Once Upon a Time Recap: Hatchets Buried, a Murder Plan Revealed, a Pair of Lips Locked

ROBERT CARLYLE, REBECCA MADERTVLine reader Kat perhaps summed up this week’s Once Upon a Time best on Twitter: “Hell has frozen over, because Regina and Snow are friends!”

Because in an episode that was ostensibly about why Cora gave baby Zelena up — long story short, the born-out-of-wedlock bambino cost her a royal wedding to Prince Leopold — “Bleeding Through” pulled off an impressive amount of overdue character work.

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For one, many a TVLine reader mailbag Q was answered when Belle finally gave Regina some guff for locking her up all those years, asking why she should help her rummage through Gold’s shop. After noting, “Bookworm’s got teeth,” Regina genuinely apologizes, saying, “I’m sorry, Belle. I really, really am.”

But that exchange of olive branch was nothing compared to the convos that Regina and Snow shared, especially in the final acts.

Having discovered through the course of a séance-gone-awry that Snow’s mother Eva is basically responsible for everyone’s wicked predicament (by having disgraced pregnant Cora back in the day and then snatching up Leo for herself), the enemies-turned-frenemies realize that their history is even more complicated than they ever thought. Regina says she is sorry that Snow had to learn of the darkness that her pure momma had within her. Then when the topic turns to Regina’s heart (which Zelena had the Dark One take from Robin Hood), Snow comes out waving pom-poms as a cheerleader for the love that Regina has to give, the deep feelings she has to share. That pep talk prompts Regina to seek out the Prince of Thieves and steal a kiss (see what I did there?), which her soul mate gladly returns — and then some.

Characters are growing and evolving here, people.

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Elsewhere in the hour, Zelena invited Rumple to suit up for a cozy little dinner, where she boasts of her plan to enact a curse that will turn back time (where/when, Belle surmises, the Wicked Witch will kill young Eva before she can blab to Leopold. Such a timey-wimey snuffing would thus endanger the futures of Snow, Emma, Henry and maybe even Regina herself). Rumple presents himself as impressed by Zelena’s plan to use the x-factor — the new Charming baby — to rewrite the laws of magic and enable time-travel (and theoretically let him reunite with Bae), but when he goes in for the kiss (…and maybe a bit of second/third base), Zelena’s wise to his agenda and keeps the dagger away from him. She then sends him back to his cage.

There was also a moment in (of course) Granny’s diner where Emma had some fun with her entry-level magic skills, but Hook was cranky because of his (secretly) cursed kisser.

Next week: Glinda shows up, looking eerily like Jennifer Morrison.

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Notable quotables:
* “I’m not in the mood for a heart-to-heart.” / “I’m not sure that’s physically possible right now.”
* “And he told me that I have a tough placenta… which somehow came out creepy.”
* “What’s to talk about? You officially have a less-damaging relationship with my mother than I do. And you killed her.”

FUN FACT: This is the episode I was on set for, so while Lana Parrilla and Ginny Goodwin are doing that scene in the kitchen, imagine me and Josh Dallas downstairs in Regina’s rec room having a Puffy Shirt-Off.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Me says:

    Finally, some character development!!

  2. Bianca says:

    The Snow and Regina scene was amazing. Had me in tears most definitely!

    It was beautiful to see Regina act on what she’d heard – to finally learn she CAN have happiness. To see her seek out Robin and kiss him was so heartwarming. (And hot! Whew, LOVE THEM!)

  3. Rachel says:

    AMAZING episode! I loved every minute. I’m soo glad Belle has been given more to do, and I love Regina’s apology. I’m glad they didn’t push what she did to Belle under the rug. Regina’s scenes with Snow were PERFECT. And that kiss… My sister and I were squealing!! Just amazing!!!

    • Rachel says:

      Forgot to add that Lana Parrilla was on FIRE tonight. Amazing performance!

    • Addie says:

      I think what makes all this Regina development so amazing is that she doesn’t even have her heart right now. All those emotions/feelings are still very clearly in her and I think it shows that she really can be redeemed at some point and get her happy ending. That is how you do character development!

  4. A says:

    I used to look forward to this show….

  5. BelleRumpleFan says:

    I really enjoyed Regina’s scenes with Belle & Snow. They were so good! I’m also really liking Robin & Regina. That was a great first kiss.

  6. WTactualF says:

    Not a lot of plot progression, but I did enjoy the Regina\Robin Hood interaction. Missing Henry though. I wish he had his memories and was able to be involved. I love Hook/Henry interaction.

