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S03.E18: Bleeding Through

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Adam confirmed on Twitter last night that Leopold knew that in marrying Regina, he was marrying the daughter of the woman that he almost married.

This is just so full of yuck and ick, I can't even.  Blergh.

For me, the stupidity started when Robin, charged with guarding a priceless treasure, and with monkeys, and Rumple and Zelena popping up every-damn-where, decides it's a good place for day-care.  I know Robin is all forest-y and the like, but leave your kid in town until the danger is passed!

As for the Adventures of Poor Cora, I really don't give a hoot.  I've never thought she was as interesting as the TPTB do.

This episode is just trash and filler.

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I can't believe the physical resemblance between Rose McGowan as young Cora and Lindsay Lohan. They have such similar noses and identical lip implants.

Also: Snow killed older Cora, who was Barbara Hershey. So why did dead Cora return as Rose McGowan?

Selena is so one-note I could scream. Boring!

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Regina said you needed the murderer and the murder weapon. So she would need an alive Cora to participate in the seance.

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Weirdly, even though it's obvious, I think Rose McGowan still looks really lovely post surgery.  She's on the cusp of going too far but the exaggerated features aren't beyond what can happen in nature, they just don't look like she used to.  I wonder if I'd even notice if I weren't a long time fan (Doom Generation is one messed up flick, for the record).

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Just catching up. I didn't think this ep was filler (there was so much exposition/information delivered) but it was probably the most flawed ep that's aired of 3B.

 

One quick comment- I almost laughed out loud when they said Zelena needs a resilient heart for her spell. Regina is many things, but resilient ain't one of them. She might be the least resilient character on the show in fact.  The woman doesn't bounce back from anything! That is like her biggest problem and the character flaw that steers her towards villainy half the time.  It even looked all manky and blackened when Zelena was parading it around, as it is. 

 

The character with the most resilient heart is Henry. I can't believe they didn't go that route. The Truest Believer and all - that so we already know his heart is special.

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Also:  If it's this easy to bring back the dead, then why doesn't Regina bring back her long-lost love?

Bringing back someone's spirit for temporary communication is not the same as restoring the person back to life (i.e., resurrecting him or her).  It's the latter that is rendered impossible by the Laws of Magic.

The character with the most resilient heart is Henry. I can't believe they didn't go that route. The Truest Believer and all - that so we already know his heart is special.

 

Zelena can't take Henry's heart because Regina put a protection spell on it to prevent it from ever being taken again.  Besides, Henry isn't a believer at this point because he still doesn't remember his life in Storybrooke, so there's nothing for him to believe in right now.

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The character with the most resilient heart is Henry.

I'd go with Emma. She may have walls, but she's still gone through a lot of horrible things without turning evil. Her life has probably been worse than Zelena's and definitely was worse than Regina's, and yet she's still a good person.

 

Or maybe Hook, who's lost everything due to love and yet is open to loving again.

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Or maybe Hook, who's lost everything due to love and yet is open to loving again.

 

I was really surprised the show didn't go with Hook as the heart. It just seems to fit for exactly that reason.

 

I'm also surprised that Rumple wasn't tempted by Zelena's offer of a reunite-with-Bael side effect to her spell. I don't buy that he wouldn't be. Rumple's not that reformed. Neal also didn't die so that Rumple could stop Zelena. Neal died because he resurrected Rumple to attempt to get to Henry. It had nothing to do with Zelena. Also, Robert Carlyle is an attractive man who seems to be aging backwards, but it's canon for the character of Rumple that he doesn't have that form of confidence. So the whole seducing Zelena to get to the dagger thing seemed out of character for Rumple and to weaken the power of the first Belle/Rumple episode. It was also just disturbing to me given that I thought Zelena's interest in Rumple was more of a father figure thing.

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14 hours ago, KAOS Agent said:

Worthless trash of an episode. If not the worst episode of the series, it's definitely top 5.

This one used to be in my top 5 easily, but there are so many horrible episodes later that it's not as high on the list as it once was. That being said, this is the worst episode of S3 by far.

