"Bleeding Through" is the eighteenth episode of Season Three of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson and Daniel T. Thomsen and directed by Romeo Tirone. It is the sixty-second episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 20, 2014.
After Zelena steals Regina's heart, Regina casts a spell so that she can speak across the realms to her dead mother, Cora, to discover the truth about why she abandoned Zelena, and Belle stumbles across what Zelena's ultimate end game is. Meanwhile, in the Fairy Tale Land that was, young Cora is duped by a man claiming to be a prince and finds herself alone and pregnant. But a chance meeting with a real prince could lead Cora to the royal life she's always craved, but she must keep her pregnancy a secret or risk losing everything.
In front of a mirror, Regina is putting on earrings. The doorbell rings, and she goes to answer. She sees nothing but a basket of green apples. Immediately, Zelena appears behind her. She says it's a gift, because Regina's red apples are "sickly sweet," and that she came to give "sisterly advice." They both then have an argument, and it is revealed that she actually came to make sure Regina was not at the location where she put her heart, which is where she has Mr. Gold go to acquire at the same time Zelena and Regina are speaking. Zelena then disappears.
In the forest, Robin Hood and his Merry Men are told by a remorseful Mr. Gold to give him the heart. When they refuse, he threatens to kill Roland. Robin Hood agrees and gives him the heart. Regina comes onto the scene and understands why Robin Hood gave up the heart. Realizing she herself is still alive, Regina deducts that Zelena is planning something worse and vows to stop her.
Regina is in Gold's shop looking for something to help her deafeat Zelena, knocking books off the shelf in the process. Belle runs out from the back room, telling Regina to stop making a mess and then asks what she's looking for. Regina tells her that she needs Belle's help to stop her sister, who currently has her heart. Belle gives her a nervous look but Regina says her heart is enchanted, hence Zelena can't control her. Regina asks Belle what she has in the shop to help her but Belle refuses to give her anything. Belle tells her that she has self-respect, and questions Regina on why she would help a woman who has been so cruel to her. Regina tells her that Zelena has Belle's true love, Rumple, and if Belle doesn't help her then she may never see him again. Belle reluctantly agrees to help Regina and tells her that she has been doing research on Zelena's curse. She asks Regina what is so special about her heart, and why Zelena would want it. Regina says she doesn't know, before asking Belle where "the candle" is. Belle holds up Lumiere's candles but Regina corrects her by saying it's the one that Mary Margaret used to kill her mother. Belle opens up a drawer and takes it out, but tells her it doesn't have any power anymore. Regina tells her that this isn't about how her mother died but about how she lived.
In the Enchanted Forest, young Cora works in a tavern to support herself. One of the customers, Jonathan, is a mysterious man who claims he's a prince and seduces Cora by asking her hand in marriage. After giving Cora a straw ring, he promises a real gold one upon his return in two months. Cora agrees, but not before escorting him to his room; where it is implied off-screen that they consummated the "marriage". Two months later, Cora is standing by the crossroads waiting for Jonathan's return. Finally, after some searching, she finds him under a pavilion on the royal estate, but to her shock, she discovers he is not a prince, but only a gardener. Jonathan admits he's not a prince and never wanted to marry her. As he attempts to walk off, Cora demands that he give financial support for his unborn child whom she is pregnant with. She desires enough money for both herself and the child so they can live well, and warns him of the consequences should the prince he is employed under find out that he is treating her this way.
At Regina's house, Snow apologizes to Regina for killing Cora. Regina tries to understand why Cora gave up Zelena. Just as they are speaking, they hear a noise upstairs and they find a young Cora spinning in spirit in one of the rooms. At Grannys, Emma is trying to practice her magic and successfully makes a mug of hot chocolate disappear. She gloats to Hook at her success and makes his hook disappear. Hook doesn't think it's funny. Belle rushes into Grannys and reveals that she figured out what Zelena's plans are. At Zelena's house, she dresses Gold in suit and reveals to him that she's going to change the past. And she wants to take Snow's baby. Back at Regina's house, young Cora is trying to kill Snow because she senses that Snow killed her. Regina holds Cora back.
In the enchanted forest, young Cora is admiring her ring from Prince Leopold. Jonathan finds her, and threatens to reveal that she is with his child unless she gives him gold and anything she can get her hands on. Princess Eva overheard their conversation.
The spirit of Cora crashes into Mary Margarets body, revealing her past; Princess Eva told Prince Leopold about her rendezvous with Jonathan that she was lying to him. He finds the jewels she stole to give to Jonathan so her secret would remain a secret. The guards take Cora away and Princess Eva offers to be a good wife to Prince Leopold and they can have a child as pure as snow.
Regina is able to remove Cora from Mary Margaret's body just as David, Emma and Belle burst through the door. They figure out that Zelena is after their baby to time travel.
In the forest, Cora is seen giving birth to Zelena and then giving her up. She then confesses to Zelena that this is the only way she can have a better chance. A cyclone is seen swirling in the sky.
Back at Zelena's house, Gold admits he made a mistake of wronging Zelena after hearing she can bring him back to find Neal. He tries to steal his dagger back but Zelena catches on and sends him back to his cage.
Regina and Mary Margaret make amends about their past. Mary Margaret convinces Regina that she can have a happy ending. Regina walks into the forest to find Robin Hood, where he is again apologetic for losing her heart. Without a word, she kisses him.
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks occur after "That Still Small Voice", concurrently with the first part of "It's Not Easy Being Green" and before "The Miller's Daughter". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke events occur after "The Jolly Roger" and before "A Curious Thing". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Mr. Gold uses magic to force Roland into the ground, which is the same thing that he did to Belle in "Lacey".
- Regina gets her heart back in "Kansas". It is back in her chest in "Snow Drifts".
