Get ready for another trip down the rabbit hole—Leah is back with her latest review of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland!
Title Trust Me
What Happened? As we follow Alice and the Knave on their continuing journey to find Cyrus by finding his bottle, Alice sets a trap with the purpose of knowing whom she is up against—something Cyrus once told her is essential to any battle. Meanwhile, the Red Queen and Jafar continue to struggle for dominance in their relationship, and the Red Queen makes a move that puts them on more equal footing.
“The one thing you can count on in Wonderland is that you can’t count on anyone.” (Alice)
“Very nice dungeon you have here…I can really see you enjoy dampness. Remind me to tell you the value of keeping pretty things around.” (Red Queen)
“I thought when you truly loved somebody, you didn’t need any proof.”
“You don’t, but it’s still nice to have.”
(The Knave and Alice)
In my opinion, this episode was a major improvement on last week’s pilot episode. The characters all gained more depth, and the plot gave you just enough information to move the story along while not revealing everything all at once.
I found myself pleasantly surprised by Alice in this episode. While I already liked her from what we saw of her in the pilot, I did not expect the trap she set in this episode. Alice may seem naïve and foolish to the outside observer, but she’s got more to her than that. She showed us in this episode that she also has cleverness and creativeness, and is perhaps not quite what everyone first perceives her to be. She’s an optimist, yes, but she also knows what it is like to feel left behind by a loved one, as she tells us that her father has “moved on” from her. It was nice to see that even someone as persistent and optimistic as Alice sometimes has doubts, and has things in her past that haunt her.
Cyrus and Alice’s relationship in this episode became more real and endearing, and a bit less one-note. We saw more of how they got to know one another, which gave us a better understanding of how they fell in love, and while it still seems quite fast-paced for a relationship, it’s at least less of the “love at first sight” cliché than it seemed in the pilot episode. I think I can really grow to root for these two as long as the writers continue to develop their relationship.
One of my favorite parts of the episode was when Alice and the Knave gain the help of a fairy (a nice ferry/fairy pun!) named Silvermist to cross the large body of water that was an obstacle to their travel to Cyrus’s bottle. As it turns out, Silvermist and the Knave had previously been in a romantic relationship that ended badly; she is one of the many people that the Knave knows is out to get him in Wonderland. During their fight, Silvermist mentions a woman named Anastasia, who seems to be the person who broke the Knave’s heart and is the reason why he is currently so cynical. All he is willing to say on the subject is that the story about him and Anastasia is one of “heartbreak.” I am hopeful that we will see Anastasia in Wonderland before our story here is through.
The Red Queen and Jafar continued their back-and-forth battle for the upper hand in their relationship in this episode, and while I still feel the Red Queen is outmatched in terms of magical power, I think that perhaps she has enough intelligence to be an equal for Jafar’s scheming. Her personality reminds me of that of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter series. She’s sugary sweet in appearance—which we see through her use of “darling,” her glittery outfits, her blonde hair, and the way her voice sounds—but she is also cruel and deadly. Her misdirection of Jafar in the search for the bottle was a bold move, but I think it was important for the story to have these two villains be on equal footing going forward in order to create a more complex story. I’m very intrigued by how this power struggle is going to play out throughout the season, and if Alice can somehow use this conflict to her advantage.