Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 13 – TV Review
To ABC’s credit, this actually does feel like a proper finale.
If they somehow managed to get renewed, I don’t know how they’re going to bullshit their way out of this ending.
It’s a good thing.
TL;DR Jafar is defeated; the genie curse is broken; Cyrus and Red are resurrected; Alice and Cyrus get married; Red and Will are back together; the only character who gets shafted is the Jabberwocky.
She needed to move to New Orleans, anyway.
So yeah, let’s tie up all those plot threads. Amidst the chaos of the laws of magic being broken, Alice and Amara manage to flee the castle with Cyrus’ body, while Jafar is distracted by making the Sultan love him, then killing him. Amara brings Cyrus back to life, and accepts that the only option she has now is to return herself to Nyx at the Well of Wonders, thereby breaking the genie curse and negating Jafar’s power. Cyrus escorts her while Alice rallies a militia to fight Jafar after he’s been powered down. Jafar is onto that shit, though, and sends an undead army against everyone. Jafar also torments Will by resurrecting Red and making her be in love with him. Really rubs his nose in it. Alice is captured, but Will manages to use the power of true love (and Rabbit turning up at the right time) to thwart Jafar as he attacks Amara and Cyrus at the well. In attempting to stop Amara’s water from returning to the well, Nyx charges Jafar with stealing it, and turns him into a genie. Once she’s got her water back (Amara dies, btw), Nyx releases Will and Cyrus’ brothers. She also uses the excuse of “because fate” to heal Red. Everyone journeys back to Victorian England so Alice and Cyrus can get married and live a happy life in the real world.
And the Jabberwocky gets stabbed into a dungeon wall by Jafar before everything goes tits up for him. Rough.
I must say, it’s a pretty ballsy move to have everything tied up so neatly. It’s nice to have a struggling show not end on some garbage cliffhanger in the hopes of getting renewed.
But on the other hand, way to not even give it a chance. The only thread that is even barely loose is the disappearance of Jafar once he’s turned into a genie.
Going out gracefully went hand in hand with admitting defeat for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. What a disappointing lack of hope.
Why I hate this episode:
The most bullshit thing to happen in the episode is Red’s resurrection by Nyx. After Jafar’s powers get ripped away, she dies again, leaving Will grief-stricken. Then Alice and Cyrus show up and are like “Yo, Nyx said it wasn’t her time yet, so here’s some magic water. It’s a good thing Nyx is so reasonable, huh?” Nyx? Reasonable? Okay.
Alice’s whole militia thing seems like barely an afterthought. I think they were just trying to make good on the whole “raising an army” thing they brought up a while ago. The low point of the whole affair comes when Alice gives a yawningly mediocre motivational speech.
Then they get promptly obliterated. At least it was quick.
I really did feel bad for the Jabberwocky. I suppose she is a homicidal monster, but it was a little bit sad that everyone else got a resolution, and all she got was a sword to the gut. Maybe Will and Red will stumble upon her in the dungeon later and let her out if she promises to behave?
The Sultan’s death was supposed to show the extent of Jafar’s cruelty, but instead it was just satisfying. He tried to murder his own fucking kid. To have his death be anything other than just is insane.
Jafar has broken the bloody laws of magic and used his power to make Red love him, and Will just plants a peck on her lips and undoes the spell. Wow, what immense magical power, Jafar. So worth it.
Love love love. Yuck.
Oh, and the ending shows Alice reading her young daughter a storybook of Wonderland tales. It connotes that Alice wrote the Wonderland books. Way to erase Lewis Carroll, Alice.
But it’s not all bad:
Everything is settled.
Despite the plot pandering it takes to get there, I’m so glad Red got to live. What an insult that would have been if she hadn’t.
And while she’s made to be in love with Jafar, we get as close as we’ll ever get to seeing what they would have been like as a couple. And it’s delightful. Why did Will have to ruin everything with his true love nonsense?
Before his humiliating defeat, Jafar manages to get some good digs in. Firstly, he makes the Sultan love him like a father. Then he enjoys using magic to drown him. I enjoyed it, too. He also gets to fuck around with Will’s emotions. And if it wasn’t for Nyx being a technicality lover, he would have gotten away with finishing off Alice and Cyrus, too.
And he belts the shit out of Rabbit.
And Rabbit uses his explosive hole digging to blast the shit out of Jafar. It’s a party for everyone, basically.
When Amara and Cyrus are ambushed by Jafar’s resurrected henchmen, she uses her super magic to make them all stab themselves in the gut. Efficient.
Jafar gets best line of the episode after one of his zombie soldiers reports Amara’s escape: “It is so hard to resurrect good help these days.” Oh, you.
When Amara and Cyrus tell Alice of their plan to surrender Amara to Nyx yada yada yada, Alice is opposed to it because it involves leaving Red dead without hope of revival. So she does care.
At the end of the episode, Alice and Will get to have a special farewell. I wouldn’t have been opposed to some more UST between them, but I also like that they were such good, platonic partners.
Alice finally gets to prove Wonderland is real to her father and step-mother. Rabbit, Rabbit’s wife, Red, Will, Cyrus’ brothers, and the nice Tweedle all attend the wedding in England. Proof enough?
When Jafar threatens Alice with erasing her past with Cyrus, she spits in his face that she’d still be satisfied that he’ll never know a love that could compare to theirs. That’s defiance.
Oh, and Red and Will, according to their fashion choice at the wedding and Alice’s storybook later, have apparently now become the White Queen and King. A much better choice than Anne Hathaway. I’ll miss them.