Image credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
CRAZY LOVE Anyone else wish we could have seen more weirdly sexy Rump/Cora action tonight?
Anywho, Cora chooses this moment to tell a lie that will forever alter the course of her life. She tells King Snoot -- who may or may not be played by Portuguese George Takei -- that she knows how to turn straw into gold. Unfortunately, because he's an asshat, he'll never reap the benefits of her ability. Little does Cora know that King Snoot is no normal asshat -- he's the type who will call a woman's bluff by challenging her to transmogrify an entire tower full of straw. If she does the impossible, she gets Prince Henry's hand. If she doesn't, well, Cora will be making her trip to Hell a little earlier than she had planned.
I could spend all night in Cora's Twisted Faerie Tale Theatre, especially given who's about to show up there -- but alas, fairybacks are but one piece of tonight's puzzle. Back in Storybrooke, the Jolly Roger has managed to speed across the Atlantic Ocean's magic-free waters in no time at all. Rumpelstiltskin, still suffering the effects of the world's slowest-acting poison, is at least feeling lively enough to play a prank on Emma by asking her to draw a magical line across his pawn shop with "invisible chalk." My bad -- this is an actual thing that happens, and it may just be Once's goofiest use of magic yet.
But while Emma's playing hopscotch, her mother has been given a much more serious task. Rump confides to Snow that there's no antidote for Hook's poison. Instead, the only way he can live is if another person dies in his place -- and if Snow uses that magic candle a disguised Cora gave to her long ago, she'll also manage to kill two birds with one stone. By, you know, only literally killing one of those birds. Okay, that was definitely the wrong idiom to use.
High in a tower, Young Cora sits by the hour and nearly tears out her hair. Her despair is interrupted when the miller's daughter suddenly finds she has company: Rumpelstiltskin, of course, who has come to offer his unique services. The Dark One is prepared to spin all the straw if Cora's willing to sign over the rights to her firstborn child; Rump's visions have revealed that the unborn girl will be "quite important." Cora takes the deal, but she also does something Rump's other clients/victims never do: asks him to teach her to do that voodoo that he do[es] so well. Give a woman some straw-gold, and she'll marry a prince; teach a woman to make her own straw-gold, and she'll become the land's most powerful sorceress. Or something.
NEXT: Crazy/sexy/creepy, brought to you by Rumpelstiltskin and Cora