Episode 11: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree


Oh ho thought I might've gotten sick of OUAT? Not yet, my friends! Not yet! Thank goodness for President's Day weekend. It will be lovely to sleep in and leisurely recap the show within 24 hours of airing instead of spasmodically recapping a week later after millions of recaps have already cropped up :P  I am kind of sick of not knowing when the story will end though.  Season 2 is all but confirmed and I HATE the fact they'll no doubt drag the story out until they have squeezed out every last penny, storyline or no storyline.  I already feel like they are dragging on the David/MMarg thing painfully and a little movement on people remembering their fairytale half would be nice.  It's getting very soap/drama esque in Storybrooke....

This was Genie/Sydney Glass episode. Nice twist at the end and tho I was disappointed to see no Aladdin or Jasmine, it was still a fun little episode.

Episode 11: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

The storm from the last episode has wrecked the castle playground that Henry loves. Emma is waiting there when Henry rides up on his bike. We see that Henry is avoiding her (I guess to protect her from Regina's wrath) and is preoccupied digging up an old suitcase buried under the playground.

He's relieved to see that the book is still safe. He tells Emma that he hides it here since Regina doesn't know about this place. Mother and son share a sweet moment when he says that the playground is their secret :) With her usual uncanny timing, Regina pulls up. She sends Henry to the car (he has an appointment with Archie) and berates Emma for letting her feelings interfere with her work. The playground is a hazard and the fact Emma lets Henry play there signifies she's more interested in undermining Regina than Henry's safety.

Emma fumes over lunch with MMarg, who tells her Regina is just jealous that she and Henry share a bond she can't have. However, she is interrupted by a text from David and rushes out to meet him without telling Emma where she is going.

Sydney plonks himself into MMarg's vacated chair and tells Emma that he overheard her wish that everyone saw Regina for who she really is. A drunken Sydney says he has had enough - he was fired from the paper and humiliated during the sheriff election. As revenge, he's been writing an expose on the mayor's position and discovered something the Mayor would not want known. Emma doesn't bite and tells him to be grateful he no longer "lives in her pocket." Determined, Sydney gives her his card and tells her to call when she feels ready to expose the truth.

In another world, Genie stares solemnly into a mirror. He looks up when a shadow falls over him and we see that his circular room is none other than the inside of a lamp.

How awesome is it that the room actually looks like the inside of a lamp? VERY awesome xD ahah He sighs as he sees an inquisitive face preparing to rub the lamp, wearily mumbling, "Here we go..."

The lamp we have seen many-a-time in Rumpel's shop is pulled from the ocean and rubbed by a rather harried looking King Leopold aka Snow's dad. Thus summoned from his lamp, we see a much feistier, cooler side of Genie/Sydney as he sarcastically recites the rules of the 3 wishes:

"You can't wish for life or death. You can't wish for love. And you can't wish for more wishes....So, what's your first wish?"

You kind of have to watch the scene yourself to appreciate how exasperated the Genie is as he braces himself for another tiresome round of wish granting ^^ It d oesn't help that the King (Snow's dad) is very Polly-anna about the whole thing,

"I can't think of a single thing I desire...except for the happiness of all who set foot in my kingdom."

The Genie, who no doubt just wants to get the whole affair over with, storms away. Concerned, the king asks why he is so unhappy. The Genie tells him that he has been granting wishes for centuries and that life as a Genie is far from magical. Smiling, the king makes his first wish - he wishes the Genie free.

We watch the shackles drop from his wrists and Genie is awed by the King's kindness. Furtheremore, the King's second wish is to give his third wish to the Genie. Moved by his generosity, the Genie tells him that he has granted 1001 wishes and and seen wishes go sour 1001 times. Thus, he will never use the 3rd wish. The King praises his wisdom and asks what he will do with his newfound freedom. Genie says he will search for the one thing the lamp has kept him from all this time - true love. King Leopold invites Genie to come to his palace then, he has no doubt he could find love there.

Leopold introduces Genie to Snow and his Queen. However, it is Regina that makes the impression on Genie. Seems like Genie has found his true love.

Henry and Emma arrive to see Regina tearing down the playground. Henry is devastated to see that his book is missing too. Emma confronts Regina who coolly informs her to "learn her place in this town. Or soon you won't be in it." Furious, Emma places a call to Sydney to tell him that she's in.

MMarg meets David and T(r)oll Bridge. She is surprised to see that David has prepared a picnic for her by the river. They smooch, though MMarg says they need to put an end to the cheating. He needs to chose her or Kathryn. He promises that he'll deal with that tomorrow *sigh* boys -_-

Emma meets Sydney is a sketchy tunnel where he tells her $50,000 is missing from the budget. Emma's disappointed but Sydney says that is just the tip of the iceberg. He begs her to "dip into her bailsbond bag of tricks"/tap her phone/hack her email. Emma refuses, saying as sheriff, she wants to do things the right way. Yah Emma! When Emma asks how Sydney ended up being Regina's puppet when he fears her so much, he wistfully reveals that he once thought that Regina was another person.

