Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
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The Miller's Daughter 

Mary Margaret is tempted by dark magic and David, Emma and Neal attempt to protect Gold from Regina and Cora, as flashbacks show a young Cora seek revenge against the royal family after they degrade her in public.


Ralph Hemecker


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones (credit only)
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills
Meghan Ory ... Ruby Lucas
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold / Rumplestiltskin
Joaquim de Almeida ... King Xavier (as Joaquim De Almeida)
Barbara Hershey ... Cora Mills
Rose McGowan ... Young Cora
Michael Raymond-James ... Neal Cassidy
Zak Santiago ... Prince Henry
Eva Bourne ... Princess Eva (as Eva Allan)


In the fairy tale world, Cora, the miller's daughter, seeks revenge against the royal family after they degrade her in public. Back in Storybrooke, as Cora and Regina continue their quest to find Rumpel's dagger, Emma, Neal, David, and Mary Margaret protect Gold and prepare for battle. Written by Nadia Nassar

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is not Rose McGowan's first time portraying a witch. She previously portrayed Paige in Charmed (1998). See more »


Around the 20:53 mark, when Snow exits Rumpelstiltskin's shop, she closes the door behind her as she leaves. In the next shot, the door remains open. See more »


Regina Mills: You stole her life! You cast some spell.
Mr. Gold: I did nothing.
Mary Margaret Blanchard: [Runs in, frantic] Regina! Stop!
Regina Mills: *You* did this.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening sequence shows Rumplestiltskin's spinning wheel. See more »

Alternate Versions

In a deleted scene, Neal teaches Henry how to steer the Jolly Roger, and the two of them talk about Peter Pan and Neverland. See more »

User Reviews

'Rumplestiltskin' refreshingly turned on its head
7 February 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

"The Miller's Daughter" is not just one of Season 2's jewels in the crown, but also one of the best 'Once Upon a Time' episodes. It represents everything that 'Once Upon a Time' is all about in the first place, while being one of the strongest examples (perhaps the strongest of the show up to this point) of the stories and characters progressing in the right direction.

Quite rightly there is a focus on characters that were there since 'Once Upon a Time' first started, and is highly successful in making them and their dilemmas and feelings interesting and worth emotionally investing in. Similarly quite rightly, it focuses much less on adding and introducing new characters that Season 2 did with varied success. What stands out the most with "The Miller's Daughter" is the focus on Cora (introduced in Season 2 but was quickly established as one of the best new characters and one of the show's most interesting overall even up to this point) and the take on the 'Rumplestiltskin' story.

What could have been a conventional telling with nothing new instead felt fresh and was a story in context of the show that really advanced the characters and the stories. This can be seen by a lot of significant plot developments, that feel natural in how they're placed and given full depth, and already interesting characters made even more so with clearer motivations, more complexity and a stronger sense of how and why they became who they are.

Fairy-tale flashbacks and Storybrooke scenes are balanced adeptly, instead of being too much of one, and are equal in impact, with the connection/parallel between the two worlds that are so easy to get immersed in is stronger and handled far more seamlessly than any episode before. Also striking was the emotional impact, the flashbacks have a lot of heart and are full of some of the show's most emotional moments ever. The Storybrooke storyline has a real sense of urgency and builds upon what is already known and with new things introduced. "The Miller's Daughter" manages to achieve the impossible, making one feel sorry for Cora when we see how and why she came to be the way she was portrayed before.

All the acting is great, as good as Robert Carlyle and Barbara Herschey are it is Rose McGowan who comes out on top in a very emotionally charged and complex performance that has an icy exterior but pretty conflicted on the inside.

Furthermore, "The Miller's Daughter" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie-cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The effects are not as sloppy here. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable main theme.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue.

In summation, wonderful episode and a refreshing one.10/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

10 March 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

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