Once Upon a Time Review: Fruits of the Poisonous Tree

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I am pretty obsessed with Once Upon a Time. It is by far and away one of my favorite new dramas to premiere since the fall. When I heard back in the fall that Giancarlo Esposito would be joining the cast as a recurring character I was extremely excited, especially after that last season of Breaking Bad. Anyone who has seen Breaking Bad knows what a talent Giancarlo is. He is an absolute phenomenal actor and I was surprised when Once Upon a Time began and didn’t really use him all that much.  Well they have finally remedied this ailment with last night’s incredibly awesome episode, Fruits of the Poisonous Tree, about Sydney Glass and his fairyland alter-ego, the magic mirror.

As I had expected, the Magic-Mirror wasn’t always the Magic-Mirror; he was originally the Genie of Argabah (from Aladdin.) I thought this was a great fit for Sydney, as I never really understood where exactly his allegiances really laid. Giancarlo Espositio has that great ability to never really let the audience know which side he is really on and last night, it wasn’t until the end we learn exactly who he was really working for. Back in Fairyland it was revealed that Snow’s father (Richard Schiff), who was about to have a birthday, found the magical lamp and when the Genie appeared, the king wishes for the genie’s freedom and uses his second wish to give the third wish back to the Genie. After that, the Genie owed the King everything that is until he meets and falls in love with the Evil Queen, whose name is…REGINA!

Thanks to some manipulation, Regina convinces the Genie to kill the king, using two snakes her father was able to sneak into the palace. When the Genie learns that Regina never loved him back, he uses the last wish to stay with Regina forever, which turned him into the magic mirror. The writing and Lana Parrilla did a great job making us feel bad for Regina in the early parts of the episodes. I truly felt sorry for her when she admitted to the Genie that she knew her husband could never love her because he would never stop loving his dead wife and would always love his daughter more. It’s no wonder she hates Snow White so much. Though I always thought that this would be the reason, it was nice to see the story turn out so well.

Back in Storybrooke, Emma unknowingly gets played by Regina and Sydney. Until the very last scene we’re told to believe that Sydney had turned his back on Regina and enlisted Emma’s help in taking her down. It is all just a setup by Regina and Sydney, who are working together to keep Emma away from Henry, which Regina succeeds at for the time being. All this story did for me was proving that Regina is a bad bad person and that she is in no way fit to be Henry’s mother. I really hope Emma sees through Sydney’s treachery and is able to play him as well.

This was apparently the second episode to be co-written by Andrew Chambliss, who is also one of the writers on The Vampire Diaries, ( The Last Day, Bad Moon Rising, Katerina are some of his episodes) so it’s no surprise that this episode happened to be one of my favorites. If this show can take a few pages out of TVD’s playbook then it will only continue to get better.  If they can continue to flush through some of the excessive plots, make the characters more relatable and sympathetic, it will continue to be a really good show. I can’t wait for the next episode where we meet Beauty and the Beast (who is not who I thought it would be!!)

Other Thoughts:

~While I liked that they continued the Mary-Margaret and David illicit affair storyline, it just seemed a little too forced into this week’s story.  I really hope they know that what they are doing is probably going to lead them to some pretty bad consequences.

~So last week I told a friend of mine that I believed the mysterious Stranger (played by the devilishly good looking Eion Bailey) to be the author of Henry’s Storybook. After this week’s episode, I am even more convinced that is who he is and he is back because Emma has come to Town and the story is really, only now, just beginning.

~Is it just me, or did that playground get built reallllly fast? I guess there really is magic happening in that town.

~ Anyone else absolutely LOVE that Gus Fring and Toby Ziegler had a conversation on a beach this week? And that Gus Fring KILLED Toby Ziegler? I was positively giddy by this.

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