Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 2 Review: A Bitter Draught

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After an hour of not-so-surprising turns, all I can think about is eating a Monte Cristo sandwich. 

Gooey grilled cheese with ham...I'm salivating just thinking about...

More important things, yes. The very first Untold Story to unfold on Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 2 belonged to the Count himself, or Edmund, as the Charmings once knew him. 

Watching Henry - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 2

Edmund: All I wanted was a fresh start.
Regina: And you can still get one.

While I really wanted to get invested in the Untold Stories this season, I truly hope that they don't all play out this way. 

Poor Edmund, just like the story, wanted to avenge the death of his fiance, but rather than finding a new love and getting a happy ending, as the Count seemingly should have, his story ends quite tragically at the hand of Regina. (More on that in a moment.)

I hoped that the new faces from the Land of Untold Stories would stick around, and that with the help of the heroes they would find happy endings. 

Based on Hyde's ominous words of warning in Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 1, I suppose I should have known to expect something quite different.

Besides, after six seasons, we should all know that no one gets to enjoy a happy ending.

Take Emma and Killian, for example. She went to hell and back for him. They should be enjoying afternoon tea aboard the Jolly Roger, or at the very least getting some quality snuggles in before the next crisis sets in.

But instead, Emma is leaning on her old crutch of secrecy, not sharing her problems with anyone because she can handle things on her own. 

Spoiler alert: she can't. Has this plan ever worked before? 

If I don't help people, who am I?


While I love seeing Archie again in pretty much any capacity, Emma's therapy sessions get to the root of her problem: she doesn't have an identity aside from being a Savior.

I have a hard time believing this.

Emma isn't having an identity crisis six years into the series. Her problem isn't an inability to recognize who she is if she isn't saving others.

I think Hook is the one who had it right, immediately: she's not very good at being vulnerable. She wants to be in control.

Being vulnerable isn't exactly your strong suit.


Having a mysterious Oracle show up with a vision of her death, by the hand of a stranger, has to be incredibly frightening for Emma. She's afraid of seeming vulnerable to those that she loves, the ones who see her as a Savior.

It's ridiculous, really. How many more times does Emma need to be reassured that she can trust those closest to her? Why else is she keeping the truth from Killian, and from her parents, or even Henry? None of them expect her to eat, sleep and breathe Savior. She knows that. 

And now for her new worry about who's under that hood...Is it Regina, or even the Queen? I doubt it.

But we're probably going to sit through a handful of episodes where Emma doubts Regina's allegiances, and probably STILL doesn't tell anyone about it, aside from Archie, who'll just keep telling her that she needs to tell her family. 

No matter what you do, the darkness will always be inside. That tiny bit of darkness I awakened today will only grow.

Evil Queen

Just like Emma, Regina's happy ending has continually evaded her. 

Regina has been reforming herself since day one. She's been loyal, true, and done everything right to earn her place as a good person. 

Now, after killing Edmund, all of that hard work might have been for nothing. 

Because his death will take its toll on Regina. 

Everyone repeatedly told her that she didn't have another choice, and they're all correct. What else was Regina supposed to do? She protected her family, a leap that Regina wouldn't have taken circa Once Upon a Time Season 1

Two Evils - Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 2

The Evil Queen was really the highlight of the hour, as she had fun getting into the heads of the heroes. 

She was also having a lot of fun attempting to get into Gold's pants.

What was that? It felt uncomfortable to even watch. 

There was once a time when the idea of an evil power couple would have seemed exciting to watch. But Gold's storyline with Belle is far more important than anything that could occur through a union with the Queen, and if they're aiming for a power struggle for Gold's heart, it's just an unnecessary complication for a story already in progress.

The Queen's got her eye on Gold though, whether for power or something else entirely. Will he actually fall for that awkward advance? Goodness, I hope not.

But then again, Belle is determined to get away from Rumple, at least for now. 

I have a long road to travel before I can be someone I can be proud of. Despite the forgiveness of others, I must forgive myself, and I'm not there yet.


I'm actually a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see more screen time between Killian and Belle. Their story felt tacked on, being so short and simple.

I wish they'd had a bit more dialogue about what happened in Belle's dream, and that Killian had given Belle some sage advice about how love can change a man (because he's the king of it). 

Despite everything that's happened between Killian and Gold, it would make for a good connection of their two stories. 

But for now, Belle is sticking to her decision to keep her distance from Gold aboard the Jolly Roger.

And then there's the ping-pong game of Zelena's loyalty, which is basically the only thing that the writers seem to do with this character. 

Hasn't Zelena already come into her own as a good guy, one who's loyal to her sister and devoted to her family? 

Having her question which part of her family she wants to stay devoted to, the good or the evil, just feels like a rehash of previous seasons. Zelena deserves a better storyline than this recycled one. 

With the pieces in motion for the season, I'm just hoping that someone finally gets to enjoy a happy ending before it's over.

What did you think of "A Bitter Draught"? Were you disappointed to see the Count of Monte Cristo's story end so quickly? Will Emma soon come clean to her family? Can Regina move past murder? Sound off in the comments below!

Missed a moment of the action? You can watch Once Upon a Time online, as always, right here at TV Fanatic!

A Bitter Draught Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (113 Votes)
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