‘Once Upon A Time’ 5×19 Review “Sisters”

I’m going to try something new this week. Mostly, because this episode was all about Regina/Cora/Zelena, but also because, well new is fun. And this is, quite possibly, the last we will ever see of Cora. And you can say what you want about her, but she was good. And by good I mean, she was good at being bad. She was unapologetic about her choices, and even in her final moments, she never stopped being, well …Cora.

So, we’re going to celebrate the most consistent character in Once Upon A Time History, by ranking the:


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  • When she killed Daniel and started Regina down the path of darkness.
  • When she abandoned Zelena and doomed both her kids to loneliness.
  • When she kidnapped Archie and made it so everyone would suspect Regina, which, in turn, jeopardized her relationship with Henry.
  • When she used Zelena to save Regina and then still sent her away, even when her position was secure.
  • When she erased her daughter’s memories, so it would be easier to keep her secrets.
  • When she tried to kill Henry in front of their daughter, because what Cora wants is more important than what anyone wants.

Truth is, Cora has been the absolute worst so many times that’s actually hard to pick her worst moment. She’s always put herself first. She abandoned Zelena because she didn’t think she could be who she wanted to be, who she thought she deserved, with a kid. She even double-crossed Rumple, who seemed like he actually cared for her. Later, when she had Regina, she was more interested in the possibility of her being important than in her happiness, which is why she murdered the man her daughter loved, in cold blood, in front of her.

With all that as background, it was hardly surprising to see that Cora was perfectly capable of using Zelena, when needed, and throwing her away without a second thought, but even for Cora, that instant where Zelena and Regina both cried out for each other and they stood there was a lot. Mother of the century, she was not.


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  • When she finally put her daughters first. Cora is right, though she would have needed more time than what she actually had to confess all her sins. The fact that her daughters are where they are right now, the fact that they hate each other, the fact that Zelena has done all she’s done just to hurt her sister, that’s on Cora, not necessarily on Regina. I’m not saying Regina’s a saint, but Zelena hated her even before Regina did something against her. That’s on Cora. And if they were ever going to come to a place, of, maybe not complete understanding, but a place of love where you can accept even what you don’t understand, then they needed Cora to take the blame off their shoulders. They needed that closure. I don’t know what the future has in store for Zelena and Regina – I want to believe a few more in depth conversations before they bury the hatchet, but I at least think they now have a chance to be sisters. And that, surprisingly, is thanks to Cora.

Other things:

  • Rumple’s basically all like, I know what you wanted, but you’re asleep, so, I’m just going to ignore that, Belle, and do things my way – like I always do.
  • Hook and Regina are really like bickering brother/sister.
  • “You were my fairy Godmother” LOL. And a handsome one at that, Hook.
  • The whole “you stole my glory” spiel from James was nonsensical at best. Like David pointed out, how is it his fault that James got killed? The other story made much more sense, so I’m going to go with he was jealous.
  • For someone whose “superpower” tells her when people are lying, Emma was really bad at seeing through James. It’s not like he was that good at pretending, either.
  • I’m never going to understand Regina apologizing to Cora, or choosing to believe her, over and over again. I mean, I know she’s her mother, but if there’s someone on this show who doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, it’s Cora.
  • At least this episode seems to actually acknowledge that Baby Pistachio Hood exists and has needs.
  • Even when I only get 2.5 seconds of them, Captain Swan gives me life.
  • Peter Pan bores me. And, I don’t even know what Rumple’s long game is. Hades is going to find out that he had something to do with taking Zelena, and I don’t anticipate that going well. Unless he plans to blackmail Hades. And I don’t anticipate that going well, EITHER.


Once Upon A Time airs Sundays, at 8/7c on ABC.

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