Adding the Land of the Untold Stories to Once Upon a Time is probably one of the best or worst ideas for season 6. On the one hand, there are plenty of fairy tales and stories to tell, such as Jekyll and Hyde, Jasmine and Aladdin, and many more. On the other hand, the stories can get very complicated.

In this episode, “Strange Case,” it gets a little complicated but sort of works its way out in the end. The Evil Queen and Hyde try to steal the serum Jekyll is working on to destroy them, while Regina seeks help from Rumple to stop them. Meanwhile, Snow heads back to school and meets a new friend.

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The Story of Jekyll and Hyde

It turns out that before Dr. Jekyll created Hyde, he was in love with a girl name Mary, whose father is the head of a prestigious academy that Jekyll wants to be a part of. When he presents Mary’s father with the serum he’s been working on to split personalities, her father rejects him, saying it’s dangerous work.

Upset by the letdown, Jekyll gets a visit from Rumple, who urges him to take the serum but won’t explain why. Jekyll explains that it’s not quite finished yet, so Rumple uses his magic to finish it. Jekyll takes it, and Hyde is created. Hyde is all the parts of Jekyll that he keeps hidden. He’s confident and a risk-taker. Hyde heads to a party thrown by Mary’s father, and the next morning Rumple wakes up Jekyll, who doesn’t remember a thing, and shows him that Hyde was able to get him into the academy.

However, Rumple wants Jekyll to take the serum one more time, to make sure it works. He urges Jekyll to take it so that Hyde can tell Mary how Jekyll feels about her. Begrudgingly, he takes it. Hyde seeks out Mary and tells her that Jekyll is in love with her. She tells Hyde that while she has feelings for Jekyll, they aren’t the same feelings. She does, however, make a move on Hyde, and they end up spending the night together. When they wake up, though, she wakes up next to Jekyll. She quickly realizes that they are the same person and freaks out, saying she will never love Jekyll. They fight, and she falls out a window to her death. Jekyll quickly takes the rest of the serum to frame Hyde for her death, and Hyde flees.

Back at the lab, Rumple is upset with Hyde for falling in love with Mary too, calling the whole experiment a failure. Rumple sends Hyde off to the Land of Untold Stories and never reveals why he was there in the first place.

How to Kill an Evil Alter Ego

In Storybrooke, everyone is trying to get back to normal as best they can — Hook is getting ready to move in with Emma, Snow is going back to teaching — except there are two evil villains on the loose. Regina and Jekyll let David and Emma know that the Evil Queen and Hyde broke out of prison, and they are trying to get Jekyll’s serum, which still isn’t complete.

The Evil Queen and Hyde are one step ahead of everyone, though, as usual. They head to Rumple’s store to get Mary’s necklace to eventually track down Jekyll in his lab. Rumple tries to kill Hyde, but the Evil Queen reveals that he can’t die. Rumple then makes the Evil Queen assure him that she won’t hurt Belle. She agrees, remembering their deal, but doesn’t make any promises about Hyde. Worried about Belle, Rumple heads to Hook’s ship, where Belle is staying, and puts a protection spell on it so Hyde can’t get in but Belle can’t get out.

At Jekyll’s lab, Regina and Emma put the dwarves in charge of protecting him, while Regina seeks out Rumple’s help to finish the serum. However, the dwarves’ protection is no match for the Evil Queen and Hyde, as they arrive and destroy Jekyll’s lab, taking the serum. When Regina returns with Rumple, she worries that the serum is gone, but Jekyll reveals that he kept it hidden, and Hyde made off with a fake. Regina asks Rumple to finish the serum — he does — but only to destroy Hyde, not the Evil Queen.

In the forest, David and Emma find Hyde, but they are no match. Rumple, on the other hand, manages to stab Hyde in the heart with his serum-encased dagger, but it doesn’t work. Hyde explains that he realized the serum was switched and took the right one from Jekyll’s lab. Hyde then destroys the serum and makes Rumple bring him to Belle.

On the dock, Hyde explains that he’s not evil; rather, Jekyll is the unstable one, the one that’s out for revenge — and also the one who manages to get onto Hook’s ship to have tea with Belle. Inside the ship, Jekyll tells Belle the story of Mary and how Hyde killed her, but we all know that story isn’t true. Belle quickly realizes something is up, and when she tries to summon Hook with the seashell he gave her, Jekyll attacks. Belle manages to race up to the deck, where Rumple looks on in horror when he realizes he can’t save her. Just as Jekyll is about to kill Belle, Hook comes to the rescue and kills Jekyll — and, in turn, also kills Hyde.

Regina walks onto the deck in time to see Hyde die, and she’s excited because she thinks the serum worked. However, Rumple informs her that it wasn’t the serum, but rather it was killing Jekyll, which killed Hyde. In other words, in order to kill the Evil Queen, Regina must die too.

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Promises and Routines

In her own little world of getting back to normal, Snow heads back to teaching. On her first day back, she meets her new teacher’s aide, Shirin. During her first lesson, Snow realizes that the kids have forgotten everything she taught them. After a heart to heart with Shirin — who explains how in her old land, a princess never stepped up to save her land because she couldn’t embrace who she was — Snow knows what she has to do. She shakes up her lessons by bringing the kids outside and doing a hands-on lesson, complete with a bow and arrow.

Later that night, Shirin goes to see a girl in the woods. The girl asks if anyone knows who Shirin is, but she says no. Shirin then asks the girl if she found him yet, if she found Aladdin. The girl refers to Shirin as Jasmine and says she knows that Aladdin is in Storybrooke.

And after Jekyll/Hyde’s death, Belle confronts Rumple again. She tells him she doesn’t need him and questions why he sought out Jekyll in the first place. He explains that he did it all for her, but she doesn’t want to believe it. As she walks away, Rumple tells her that eventually she will need him, especially after their child is born.

Meanwhile, with news that she might have to die to kill the Evil Queen, Regina makes Emma promise to do whatever it takes to keep her family safe, even it means killing her. Emma reluctantly agrees.

Bring on Aladdin

I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely pumped that Once Upon a Time is finally introducing Aladdin. And, as I mentioned before, the Land of Untold Stories is a great way to get his story told, even if it’s just for an episode or two. I’m eager to see the story play out, but I do wonder if it will help move the main storyline forward, which is now just destroying the Evil Queen since Hyde is dead.

It seems that Regina is in quite a pickle. She now knows that the best way to destroy the Queen is to die herself, but is she willing to sacrifice herself? Plus, she now fears that she’s not strong enough to give in to any possible evil still inside of her. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out.

I’m glad they didn’t mention the new David storyline, about his father’s death. And I’m glad they didn’t touch on Emma’s vision of her death. While I am curious why she’s having the visions and the shakes, I do want to see more untold stories and how they are intertwined with the original characters.

What did you think of “Strange Case”? Are you excited for the introduction of Aladdin? What do you think Regina will do now that she knows how to kill the Evil Queen? Do you think there’s another way to kill the Evil Queen? Share your comments below.

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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV