Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 9 – TV Review
I actually forgot this was coming back. I knew regular Once Upon a Time was back this week, but I didn’t realise this would precede it.
A pleasant surprise?
TL;DR Mostly. At least Alice can stop sooking about Cyrus being in peril. But now Will is in peril, and it’s up to Alice, Cyrus, and Red to save him. They do(ish). Jafar spends his time freeing the Jabberwocky.
Who, true to form, is a hot chick. Gotta scrimp on the CGI budget somehow.
So it’s been 3 months in real life, but only one night Wonderland life. Will gets washed downstream in his bottle until he’s found and accidentally summoned by Lizard. She’s a benevolent master, and she and Will have some fun playing around with magic. Until Lizard realises that she’s a female in a Once Upon a Time show, and literally throws away her life because she likes a boy (she wishes for Will to feel something for her. The magic decides that the best way to achieve this is to have her die. It works, at least). Meanwhile, Alice, Cyrus, and Red are hunting for the bottle. Red gets taken by a bunch of homicidal, disgruntled villagers who want to kill their former ruler. Alice and Cyrus (mostly Cyrus) come to her aid, and after they escape some CGI beasts, they end up finding Will. Well, Red does. And she becomes the new master. She decides that the 4 of them should stay in Wonderland and defeat Jafar. Jafar, meanwhile, has found out about the Jabberwocky, a fierce creature that should never ever be released. He releases it so he can get his hands on the final genie bottle he needs. They hate-flirt a bit.
She’s no replacement for Red.
Having forgotten that Once Upon a Time in Wonderland was even back, I didn’t have time to amass any expectations. Thankfully, had I had them, they still wouldn’t have been dashed.
It’s a solid episode. It feels almost like a season premiere, given that the entire plot has changed now that Cyrus is free.
It was the change we needed.
Why I hate this episode:
Not everyone benefits from it, though. Alice’s cruelty and haughtiness might have been tolerable while she was on a neverending quest to save her boyfriend. But now that she’s got him, her callous disregard for Red makes he look more like a garden variety cunt bitch. The show throws us a bone by having Cyrus play Good Cop to her Hitler Cop. But our protagonist should probably be a touch more magnanimous, you know?
And Red is on a quest for love. I guess Alice only cares about love when it’s her own.
Alice makes a big deal about giving up her heart necklace to fend off the CGI beasts. I’m having trouble remembering exactly what it was, but if I recall correctly, it had something to do with Cyrus’ love? Cyrus makes it clear that he doesn’t give a shit about losing it. But Alice almost lets them all get eaten for its sake. Selfish.
Fucking of course Lizard would waste her life on her lust for Will. I hate having to pull out my Feminist merkin, but come on, ABC. Could it be possible to have a single female character whose actions weren’t entirely dictated by which dude she wants slipped in her?
Jafar apparently considers himself powerful enough to not care about the dangers of the Jabberwocky, but he’s not powerful enough to simply wave his wand and find out where the bottle is himself? Bloody Cyrus crafts a crude tracking spell out of sticks and mud. Jafar, you’re an embarrassment.
Red has mostly dropped her toffee nosed, Queen accent. Aww.
Does Red still have her magic? Because surely that would have come in handy when trying to fend off a bunch of puny villagers.
Caterpillar is the one who tells Jafar about the Jabberwocky. But then is like “But don’t use it, tho.” Unless it’s part of a scheme for Jafar to be destroyed by the Jabberwocky, what the fuck, Caterpillar?
The target age range of this show continues to elude me. Everything seems mostly PG. Then Jafar neck snaps a random guard. It’s strange.
Cyrus proposes to Alice. Blech.
Alice assumes Red must have killed Lizard. Rude.
Oh, and are we calling Will “Will,” or “Knave?”
But it’s not all bad:
Lizard’s fatal third wish is actually done by accident. Her second wish is to be desirable to men, which makes her all makeup-y and she gets a nice dress. Then when she reveals her crush to an oblivious Will, her frustration leads her to saying something along the lines of “I wish you’d just feel something for me” out of frustration. Oops. It’s touchingly tragic.
Up until then, Will enjoys #genielyfe. It’s about time a non-villain could enjoy magic.
The reason everyone decides to stay in Wonderland instead of GTFOing (which both Alice and Red suggest at different points in the episode) is because Cyrus discovers that Jafar has his 2 brothers captive: they’re the other genies. OUaTiW may have lost progressive points with Lizard, but it gets a few for having exclusively male Damsels In Distress.
Despite Alice’s apathy towards Red’s peril, Cyrus continually stands up for her and wants to save her. Love triangle? I want it.
Red gets best line of the episode. You know who she’s talking about: “Ugh. You two are even more insufferable together. Do you know that?” Hey, now. Cyrus isn’t too bad.
Alice finally gets a change of clothes. Yes, they’re brown and boring. But it was long overdue.
Jafar gives the decapitated Tweedle (I don’t know which one) a new body. By decapitating someone else. I lol’d.
Red tries to get out of her predicament with the villagers by saying someone will pay for her to be alive. When they press her on who, she comes up with nothing. It’s very sad. Then Cyrus arrives and says he will. He has no money, of course. But it’s the thought (and ship tease) that counts.
The Jabberwocky is able to use Jafar’s memories of being drowned against him. She’s powerful and mean. I like her already.
Oh, and the Jabberwocky is played by an Australian actress. Aussies taking over, baby.