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This episode takes place in a strange bizarro alternate universe. There's nothing about the morality in this episode that makes sense. We have Regina's supposedly sincere apology to Belle that comes only because Regina needs something from Belle and after Regina gets snarky about Belle standing up for herself and refusing to help Regina -- and I think we're supposed to see Regina as sassy but totally in the right. Then there's the fact that I think they forgot to tell Rose McGowan that Cora was supposed to be the victim because she's definitely playing her as a schemer. There's the way she gets a gleam in her eye when she sees the royal crest on the handkerchief, the way her entire bearing changes when she realizes she's talking to Prince Leopold, the scheming smirk after she lies about what happened and he takes her to get warm. Only in an alternate universe would it be a sign of inner darkness for someone to tell someone that you overheard someone he trusted talking about lying to him and stealing from him. And they need to look up the definition of "secret" because when you overhear a person you've never met, that isn't a secret. A secret is something someone trusts you with. If they wanted to show Eva telling a secret, then they needed to have had her become friends with Cora, then Cora confides in her, and then Eva tells. Also, Eva did not force Cora to give up Zelena. Cora made the choice to leave her baby by the side of the road because she got in the way of her ambitions. Eva just kept her from marrying a prince and passing her baby off as his.

It's just so bizarre that they obviously wanted us to see events one way, but then they very clearly wrote them an entirely different way. If they wanted to show Eva as the villain, then they needed a lot less scheming on Cora's part and more actually evil actions on Eva's part. Eva reporting that the woman Leo was breaking his betrothal to marry was lying to him, pregnant with someone else's child, and stealing from him to pay off a blackmailer was in no way evil. It would have been more evil for her to let Leo continue to be duped.

And then we have Snow continuing to apologize for killing a mass murderer to keep her from becoming a Dark One and Regina grudgingly accepting it with no mention of her murdering Snow's father. Plus Emma zapping around Hook's hook, when playing with another person's prosthesis is incredibly uncool. That was an odd choice to make to show Emma having fun with her magic.

Meanwhile, this episode retroactively messes with the backstories we've already seen. I still don't buy that there's any sign in "The Stableboy" that Leo recognized Cora. And if Cora already had a first born, there was no reason for her to have bothered to get Rumple to alter the contract to "their" firstborn. She could have just said "she's yours if you can find her" when she screwed him over.

I'm also wondering about how the various kingdoms work here. Was "Prince Jonathan" supposed to have been from a more distant kingdom (while being the gardener in Cora's kingdom)? But she expected to find him at Leo's palace and was just surprised to see that he had mud on his boots (which isn't exactly a sure sign that he's the gardener -- princes do things like riding and hunting and walking the grounds). So, did she not know the name of her kingdom's prince? Or, since she was making deliveries to Henry Sr.'s father's castle in "The Miller's Daughter," was she from that kingdom and this is a nearby kingdom whose royalty she wasn't familiar with? Where were she and Henry Sr. living? Were they in his father's kingdom and Leo was just there visiting, or did a prince from another kingdom come live in Leo's kingdom?

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I remember the speculation that Zelena being green was the reason Cora had to give her up. I don't get why Zelena had to be the older sibling. Wouldn't it have been less convoluted if Cora had a love child later?

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I hate this episode. I hate this episode. I hate this episode. I don't care how many times A&E try or that they "say it" and that means its true. Cora is a villain, Eva did nothing wrong. Eva did the right thing by telling Leo the woman he wanted to marry was lying to him and going to pass of her baby as his. Cora was bad, Eva was good, Cora was wrong, Eva was right, Cora was a bitch, Eva was not. I hate, hate, hate Snow's apology. No Snow, Regina should be apologizing to you. You did nothing wrong. She was the psycho, she chose to be a psycho and she loved being a murdering psycho. You can say as many times as they want and try to show it as many times as they want but it doesn't make it so.  

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I think what the show was trying to do -- poorly -- was to suggest that Eva was acting selfishly. Like, it might have been OK for someone else to tell Leopold Cora was duping him, but Eva was at least making herself vulnerable to suggestions she did it because she wanted Leopold for herself. 

