'Once Upon a Time' Season 2, Episode 16: 'The Miller's Daughter' Recap

'Once Upon a Time'  Season 2, Episode 16: 'The Miller's Daughter' Recap Young Cora (Rose McGowan), wakes up her lazy father, who has not delivered the flour… as usual. She brings it to court herself, but as she is hauling the bags, a regal woman named Eva sticks out her foot. She is a guest princess, and the king orders the miller’s daughter receives no money for her flour, and must apologize to the princess. Though proud, she kneels and apologizes.

Neal and Henry sail the ship, while a bleeding Gold doesn’t seem to be doing well. Emma tells him to tell her about his dagger.

Charming and Snow talk about the dagger and Emma’s return on the cell phone… which Regina and Cora listen to. Snow calls Cora “wicked” and Cora upturns the listening device with annoyance. They note that Rumplestiltskin’s name is fading from the dagger—he is dying. If he dies before he gets there, the power will boil off. Cora tells Regina she has to stab Gold and become the Dark One. She insists it is for the family, but Regina is skeptical.

Young Cora attends a masked ball, stealing a mask she finds on a bench. She stands beside the prince and asks if the ball is really to purchase him. He is charmed by her frank attitude, and they dance. The king cuts in. He recognizes her. He insults her and tells him to go. She tells him she can turn straw into gold, but because she has been insulted, she will leave.

To humiliate her, the king grabs her and in front of everyone tells her to demonstrate. She says she needs time. He agrees—to lock her up all night. If she can spin it to gold, she can marry the prince. If not… she dies.

The ship arrives and they bring the ill Gold off the ship. Snow is out for revenge. She says Charming has never met her mother Eva because of Cora. Gold wants to go to his shop. Ruby takes Henry off to keep him safe.

Locked in the tower, Cora contemplates how to escape. Behind her is a giggle—Rumplestiltskin. He spins the straw to gold for her… and can do the rest for a price: her firstborn. He tells her he can see the future and the girl is important. She agrees, but only if he will teach her.

At the shop, Gold has Emma draw a line on the door with invisible chalk. He tells them to prepare for battle. He asks Snow for a warmer blanket from the cabinet… she opens it, and finds the candle that the fake blue fairy tried to force on Snow as a child.

She realizes he won’t get better. She reminds him that she wouldn’t even use it for her own mother. He tells her that their interests are finally aligned. She hesitates. She tells him that it will only work if she whispers the name over the victim’s body. Gold tells her that Cora’s heart is outside of her body, she must also put it back in.

Emma comes up and Gold tells her he needs her to cast the protection spell. She follows his instructions to “feel” the magic, and casts the spell.

Cora is having the same issue, over-thinking the straw. Rumple tells her to find emotion. She relates the story of what she was forced to do… and how badly she wants them to be on their knees. She spins the straw into gold.

She demonstrates her new ability to the king, earning herself the prince. He kneels and propose. She accepts.

Charming notices Snow seems upset, but she won’t tell him about the candle. The shop begins to shake—Regina and Cora have arrives. Outside the two go up against the spell, and together they break in the door. Inside, Emma, Neal, Charming, and Snow are waiting with weapons drawn. As the women advance, Snow sneaks out the front door and runs off.

A fight begins inside. Neal gets the dagger, and Emma gets Regina. Neal tells Cora to choose, and she grabs up the dagger. Regina escapes however. Cora feels that someone is near her heart, and sends Regina off. Gold has hidden himself.

Young Cora stands in her wedding dress admiring herself. Rumple appears and they kiss. She tells him she is fifth in line to be queen—what can Rumple give her? Only darkness and isolation, he tells her.

“And love?”

He agrees. She tells him she wants that. He tells her he can amend their contract… she can give him his child. She agrees; however, she wants to kill the king, who humiliated her. She wants to show him his heart and crush it in front of him. Rumple agrees to show her everything.

Snow goes to Regina’s vault.

Outside, David calls Emma, who has set up a protection spell with Gold in the back room. He asks where Snow is—but both are surprised to learn she is missing.

Snow finds the heart, pumping in the box. She lights the candle, and she whispers Cora’s name over the heart. She blows the candle out.

Young Cora goes and finds the king counting his treasure. She tells him he doesn’t love his son. The king knows about Rumple—he tells her she can run off with him, or stand as queen. She tells him if she has to choose between love and power, having a heart is a liability.

Young Cora walks away with a heart in a box.

Meanwhile, Cora is still trying to break into the back room, where Neal, Emma and Gold wait. Gold says he knows he is dying. He wants to talk to Belle. Emma gives him her cell phone and he calls, though she still doesn’t know him. He tells her he is dying, and he tells her about herself since she does not know who she is—how she is strong, a hero. She makes him want to go back to the best version of himself. She begins to cry.

Gold also tells Neal that he is sorry. Though Neal is still angry, he takes his father’s hand.

Regina is shocked to find Snow in her vaults. Snow is holding Cora’s heart. She tells her she was going to give it to Regina. She says Cora can never love without her heart. She can never love Regina without her heart. Snow hands her the box.

Rumplestiltskin waits for Cora in the night. She comes, finally, with the box. They kiss. He tells her something’s not right. She tells her she was able to take the heart… but chose not to. She tells him she isn’t going with him.

“Who’s heart is in the box?” he asks. She admit it is her own. Her heart was stopping her. He is furious, and reminds her he will take her baby, but she says he changed the contract.

Rumple’s name has almost vanished from the dagger. Cora tries harder to get inside.

Charming finds Snow with her head in her hands at the vault.

“You were right. This isn’t me,” she tells him.

Cora breaks in, finally. She banishes Emma and Neal to the forest and advances on Gold. He tells her he had a vision of this day but it didn’t tell him all he wanted to know. He asks if she ever loved him.

“Why do you think I had to rip my own heart out? You were my weakness. You are the only man I ever truly loved.”

She lifts the dagger—but from behind, Regina sticks her heart back within her. Cora gasps, and then smiles.

Princess Cora displays her baby Regina to the crowd, who kneel.

Cora laughs, feeling emotion for the first time in years. However she begins to sway. The name is back on the dagger. Regina grabs her, holding her. Cora seems surprised, dying.

“This would have been enough. You would have been enough,” she tells her daughter. She dies.

Snow bursts in—too late.

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