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It's fruit of the poisonous tree – illegally obtained evidence.

Emma Swan to Sidney Glass

"Fruit of the Poisonous Tree" is the eleventh episode of Season One of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Ian Goldberg & Andrew Chambliss and directed by Bryan Spicer. It is the eleventh episode of the series overall, and premiered on January 29, 2012.


A dejected Sidney enlists the aid of Emma to help uncover evidence that could expose Mayor Regina as the corrupt person she really is to the townspeople of Storybrooke; and Mary Margaret and David continue their secret rendezvous while trying to figure out a way to unleash their unrequited love. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale land that was, King Leopold, who is the father of Snow White and married to the Evil Queen, stumbles upon a magic lamp and is granted three wishes by a Genie - who warns the king to be careful what he wishes for.[1]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

In the Enchanted Forest, King Leopold finds a golden lamp washed up on the shore of the sea. He cleans the lamp and frees the Genie of Agrabah who grants him 3 wishes. However, the King says that he has everything he could possibly want and needs nothing more. He uses his first wish to free the Genie, then his second wish to give away his third wish to the Genie. He then brings the Genie back to his castle and introduces him to the Queen Regina and Snow White.

In Storybrooke, Henry Mills' "castle" is being torn down by Regina. Henry is distraught, because he had hidden the fairy tale book there, but the storm had washed it away. Regina's unilateral decisions about town matters upset Emma and she calls Sidney Glass to set up a meeting to find out a secret that will help bring her down. Sidney tells her that 50,000 dollars are missing from the town's budget. Mary Margaret Blanchard and David have a picnic out in the woods.

Back at the palace it is the King's birthday. He tells Snow White that she truly is the fairest of them all. This upsets the Queen who leaves. The Genie follows her out, and he gives her a mirror and tells her she is the "Fairest in all the land".

Sidney and Emma are digging up dirt on Regina. They go to visit Regina in her office, where they ask her about the missing money. After they leave, Emma reveals that she has planted a bug under Regina's desk.

The Genie is summoned to see the king. King Leopold has read her diary reveling that she thinks of herself as being trapped. He tells the Genie that he thinks the queen is in love with someone else and is unhappy. He asks the Genie to find the man who gave her the mirror, a task which he accepts.

Sidney and Emma find out about a secret meeting in the woods. While driving out there the brakes on Emma's car fail resulting in a crash. Sidney realizes someone tampered with the brakes. Mr. Gold comes out and tells them that Regina was meeting with him and that she has bought the land on which they are standing. Sidney and Emma break into Regina's office. Regina arrives and they claim some kids broke in. Regina sends them away.

Regina's father shows up and gives the Genie a box to take up to her. She opens the box to reveal a snake. The snake can kill anything with a single bite. Regina tells the Genie that she is so unhappy that she is going to kill herself. He stops her from using the snake on herself and gives her the idea of using the snake on the king. He offers to be the one to commit the murder.

Henry is sitting at Granny's when the Stranger comes up to him. Henry questions him on why he has come to Storybrooke, but he declines to give an answer. Sidney and Emma find out that she is planning on building something. Sidney shows her photo's that he has taken of her and Henry together. While at the city council Sidney brings up the files they found. They accuse her of building a home in the woods. Emma calls her on her true self and outs her to the people of Storybrooke. Regina however reveals that she is building a play house for the children of the town.

The Genie sneaks into King Leopold's room where he releases the snakes into the bed. The king is bitten, and the Genie reveals that he is in love with Regina. Before dying, the king declares his regret for freeing the Genie, acknowledging the previous warning that every wish has a price.

Mr. Gold congratulates Emma on her courage. Emma accuses Regina of messing with her brakes, but Regina appears to be ignorant of this. Regina tells Emma that she is no longer allowed to see Henry, unless she has Regina's permission or else she will take Emma to court and put a restraining order out against her. Emma tells Henry this news, and she promises him that she will try and find the book. It is revealed that the stranger is the one who has Henry's book. Sidney and Emma meet, and Sidney tells her that they are allies.

The Genie goes to tell Regina that they can be together. Regina tells him that the guards know that he killed the king, and she tells him that they can never be together. The Genie realizes that Regina set him up and that the murder would be traced back to him. He tells her that he can't live without her. Regina says that she will never love him, and he will never see her again. The Genie then uses the wish that the King had given him. He wishes to be with her forever, and never leave her side which turns him into the mirror. She tells him that he will be with her forever.

It is shown that Sidney is actually working with Regina. Sidney tells her that he will give her any information he can find. Regina replies that she doesn't know what she would do without him.