But even so, Cora was attempting to do something incredibly dishonest. And while I can understand Cora's decision to try to pass off the baby as Leopold's, the fact that she was so transparently social climbing makes her much less sympathetic. If Eva is bad for acting with less than pure motives, than what about Cora, who is just trying to marry a prince? And only by absurd Once-logic does this remotely complicate the fundamentals of what is now revealed to be a multi-generational Snow/Regina family feud. Like, Eva was a mean girl to Cora this one time and then stopped her from marrying her own betrothed under false pretenses. And then Leopold was a not particularly loving husband to Regina. And of course, ten-year-old Snow was manipulated into telling a secret. By contrast, Cora murdered Eva, and then Regina killed Leopold, exiled and tried to kill Snow, her husband, and their newborn child, and put them under a curse that denied loving parents the chance to watch their child grow up, and consigned the child to a miserable few decades. Yes, I can certainly see how those things are TOTALLY THE SAME. And that's not even getting into the, conservatively speaking, hundreds of other deaths Regina is responsible for.

Plus, Leopold/Regina becomes nonsensical after this episode, as does Cora and Rumple's first-born deal, which undermines one of the best episodes the show ever did. 

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What makes the whole comparison even less apt is that after Eva told Leopold about the deception, he gave Cora the chance to come clean and it's possible he would have gone through with the marriage if she'd just told the truth when confronted. He said, "Gossip means nothing to me. I've pledged to marry you, dear Cora, and I will keep that pledge as long as I know I can trust you." If nothing else, I believe that he would have helped her if she'd confessed. The whole thing is on Cora. 

Not that any of what Eva or Snow did deserves the attempts to annihilate an entire family including a totally innocent newborn. Or slaughtering villages. Or murdering random people because they are happy when you are not or because they reject living with you two days after you've met. These lame attempts at equivalency will never work because of the extreme actions of the villains. Having Snow think she deserved it because she was a brat or was manipulated by a master is sick. Does she think Emma deserved to suffer too?  

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Eva wanting to get the interloper out of the way so she could marry Leopold isn't even necessarily selfish. Let's face it, the dude was no prize. She was betrothed to him since birth, and that kind of arrangement wouldn't have been made if there hadn't been some benefit to her kingdom. She would have been brought up to see that marrying this much older man she'd never met was her duty to her kingdom. That's what's so bizarre about this episode. They clearly wanted us to see it as Cora being a victim, with Eva being the one to force Cora to give up Zelena, and yet they wrote it to show that Cora was lying and scheming while Eva was doing her duty and telling the truth. If Eva had just shrugged about finding out that Leo was dumping her and let him marry Cora in spite of knowing she was playing him, she would have been failing her people and failing Leo. I don't get them showing us that story and then having everyone talking about Eva having such darkness in her or being one of the bad guys.

And as with so many things on this show, it would have been so easy to fix. Say ... the royal wedding is a big deal, with the delegation from Eva's kingdom arriving early to work out the last details of the marriage treaty and for Eva to get a chance to know Leo and the kingdom. Meanwhile, royals from other lands are showing up (since this occasion is a good opportunity for diplomacy among the kingdoms). The palace needs to hire extra help, and Cora eagerly signs on, knowing a social advancement opportunity when she sees one. She starts out in the laundry or kitchen, but through scheming, charming, and working hard, she gets herself into a position that's still menial but that allows her to interact with the royals, like starting the fires in the bedrooms early in the mornings. She's not supposed to interact with the guests, but she breaks the rule in two cases. There's the visiting prince who doesn't act like she's invisible, who watches her with admiration and flirts with her, and there's Eva, who's awake when Cora comes in, like she's been up all night crying, and Cora asks if she's okay, in part out of compassion and in part seeing an opportunity. She and Eva become friends, of sorts, since the lonely princess from a foreign land needs someone to talk to, and soon Cora's been promoted to being the princess's personal chambermaid. Meanwhile, the flirtation with the visiting prince continues. He mentions wishing Cora was a princess he could marry, since she's more interesting than any of the princesses he's been introduced to. She mentions that they're far from his kingdom, so who's to know who she really is if he takes her home with him. He says that's an interesting idea, and she doesn't notice that he doesn't actually agree to it before she sleeps with him. When she discovers she's pregnant, she tells him, and he points out that he never agreed to anything and says he can't bring someone like her home as his wife. She figures that being friends with the princess may help, so she confides in Eva, hoping she'll use her clout to force him to do the right thing by her. She's surprised when, instead, Eva is horrified by her indiscretion and presumption. She's a servant. How can she imagine marrying a prince? Eva gets her fired, but now Cora is determined to marry a prince, if it's the last thing she does, and having a baby will get in the way of that goal, so she abandons Zelena.

