Previously on Once Upon A Time: Cora traipsed through time and space, dispensing evil where’er she went; including but not limited to poisoning Snow White’s mother and then offering Young Snow the chance to trade someone else’s life for her mother’s, all because she wanted her daughter to someday be queen. And you thought Dance Moms were intense.
We open on Paige Matthews looking bedraggled and dirty — wait, am I watching Charmed? Oh, no, OK. That’s not Paige. It’s Young Cora, pushing a cart and yelling to awaken her drunk father, who is sleeping on the sacks of flour that were supposed to be delivered to the castle. She takes this task upon herself instead, but while she’s making the delivery, a pretty little princess dressed all in pink trips her and white powder goes everywhere. Young Cora hisses out some insults at her, and when the King asks what was happening, the princess denied having any part in the peasant falling. When Young Cora tries to stand up for herself, the King cuts her off and humiliates her, forcing her to kneel in the mess she made, to kneel down to Princess Ava. It seems we now know where Young Snow’s inner brat came from.
In modern times, the USS Invisible is making its speedy voyage from Manhattan to Maine. Emma so adorably asks Gold directly if Cora could use his body to kill them all if she has his dagger. He assures her that he is useless in his current state and points out how easy it would be to let him die. Emma says she’s going to save him because he’s family now, but I don’t blame him for not being reassured, because she sounded resentful and not too excited about her new father-in-law.
Meanwhile in her office, Regina is Big Brothering the Two Idiots, when Cora smacks the wire-tapping machine off the desk. She said, and I quote, “I don’t like what that enchanted box was saying, I’m not…I’m not wicked.” She notices that Rumpelstiltskin’s name is fading off the knife, meaning that Gold is near death…but if he dies before the powers are transferred, they cease to exist. Therefore, conveniently enough, Cora simply MUST become the Dark One…you know, for family…and…stuff.