Once Upon a Time: The Miller's Daughter

“You would have been enough.”

This episode went to the root of so many causes, but it also birthed some new ones. Vengeance, retribution, forgiveness and redemption all played a part here. Whether it was Cora’s decision to pursue her quest for power, Snow’s struggle with the anger she feels for Regina’s mother or Rumple’s last attempt to make the ones he loves remember the man he once was, there was a sense that the show was closing one door and opening a new one.

If Cora’s death will teach us anything, it’s that Regina’s road to atonement is pretty much destroyed. Fool Regina once, lose your home, fool Regina twice lose everything else. Snow’s made her bed, now she has to lie in it.

I’m delighted to see the show take a risk like this and make Snow responsible for something so dark and twisted. When she was faced with losing her mother she managed to do the right thing, but after everything that Cora has put her through I guess she’s given up on altruism. It’s a move that’s changed Snow almost irreversibly; she’s shown real darkness, and never turning to it is something she always held over Regina’s head. There’s going to be no contesting that fact.

Cora may have changed when she was Snow’s age, but I don’t think that it was all as cut and paste as it seemed in the flashbacks this week. If Rumple’s easy seduction is anything to go by, she’s always been a little corrupt, or weak for power. Then she made the decision to give up her own heart, knowing what it could do to her. She had her fair share of animosity, sure, but haven’t all of these guys? That being said, I really liked delving into the story of what originated one of the show’s darkest characters, and as hard as it is to deal with that new face of hers, Rose McGowan clearly enjoyed being a part of this episode; she slipped into the role of Cora so well and the chemistry between her and Rumple was crazy.

It’s odd to think that he was there all this time; manipulating his way to Storybrooke. He’s come a long way, and I think that phone call to Belle was one of the most prominent showcases of the man he can be if he tries. I think it might be what brings Belle back to him. I could tell that what he was saying registered with her, whether she remembers who he is or not. Even Bae seems to be opening up to Rumple, even if it was just because his father was on his death bed.

I really think ‘The Miller’s Daughter’ marked a major turning point. With Cora gone the show will almost have to return to its roots. Except now, Snow isn’t the innocent she once was; she’s just as responsible as Regina will be accusing her of being. I’m happy that Once Upon a Time has gone down this route, one that’s not all rainbows and smiles; it’s easy to forget that sometimes the good guys get it wrong.

4.5 out of 5 pieces of golden straw


Anyone else notice Bae/Neil’s very pirate-esque sword?

I’m going to miss Cora. Barbra Hershey was a great addition to the cast.

I was almost expecting flames in Regina’s eyes when she looked up from Cora’s body. Snow better start looking into some anti-flaying spells.

He Said, She Said

Rumple: “You make me want to go back, back to the best version of me.”

Snow: “She can’t love, so she can’t love you.”
Regina: “She always wanted the best for me, that’s love.”

Rumple: “Did you ever love me?”
Cora: “Why do you think I had to rip my own heart out?”

Cora: “This would have been enough. You would have been enough.”

Previously posted at PandaTV.


Jess Lynde said...

This was a much better episode than they've given us in awhile, although it definitely is hard to deal with that new face of Rose McGowen's. That was the superficial detail that I found incredibly distracting this week. Apparently, I haven't seen her in a good long while, because I couldn't figure out if that was something she had done to herself, or something the makeup folks had done to her to give her such a striking likeness to Cora. Sadly, she's apparently done it to herself. Still, she did such a great job with the role that the face was only a minor distraction.

Snow's turn to the dark side was really delightful. When she manipulated the hell out of Regina to get her to take out Cora, I was simply blown away by the level of cold calculation she is capable of. To play on Regina's need for her mother's love was above and beyond anything I could imagine the "virtuous" Snow doing, but I absolutely loved being surprised.

I'm also quite relieved that the Dark One did not turn out to be Regina's bio-dad. The familial connections on this show are already pretty messy, without throwing that into the mix. We had to pause the show briefly this week to suss out exactly what Henry's biological connection to Regina is now! (She's his first cousin, twice-removed --- assuming that we just learned that Snow's mom and Regina's dad were brother and sister. That is what we learned, right? That Prince Henry and Eva were siblings?)

A solidly entertaining hour. I hope this is, indeed, a turning point for the show, Panda. But I'm not going to hold my breath. :)

ChrisB said...

I was looking forward to Snow's turn to the dark side and this did not disappoint. I am hoping that she will be a much more interesting character now that she has shades of darkness mixed in with all that white.

I'm liking the Bae/Emma chemistry. He may be engaged, but there is still a lot of heat between them.

Jess Lynde said...

Oops! Nevermind on the Regina-Snow family connection. I just double-checked and Eva was an "honored guest," not a sibling to Prince Henry. Whew! Things just got slightly less messy.