Then Eva could be criticized and considered in the wrong, and her snobbery would tie into the lesson she later teaches Snow about the way she talks to and treats servants, which would show that she has grown up since this incident. She would have actually been betraying a friendship and a confidence in telling Cora's boss, so we've got that secret-telling thing actually happening. Cora's showing her essential scheming, social-climbing nature while not yet being in lying and stealing territory, so she's actually a victim. Leo would have been oblivious and would have had no reason to recognize (or not) Cora later and he wouldn't be such an idiot for marrying Cora's daughter.

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The writers of this show seem to create potentially gray situations, but execute them poorly. Neal's death could be "complicated" if the writers didn't whitewash him into a hero. The backstory with Cora could've filled in blanks instead of creating plot holes if it were written more like @Shanna Marie's version. The writers were trying to muddle the feud between Regina and Snow by saying they were just following in their parents' footsteps, which isn't inherently a bad idea. Making them go, "Oh yeah, that was pretty stupid", is good, especially for Regina. They want to make it more "complicated" so not all the blame is on the Mills family? Fine. That'd be a tough sell with all the murder going around, but if you're going to focus on the personal relationship between Regina and Snow, it could work okay for this episode. Unfortunately, even in spite of how the writers spin the flashbacks, nothing comes of it. Regina doesn't admit any wrongdoing and Snow apologizes, regardless of the fact her "sins" are not what is in question here. It's Cora's, or in A&E's world, Eva's too. Regina should be apologizing because she got manipulated by her mother into continuing a feud she wasn't even a part of. If she actually apologized for how she treated Snow here, the episode's dreck might've been worth it. But instead, all we got was a lengthy unnecessary backstory that only explains how Zelena's birth could even be possible. This episode wouldn't have to exist if the writers didn't drop a long-lost sister into the mix in the most contrived way possible.

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My thoughts on this episode...*screams into the black void* "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

I just cannot with this episode. I just cannot. Its so full more morally reprehensible bullshit wrapped in some kind of nonsensical false equivalency that not only defy previous cannon, it makes absolutely zero sense of to what we are being SHOWN versus what we are being TOLD. We are SHOWN that Cora was conniving and ambitious, and wanted to be rich and powerful, no matter, what, even if she had to lie, seduce, steal, and abandon her own baby to the elements. We can feel a bit bad for her getting lied to by the asshole gardener, and maybe she did have some fondness for Leopold, but she was lying to him from the moment they met because she wanted to be royalty. What we are TOLD is that Cora was an innocent victim of evil gardener, shallow Leopold, and evil Ava, and she was tragically forced to abandon her baby daughter. Of course, that is not even a little bit of what we freaking saw, but its what the show INSISTS is what we did see. I mean, yeah, how DARE Ava try to tell the guy she was supposed to marry for her entire life that his new fiance was lying to him about her baby, screwing up the royal line and maybe starting a future succession crisis later on if her secret comes to light, and steals from him, and straight up lies to him, when he was clearly giving her an out! Thats what really gets me, Leopold sounds like he really wanted to cut Cora some slack, and might have stuck with her if she had just told him the truth. But, she didnt, because Cora is a crappy person who makes crappy life choices. And, she was "forced" to give Zelena up? The fuck? When did we see that? She dumped poor baby Zelena in the tornado to possibly die of the elements or get eaten by a basilisk or some such thing for all she cared, instead of raising the baby on her own (are single mothers treated badly in this universe? Who knows! World Building is for losers!) or just dumping the kid at an orphanage. I mean, damn, even Malcolm left little Rumple with the spinster ladies. She couldn't even do that. But, yeah, Cora is the victim of mean Ava. I feel like this show is trying to gaslight us at this point. Well, there are four lights damn it! I see whats up!

