best episode of the entire show hands down. for once everything connected and i was actually left with conflicted feelings, something I actually like when I watch TV shows.
while I hate the western view of "don't kill or else you will end up like the villain" ideology I do feel that snow acted out of vengeance instead of justice. that being said I'm not really going to berate for it but those are just my thoughts on it.
as for cora as of right now, i feel like her actions aren't justified but understandable, at least more understandable then her daughters. the reason why i say this is because she acted this way as an adult around other adults and not minors who had no idea what they were doing.
also i remember saying previously that i found rumpelstiltskin and belle's romance so revolting that i looked away when they kissed, but I didn't feel bad at all with him and cora. in fact i found it hard to look away. i don't know, i guess it's because cora have the same darkness rumpelstiltskin had and understood it while belle was just too innocently pure it was like he was kissing a 13 year old. the difference of cora and belle's love is that cora accepted the monster that he was, while belle tried to revert it. rumple's reaction to this was both passionate but in different ways, and i found his love for Cora not necessarily more appealing......but definitely i could tolerate it more than him with belle. but i really like that they were this big bright light and then it was smoldered without much time for the audience to come to terms with it, and then it was ended completely by her dying. tragic couples are my appeal, as i'm finding out recently.
but just because I find this the best episode of the show doesn't mean that it doesn't have its faults. for example i thought rumpleskilton would be a lot harsher when emma when she wasn't doubting her ability to use magic. she was already completely insufferable in her denial in season 1 but her still doubting even out after she had previously used magic is unbelievable. when he told her to make a protective spell and she was still hesitating, i actually expected him half way because he was dying from poison and halfway because he was tired of her what was me attitude to snap at her and say "You doubtful bitch! Just do it!" or something along those lines. when instead he coaxed her which i guess it's fine but i would have definitely wild for him to do the other, especially since it seems more in his character.
i also still find it stupid that regina would just go back to her evil ways when the whole point of her changing wasn't for anyone else. so in that regard i do understand her not caring about what anyone else thinks with her ways, but as i said before she wasn't doing this for anyone else except henry. she didn't want him any other way except legitimately, so why was she revert back to her ways if that's what she wanted in the first place? it just felt silly to me.
and even if the show wanted to make us feel like what snow did was wrong, okay fine. but they really shouldn't have chosen a mass murderer, liar, abuser and manipulator as some sort of example. regina was planning to brainwash a child and cora (most certainly, even though we didn't see it completely pan out) was going to become the dark one and slaughter the entire town. why would we feel bad for either of them? why is the show so focused on convincing regina that she's some victim? what is the point? it's so annoying.
on a final note i don't know if it was the directing the writing or the actor herself, but i really like the way they played regina as and abused troubled child who still loves their parent, and i felt it was played and a very convincing and understandable way. and I couldn't help but get a little chill when i saw cora holding regina as a baby and realizing that she would be raised in total, endless abuse.