‘A Bitter Draught’
This week we get to meet the first new arrival from The Land of Untold Stories, The Count of Monte Cristo. It appears the Count had his story derailed by the arrival of The Evil Queen, who has chosen to use him as her pawn now she has returned to Storybrooke.
The Evil Queen’s convoluted plan so far seems to involve getting Regina to turn to the dark side, a plot line that has frankly been explored to death throughout this show’s history. Hopefully the writer’s have something a bit more original in mind because I’m not sure I can stand another season of her struggling with morality. For the meantime, Lana Parrilla is clearly having great fun as The Evil Queen, bringing back her campy habits (and god-awful fashion sense).
Emma’s story continues to come along at a slow pace, as she begins to talk with Archie about the visions of her death. This storyline is also beginning to tie into Regina’s potential downfall, with the identity of the hooded villain Emma is fighting still being unknown. I wouldn’t be amazed if it ended up being neither of them, I mean hiding under cloaks has never been Regina’s style.The Count of Monte Cristo himself doesn’t make much of an impression, existing simply as another pawn of The Evil Queen. So far the Untold Stories characters are failing to make an impact, feeling almost superfluous to the plot. At his heart The Count is simply an assassin, his story shortened down to the cliffnotes before he is shoved into Regina’s flashbacks.
The implication seems to be that these new characters will tell untold stories in the hero’s pasts, but so far this season is showing nothing new. Something drastic needs to happen in the direction of this season, before it becomes a total retread of what has come before.