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And it's already working
The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) has unveiled her master evil plan on Once Upon a Time, and we have to be honest -- it's genius. She's letting the Land of Untold Stories inspire her and she's manipulating the heroes to let their own untold stories tear them apart. So far, it's already working.
On Sunday's episode, the queen set sher sights on Regina first. She sends a revenge-bent Count of Monte Cristo (Craig Horner) after Charming (Josh Dallas) and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), forcing Regina to kill him in order to save her friends. The justified murder now has Regina convinced that her darkness is coming back to consume her, and she's not the only one.
Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is the first one to doubt that Regina is up to the challenge to overcome her darker side, despite the fact that Regina has done it at least half a dozen times since she committed to becoming a hero in Season 2. At the first sign of danger, Emma names Regina as the first suspect of the person beneath the hood in the visions she's been having of her battle to the death. This is continuing in a patter of reverting back to Season 1 tendencies for the Savior, who still hasn't mustered the trust to tell her family that she's having the visions in the first place. Emma needs to recognize her own lack of progression before she can continue to point fingers at anyone else's.
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In the meantime, the Evil Queen also has Charming spinning about the true nature of his father's death. She's sparked some doubt that the death was an accident, which will undoubtedly send Charming on a quest for answers he maybe doesn't want to dig up. The queen is also playing Zelena (Rebecca Mader) like a harp, using her current falling-out with Regina to pull the second most powerful witch in Storybrooke over to her side.
The Evil Queen has figured out what all of the villains of Once Upon a Time seasons past could never understand. The heroes can defeat anyone if they can put together a united front. However, it doesn't take much manipulation to turn them against each other and within moments they become their own worst enemies. Unfortunately, the key to beating the Evil Queen this time is the Savior's greatest weakness -- communication. If the heroes' untold stories is what will be their undoing, then the way to get ahead of the Evil Queen is to start telling each other the truth so their secrets can't come back to haunt them.
What do you think of the Evil Queen's plan?
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.