CRIMINY! Calm down, OUAT! Why are you throwing this moral and ethical debate in our faces?
My personal opinion about what Mary Margret/Snow did in this episode is that she wasn’t wrong. Yes, it was messed up that she deceived Regina into placing Cora’s cursed heart back into her mother’s chest. I won’t deny that. But I personally feel she was in the right in killing Cora. That woman had already killed two people- Johanna and some other random person who she disguised to look like Archie’s dead body in her plot to frame Regina. Maybe even three, if that nameless guy she turned into a fish counts as murder, because for all we know, someone might have unknowingly caught that fish and sent him off to that fish & chips restaurant we keep seeing in the background. Not to mention what she did to the entire village of Enchanted Forest refugees, as well as Snow's mother. It’s a safe bet that Cora wouldn’t hesitate to continue picking people off. Simply put, Cora posed a real danger to Mary Margret/Snow’s entire family, and everyone else in Storybrooke, for that matter. And the fact that she desired to become the Dark One herself only launched the level of bad into the stratosphere. There’s a significant difference between coldblooded murder and justifiable homicide. And while Cora did seem to show brief signs of redeeming herself in those last few seconds before the curse placed on her heart kicked in, we did see she chose power over love before, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she made the same choice again later on down the line. Besides, I really don’t buy the fact that she ever really loved her daughter, even after she got her heart back. In future episodes, we’ll see two different characters who have had their hearts removed for an extended period of time- one who elected to have it done and another whose heart was taken by force. Regardless of the method involved, those two people still were able to express their love to the people they cared for the most. In fact, there didn’t seem to be any significant difference in how they acted or treated their loved ones when their hearts were absent. As a result, I got the impression that a person doesn’t need their heart to love. Their feelings may be dulled and muted, but they’re still present. You never see that with Cora, who only seemed to be able to sincerely love Regina once she got her heart back. That makes me think that, even if she’d had her heart the whole time, Regina still wouldn’t have been her first priority. I honestly don’t know what it would have taken to get Regina to realize that her mother was never on her side to begin with. While you did see some hints of her doubt, it never seemed to sink in. Come on, lady. Cora chose to take the dagger over trying to save you during the confrontation in Gold’s shop. What more proof did you need?
As much as I talk about how conniving and manipulative Mr. Gold can be, it was touching to see him giving that goodbye speech to the amnesiac Belle. And, I suppose it was nice to see him making amends with his son. However, am I alone in thinking the whole sordid history between Cora and Rumpelstiltskin was a bit disturbing? Because I’m pretty sure I threw up in my mouth a little when watching that. Still, seeing how that turned out does give the early stages of Rumpelstiltskin/Belle a new light. It does explain why he genuinely believed no one could actually love him, which was what led him to pushing Belle away when she tried to tell him otherwise. Guy has been burned before. And more than once.
Snow’s mother. Wow, was that a complete and total 180 from what we saw of her in the last episode. Did she just have a James Potter complex? You know, starting out as a bigheaded little snot but then getting hit with the humility stick as she got older? Also, is it bad that it took me a while to figure out the young prince who felt sympathy for Cora in the beginning of the flashback subplot and Regina’s father were the same person? That man didn’t age well, did he? Though, considering how Cora turned out, it wouldn’t surprise me if he went prematurely grey.
I was pleasantly surprised by how OUAT’s version of the Miller’s Daughter story was so on par with the original story. After all, they have given new twists on other fairy tales. But isn’t it a bit far-fetched that Cora claimed to spin straw into gold, something that Rumpelstiltskin could do without breaking a sweat? I can’t help but think that he somehow put the idea in her head to make sure she’d marry Henry Senior and eventually give birth to Regina. And we all remember what he needed her for. Rumple, you really are a twisted puppet master, aren’t you?