Jan 30 2012 11:16am

Once Upon a Time Season 1, Episode 11: Snakes in a Box!

Mary Margaret and David kiss in Once Upon a Time*****SPOILERS*****

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.

(Need to catch up? Check our our previous Once Upon a Time recaps:
Episode 1Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10)

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.

Richard Schiff as the King in Once Upon a TimeIn 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 and Snow White in Once Upon a Time episode 11The 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.

Sidney aka the Genie in Once Upon a TimeIn 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.

The Evil QueenBack 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!

The Mirror on the WallIn 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.

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K.M. Jackson
1. kwanawrites
I have to say my head was spinning last night and not in a good way. This one was not enjoyable and didn't give me much emotion. I need more juice. I think they killed the sheriff too fast and they need to use Red to bring some spice because the show is lacking with just Snow and the cheating Prince.
I don't see how this one moved the story forward at all. Yeah I guess the guy with the book now will bring the heat. Well bring it already.
Darlene Marshall
2. DarleneMarshall
I found this episode chock full of TSTL moments: Emma, going off half-cocked on the plans; Genie for just so many bad choices; Mary Margaret for being a skank (he is still married, after all).

The only ones acting like they had half a brain were Regina and Mr. Gold. Speaking of whom, trailers for next week look like it's finally a "must see" episode again. I'm all about the Mr. Gold/R hotness.
Natasha Carty
3. WickedLilPixie
@Kwana - So with you, just tell us who the damn guy is already!
@Darlene - Here's hoping next week rocks, because I'm getting bored.
EC Spurlock
4. EC Spurlock
I'd like to know why Emma was stupid enough to believe Sidney in the first place when she knows he's always been Regina's pawn. I lost a lot of respect for her in this episode and her taking her medicine at the end by having to cave to Regina's restraining order hardly made up for it. One can only hope she learned something this time.

And I'm sorry, but any kind of play structure with that many sharp points on it can hardly be considered safer than the old wooden castle. Regina needs a slap upside the head from a safety inspector.

I wonder if Mr Strange Writer Man has the power to rewrite Storybrooke's stories? And is his name by any chance Grimm?
5. wsl0612
@ EC Spurlock - that is a really cool point as to the writer's identity, I wish I'd thought of it :-) @darlenemarshall - I too am disappointed in MaryMargaret and the infidelity, I really wish the writers had been more thoughtful. Was this episode written by a different person/team? I know that sometimes happens but I forget to check. I'm hoping that's what it is and the next episodes are better written. I really loved Snow's dress in the flashback, but I wasn't too keen on the king. Why does he have to have Ronald McDonald's hair stylist? And for someone who's supposed to be so kind and beloved why was he so cruel to Regina? She didn't deserve to be so publicly belittled did she?
Louise Partain
6. Louise321
So do we have another Grimm?

Also the best thing about last night was the preview for next week starring R/G as the Beast. Looks so much better than the drivel of the last 2 episodes. I guess forwarding the plot line is not the writers' forte.
EC Spurlock
7. samicami
Cannot wait for next weeks episode.. Rumplestilsken as the beast?? Sounds pretty awesome to me. As for this episode, I'm tired of seeing the mayor win every time! I wanna see just one hit, one thing that shakes her foundation, anything! Something that makes her, I don't know, a little desperate?..not always calm and collected?
EC Spurlock
8. Dragon
I'm with samicami. I'd like to see Emma do something to wipe that smug look off Regina's face. I was irritated that Mary Margaret and James were sneaking around, but when you think about it, he's actually cheating on Mary Margaret--his real wife--with Midus' daughter. However, I'm still tired of that plot line. He needs to move out of that house, now, or stop seeing MM.
Nicole Leapheart
9. BoxyFrown
DNF, just came here for the recap. I'm glad I didnt watch it all the way through because duh, saw that setup coming. Why does Good = Stupid?
EC Spurlock
10. Jennifer R
"Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." --Darth Helmet, Spaceballs.

That's what I kept thinking during this episode. Sidney is a total asshole, they went back to making Regina be one-note evil again, no city council would just let the mayor sneak off with money regardless of what she used it for except on this show, and Emma acted totally stupidly and it all made me mad.

I think I quit this show. When the focus isn't on Snow and the Prince, it really sucks.
Becky Hantsbarger
11. BeckyIA
I think they're trying to mix too many fairy tales into one big mish-mash and it's all getting away from the writers. I'm with Jennifer R:"Emma acted totally stupidly and it all made me mad." What happened to Emma's street smarts? Did they get sucked down the rabbit hole? BTW, where IS Alice? I'm guessing she'll be making an appearance any time now.
rachel sternberg
12. rae70
Emma certainly isn't using any of her Nancy Drew detective skills (oh wait, thats a different story!) Still laughing at MM being called a skank!
Yeah, I watched but kept getting distracted with revelations like, "Oh, 'Regina' is latin (?) for 'queen' and Mary Margaret is such a pure-as-the-driven-snow name"....probably stuff others have noticed before now but this was the first time I wasn't as engrossed as other weeks :-p I'm wondering if the stranger had anything to do with the original authorship of the book? He's a writer, after all... Plus he isn't directly in the book. (note: my Nancy Drew skills are non-existent also.) I think EC might be right.
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