After watching Sunday’s episode, I had a thought. I’ve suspected (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) for quite some time that Cora’s been more involved in things than the show had previously gone into. This episode merely proved that. There is clearly backstory between Cora and Eva, and Regina has finally discovered that her mother manipulated her meeting with Snow in the first place.
What occurred to me is the thought that I would be shocked to know that Cora was unaware of Regina’s attraction to Daniel before Snow’s interference. With the amount of cunning, manipulation, and magic at her disposal she must have known. Which leads me to the conclusion that she could have stopped or at least hindered the romance at any time, and chose not to.
My feeling is that she chose to wait because, in part, she wanted a scapegoat. It seems important to Cora (for some reason I have yet to fully understand) that Regina love her. Cora reiterates that over and over. Without Snow’s interference, Regina’s wrath would have nowhere to fall but on her mother. With Snow, it gives Cora a conduit to channel Regina’s vengeance. It’s not a perfect one, and there is still plenty of anger and distrust to go around, but it helps to defray it.
The added bonus being that it’s not just any little girl (or random person, for that matter) who gets all that heat, but Eva’s daughter. Naturally Cora probably intentionally planned it to be Snow in the first place, but I think she’d have found someone else to be a scapegoat if that hadn’t worked out.