This week on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Alice is way more boring than she was in the premiere, the Knave gets hints of a tragic backstory, and Jafar would probably get along really well with Darth Vader.
To begin, the Knave is awakened to find Alice sword fighting a tree. Not a magical, sentient, evil tree, either. Just a regular, old tree. Turns out, she’s getting in some practice since she’s “rusty.” Apparently she put her thinking cap on during this practice too, because she has the brilliant idea of finding Cyrus’s bottle, having the Knave rub it, and therefore summoning Cyrus back from wherever he is.
But where is the bottle? Alice tells the Knave out loud and without hesitation that it’s in a meadow under a TumTum tree. The Rabbit, who was pretending to sleep nearby, hears this and runs off. At this point, we just assumed that Alice was naive and far too trusting. Later, we found out that she deliberately lied about the bottle’s location to test the Rabbit’s loyalty and she went back up in our estimation.
However, the rest of the episode, we don’t see anything else from Alice that’s remotely interesting. She states how certain she is about her love and Cyrus’ devotion to her, does one bellyflop onto a giant turtle’s neck, and learns to sword fight in flashbacks.
The flashbacks also have a lot of Cyrus and Alice mooning at each other and commiserating about how they’re both tortured characters, but they do provide some interesting information. For instance, we learn that there are four things Cyrus cannot do, known as the Rules of Magic: 1) no killing people, 2) no bringing people back from the dead, 3) no changing the past, and 4) no making people fall in love.
We also learn why Alice can’t wish Cyrus free. Cyrus tells her that it’s been tried before and didn’t have good results for “either party” because wishes have consequences. This seems to be OUATW’s attempt to combine the idea of tricky wishes with a friendly genie. It’s not Cyrus’ fault if the wishes backfire! That’s just the way magic is!
Now that we know more about how wishes work, it’s back to the main plot with the Knave and Alice. When they try to cross a big lake via “fairy/ferry” the fairy who shows up reveals that the Knave has left a string of broken hearts behind him in Wonderland as well as a bounty on his head from the Caterpillar. The fairy also mentions an woman named “Anastasia,” who apparently broke the Knave’s heart.
Meanwhile, the bad guys have a few scenes where they mostly threaten each other instead of doing anything actually productive. We do learn that the Queen wants Jafar to change the rules of magic. Since she’s a woman and this is OUAT, we assume she will want to make someone fall in love with her rather than kill someone or change the past. Bring someone back from the dead is a close second only because the show can make the dead person her One True Love.
Also, Alice’s lie to the Rabbit about the bottle’s location was pointless; the Rabbit knew where the bottle was the whole time because he was standing two feet away when they buried it. Cyrus and Alice need to spend less time gazing into each other’s eyes and more time glancing around before completing their clandestine activities.
To close the show, we go back to what this show is REALLY about: True Love ™. Alice and Cyrus made a pact to each other in a flashback that they would never “move on” from each other because Cyrus was worried Alice would make her wishes and he would be sucked back into the bottle, separated from her for eternity. When Alice discovers that Cyrus’s bottle is gone, she is sure that he has taken it and moved on without her. But just as she is about to lose hope entirely, Cyrus sends a magical paper crane message to her, professing his love and begging her to leave Wonderland. Alice is thrilled re: love and ignores him re: danger.
Thus ends the second episode of OUAT in Wonderland. But before we end this recap, we’d like to point out the absolute stupidest part of this whole episode (which will presumably continue in subsequent episodes). Alice is wearing heels during this quest in which she has already run, engaged in hand to hand combat, and done some sword fighting.