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Originally posted 7-18-2013 by myself on Examiner.com

OUAT’s ‘The Miller’s Daughter’ was directed by Ralph Hemecker. Writer was Jan Espenson.

In pre-curse FTL, Young Cora (Rose McGowan) was a poor hard working daughter of a drunk. Visiting her kingdom is Princess Eva (Eva Allan). She trips Young Cora for petty entertainment. King Xavier (Joaquim de Almeida) forces Young Cora to apologize on her knees.

She later crashes a ball to honor Prince Henry (Zak Santiago). The King isn’t thrilled. She mocks him by saying she can spin straw into gold. But won’t share her gifts. He makes a threat of his own. If she can’t produce gold strands, she’ll die. If she does the Prince is hers.

Guess who shows up next? Young Cora impresses Rumple (Robert Carlyle) when she asks to be his apprentice. Included in the contract is her firstborn. She signs then becomes engaged. Time passes. Rumple and Young Cora steal kisses. She wants power. He offers her love.

He changes the contract to their firstborn. Young Cora tells King in law she doesn’t love his son. He reveals everyone knows about Rumple. He gives her a choice. She can be poor or a Princess.

Back in the world, Rumple, Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Bae (Michael Raymond James) and Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) sail to Storybrooke aboard The Jolly Roger. Emma also convinces Rumple to give up the dagger’s location.

In SB, Cora (Barbara Hershey) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) listen to Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow’s (Ginnifer Goodwin) phone calls. And they learn where Rumple’s dagger is. Cora wants the Dark One’s power. He can’t die until then. Charming tries talking Snow out of vengeance.

Rumple has Emma create force fields around his shop. Charming and crew use it as a hideout from two dark souls. But Mother and daughter punch through the barrier. Snow sneaks away to find Cora’s heart. Rumple revealed earlier it’s the key to stopping her.

The good: The outstanding knockout performances by the dual Coras. Need more episodes with both actresses. Category 5 alarm for sex appeal! Cold showers or ice baths for everyone. Rumple telling Belle how much he loves her. His dying declaration prompts Bae to forgive him.

Cora admits Rumple was the only man she ever loved. Regina finally got to experience her mother’s love. Emma taps into her latent magic. Will she become Rumple’s next pupil? When will Henry discover he’s magical?

The bad: Young Cora rejecting Rumple. Conning her way out of deal. She’s the reason Rumple believed no-one could ever love him. If Princess Eva knew the heck she had unleashed, she’d beg forgiveness. Was Hook’s hook always coated with poison? Or was that something special for Rumple?

The ugly: The shocking way Snow outwitted Cora and Regina. The Evil Queen is back. She’s ready to burn Storybrooke to the ground.