‘Once Upon A Time’ Recap: Battle Lines Are Drawn & [Spoiler] Is Killed

The battle for Rumpelstiltskin's dagger claimed its biggest victim yet this week! Storybrooke became a full-on battlefield this week, as good and evil finally clashed on the March 10 episode of Once Upon A Time. And in the end, one major character's life was lost, dramatically tipping the scales in the ongoing war for power.

Once Upon A Time Cora Dies
Image Credit: Courtesy of ABC

OK, let’s not beat around the bush: Cora (Barbara Hershey) was the episode’s much-hyped casualty, as Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) used the magic candle to exchange the evil sorceress’ life for Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), who was dying from Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) poison.

The kicker, of course, is that the spell wouldn’t have worked were it not for Regina (Lana Parrilla) interfering. She wanted to know if her mother could ever really love her, so she re-inserted Cora’s heart into her body, which is what triggered the spell. Cora and Regina enjoyed a nice — albeit extremely brief — mother-daughter moment, before being separated once again. For good.

Needless to say, Regina has more reason than ever for wanting Snow dead.

Cora & Rumples’ Bad Romance

But Cora’s death wasn’t the only surprising development for the Mother of All Evil this week. Through flashbacks, we learned that young Cora — played to eerie perfection by Rose McGowan — made a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, enabling her to spin straw into gold. But business quickly turned to pleasure as Cora and Rumples fell in love!

Spinning straw into gold earned Cora the prince’s hand in marriage, and she almost left it all behind to be with the bad-skinned imp — but then she didn’t. Instead, she ripped out her own heart so she’d be able to choose ambition over love without feeling like such a bitch.

Question: Cora’s (broken) deal with Rumples was that she’d have her first born with him, but that doesn’t mean Regina is his daughter, does it? I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t put it past this show to surprise viewers by forming another familial connection between the characters.

In present-day Storybrooke, as Mr. Gold lay dying, he shared a surprisingly touching moment with the all-grown-up version of the witch he once loved. Cora told him he was the only man she’d ever loved, and then she kissed him, which was kind of gross. As I said before, the tables quickly turned, sending Cora to her grave instead of Gold.

HollywoodLifers, what did you think of this week’s episode? Were you hoping someone else would be the victim? And how do you think this turn of events will affect Storybrooke’s future? Drop a comment with your theories!

— Andy Swift

More Once Upon A Time on HollywoodLife.com:

  1. ‘Once Upon A Time’: A Major Death & More Scoop From Sunday’s Episode
  2. ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spoilers: Snow’s Revenge, Peter Pan’s Arrival & More
  3. ‘Once Upon A Time’ Recap: Snow Suffers Another Tragic Loss

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