This week on Once Upon a Time, Cora and Regina — with The Dark One’s dagger in their possession — set out to breach Gold’s “protected” pawn shop, gain control of Rumplestiltskin and have him do their fiendish bidding. Worst-case scenario: Cora would use the dagger to become the Dark One herself.
In a last-ditch effort to save himself (as well as his life, in the wake of Hook’s assault), Rumple reintroduced Mary Margaret to the enchanted candle that she as a child refused to use to save her own mother, but now could activate to put down Cora and save the good guys of Storybrooke.
And though Mary Margaret — after tricking Regina into putting Cora’s cursed pumper back inside of her (in the name of letting her mom truly love her) — ultimately had a change of heart, as it were, it was too late. Regina had transplanted Cora’s ticker, enjoying a fleeting moment of blissful motherly love before the crone collapsed to the floor and died in her arms.
A recuperated Gold, with some degree of plausible deniability, deflected Regina’s accusations that he was behind this plot, leading her to wonder for a few hot seconds who did orchestrate this plot. Enter Mary Margaret. Cue blood-chilling stare from Regina: “You did this.”
What happens now? With an eye on this game-changing development, TVLine ran some burning questions past the series’ stars at last Sunday’s PaleyFest event.
HOW DISTRAUGHT IS SNOW WHITE, HAVING KILLED CORA? | “Extremely. It’s definitely going to change her completely forever,” Ginnifer Goodwin told us. “What happens [in 'The Queen Is Dead' and then 'The Miller's Daughter'] will shake her self-confidence, her self-definition, her identity. And once those things go, it’s really hard to be happy.”
HAS THE SNOW/REGINA FEUD REACHED THE NEXT LEVEL? | “Things are [heating up], for sure,” said Goodwin. “The end of the season is coming, and I predict explosions. I have not read the last episodes … but I feel like ‘the Shiite has to hit the fan’ with this many obstacles piling one on top of the other.”
HOW WILL REGINA REACT TO CORA’S KILLING? | “Regina is just a mess right now. She really is just a mess,” said Lana Parrilla. “Now she has two reasons to hate Snow White. The first one was because she broke a promise and Danny was killed because of it. And now, she has a hand in her mother’s death. So this is just devastating for Regina on so many levels. I think that road to redemption is now far behind her.”
WILL VENGEFUL REGINA HAVE TO TIP-TOE AROUND SON HENRY? | It sounds like the lad is due to grow up in that regard, and fast. As Parrilla noted, “Children have a lot of insight, but at the same time, a lot of what’s happening isn’t meant for a child to see or to get to really be involved in. So I think that she’s going to say, ‘You know what, Henry? You’re my son. You’re 11-years-old. I’m the adult. I’m going to start taking the lead here.'”
WILL THIS DARK TURN CAST A SHADOW ON THE CHARMINGS’ FUTURE? | “What happens to Mary Margaret and her relationships will definitely affect how they address whether or not they are going to go back to fairytale land,” Goodwin shared. Series cocreator Eddy Kitsis added, “It complicates the plans in that David warned her, ‘You won’t be able to live with yourself’ — and that is actually the case. What she’s looking for is, how do I lighten my heart? How do I restore it? David’s job is going to be to help her, but I do think he believes the best way is to go home and rebuild what they had.”
WILL CAPTAIN HOOK MOURN HIS COHORT? | Whenever (and wherever, heh) the pirate resurfaces, “There will probably be a tinge of regret that it’s happened,” Colin O’Donoghue ventured. “Whether or not they were friends, I don’t know — that’s up for debate — but she certainly helped him try to achieve what he wanted to achieve. So it’s a big shock.”
WILL ROSE (MCGOWAN) BLOOM AGAIN, AS YOUNG CORA? | “This season, no. But we absolutely need to see her again next season,” Kitsis said of this week’s flashback guest star. “We wrote that role for her because we were such fans … and she exceeded our expectations. I could just watch her forever.”
DID MR. GOLD’S ‘GOODBYE’ CALL SPARK BELLE’S MEMORIES? | Not quite, so now that he has cheated the Grim Reaper, he’s going to try to work his magic, literally and/or figuratively. “In Episode 19 [or] 20, he says to Belle, ‘I’m going to do everything in my power to bring you back for your sake and for mine,'” Robert Carlyle previewed. Because in addition to having his lady love back on his arm, “There’s another reason why he needs her there. He really needs the good in him to come out, and she’s the one that can best bring [that] out.”