Also, I see that above I said that Rose's face was both "incredibly distracting" and a "minor distraction." I'll settle somewhere in the middle. At first it was incredibly distracting (which is probably why I goofed up the family connection thing), but it became less so as the episode went on. (This is what I get for trying to comment when my kids are asking me questions.)

TJ said...

Wow! Well, we all knew that Cora would be killed off sooner or later, but I thought they'd wait until the season finale.

And wow! Who would have thought that Rose McGowen would be a perfect young Cora?? Well, not me! I was simply blown away by the wonderful chemistry she had with Rumpel.

But, I'm worried. Although it was great that the writers are taking this risk to turn Snow White into Snow Black, is this really a step forward? In a way it seems like we're back at square one, and I am not so sure if that is a good thing.

And, is it just me, but has the cheesiness of this show increased? It's almost Days-Of-Our-Lives-cheesy nowadays. I thought that the phone call with Belle was a bit OTT, and if I hear Snow/Charming having their black/white discussions over who is good vs bad again, I think I will explode in a pile of green goo.

Let's hope the next five or so episodes would NOT include a lot of Snow rambling - "What have I done? What have I done?"

I'm conflicted about this ep, but things are heating up, I guess, and that's always a good thing. I just wish we had a few more eps to explore Rose McGowen's young Cora, instead of this somewhat rushed thingy that just came out of nowhere.

garyb said...

McGowan was in a car accident in 2007.


To be more exact, in March 2007 riding as a passenger, McGowan's car was struck by another vehicle and the force of the impact drove her eyeglasses into her face. Rose (reasonably) was scared of scarring but found a great plastic surgeon. After obtaining the services of her plastic surgeon, McGowan is reported to be suffering no long-lasting consequences from the car accident.

Jess Lynde said...

If that's true, garyb, I'm glad it was outside circumstances that led to the plastic surgery. It's terrible that she was in a car accident, of course, but given the appearance-related pressures female actresses are subjected to, especially as they age, I assumed that she went under the knife for different reasons and it made me sad.

Raquel Henriquez said...

I understand Cora had to die and I´m not that surprised Snow was responsible from it.
The surprising thing for me was the way Snow manage to do it because I think Rumple´s speech about Henry not forgiving Snow if she let her "grandpa" die was anything but convincing.

Regina loved her mother and Snow knew it, she knew what giving her the poisoned heart would do and still do it. I never thought Snow had it in her.
Cora also without knowing did what she promised to Eva by turning Snow´s heart into darkness, even if it´s just for a little while.

I think this is my favorite episode in a while now and I´m looking forward to the rest of the season now Regina is out for Snow´s blood and Snow is not the blameless little girl anymore.

Panda said...

Just about Rose's surgery, there are pictures of her post accident...then ones a few years later. She got a lot more done.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever seen Rose McGowan before, so I didn't know who she was, but her face distracted me all the way through. It's a shame, because she gave a terrific performance.

This was an amazing episode for
Robert Carlyle - he was electrifying. I can't say I'm sad to see the end of Cora - I always found her pretty dull because she was pretty much evil all the way through. The only thing that gave her character any depth was her apparent concern for her daughter, and now we know she didn't have a heart it turns out none of that was really for Regina's sake anyway. (I have to say I also found Barbara Hershey's Botox hard to look at. I really wish they didn't feel they had to do it.)

I can't wait to see where they go from here. I'm with TJ though in hoping that it won't be a constant stream of "What have I done?" from Snow. Especially as I would argue that refusing to take action against somebody evil, resulting in the deaths of innocents, is pretty debatable as "good" anyway. You did the right thing, Snow, so own it! If you'd done it earlier, the cook from Downtown Abbey would still be alive:).


Anonymous said...

I do see all the darkness in Snow's action, but I do belive she was manipulated by both Rumple and Cora to do that. i don't believe Snow would do that if she thought she had an option (I watched the episode again and thought they could've arranged for Cora to have her heart back and save Rumple with true love's kiss, but nobody knew about their previous relationship).
What I thought was really memorable and haven't seen people talking about, was Rumple teaching both Emma and Cora how to do magic. How it was all about good emotions with Emma and bad emotions with Cora. Light and dark magic.
I think things are about to get really messy now in Storybroke. Let's hope they keep giving us episodes like this one (and stop with episodes like Tiny).

Panda said...

I don't buy into the whole "manipulated" thing with Snow and what she did. Yeah, they might have led her in that direction, but she still made the decision to do it, and I think that's the important part, not who or what was involved in getting her to that point.

Anonymous said...

Snow made the decision to do an evil thing, even if Rumple tempted her she's still responsible for her actions. Rose was amazing as young Cora. Her and Rumple's chemistry was so intense. Sad to see Cora go, but it was a necessary move to get the show forward.

Liz's Journal said...

If Cora’s death will teach us anything, it’s that Regina’s road to atonement is pretty much destroyed.

It's not wise to make that kind of assumption when a series is in the middle of its run.