This week's Once Upon a Time episode, “Bleeding Through,” opens with Zelena giving Regina a gift of green apples. She and Regina go back and forth over the same old same old, “You have everything and don’t appreciate it,” and “I got nothing, I strive, I work for it all.” It was just a ruse so that Zelena could keep Regina preoccupied while the Dark One confronted Robin Hood to get Regina’s heart. After threatening Roland’s life, Rumple was successful in obtaining it. Regina shows up to find out what’s happened, and Robin apologizes profusely. Regina asks if anyone was hurt and realizes that Roland was threatened, and tells Robin, “Nothing is worth the life of a child.” She also realizes that since Zelena hasn’t crushed her heart to kill her she must want it for something worse.
Regina goes to Gold’s to see if she can find something with which to defeat Zelena. Belle is not very accommodating, considering her previous imprisonment by Regina. However, Regina points out that it is Zelena controlling Rumple and that if Zelena is not destroyed, Belle may never see Rumple again. Belle admits that she’s been trying to match the ingredients Zelena has been collecting to a spell, but she can’t figure out what’s so special about Regina’s heart. This triggers Regina to think of the candle used to kill Cora.
Flash back: Cora is a waitress in a tavern. She is swept off her feet, quite literally, by a “Prince Jonathan,” who asks her to marry him, and promises to return in two weeks to whisk her away to the castle. Two weeks later, Cora waits at the crossroads where they planned to meet, only to be left standing there in the rain. She goes to the castle to find him, but to her surprise, he is just the gardener. She confronts him and he flees. This is how she meets Prince Leopold. They have a rather intimate conversation, at which point he admits he’s engaged to Princess Eva.
Cora wins Leopold’s heart, and they become engaged. The news caused the gardener to resurface, and bribe Cora for riches. Otherwise, he will tell everyone that she is pregnant with his child. Eva overhears them and tells Prince Leopold. Prince Leopold confronts Cora, who lies about it, causing him to dismiss her as untrustworthy.
Emma, Hook, Charming, and Snow assemble in Regina’s house to hear her plan. She tells them what has transpired, and that according to Zelena, she doesn’t know enough about the past. So, the plan is to summon her mother’s spirit to find out. They are able to open the “portal,” seeing as how they have both the murder weapon and the murderer present, but nothing comes out of it. Meanwhile, Zelena is gloating over her success, and reveals that all she needs are Rumple’s brains and Snow’s baby. Of course, she means to kill Rumple to extract his brains.
After the failed seance, Snow decides to stay behind to “help Regina clean up.” Interestingly, as they leave the room, the opening in the wall leading to the front door closes up. Snow uses this opportunity to apologize for killing Cora. Regina explains that when she thinks of it she reminds herself that Cora killed Snow’s mother. As they’re talking, a strange noise comes from upstairs. They go up to investigate, but as they approach the door behind which the sound is coming, flies off the hinges to reveal an otherworldly place with a woman working at a spinning wheel.
As Emma practices her magic at Granny’s with Hook, Belle bursts in exclaiming that she’s figured out Zelena’s plan. At Regina’s, the ghost of young Cora tries to attack Snow, but Regina protects her. Finally, Cora manages to get past Regina and enters Snow. Snow then sees scenes from Cora’s past, and Regina regains herself. She rips Cora’s ghost from Snow and sends her back to the land of the dead! Emma and crew arrive just in time to see the portal close, and Snow passed out. Snow isn’t all the way out though, and lets them know Cora was just trying to communicate. While Regina is freaking out, Belle speaks up that Zelena is planning on going to the past to change it.
While everyone wonders why, Snow explains what she saw with Cora’s help. Cora didn’t want to give Zelena up, but her mother, Princess Eva, told Leopold of both Cora’s condition, and her plan to pay off the gardener. But, is that the entire truth? As Cora sets Zelena by the tree to abandon her, she tells her that she has to give her up to give herself her best chance. Sound familiar? Except, Cora wants her own best chance to be something more than a miller’s daughter, not what’s best for her baby.
Back at Zelena’s house, she had dinner with Rumple and explains her plans to him. She invites him to go with her so that he can be with young Bae, and perhaps have never given him up. Rumple seems very interested in this proposal. After dinner, he attempts to seduce her, but as soon as he gets close to the dagger, she stops him and sends him back to his cage.
Snow and Regina have a very enlightening conversation. A heart to heart if you will. Snow infects Regina with her overbearing sense of hope that because they are united, they will defeat Zelena. This is especially true, Snow continues, because she has seen how resilient Regina is. She tells Regina that she is confident that Regina WILL find happiness with or without her heart. She goes so far as to say that she knows Regina feels things deeply, with her whole soul. Regina must have heard something Snow said, because the episode ends with her finding Robin Hood and giving him one heck of a true love’s kiss!