This week on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a scheme that the Evil Queen set in motion a long, long time ago threatened to come to fruition — and take the Charmings’ lives with it!
As the townsfolk of Storybrooke try to help the refugees from the Land of Untold Stories, Regina addresses the eclectically costumed crew at Granny’s, saying they have nothing to be afraid of, that she is a good person now and she will help them all face it together. Afterward, Henry briefly meets a young man who leaves behind a wax-sealed envelope. Henry decided to wildly guess about the guy’s identity, until Charming simply opens the envelope to learn it was the Count of Monte Cristo. Regina promptly warns David and Snow that the Count aims to kill them — because she hired him to!
In flashback, we learn that just after the Count aka Edmond Dantès ran a sword through Baron Danglars, the man responsible for his wrongly imprisonment, the Evil Queen offered the lad a deal: a complete list of people involved in his bad run of fortune, for him to red Sharpie, in trade for him killing the Charmings for her. (As reminded during a Rumple visit, the Evil Queen is unable to harm the Charmings herself, and she’s not willing to wait for the Dark Curse to take effect and whisk them to Storybrooke.) Edmond, though, can’t go through with poisoning his employers, especially when their lovely handmaiden Charlotte, who reminds him of his dead fiancee, turns out to be at risk.
Rumple, however, can’t risk having Edmond out there and possibly able to kill the Charmings (since the Dark One needs them alive to procreate and such), so he gives Charlotte the poison anyway. Edmond is thus compelled to leave for the Land of Untold Stories, where Charlotte will stop short of dying from the poison, for now.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma aims to drive her parents out of town to keep save from their assailant, only to discover that a protection spell identical to the one Regina created back in the day again encases Storybrooke. Later, out in the woods with Henry, Regina finds Charlotte’s now-dead body and then comes face to face with her worse half, who cackles that she has been controlling the Count with his plucked heart.
The Charmings do battle out on the docks with Edmond, who explains that the Evil Queen is controlling him. After KOing the couple, Edmond goes in for the kill, only to get stopped by Regina. They thrust and parry a bit, as Regina labors to convince him to spare the Charmings. When she realizes he cannot be stopped, Regina heaves her sword through him, fatally. The Evil Queen then shows up to taunt her kinder counterpart, revealing that the plan was never for the Count to kill the Charmings, but for Regina to kill the Count — this spawning a tiny bit of darkness inside her, to grow anew. In the end, the Evil Queen teases, “We all have stories we dont want told,” and it is Regina who will destroy everyone’s happy endings.
What sort of stories might the heroes not want told? At episode’s end, David receives a “gift” from the Evil Queen, a coin his father was wearing around his wrist at the time he got into a drunken, fatal cart accident. “Are you suuuuuure it was an accident?” the sinister sorceress wonders aloud.
* Zelena unwittingly “proved herself” to the Evil Queen, by keeping mum about her arrival in Storybrooke.
* In a bid to atone for 1) trying to kill her, 2) laying a hand on her after that and C) once shooting her at the town line (!), Hook offers Belle harbor on the Jolly Roger, away from Rumple.
* It was Rumple who provided the coin to the Evil Queen, in trade for her keeping Belle and her unborn baby out of harm’s way.
* Emma continued to meet with Archie, in whom she confided her deadly vision. She decided she cannot yet tell anyone about what she saw, because she suspects that it could be Regina beneath the hood, as the one who ultimately kills her.
* Did I mention that Henry is an awful detective…?
What did you think of the episode “A Bitter Draught”?