At least some of our questions were answered on this weeks’ Once Upon a Time, as we finally learned how the Evil Queen came to be in Snow’s life.
In FairyTale, we begin with a genie (The Man in the Mirror/Sidney) stuck in a magic lamp until King Leopold wanders by and picks it up. With a plume of smoke, the genie appears. Calling himself the “Genie of Agrabah”, he grants Leopold three wishes. The King, too nice to be true, says he wishes only for the genie to be free. And also gives him back his third wish. The genie, in turn, states his only desire is to find true love.
As if giving away his wishes weren’t enough, Leopold also takes Genie home to meet his family and introduces not only his daughter Snow White, but also his wife, Queen Regina. You got it. The Evil Queen is Snow’s Step-Mommy Dearest. Regina is unhappy as Leopold’s wife, and it’s clear she plays second fiddle to Snow and her deceased mother. But a besotted Genie gives her a mirror and counsels her to see herself as he does,’ the fairest of them all’. (Worth noting here is the special apple tree Regina has planted in the Royal courtyard. This woman’s obsession with apples obviously goes way back.)
Meanwhile, the King summons Genie and tells him he’s discovered his wife loves another. (This is what snooping in a diary gets you). Having no clue that the mystery man is actually Genie, the King orders him to learn his identity. Until then, Leopold has locked Regina in the dungeon. (Maybe this too-good-to-be-true King has a few flaws, after all).
Randomly, Regina’s father (the one whose heart she later rips out) appears before Genie and hands him a locked box with a key. He informs the Genie the contents will free Regina but that he can’t deliver the box himself, because the guards already know “he will die for her.” Getting his heart pulled out of his chest was solid proof of that.
When the Queen sees the box, she opens it to reveal two hissing, and deadly, vipers. Turns out these vipers hail from Agrabah, the Genie’s hometown. I smell a rat. But the smitten Genie is oblivious to the Queen’s true evil, and suggests they use the snakes to kill the King, so that they might be together forever. It goes without saying the queen readily agrees.
Proving again this show can go in a heartbeat from G-rated, gee-whiz morality to some fairly gruesome violence, the genie releases the snakes into the King’s bed. As both slither to the doomed man’s neck, the King opens his eyes, just as the vipers bite. The King turns a really sickly shade of black and most definitely dies.
When Genie returns to tell the Queen the deed is done, she reveals her betrayal. Because the vipers are only found in Genie’s hometown, he will be the only suspect. She tells him his only option is to leave the Kingdom forever. He refuses, saying he wants only to be with her. He uses the wish given to him by the king to guarantee he stays with Regina. Unfortunately, he ends up trapped in the mirror and screams when he realizes his fate. File that under be careful what you wish for.
In Storybrooke, a storm has destroyed the town’s playground and the metal box containing Henry`s fairytale book has also gone missing. Also, newspaper reporter Sidney Glass has been fired by Mayor Regina. In an attempt to get even, he tells Emma he knows the Mayor has embezzled funds, for some no-good purpose, and he can help the Sheriff prove it.
After some persuasion by the newspaper man, Emma plants a bug in the Mayor`s office and soon hears her making plans to meet someone under the Toll Bridge to ‘make a payment’. Emma and Sidney drive there to catch Regina red-handed but on the way, the car’s brakes fail. A good indication the Mayor may be onto them.) They crash but are unhurt and get out in time to spy Mr. Gold. He admits he was there to meet Regina, because she is buying land from him.
Still determined to expose Regina, they head back to City Hall and break into Regina`s office and copy some building blueprints off the computer. Suddenly, Regina enters her office and catches the two. Covering their tracks, Emma tells her they saw kids break in and they simply came in to check it out. Regina sends them away. Remember mysterious motorcycle man? He’s still around. And turns out he’s got Henry’s locked box with the magical book inside. What does he want with it? Who is this guy?
At the next town meeting, Emma and Sidney expose the blueprints to the townsfolk. They tell the citizens that the Mayor has clearly embezzled city funds in order to build herself a new home. But Regina simply smirks and reveals the blueprints are for a new, safer playground to replace the one destroyed in the storm. Thwarted, Emma and Sidney concede temporary defeat.
Regina then forbids Emma from seeing Henry. But Emma and Sidney promise to keep working together, in order to expose to the Mayor’s evil nature to the entire town. But (and there’s always a but) at episode’s end, we see Regina thanking Sidney for earning Emma`s trust. So is Sidney STILL in cahoots with the Mayor? Or is he truly now on Emma’s side? The plot has thickened once more and we are left with more questions than answers. Again.