back to the best version of me and that never happened before," says Gold. Belle then begins to cry. "Thank you," says Gold before he hangs up. "I didn't know you had that in you," Neal says to Gold, who says that he loves Neal and that he was sorry. "I didn't think you'd go back on our deal," says Neal. "I made a wrong choice," says Gold. Gold then reaches out to Neal with his hand. Neal takes it and both are on verge of crying.

Shoot to Regina finding Mary-Margaret in the vault. "You have no right to be here or to that," says Regina. "I was going to give it to you. She can't love you because she doesn't have her heart" replies Mary-Margaret. She then asks Regina if she could have a mother and a start on a family with Henry a part of it, or she could have her mother be the dark one. Mary-Margaret then holds the box containing the heart out to Regina.

Shoot back to the fairy tale world, in the past. Rumplestiltskin is by tree waiting for Cora. She comes and they kiss. Rumplestiltskin senses that something's not right. "What happened did you take the kings heart?" he asks. "I was able to do it, but I chose not to. Sorry I'm not going with you. I have a wedding to go to my own," says Cora. "Whose heart is in the box? You lied to me!" screams Rumplestiltskin. Cora then tells him that it's her heart. "I had to. You told me not to let anything stop me and my heart was stopping me," says Cora. "You never loved me. Never. We had a contract, I'll take your baby," says Rumplestiltskin. "You changed it, you only get your own and any I have won't be yours," says Cora.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. The letters "in" are the only ones left on the dagger.

Shoot to David finding Mary-Margaret and he asks her if she’s okay. He sees that she’s troubled and asks her what she did. Mary-Margaret says the he was right, she wasn't being herself.

Shoot to Cora breaking spell stopping her from getting to back room. Emma and Neal stand between Cora and Gold. "You two out of the way," says Cora. They are then teleported elsewhere. Gold says he knew this day would come because of a vision, but it didn't tell him everything. It didn't tell him what he wanted to know. Cora asks him what it was. Gold then asks her if she ever loved him. Cora asks him why do he think she had to rip her own heart out? She says he was her weakness, the only man she ever loved. Cora then raises the dagger. Suddenly, Regina appears and puts Cora's heart in Cora. Rumplestiltskin’s full name reappears on dagger. Regina then smiles and says, “Mother.”

Shoot back to the fairy tale world, in the past. Cora is holding her new born daughter. Prince Henry asks Cora what the baby's name is. Cora says her name is Regina for one day she will be queen. The people in the castle then bow to Cora and the baby.

Shoot back to present day Storybrooke. Cora laughs with joy and says Regina's name before she collapses. Gold then grabs the dagger. Regina holds onto Cora and asks her what's wrong. "This would have been enough, you, you would have been enough," says Cora. By saying that, Cora shows that she would chose love over power, but it's too late, Cora dies. Regina asks Gold what was going on and begins crying. Gold then stands up and tries to say something to Regina. Regina tells him to shut up "You stole her life!” she screams. Gold says he did nothing. Then, Mary-Margaret and David burst in. Mary-Margaret yells "Regina STOP!" Mary-Margaret then looks at Regina holding Cora's body. Then, Regina looks at Mary-Margaret and says "You did this."

 
 

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