Tonight’s episode starts in the present, with Henry riding to the castle playground area on his bike to meet Emma. They notice the storm from last week has damaged the castle and Emma vows to have it fixed. Henry then starts to dig in the sand; he’s been hiding the Once Upon a Time book from Regina in the park, but when he finally gets to the spot, the book is still there. Regina shows up because Henry has an appointment with Archie he is going to be late for. Regina gives Emma hell, as usual.
Back at the house, Emma tells Mary Margaret what happened, but Mary gets a text from David telling her to meet him and she cuts the conversation short. Sidney ends up coming to speak with Emma about Regina; he’s half in the bag and says he knows how to take Regina down.
In the past, we find out Sidney is a Genie in a bottle (kindly don’t rub him the right way). The king ends up letting him out and Genie says he has three wishes, we all know the small print of those. King says that he has everything he wants in life but that Genie seems upset. Genie tells him he just wants to be free, so the King wishes for that to happen (IDIOT). His second wish is to give the Genie his third wish, but the Genie says that he’ll never use it as everyone who has wished for something has had something bad happen to them. But the Genie says he wants to find love, so the King invites him to his palace for a shindig. He ends up meeting the King’s daughter Snow and his second wife, Regina or EQ…or just Queen at that point.
Present time Storybrook:
The castle in the park is being destroyed on Regina’s orders and the book is now missing. Emma confronts her, and Regina says it’s not safe for Henry to play there anyway. She also goes at it with Emma (AGAIN) and tells Emma she needs to learn her place. Emma gets so pissed she calls Sidney to meet up with her.
Mary Margaret ends up meeting David and he has a picnic all spread out for her. They talk, they kiss. Blah blah, who cares? He does say he’ll talk to his wife tomorrow. Yeah, famous cheater words.
Emma meets Sidney under the toll bridge that Mary and David are on. He tells her that $50K of the city’s money is missing, and it’s all on Regina. Emma says that they’ll look into it, but all legally.
Back in Time:
The King is giving a speech at his shindig, and he says the greatest gift is his daughter Snow. He talks about Snow’s mom, all while poor Queen numero two is sitting there. Seriously, no wonder she went all Evil Queen on Snow later. Queen gets teary eyed and leaves the room to go to her garden. Genie follows her out and admires her apple tree; she says it’s the only thing she has from her childhood and that it doesn’t belong much in the way that she doesn’t (cue teeny tiny poor me violins). She goes on to say that the King will never love her the way he loved his first wife. Genie ends up giving her a mirror so that she can see herself the way he sees her, as the fairest one in all the land. Anyone have any crackers for that cheese?
In the present, Emma and Sidney are looking through papers about the missing money and realize that the papers from the week the money disappeared are missing. Mary Margaret walks in as they are discussing if they should do this legally or all sneaky like; Mary and Sidney agree that if it’s for the good of all people or what you really desire you should do it.
Emma and Sidney go to ask Regina about the papers first and Regina says that they probably burnt in the fire; you know, the one that caused Emma to become the Sheriff. After this boring part of the show, Emma plays it off like she believes her and they leave. Only Emma has planted a bug in Regina’s office!
Back to the Past, we have the King and Genie meeting up in the King’s chambers. He reads the Queen’s diary and sees that she has fallen in love with a man that has given her a mirror. Yeah, that was a little fast there, Queeny. The King admits he knows she is unhappy and that he will never love her the way he loved his first wife, ouch. Buddy, you had a Genie in a lamp, why didn’t you wish for her back?!!? Anyway, he asks the Genie to find out who this man is and bring him to him.
In the present, the super spy team of Emma and Sidney are listening to the wiretap and hear that Regina is going to meet someone in the woods that night to give them money. So they set off to find out who she is meeting and giving that $50K to. They end up crashing the police car because the brakes have been tampered with, and Sidney says Regina is on to them. But they walk on through the woods and find Mr. Gold, Regina bought land from him. He warns them against getting involved but they don’t listen.
Genie is at Queen’s apple tree having a snack when her father comes to him with a box. He says that she has been locked away in a room, and the guards wouldn’t let him see her. The only thing that will save her life is in the box he has and would Genie please give it to her. It will set her free.
Emma and Sidney break into Regina’s office looking for any information on the land transfer from Mr. Gold. They find the info (somehow Emma is a super hacker, who knew?), and some weird keys (I think it was the heart box keys). They print the info. Emma tries to find Henry’s book, but Regina comes in and tells them to leave because she knows they broke into her office.
Back to the past, Queen and Genie embrace, she tells him she loves him. He tells her about her father and the box, inside of which are two poisonous snakes from the Genie’s country. Queen says she’s can’t live like this anymore and the snakes will put her out of this misery. As she is about to put her hand in the box, Genie stops her and says they should kill the King instead. What a turncoat!
Getting dizzy yet? We are going back briefly to the present where we find Henry in the café trying to re-write the fairy tale book when the still unknown stranger comes in. He asks Henry a bunch of questions, Henry snarks back that he sure seems interested in the book and why is he in Storybrook. Of course he won’t answer and leaves.
Emma and Sidney are looking through the printed stuff they got off of Regina’s computer and it’s a bunch of blueprints and weird stuff. Emma is disappointed that they stooped to Regina’s level of scum. But then Sidney shows Emma a box of pictures that Regina made him take, he’s been spying on Henry and Emma. That lights a fire under Emma’s ass and they take off to City Council to confront her. Emma tells everyone in the chambers about the missing money, but it turns out Regina was using the money to make a playground that was safe for all the children of Storybrook (aww). Mr. Gold gives them a look that clearly said “I told you so.”
Past traveling we go again, and the King is sound asleep in his bed. The Genie unlocks the box and the snakes go slithering under the sheets on a deadly little travel. King wakes up and sees Genie just as the snake bites him and he starts to turn colors. Genie tells him he’s the man the Queen wants, he loves her and he is sorry it has come to this. The King looks at him and says that he should never have wished. DUH, Genie did try to warn you!
Back to the present, Sidney and Emma are met outside by Mr. Gold. He offers to help, but as usual Emma says no, but Sidney says he’ll help because someone has to bring Regina down. Regina asks to speak to Emma privately and tells her to go back to her job, and to leave Henry alone. Emma accuses her of tampering with her brakes, but Regina says it wasn’t her.
Henry is at the new playground (whoa, that was mad fast building!) and sees Emma a few feet away in her car. He walkie talkies her to get her to come out but she explains that she isn’t allowed, and tells him that Regina wants her to stay away from Henry. But she promises she will find his book.
Speaking of the book, we get some hands opening a box and tada there’s the book and it’s with the stranger. No wonder they say stranger danger, he’s a thief!
In the past again, Genie tells Queen that the job is done, the King is dead. Queen says that the palace guards put two and two together because the snakes are from his country; they know he killed the King and they will execute him, so he must leave, she has a boat ready to take him away. This is when he finally clues in; Queen played him like a cheap guitar and set him up. He tells her that he loves her and that he has one wish remaining. So he wishes to never leave her side and to look upon her forever. Guess who gets turned into the magic mirror? Sucker.
Finally back to the present. Regina and Sidney are in her office, turns out they played Emma. They were in it together, so now Emma trusts Sidney and he will report back everything to Regina.
Is it just me, or is it getting more and more cheestastic as the weeks go by? And someone tell me WHO the stranger is already!!
Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.