    • Will says:

      Seriously, not a lot of plot progression? That’s was the best character work the series has done all year, that went back to the core of two core characters from the very start of the series and finally resolved issues they’d had forever, and all you care about is plot progression?!

      • WTactualF says:

        And yet no movement on defeating the WWotW, which is what I was referring to.

        • missvci says:

          they now know Zelena’s plan which is progression and you can’t expect the battle to be over in 3 episodes when it’s the entire arc of 2014. If you want things resolved quickly watch a 2 hour movie or mini series. But a 22 episode season the story line takes time to development.

          • WTactualF says:

            I never said that I did. Why does everyone have to be so combative, JFC, I was making an observation. That’s it. I enjoyed the epi. I don’t mind character driven episodes. I am just pointing out that there wasn’t a whole lot of plot progression. That’s all.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Yup. Kinda gotta know exactly what you’re up against before you can strategize to defeat it.

      • WTactualF says:

        Character development and plot progression are not the same thing.

        • Addie says:

          It probably depends on the reasons you watch. For me (and for others), I watch for the characters- their relationships with each other, their development, etc. Some people watch and they want ACTION all the time. Both are completely legit reasons to enjoy a show, it just means an episode that someone who is more character-driven likes will probably not be the same episode that someone who is more plot-driven likes.

          • Exactly. And, interestingly, especiall when it comes to ONCE, it depends on the arc. Like, Peter Pan Arc I was SO into character driven episodes, but now, I’m much more interested in plot driven episodes.

        • WakaWaka says:

          Yet Character development usually also advances the plot. Its silly to treat the two as if they aren’t intertwined. You can have plot progression without character development, but you really can’t have character development without it also being plot progression. The problem is you are too short-sighted. What happened here might not have a ton with this directly, but it affects going forward how characters react to perceived threats, and as such, also advances the plot. Plot is not just what’s happening, it’s people too and how they tie in.

    • will says:

      Not a lot of plot progression? Where were you? We got the story of Zelena being given up and how she ended up in Oz, we got her taking Regina’s heart to further her plan, which is a huge progression of the plot, we got the main characters finding out what Zelena’s plan actually is and how it works, we got Information in the story that led not only to more development in the plots of individual character’s relationships but also revealed the primary reason and target for Zelena’s plan, we got Emma showing us a huge forward progression in her learning magic, AND we got Regina finally kissing Robin, which is the progression of both Regina and Tinkerbell’s plotlines from months ago. The only way you could say there wasn’t a lot of plot progression would be if you weren’t paying attention or if you don’t consider “the plot moving forward” to be plot progression at all.

      • AnnieM says:

        How DID she get to Oz? Were we to assume Baby Z created the green storm and accidentally(?) swept herself away? I mean, it appeared to me like her upset created it.

        • will says:

          I like that theory, but yeah, I should have said “how she was left for the tornado that took her to Oz” rather than the sweeping claim that we now know how she actually got there in the sense of knowing where the tornado came from.

  7. Jackie says:

    Best ep of the season, by far! Enough to make me forget the Pan nonsense in the first half of the season.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I wish everything on OUaT was handled as well as the Snow/Regina material always is. It’s what makes this show and tonight their scenes delivered big time. Elsewhere, Cora continues to be the villain I love to hate and it was nice to see Rose again and Zelena is oh so wicked but wonderfully charismatic. Mills women for the win!

  9. LEP says:

    I’m confused – why would Leopold have married Regina if Cora was her mother?

    • WTactualF says:

      I agree. That seems weird to me.

    • missvci says:

      i was wondering that too, but didn’t want to overthink it because I was enjoying the episode so much.

    • missvci says:

      but then I chalked it up to maybe Leopold didn’t know, and after all Regina did save snow’s life, maybe that trumps her mother being a liar.

    • Addie says:

      Yeah I kind of wish they had brought that part up. Granted it was probably at least 20 years later so I guess you could argue that he forgot about Cora. Or maybe Eva got Blue to make some potion for him so he’d forget her?

    • Samantha says:

      I was wondering this also… I had to pause the show and ask my family if what I was remembered was correct. It seems odd.

    • AnotherMary says:

      Because wasn’t Cora married herself at the time that She hatched the plan to have Regina marry Leopold? I’m confused because wasn’t it Princess Eva that caused the bag of flour to fall out of Coras arms in the fairyback last year? That would have been after Zelena was born. Wasn’t Eva there because the prince (Henry I think right) was going to Marry Eva?

