1. In the flashback we saw that Regina and Zelena actually met as young girls and bonded before being separated by Cora. How do you feel about this chapter of the Mills Family History?
Sam: Seeing Cora manipulate her young daughters for her own purposes was heartbreaking. Both Regina and Zelena had the potential to have happy, normal lives and Cora ruined it for both of them. It must have been really hard for Cora to give-up Zelena the second time when she saw what a natural gift she had for magic.
Zach: It had a two-part impact I wasn't expecting; the loss of their experience in a family unit, living happily together hadn't registered with me up to this point, and seeing the two sisters bonding as children emphasized that point more. The scene where their memories were restored was bittersweet when they realized what could have been.
Ashley: It hurts. Here we have two women who always felt they'd never have a family, that they weren't worthy of love, and the whole time they had each other and didn't know it. They were always "sisters" on the show, but there was something about seeing them as sisters in that flashback that really stuck with me.
Teresa: I think it was a very beautiful chapter. It showed us what could have been if Regina and Zelena had been raised as siblings. It is a tragedy that they did not have that. How differently things would have unfolded!
Joanne: I had to keep reminding myself that Cora had no heart. It was too cruel to separate the two sisters and ruin their friendship. They could of had a beautiful sisterly bond that could have redefined their entire lives and outlook on the world. It made a very touching moment when Cora restored their memories, and they realized what they had missed out on.
2. This week it was Cora who moved on from the Underworld. Did she meet the Fate she deserved?
Zach: Cora has done incredibly horrible things and I was surprised that she went into the light. I can't really judge where she should have gone, I was just in shock that she didn't get a kabob treatment in the fire.
Ashley: I know Cora got her heart back and despite still being manipulative and shady, she was working in her daughters' best interests in the Underworld, but I was surprised she wasn't sent to the "other" place. I mean, remember all of Season Two? Cora is my favorite because she is so fun to hate, because you groan whenever she comes on screen because you know she's gonna mess everything up. So yeah, I felt like based on her past actions, she should have gone down instead of up. That being said, it was a very nice moment in the episode when she ascended.
Teresa: It's hard to say what somebody "deserves" where redemption is concerned; nobody really deserves it. However, her moment in "The Miller's Daughter" with Regina showed the woman she truly is with her heart. She loves her daughters. Making amends, which apparently is the Once criterion for redemption, she did achieve.
Joanne: I was a little torn about whether or not Cora deserved to go to the light. Most of the horrible things she did was when she didn't have a heart, but she made the choice of ridding herself of love all those years ago. Love was weakness. It was gratifying to see her realize that she had two daughters that were her unfinished business. Once she did her best to mend what was broken, healing the sisters' relationship, I felt that she did finally deserve some measure of happiness.
Sam: You know, back when Cora died right after getting her heart back, I did feel like she deserved some happiness. Watching her cruelty towards her daughters this week sure had me second guessing those feelings. In the end, I supposed she did make things right between Regina and Zelena by giving them back the memory of their time together, but I'm still on the fence about her moving on to a better place.
3. It was a double CharmAttack as Charming and James finally met. Did this encounter meet your expectations?
Ashley: I like how the physical action broke up the more character and dialogue heavy portions of the Mills Sisters saga. It kept everything fresh and moved the episode along well. I also enjoyed Josh Dallas' portrayal of James in this episode. The thing is, James isn't as deep a character as say Cruella or Zelena, so I think we got all we could from the confrontation between Charming and James in this episode.
Teresa: The first confrontation did, but I wanted so much more! It was over rather suddenly.
Joanne: It was over too soon. I did love getting a double dose of Dallas. I liked James' explanation of why he hated David. Their banter and battle did lighten up the mood of the episode. It kept the episode from being overly sentimental.
Sam: I'm really glad they finally met. And I'm super happy that James did a better job of explaining why he hated David than Cruella did. It did not make sense that James was jealous about their mother giving him up, because he never even knew that happened. Being jealous because David got all the glory, THAT I can believe. James proved again that he was a bad guy and he got what he deserved.
Zach: It met my expectations because I wasn't expecting James to stick around more than one or two episodes. It would have been cool if he had been around more with Cruella, but that's a 0.0001% thing for me. I'm glad they got to meet and play out their Prince and the Pauper battle, no matter how short it was.
4. Rumple has finally decided to take matters into his own hands. Do you think he will be able to outwit Hades?
Teresa: If anyone can, it will be Rumplestiltskin. I am very interested to see where this goes. I'm hoping this kidnapping of Zelena will lead to some "unfinished business" between them. The repercussions of her year-long torture of Rumple has yet to be fully explored. I hope it all comes out: the good, the bad, and of course, the ugly.
Joanne: It was obvious to me that Rumple was going to take Pan up on his offer from the beginning. He was thinking about it when he was contemplating the Pan pipes in his shop before Belle confronted him in a previous episode. In my opinion, Rumple plans on using Zelena as the living sacrifice to release Pan to the real world. Zelena would have to stay in the Underworld with Hades which just might suit everyone. Rumple is all about loopholes and manipulation. I trust in Rumple. He is highly motivated to save Belle and the baby.
Sam: I will always believe that Rumple can outwit anyone! Now that Rumple has decided to take action I expect stuff to start happening. I'm interested to see how this Underworld story finishes up and what direction the story goes for Season 6.
Zach: I'm not sure how this is going to work out. If Hades really loves Zelena, then it seems to me that if she wants to go back to Storybrooke then Hades would just let them, and if she went so far as to ask him to nullify the contract, he would probably do that too. On the other hand, if he doesn't love her and this is all a trick, it's a smart preemptive move on Rumple's part. Time will tell how it will play out.
Ashley: I think Rumple is gonna screw everything up to be honest. I'm not sure what his plan is with Pan. I feel Zelena would have been fine persuading Hades to let everyone leave. Then again, I don't trust Hades completely so who knows what's next.
5. Favorite Moments
Joanne: I enjoyed the moment when Cora restored Regina's and Zelena's memories time together as children. It was well done and very beautiful. It changed everything for those two women. Finally, Cora did something right in her life.
Sam: I'm going to have to go with the moment that Cora joined hands with Regina and Zelena to give them back their memories. It was really touching for me.
Zach: My favorite moment was when the Mills family came together and Mommie Dearest restored her daughters' memories. It gave a lot of emotional weight to their characters and left them with a transfigured dynamic. I'm looking forward to seeing their evolution with sisterly love rather than regal wickedness.
Ashley: The moment Zelena and Regina realized what had been stolen from them as children, that they had been family once upon a time.
Teresa: I loved the moments of sibling bonding between Young Zelena and Regina.
6. Favorite Quotes
Zach: "That's for killing me, darling." I was outraged (OUTRAGED, I TELL YOU) when Cruella punched Emma, but the line was funny.
Ashley, Teresa, Sam, Joanne: "Why is it always the woods with you people" when Cruella stumbles out of her car, That entire scene, from Emma's grossed-out facial expressions, to Cruella's wit, was hysterical.
7. Anything Else?
Zach: I'm really glad next week's episode is Emma-centric because I miss having her front and center, and I'm intrigued by what we'll learn in the flashback since we've never seen this part of her life.
Ashley: I cannot wait to find out about Emma's bailbonds person days in the next episode!! We've never explored that part of her life and I bet there will be tragedy.
Joanne: I'm looking forward to finding out Rumple's plan for Zelena and how he is going to double-cross Pan. It will be interesting to see how this builds up to the season finale.