Once Upon A Time: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

“Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” tells the story of the Queen’s magic mirror and how he ended up on the wall.

Before he was puffing up the Queen’s ego on a daily basis, he was a genie trapped in a magic lamp; forced to grant wishes to anyone who rubbed him the right way … until Snow White’s father, King Leopold, stumbled upon the lamp and used one of his wishes to free the genie.

How many kings are there in fairytale land anyway? There is Charming’s father, King Midas, Cinderella’s in-laws, and now we meet King Leopold? A royal title just doesn’t mean what it used to!

The genie is grateful for his freedom, but not sure what to do with it. He decides to accompany Leopold to his palace. There he meets Leopold’s family – his beautiful daughter Snow White and “my wife, the Queen.” (Does she even have a name?)

The genie is instantly smitten with the Queen’s cold beauty, and he starts to have glimpses into her lonely world. Her husband praises his daughter – lavishes her with love and affection – while his wife languishes on the sidelines. He speaks of his deceased wife as a beautiful goddess with no equal, but offers no words of praise for his new love.

The genie longs to cure the Queen’s pain and gives her an ornate hand mirror so she can discover her own beauty. When the Queen writes of her love for her exotic admirer in her diary, the King is distraught – not because he actually loves his wife and can’t bear to see her with another man, but because she’s his damn property and he can’t have his woman coveting other dudes.

But the King doesn’t realize the true identify of his wife’s crush, and he ironically turns to the Genie for help. He wants him to find out who has been coveting his wife and report back. Instead, he and the Queen plot to kill the king so that they can truly be together, and the Queen ‘just happens’ to have some poisonous snakes from Agrabah lying around. One bite and the King will be history. The Genie carries out the deadly deed, but he’s tortured by what he’s forced to do. He’s overcome by his desire for the Queen, but has real affection for the man who gave him his freedom.

Once the King has been disposed of, suspicion falls on the Genie. After all, the deadly snakes WERE from his homeland. Sigh. For a magical being, he’s not that bright, is he? Did he ever stop to wonder about the ‘convenience’ of it all??? The Queen tells him to run and save himself – but he only wants to be by her side. It’s the morning after the murder and the Queen is showing her true colours. She’s gotten all she needs from her pathetic admirer.

For one second there, one tiny minuscule moment, I really believe we might see a softer side of the Queen, a real vulnerability that might explain her awful behaviour. But no … apparently she’s just evil to the core!

The Genie is distraught and he uses one of his own wishes so that he might never be parted from her, and he gets his wish. He’ll be staring at her for the rest of his life – from inside all the mirrors in her house. Oh dear. You know if he really wants to mess with this bitch he should just make his head as huge as possible and block her view of her own face. Try to put on lipstick now! HA!

I think it’s great that they touched on the Aladdin myth. It’s the first time they’ve really strayed away from more classic Disney fairytales, but it was a little jarring to see harem pants in the Enchanted Forest.

In Storybrooke, the Genie’s alter ego, Sydney, has fallen out with Regina for humiliating him during the election. He’s drunk, he’s pissed and he’s hungering for revenge. He seeks out the only person in town who’s more eager to see Regina eat crow then he is – Emma.

Regina meanwhile has discovered Henry and Emma’s special wooden castle and berates Emma for letting him play somewhere so dangerous. Not satisfied with chastising her son, Regina comes back to bulldoze over his dreams. She destroys the castle, calling it a town hazard. Poor Henry had hidden his fairytale book in the sand beneath the castle and it has disappeared.

That’s the final straw for Emma who stomps back to Sydney and declares GAME ON. They start investigating Regina’s misuse of town funds. Emma is determined to keep it above board, but after every encounter with Regina she becomes more and more unhinged. She finally snaps, breaks into Regina’s office, fabricates a burglary and steals blueprints for a house in the woods that Regina is building with town funds.

Emma interrupts a town meeting to confront Regina and yell ‘J’Accuse!’ … but she ends up looking like a damn fool when Regina cops to using town money to build a house in the woods – a PLAY house be-yotch, so Storybrooke’s precious children can play safely. How does that crow taste, Emma?

Poor Emma played right into her nemesis’ hands – looking like an unstable looney toon. Regina doesn’t bother to disguise her glee when she forbids Emma from spending time with Henry.

While the Genie may have learned a painful lesson about the Queen’s deception, Sydney is still under Regina’s spell. His crusade for justice was a ruse to set Emma up for a humiliating fall. He’s still enthralled by his ice Queen, lapping up her half-hearted praise like a lovesick puppy dog.

And what of Henry’s missing fairy tale book? It’s now in the hands of the mysterious town stranger. Just exactly what kind of ‘writer’ is he?

Photo Courtesy of ABC

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