    • Moria says:

      Cora’s magic?

    • powerturtle90sdudemon says:

      Because Cora made it so that though she couldn’t reach the throne because of Eva/Ava that after causing her death (which she did disguised as the Blue Fairy), she had Regina save Snow’s life and that alone made Leopold eternally grateful and enamored. And then Cora indirectly gets further revenge when Regina has the genie kill Leopold…. WOW that’s a lot of continuity to cover

    • Rollbar says:

      I have the same question, King Leopold would have know Cora and her dishonest ways and never would have married Regina.
      Also the plot the Cora was to marry Prince Leopold is total hog wash. Cora meet Princess Eva when she was to marry the Prince in last season’s Esp. The Miller’s Daughter. Cora met Princess Eva ho tripped her then and Cora lied at a the ball and said she could spin straw into gold and met Rumple. She then married that Prince o save his kingdom. If Prince Leopold was engaged to Princess Eva since her birth, When did Princess Eva go after the Prince that ends up being Regna’s father.. The story/plot does not jive.
      I remember reading last year that Princess Eva in this esp. and the Miller’s Daughter in Season 2 was NOT Snow’s mother. Thank you.

      • Mikael says:

        I don’t understand why Ava would be around Prince Henry when she was betrothed to Leopold since birth either. Do the writers not watch their own show?? Although I can’t remember the episode in detail, was she actually pursuing Henry or was just a guest at the ball? That is one GIANT plot hole, not to mention the fact that Cora had her daughter marry the man she almost married.

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  11. Nicole says:

    So this means Cora set up her daughter with the guy she almost married back in the day? And also how did Leopold never make that connection?

    • abz says:

      Perhaps she put a spell on him to make him forget he had ever met her. Cora was power hungry, It doesn’t surprise me that she’d do something like that. It’s disgusting, but not surprising.

  12. Louise says:

    Character over plot and not the other way around, I love me some of that.
    The dynamic between Regina and Zelena in the first scene was fascinating to watch. I do find myself wondering, sometimes, how things could be between those two under slightly different circumstances. Still have a couple of questions concerning Zelena and Cora and how the abandoned daughter managed to find out things about her mother that Regina had no idea about, but there’s still 4 episodes left this season and lots of time for the writers to address things like that.
    The Regina and Belle scene was everything I ever wanted for those two and I’m happy the show is finally using Belle’s smarts right. Nice to see her being a real asset in the group’s fight against the Witch. Regina and Snow… I don’t even know what to say. Very, very happy with the character development for both of them. The last scene between might be one of the best character driven moments the show has ever done. Kudos to the writers and the actresses. Goodwin and Parrilla had me a little teary eyed there, I won’t lie about that. The mix between emotional moments and snarky, good natured banter between them worked really well too. I’m excited to see more of how their relationship is going to develop from here on out.
    Regina and Robin? Hot damn. Great in the context of what Regina has learned and accepted about herself in this episode with a little help from her now-again friend and even Zelena, in a way, and the looming threat of the Wicked Witch’s plans that has everyone feeling like they’ve got no time to waste on any front. The looks Robin and Regina shared before they went in for the second kiss were really lovely too. So happy with the chemistry and dynamic there, Parrilla and Maguire work extremely well together and make it so, so easy and fun to root for those two.
    It was nice to see Rose McGowan as young Cora again, too. Great casting for young Leopold, but guy’s more than a little creepy if we presume he was very well aware that he was proposing to the daughter of the woman he’d once been about to marry in the “Stable Boy” episode back in season 1. Yikes.

  13. Babybop says:

    Who was the actor that played Prince Leopold? I swear I’ve seen him somewhere before.

  14. jerrired says:

    I’m not exactly in love with this season’s writing overall, but this was one of the better episodes so far. I really appreciated all the character development esp on Regina’s end, and Snow and her-hopefully-officially burying the hatched.That’s one thing that has bothered me about the latter episodes with Regina in season 2 and early season 3. She would try to be good for like five minutes then get mad about something and vow to destroy everyone again. This episode we really saw her commit to a change for the better, and I like how everyone sees she’s changed too. That’s another thing that bothered me with no one ever trusting her, but wanting her to be good. I did also really enjoy how much Emma is getting into using her magic, another big step towards character development. The first scene of the episodes with Rumple, Roland and Robin had me gasping though, very dark but well done because of the emotional layers of a father’s fear of losing his son, especially because of Rumple’s history with his own. Belle has become my new favorite character after this one, and the one where she called out Hook on what he did to her. I love how she hasn’t just forgotten the people who harmed her nor has she forgiven them, but she knows there are greater things at stake then revenge or hostility. I’m glad the writers are finally using the character more.

