Once Upon a Time Round Table: Can Regina Recover?

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We can all agree that the Evil Queen's return to Storybrooke was fascinating.

Once Upon a Time Season 6 Episode 2 saw the introduction (and quick exit) of the Count of Monte Cristo.

Join TV Fanatics Steve Ford, Caralynn Lippo, Allison Nichols, and Robin Harry - along with Once Upon a Fan's Teresa Martin - as they discuss “A Bitter Draught.”

(Remember, you can watch Once Upon a Time right here at TV Fanatic and never miss a moment of the action in Storybrooke!)

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What did you think of the Count of Monte Cristo? How did you feel about his connection to the Evil Queen?

Steve: I was actually very interested in the Count, however I'm disappointed that his story was cut short. I feel this show needs some new blood and the Count would have been a nice addition. Although, I don't see how they could have pursued his story further, he was an intriguing character and wish the writers could have found a way to do so.

As far as his relationship with the Evil Queen, it felt somewhat contrived initially, but served its purpose in moving the story forward.

Teresa: I was pleasantly surprised by this version of the Count. Actually I wasn't expecting much; I thought him too young-looking in the promos. However, I found myself really liking Craig Horner's version of him. There was something about his interpretation that just fit for me. The connection to the Evil Queen makes sense in Once verse. Everyone has had a run-in with her! 

Caralynn:  I liked him! I liked Craig Horner's portrayal particularly. I was actually pretty surprised they killed him off. I thought for sure that they'd go the redemption route with him. Regina killing him was pretty dark.

Allison: He was all right. I honestly didn't have strong feelings towards him one way or the other. I did find it interesting that the reason he didn't poison Snow and Charming was because of the handmaiden.

Robin: It seems I'm in the minority here, but he bored me. I liked him for what he was - a plot device to take Regina to a dark and confused emotional place. I was intrigued by the idea that he inspired the Evil Queen to take up fencing, though.

How do you think Edmund's death will affect Regina going forward?

Steve: As the Evil Queen stated, the outcome of killing Edmund has started to turn Regina's heart black again. The Evil Queen is attempting to prove to Regina that no matter what she does, she will always be a part of her.

It seems the Evil Queen has started Regina down a path that she may not be able to recover from. Sounds eerily similar to my theory from last week doesn't it?

Teresa: I think it will affect her more in her psyche than in reality. Killing the Count seemed to me a legitimate offensive-defense of lives, but the Evil Queen twisted that to shake Regina up. The trick for Regina will be to not allow it. 

Caralynn: I liked this twist a lot, mostly because it was so unexpected. I did think it was weird that the Evil Queen was laying out her whole villainous plan right away. I think that killing Edmond will chip away at Regina's faith in herself -- and, worse, at her friends' faith in her. Like Emma, who apparently is super willing to think that Regina might up and kill her as the mysterious hooded figure.

Allison: I really loved this twist, and how the Evil Queen is trying to get Regina to see that she can never be completely separated from the evil side of her. The Evil Queen's words are going to play mess with Regina's mind, and I'm curious to see how Regina handles everything.

Robin: I think that she'll be confused about herself for a little while, but I think the friendship and support of the Charmings will keep her grounded. I think what will really affect her is whatever secret the Evil Queen still has up her sleeve that might break that relationship.  

Does the Queen really want Gold for romance, or is she trying to get something else from him?

Steve: Not only did Rumple teach Regina how to hone her power, she also picked up a thing or two about manipulation from him. Dating back to season one, there always seemed to be some type of romantic connection between the two at times. She could actually be into Gold, but there is always an ulterior motive with the Evil Queen.

Teresa: Not romance in my opinion. She appeared to be using her sexuality as power. It was so over the top, as though she was being condescending to Rumple. And maybe something a little more unnerving...Until this episode, Regina and Gold have had a rather father-daughter relationship, one that the actors have acknowledged. The Evil Queen turning that around is quite disturbing and just the trick to really mess with Gold.

Caralynn: I really hope she doesn't want him for romance. Je was in love with her mother at some point! That super creeped me out. I would hope she's just trying to sex him up as part of her master plan. I'm glad that Gold turned her down, in any case.

Allison: I agree that it's more of her using her sexuality for power over him. At some point, she is going to come for Gold for help or a favor. It's bound to happen. It was unnerving watching the Evil Queen be flirty with him. I don't think I could survive if things went any further.