And the stupid freaking lines they make people say to drive home their awful point! I cant even decide whats worse, Emma's "I thought we were supposed to be the good guys", or Emma saying what a brat she was, and Regina giggling along with her. Yeah, might be a nice time to apologize, huh Regina? After Snow cries and begs and throws herself at your mercy about what an awful monster both she and her monster are/were, and how they "told secrets", despite that being freaking stupid and nonsensical and not what happened in either case, Regina just agrees about how awful Eva is and how she has "such darkness in her past" like this makes it any better what Regina and Cora did. Yeah, Ava was rude and told Leopold what was up for probably selfish reasons, and Snow...was manipulated by Cora due to her good intentions...while Regina and Cora have countless innocent peoples murders behind them, plus rapes, genocides, tortures, the usurping of a kingdom and becoming a tyrant, etc. Totally equal in terms of evil! Its not only horrible from a story perspective, its super fucked up that they think this is alright. And, in all of the crying and sadness about Snows self defense killing of Cora, who was about to kill everyone, I guess Regina just couldn't be bothered to apologize for killing Snows loving father out of pure ambition and evil. And everyone just goes with this insane narrative, like this is some morally grey story of a family revenge saga, and not these two sociopaths that they need to keep propping up and making the actual victims look bad, because of their never ending Regina love.

And no way to buy that they knew about this backstory when they wrote The Stable Boy. No way. Its a blatant, stupid ret con. 

And I didnt even talk about Emma stealing Hooks...Hook for fun, which is pretty dickish for Emma, or the creepy Rumple/Zelena make out session, its just full of stupid moments, with the few decent moments hidden with bullshit. 

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

I feel like this show is trying to gaslight us at this point. Well, there are four lights damn it! I see whats up!

I can kind of get them changing their narrative about what went on with Snow and Regina, since some time passed between when they showed us that and when they started changing their story because either they changed their mind about Regina or they stopped getting network oversight, so there's some retconning of the way they talk about what happened in the past. Ditto with Regina and Henry's perfect mother/son bond that's not at all what we saw. But this was all in the same episode. They're not stuck with what they showed years ago even after they changed their minds. If they wanted to show Eva having darkness and being the bad guy, they could have written it that way in this episode so that the way the Charmings and Regina talked about it matched what we saw. Or do they really think that's what they showed?

I remember that we had a theory back when this episode aired that what we saw wasn't what Cora's ghost showed them -- that we got the objective truth from the flashback, but Cora's ghost lied to Snow and changed the story a bit to make herself look more like a victim and Snow's mother like a villain. That would explain some of it, but not everything.

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1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

They're not stuck with what they showed years ago even after they changed their minds. If they wanted to show Eva having darkness and being the bad guy, they could have written it that way in this episode so that the way the Charmings and Regina talked about it matched what we saw. Or do they really think that's what they showed?

The show does this sort of thing so often that I have to believe that they really think that's what they are showing.  It's this weird thing where they have Cora act completely in character, scheming, manipulative and selfish (so they obviously know who she is), but then wave that all away to pretend like she's the victim when others react naturally to her schemes. When other seemingly rational characters then act like Cora is the victim after hearing the backstory we just saw, it makes me feel like I missed multiple scenes wherein Eva killed Cora's puppy, put her in the stocks and threw rotten fruit at her and then branded her a thief with an actual hot iron. Oh and then cursed her into becoming a selfish bitch who had to abandon her child in the woods.

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“I was such a brat” I hate this episode, I hate Mary Margaret cheerleading Regina while she ignores Emma. I have nothing to add that wasn’t already said though. Lana and Sean have no chemistry. It’s not Sean though since he had pretty impressive chemistry on Timeless with Abigail.

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On 12/30/2018 at 7:21 PM, Shanna Marie said:

I can kind of get them changing their narrative about what went on with Snow and Regina, since some time passed between when they showed us that and when they started changing their story because either they changed their mind about Regina or they stopped getting network oversight, so there's some retconning of the way they talk about what happened in the past. Ditto with Regina and Henry's perfect mother/son bond that's not at all what we saw. But this was all in the same episode. They're not stuck with what they showed years ago even after they changed their minds. If they wanted to show Eva having darkness and being the bad guy, they could have written it that way in this episode so that the way the Charmings and Regina talked about it matched what we saw. Or do they really think that's what they showed?

Adam insisted that they knew this backstory when they wrote "The Stable Boy", so it's not a retcon.   It's unpeeling the layers of the story that had been cleverly developed.