It's Ol' Leo's bday and he makes a speech saying that no gifts are necessary because they would pale compared to the beauty of his beloved daughter, Snow. He adds that Snow's beauty reminds him of his "dearly departed wife who like Snow, was the fairest in all the land." He says this while ignoring TEQ, sitting lonely in the back of the hall. TEQ is definitely a definition b*tch but Leo hardly seems to be as nice as he seemed on the beach with Genie. Honestly, the way he was stroking Snow's hand while talking about his dead wife reminds me of the book, Deerskin. The book based on the French fairy tale, Donkeyskin; it's about a father who promises his dying wife, once the most beautiful in the land, that he will not remarry unless it is to a woman as beautiful as she. Unfortunately for her, the princess grows up to be as beautiful as her mother and the king decides the only person that is worthy of marrying him is his daughter. Oh yeah, it just went there.

ANYWAY, unsurprisingly, the Queen slips out the back, saddened by the impassioned speech that makes not a single mention of her. The Genie witnesses her exit and follows her out to the garden by her beloved apple tree.

"...it's from my childhood garden. The tree and I share something in common. Neither of us can leave the palace and neither of us truly belongs. No matter how much I try to please the king, he will never love me as he loved his first wife. I am trapped by the memory of the life they used to share."

To cheer her up, the Genie gives her his mirror, so that she can see herself as he sees her - as fairest in all the land.

Sydney and Emma search through town files, looking for a record of the missing $50,000. Interestingly, the files from 3 weeks ago are missing. Sydney says that that proves that there is no way to strike back at Regina without getting a little dirty. MMarg eagerly agrees, perhaps doing a bad thing for the right reasons isn't really a bad thing >_> Emma refuses and says they need to talk to Regina first.

Per usual, Regina is ruthlessly clever. Yes, she admits to checking out those files 3 weeks ago. However, there is no getting them back since they burned in the fire that got Emma elected sheriff. There is nothing much to say to that, as convenient as it might be. Emma and Syndeny leave, but not without Emma telling him that their journey was a success - she planted a bug. If playing dirty is what she needs to do to bring Regina down, she'll do it.

The King summons Genie to his room. He shows him TEQ's diary, which reveals that she is in love with a man who gifted her a mirror. He wants Genie to know who stole his wife's heart, never mind the fact that he admits he could never love the Queen as she longs to be loved.

Leo is officially on my shit list now. Ok, he admits he could never love the Queen but he still feels entitled to riffle through her diary and keep her from finding love? I get it, back in the good old medieval days marriage was politics, but what bothers me is that Leo acts all nice and smarmy to the public but is creepily obsessed with his dead wife and daughter while essentially ignoring his wife's existence. Geez.

Via the planted bug, Sydney and Emma overhear Regina talking to a mysterious person on the phone. She promises to meet this person on Access Road 23 with the rest of the payment in cash. She also tells the person on the other end to keep the meeting secret. The duo excitedly tail Regina but failed brakes cause Emma to crash on the side of the road. Sydney looks at the brakes and says that Regina must be on to them, the breaks were cut. Furious that Regina almost killed them, Emma storms through the woods.

They bump into Mr. Gold, who tells 'em that Regina was meeting him tonight. He sold her the very land they're standing on, though he refuses to reveal what the land will be used for. Sydney tells him that they're here to prove Regina is a bad apple (eheh) and they won't stand for it anymore. Gold smirks and tell them of course they can. As he limps off, he warns them that "emotional entanglements can lead us down very dangerous paths" - an allusion to both Emma's love for Henry and Genie's love affair than the present situation I'm sure.

The Genie is enjoying an apple from the infamous apple tree as he waits for his beloved. Instead, the father shows up, bearing a mysterious box he must deliver to his daughter. The king has locked the queen away in her chambers and refuses to let the father in. However, since the king trusts the Genie, he must deliver the box, which contains the key to her freedom. If he loves her, he'll find a way.

Emma is 100% on board with illegal shenanigans now :| and proposes they break into Regina's office to confirm that the money was used for personal reasons. She does this by breaking the window to set off the alarm - after all she is the police and that will be her explanation for being there. During their search of the office, Emma finds a ring of skull keys, same as the one the Genie was looking it. She wonders what they're for, but dismisses them as she searches for Henry's missing book, which she suspects Regina took.

Regina is suspicious but Emma provides a perfectly reasonable explanation: Sydney called the police because he saw kids breaking in; that's why they're here.

Queen flings her arms around Genie when he arrives and declares that her love for him grows stronger with every beat of her heart. However, she feels hopeless as it is only a matter of time before the King discovers his identity. She opens the box and we see two snakes - the Agribahn vipers, so deadly that it can kill with a single bite. She intends to commit suicide and after expressing her wish to meet him again in another life, reaches into the box -

- only to have the Genie stop her at the last minute. He will kill the king instead. With him out of the way, they could be together forever. Murder? For me? How romantic! She embraces him saying,

"What would I ever do without you?"