Deleted Scenes

Mr. K

A scene with Mr. K was deleted from the episode. However, the actor is still listed in the press release.[1]

Prince Charming

A scene with Prince Charming dressed in royal attire and carrying a sword in an unidentified throne room, was cut from the episode.[3]



Guest Starring




Production Notes

  • OBSERVATIONS: This episode reveals that the Evil Queen's given name is Regina.
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: The word "magister" (Latin for "master" or "teacher") is written above the door frame of the Mayor's office.[5] Magister was a title of the Middle Ages, given to a person in authority, or to someone having a license from a university to teach philosophy and the liberal arts.[6] It was also a title given to several positions of authority in Ancient Rome, such as Magister officiorum, which literally means "master of offices".
    • In the Season Four premiere "A Tale of Two Sisters", the word "civitas" is engraved over the door frame of the room outside the Mayor's office.[7] In Ancient Rome, this word referred to the whole body of members of any given state. It was frequently used by the Roman writers to express the condition of a Roman citizen as distinguished from those who were not Roman citizens.
  • OBSERVATIONS: The new playground is located at 2536 Old Yale Road.

Event Chronolgy

Episode Connections



Fairytales and Folklore

  • The genies line, "In my time I have granted a thousand and one wishes and I have seen them end poorly a thousand and one times..." is a reference to One Thousand and One Nights.[19]
  • 🍎 APPLES: When the genie meets Queen Regina, she is tending to her apple tree, a reference to the poisoned apple from the "Snow White" fairytale. In addition, when she is talking to Sydney in her office, Regina takes a red apple from the fruit bowl on the table and looks at it.
  • King Leopold calls Snow White "the fairiest of them all", which is a line derived from the "Snow White" fairytale, where the evil queen asks, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?".
  • When Queen Regina opens the box there is a snake that can kill her in one bite. This is a reference to the story of Cleopatra (the last Pharaoh of Egypt) who is said to have killed herself with the bite from a poisonous snake as she knew the Romans were coming to take over Egypt.

Popular Culture

Props notes

  • Although it cannot be deciphered on-screen,[28] a prop photograph from an online auction reveals that the pages that King Leopold and the genie read in Regina's diary contain an excerpt from the Epistles (Letters) of the Roman poet Horace,[29] published in two books, in 20 BCE and 14 BCE.


qui redit in fastos et virtutem aestimat annis miraturque nihil nisi quod Libitina sacravit. Ennius et sapines et fortis et alter Homerus, ut critici dicunt, leviter curare videtur, quo promissa cadant et somnia Pythagorea. Naevius in manibus non est et mentibus haeret paene recens? Adeo sanctum est vetus omne poema. ambigitur quotiens, uter utro sit prior, aufert Pacuvius docti famam senis Accius alti, dicitur Afrani toga convenisse Menandro, Plautus ad exemplar Siculi properare Epicharmi, vincere Caecilius gravitate, Terentius arte. Hos ediscit et hos arto stipata theatrospectat Roma potens; habet hos numeratque poetas ad nostrum tempus

(Note that the second page contains a misprint; the first line on the page, "potens; habet hos numeratque poetas ad nostrum tempus", are the last line on the first page)

potens; habet hos numeratque poetasad nostrum tempus Livi scriptoris ab aevo. Interdum volgus rectum videt, est ubi veteres ita miratur laudatque poetas, ut nihil anteferat, nihil illis comparet, quaedam nimis antique, si pleraque duredicere credit eos, ignave multa fatetur, et sapit et mecum facit et Iove iudicat aequo. non equidem insector delendave carmina Livi esse reor, memini quae plagosum mihi parvo Orbilium dictare; sed emendata videripulchraque et exactis minimum distantia miror.inter quae verbum emicuit si forte decorum, et si versus paulo concinnior unus et alter, iniuste totum ducit venditque poema.

(Note that the first fourteen words of page 1, "qui redit in fastos et virtutem aestimat annis miraturque nihil nisi quod Libitina sacravit", are actually part of a larger sentence, "utor permisso, caudaeque pilos ut equinae paulatim vello et demo unum, demo etiam1 unum, dum cadat2 elusus ratione ruentis acervi, qui redit in fastos et virtutem aestimat annis miraturque nihil nisi quod Libitina sacravit"; the translation of the whole sentence is included here.)

I take what you allow, and like hairs in a horse's tail, first one and then another I pluck and pull away little by little, till, after the fashion of the falling heap, he is baffled and thrown down, who looks back upon the annals, and values worth by years, and admires nothing but what the goddess of funerals has hallowed.

Ennius, the wise and valiant, the second Homer (as the critics style him), seems to care but little what becomes of his promises and Pythagorean dreams. Is not Naevius in our hands, and clinging to our minds, almost as of yesterday? So holy a thing is every ancient poem. As often as the question is raised, which is the better of the two, Pacuvius gains fame as the learned old writer, Accius as the lofty one. The gown of Afranius, 'tis said, was of Menander's fit; Plautus hurries along like his model, Epicharmus of Sicily. Caecilius wins the prize for dignity, Terence for art. These authors mighty Rome learns by heart; these she views, when packed in her narrow theater; these she counts as her muster-roll of poets from the days of Livius the writer to our own.

