Once Upon a Time 1-11: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

Is it any wonder I love this show? This episode had me feeling sorry for Regina and agreeing with her at times but also so angry at her I wanted to yell at her. All this while learning the origins of someone else in Storybrooke and watching Emma behave stupidly.

Shall we get to it? Let’s start this week with the Fairy Tale Kingdom

Our story there opens as Snow White’s father is walking along the shore and finds a lamp. He rubs it and out pops a Genie (Sidney the editor of the Daily Mirror in Storybrooke). He goes through his normal spiel about the rules for wishes, but the King doesn’t want any wishes. Instead, he wishes for the Genie’s freedom. Then he wishes for the Genie to be able to use the last wish. Together the two walk to the castle, where the Genie hopes to find true love.

And he does – with the Queen (who is Regina in both worlds – makes sense since she created the curse). She is lonely and neglected, suffering because the king will never love her as much as his first wife, Snow White’s mother. And he’s not exactly subtle about it. At a birthday party, he goes on about how Snow White reminds him of his first wife who truly was the fairest in the land. Mind you, he’s doing this in front of his current wife. Seriously? Is he surprised when he finds in his wife’s diary that she is falling in love with another man? He shouldn’t have been. I mean, I’m single and I know better than to behave like he does.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. That other man is the Genie, who has told her how beautiful she is and given her the gift of a mirror. When the king finds out there is another man, he turns to the only person he thinks he can trust, Genie, to find out who it is. Meanwhile, he locks his wife in her room.

But Regina has her father get something to set her free. Since the King won’t let him go see his daughter, he asks Genie to deliver it. It turns out to be two deadly cobras from Agrabah, Genie’s home region. Regina plans to kill herself, but Genie talks her out of it, saying he will kill the King instead so they can be together.

And he does. As the king is dying from the snake bite, he tells the King the truth, Genie is the other man. Then he goes to Regina to give her the good news that they are free to be together. Only she isn’t overjoyed. The guards know that it was Genie because the snakes were from Agrabah, so he must go quickly. That’s when Genie figures out he was used and Regina never loved him, a fact she is all too happy to confirm. In a rage, Genie finally uses that wish he’d been given, wishing to be by Regina’s side always. And that’s how he winds up as the Magic Mirror.

Meanwhile in Storybrooke….

The storm that came through town last week has destroyed the castle where Henry played and he and Emma met secretly. It’s also where he’s hidden his book of fairytales. Regina, the mayor, spots him there talking to Emma and declares it completely unsafe. Despite Emma saying she will restore it, Regina has it torn down the next day and Henry frantically searches for the book only to find it missing.

Meanwhile, Sidney has approached Emma because he has some dirt on the mayor. He wants her help in proving it to the town. She is reluctant until the playground is torn down, then she is on board.

Sidney’s big news is $50,000 missing from the city’s funds, money that he thinks Regina stole for her own personal gain. But the records are missing, conveniently burned in the fire three weeks ago when Emma and Sidney were both running for sheriff. Emma and Sidney confront the mayor about the funds, but she denies it, so infuriating Emma in the process that she bugs the mayor’s office.

And that’s how they hear that Regina is planning to meet someone in the woods to give them cash money. They follow her only to have an accident along the way when someone cuts the breaks on the sheriff’s car. They arrive late but find out that Regina was paying cash for some land, buying it from Mr. Gold.

More determined than ever, Emma and Sidney break into the mayor’s office and get all the files they can find on her computer about the land deal. They find blueprints that make it look like she is building a castle out there.

But Emma knows they can’t use that evidence in court since they got it illegally, so they use it to confront her at the city council meeting. At this point, I was yelling at Emma to slow down and get her facts straight first. Sure enough, I was right. The plans were for a playground for Henry and the other kids in town, which was my guess. Disgraced, Emma leaves the meeting. Afterward, Regina tells her to watch her step and that she doesn’t think Emma should be spending any time with Henry. As evil as we know Regina is, I absolutely agreed with her on this point. To her credit, Emma tells Henry the same thing and takes responsibility for her actions. I appreciated that about her, even if she was manipulated all along.

How was she manipulated? She and Sidney meet up for a drink and agree that next time they’ll be more careful and get all the facts. In the final scene, Sidney plays that for Regina and the two grin. Regina even says, “Now we can really have some fun.” We also find out it was Sidney who cuts the breaks to the car.

There were a few other quick scenes worth mentioning. Mary Margaret and David are continuing to sneak around. This episode saw them having a picnic in the forest. And the stranger found Henry trying to draw some pictures and write down what was in the book that is missing before he forgot it all. But we found out who has the book – this mysterious stranger.

So, again I will ask just what is his reason for being in Storybrooke? He is up to something. But just what is it?

And I’m wondering how Regina will be able to manipulate Emma now that Sidney has worked his way into her confidence. And once again Mr. Gold offered his services in bringing Regina down, but Emma wisely turned him down. That’s just stupidity.

So, were you as intrigued as I was? When will Emma see through Sidney? And just how does the stranger factor into all of this?

Looks like we’ll have to wait two weeks for the next part of this saga as we get their twist on Beauty and the Beast with Emilie de Ravin as Belle.

In the mean time, feel free to visit me at my home, Random Ramblings from Sunny Southern CA, where I am currently talking about the finale of another show I love, Chuck.