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?

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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68 Comments
  1. steven says:

    Is the girl who played younger Regina also one of the vampire kids from American Horror Story: Hotel?

  2. Jennifer says:

    Lana, Bex, and Barbara killed it in this episode! I was expecting a bigger twist but was too blown away by all the family feels to care. Props also go out to Josh- I actually wish we could see more of James since it’s the meatiest story he’s had in a while. Really enjoyed this ep!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Just because Zelena was made to forget Regina doesn’t change what she did to Robin or Rumple. Of course that’s what Adam & Eddy are doing, trying to make the rape not so bad. And please I don’t care if Rumple assumes Zelena wanted to take advantage of Belle, everyone on this show has used Belle (Regina, Hook, and even Emma) & can’t blame Rumple for getting back at the same woman who had a sick obsession with him, imprisoned him, controlled him, responsible for Bae’s death, and almost made him die in the hospital. Also, seriously? Cora goes to heaven? Come on!

    • Boiler says:

      Please take your rape comments elsewhere. Its old and poor taste

      • Claire says:

        Gotta agree with Rebecca, Zelena raping Robin was in extremely poor taste. She’s done terrible things and one sisterly moment years ago doesn’t undo that.

      • Rebecca says:

        I’m sorry, am I not allowed to express my disgust on how this show sweeps the rape under the rug?

        • Boiler says:

          Not on this site no. Got to some site where you can say whatever the heck you want. This is the most ridiculous thing I have seen from people and I have seen a lot.

          Matt, would like a response. Why do you accept these comments when it obviously was not the shows intent.

          • Litz says:

            At the end, intent matters very little on TV when it’s poorly executed. Call an apple an orange if you want, that doesn’t stop it from being an apple all of a sudden. Zelena raped Robin, no question. Or are you saying if I went into someones dark room, and when they asked if I was their significant other I disguised my voice, said yes and then proceeded to have sex with them, that would be okay? That I in no shape or form raped them? That when the lights came on and they saw me, they should just shrug their shoulders and say “Fair enough”? If that’s what you truly think I genuinely fear for the people in your vicinity.

          • Claire says:

            We can say whatever we want on here as long as it’s on topic. The idea that Zelena’s sins are terrible and this is an inadequate gesture of redemption is on topic. Her child is the product of rape and it’s never been (and will never be) acknowledged. It’s a good reason for a lot of us to dislike her.

          • taran63 says:

            I can’t say what I want? Feel free to stop me then.

          • Boiler says:

            Well these idiotic comments ruin what was perhaps the best episode of the season. You REALLY need to suspend reality to truly enjoy this show. Rape is an absolutely horrendous crime but to think the writers intended this top be a rape is the most ridiculous thing I have EVER seen on a comment section of a show. So please just go away

        • anon says:

          Certain groups of Once fans never like when you bring up the terrible things that some of these characters have done. (See: Graham, shooting Belle, making rape threats, massacring villagers, etc)

        • Bonnie says:

          It’s a fairy tale show…they’ve also had murder (by both characters considered good and characters considered evil), parents who sent their newborn to a new world with supervision from a pre-teen, mistreatment of foster children, and a witch who eats children – just for a start. Everything about the way the other characters reacted to the situation was rejection of what Zelena had done – including the fact that they took her baby from her (in the real world, this wouldn’t happen so easily either). Grimm Fairy Tales were even nastier. This is a fairy tale show. Roll with the plot points or stop watching.

          • Mila says:

            The fact that it is a farytale show should actually do better at adressing issues as murder and rape. There are ways to have this stuff come up, and when you do, in a show like this, you gotta use those time to address all dimensions of such an issue.
            And again, the fact that this is a fairytale amd NOT Game of Thrones, is one more reason they should address it properly.

    • MP says:

      I don’t think it was rape. He was viciously deceived (nobody is denying that), but they both agreed to have sex with each other. He was not forced. I think that’s an important distinction.

      • Rebecca says:

        Robin agreed to have sex with his wife NOT Zelena, it was rape!!!

      • Gail says:

        Nobody called what Regina did to Kathryn and David rape, making them think they were married, during the curse. They eventually slept together but no baby resulted. I guess no one will be casting a love spell anytime soon.

        • Litz says:

          This is actually a valid, and interesting, line of questioning. Was it rape? Certainly not by Kathryn and David. They both thought they were who they were, in comparison to Robin and Zelena were one thought they were who they were and the other one knew they weren’t. Kathryn and David both thought that they were married and were, at least once upon a time, in love. So no, David didn’t rape Kathryn, and Kathryn didn’t rape David. Not in a personal sense.
          But I think a case could be made against Regina that it was rape by proxy. She knew David was in love with Snow, and knowing it or not, the curse violated that since had they been of sound mind, they never would have done it. She drugged them and deceived them into thinking they were in love. True, she didn’t actually force them to have sex, but she knew it would probably happen and I’m willing to bet she took a certain satisfaction from it.

      • Claire says:

        If he had known it was Zelena, he wouldn’t have consented to sex. That makes it rape.

      • skyebright8 says:

        Rape by deception is still rape

        • Jess says:

          So if a person with HIV lies to their partner about having HIV and they have sex, is it rape because the partner wouldn’t have consented to sex if they had known?

          • Litz says:

            No, it would not be rape since the act of sex was consensual. Person A agreed to have sex with person B and B with A. At no point in that scenario was person B actually person C, nor did person B force person A to have sex. However, they most certainly committed a crime. In most developed countries, not disclosing that you have HIV before intercourse is a crime. It varies a little, but several people have been charged with “assault and assault with a deadly weapon” for not disclosing.
            TL;DR: Not rape, but not disclosing that you have HIV before intercourse is a crime and in most developed countries you will, at the minimum, be charged with assault.

          • skyebright8 says:

            It would be prosecuted under the crime intentionally causing grievous bodily harm or injury

    • Lindsey says:

      I have to agree. This one moment does not redeem Zelena. And now they want us to buy Rumple as the bad one in his and Zelena’s “rivalry”? No. No, no, no….

    • YP says:

      Why I will agree that Cora getting a pass to Heaven is utter nonsense especially when poor Aunt Em didn’t, I don’t agree with your opinion on Zelena Robin/Rumple. Regina is my absolute favorite character in this show but even i can admit that what she did to Graham was closer to rape then Zelena pretending to be someone she wasn’t She didn’t force Robin to sleep with her in any form nor did she kill Baelfire. He made a choice to bring Rumple back even after Bell warned him not to. Yeah she imprisoned him and controlled him but sorry I can’t cry a river for Rumple with all that he has done to everyone else.

  4. Litz says:

    Wow… For every plot twist they do that actually works, about 20 of them seems to be picked from whatever sticks to the wall the longest before falling down. I mean, we’re talking bellow Arrow’s “We have no idea who’s in the coffin” writing bar. And I didn’t think you could get much lower.

    Also, I’d suggest changing the line “enchanted appendage” since it summons an image a bit south of what you were going for. Or maybe it -is- what you were going for.

  5. iHeart says:

    oh great, this means we have to deal with bratty brat next week

  6. KateFaulkner27 says:

    I had a big ol’ long comment, and my phone deleted it. Rats.

    Ok, bottom line of what I said: good and evil are relative and love conquers all when you fight for it. Those are the two underlying themes in this series. Zelena will change if she wants to; she really is only wicked because she has been denied love in any form, and wouldn’t know if it was real because she doesn’t trust it. She’s still that little girl, longing to belong somewhere.
    There are characters that will not change. Snow and Charming will always be forces of good. Rumple will always be a force of bad. But evil can do good, and good can do bad. Or, those that are muddled in the middle can go either way. To me, Z is in the middle, and she can change if she wants to.
    ***
    If people disagree and say Z is completely evil, and there is no redemption (especially with what she did to Robin), consider Regina’s track record, as she has done just as bad, if not worse, as Z: cursed an entire town, murdered thousands, put hundreds under her own mind control when she stole their hearts, abused and took advantage of Graham (I would say the word ‘rape’ would apply here too), locked Belle in a psychatric ward…and I am not out of the 1st season yet. Hwoeber, Regina changed of her own free will. I think Z will do the same. She will always have a sass and a devilishness about her, but she strikes me as an anti-hero who happens to do good. I hope that continues.

    • KateFaulkner27 says:

      *however. Wow, I don’t even know how that word got butchered.
      ***
      As far as the actual episode goes, I loved it. I never liked James and saw him getting thrown out to sea as a fitting end to him. He deserved that. I actually am rooting for Z and Hades; I think they are a match made in… hades? Kudos to their portrayers, well done! The LOOOOOONG overdue reunion with Cora amd reuniting with Regina was wonderful. Seeing Robbie Kay as Pan again was a nice touch. Interested to see what happens, as Z looked positively ghastly at the sound of the name Peter Pan. Can’t wait to see where that goes.

  7. Gail says:

    Apparently all one has to do is say, “Sorry about that” and all is forgiven and you get to go the heaven. I think a more fitting end for Cora would have been that she realized she deserved to be the Miller’s Daughter and goes back to that willingly. Perhaps with the hope that one day she will earn the right to go the heaven. If you don’t say you are sorry you end up with James, Milah, Gaston, and Auntie Em. I still think they need to save Auntie Em.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Yeah, I would have been fine with Cora consumed by fire. Too many free passes. Maybe Season 6A will be the actual Devil, angry about his stagnant headcount ;)

    • Ash says:

      Cora did more then say she was sorry. She gave her daughter’s their memory back and got them to come to care about each other. The whole point of the underworld is it is for people who have unfinished business and can potentially move on to a better place or a worse one. As a Christian I see Cora moving on to heaven as a good thing. Cora was able to.find forgiveness and her own redemption. Thank you Once writers for not resorting to pettiness and choosing to instead send Cora to a better place.

      • Ash says:

        Just adding I wish Gaston had gone to a better place too. However, I think writers in that case felt that needed to balance Belle and Rumple out a bit.

      • Litz says:

        Well… No. According to Christianity, once you’re in hell you’re there. No way out. She made choices in her life and now she’ll have to pay for those sins. While I like the notion of Cora being redeemed, and I honestly wouldn’t have minded her moving on in the future. But the way they did it here cheapened the whole thing. So she gave some memories back. That doesn’t make up for all the hearts she took, the people she hurt, the child she abandoned to further her own ends. I agree with the first post, the story would have been better and more believable if she had chosen to go back to the mill by her own volition in order to earn it. Right now this smacks of the worst parts of Catholicism, where you could buy your way into heaven.

        • Era says:

          She did not buy her way into heaven. She earned it. You do not understand this? Cora changed. She was willing to walk to the ”someplace worse” willingly. She realised she did wrong. She was genuinly sorry. people need to stop being so vendicive. there is no point in wishing suffering on people who already understand and regret what they did wrong.

    • Zachary Flye says:

      The thing is though that most of the evil and selfish things Cora did, she did without her heart, and now that she has it again she has true remorse for her actions. So after she completed her unfinished business she went to take whichever road she was deemed worthy of, and I felt like the fire going towards her at the end was one final test to prove whether or not she’s truly changed, if she accepted her fate no matter what and didn’t do something selfish to try and not face eternal punishment, it would prove she’s changed and she would get to move on the Olympus or wherever.

  8. BM says:

    Loved the episode. Now I want Regina and Zelena to do magic together… and maybe throw Emma into the mix and then the three of them can defeat one big bad evil.
    Looking forward to seeing how the relationship between Zelena and Regina develops.

  9. Cris says:

    Best episode this season!!

  10. Mara says:

    Are we positive James went into the water and not David?
    I also thinks it possibl for Zelena to redeem herself..I mean Regina was the EVIL queen and she’s a hero now in people’s eyes…why not the WICKED witch? But actions speak louder than words. She could still her hang herself…that’s alway been her problem in my eyes…too busy getting in her own way.
    Also someone please tell me they didn’t waste half a season going to get Killian to have him die next week!

    • Zachary Flye says:

      Yeah we’re positive, you can tell by the clothes, trust me for a second I was freaked out about it too. I agree Zelena can be redeemed if she gets out of her own way, and I think her biggest problem is thinking Regina doesn’t care about her and tries to deprive her (Zelena) of happiness. So now that she knows Regina can and does care for her I think she’ll have a better time at being good. Finally I doubt wholeheartedly Killian will die next episode, they just want to build drama.

  11. GraceM says:

    This magical cuff seems to make its way around. Why doesn’t somebody magical destroy once and for all?

  12. Ian says:

    Wooooo, this ep was contrived as hell, what with Zelena’s random foster child backstory, but I’ll forgive it for the neatly packaged reconciliation.
    And yeah, Cora’s earned her spot in hell a little too much to end up in heaven, but she DID choose to face her fate whatever it probably was, had reunited the sisters, and Barbara Hershey’s emotional grin when the fire gave way to heavenly light was eveything. So I’ll allow it. *bangs gavel*

  13. ninergrl6 says:

    First, this episode should have aired at least a month ago. The Regina/Cora/Zelena relationships are far more integral to the series than Ruby/Dorothy/Mulan or Belle/Gaston or Killian/Liam or Hercules/Meg (though that was probably my favorite episode of 5B). They wasted weeks on filler. Second, as others have mentioned, the redemption of Cora and reconciliation of Regina and Zelena was way too easy. I get that the show is about hope and forgiveness and atonement, but really? After all that bad blood, one episode wipes the slate clean? It would have been more believable if Cora was in fact consumed by fire even after making amends with her daughters. And maybe I’m a sadist, but Regina and Zelena are both infinitely more interesting to watch when they’re being bad, at least a little bit. Too much niceness is boring. With resident hope-mongers Belle and Snow out of commission, did the writers feel like they had to force sentimentality to fill a void? Snooze. Bring back the snark.

    • LS says:

      If this episode had aired a month ago, we wouldn’t have had a reason to GET to this place .. Zelena needed to show up, first. She needed a reason to be in the Underworld, and it’s not like she went down with Emma and Co.

      I think one thing people are forgetting about the forgiveness between Regina and Zelena, and even Cora, is that they’ve ALL done horrible things to each other, and to everyone else. Regina knows all too well what destroying everything is like, but the point is .. she’s changed. She changed over time, but she’s changed, nonetheless. It’s that change in HER that allows her to truly embrace Zelena, knowing all that she does now. It doesn’t mean the past isn’t the past, or even that they won’t be rivals of some sort down the line. What it DOES mean is that forgiveness, love, and family mean more than persistent hatred and vengeance.

  14. edo says:

    Season five is wrapping up storylines. People are gettiing a happy or sad ending! I believe the show is about to end next year or the next.

    OUAT is dwiddling down to a series finale. its over…

  15. Carly says:

    The actors did a good job with the material, but I thought the story was once again hugely disappointing. Nothing on this show is earned anymore. Another erased memories quick fix to suddenly turn Regina and Zelena into loving sisters who forget what happened between them before? This is ridiculously lazy. How do the writers expect us to still care for the characters if they always take these extreme shortcuts in their development as characters and in the development of their relationships? The writing for Zelena especially is a complete joke this half, sorry.

    • pinky says:

      This!!! Just because they now remember they met, and were friends, as kids, doesn’t change what’s happened since

  16. Pat says:

    I enjoyed this episode but was left scratching my head with an unanswered question. Who is Zelena’s father? Why didn’t she ask Cora and before Cora left why didn’t she tell her? DId I miss knowing this from another episode? Next week, please do not tell me that Hook is going to die, again. It was told to us that someone was not going to make it out of the underworld, at the beginning of the season.

    • Ryan says:

      Zelena’s father was revealed in Episode 18 of Season 3, “Bleeding Through.” In it, a young Cora meets a handsome prince, and they end up sleeping together. She later finds out that the “prince” lied to her just to bed her, and that he was really just a groundskeeper for the real prince.

  17. This was a much better episode than last week. However, I do take issue with Cora going to heaven. Why would she?

    Cora was a selfish, evil person in life. She murdered a lot of people, usually for nothing. She even killed a man just because he didn’t have enough of a social status to date her daughter.

    This was a horrible person and if anyone deserved an eternity in hell, it was her. I can understand the underworld is for people with unfinished business. That’s fine, and I like that once your business is finished, you move on to where you should go. But Cora deserved hell.

    Just because she worked things out with her own kids doesn’t mean she was redeemed. What good did she ever do?

    Regina also arguably deserves a terrible eternal fate, but there is a big difference. She’s still alive. She has legitimately reformed. And she has the rest of her life to do good things and at least make a case for redemption.

    But not Cora.

    • Zachary Flye says:

      The thing is though that most of the evil and selfish things Cora did, she did without her heart, and now that she has it again she has true remorse for her actions. So after she completed her unfinished business she went to take whichever road she was deemed worthy of, and I felt like the fire going towards her at the end was one final test to prove whether or not she’s truly changed, if she accepted her fate no matter what and didn’t do something selfish to try and not face eternal punishment, it would prove she’s changed and she would get to move on the Olympus or wherever.

      • Litz says:

        But that’s like saying that if a person drinks, they should be forgiven for everything if they say they’re sorry after sobering up, no matter what. They might feel true remorse, but that doesn’t fix the devastation in their wake. My dad was a drunk and while I loved him, I don’t give him a free pass for the shit he did because he was “sorry”!
        A strong argument can be made that Cora is the reason the Evil Queen even existed in the first place!
        It would have been one thing if someone had taken her heart from her, but she did it to herself. And she didn’t even remove it for a good reason, like say Regina removing her to stop the ache for her son. Cora removed simply because it was inconvenient.
        No, this was a quick and sloppy writers fix to get her out of the way. In no way, shape or form did she deserve redemption at this stage.

  18. Didn’t see this episode or much of the season but since its a Regina based episode I may have to. I am all for sisterhood so I hope this reunion lasts.

  19. Will OUAT ever, EVER have a season that does not involve lost memories?

  20. DD says:

    Maybe somehow defeating Hades will also bring back the people who have been flung into the river? It seems to be too tidy that so many people are being disposed of like that…

  21. LS says:

    I will be the first to say that I was slow to warm up to 5B. I’m one of the minority that truly loved Dark Swan’s storyline and the path it took. That being said, I truly believe THIS episode was THE best of the second half of the season, and maybe even the entire season.

    I enjoyed the nuances between the two pairs of siblings – the obvious animosity with an underlying sense of caring between Regina and Zelena and David and James, and how each story ended up playing out. I am honestly glad it was Regina and Zelena that mended at least SOME of their fences. And I truly enjoyed the backstory, however ‘out of the blue,’ or ‘contrived,’ people might have viewed it. For me, Once has never JUST been about the black and white of it; the good and evil. Over the last five seasons, we’ve learned that the heroes CAN do horrible things and that the villains CAN find love and redemption. That’s what makes this journey truly worth it. Too many people see things in black and white.

    As for the comments about the ‘Christian hell’ being one of truly eternal damnation, and that someone who has done so many evil things shouldn’t have gone to heaven, I’m sorry, but that’s not exactly how it all works. While you’re correct in saying the Christian ‘hell’ is eternal, you have to remember that K&H have deliberately painted this universe as the Greek/Roman Underworld, in which it IS possible for souls to return to the land of the living. I give you the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. Hades was willing to part with Eurydice’s soul – it was Orpheus who broke his end of the deal, thus sending her back to the Underworld.

    To the second point – Christianity allows for true repentance even at death’s door. If you’re going to pull out the religious stuff, draw from the entirety of dogma and learning. If someone TRULY were to accept Jesus and God into their life, to repent and ask for forgiveness, it would be granted. In Cora’s case, if we’re equating this to Christianity’s rules, her bringing Regina and Zelena together and FINALLY being honest about everything she’d done, amounts to just that. Including her accepting her fate at the end.

    Like I said, I loved this episode, and I can’t wait for the remainder of the season .. I only hope we can somehow keep Hades around into season 6,

  22. Bonnie says:

    Loved the episode. Wasn’t really concerned about Cora going into the light – the point of it was to move the storyline forward – i.e. Zelena can be redeemed. Though I wouldn’t have been sorry to see her swallowed by the fire. Mostly irrelevant since she was already gone.

  23. Cassie O. says:

    Did anyone else think it was funny that Hades and Zelena’s “song” is “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”?!?! That made me laugh. Hope it was on purpose!

  24. Bahra says:

    I think all the lost souls will be freed once the underworld is defeated. As for Cora making it to Heaven, well I found that a bit strange. However, one person is not much better than the other on this show. I would like to see Zelena help them all defeat Hades and become part of the family, yet keeping a bit of wickedness. She’s a fun character. I will be so glad to see this chapter end with all returning to Storybrooke and the focus back on Killian and Emma and Robin and Regina.

  25. Marlene Rankin says:

    Great show at end it said i n memory of..who was the person that died