Eva did what she did not out of concern for Leopold, but out of vengeance and malice.  Remember, this is the same girl who tripped someone just because she felt she was superior.  We're Cora, the underdog, who you can't blame for wanting to improve her life in a patriarchal and class-based society.  

Likewise, Leopold didn't forgive Cora because of jealousy and pride.  He didn't think about the well-being of the baby.  He was weak and couldn't stand up for the woman he loved.

I think we also forget how emotionally fragile Regina was in this episode.  She loved her mother, and she was finally being given the chance to communicate with her one last time, but it didn't give her the closure she wanted and needed.  

Is anyone else really interested to see more episodes with Jonathan to find out Zelena's story?   It would have been interesting to go back over multiple generations.  What was Cora's childhood like?  What about Cora's grandparents?  

Spoiler

I wonder how Cora was able to orchestrate what she did in this episode from the Underworld.  

Edited by Camera One

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25 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I wonder how Cora was able to orchestrate what she did in this episode from the Underworld.  

Spoiler

And look like her younger self in ghost form. I can just imagine in the Underworld, a vortex randomly opens up in the Mayor's Office.

Cora: "What the hell is going on?!"
Blacktooth: "It's a seance! You're being summoned to the land of the living as a ghost!"
Cora: "Finally I can reconcile with my daughter by telling them why I gave up the reject!!"
Blacktooth: "Good luck! See you in five minutes!"
Cora: "Wait... who are you again?"
Blacktooth: "A random villager who got slaughtered by Regina who has a name in the script for some reason!"

25 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Is anyone else really interested to see more episodes with Jonathan to find out Zelena's story?   It would have been interesting to go back over multiple generations.  What was Cora's childhood like?  What about Cora's grandparents?  

I feel like every sentence in this post was taken from a comment from the Once Upon a Time Facebook page.

Remember in the spoilers thread when we saw the Evil Queen's carriage supposedly in Storybrooke and this episode title, and we were speculating that the worlds were "bleeding" into each other? LOL. The speculation was always so much better than the execution. Always.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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I suppose if you hadn't seen any other episodes, on paper you might see why they might have thought they wrote Cora as sympathetic. She was conned by Jonathan into sleeping with him, then abandoned when she was pregnant, and she was only lying to Leopold because she was desperate and this was her only way out, and Jonathan was forcing her to steal. The problem is that we had seen other episodes, so we knew that Cora wasn't just trying to better herself. She was willing to do anything to move up in the world, and ended up being a mass murderer and manipulator. Meanwhile, even if Rose McGowan hadn't watched the adult Cora episodes to prepare herself to play younger Cora, she had previously done an episode in which Cora screwed over someone she supposedly loved and ripped out her own heart so she could make herself marry a prince she didn't love, and that clearly influences her performance here. You can see her scheming and calculating every step of the way. She's no innocent being seduced by Jonathan. She thinks she's getting one over on him and snagging herself a prince. (Though even in the writing, she's the one who suggests they spend the night together, like she thinks that may trap him. He's not the one initiating sex.) You can see it on her face that she's decided to con Leopold when he approaches her. (And, given the real-world stuff she's dealt with, you can understand her making the choice to play Cora not as a victim but as someone trying to take control of the situation.) I wonder if this portrayal contradicted what the writers intended. It's a choice that makes sense, so you can see why the director didn't make her change it, and if the writers weren't on the set supervising the shoot, they wouldn't have known what was happening in time to change it.

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2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

I suppose if you hadn't seen any other episodes

Most of the episodes in the series are like this. In a vacuum, they may even work well, but it's when you compare to stuff you've seen already that it all truly falls apart. (e.g. Regina seems really sympathetic in Cricket Game if you haven't seen the countless victims she murdered.)

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This episode was written by Jane Espenson and Daniel T. Thomsen. Espenson was the writer for Cora centric episodes and while she had some weird morality in her writing, I usually felt like she wrote Cora as a manipulative schemer. Yes, there is some level of victimhood simply by virtue of the poverty she grew up in, but I never felt like this was always portrayed to excuse Cora's choices, inform them, yes, but not excuse them. This was clear when she ditched her newborn in the woods. Cora said it herself, she gave up Zelena to give herself her best chance. Otherwise, she'd continue to be only a miller's daughter. Oddly, this is expressed as "I must give you away" like she was giving the baby to someone rather than leaving her to starve or get eaten by wolves. Still, it's clearly shown to be a selfish choice. Personally, I never bought that Cora wouldn't have tried all kinds of abortifacients rather than carrying the child. Given that she really had hooked a king, the much easier path would have been ending the pregnancy rather than being subject to blackmail and putting her in the situation that ultimately resulted in her being dumped.

