Once Upon a Time’s Finale Was Everything We Loved About an Imperfect ShowHenry Screws Everything Up Again on Once Upon a Time Stay on target Season six of Once Upon a Time is switching up their formula, and last night, they gave us a glimpse of how they’re planning to do that. Probably the most obvious change is the addition of characters from The Land of Untold Stories. Instead of only mining Disney movies for new characters and storylines, the writers have turned their metaphorical picks on the public domain.The inclusion of these characters does more for this season than adding some new flashback opportunities. These stories don’t necessarily have to end happily. Henry explains in this episode that, as he has a new book, he should have realized “the sequel is always more complicated than the original.” There’s a reason people go to The Land of Untold Stories: They don’t want their stories finished.Regina (Lana Parrilla) addresses the people from The Land of Untold Stories. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)The main focus of season six’s second episode, “A Bitter Draught,” was on The Count of Monte Cristo. While Regina, now fully sans-evil, is trying to convince Storybrooke’s new arrivals that she’s going to help them, the count walks into Granny’s diner. After he leaves a cryptic letter addressed to Snow White and Prince Charming, Regina reveals that way back in her Evil Queen days; she hired the count to get revenge on them. Is it time for a flashback? I think it’s time for a flashback.We jump back to The Count of Monte Cristo carrying out the first stage of his elaborate revenge. After killing the man who had wrongfully imprisoned him, he meets the Evil Queen, who offers him a list of all the men who betrayed him. Obviously, that would make his revenge scheme much simpler. In exchange, she wants him to turn his talents to Snow White and Prince Charming.The Evil Queen offers The Count of Monte Cristo (Craig Horner) a deal. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)Just as he’s about to slip some poison in their wine, he sees their handmaid, who reminds him so much of his murdered fiance that he can’t bring himself to poison Snow and Charming. He tells Rumplestiltskin what happened, because, for whatever reason, people keep trusting that guy. Rumplestiltskin reveals that for his plan to work, the one that brought everyone to Storybrooke, to begin with, he needs Snow and Charming alive. And to make sure the Count isn’t tempted to interfere, he poisons the handmaid and offers the Count a way to stop it: Go to The Land of Untold Stories.Now, we find out that it’s more than just a name. In The Land of Untold Stories, stories literally stop being told. Characters there are essentially in holding patterns. For most of them, there’s a reason they’re there. They don’t want their stories to be told. For the Count, as long as he and the handmaid are there, the poison won’t reach her heart, and she’ll live.Of course, now that everyone from The Land of Untold Stories has been dragged into Storybrooke, the poison started back up again. Regina and Henry discover her body and the Evil Queen reveals herself to be not nearly as dead as Regina thought. Worse than that, she now holds The Count of Monte Cristo’s heart and is forcing him to attack Snow and Charming.The Count of Monte Cristo and Regina engage in swordfight. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)Regina rushes to save them, and after a fun old-fashioned sword fight on the docks, Regina ends up killing the count to save Snow and Charming. The Evil Queen’s intentions are now revealed. Since Regina didn’t find a way to save everyone, she can’t be a hero. She still has darkness in her. The Evil Queen plans to unearth everyone’s untold stories and watch the town tear itself apart.Things certainly aren’t being helped by Emma or Charming. Emma has started going to talk to Dr. Hopper about her recurring dream that ends in her death. He recommends she tell her family about it and, this being Once Upon a Time, of course, she doesn’t. Since she doesn’t see Regina anywhere in the dream, she thinks Regina will be the one to kill her and therefore is keeping the whole thing a secret from everyone. Did she learn nothing from past seasons?Charming meanwhile is being toyed with by the Evil Queen. She leaves him a Count-of-Monte-Cristo-style envelope containing a button from his father, who died in a drunk carting accident. She implies that it wasn’t really an accident and that Charming has his own story he doesn’t want told. Charming, of course, pretends like nothing is wrong and keeps the secret from his family. Seriously, I think all the memory wipes over the years have done permanent brain damage to these people.Charming (Josh Dallas), having learned nothing from past seasons, lets the Evil Queen manipulate him. (Photo: Screenshot via ABC)A Bitter Draught managed to set up the season’s main conflict and hint at things to come while remaining a genuinely fun episode that moved the story along. Yes, characters make mindbogglingly stupid decisions, but if you’re still watching after this long, you know that’s part of the fun. It wouldn’t be a true Once Upon a Time season without at least one outburst of yelling at the screen. If this show can keep up this pace, we’re on track for a pretty spectacular season. Minus the Evil Queen trying to sleep with Rumplestiltskin. That’s just weird.