- Belle mentions her abduction and twenty-eight year imprisonment, courtesy of Regina, which was revealed in "The Outsider" and "Skin Deep".
- The tavern where young Cora works, is the same tavern where Hook and his crew celebrate several decades later in "The Jolly Roger".
- The flute music playing in the tavern is the same music playing in the pub Anton visited in "Tiny". It can also be heard in the tavern where Emma meets past Hook in "Snow Drifts", Robin Hood's tavern in "Heart of Gold", the Wish Realm tavern where Wish Hook meets Captain Ahab in "Knightfall" and the Fish & Bird tavern in the New Enchanted Forest in "Breadcrumbs". It can also be heard in the tent camp that Snow White visits in "Heartless".
- Emma tells Hook to watch out for the apples in Regina's house; referring to events in "An Apple Red as Blood".
- Mary Margaret killed Cora with the enchanted candle in "The Miller's Daughter".
- Zelena stole David's courage in "The Tower".
- Neal's death is referenced, which occurred in "Quiet Minds".
- Regina gave Robin Hood her heart in "It's Not Easy Being Green".
- Regina mentions Cora killing Snow White's mother, which occurred in "The Queen Is Dead".
- Mary Margaret mentions a secret she did not keep, referencing to Regina's plans to run away with Daniel, which occurred in "The Stable Boy".
- The fate of Cora's abandoned baby is revealed in "It's Not Easy Being Green".
- Regina and Zelena's showdown occurred in "It's Not Easy Being Green."
- The exact date of Zelena's birth is revealed in "Our Decay".
- Zelena first started to work on her Time Travel Spell in "Our Decay".
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features the Wicked Witch of the West and a Winged Monkey from the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz story, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and the Merry Men from the Robin Hood ballad, the miller's daughter from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story, the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale and the king and queen from the "Snow White" fairytale.
- Jonathan gives Cora a ring made of straw and promises to exchange it a gold one when he returns. This is a reference to the "Rumplestiltskin" fairytale, where the miller goes before the reigning monarch and boasts that his daughter has the ability to spin straw into gold.
- Eva promises to produce a child as pure as snow. This is a reference to the "Snow White" fairytale.
- Hook remarks, "That's bad form, Swan. Tampering with a man's hook." This is a reference to the Peter Pan novel, where "good form" is important to the character. The phrase, and its counterpart, "bad form", is used several times in the novel.
- After being warned not to drink the tea that is to be used for the seance, David states he prefers "Earl Grey". This is a reference to a type of traditional British tea brewed using, among its other ingredients, an oil from a bergamot orange.
- While helping Regina look for the candle, Belle picks up a candelabra. To this, Regina sarcastically calls the latter Liberace; referring to the renowned pianist.
- The couch in Regina's living room is a Saskia sofa from Christopher Guy. It is exactly the same couch as the one she has in her office at the town hall; indicating that it's a reused prop. Even the pillows are the same.
- "To: W. B S[image ends] 14-25-27th West" is written on the lid of the chest in Zelena's home.
- The candelabra that Belle picks up in Mr. Gold's pawnshop is Lumiere's candelabra from "Quiet Minds". However, it is unknown if it is supposed to be Lumiere or if the prop was just reused.
- The tankard Cora serves to a patron is the same tankard Abraham uses in the Season Two episode "Tiny".
- The gazebo where Cora finds Jonathan, is later redressed and reused as the gazebo on Bo Peep's estate in the Season Four episode "White Out". The same prop/set is used for the gazebo where Ingrid meets the Duke of Weselton in the Season Four episode "The Snow Queen". A new roof was added for this episode.
- Over Regina's fireplace, there is a framed artwork of two horses. One half is the first half of Dyad by the Canadian artist Andre Petterson, while the other half is Snow Run by the same artist.
- The two decorative boxes sitting on Regina's coffee table were later used to decorate the living room in Gothel's tower in the Season Seven episode "Eloise Gardener", where one is sitting on a shelf, while the other one is sitting on the bedside table. A few years later, one of them is sitting on a shelf next to young Alice's bed in the Season Seven episode "Knightfall". One of them can also be seen in adult Alice's cottage in the Season Seven episode "The Guardian".
- The painting The Return of Persephone (1891) by the English painter and sculptor Frederic Leighton is in the hallway outside Regina's study. The artwork depicts Hermes helping Persephone to return to her mother Demeter after Zeus forced Hades to return Persepone.
- Two artworks by French engraver Bernard Picart decorate Regina's study: Semele is Consumed by Jupiter's Fire (1731) and Pygmalion is Enamored with a Statue He Had Made (1733).
- A small painting in Regina's study, depicting a sitting person, can also be seen in Belle and Mr. Gold's bedroom in the Season Five episode "Swan Song".
- Regina is wearing a Roland Mouret Sirius Dress (no longer available). She later changes into a Hammered Silk-Shirt from Gucci (also no longer available).
- Roland is wearing an alternatively colored J.Crew Boys' Cotton-Cashmere Sweatshirt (no longer available).
- Belle is wearing a The Row 'Nenette' Top (no longer available).
- Emma is wearing an Etoilé Isabel Marant Pleat Satin Blouse (no longer available).
- For her "date" with Mr. Gold, Zelena wears an alternatively colored Roberto Cavalli Three-Quarter-Sleeve Ponte Dress (no longer available).
|Finnish||"Veri on vettä sakeampaa"||"Blood is Thicker than Water"|
|French||"Remonter le Temps"||"Back in Time"|
|German||"Unsere Mütter, unsere Täter"||"Our Mothers, Our Perpetrators"|
|Italian||"Passato e presente"||"Past and Present"|
|Portuguese||"Passado Obscuro"||"Obscure Past"|
|Spanish||"Traspasando Mundos"||"Beyond this World"|