'Once Upon A Time' Recap: 'Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree'
In this episode, we discover how Sidney Glass became the Magic Mirror and are introduced to another non-Grimm fairy tale. Emma is duped yet again by Regina.
Author’s note: Lines between paragraphs indicate scene changes between Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke/present day.
In Storybrooke, Henry arrives at his play castle only to find it partially destroyed by the storm from episode ten. Henry reveals to Emma that he keeps his fairy tale book in a lockbox buried beneath the play structure. After he ensures its safety, Regina arrives and orders Henry into the car so he can attend a session with Dr. Hopper. Regina tells Emma not to allow her feelings to cloud her judgement and to be responsible.
At Granny's Diner, Emma recounts the episode to Mary Margaret, who rushes off to meet David Nolan after he texts her. Sidney Glass sits down in Mary Margaret's place, nursing a drink and telling Emma that Regina got him fired from the paper after the debacle of the sheriff election. He tells Emma he's been working on an expose of Regina and that Storybrooke deserves to know the truth about her. He needs Emma's help to complete it, and urges her to call him.
In Fairy Tale Land, the sad Genie of Agrabah (Sidney Glass) sits in his lamp, gazing at himself in a mirror. A king finds the lamp and rubs it three times, releasing the genie. The genie tells the king the basic rules regarding wishes: no wishing for love, life, death or more wishes; wishes cannot be undone no matter the consequences. The king tells the genie that he desires nothing except the happiness of all in his kingdom. He notices that the genie is unhappy, and uses his first wish to grant the genie's freedom. The king wishes to give his third wish to the genie. The genie says that he has seen the negative consequences of granting wishes too many times over the years, so he will not actually use the wish. He places the lamp in his bag for safekeeping, saying he wishes to find true love, the one thing his captivity has kept from him. The king invites him to come to the castle.
At the castle, the genie meets the king's daughter, Snow White, and his wife, Regina. The genie seems immediately smitten with the queen.
Henry watches as Regina has his play castle demolished. He is distressed to learn that his fairy tale book is gone. Emma confronts Regina about destroying "the thing he loves" and Regina tells Emma to back off. As Regina leaves, Emma calls Sidney Glass.
Mary Margaret meets David at the Storybrooke toll bridge, and he leads her into the forest. Mary Margaret is alarmed, but David reveals a romantic picnic lunch for the two of them.
Emma meets Sidney Glass in the woods, who tells her the dirt he's found on Regina: $50,000 is missing from the town's ledgers and Regina is behind it. Emma is unconvinced, but Sidney tells her it's the tip of the iceberg; there's much more corruption where that came from. Emma agrees to help him, but is curious to know how Sidney came to be so close to Regina to begin with. He confesses that once he thought she was a different person.
At a banquet for the king's birthday, he tells the crowd that the greatest gift is his daughter, Snow. Every time he sees her, he is reminded that she, like her mother, is truly the fairest in the land. Regina, heartbroken, leaves the banquet. The genie follows.
Regina confesses to the genie that she is a prisoner in the castle; no matter how hard she tries, the king will never love her as he did his first wife. The genie gives Regina a magic mirror that will always show her as the genie sees her: as the fairest in the land.
At Mary Margaret's, Emma and Sidney pore over boxes of records; they realize that the records from the time of the supposed money transfer are missing. Emma and Sidney confront Regina at her office, and Regina says that she checked out the records three weeks earlier, which were subsequently destroyed in the fire that preceded the sheriff's election. Sidney, disappointed, asks Emma if their investigation is over. Emma admits that she planted a bug under Regina's desk while they were in the office.
The king calls the genie to him to ask for his help: he has discovered the the queen may have strayed from him. The king has read Regina's diary, which details the gift of the mirror and admits that it has reawakened feelings she abandoned long before. The king asks the genie to discover the identity of the man who has stolen his wife's heart, but he will not say what he'll do to the person once caught.
