Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 2 – TV Review
You can’t argue with those opera gloves.
As Jafar finds out this episode.
TL;DR The Red Queen flips the script on Jafar (and they hate-flirt); Alice is unable to find Cyrus’ bottle (because RQ got there first); Knave has some woman trouble with a scorned fairy; flashbacks show more lovey dovey whatever time between Alice and Cyrus.
We get it. They love each other. We already went though this with Charming/David and Snow/Mary Margaret.
The present plotline is devoted to Alice’s search for Cyrus’ bottle. She and Knave go questing for it, but are unaware that the White Rabbit has ratted back RQ, who is forced to pass the location onto an abusive Jafar. But twist, Alice purposely discussed her plans out loud to lure out both the snitch and Jafar. She and Knave go to the real site, but somehow that’s been pre-empted, too. Turns out Rabbit saw the original bottle burying, so was able to tell RQ the real location. RQ lords this over Jafar. Meanwhile, Cyrus gets a message to Alice to save herself and flee Wonderland. She doesn’t agree. Meanwhile, Alice blasts Knave for not believing enough in love. And we get some flashbacks to Cyrus and Alice’s courtship.
Shit we already know and could have reasonably inferred, anyway.
Cruelty aside, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland appears to have an interesting but limited plot stretching out ahead of it. However, along with the Wizard of Oz mention in the parent show, we get some Anastasia referencing here, too. So they could use those other universes to fill some gaps.
What worries me more is the overbearing “love love love” sentiment being pushed. Once Upon a Time’s leading ladies were either modern and bitter (Emma), a fairy tale villain and bitter (Regina), or a princess in the forest, but a one night stand kinda girl in Storybrooke (Snow/Mary Margaret). Alice, conversely, is a poisonously idealistic little twit. Her attack on Knave for being a bad boyfriend is so self-righteous.
Not very heroic behaviour.
Why I hate this episode:
Adding to her questionable heroism, Alice slices and threatens further voilence against a giant turtle to get what she wants.
I know we’re only 2 episodes in, but Jafar’s motivation seems a bit weird. He’s already mega powerful magic-wise, so his desire for a genie is a bit unnecessary. He states this episode that he wants to use the wishes to break the laws of magic. But as far as Cyrus informs Alice in their flashbacks, Cyrus himself is governed by those laws. I’m confused.
Alice plans on finding the bottle, then using the 3 wishes to draw Cyrus back into it. Knave isn’t impressed by this, and she barely gives him any sympathy (they were supposed to be his payment). It turns out love is selfish.
And in the flashback, Alice promises not to make the wishes so they never have to part. How ironic.
Jafar arbitrarily kills a roomful of RQ’s citizens. Rude.
Fairy girl is a crazy bitch. She drops Knave in the middle of the sea (giant lake?) to get back at him for not treating her right. Alice is like “bitch, he can’t swim,” and Fairy doesn’t care. Crank down the crazy, lady.
Alice’s whinge at Knave for not caring enough about love is so entitled. She’s only had a single, fleeting love that she can romanticise in her head. Knave has clearly had some experience with actual relationships. Step off, Alice.
Oh, and Cyrus’ message urges Alice to GTFOutta Wonderland and save her skin. She misses that point.
But it’s not all bad:
Like Queenie before her, RQ might be able to save Once Upon a Time in Wonderland single handedly. I bemoaned the impotence of her part of her relationship with Jafar last episode, but that has been rectified. Not only does she stand up to him, she also has the bottle to back that shit up. And, like any good villain, is not afraid to gloat. Regina better pick up her game.
Naturally, RQ gets the best line of the episode. She’s come to Jafar’s dungeon to do said gloating, and she loves complimenting herself just as much: “Remind me to tell you the value of keeping pretty things around. Hmm, there’s one.” She motions to Cyrus for that last bit.
I don’t think Cyrus is who her affections are really focused on, though. She and Jafar do an unseemly amount of hate-flirting this episode. She initiates most of it, but his rebuttals are half-hearted. I love it.
I know I bagged out Cyrus’ level of attractiveness last episode, but he’s growing on me.
And for all its soapiness, his relationship with Alice is genuinely adorable.
RQ, while bored by their insistence, apparently does care about doing a good job as ruler of her citizens. A bitch with a heart. I’m willing to see how this turns out.
The rules of magic that govern Cyrus’ wishes are: you can’t kill anyone, you can’t bring anyone back from the dead, you can’t change the past, and you can’t make someone fall in love with you. Since Jafar can already kill people perfectly fine on his own, and he’s not a keen romantic, I’d say the resurrection or past-altering power is the one he wants.
Cyrus says it’s too dangerous for Alice to wish for his freedom.
There’s a bounty on Knave’s head due to a debt he owes to the Caterpillar. I lol’d.
The magic paper crane is brilliant.
Oh, and Alice is a competent swordfighter. She can thank her eager teacher.