Image credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
CRAZY LOVE Anyone else wish we could have seen more weirdly sexy Rump/Cora action tonight?
Rumpelstiltskin, who still has a heart, is furious. In the present, that heart drives him to make one last emotional call to Belle as he waits for the poison to finish its job. He and Bae also manage a sort of deathbed reconciliation, even though Rump's son admits he's still angry at his dad. All across America, Once viewers discover that they've suddenly got something in their eyes.
And that's when the episode's true twist comes into play. Regina storms into her vault, ready to fight Snow for Cora's heart. Instead, Snow simply hands over the box to Regina and tells her that this is the reason her mother has never loved her -- without her heart, she was incapable of true affection. If Regina puts the heart back where it belongs, though, Cora might just be able to be a real mother to her. This is some high level manipulation -- and love-starved Regina falls for it hook, line, and sinker.
Back in the pawn shop, Cora finally breaks through Emma's protection spell and approaches Rump. He says that thanks to a vision, he knew she would come for him one day -- but that he's still never known whether she ever actually cared for him. Charitably, Cora reveals that she did honestly love Rumpelstiltskin once, and that her love for him was her one true weakness; why else would she have ripped out her own heart? She holds the dagger up, about to plunge it into his chest and seize the Dark One's awesome power...
...when Regina comes up behind her and thrusts her mother's heart into her empty chest. Time stands still. At first, Cora looks at her daughter in delighted shock -- it's true, she is feeling again! And then she collapses. Regina's own heart breaks all over again as she holds her fallen mother, who has just enough energy to whisper one last thing to her daughter before she dies: "You would have been enough. This would have been enough."
Snow, who's had a last-minute change of heart herself, bursts into the pawn shop so that she can stop Regina from completing her fatal deed. Unfortunately, she's too late... and the minute Regina realizes the truth of what's happened, a look of pure, unadulterated rage twists her features. That's the kind of rage that could turn a whole mess of straw into gold -- or turn a certain pure-hearted princess into a very pretty corpse.