Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 11 – TV Review
Thank God, Cora lives.
It’s okay. I’ll take what I can get.
TL;DR Cora teaches a fledgling Red magic; Jafar races Alice and Cyrus to find Will’s heart; Jafar ends up with it and murders Red to see if it’s working.
It is. Though I’ll bet Will wishes it wasn’t.
So the present day plot involves Jafar’s frustration at the stalling of his plan. He and the Jabberwocky realise that Will is resisting his spell because he hasn’t got his heart. Alice is onto this, too, so she and Cyrus travel to Storybrooke to retrieve it from Will’s house there. They do not interact with anyone. What a waste. Once they’re back in Wonderland, Jafar attacks them. He steals the heart, but Cyrus ends up with his cobra staff, which he and Alice deduce is actually Amara. Jafar pops Will’s heart back in, then tests it out by shanking Red in the back. It works very well. And in flashback, we see Anastasia just before her wedding to the Red King. Cora, the Queen of Hearts, shows up and meddles in her affairs. She tricks Will into thinking Anastasia doesn’t want him, then takes his heart (at his request). Then she tricks Anastasia into not choosing Will, so that Anastasia will stick around and Cora can teach her magic.
Cora seems to have a grudge against the Red King (who opposes magic), so I hope we get to find out what it is. Knowing Cora, it will be pettily brilliant.
I’m actually a little bit impressed by how much Once Upon a Time in Wonderland doesn’t fuck around this episode. We’ve got both Jafar and Alice/Cyrus facing a problem, fomulating a plan, acting on it, and the situation being resolved. All within the same episode.
And as much as she is my darling, I could never discount an episode that kills off a main character.
Why I hate this episode:
The greatest loss is the absolute exclusion of any Storybrooke characters from Alice and Cyrus’ little jaunt. Not a single one. They just arrive in the main street (courtesy of Rabbit), then head on over to Will’s place to get the heart. Couldn’t they have bumped into anybody? Hell, I would have even settled for Granny.
Cora’s gambit in the flashbacks relies on both Anastasia and Will being totally retarded and trusting the word of someone who is so obviously evil she should be twirling a moustache in every scene. And they are, and they do. Of course.
Why the fuck would Will just let Cora keep his heart? She’s just like “Imma be takin’ this,” and he’s like “K.”
Cyrus plays the “wildly irresponsible jerk” card when he distracts Caterpillar so Alice can steal the magic compass back from him. He steals an innocent guy’s beer and bashes him. Yes, Caterpillar’s associates are all ruffians blah blah whatever. But still. R-u-d-e.
Rabbit isn’t having any luck finding people who will fight againts Jafar and the Jabberwocky. Yeah, no shit.
Oh, and if Jafar’s staff is so willing to just flip itself over to Cyrus, then that would have been really handy at any point earlier than this. You know?
But it’s not all bad:
Jafar stabs the fuck out of Red to close out the episode. And it looks pretty convincingly like she’s dead. Nicely done.
The star of the episode is the ever-magnificent Barbara Hershey, thankfully still here for us to enjoy. Cora’s selfishness is an inspiration to us all. She annihilates the future happiness of Will and Anastasia so she can bag a heart and acquire a protege. She is the dream.
Red apologises profusely to Will while they’re in cells near each other in the dungeon. She reveals that what she wanted to change the rules of magic for was to go back in time and never leave Sherwood Forest; to never go to Wonderland and get into all the mess and make all the wrong decisions she did. Aww, what a sweetie.
She almost hits the self-pity threshold when she’s like “I know you’ll never love me again wah wah wah,” but this pays off when Will, after getting his heart back, passionately kisses her. There are fireworks.
Alice is actually useful for once because she knows where Will’s heart is.
The Tweedles apparently don’t have the “Dee” and “Dum” on the end of their names. The flashback shows Anastasia’s first meeting with them, and Tweedle is all they’re allowed to call themselves because they’re slaves or something. Good to know.
The Red King used to cheat on Red, and she was aware of it. That old dog.
Alice and Cyrus are mesmerised by the modern world on their holiday to Storybrooke. Cyrus playing with the light switch is a bit adorable.
Cora tells Anastasia about the laws of magic, and is a believer in their inability to be broken. I don’t know, Jafar. I think we should trust Cora on this one. You might wanna not maybe trigger the implosion of all creation.
In order to convince Anastasia not to meet Will, Cora uses a mirror to show her that Will has abandoned the rendezvous point (their caravan hovel thing). Because Cora had already been there and lied to him about Anastasia not coming. You sneaky bitch, Cora. Never change.
Anastasia uses her hatred of her mother to fuel her magic power. I lol’d.
Oh, and Alice and Cyrus use the magic compass to determine that the cobra staff is Amara. Cyrus is understandably like woah.