TV Time: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1.09

Fear not, fellow Once Upon a Time in Wonderland fans—the lovely Leah is back with her thoughts on the start of the second half of this season! 


Title Nothing to Fear

What Happened? Lizard finds Will’s magic bottle in the river and ends up using some of her wishes to try to gain Will’s attention and affection with devastating consequence. The Red Queen, Cyrus, and Alice team up in their efforts to find Will, but are sidetracked when unhappy constituents who want revenge kidnap the Red Queen. Meanwhile Jafar, now the ruler of the land, seeks out the dangerous Jabberwocky as a tool in finding the genie.

Favorite Lines “The throne is made when the man who sits on it is worthy. Where you sit Jafar, is nothing more than a large chair.” (The Sultan)

“I’ve tried, but word’s gotten out; working for you tends to shorten one’s life expectancy.” (The Caterpillar)

My Thoughts This was a fairly strong returning episode for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, which was reassuring to see, as it suggests that the show will be able to keep up a high level of quality for its remaining four episodes. I feel like the show balanced each of the three different groups of characters well, cutting between them without making it feel like we were jumping all over the place and also not lingering too long on any one storyline.

We open the episode with Alice, Cyrus, and the Red Queen, who reluctantly team up together to try to find Will. I found it interesting that now that Will’s gone, Alice, who is normally the more optimistic and open-hearted of the group, plays the role of the cynic and constantly questions the Red Queen’s motivations. Cyrus, however, regards her with much more of an open mind. I don’t know if part of Alice’s mistrust is because she doesn’t remember the Red Queen’s confession of her love for Will, or if it’s merely that Alice will never completely trust the Red Queen after she was the one who Alice spent so long believing had killed Cyrus. Either way, I found the new dynamic interesting and a good way to endear us to Cyrus and give more depth to Alice. I’m really looking forward to seeing these three and Will work together over the rest of the season.

I really enjoyed the fact that this episode acknowledged the affect of past events on Alice, Cyrus, and the Red Queen. It felt very realistic to me that Alice was afraid that there would never be an end to the battles she would have to fight, as we’ve seen her be in near-constant conflict throughout this whole season. The mention by Alice and Cyrus of the conversation they would need to have about their time apart was another nice scene, and it made them much more like real people who don’t just bounce back without a scratch from each new conflict thrown at them. The Red Queen also had to deal with the results of her cruel ruling policies and come face to face with the people she hurt. The moment of truth when she had to admit that, despite having all the power, she could not name a single person who would care whether she was alive or dead was a truly heartbreaking one. Her story arc has been one of my favorites this season, and I am so happy to see it continue.

Will and Lizard’s storyline was probably the most surprising for me in this episode. It was nice to see Lizard back on the show, as I liked her quite a bit in her first appearance earlier this season. Lizard’s quiet yearning throughout much of this episode was sad but well-acted, and of course the whole thing ended in a heartbreaking fashion. I was definitely not expecting her to die, and this is just one more reminder to be careful what you wish for; magic seems to have a sort of personality of its own, as it seems to have a rather painful sense of humor and will twist your words in the worst possible way. Lizard wishing for Will to “feel something” for her was too vague of a wish, and in the end the magic had great consequences—Will feels something for her now, but that something is grief.

While our main group is off searching for Will, Jafar is looking for a way to solve his trouble finding the genie. His solution comes in the form of a deadly creature called the Jabberwocky, which required a very difficult bit of magic to trap. I’m really interested to see what the show does with a Jabberwocky that appears to be solely in human form, as whenever I’ve seen the Jabberwocky in other adaptations of Alice in Wonderland it’s been in animal form. I do like, though, that Jafar got more than he bargained for when freeing her, as it’s nice to see someone have an advantage over him. I can’t wait to see what else the Jabberwocky can do in the upcoming episodes.

Looking Ahead I don’t know if anyone else noticed this, but when the Red Queen was explaining about Jafar already having two genies, one of those lamps (that we’ve seen before in “The Serpent”) seems very much like the genie’s lamp from Aladdin. Could we be getting Wonderland’s version of Aladdin before the end of this season, with one of Cyrus’s brothers being Aladdin’s genie? I certainly hope so.

What did you think of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland’s return? What are you most looking forward to from the rest of the season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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