The season 6 premiere of Once Upon a Time started things off on a depressing note. In the second episode of the season, things don’t necessarily get better (in a tonal sense). They do, however, improve in almost every other way. This season is still pretty dreary, but Once Upon a Time is definitely treading less storytelling water in this episode, “A Bitter Draught.” 

The storylines for the season start to kick off in a meaningful ways, especially where the Evil Queen is considered. The Evil Queen makes her appearance known to everyone in town, not just Zelena, and reveals her grand master plan. As should be expected, the Evil Queen’s plan does not promise much of a happy ending for this season. The plan does promise a very different and much more complex Evil Queen than Once Upon a Time fans might be used to seeing. The Evil Queen doesn’t just want simple revenge on Snow White anymore, and that’s a very good thing for season 6.

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The Assassin of Monte Cristo

The first major character from the Land of Untold Stories, besides Jekyll and Hyde, makes his villainous entrance. The Count of Monte Cristo is in Storybrooke, and he is trying to kill Snow and Charming. It turns out that back in the Enchanted Forest, the Count was hired by the Evil Queen to kill her enemies. Now the Count is determined to finish the job. 

While it looks like the Count is trying to kill Snow and Charming of his own free will, that’s not true. The Evil Queen has stolen the Count’s heart and is using it to force him to finish the job. That’s not even close to her only evil machination of the episode.

In addition to stealing the Count’s heart, The Evil Queen reinstates the protection spell around Storybrooke that forces everyone to stay inside the town limits. The Evil Queen also makes a deal with Rumple, promising that she won’t hurt Belle or their unborn son during her big plan. The Evil Queen then tries to seduce Rumple, telling him that he will eventually grow tired of Belle and come begging to her. Even considering all the murder, destruction and bad hairdos she is responsible for, the Evil Queen hitting on Rumple is the most disgusting thing that she has ever done. 

The Difference Between Captain and Swan

Speaking of Belle, she shows up looking for a place to live away from Rumple. Hook offers to help almost immediately. Hook tells Belle that she can stay on the Jolly Roger and be protected from Rumple. Belle is grateful, which is odd considering a ship on the sea would probably be one of the worst places for a pregnant woman to stay. The morning sickness alone would make it a nightmare. 

In any case, Belle asks Hook why he is being so kind to her. Hook tells Belle he is doing it because he still feels guilty for how he treated Belle when he was a villain. Hook might have been forgiven by the people he wronged, but he can’t forgive himself. Hook needs to do to this for Belle.  

It’s good that Hook is changing for the better because Emma is still stuck in her stubborn rut. In a surprise move, Emma does go to Archie to talk about her visions and tremors. She also tells Archie the truth behind her visions, in that they foretell her death. When Archie tries to get Emma to confront the reality of the vision or go to her family for help, though, Emma storms out. Much like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, Emma can’t handle the truth. Once again, Emma is a massive disappointment.

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The Evil Queen’s Plan is Revealed

Eventually, the Count tracks down Snow and Charming to the docks of Storybrooke. He attacks them with his sword in hand. Unarmed, Snow and Charming are forced to fight him off with a trash can lid and a pipe. It’s completely impractical but also rather awesome. It helps that the bar is so incredibly low for Snow and Charming’s fight scenes since they have done almost nothing but look concerned and worried for two seasons. 

Sadly, all that inactivity might have made Snow and David a little rusty. Not long after the fight begins, the Count quickly knocks the couple out. Just as he is about to strike the killing blows, Regina shows up to stop him.

Regina and the Count swordfight, and like every time Regina has picked up a sword in the series, it is flawless. It’s just not flawless enough. Due to the Evil Queen’s intervention, Regina can’t use magic to subdue the count and she can’t knock him out either. During the swordfight, the Count gains the upper hand and goes to kill the still-unconscious Snow and David. Regina is forced to kill the Count to stop him from murdering Snow and David.

As Regina mourns the Count’s death, the Evil Queen reveals herself and tells Regina that this was the plan all along. The Evil Queen never wanted the Count to kill Snow and Charming; she wanted Regina to kill the Count. The Evil Queen wants to turn Regina back into an evil person and to darken her heart. By murdering the Count, Regina proved, according to the Evil Queen, that some darkness is still inside of her. The Evil Queen plans on tearing the Charming family and all of Storybrooke apart by exposing the stories they “don’t want told” and changing Regina forever. 

Who Stabbed Emma Swan?

Unbeknownst to the Evil Queen, one of the biggest secrets that the Charming family is hiding is Emma with her vision. Emma shows back up at Archie’s office and tells the erstwhile cricket that he’s right. Emma should tell her family about the visions, but she can’t do it just yet. Emma is worried because Regina is not with her family when they run up and try to save her in the vision. Emma thinks that it might be Regina who is the hooded person who kills her in the vision.  

But what do you think? Do you agree with Emma? Will Regina kill Emma? Is the Evil Queen right? Is there still darkness inside Regina? What do you make of the Evil Queen’s plan? How do you feel about the Evil Queen trying to seduce Rumple? 

Once Upon a Time season 6 airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page for the latest updates!

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.