At the police station, Sidney has been monitoring the output from the bug in Regina's office. He plays a recording of an earlier call for Emma, in which Regina makes plans to meet an unidentified person and give them a payment in cash. Emma and Sidney go to find out what Regina's up to, but on their way into the forest, the brakes on Emma's squad car fail; she thinks they've been tampered with. Just then, Mr. Gold emerges from the forest; he was the one Regina was meeting. Gold warns them against becoming emotionally entangled in the goings-on.
At the castle, the genie is approached by Regina's father, who is holding a lockbox. He tells the genie that Regina has been locked in the dungeon, but that what is inside the box will give her her freedom. He asks the genie to take it to her, because he would be stopped by the guards.
A determined Emma breaks into Town Hall to get at Regina's office. A worried Sidney accompanies her. Emma runs a search on Regina's computer concerning the land in the forest Regina was buying. Emma also begins looking for Henry's fairy tale book, but Regina arrives before she can find anything. Emma tells Regina some kids broke into her office and she was investigating. She says Sidney is with her because he was a witness to the crime.
The genie arrives at Regina's prison cell and she tells him that the king will soon find out about them. The genie gives her the box from her father; two Agrabahn vipers are inside. One bite would be enough to kill her. Regina seems resigned to committing suicide, but the genie stops her, telling her there is another option: what if the king didn't live? The genie tells Regina he would do anything for her.
At Granny's Diner, the mysterious stranger approaches Henry, who is sitting at the counter doodling. The stranger asks what he's doing, and Henry says he's trying to recreate drawings from a book he lost. Henry asks the stranger why he's so curious about Henry and his book, and what he's really doing in Storybrooke. The stranger leaves.
The records Emma recovers show that Regina is building some sort of structure on the land in the forest. Sidney reveals that Regina had him follow Emma and take surveillance photographs of her interactions with Henry. He says she knew about Emma and Henry's special meeting place--the play castle--months ago and was looking for the opportunity to destroy it.
Emma and Sidney take the evidence to the city council meeting, where she loudly denounces Regina. Regina reveals the true reason behind the secretive land purchase and construction: she is building a playground for the children of Storybrooke. She took the inspiration for the design from a picture she found in one of her son's books (The design looks vaguely like the Evil Queen's castle--hm.).
The genie releases the two vipers into the bed of the sleeping king. As they bite him, the genie reveals to the dying king that it was he who stole the queen's heart. The king says he should never have made his wishes.
Outside Town Hall, Mr. Gold tells Emma that bringing Regina down will take more, but Emma rebuffs his offer of help. Regina takes Emma aside and tells her to get back to her job and to stay away from her and from Henry. Regina threatens to take out a restraining order against Emma.
Emma drives to the new playground, but can't approach Henry. She tells Henry over their walkie-talkies that she can't have contact with him right now, but she'll find a way back in.
In a room at Granny's Bed & Breakfast, someone breaks open Henry's lockbox to reveal the fairy tale book: it's the mysterious stranger.
Emma and Sidney nurse drinks at Granny's Diner, and he tells her there are many more skeletons in Regina's closet; they won't be fooled again. He tells Emma she has an ally in him.
The genie finds Regina to tell her the good news, and that they can finally be together. Regina says that the palace guards found the snake and know it's from Agrabah, where the genie is from. When he is found, he'll be executed. She tells him to leave at once on a boat she has provided for him. The genie realizes that he was set up: Regina chose the Agrabahn viper on purpose so that it would be traced back to him as the Genie of Agrabah; he realizes that she never loved him. Regina confesses that she doesn't love him; she wanted the king killed and he offered to do it for her. The genie says he won't leave her, and uses his one wish to wish never to leave her side, to look upon her face always. He disappears and reappears inside the mirror that was his gift to Regina.
At Regina's office, Sidney reveals that he recorded his entire conversation with Emma at Granny's Diner. The whole expose was a setup: Sidney was in cahoots with Regina the entire time--he even admits to having cut the brakes on Emma's car. He pledges to tell Regina of Emma's every move.
An ongoing list of questions that hopefully will be answered in future episodes.
-What is the significance of Regina being the only one who uses the same name in both Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke?
-Who is the mysterious stranger working for?