Storybrooke, Maine: Sidney goes to Emma with the news that Regina had him fired from the paper. He wants revenge on Regina for that and for making him look like a fool in the election for sheriff. He tells Emma that Regina has stolen $50k from the town. Emma and Sidney break into Regina’s office and find evidence that Emma deems “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Fruit of the poisonous tree, in legal terms, refers to “the principle that prohibits the use of secondary evidence in trial that was culled directly from primary evidence derived from an illegal search and seizure.” So, no Emma. The stuff you found in Regina’s house wasn’t the fruit. It was the tree. Don’t worry. Lots of real cops don’t know the rules of criminal procedure either. The non-law schooler knew what you meant though, Emma, so don't feel too bad. Plus, we get what the showrunners were getting at (what with Regina being the Evil Queen and all).
Be it fruit or tree, Emma can’t use it against Regina in court, but she CAN go to a town meeting and brandish it about so that Regina will be discredited in the residents’ eyes. Emma ends up looking like an idiot when Regina admits that she used the money to buy land from Mr. Gold to build a new playground for the town’s children. Regina threatens to get a restraining order in light of the break-in, so Emma needs to stay away from Henry for a while. She can still contact Henry on the walkie-talkies though. We like that Emma got slammed for breaking into Regina’s office. We like that she knows she acted like a bad guy there, because she did. We didn’t like seeing it. Emma and Sidney meet in the diner and talk about their new alliance. Then the show cuts to Sidney meeting Regina and discussing their alliance. They’ve been tricking Emma together THE WHOLE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugh, we know, show.
Dear Once Upon a Time: You are so much better than this. As a family-friendly, fantasy show, you have been cleverer and we are going to hold you to that standard. We are supremely irritated at the Sidney set-up. We knew he was lying the whole time, and yet Emma had no idea. This is the same Emma who keeps talking about how she has a superpower where she knows when people are lying to her. Was this just a bluff that she uses on little kids? Because we thought that was factual information. If so, that's fine, but we need that made obvious to the audience. We really hope that Emma is wise to Sidney’s intentions and just playing along, because that would actually make sense and fit the rest of the episodes where Emma is street smart and cynical. This episode, Emma was not only dishonest, she was confusing. Consistency, people.
In the fairytale world, King Leopold, Snow’s father and Evil Queen’s husband, finds a magic lamp. He rubs it and a Genie comes out. The Genie of Agrabah is Sidney/the Magic Mirror and he’s wearing the most ridiculous outfit. Ladies and Gentleman, Gus of Breaking Bad is no longer scary. All it took was one crazy genie outfit. The king says that he has no wishes, because he has everything he wants. This makes us like him and simultaneously roll our eyes. There are no people like that! Especially rich people with power! The king wishes the genie free and uses his second wish to give Genie his third wish. Genie says he will never use that wish, because he has granted 1,001 wishes and has seen them all go badly, in the end.
The King lets Genie chill in his pad and holds a party where he tells Snow she’s everything to him or something. He also waxes on about his dead wife, who was just as beautiful as Snow. We instantly stop liking the king, because anything that happens to him is what he deserves after such stupidity. Evil Queen was IN THE ROOM. You don’t keep talking about your gorgeous dead wife, who you still love, right in front of your new one. It’s just not smart. Genie takes one look at Evil Queen and decides she’s the love of his life. He gives her a mirror and says that she is the fairest in the land. The queen writes in her diary about her new gift and how a new flame has renewed her hope in love. Girl, come on. Neither of these men are hot.
The King reads the Queen’s diary. Well, that’s a violation. He’s the worst. We don’t get how the king could be so content and Buddha-like and yet be such an ass in his personal life. He doesn’t seem to love the queen at all, but he’s upset that someone might steal her from him. The King shows Genie the diary and asks for Genie’s help in finding the queen’s new paramour. He also locks Evil Queen in her rooms so that she can’t see this guy anymore. Controlling creeper. We really did not enjoy the writing for King Leopold.
The Evil Queen’s father brings Genie a locked box and tells him to bring it to the queen. Genie does and the Evil Queen unlocks the box. It contains the snake of Agrabah. Or snakes. We don’t know. There were two heads, but it could have been two-headed. It was super fake looking, in any case. These snakes can kill with a single bite, like lots of poisonous snakes, so we’re not impressed. The Queen pretends that she is going to let the snakes bite her, but Genie stops and her says they should kill the king with the snake(s?) instead.
Genie brings the snake to the King’s room at night and puts them in his bed. The king is bitten and wakes up. The Genie confesses to the dying king that he is the queen’s new man. The king looks pretty shocked, and even though we don’t particularly like Snow’s father by now, we are scandalized at this betrayal. You don’t KILL the man who freed you. You may steal his wife, for true love’s sake, but kill him? That’s cold. The king says, “You were right. I never should have made a wish.” Way to hammer it home, show. We got that when it was foreshadowed in the first five minutes.
Too late, Genie figures out that the queen only needed him to pin the king’s murder on, and she does not love him. The genie doesn’t care that she doesn’t love him and uses his wish to be with her forever and always look upon her face. Wish granted. He is now trapped in the queen’s mirror. Dude, 1,0001 wishes later, and you still don’t know that you have to make wishes specific?
Also, the stranger has Henry’s Once Upon a Time book and when he held it up in the show’s final minutes, his face held a mixture of awe and…nausea? We don’t know, but the expression made us think that he has some clue of the book’s significance. Did he write the book? What is the stranger doing here? He’s not killing an Arab, so what? In other news, David and Mary Margaret are still canoodling, unmolested by the queen.
We didn’t like this episode. We did think it was cool how the show had a new twist on the Genie plotline and how everything fit together, but it hardly makes any sense at all that Sidney would still be in love with the queen in the fairytale world after what she did. In previous episodes, it looked like Genie and the queen still had a good relationship, or at least a working relationship. You would think there would at least be some awkwardness between them after all that drama. The double-cross thing is lame and Snow's father evoked no sympathy.
Episode grade: C