Thomsen also wrote "Into the Deep" and "The Queen is Dead" both of which featured a pretty nasty Cora, so it's not like he's unaware of Cora's previously presented personality and actions. The whole thing is weird. Maybe the skewed presentation of Eva and Leopold as villains was a poor attempt to make Zelena more sympathetic and show that she has motivation to go after their daughter and her family because revenge or whatever. It's a stretch.

Edited by KAOS Agent

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Cora was clearly manipulative and outright lied in the episode and was selfish.  The Writers weren't denying that, but their purpose was more to hammer home the message that the situation wasn't simple and Leopold and Eva weren't paragons of goodness in the past either and everyone was on equal footing, with a dash of "wasn't it a shame Cora didn't just tell the truth?" and the whole "own worst enemy" flashback that they also did with Regina, Rumple, Hook and Zelena at various times.  They were trying to walk the fine line of keeping Cora bold and audacious, while giving a hint of sadness when she was rejected and also later when she gave up Zelena for her own best chance, thus creating a grey complex character.  The title refers to the Writers' biases bleeding through into the writing, which becomes more and more blatant from here on out.

Edited by Camera One
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20 hours ago, Camera One said:

I think we also forget how emotionally fragile Regina was in this episode.  She loved her mother, and she was finally being given the chance to communicate with her one last time, but it didn't give her the closure she wanted and needed.  

Eddy is that you?

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In all the talk about morality and who was the villain, etc., I forgot to bring up the thing that led to a lot of discussion when the episode first aired: Hook stopping the seance when he crossed his legs and bumped the table. We were all waiting for that to pay off, like he did it on purpose to keep Cora's spirit from blabbing about him or to protect Emma, or something ... and it seems that he just apparently decided to cross his legs while a spirit was howling around the room and he accidentally ended the seance (so Cora's spirit could attack Snow more dramatically later). There was also the front doorway that disappeared, and that never became a factor.

I did like how the dynamic between Emma and Hook flipped at this point. Up until the kiss curse, Emma had been the one going all broody while Hook was trying to be chipper and encouraging, but after the curse, Hook became all broody while Emma was all chipper after mastering her magic (in one lesson). I also liked the little moment when he starts to put his hand on her back as they're going down the steps, then abruptly pulls back, avoiding touching her. It's a tiny gesture that says a lot.

Now, back to the Eva and Cora mess ... even if Eva was a bit catty in the way she told Leo, I can't think of what else she should have done. Wouldn't it have been just as bad for her to know that Cora was pregnant with someone else's child -- something that's a really big deal for a king that could have thrown the whole like of succession out of whack -- and was lying and being blackmailed and not tell him? Okay, maybe not in this universe where telling the truth is worse than murder, but anywhere else you'd think she'd have an obligation, and she had no relationship with Cora to betray. Not to mention, depending on the treaty terms, she may have had a duty to make sure the arranged marriage happened. Ditching a betrothal like that can lead to stuff like the Red Wedding, so Leo needed to know all the facts before he made that big a decision.

22 hours ago, Camera One said:

It would have been interesting to go back over multiple generations.  What was Cora's childhood like?  What about Cora's grandparents?  

I know this was meant as snark, but considering that magical power among humans (non-fairies) seems to be pretty rare unless they're Saviors, and the only other magical family we've seen was royalty, it might have been nice to know how the daughter of a drunk miller turned out to have such a magical bloodline that she and her daughters were the most powerful magic users other than the Dark One. How far back in their family history did that trait go, and how did it remain undiscovered? If they had that power, then why was Cora's family so poor? Did Cora's mom sleep with a powerful wizard she thought was going to marry her, and then she had to marry the first man to come along to hide her unwed pregnancy when the wizard ditched her? (Is there a powerful wizard out there?)

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