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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 3 E 18 Bleeding Through

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Season 3, Episode 18:

Bleeding Through

Having obtained Regina's heart through trickery, Zelena spends time celebrating her impending victory and makes Gold an offer he can't refuse. In order to learn why she wanted the heart, and what happened to cause Zelena to be abandoned as a baby, Regina attempts to speak to the spirit of her mother. And in the Enchanted Forest of many years ago, a young Cora is set on her path to villainy by seeking love, and being spurned by it.



  • The Baby Trap: Inversion—this is what Eva thinks Cora was doing (along with stealing) but in actuality she was marrying Leopold for power and security, and to be able to give her baby a good life. It was Jonathan who was entrapping her.
  • Big Damn Kiss: At the end of the episode, for Regina and Robin Hood.
  • Blackmail: Jonathan pulls this on Cora when he finds out she's pregnant.
  • Broken Pedestal: Emma is rather devastated to learn the truth about Eva, and any last vestige of Snow's trust in her mother's virtue is shattered.
  • Call-Forward: Jonathan gives Cora the inspiration for the idea of turning straw into gold, when he proposes to her with a straw ring, promising to someday exchange it with a gold one.
  • The Casanova: Jonathan, as a particularly entitled and appalling example.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Believing she is close to winning, Zelena...dresses Gold up in a nice suit, makes him a delicious dinner, and offers him a role in her plan.
  • Dramatic Irony: Multiple examples, past and present.
    • Gold being forced to harm a child, when after losing Bae it's the last thing he would ever want to inflict on someone else.
    • Regina defending Snow White from her own mother (and before that, having to go to Belle for help).
    • Young Cora would never have encountered Leopold if she hadn't been at the castle looking for Jonathan.
    • Cora would have gotten everything she wanted if she'd just been honest with Leopold; see The Power of Trust.
  • Evil Is Petty: Subverted—while clearly she was having a lot of fun mocking Regina and indulging in Evil Gloating, the real reason Zelena came over was to distract her while Gold procured her heart from Robin Hood.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Eva happened to be outside the gazebo and heard every word when Jonathan blackmailed Cora.
  • The Final Temptation: Zelena offers Gold the chance to go back in time with her so as to be reunited with his son. The man who once would do anything if this could happen refuses (after pretending to go along with it and even seduce her just so he could get hold of the dagger). Sadly (for her) it seems Zelena's offer was genuine, and that she was truly hurt by the false seduction.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: And the second too. invokedOh, Cora...
  • Go Through Me: Multiple times when Regina has to protect Snow from her mother's ghost.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Apparently Regina's heart is the one needed for the spell because it is "the most resilient."
  • History Repeats: Just like Snow, it was Eva revealing a secret (the pregnancy, blackmail, and theft) that stole Cora's love from her. And it was because she never got to marry Leopold (in addition to wanting a queen for a daughter) that Cora made Regina marry him instead.
  • Hope Is Scary: Regina clearly feels this way. And Snow White urges her not to give up.
  • Hostage Situation: Gold is forced to inflict one on Robin Hood, threatening his son Roland with being Buried Alive (and hit by one of his own arrows) unless he turns over Regina's heart.
  • The Hypocrite: Jonathan condemns Cora for being a fraud and a whore while he is a male version of that.
  • Ironic Echo: A cruel and painful inversion of the show's usual Arc Words is used by Cora when she leaves baby Zelena to the elements—that because she believes having a baby will hold her back from achieving power and riches, she must get rid of her to give herself her "best chance."
  • I See Dead People: Regina organizes a seance of sorts using the double-ended candle. Unfortunately the disruption of the ritual (or possibly just Cora wanting payback against Snow) results in her ghost actually crossing over and, eventually, possessing Snow.
  • Jerkass: Jonathan. First he feigns being a dashing, noble prince (incognito to escape the other, awful royals), offers to marry Cora, and seduces her; then when she finds out he's just a gardener (after he stood her up) and he learns she's pregnant, he refuses to support her; and finally when she is about to wed Leopold, he blackmails her for gold and jewels so her loss of virtue will remain a secret.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Jonathan nurtures a relationship with Cora, assumes a royal identity, sleeps with her, and leaves her hanging afterward, with no care for the fact that she's pregnant with his child. After things turn out better for Cora, he then tries to profit from it.
  • Mock Millionaire: Jonathan pretends to be a prince simply to woo and bed Cora.
  • Modest Royalty: Jonathan pretends to be this too; Leopold is the genuine article.
  • Mundane Utility: Emma's magic can be used to teleport drink orders, or Killian's hook.
  • The Power of Trust: After being informed of the pregnancy and blackmail, Leopold offers Cora the chance to come clean; if she had simply admitted the truth and proven she trusted him, he would still have wed her, and most likely raised Zelena as his own—he certainly would have made sure Jonathan was punished. But because she was so afraid of being denied the power she coveted (and being hurt again, as she had been by Jonathan)...
  • Pun: Snow offers to talk to Regina about Cora; when Regina claims now wasn't the time for a heart-to-heart, Snow quips (because Regina's heart has been taken by Zelena) that that wouldn't be possible anyway. Even Regina smirks.
  • Secret Test of Character: At Eva's instigation, Leopold performs one on Cora. She fails. Zelena's dinner and offer to Rumple are a form of this as well; he passes (though from her point of view it's the opposite).
  • Slut-Shaming: Jonathan does this to Cora after she claims he stole her virtue.
    "A harlot is a harlot."
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Jonathan. It's thanks to him (and not just Xavier) that Cora thinks Love Is a Weakness, he's the one who gave her the idea of spinning straw into gold, he's Zelena's father, and it's his blackmail plot (once it's found out by Eva) that leaves Cora destitute so she feels she has no choice but to give Zelena up. And of course this also all sets up for everything Cora does later with Henry and Xavier, as well as Leopold, Regina, and Snow White.
  • Straw Misogynist: Jonathan seems to view all women as whores and gold diggers, having no qualms about manipulating them into sex and will shamelessly mock them when they find out. Doesn't even respect Cora when she is about to marry his king.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We have no idea what happens after Jonathan tried to blackmail Cora into stealing gold for him, except that the plan did not go through so he obviously didn't get any money. Though we can assume that, since he was involved in an attempted theft, King Leopold or Eva may have punished him. It is also never explained in any later episode how Eva went from what we saw here, or in Season 2's "The Miller's Daughter", to what she was as a kind ruler who cared deeply for her lessers in "The Queen is Dead", other than perhaps Leopold's offscreen influence.

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