  15. Kim (@AD76) says:

    I thought I heard Snow’s mom’s name as “Ava” not “Eva”

  16. MJ says:

    Talk about character development, this time in season two Regina would not have thought twice about saving Snow, now it seems that they’ve resolved most of their issues with each other and I absolutely love it. Regina has always been my fav and it’s crazy to think how terrible she was in season one to how she is now in season three.

  17. Moria says:

    You know Hook broke up the seance on purpose. I can’t wait to find out what he’s been obviously hiding from everyone. How did he escape the curse? Who instructed him to go to NYC? Are we going to find out this season?

    Also I want more of Auggie as the Wizard of Oz.

    • Michelle says:

      I thought that Snow broke up the seance and Hook just covered for her in case Regina got pissed. It looked like either the baby kicked or she got freaked out and jumped. Might be way off on that, but that’s what it looked like to me.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      Yep Hook was definitely hiding something, and not just the kiss curse. For whatever reason he didn’t want Regina to summon Cora. Hope we find out what’s going on there in the next few eps.
      Interesting that a lot of people called last week’s Hook “character development” episode filler and yet this week’s “character development” of Regina & Snow is being praised. Double standard because Hook isn’t an original “core” character? Or did the Regina/Snow moments advance the plot more? I liked both of the last 2 eps far more than the action-filled battle episodes, which always come off cheesy IMO.

      • Name That Tune says:

        Maybe because we’ve spent nearly 3 full years with Regina and tonight’s episode represented a progression in the relationship with Snow and Regina.
        “The Jolly Roger” was pure filler. We only learned that Hook can’t be trusted and that Zelena cast a curse.

        • ninergrl6 says:

          Had “The Jolly Roger” episode centered on Regina or Rumple (rather than Hook) wrestling with their darker instincts, the ep wouldn’t be called filler. There seems to be a backlash against non-original characters, or maybe it’s just against Hook. feel like season 3 has had much less filler than season 2 and even season 1. The newer characters have been better integrated into the overall plot than before when we’d get 1 ep about Ruby & then 1 ep about Cinderella & then 1 about Graham with very little to connect the individual storylines. The superfluous characters have fallen by the wayside while Belle and Hook and maybe even Robin have become part of the core. Their character development is just as integral to the plot as Regina, Snow, and Emma. “The Jolly Roger” showed a significant change in Hook just like last night’s ep showed a significant change in Regina, both equally important to the WW storyline as well as the series overall.

    • Amy says:

      The writer of the episode confirmed on twitter that Hook accidentally bumped the table(and that she thought it was funny)..no sinister reason behind it.

  18. Ed says:

    what was the portal that Emma, Hook and Charming entered when they left Regina’s house?

  19. ad says:

    NON-OUAT related but does anyone know why Michael and Matt doesn’t do spoiler videos anymore?

  20. abz says:

    I loved the contrast of red apples (Regina) and the green apples (Zelena). I thought that was brilliant.
    This was such a great episode. I swear I’ve probably said it a million times already but this second half of the season is on fire!! There is barely a single thing that I haven’t enjoyed aside from that waste of a Rapunzel episode.
    All of the moments between Regina and Snow were perfection. It’s so amazing when you think back to the first season and then look at in now and how much it has evolved.
    Also, I love seeing Emma do magic. it just makes me giddy.

  21. Private says:

    There’s obvious historic discrepencies with the show. How did baby Zelena have magic powers? Cora didnt learn magic till after the tripping with flour incident at the other Kings place. Since cora didnt use magic, the tripping incident must have happened afterwards. Then why did baby Zelena have magic? Why did Princess Eva not recognize her and call her out when she tripped her or was about to marry the other king? I dont like bad writing in a show I enjoy.

    • Amy says:

      At first I thought how in ‘The Millers Daughter’ about their past not being mentioned was odd but if you really think about it, it makes sense…It’s not like Cora would have told Rumple about the ordeal seeing that she was supposed to give him her ‘first born’ who was already out there as per their contract at the time (until it changed to be ‘their’ first child). And Henry’s father seemed to know about Cora’s past he even says something along the lines of knowing all about her…so Eva maybe did tell him some of it in private but she wouldn’t have called her out in court without embarrassing herself…I mean Leopold was betrothed to her and was going to marry Cora over her… But it does make Cora’s motives for wanting her ‘slow burning’ revenge much more clear.

      I enjoyed the episode and the character development was amazing…loving the arc this half!

  22. abz says:

    Maybe the parents don’t have to be magical in order to have a magical child. Snow and Charming aren’t magical yet Emma is.

  23. Adam says:

    This has been my favorite episode with Regina because they really developed her relationship with Belle and Snow very well where they finally worked out their issues. I am so happy that Regina finally has developed her own little family with Robin and his son Roland which I love a lot. Regina still kicked ass when she defended Snow against her moth and she is still becoming the anti hero of the show. I look forward on more development with Regina who I am falling in love with more and more with each episode.

  24. Erica says:

    There was so much to this awesome episode. I loved seeing young Cora again & getting more of her history with Eva. Regina & Snow, Regina & Belle, and most of all Regina & Robin-fabulous and so much fun to watch!

  25. Pat says:

    A very good episode. I am really curious when the end game finally happens with Zelena and this whole Wicked Witch storyline is over, where will the writers go with Regina? We have watched since season 1 how she was the evil one that the characters had to combat but since the Peter Pan episode Regina has really turned good and works with all the others, especially Emma and Snow. I loved that she listened to Snow that she has love in her even without her heart and she went directly to Robin and kissed him. Also, next week looks really exciting and I just hope that scene with Zelena holding Henry will not mean the end for him. God Help Zelena if she harms even one hair on his head, because she will be dealing with not one but two mothers, Regina and Emma.

  26. Jules says:

    What a fantastic episode this whole season has been incredible)! And OMG that kiss at the end!!! I’ve been waiting for Regina to open up her “heart” to Robin and wow did she ever. The development of the story and the characters have been incredible! I can’t wait to find out how they stop Zelena (or do they???) Can’t wait until next week

  27. greysfan says:

    Fantastic episode all round. Zelena is obviously the character i love to hate but she is portrayed so well. Really enjoyed the Snow and Regina scenes and still waiting for Emma to slip up and kiss Hook. We all know its coming don’t we? I really hope it doesn’t but then this wouldn’t be Once Upon a Time now would it? Looking forward to the final episodes of the season. I really hope they can stop Zelena i really do.

  28. Catarina says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved this episode, the character interaction made this episode the best of the season so far IMO, but I’m kind of sad that we never got a strong, focused plot like the one in the first season again. Looks like they’re making this up as they go, and the story suffers from severe holes (Prince Leopold almost married Cora, then married Eva and, later, Cora’s daughter?…) I hope it gets better, but so far, it’s like Heroes all over again…

  29. Rae says:

    I wonder if henry will be the way to defeat the wicked witch of the west!!?? hmm just a thought

  30. David says:

    I’m worried about Robin. Not a good time to fall in love when a more powerful witch is after you and your little dog.

    • Melanie says:

      I think it’s the perfect time for it. If Regina’s heart is not resilient anymore, Zelena can’t use her heart anymore! Having her making a step towards her soulmate and apologizing for her previous behaviour makes me believe that might be how she’ll defeat Z.

      • Name That Tune says:

        What if Regina is playing a shell game? We know that she has a whole vault of hearts. What if that’s not her heart at all? I can see a switch having been made where everyone believes that’s Regina’s heart, but it’s not. Maybe she hid it in a safe place in the Enchanted Forest and she just believes that’s her heart.

  31. Name That Tune says:

    Zelena – Snow – Regina. That is the main story of season 3B. And I am loving it. The men have all turned into weak-kneed babies.
    Now this is the direction the show should be moving in.

  32. donna says:

    Lana Parilla! oh. my. god. what an amazing performance. loved seeing Regina so protective of snow. Loved seeing Emma come alive with her magic. jmo killed that scene. wasn’t too happy about Emma’s ‘i guess this is where you get off’ comment – a lil uncalled for, but necessary i spose given what Regina says next. This show can be really hit and miss with its eps but this is deffo one of the hits. Can’t get over Lana Parilla, man she just has chemistry with everyone and they are all at their best in scenes with her. cried in the final snow scene. felt like snow was getting one of her happy ever afters …the step mum she always wanted Regina to be. very moving. nice work gin :)

  33. April says:

    Henry is the name if Regina’s father. That’s why she named Henry, Henry

  34. rachelle says:

    Robin and Regina for the win! I love them so much. That first kiss was perfect.