Today’s television review is Once Upon A Time’s episode “A Bitter Draught”.
The main plot of the episode involves Regina, The Evil Queen and one named Edmond Dante, a being from the World of Untold Stories.
As the ones from the WOUS (World of Untold Stories) comes into Storybrooke by Regina, a mysterious man comes by and leaves only a letter that Henry gets and is surprised that it has in grandparents, Snow and Charming on it.
It is soon revealed that a hit placed by Regina in the past is coming back to haunt them in ways unexpected. Majority of the episode is spent learning about Edmond and the role he plays and why he needs to kill the power couple.
In a past scene the story goes about revenge as Edmond wants information of those who wronged him in the past along with that killed his lover. Evil Queen Regina has said info and plans of giving it to him if he can kill them. He is eventually able to win their trust by feigning an injury during the black knights razing a village. As he is able to become a wine pourer for the royals he is bewitched by Snow’s attendant, a female by the name of Charlotte as he makes a mention how her eyes look.
EQR (Evil Queen Regina for short) gives him a vial of deadly poison to put in their drinks which he grows hesitant as they have shown him nothing but kindness though Regina is able to wave him off with thoughts of his own revenge that he could reap if he does what he’s told. Through the explanation through EQR and Rumple, who makes an appearance with less than gold makeup from what I see, it’s is revealed that due to a spell the dark one placed on the power of love duo, Regina’s magic can’t harm them, that’s why she went about a different route to go about it along with did the same spell that Rumple did and put on Edmond.
Edmond does indeed put the poison in the wine jug but is soon startled at seeing Charlotte again can’t go through with it due to her presence and fetches another jug. There in the wine cellar he meets Rumple, who is able to find another way to make sure that no harm comes to Snow and Charming due to needing their future offspring to break the dark curse that Regina will use later (this all takes place in the past before the present day storybrooke).
He uses magic to have the poison enter Charlotte’s body to Edmond’s dismay. Rumple being the cunning little imp he is makes a proposition that if he goes into the World of Untold Stories, it will freeze her time along with his and the poison will not go to her heart and end her but if they should ever leave then their story will continue. Edmond accepts and that is how he entered that world.
Back in the present as Regina continues to find any hints of Edmond, it is revealed that when Emma tried escaping with her parents the town line is once again sealed off. This surprises Regina as she states that it’s the same spell and no one could cast it unless they went in her vault.
She confronts Zelena with the accusation that blood magic sealed the vault but Z, knowing the real reason why it happens, keeps her mouth shut and diverts the question before leaving.
Regina continues trying to find Edmond along with Henry until they spot Charlotte’s body in the woods, poisoned. Her story continued which means she has died. Going to touch a flash of light bounces her hand off shocking Regina until she is confronted with the evil she thought she destroyed; coming face to face with Evil Queen Regina.
It’s shocking for Regina upon learning that it was her dark-self causing this mischief to which the latter conjures up Edmond’s heart as a precaution for the revenge to stick. She also reveals that Regina’s powers were dampened for a time due to placing said “dampening spell” over Charlotte’s body.
Edmond finds Snowing at the docks and starts fighting them until eventually they are knocked out (I won’t reveal how that is but they did put up a generic defending) before Regina appears to fight him instead.
In an impressive swordwork that Regina displays, that is also shown briefly in the flashback, she is able to hold her own against Edmond and pleading that he could stop this even if he was being controlled but it goes on deaf ears as Edmont is the superior swordsman and goes to kill Snow and Charming.
Regina can’t use magic and though Henry tries to call Emma, his phone is blocked due to EQR. Having no other choice Regina hurls her sword and kills Edmond, to her anger and sadness.
It is soon shown that the Evil Queen did plan this but not for him to kill the Charmings, it was for Regina to darken her heart, at least a little. As the family goes to confront and give the spiel of “this family will not be torn apart” the Evil Queen isn’t worried thought. She states that Regina will cause their unhappiness along with an ominous message of “your stories will continue…” and leaves with that.
To wind down the main plot it ends with Snow, Emma and Regina discussing how they can defeat EQR along with Regina noticing Emma’s hand jerk. Another scene is shown where EQR confronts David over the death of his father and it is implied that their is more to the Farmer boy’s story then we realized.
Two subplots of the episode involved Hook and Belle as she explains how she’s looking for a place to stay which he offers her help and takes her to the Jolly Roger. It is seen that even though he has gotten forgiveness for his past actions, he still hasn’t gotten to the point that he can forgive himself. This is fine development between the two given they are linked by the Dark One though last year it was stated that they think of each other’s as friends so maybe it was a retcon with him saying that or the writers forgetting that they are on good terms? But that’s my view on it.
The second subplot involves Emma going to talk with Archie over her vision on the future and dying which is rather hard for the savior. She explains that helping people is the only thing she can do and if she were to tell her family they would try to solve it themselves. Archie does try to explain that she should learn more about what she wants but rebuffs him. They aren’t seen together until the last bit where she talks to him after calming down and explains that their is one person she did not see in her vision which is freaking her out; Regina was nowhere to be seen and that she could be the one in the hood. Though Archie points out that there are two and which ones Emma means, she only says “I don’t know…” leaving another turning point for Emma and Regina’s long line of being friends and enemies.
A minor plot which will probably be explored at a later date is the unresolved story of the Evil Queen and Rumple and their sexual tension they harbor. I was blown when I saw the duo at Gold’s shop as the former implied something between them. I never once thought of them as having ANY sexual tension but given Rumple’s past with having feelings for Cora, a flirtation with Zelena, then it shouldn’t be that surprising how a possible romance could have come from this bad duo. She is able to get a button from his shop that is linked to David getting a warning and the price was for EQR not to harm Belle or his unborn son to which she agrees. She also gives the warning that when the bookworm is not forthcoming she will be waiting with heated breath…
Oh and I forgot, Z is able to get in her wicked sister’s good graces by not telling Regina about her and they will be having fun together. Whether Zelena will turn against her dark sister remains to be seen but given she wants acceptance that won’t be for awhile.
This episode of OUAT I felt was a little slow on some parts and it took me to rewatching the episode to see that it’s actually decent. Personally not my favorite but I did like seeing how Regina confront her evil self along with the Evil Queen bonding with Zelena.
The point I liked is how ominous it sounded that their stories will continue from where it left off given the impression of destiny can not be stopped. I feel that with that statement it will be a struggle between determinism vs. fatalism in this season. Bonds will be tested and will happily everafter become tragic for our favorite characters?
Brief note, Henry makes a good reference to say that sequels are complex compared to the original story of when Emma broke the first curse leading into this “sequel”. Making key notes to Empire Strikes Back, Temple of Doom and Godfather II are sweet in my opinion.
Anyway that takes care of this review!
Here is my friend @GuyFace brief overview on Once Upon a Time season 1! I tried editing his words but the way he types is “G-style” and I’m used to it.