Recap: Once Upon A Time 1×11 – Fruit of The Poisonous Tree

Greetings Fairytale Friends and welcome to my first official OUAT episode recap. I apologize for the tardiness but I couldn’t decide exactly how I wanted to structure these. After much deliberation and DVR-ing, I have decided to first look at the segment from The Enchanted Forest, then Storybrooke’s.

Before we dive in, let me just say that this was easily the best episode since 1×07, “The Heart is the Loneliest Hunter.” Both Lana Parilla (Regina) and Giancarlo Esposito (Sidney) were fantastic in this episode. I really thought we were going to see Regina before she became evil but now more than ever I’m convinced she has always been and will always be the big E. I don’t know what that says about her seemingly harmless father but hey, I have to leave something for you guys to chew on.

And now, story time.

The Enchanted Forest

The Man in the Mirror

Sidney Glass’  origin is revealed and, as it turns out, he began not as a mirror but as a Genie. A full-fledged, wish-granting Genie complete with a sparkly wardrobe. Seriously I loved the Genie costume. While on a leisurely walk, King Leopold finds the lamp and wishes the Genie 1) to be free and 2) for the Genie to come back to his castle. He leaves the third wish for the Genie himself. And can I just say that while it was cool looking, the shackles falling off Genie’s wrists–well, it felt a little wrong not to hear Robin Williams’ voice during that scene.

Later, we are taken to the castle for King Leopold’s birthday, where he assures his guests that he wants for nothing; his daughter, Snow White, is all he needs, for she reminds him of his first wife who was apparently “the fairest in all the land.” Poor Regina just can’t compete with the memory of her husband’s first wife.

Immediately our ex-Genie, whose one wish is to find love, is smitten by Regina and gives her a mirror so she can see herself the way he sees her: as fairest in all the land. I know. So sweet. Talk about some unexpected chemistry! That was no Bunsen burner–there were sparks between those two.

Unfortunately Regina forgot to take notes when she was a teenage evil princess or whatever because she left her diary out and hubby ain’t happy. King Leopold calls on The Genie to help him find the man his wife writes about–this man with the mirror. The scene fittingly closes with G-man staring into the mirror. He is cheating with the wife of the man who freed him from eternal imprisonment.

Before he can go to Regina himself, her father, Henry, urges him to take a box to her. He promises Genie its contents could free her from the castle and her loveless marriage. What is it with shows by or inspired by J.J. Abrams and their damn boxes? Upon delivering it, Genie discovers that inside is the deadly Agrabahn Viper ( an awesome, two-headed snake) and  Regina plans on using its bite as a one-way ticket out of there. In a moment of lust-over-loyalty, he asks the chilling question: “what if the King did not live?” We find out the answer pretty quickly. The lovesick liar sneaks into King Leopold’s bedchambers and sets the viper loose. Now I’m sure Genie was feeling pretty badly about his actions but what added insult to injury were Leopold’s last words: “You were right. I should have made a wish.” Goosebumps, people. Goosebumps.

His dreams of true love are dashed when Regina’s true nature is made clear: she didn’t need an affair, she needed a hit man. She meant for Leopold to find her diary, she specifically requested the snake so it could be traced back to Genie–all an elaborate plot to rid herself of the king while keeping a hold on the kingdom. It was heartbreaking to see Genie slowly piece together the plot. He begs and pleads with her but she promises that the two will never be together. Cue that last wish. After asking the lamp to never leave his beloved’s side, a plume of dark smoke engulfs him. He got his wish.

Mirror mirror on the wall.

Storybrooke
The episode opens with Henry making sure his book is hidden within the castle. Regina catches him and Emma hanging out; she says the place is too dangerous. Later Sidney Glass shows up at Granny’s (which I guess is the Luke’s Diner of OUAT) with a proposition for Ems. Apparently $50,000 of city funds has gone missing and Mr. Glass would like to team up with the sheriff to finally take down Regina. It isn’t until Miss Shoulder Pads has Henry’s castle torn down when Emma finally decides to get a little dirty.
Emma and Sid confront Regina about the missing funds. The problem? The supposed paperwork for the money burned in the fire from a few episodes back. Curses! She plants a bug in regina’s office so the duo can listen in on every “official” conversation. Eventually Sidney hears Regina setting up a secret meeting in the woods and the two set off to intercept. Their plans are cut short, however. Just like the brake lines in Emma’s car.

They crash somewhere in the woods and–wouldn’t you know it–stumble upon Mr. Gold, who divulges that he is the one Regina intended to meet. She is buying some land from him. Before leaving them with more questions, Mr. Gold warns them to be careful: “Emotional entanglements can lead us down very dangerous paths.” That was not to Emma. That was not to Sidney. THAT particular warning was to the Genie. Further proof for my Mr.-Gold-knows-all theory. Just saying.

Look at that grin. I mean, honestly.

After such an eventful car ride, Emma and Sidney break into Regina’s mansion to find proof of the backwoods (literally) deal. Among her tasteful yet sinister black & white decor, they find plans for some kind of structure to be built on the plot of land. With this info in hand, Emma attempts to expose Regina’s embezzlement at a city council meeting.

During Emma’s little speech, all I could think was “Oh god, Regina’s too calm.” My last minute instincts were right. Madam Mayor reveals that the ground plans are for a new, safe playground area for Henry and the children of SB. So not only did Regina do something “nice” for the town, she made Ems look like a beee-otch.

What I didn’t see coming was the revelation that Sidney was in on it the whole time. It was even his idea to cut the brake lines. “What would I do without you? Regina asks him in the end. Regina has Sidney in her pocket just like the handheld mirror he gave her in another life.

WRITER WATCH: While he was not involved with the main story in this ep, Storybrooke’s newest visitor had two important scenes.

  • He runs into little Henry who is furiously  jotting down notes. It turns out his storybook went missing after Regina tore down his castle and he doesn’t want to forget even one detail. “Yeah,” the writer says, “I hate when a great idea gets away from me.” Impulse theory: he’s talking about Emma. Essentially a new fairy tale character, Emma is his great idea that got away.
  • HE HAS THE BOOK. At first I asked myself how and when he stole it but the real question is why. I’m sure you remember my groundbreaking theory about the writer (he wrote the original/he needs to rewrite the ending) but his expression after pulling the book from a chest gives me pause. He looked almost confused. Is it a how-does-somebody-have-this confusion? We shall see.

    Where is this going to lead? Can't wait for the next chapter.

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