Robin: I don't think "romance" would be the word for what Regina seemed to want from Gold. Her advance towards him seemed much more primal than romantic. Like everyone else, I think she's trying to throw him off kilter, but I also wonder if she's also trying to manipulate Zelena, who had a "thing" for Gold when she was first introduced.   

Are you surprised that Emma still hasn't told anyone about the tremors or the Oracle?

Steve: No, I can't say that I am surprised. It's what Emma does, and I think she will continue to do so no matter what. It's beyond frustrating, but it is what it is.

Teresa: Lol. No surprise. They like to drag such things out to the point of pain on Once. When her "keeping things" was introduced last week, I figured she might tell someone by Christmas or, more likely, her loved ones will find out from someone else. If so, then even more conflicts as Killian, Regina, and the Charmings will be hurt by her silence.

Caralynn: I really, really wanted Emma to have grown as a character and to finally feel like she can let her guard down a little bit; but nope, same old Emma. It's really disappointing to see her keep everyone in the dark.

Allison: Nope. What was pleasantly surprising was that Emma was talking things through with Archie. This is pretty big progress for her, and I'm so glad that she is confiding in someone. I'm hoping that she will continue to have sessions with him. 

Robin: Surprised, no. Disappointed, yes. Like Caralynn, I felt that Emma's character had grown past the need for self-preserving secrecy, especially since the last season. I'm hoping that's resolved sooner rather than later.   

Do you think David and Mary Margaret will let the Queen get in their heads?

Steve: I doubt it, these two have been through so much together. No matter how steep the hill, David and Mary Margaret have always been able to get over it together. They've defeated the Evil Queen before, they can do it again.

Teresa: I wasn't sure until the Evil Queen brought back Charming's Daddy issues. That has broken a lot of characters on Once, so I think he's in trouble! Mary Margaret I see as less vulnerable. She's been remarkably steady lately, a strong support for others. Though there may come up something later, perhaps her murder of Cora, that could unravel her and indeed let the Queen into her head.

Caralynn: Honestly, David at least is sort of a boob, so I wouldn't be surprised if he turns on Regina right quick. Mary Margaret, at the very least, has legitimately bonded with Regina over the years; maybe it will be a point of tension between the two?

Allison: Oh yeah, it's bound to happen. She seems to know exactly what to say to plant a seedling of doubt that will continue to grow. Charming wouldn't be human if he didn't reflect upon his father's death, and the same goes for what the Evil Queen said to Regina. 

Robin: David? Absolutely. Nice guy, but not always the sharpest tool in the shed. Mary Margaret? Not a chance. Like she said, Mary Margaret has been dealing with the Evil Queen for most of her life, and she knows how to handle the Queen's machinations. Mary Margaret will likely be the one to keep David grounded.

What was your favorite moment from the episode?

Steve: I really enjoyed the Evil Queen's scene with Gold in his shop. It was tense and they both always work so well together on screen. What caught my eye was that Gold looked slightly disconcerted during that scene. It could have just been my interpretation, but it made me curious why Gold, who is arguably the most powerful character, would seem a bit intimidated.

Teresa: The scene with Charming and the Evil Queen. It's been so long since we've seen Charming given material that is truly conflicting, and I can't put my finger on what it was, but I was drawn into how Josh Dallas played the scene. This left me wanting to know more. I've missed him!

Caralynn: I really loved the conversation between Hook and Belle. I love that the show is continuing to move forward with Hook's redemption arc instead of considering him "sufficiently redeemed" and moving on with it. They're actively having him make amends to people he has wrong in the past, like Belle. He gave her a great speech. I like their platonic friendship! Gotta always keep that "platonic" qualifier, because I'm not here for any silly love triangles. No, thank you.

Allison: My favorite moment was when Emma went back to Archie to tell her about her fear regarding her vision. At the first session, you could tell that Emma was hesitant to be there, but Emma bolted into Archie's office late at night because she needed to talk through her fear with him. She could have waited till her next session or not said anything at all, but instead, she immediately went to Archie.

Robin: I'm with Steven. That scene with Gold and the Queen was absolutely fascinating. The Queen was over-the-top but in a wonderfully disquieting sort of way, and in that moment there was no doubt that the Evil Queen and Regina are completely different characters. Also, I loved the subtlety of Gold's reaction; he was clearly unnerved but still managed to be himself. Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle for the win: more scenes with these two MVPs, please.

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