So far in season 6, Emma is having terrifying visions of the moment of her death, scores of people from the Land of Untold Stories have arrived in Storybrooke, and the Evil Queen is on the loose. What else is new?
Spoilers ahead, dearies.
The Enchanted Forest
In the past, the Count of Monte Cristo (aka Edmond Dantes) has just finished seeking revenge upon the man behind his imprisonment and the death of his fiance. Impressed by his ruthlessness, the Evil Queen hires him to help her carry out her own revenge on the royal family.
Edmond insinuates himself into Snow and Charming’s palace staff, intent on poisoning them with venom from an Agrabah viper. However, when the perfect opportunity arises, it means that he will have to also poison Snow’s handmaiden Charlotte. Charlotte reminds Edmond too much of his beloved fiance, and he realizes he can’t go through with it.
Rumplestiltskin, realizing that Edmond has temporarily delayed killing the royal couple, decides to interfere. Rumple needs Snow and David alive, so he lures Edmond to the Land of Untold Stories using Charlotte as bait. Charlotte has been poisoned by the draught intended for the King and Queen, but as long as they go to the Land of Untold Stories, she will live. Edmond agrees, and they go through a portal to the other dimension.
In the present day, just as Regina and her family and friends are welcoming the newcomers to town, Edmond Dantes appears, still intent on carrying out the mission the Evil Queen gave him years before. Regina tells him that she’s calling off the deal, but the Count won’t listen to reason. Meanwhile, Emma tries to get her parents out of town just in case Edmond gets to them before Regina can stop him—but at the town line, an invisible barrier keeps them from leaving. (Gee I wonder where we’ve seen that before?)
Regina realizes that the barrier was made using ingredients that she had sealed in the family vault with blood magic. She immediately assumes that Zelena had broken in since Zelena is the only one with magic who is related to her. The former Wicked Witch maintains that she had nothing to do with it, and disappears. Soon enough, Regina realizes that Edmond is being controlled because the Evil Queen is indeed alive, and has his heart. He attacks the Charmings on the docks, but is killed by Regina in her attempts to protect those she has come to love. The Evil Queen reappears, haughtily announcing that all the untold stories of the heroes will unfold in Storybrooke, and that it will all be Regina’s fault.
In between all of this, Emma has gone to Archie for a bit of counseling. She confesses her visions to him, and also admits that she thinks she knows who kills her. The only person not fighting with her family must be the one under the hood whose face she cannot see—Regina.
Though not the most exciting episode of OUAT ever, “A Bitter Draught” could serve as a launching board for the first half of the season. Regina could turn out to be more central than even the Evil Queen as she struggles against her dual nature. What other characters from literature will be introduced as our heroes try to make sense of Emma’s visions and what Hr. Hyde has up his sleeves? And more importantly…how long until Jafar comes back?
Until next time, dearies.
-The Collected Mutineer