Monday, October 3, 2016

Once Upon A Time 6x02 Review: “A Bitter Draught” (Old Enemies) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“A Bitter Draught”
Original Airdate: October 2, 2016

Well, it’s going to be a long season of trying to figure out what the heck is going on in Storybrooke and what the overall goal of the season actually is. After another confusing episode, not a lot of ground has been covered concerning the plot of the season. But with the Evil Queen back to run everyone into town, at least the events of the next few weeks should be interesting — even if really have no idea what will happen.


After a week of not showing her face, the Evil Queen has returned in full force to destroy everyone’s lives. Her first act of evil is to complete revenge on multiple people, which I’m sure you would have been able to guess without even seeing the episode. Even though her list is presumably long, the revenge she seeks is so obvious that it isn’t a surprise when things take a turn.

The Evil Queen takes control of the Count of Monte Cristo in order to seek her revenge by using a prior deal they had. With the Count after long-time rivals Snow White and Prince Charming, Regina tries to be brave and help her friends, but winds up playing right into the Evil Queen’s hand. By instilling a little fear in the heroes with an ominous promise, everyone is reeling from her arrival when she disappears.

But before she temporarily vanishes, the Evil Queen tells everyone that they all have untold stories that they don’t want to be known and that these secrets will rip each other apart. Her goal is to make each person go a little mentally insane over trying to figure out what dirt she has on them. The first person to be a bit overwhelmed is Emma, as we all know that she is hiding this itty bitty secret that there’s a prophecy that says she’s going to die soon. Besides that little gem, what else could go wrong? Emma confides in Archie that she isn’t sure when she should tell her family about her visions, especially since she is now afraid of both Regina and the Evil Queen.


There’s a lot of redemption in the air of Storybrooke these days. Both Hook and Belle are looking for a fresh start after the events of last season. Hook wants to get away from the darkness, dying, and craziness to settle down and enjoy life with Emma. Belle wants to figure out how to be without Rumple for the time being, but doesn’t have anywhere to go. Hook volunteers to help Belle out and offers her the Jolly Roger to live on. A surprised Belle asks why Hook would be so kind, and he reminds her that he has done some pretty bad things to her in the past and has been looking to right his wrongs. It’s good to see that Hook is fully committed to the hero lifestyle and that he isn’t giving in to the darkness that plagued him last season. He has worked hard to get to the point he is at now, so it’s clear that he is trying hard to keep his newfound self.

The Count of Monte Cristo is also looking for a little redemption and some revenge at the same time. After a rough past with Snow, Charming, and the Evil Queen, he knows what he should do, yet doesn’t have the willpower to fight off the Evil Queen. His thirst for revenge is greater than his drive for redemption, which ultimately makes him an irredeemable character. We don’t get to see much backstory on the Count, but there are many questions that arise from this episode. We learn how and why he was in the Land of Untold Stories, which leads me to wonder exactly what went on there that he was so willing to leave the first chance he got. I doubt that the answer will be revealed, but there clearly are a lot of secrets hidden with these new characters who have yet to show their faces. How that will impact the season is completely unknown at this point.


One last thing to come from this episode is the reveal that both the Evil Queen and Zelena are going to have fun separately and together. Not only is she evil, but the Evil Queen is also quite naughty. She goes to the pawn shop to haggle with Rumple and reveals that she wants more than a professional relationship with him. She tells him that she will be waiting for him once he gets over Belle. While she tries to be seductive, Rumple’s face only registers disgust. It was one of the funniest moments that has happened in a while on this show.

Zelena has been naughty in a totally different way. She decides to lie to Regina and friends about the existence of the Evil Queen. Remember, everyone prior to this episode thought that Regina had killed the Queen, so it was a shock to discover that she was back. Zelena also hides how someone (the Evil Queen) has gotten into Regina’s vault and cast a protection spell around Storybrooke that doesn’t allow people to leave town. Ultimately, Zelena is going to have to choose between Regina and the Evil Queen this season. It will be interesting to see which side she chooses, as Zelena is always bouncing back and forth between good and evil. It’s hard to tell where Zelena will stand at the end, but it will be an interesting and drama-filled adventure.

Several characters will be facing tough mental and emotional journeys this season, and I don’t doubt that it will lead up to explosive mid-season and season finales. Will Regina find herself turning toward darkness again? Can Belle stay away from Rumple? Was David’s father killed in an accident or by other means, like the Evil Queen suggests? And of course, what’s going to happen to Emma? She has the biggest hurdles to jump over this season, and I can only hope that we get to see a great struggle for most of the season. These should be the easiest questions to answer this year, so let’s see what happens next!


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