In the fairytale world of Once Upon a Time, we met King Leopold for the first time. The father of Snow White and the husband of the Queen, he was a happy man who happened upon a magic lamp one day. Rubbing it, a Genie appeared. As it turns out, the man we know as the Magic Mirror was once a Genie. Fortunately for him – at the time – King Leopold felt he had everything he needed, so he decided to free the Genie from the lamp instead of taking a wish for himself. Then he wished to turn the third wish over to the Genie. After, Leopold invited the Genie back to his castle to join his birthday celebrations.
As it turns out, Leopold very much loved his daughter, but he could never love the Queen as he did his first wife (Snow’s mother) and the Queen knew this. Drawn by her sadness, the Genie struck a friendship with her and fell in love. When Leopold learned that his wife had fallen in love with another man, he tasked the Genie with discovering that man’s identity. Soon after, Leopold had the Queen confined to her rooms, so her father approached the Genie and asked him to deliver a box to the Queen. He did and learned that it contained vipers from his homeland. The Queen said that she could no longer bear her life – and her unfulfilled love with the Genie – and wanted to kill herself. Instead, the Genie suggested they use the vipers to kill the King.
After the King had died, the Genie returned to the Queen and soon discovered that she had set him up. Wanting him to kill Leopold, she tricked him into falling in love with her and also framed him for the murder. Despondent, he used his final wish to remain with her forever. But the magic delivered an unexpected result – as happens on Once Upon a Time – and he transformed into the Magic Mirror.
Oy. The Queen sure is mean, isn’t she? For a while there, I was convinced by her acting and thought there was some goodness within her. I wondered if Snow had somehow deprived her of the Genie in the end and that that would be the catalyst for her hatred of her stepdaughter. But the Queen was a master manipulator. How far back does this evil go? And what of the reason she hates Snow White? While the Genie storyline was admittedly a bit cheesy, I did appreciate the dedication of the Once Upon a Time writers in giving us completely unexpected origin stories. The Magic Mirror was once a Genie? Who saw that one coming?
Trickery and twists were also alive and well in Storybrooke in this week’s Once Upon a Time. After Henry’s “castle” was damaged in a storm, he was worried about his fairytale book, which he had buried in the sand. Regina came by, finally learned about Henry and Emma’s “secret place”. Later in the episode, Henry’s book disappeared. At the end of the hour, we learned that the mysterious writer had taken the book from the hiding place.
At Granny’s diner, a drunken Sidney approached Emma, wanting to team up to get revenge on Regina. He said that she had humiliated him in the election and then got him fired from the paper after he started researching an exposé on her corruption in the mayor’s office.
When Regina continued to put down Emma, she eventually decided to take Sidney up on his offer. He said he found evidence that Regina had taken $50,000 of the city’s money for her personal use. After bugging Regina’s office and then later breaking in to find missing records, they realized she had taken the money to buy a piece of land. Thinking she was going to build a house on the land, they exposed her scheme at the town meeting. But Regina pulled the wool over their eyes, revealing that she actually bought the land to build a playground for the children of Storybrooke.
Disheartened and embarrassed, Sidney and Emma regrouped at Granny’s for a beer and to lick their wounds. Emma vowed to find another way to bring Regina down. Later, we saw Sidney in Regina’s office and learned that his entire plan with Emma had been a ruse. He and Regina had come up with the plan together and he executed it perfectly in order to humiliate Emma. Now Emma has been forbidden to see Henry by Regina and must stay away with him.
Well, that was fun…the twist with Sidney. Considering the horrible way Regina has treated him – in the fairytale world and in Storybrooke – I thought his anger towards her was genuine. But Regina certainly has that town sewn up. The question, however, is exactly who this mysterious writer is, what he’s doing in Storybrooke and exactly why he stole Henry’s book. Is he its author or someone else? Also, Mary Margaret and David were not forgotten after their first kiss in last week’s episode. They only had a short scene together – where they went on a picnic as a date – but it’s clear that they’ve decided to make a go of it. Of course, David needs to come clean with Kathryn or make a break with her. I sense danger in their future.
Once Upon a Time is on a short hiatus until February 12. Watch a trailer for the next episode here.