I agree that Snow feels that she needs to resolve things with Regina, but I don’t think she has to convince Regina that Cora had to die or that Regina had to be the one to deliver the heart unknowingly. Snow has to convince herself that Cora’s death was not about vengeance but about protecting everyone.
Doubt Snow can ever do that, simply because I am doubting that she didn’t at least partially did it out of vengeance.
I think what Rumple said is probably the greatest answer. You have to tell yourself that it was the right thing at the time. Now like any person if she dwells on the past it can darken even the purest of hearts and will destroy her life. No matter what those around you say or do it is only up to you.
It is mostly up to Snow, I agree. But I think what Rumple said is bad advice. Talking yourself into thinking it was the right thing to do? That is exactly what a lot of people do to justify things regardless of what anyone else is saying, main point is to make yourself feel better, it’s very selfish. Yes, might be a way to live with yourself again, but as I see it is a good choice to go further down the road of evil. It changes your ethics, at worst seriously corrupts your own ethical standards.
Why do I say so? Think I wrote about it in some other topic, but do so here again. In my view no killing ever can be right. Seeing it that way gives a good and stable ethical ground to stay on, even though it doesn’t make things any easy. But I don’t have to argue and reason when a killing is right and when it’s wrong. Killing a human being is always the wrong thing to do.
But …. of course there is a but, things never are hat simple 😉 But as society, group we can and should consider circumstances, eventually refraining from punishing the killing of a human being under certain circumstances or even pass on prosecuting. That doesn’t make the act of killing ever right, but it considers reasons and circumstances for what the consequence of that wrong act should be. It’s a different approach, to some might look like nitpicking, but it has basic implications. It’s a difference if I discuss right or wrong of killing or if I discuss the right or wrong of what consequences it has for the person who killed. That goes for laws but as well for an ethical view.
So, what Snow did was wrong. Should she be prosecuted for it? Maybe, but we are talking Once Upon a Time and not The Good Wife here (although should look for a master or other thesis about how what is done in fairy tales would do if seen through the lens of jurisdiction; know of a thesis in German on fairy tales from the point of view of forensic medicin, but maybe there is more).
Should she feel bad about it and guilty? Yes, good thing she does, it does give hope that she stays on the good side.
Can Snow come back from murder? Depends on what one understands as come back from.
Sometimes we do wrong things with good reasons. Some people call that doing the right thing, I prefer to still call it doing the wrong thing, but as something that maybe couldn’t have been done any other way, not without more dire consequences: the necessary evil. That means doing something wrong, bad, evil but hoping that it will have more good than bad effects now and even more so in the long run. I think it is important though to accept and not talk away that what you choose to do in itself nevertheless was something wrong or bad to do, otherwise you question your ethics fundamentally, it shakes the ground you’re standing on and not just questions what you build on it.
That some people are questioning, what the difference is between the kills Snow eventually did before (Ogres are human like living beings not cattle) and now killing Cora very much shows that to me. If you declare one killing as something right to do you have to justify from then on as much why a killing is wrong.
There is no coming back from murder, not from killing a human, you can’t undo it. You can give back stolen property maybe, a person can have a good live after loosing a limp due to a fight, attack, but you can’t give back life.
That doesn’t mean that Snow from now on should suffer the rest of her life by guilt. Think she has a chance to come back, come back in the sense of still being a mostly good person making a lot of right choices and feeling that she is that good person. It’s not about talking this kill away, making it look better or more convinient, Snow has to accept in my opinion that she is as capable of doing wrong as others are, but see as well that she still can make right choices nevertheless, because of her compassion for others and a strong sense of fairness. She hasn’t lost those good sides, but it will be a little harder to not do the wrong thing at times from no on.