Henry scribbles down as much of the contents of the fairy tales books as he can as The Stranger peppers him about the book. Henry, sick of the questions, demands to know what he's really doing there and of course, the Stranger doesn't answer.

Meanwhile, Syd and Emma pore through the papers they got from Regina's office. Luckily, all the transfer paperwork is covered with her name and personal address - the land she bought was definitely for personal use. There are also blueprints for a building that appear to be for a second home. While Syd crows with success Emma feel guilty for illegally obtaining the evidence/"fruit from a poisonous tree" - it can't be used in court. Furthermore, she has broken her promise to Henry to never stoop to Regina's level. Syd doesn't care, he says court is not the point - revealing her true self is. The get Emma to understand, he pulls out a box.

It is filled with pictures that Syd took as he stalked them on Regina's orders. Regina had known about the playground weeks ago. She just waited to strike when it would hurt the most. That's the kind of person she is. That finally sways Emma.

At the town hall meeting, Emma and Syd confront Regina with the evidence of the stolen funds. Emma refuses to back down and calls her no better than a thug.

However, just when it seems that Emma is going to triumph, Regina coolly admits that she is in fact building a house - a playhouse. It is a playground version of Leopold's castle, though Regina says it was inspired by a drawing she saw in one of Henry's books (ahh...the fairy tale book?). All she wanted was to create a place that was safe for Henry and all the kids of Storybrooke to play.

The Genie asks for forgiveness as he releases the snakes into the king's bed. As the King dies, Genie tenderly holds the king's hand as he tells him that he is forever in his debt for freeing him. However, just as he freed him, he must free the Queen. The King's dying words are,

"You were right. I should have never made that wish."

Geez, who needs Rumpel around when every piece of magic in this land seems to eff itself up so well on it's own O_o?

Mr. Gold, unlike everyone else who is busy thanking Regina for her generosity, commends Emma for her bravery. However, if she really wants to bring down Regina, she's going to need a strong ally - like him. Emma rebuffs his offer and Gold smirks as he walks off saying, "One can wish."

Regina pulls Emma aside and tells her that as punishment for all of Emma's illegal activity, she is going to ban Emma from seeing Henry. There's not a judge in the world that wouldn't grant her a restraining order after what Emma did (not untrue sadly...). Emma won't be able to see him unless she allows it - which she doesn't.  Emma accuses her of cutting her breaks but Regina is genuinely surprised to her that.  In any case, unless Emma gathers better evidence, she has nothing on her.

At the least kid friendly looking playground ever, Emma and Henry talk via walkie talkie. Emma sadly tells him that they can't meet for awhile, she screwed up. Meanwhile she will do everything she can to get Henry's book back, though Henry already writes it off as a lost cause. He figures it is long gone by now. He mournfully watches Emma drive away.

Elsewhere, a man breaks open the metal box and pulls out the fairy tale book. We see that the new owner of the book is none other than The Stranger. Though my question is...why was it in a metal box he had to break open with pliers O_o?

At Granny's, the humiliated duo toast to never being tricked by Regina again. Sydney says that the only positive things in this situation is that Emma now has an ally and that surely there are more skeletons in Regina's closet.

The Genie rushes to the Queen, the King is dead and now they can be together. To his surprise, she is cold to him and tells him that they still can't be together. The Agribahn vipers were found and the palace guards know it was he who killed the king - he is to be executed. She has prepared a boat for his escape and she tells him to leave at once. Genie finally realizes that she never loved him; she just wanted the king dead. She confirms this by telling him to be grateful that she even arranged for his escape. He is to leave here and never look back.

The Genie is stalwart in his love and says he can't live without her. As a last resort he pulls out the lamp and uses his one wish,

"I wish to be with you forever. To look upon your face always, to never leave your side."

And...he gets his wish. At first TEQ is horrified but then smile spreads across her face as she remarks that it does seem that they will be together forever now.

In the real world, Sydney plays a tape recording of Emma saying they are allies. They gloat at how Emma bought into Sydney's declaration of friendship. Everything was a setup all along, just to win Emma's trust. She especially praises Sydney's genius for cutting Emma's breaks as she gently caresses his knee >_> In an echo of her previous self she wonders what she would do without him.

Well, it must be love. It's either that or stupidity that keeps Mirror/Sydney so loyal to Regina. I liked the twist at the end though; it was wickedly clever for the whole setup be a ploy just to win Emma's trust. Not to mention, she got Emma away from Henry too.

Not pleased with the MMarg/David development. They're definitely having an affair now and David seems awfully wishy washy about cutting ties with Kathryn. Episode 13 is airing in like...10 minutes though and there is supposed to be more Prince Charming backstory though, so thank goodness for that.

Not much else to say except I am curious to know what Stranger does with the book. Also that magic is clearly nothing but trouble.  Rumpel, 1001 wishes gone bad (doesn't seem like Genie meant them to either)....it seems to me that the very nature of magic is suspect, no matter what the user's intentions...

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