A new face arrives in Storybrooke looking to wrap up some unfinished business

By Justin Kirkland
October 03, 2016 at 01:50 AM EDT
Credit: ABC/Eike Schroter

Well, look who graced us with his/her presence this week.

Yes, that’s correct — when we left off last week, the Evil Queen had returned from her very own heart dust and Zelena was just psyched to have a new friend. And, of course, Emma was told she’ll never have a happy ending. But back to the Evil Queen, who has decided to break into Regina’s vault and grab a box with which she plans to teach Regina a lesson. Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Regina stops into the diner to chat with Hyde’s friends he brought to town. Regina addresses them in a really nice way, because they’re “all getting a fresh start.” The chat she had with Snow last episode must have really set in, but if we know anything about fairy tales, it’s that situational irony is too real. Stealing a little bit of her good-girl thunder, Belle comes in after the longest nap this side of Prince Charming’s coma.

After Belle’s arrival, another man comes into the diner and Henry offers to help him find his story within the book, but he assures Henry he’s not important enough to have his own story. Alexander Dumas would argue otherwise, though: It’s Edmond Dantes, or as you may know him, The Count of Monte Cristo. That’s when we flash to his past and see Edmond post-prison, exacting his signature Count-of-Monte-Cristo revenge on the Baron. But after his kill, he’s approached by Regina/Evil Queen, who had offered her assistance in helping him finish his revenge list in exchange for getting some revenge of her own.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma has finally agreed to go talk to Archie about her tremors and the visions she’s having. She looks pretty shocked as she recounts the vision that keeps haunting her, and finally she admits she dies at the end of it. The only thing they can tackle is the present, though, which is why she asks Archie if she should tell her family. Ultimately, it boils down to Emma not feeling like she can rely on anyone because she is the Savior — if she isn’t saving someone, who is she? She’s not the only one with the problem, though… That revenge the Evil Queen wanted the Count to exact? It was on Snow and the Prince, so Regina, Snow, and David work to find out where he is. Unable to pin him down, Regina agrees to meet him and end his hunt for the kill.

Hook has offered to give Belle shelter, but she questions why he’s being so nice. Hook explains he’s on the pursuit to be a better man, and Belle accepts his apology, admitting all people make mistakes. At the edge of town, Regina and Emma figure out that the protection spell keeping everyone locked in is the one from her vault, kept in that box currently in the Evil Queen’s possession. Regina automatically assumes it was Zelena, and Zelena gets her feelings HURT, so much so that she doesn’t reveal the Evil Queen is still around.

During another look at the Count’s backstory, we discover he and the Evil Queen have gotten close, and the ruse in the woods was just that. He asks what Snow and Charming did to deserve this revenge, but she says it doesn’t concern him… If he wants his revenge, he’ll complete the mission. Rumple appears out of nowhere, which is when the Evil Queen reveals she will get what she wants because the Count will execute it — she’s placed a protection spell on him to make sure. Back in Storybrooke, the Evil Queen meets up with Rumple, where he’s not at all surprised she’s back. He agrees to stay out of her way as long as she doesn’t touch Belle or his unborn child. She half-heartedly agrees, but then gets a little seductive and says that if he wants a new story, he could leave Belle behind and be with her. Can you even imagine?

NEXT: Keep your Queens close, but your Reginas closer

At Snow and Charming’s castle, the Count works to exact his revenge by mixing the poison into Snow and Charming’s glasses…but in doing so, he’ll also have to poison Charlotte, whom he’s very clearly into. As the trio raises the glasses to their lips, he yells “Wait!” He volunteers another bottle, because the worst way to let your crush know about your feelings is by killing her. But when we flash back to Storybrooke, we see Regina has found Charlotte and the Hand Maiden has been poisoned. Regina is super upset, but she doesn’t have much time to process what happened because the Evil Queen has made her presence known. On top of that, she has the Count’s heart and the Evil Queen is guaranteeing he’ll kill Snow and David. That’s when we cut to the dock where Edmond has confronted them — and he means business.

Mid-battle, Snow and David have a fun chat with the Count as he, you know, tries to kill them. Beyond his actions, Edmond is able to admit the Evil Queen has his heart and that’s why he’s trying to kill them. As they keep him back, they assure him they can fix it, but he sets a group of barrels loose and knocks them out while saying, “This isn’t the ending I imagined for any of us.” That’s when we flash back to Edmond and Rumple. Edmond tells Rumple none of them deserve to die, and Rumple sort of agrees. He says he has to make certain Edmond is never tempted to kill Snow and Charming, so he poisons Charlotte. Weird, right? Well, the way around it is Edmond stays gone and never returns from the Land of Untold Stories, the poison will not actually kill Charlotte, and they’ll all be okay.

Well, that didn’t happen either, so we return to the dock where Edmond is about to kill Snow and David. Of course, that’s when Regina shows up all high and mighty with her own sword to stop him. Edmond isn’t having it, though, because the Queen has his heart and he’s dead set on killing them. Strike that — he’s just dead. Regina slings her sword and it goes straight through Edmond’s heart. That’s when the Evil Queen appears and pretty much LOLs her way up to Regina to let her know she’s done exactly what she wanted. And that’s when the Evil Queen reveals Regina is going to ruin everyone’s stories, and not just the people from the Land of Untold Stories who have tales they don’t want shared. When they come to light, she’s going to stand back and watch them *sexy song-dance* “tear themselves aparrrrt.” Oh, Evil Queen, you awful, sultry woman.

Regina, Snow, and Emma get together at the diner for the saddest girl’s night ever, because that’s what you do for a member of your squad when she kills someone in your honor. They tell Regina it’s not her fault, though she needs to think like the Evil Queen so they can stay ahead of her. But the Queen is already working her charm by leaving a special one for David. That coin the Evil Queen and Rumple discussed earlier? It was a lucky charm David’s father wore every day on the farm. The Evil Queen has gifted it back to him, but she asked him what he’d think if he knew his father’s death wasn’t an accident. She disappears back to Zelena’s house, where she finds the Evil Queen holding Robin’s baby. She tells Zelena how much she’s grateful Zelena kept quiet and remained loyal to her, which makes me a hair worried for Zelena.

But the biggest worry is that at girl’s night, Emma pulls back from Regina after having a flashback. It seems random at first, but when Emma goes to visit Archie, she reveals the only person not with her family in the flashback is Regina, and she’s worried it might be Regina (not the Evil Queen) wearing the cloak of the person who kills her.

And with that, we say goodbye to Once for the week, but tell me your thoughts! Do you think Regina is going to succumb to the Evil Queen, and if she does, will Emma (literally) be at the end of her sword?

Episode Recaps

Once Upon a Time

Everything you’ve ever read about fairy tales is true—the residents of Storybrooke are living proof.

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