At times the public see straight; sometimes they make mistakes. If they admire the ancient poets and cry them up so as to put nothing above them, nothing on their level, they are wrong. If they hold that sometimes their diction is too quaint, and ofttimes too harsh, if they admit that much of it is flat, then they have taste, they take my side, and give a verdict with Jove's assent. Mark you! I am not crying down the poems of Livius—I would not doom to destruction verses which I remember Orbilius of the rod dictated to me as a boy: but that they should be held faultless, and beautiful, and well-nigh perfect, amazes me. Among them, it may be a pleasing phrase shines forth, or one or two lines are somewhat better turned—then these unfairly carry off and sell the whole poem.

  • PAUSE AND READ: The bottom text on the printout of Regina's files reads (note that most of the document is too blurred to make out):[31]

2. The survey was completed
on the [illegible word] day of September

Neil Westlake

No person may copy, reproduce or alter this plan
in whole or in part without the written authorization
of Westlake Limited.


  • CREW NAMES ON PROPS: Neil Westlake is a graphic designer and production staff member on the show. His name appears on several different props throughout the series:
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: According to the slide projector, Storybrooke's coat of arms is an apple tree with a bee hive in front of it.[38]

Set Dressing

Costumes Notes

Filming Locations


International Titles



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, January 29, 2012. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#111) "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree"”
  2. TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: ‘American Idol,’ ‘Big Bang Theory’ Top Week 19. TV by the Numbers (January 31, 2012). “ONCE UPON A TIME. ABC. 10,908.”
  3. File:111BTS6.jpg
  4. File:111Title.png
  5. File:111ThoroughSweep.png
  6. magister. Retrieved on July 27, 2018.
  7. File:401AllComplicated.png
  8. File:111Playground.png
  9. File:111TakesOutPhotographs.png
  10. File:108OperationCobra.png
  11. File:111SheKnewAbout.png
  12. File:102SoHappyTogether.png
  13. File:405HotCocoa.png
  14. File:111SecretPlace.png
  15. File:104AssaultedMr.Gold.png
  16. File:113Photo.png
  17. File:111FigureOut.png
  18. File:111Sign.png
  19. Dove, Steve (January 30, 2012). Storybrooke Secrets: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree. ABC. “The line, "In my time I have granted a thousand and one wishes and I have seen them end poorly a thousand and one times..." is a reference to One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).”
  20. File:111WhoWill.png
  21. Image of Inspector Gadget
  22. File:111GenieWithMirror.png
  23. File:111Noooooo!.png
  24. File:608AlreadyDreamtIt.png
  25. File:111RubbingTheLamp.png
  26. File:W104GenieLamp.png
  27. File:608FindAgrabah.png
  28. File:111SuggestsOtherwise.png
  29. "Regina" diary from Once Upon a Time Season 1, Episode 11.. iCollector. Retrieved on December 8, 2018. (Photograph)
  30. HORACE, Epistles: 400-401. Loeb Classical Library. Archived from the original on December 8, 2018.
    HORACE, Epistles: 402-403. Loeb Classical Library. Archived from the original on December 8, 2018.
    (Note that the original pages have a page view limit, so static back-up copies are used for references)
  31. File:111Printing.png
  32. File:107DartMisses.png
  33. File:118EveryTime.png
  34. File:421BookBlurb.png
  35. File:521StandHere.png
  36. File:522BroughtItWithHim.png
  37. File:714RobinHoodBook.png
  38. File:111ReginaTurnsAround.png
  39. File:111AnotherMan.png
  40. File:104Chess.png
  41. File:111OnYourHands.png
  42. Lauren by Ralph Lauren Portsmouth Fair Isle Beanie Hat. Coolspotters. Retrieved on July 27, 2018.
  43. File:112ReallyDo.png
  44. File:310OurSon.png
  45. File:311WhatDoYouSuggest.png
  46. Zier-Vogel, Lindsay (March 6, 2012). Making hats and making magic with 'Once Upon A Time' guest milliner. CTV Television Network. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. “Princess Abigail’s hat might be the first of Dunlap’s featured on the show, but it wasn’t the first she made for “Once.” She had already made a hat for the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) in the eleventh episode (where the Queen is visited by a centuries-old genie). “They were shooting on location on a beach, and it got rained out, so at the last moment, they had to switch up the Queen’s wardrobe to something that was more accommodating to the inclement weather,” says Dunlap. "While the beautiful hat I made for that episode didn't make its scheduled appearance, it is perched on a shelf in Eduardo's office, awaiting its Fairy Tale Land debut!"”
  47. File:111GotYourText.png
  48. Gap Lightweight bird and check scarf. Polyvore. Archived from the original on January 26, 2017.
  49. File:111DearlyDepartedMother.png
  50. File:712WithYourFriends.png
  51. File:111GenieOfAgrabah!.png
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree” Filming Locations. MovieMaps. Retrieved on April 4, 2020. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "moviemaps" defined multiple times with different content
  53. Siren #207 “Entrapment”. MovieMaps. Retrieved on March 11, 2019.
    File:203AllThatsLeft.png (Once Upon a Time)
    Screenshot from Siren: "Entrapment" (Note the placement of the dunes and surrounding trees. Once Upon a Time CGIed out the power lines and the mountain in the upper right hand corner.)
  54. File:111YouCalledForMe.png
  55. File:111Mirror.png

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