Episode 16 – The Miller’s Daughter

Cora - Rumple
Credit: Jack Rowland/ ABC

Fairy Tale Land

The miller’s daughter comes home to find her drunken father asleep outside. She is disgusted with him and he has not made the flour delivery. This young woman is my mother Cora. Young Cora takes the flour to the castle herself. There she is tripped by a cruel princess. The flour bags rip open and Cora is on the ground. The men blame Cora and ask a young Princess Eva if she is okay. My mother is fuming but she cannot fight back. The King tells her that he will not pay for the flour and unless she kneels before Princess Eva and apologizes he will find another supplier. Cora does as she is told.

There is a great ball. Cora attends wearing a red ball gown. She uses a mask. As Cora stands around she meets a young man. She tells him that she cannot believe the King is holding the ball to sell his own son. The man is Prince Henry, my father. She jokes with the Prince telling him she just came for the free food. The two begin to dance. They are interrupted by the King who cuts in. He recognizes young Cora as the miller’s daughter despite her stolen dress. He tells her she is no use to them. Cora tells the King that she can weave straw into gold. With that she turns to leave but the King does not let her. Instead he draws attention to them. He tells the people that Cora claims that she can spin straw into gold. Cora realizes she has gotten herself in over her head and tells him it is a process that takes time. The King tells her that she will stay in the castle overnight and come morning either she will have gold and marry his son or she will die.

Cora is trapped in the tower. She sees no way out. Somehow Rumpelstiltskin has appeared. He tells her that he can get her out of this mess as he is capable of spinning straw into gold. At first she does not believe him but is stunned once he shows her. He holds out an agreement telling her that he will have her first born in exchange for his help. She learns she will have a daughter. Cora tells Rumpel that she wants him to teach her and not just show her.

Cora is frustrated. She cannot make gold. Rumpel explains that magic is about emotion and not thought. He tells her to picture someone who made her so angry that she could kill them. Cora is curious and asks what he thinks about. He tells her a man once forced him to kiss his boots and he pictures ripping his throat out. Cora calls this bloodlust. Gold sits down behind Cora. He begins to kiss her neck and shoulders as she tells him in great detail about those she wants to punish. Cora begins weaving gold.

Cora demonstrates her talents for the King. He is shocked. Prince Henry drops to his knees and proposes marriage. A triumphant Cora accepts.

Cora is visited by Rumpel. She is trying on her wedding dress. He goes to kiss her. They joke this is okay as she is not married yet. Cora admits to her lover that she does not want to marry Prince Henry. She wants to be with Rumpelstiltskin. He changes the agreement of their contract that she will have his first born. Cora tells him that she wants to punish the King for the day he humiliated her. She wants to take out his heart and show him.

Cora pays a visit to the King. She tells him that she is not in love with his son. He scoffs and tells her that he already knew this. He also knows of her secret affair with the Dark One and tells her to make a choice. She can have power or love. Cora places her hand over the King’s chest and tells him it seems a heart is a liability.

Rumpel waits for Cora. She carries a box with a heart inside. He leans in to kiss her but he can feel that something is different. She tells him that she will not leave with him and instead will go through with her wedding. Cora admits that she took her own heart and not the King’s. Rumpel is angry and tells her they had a deal. Cora calmly reminds him that they changed the deal and that she will never have his baby.

Cora is now a Princess. She greets her subjects holding me as a baby. She raises me up and introduces me as Regina. She adds that one day I will be the Queen.


Neal and Henry steer the boat. Emma goes inside and checks on Mr. Gold. She questions him about the dagger. Emma learns that he can be controlled by it. He tells her she must hope he bleeds to death. Emma shakes her head no and reminds him he is family.

Mother and I listen in on a call between Mary and David. Cora is upset that they make her sound evil. Cora picks up the dagger and can tell that Gold/Rumpelstiltskin is dying. She wants to take his power before that happens. I remind my mother that the whole point of this was Henry. She tells me that she intends to protect the family.

