Once Upon a Time Post-Mortem: Did Cora Have to Die?

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SPOILER ALERT: if you have not watched this week’s Once Upon a Time episode, do not read ahead. Seriously. Stop right now. Major plot points are about to be discussed.

Simply put, “The Miller’s Daughter” was an epic hour of television, as big happenings took place that will stir up story for the rest of Once Upon a Time Season 2 - and possibly beyond.

Below, creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz fill fans in on how the big decisions got made and where this is all heading...

Cora with the Dagger

Where is Hook?
Don’t worry that the eye-linered, leather-panted one wasn’t in the episode. “We’ve not seen the last of Hook,” teased Kitsis, while Horowitz added: “When and how he returns is a surprise we’re excited to unveil.”

One thing you’ll want to remember is that Hook may have some catching up to do since he probably assumes his poisoned hook killed Gold  “As of right now, if I’m Hook, I think I won,” said Kitsis. “So the real question for me is what will he do if he finds out he didn’t win?”

Emma’s magic…WTF?!
We saw Emma work some magic again last night, so when will we find out the capability of her powers? “I think as we saw with Cora and Regina in their training that finding out your full capabilities is not an easy thing and right now the only one that’s offered to kind of help her through it is Rumpelstiltskin,” Kitsis explained. “I think it’s going to be a long process. Luke didn’t learn to use the force right away so I don’t think Emma will either…I think there’s also part of her that is kind of in denial that she has it.”

Regina & Snow…NOT BFFs!
Since Snow had a big part of Cora’s death, she’d be wise to watch her back when it comes to Regina. “In a lot of ways,” Kitsis said, “I think [Regina] now definitely has a huge reason to hate Snow White and if people thought she should have gotten over the fact that Snow whispered a secret while being conned into to killing your mom, my guess is she will not handle that very well at all.”

Did Cora really have to die?
Horowitz: “Cora was designed as a character with an arc for this season and this was the culmination of the arc and it played out exactly how we wanted to do it. So while it’s a traumatic thing to actually kill a character is part of the fabric of having a show with real stakes and real ramifications and things can happen.”

Kitsis weighed in and said there needed to be a grand showdown but “the saddest part of all of it for us and the real reason to do it is you realize at the end of the day all Regina wants is her mom’s love…she is still trying to find lightness and love.”

So have we seen the last of Cora – either Barbara Hershey or Rose McGowan version?
Kitsis quickly answered, “No, absolutely not. They’re too delicious not to have... but for this season yes.”

Is Charming going to be pissed at Snow for her actions?
“For me the question is when he finds out this information, what is he going to do?" said Kitsis. "I believe he’s the kind of guy that’s going to stand by her in good times and bad times. We saw him literally take an arrow to save her heart, so I can’t imagine he wouldn’t do it again.”

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.




No! Cora didn't have to die! After seeing what she was like with a heart (the last 20seconds of her life!) i wanted to see what that person would be like in Storeybrook. Not that I want Rumple to die. But couldn't they have figured out another way to save him, put her (un-cursed) heart in her and completely disarmed her that way? Barbara Hershey's too great an actress to lose. This show can't afford that.


I hope Snow doesn't beat herself too much about what she did although that's probably exactly what's gonna happen. Either way is going to be interesting seing what happens now.


Oh man! did this episode felt like a season finale for anyone? It felt like it for me! Rumple's speach to Belle was so moving, it had me in tears. There is a reason why he is my favorite character. I'm not sorry Cora died, she had done enough damage for a lifetime and her becoming the dark one was the worse possible outcome. I love that all characters have a dual side so we can't totally hate them. each character is one that one can identifie with and that is terrific writing. Still I have no mercy for Cora; sure she was poor and humiliated but that did not give her the right to become such a Bi·$%. Also, Regina deserved what she got because she just can't commit to one side. She was willing to kill everyone just to get Henry and chose the worse way just cuz her B&%@ of a mother wispered in her ear. In what universe was Henry going to accept that? Bad choices have consequenses and she paid a high price but not an undeserving one. I hope Snow doesn't beat herself too much about what she did although that's probably exactly what's gonna happen. Either way is going to be interesting seing what happens now.


Seriously? "SPOILER ALERT" ? Why not take the spoiler out of the TITLE of the article. Geez.


Mr. Kitzis says "a show with real stakes and real ramifications." OK, where are they? True, they killed Grahm, but they've only killed minor characters since then. They couldn't even keep Gemeni Cricket dead. If they kill off Charming, then we can talk about having "real stakes." Also, enough with Regina being a victim! Reading what people are writing, it's as if Snow did something awful. All she did was play Regina (i.e., the EVIL Queen) to insure that Cora (i.e., an evil, power-hungry b$#@&) does not become the evil one. Honestly, I wanted to smack Charming this episode. Did he honestly think you could reason with Cora?


We also haven't revisited the 'stranger' who is still in the hospital and has, apparently, sent video or photos of 'magic' to someone outside of Storybrooke... It would be fun if he were communicating with...Lois Lane or Brenda Starr :P


Have to agree with everyone else. That was really stupid... to put that in the title. I haven't watched it yet but luckily I'm not that sensitive towards spoilers.


Seriously is it such a spoiler that cora died? they set up this character to die. And after last weeks episode if you didn't see that coming.. I mean come on Also I think you better change the title TVFanatic Back to what i came here to do I Can't wait for next week! I hope Hook will return soon he is one of my favorite.
At the end i had a big smile, Regina is back in revenging snow white! (and this time with a good reason).


Spoiler alert?! It's in the title! Thanks for ruining that for me. I promise this is the last time I will visit this site.

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