Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
Genie: Making a wish comes with a price.
Sidney: I can grant your wish.Emma finds herself enlisted by a dejected Sidney to help expose Regina Mills's corrupt dealings and Mary Margaret continues to secretly meet David in an attempt to figure out a way to fulfill their love. In the fairy tale land that was, the back story of the Magic Mirror is revealed along with his encounter with Snow White's father, King Leopold, and a forbidden romance with the Queen that introduces divided loyalties.
- Adaptational Villainy: The Genie from Aladdin who works with the Evil Queen to kill her husband as opposed to an unambiguous Big Good.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: King Leopold learns that even wishing for a Genie's freedom can have terrible consequences...and the Genie himself learns the same regarding his wish to be with Regina (even though he had previously warned the King about wishes and swore never to use his). As Leopold himself says, people do foolish things for love.
- Cool Old Guy: The King is probably one of the coolest guys in the show, temperament wise.
- Composite Character: The Genie from Aladdin is combined with the Magic Mirror from Snow White.
- Contrived Coincidence: Lampshaded by the Genie after Regina reveals that the guards have uncovered the means of the king's death and tied it to him, so he must flee to escape execution. "The Agrabahn viper. Of all the snakes in all the world, that is what you chose?"
- Double-Meaning Title: As Emma explains when giving the Title Drop it refers to the concept that any evidence found illegally is inadmissible in court. But it's also obviously a reference to Regina's apple tree, as well as the poisonous viper she gets the Genie to use to kill Leopold.
- Exact Words: As usual when it comes to a Literal Genie (even when he is using his wish on himself): he certainly does get to "look upon Regina and stay with her forever." Also, both Regina and her father had spoken of the Genie helping "set her free" which he took to mean releasing her from being a prisoner in her room, when actually it meant her (supposedly) wishing to commit suicide to escape her loveless marriage.
- Forgot About His Powers: For some reason, Emma's lie detecting skills completely fail where Sidney is concerned.
- Framing the Guilty Party: Inverted—via a carefully-arranged phone call overheard through bugging, money missing from the city treasury (records for which were conveniently burned in the fire at City Hall), a clandestine meeting in the woods with Gold, cut brake lines, and blueprints stolen from her computer, Regina is framed to look like she's embezzling from the town for personal use...except it's all a set-up to draw Emma into an accusation so the truth can be revealed of her building a new playground for the children.
- Hired to Hunt Yourself: The King, after reading Regina's diary, wants the Genie to find the man she has fallen in love with...not knowing it is the Genie himself.
- Ironic Echo: "I don't know what I'd do without you." Made even more ironic in that not only was the first time it was spoken it was a lie, but thanks to the curse Sidney doesn't remember this and so is fooled by it again the second time.
- Ironic Hell: It wouldn't be a genie story if this didn't happen to somebody. Doubly ironic in that the victim is the genie himself. It also involves him being trapped in his own mirror that he had given Regina himself.
- Love Makes You Stupid: The only thing that can explain why the Genie not only wants to spend his life with someone who coerced him into killing her husband, but why even after she reveals she did not love him, only used, framed, and betrayed him, he still wishes to be with her forever.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: By way of Vehicular Sabotage (cutting the brake lines), this happens to Emma's sheriff car to keep her from witnessing Regina's supposed illegal payoff. Done by Sidney of course, which just proves how crazy his love for and loyalty to Regina is since he was in the car in question and could easily have died from it.
- The Mole: In both past and present, in different manners. After falling in love with Regina, the Genie becomes this by working against the King and eventually betraying him to his death so that he and Regina can be together. In Storybrooke, Sidney claims to wish to help Emma expose Regina as a villain, after she used him in the Sheriff's electoral campaign and then supposedly fired and abandoned him, but it turns out the whole thing was a lie to get Emma to fall for a set-up that makes her look like a fool and leaves Regina smelling like a rose.
- Mythology Gag: After the previous episode (but chronologically earlier), it's Leopold who next calls Snow White "the fairest of them all" while comparing her to her mother Eva.
- Nice Guy: The King, again. Makes it all the worse that his last words were ones of cynicism and regret.
- Pet the Dog: Despite using the Genie to kill Leopold, it seems Regina genuinely intended to help him escape the kingdom and execution, proving that at this point she is not so fully lost to evil and willing to hurt anyone who gets in her way (or dispose of anyone who is no longer of use to her) as she is later. The smirk she gives after his wish traps him in her mirror is rather malicious, but then again she had seemed genuinely afraid he might use the wish on her, to force them to be together.
- Punny Name: Sid is revealed to be the face in the magic mirror(s), because he's "Sidney Glass" or he i(s in de glass).
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Agrabahn vipers are some nasty snakes.
- The Reveal:
- Sidney is The Mole, pretending to be allied with Emma to help her bring down Regina, while actually working to let Regina know everything Emma does.
- The storybook, missing from the torn-down "castle", wasn't destroyed or taken by Regina—August has it.
- Rule of Symbolism: Just as the wooden "castle" Henry had claimed for his own resembles Snow and Charming's, the new playground built in the woods to replace it resembles portions of Regina's castle.
- Values Dissonance: While everything said above about Leopold's good-heartedness is true, it can't be denied that when he told the Genie he had nothing to wish for because he and everyone in his land was happy, he said this with full knowledge Regina was not happy, trapped in her loveless marriage to him. This can be chalked up, however, to the medieval milieu of the Enchanted Forest, since in the Middle Ages a good lord owed it to his people to treat them fairly and make sure they were content if he expected them to aid him in times of war (or not rise up against him), but his fellow nobles were often less kindly treated, particularly women and his own wife, so to an extent he might not care about their/her happiness. And by the rules of their class and society, she would be bound to obey him and not stray to another man regardless her unhappiness, so that while he might regret her suffering, he could feel it was a sad example of "the way things are" and not a thing a wish could fix.note