The pirate ship arrives. Mary, David and Ruby standby. They help an injured Gold and Mary tells everyone she believes that Cora must die. David objects reminding her that she has the purest heart he knows of and she cannot kill someone. Ruby takes Gold back to his shop.

Gold lays on a couch. Emma brings him a jar that appears empty but there is a noise inside. Gold instructs her to take the invisible chalk inside and draw on the doorway as the others prepare for battle. Mary is alone with Gold. She sees the candle that Cora tried to trick her with to use dark magic as a child. She asks why he has it.

Neal stands with Emma as she draws on the doorways. He apologizes for his fiancee Tamara being a surprise.

Gold tells Mary that the candle is the only thing that can save his life. He tells her that she is a grown woman now and that they both want the same thing. Gold instructs Mary to use the candle to curse Cora’s heart and then get it back into her body. Mary suggests she can take Cora’s heart to control her and let him die. Gold reminds Mary Margaret that he is Henry’s grandfather. Emma joins them and Gold tells her that she must create a protection spell.

Emma does not believe that she capable of such magic. He assures her that she is. Gold explains to Emma that magic comes from emotions and not thoughts. With Gold’s coaching Emma is able to create the protection spell over the doorway where she used the invisible chalk.

David senses that something troubles Mary but she will not tell him.

Inside the others can feel the presence of my mother and I as we try to break the protection spell to get in the pawn shop. We get through. Mary runs out the back door. A battle begins as we immediately use magic to fling David out the front door. We fight Emma and Neal. For a moment Emma gets hold of me and holds a knife to me which stops my mother for a moment. I break free and my mother tells me that she can sense something is wrong and feels someone is near the location of her heart. I immediately run out the door. Mother stays behind to break the protection spell that guards the doorway to Gold.

Mary wanders through the vault. David calls Emma to find out if Mary is okay. He is alarmed that she is not with Emma.

Mary finds Cora’s heart. First she removes the box and stares at the heart. She quickly closes it. Taking a deep breath once again Mary/Snow White opens the box. She lights the candle and whispers my mother’s name over it.

As Cora continues trying to get into that room Gold talks to Neal and Emma. He believes maybe he should die. He wants to talk to Belle. Neal asks who Belle is and Emma explains. Gold calls Belle. He tells her that he is dying and wants her to know who she really is. Belle listens as he tells her that they loved each other and that she is only on who ever made him want to be a better person. Belle is moved and begins to cry. He hangs up with her and Neal admits he is shocked to hear his father sound this way with someone. Gold Tells Neal that he spent a lifetime looking for him. Gold reaches to take Neal’s hand. At first Neal tells him he is still angry. Finally Neal/Baelfire grabs his father’s hand and cries.

I find Mary in the vault. I tell her she does not belong down there and has no business with my mother’s heart. Mary surprises me when she tells me that she got it for me. I am confused and ask what she means. Mary tells me that because my mother’s heart is not inside of her she cannot love. She tells me to truly experience her love and be a family I need to give her back her heart. I tell her my mother always wanted the best for me. Mary asks if I prefer a loving mother or a new Dark One.

After this encounter Mary sits outside. David finds her and asks what she has done.

Cora finally makes it into the room. She uses magic to teleport Emma and Neal into the forest and out of her way. Cora sits down by Mr. Gold. He asks her if she ever truly loved him. Cora admits that he, Rumpelstiltskin, was her one true love. She tells him because he was her weakness she ripped out her own heart so that she could get what she wants. She raises his dagger to stab him but I rush in and shove her heart back into her chest.

My mother looks at me. I have never seen such a warm smile on her face. I am shocked and the happiest I have ever been. Suddenly my mother is wounded and falls over. Gold is better and grabs his dagger while I try to figure out what has happened. Mother dies in my arms. I am in tears clutching her lifeless body as Mary and David rush in. I can tell by Mary Margaret’s face that she is responsible for this.

To watch the full episode of “The Miller’s Daughter” see below.

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