Near the end of the fifth season of Once Upon a Time, I’ll admit I was wondering how the heck the show could possibly continue on. After over 100 episodes of the fairy tale-based drama series, I was *positive* that the writers had run out of stories that could be reimagined for the show. I’ve seen ~a lot~ of Disney movies, and I think we’ve seen literally every single one recreated in one way or another on OUAT in the past few years.
But in a super cool twist, the writers threw a total curve ball at us, introducing an entirely new realm from which they could draw brand new stories. That’s the Land of Untold Stories, which was discovered when Henry found a nearly-identical storybook to the one about the Enchanted Forest residents – except the new book was all about characters we’d never seen before.
The Land of Untold Stories – from what we glimpsed when Snow, Charming, and Hook got stuck there during last year’s finale – seems to be an interconnected mix of folk tale, classic literary, and other “miscellaneous” characters who, for one reason or another, were driven from their “rightful” lands to seek refuge in this other realm.
On tonight’s episode of Once Upon a Time we became acquainted with one former resident of the Land of Untold Stories. It was the Count of Monte Cristo – and he had some serious unfinished business with our heroes.
MEGA SPOILERS AHEAD for “A Bitter Draught,” tonight’s episode of Once Upon a Time.
The new character, who was played by the ~very~ swoon-worthy Craig Horner, unfortunately had a super short shelf-life on the show. In a series of flashbacks, we learned that the revenge-obsessed Count had the misfortune of crossing paths with a pre-reformed Evil Queen Regina back in the Enchanted Forest. The Evil Queen recruited the Count, shortly after he dispatched of one of his own enemies in spectacularly dramatic fashion, to assassinate Snow White and Prince Charming for her.
But the Count (going by the name Edmond to infiltrate the Charmings’ castle) couldn’t manage to poison them, as the Evil Queen had instructed him – his conscience and his mild case of the hots for Snow’s handmaiden Charlotte got in the way. After Charlotte was poisoned by Rumple in an attempt to get the two out of the Enchanted Forest, they escaped to the Land of Untold Stories – only to get pulled out when Hyde brought all of those characters over with him in the fifth season finale.
In present-day Storybrooke, Charlotte succumbed to the poison (farewell Charlotte, we hardly knew ye) and the Count had his heart ripped out by the Evil Queen, who used it to force him to continue on his mission to kill Snow and Charming.
Regina, being a total badass, sword-wielding, uber-fashionable hero queen nowadays, managed to stop the sword-wielding Count before he could harm her friends.
Unfortunately, she had to stop him via a sword to the chest. So that kinda sucked.
It was super, super sad – both for the Count, who totally could have been reformed to be a good guy but wound up losing his love and his own life instead, and for Regina, who is obvs no longer a fan of killing people. Even worse, it turned out that the Evil Queen’s villainous plan all along was to get Regina to kill the Count, to unlock her remaining darkness and turn her evil again. Oh no!
The whole incident also made Emma question whether Regina herself could be the mysterious hooded figure from her vision who is set to kill Emma in a battle. Fingers crossed that’s not the case.