Finally, Once Upon a Time may actually give us details on Cora’s life before she spun the gold and gained a prince. And after seeing Rumple in Zelena’s clutches, I’m not too happy with anything she plans for him. Let’s get that witch back to Oz (and without her powers).

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Storybrooke and Our Heroes

Regina begins her day with a basket of green apples and a visit from dear old Zelena. Zelena, who’s there to brag, loves the green because the red are too sweet. She envies Regina’s possession but tells her she works for what she wants. She also throws Cora’s disappointment of Regina in her face. Regina not so sweetly reminds her that Cora gave her up. Zelena reveals that she’s sent Rumple to get Regina’s heart even as they talk.

In the woods, Rumple is confronting Robin and asking for the heart. Robin’s son, Roland, shows up and Rumple regretfully uses him against Robin. As Rumple works his magic and traps Roland, Robin lets an arrow fly, which Rumple regretfully sends toward Roland. Before it can hit, Robin stops him and gives him the heart. As Rumple leaves and Roland comforts Roland, Regina arrives. She understands why he gave Rumple the heart and says that her heart isn’t worth more than a child’s life. I’m liking this new side of Regina, folks.

Regina travels to Gold’s shop and is tearing it apart as Belle arrives. She asks Belle for her help in finding something to help her contact her mother. Belle’s reluctant to help due to all those horrible things like dungeons and asylum that Regina put her through. Regina reminds Belle that if they can’t defeat Zelena, Rumple may never return to her. Belle finds the candle that Snow used against Cora.

The action moves to Regina’s home where the remaining Neverland crew is gathering. Regina comes in with a special poisoned tea, which she stops Charming from drinking. After relating the loss of her heart, Regina holds a seance to call her mother’s ghost. She lights the candle that Snow used and a portal opens, but Cora doesn’t appear. The candle goes out.

Emma, Hook and Charming head to town while Snow helps Regina clean up. While there, Emma and Hook learn from Belle what Zelena’s plot is.

Regina and Snow stay behind and Snow wants to help. As she helps Regina clean up, something starts to happen upstairs. Regina and Snow go to look and find ghost Cora spinning in an unused room. Seeing Snow, Cora attacks, but Regina steps in front of Snow to protect her. Cora isn’t having that and uses magic to push Regina aside. Regina saves Snow and they end up in the library, where she holds Cora at bay with powerful magic. Regina asks her one question: what did you do?

As Regina tries to control Cora, she enters Snow’s body and sends a vision to her of the relationship between Cora, Leopold and Eva. As Regina gets the ghost to leave, the gang arrive with Belle, who tells them that Zelena plans to cast a time travel spell. Zelena has Charming’s courage, Regina’s resilient heart and Rumple’s brain. Regina tells them this has never been done. Snow realizes that she needs her baby so she can wipe out their history and Charming promises to stop Zelena’s evil plan.

Later, Regina and Snow realize that they’ve been letting the past control everything, and Snow tells her to listen to her soul (not heart). Regina goes to Robin and they share a kiss. It looks like love is blooming.

Zelena’s Plan

At Zelena’s cabin, she gloats over having the heart. She picks out a suit and takes it to Rumple, whose brain she needs to cast the spell. When he refuses, she tells him his death can be painful or easy. He is dejected as she leaves.

At dinner, Rumple plays along while he learns that Zelena plans to time travel (Dr. Who, you’re needed). She will help him find Neal when time is reversed. He draws her into a long kiss and tries to steal the dagger, but she realizes that and sends him back to his cell. He reminds her that Neal gave his life to stop her. Rumple plans to kills Zelena — and I say go for it!

Cora’s Past

Why am I not surprised? Cora was a bar maid who fell for the oldest story in the world. She finds a prince (Jonathan) who is nothing more than a gardener. Sure, she believes him, and when she finally finds out the truth, she’s pregnant. He rejects her and runs. As she cries, Prince Leopold shows up and Cora ends up having a long conversation with him in the woods. She urges him to marry her and — what do you know — he proposes.

As the wedding draws near, Jonathan returns and threatens to reveal everything if Cora doesn’t give him hush money. Little do they know that Eva hears it all and tells Leopold and gossip flies. Cora is heading out to meet Jonathan to give him the bribe when Leopold stops her. Eva makes her accusation, Leopold finds a bracelet and Cora is sent packing by the guards. (This is very different from the other version where she is queen and holds up Regina. We don’t have all the story yet, folks). Eva promises Leopold a child as pure as “snow.”

Cora gives birth to Zelena and leaves her in the forest. She tells the child that life is cruel and she has to give her away. Doing this will give Cora the best chance at a happy ending. She leaves the child alone as a green twister comes up. The child is taken into the clouds.

Next week, Zelena plans to start killing people. Aurora tells Snow that Zelena wants Snow’s baby. And Henry’s life is in danger.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Linda Martindale

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV