Once Upon A Time, Ep. 2.16, “The Miller’s Daughter” ~ Power can change everything

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Once Upon A Time, Season 2, Episode 16: “The Miller’s Daughter”
Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on ABC

The intensity of Once Upon a Time shows no sign of slowing down for anything, as it races closer to the season finale. This week the writers give us a chance to explore more of Cora’s past; something that has never really been touched on before.

The casting department has always done a superb job when casting younger versions of the characters, like Bailee Madison as Snow, and they definitely get it right with Cora. Rose McGowan does a fantastic job. She captures everything that Barbara Hershey puts into the character and adds her own special twist to it. Taking us down the path on why Cora became why she is like the way she is. Even the way that McGowan delivers her lines assures us that this Cora we are seeing.

 
Once 2.16 Group
 
The writers handled the interaction and story arc between Cora and Rumplestiltskin wonderfully. Props have to be given to them on how they can take these beloved and well know characters and carefully weave their storylines altogether. It was interesting and intriguing to see the entire Past Enchanted storyline to be focused solely on Cora; seeing as how her character has become so well known this season.
They also need to be given props on the scenario that they are setting up for the innocent Snow. Ginnifer Goodwin also deserves absolutely stunning acknowledgment. Snow has always been a little one dimensional. She has had some material where she could show off the acting chops that we know Goodwin is capable of. However, since Snow is such a well-known character there is only so much the writers can do with her. It’s nice to see them branching out and making Snow a little more rounded. The way Goodwin handled and carried Snow throughout the episode was fantastic. We could feel the anger she had, the frustration and all the way down to the torment she was facing after performing the deed. She vowed to kill Cora and for once she did not back down, until it was too late of course. The scene, in Regina’s vault, between her and Regina it almost felt like the roles had been reversed. For once it was Snow that was manipulating and pulling the wool over Regina’s eyes. It was a side of Snow that we had never experienced before (aside from the time when she drank Rumplestiltskin’s potion).

Even in, what he thought to be his final moments, Rumplestiltskin shows some colors that we never thought we would see again either. The phone call he makes to Belle was absolutely heart wrenching. The scene that followed, between him and Bae, was emotional as well. Perhaps there is hope for Rumplestiltskin after all; maybe Bae and Henry will not be his physical undoing, but his magical one, his dark one.

Once 2.16 Emma and Regina
 

The episode definitely had several elements that it shined from. It was packed with intensity, drama and emotions running wild. The only minor let down would be the ‘battle’ that occurred when Regina and Cora broke into the shop. Everyone was armed, but the action only last for a few minutes, before it was just Cora trying to breakdown a magical barrier. All of the characters keep saying that there is a war coming to Storybrooke and hopefully in the coming weeks there will be a little more action amongst the episode.

It did not, however, end without having some questions being raised, Is Regina really crossed over to the dark side? And will there be any chance of her coming back? Could Henry even save her now? What is going to happen to Snow? She was, after all, technically responsible for Cora’s death? What is Rumplestiltskin going to do now that his one nemesis is gone? Are we going to find out more about how and why Bae knows Hook? And is Emma going to get anymore magical powers?

The show is shining and the writers clearly know where they want to take us. They have no signs of letting up. All eyes are pointed towards the goal, the season finale, and we aren’t stopping until we get there.

– Joshua Bouye 

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