Sidebar. There's been a lot of talk about how Snow shouldn't have handed over the dagger. I say nonsense. She had no choice, because she is a fairy tale hero. I mentioned in the show thread, that as far as Snow knows, Johanna is nothing to Cora -- just a pawn. Except for the fact that Cora gets off on evil, Snow has no reason to suspect that Johanna was a goner, either way, because Snow has no clue about Cora's goal: to turn Snow's heart black as coal. Besides, with Rumpy out of the reach of magic, the dagger isn't currently of any use to Snow, so it's perfectly sensible for Snow to hand over the dagger and try to save the one person she thinks can.
Sidebar Part II. Cora has already exhibited so much power in Storybrooke (including poofing herself and others into and out of places, making whole ships invisible, magicking the gun out of David's hand and appearing as other people) that she doesn't need the dagger to beat Snow in this situation, nor does she need it to terrorize the townies or kill them off. Snow knows that in refusing to give Cora the dagger, she would be signing Johanna's death warrant. But don't let your mind stop there, because I'm sure Snow doesn't. Let's say she keeps the dagger and lets Cora kill Johanna. Who is next? Who else would Cora poof up into that tower to use as leverage -- Ruby, Granny, the Dwarfs? She could and would spare no one in her quest. Cora is bound to win this round, no matter what Snow does, so Snow chooses rightly. Besides which, as I also said in the forum, fairy tales are no bastion Utilitarian thought. And honestly, the moment this show goes that way for real, I'm pretty sure I'll fall out of love with it.
Regina's Office. Oh hello, gorgeous wallpaper, which might make me dizzy in real life, but is a delight to behold on the small screen. When the Evil Regals enter the office, Cora lays the dagger on Regina's desk and takes her daughter's seat. That's telling, yes? When Cora asks Regina what's troubling her, Regina says, "You never told me your history with Snow's mother." Cora blathers something about sparing Regina, but Regina's not buying. She figures she deserves to know what it took for her to become Queen. "That day at the stables when I rescued [Snow] -- that wasn't an accident, was it?" We flash back to the time of "The Stable Boy."
Mills Manse. Cora tells young Regina that she's arranged for her to have an extra riding lesson on Rocinante, which is great, because what is Regina, if not one who tilts at windmills? While current day Regina provides narrative via voice-over, we see Cora lurking behind the trees. Young Snow's horse rears and takes off. Regina is snogging with Daniel when Snow races past. Back in...