The beat goes on in ABC’s Once Upon a Time as a new tale unfolds in the episode entitled A Bitter Draught. Airing Sunday, October 2, 2016, the second episode of the shiny new season introduced Edmond Dantes – The Count of Monte Cristo, bring forth a story that entails the loss of his fortune, but most of all, his love. Devoting a decade of his life to rebuilding his fortune and plotting revenge to the person, or people, who took his fiance, The Count’s story is one of heartbreak and despair. A flashback into the past, like the series does very often to give backstory to their characters, viewers find that in the midst of The Count’s revenge, The Evil Queen lurks in the background applauding his first kill. Seeing the fire burning in his soul to seek further vengeance, she promises him the answer he seeks, if and only if, he snuffs out Snow White and Prince Charming.
Meanwhile, in present day, Storybrooke is welcoming the new characters who arrived from the the Land of Untold Stories. Of course one of these characters who appears is The Count of Monte Cristo. Clearly not coming in peace, it seems he is carrying out the old deed to The Evil Queen, vowing to kill Snow White and Prince Charming (David) for her. Floating back and forth between his past and the current state of events, it is learned that, in his heart, he truly does not want to kill either Snow White or David, but the surviving evil half of Regina has taken control of his heart, literally. What will become of Snow White and David? Will Regina do all she can to protect them from The Count, and in the process fall into her evil half’s diabolical plan?
This episode of Once Upon a Time appears to be setting the groundwork for more of the struggles that will unfold for the heroes of Storybrooke as the season wears on. There is always a new battle for them, and the latest emphasis has been on the prophesied demise of Emma. Could the writers really go as far as to knocking off The Savior? Only time will tell. As far as the new additions go, The Count of Monte Cristo comes across as someone quite sympathetic and likable, making it interesting to see if he becomes a recurring character, or if, as he said to Henry, “He is not important enough for a story.”
All this said, there is a lot of other side stories still to be resolved. Belle still is with child and Rumpelstiltskin is bound to come up with some horrible plan to get what he wants. Also, Zelena is now in cahoots with Regina’s evil side, but is there any ounce of guilt in Zelena’s heart for deceiving her sister’s good side? Another thing worth mentioning, what is up with Aladdin and Jafar, and how do they play into all this?
Once Upon a Time’s creators have played their hand well thus far with season six. From what is being reported, there will be a slew of new characters that have still yet to be introduced. This will be healthy for the series, but the only fear is they are going to have to eventually kill off some of the regular characters sooner or later, and that can be troublesome to dedicated viewers. With so many questions to be answered, season six has just begun, and it could get messy, stay tuned. Until then, CrypticRock gives A Bitter Draught 4 out of 5 stars.
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