Once Upon a Time Gold Kidnaps Zelena

Once Upon a Time Recap: We Are Family

This Sunday on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Cora hosted an unexpectedly special family reunion, while David ran into double trouble.

Considering how mum Rebecca Mader was about this week’s Young Zelena/Young Regina flashbacks, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. (Truth be told, I thought we might get a “paternity twist” for Zelena, revealing that she is Rumple’s second-born child. But the actual twist served up far more emotional fodder.)

Over a cozy fireside date, Hades pitches his longterm plan to Zelena: that once she gets his heart restarted with True Love’s Kiss, they will leave the Underworld together, and in turn damn all the heroes to stay put there, now that he has emblazoned a tombstone with each of their names (after getting played by the Charmings’ switcheroo). Having used a magic mirror to spy on her sis, Regina later confronted her about the foolhardy idea to “redeem the God of Death.” After a confab with Emma & Co, Regina decides the only way to rein in Zelena (without killer her, Hook!) is to enlist their mother Cora.

Cora of course had been sentenced in the midseason premiere to mill all the flour, but Hook springs her from that fate by restoring her magic with his enchanted prosthetic. Upon learning from Regina that her other daughter is Hades’ girlfriend, Cora gets the idea to make Zelena forget ever meeting the man, using water from the River Lethe — something she has done before….

As revealed in flashback, Young Regina once zapped herself silly whilst fiddling with Mommy’s wand, and the only way to heal her was with another family member’s blood magic. Cora finds Zelena and saves from her magic-hating, abusive father and brings her back to the castle, where the ginger promptly revives Regina. Afterward, in the midst of playing, Zelena accidentally opens Cora’s wand box, indicating to Regina that they are related — which Cora confirms. But as thrilled as Regina is to have a sister, Cora is disappointed to see her daughter place so much value in love and what not. So she has guards drag Zelena away while heartbroken Regina shrieks, both girls fated to forget ever knowing each other thanks to Lethe water.

Back in the Underworld, Cora shows up on Zelena’s doorstep and says that she is sorry for giving her up as a baby, saying that she felt it was the right and selfish thing for her, not for her daughter. But just as Cora goes to slip Zelena the forgetful mickey, Zelena calls her mother out on the charade and summons Regina out from hiding. When Z begins tearing into Regina for yet again robbing her of happiness, Cora breaks up the fight and reveals what she did in the past, how the two once loved and cared for each other as sisters — before she took away their memories. When Cora restores their memory of that time, the tears start flowing, and the family is happily reunited. Her unfinished business now resolved, Cora walks off into the light as her “reunited” daughters look on, hold hands. Regina then nudges her sis to find her happy, by doing her best to redeem Hades.

And Zelena comes thisclose to keeping her date with Hades, before she is intercepted by Rumple. He’s quite sore about her giving Belle the idea to subject herself to a sleeping curse, so he’s out to even the score — and to that end introduces her to his father, Peter Pan, who warns Zelena that he is “much worse” than wicked, before dropping a bag over her head.

Elsewhere: James got the upper hand on twin brother David during a Main Street scuffle, then posed as the prince for a short spell — until he was able to slap a magic-blocking cuff on Emma and pull a gun on baby-toting Robin Hood. Cruella’s idea behind all of this is to leverage Hades into returning her to the real world, in trade for his sweetheart’s baby. But — and after the action inexplicably switches to the docks — another slugfest ensues between the twins, and just as James charges at David with a blade, Charming lobs his bro into the drink aka the same fate as Milah, Gaston…. Which kinda stinks, ’cause I always enjoy an Evil Twin storyline.

What did you think of “Sisters” and the emotional Cora/Regina/Zelena moments?