Once Upon A Time in Wonderland 01×04: In Which Gravity Only Occasionally Works

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Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is back, dear readers, with an episode full of drama, danger, and difficult decisions. There’s not a lot of alliteration, though, which is a shame.

In the obligatory backstory flashback that opens every episode, we find out that Jafar is the Sultan of Agrabah’s bastard and that Jafar “hates him with the fire of a thousand suns.”

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He learns magic from a dark sorceress in order to take revenge on the Sultan. In later flashbacks, we see the sorceress ¬†convince Jafar to let an innocent man die and then show him the picture book that contains all wisdom. She rewards him for his cleverness with sex. We’d like to take a moment to lament the fact that this show is consistently perpetuating the idea that evil women are more sexual than the good ones.

Of course, this relationship ends badly, with Jafar turning the sorceress into his snake staff while taunting her for loving him. Just once we’d like to see a female villain whose feelings aren’t her downfall because she has no feelings.

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This character would have been SO much better if the writers just been more original.

Adult Jafar has a new hairstyle! He asks the Red Queen why she brought Will (the Knave) into this, and the Red Queen brushes him off as an unimportant pawn. Jafar says that if that’s the case, just eliminate him now. The Red Queen looks conflicted after Jafar leaves, which reminds us that the Red Queen is Will’s long lost love, Anastasia.

In the forest, Alice and Will run into some bounty hunters and decide to split up to evade them. This is despite the fact that the guards were clearly walking past their hiding place, and they could have just hung out there until they were gone. But no, splitting up is always a good idea as any group of people in a horror movie can tell you.

Predictably, Will is promptly captured by the Red Queen, who locks him in jail and taunts him for a while. Jafar later scolds her for not killing Will straight away. Revealing that she still has feelings for Will, the Red Queen goes immediately to the jail to tell him that the White Rabbit will take him out of Wonderland. But Will wants her to kill him, so he basically goads her into doing it rather than escaping.

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Really dude, powerfully stupid. You could have avoided so much bad stuff if you just went with this and then found another way to come back.

In the prison tower, Cyrus begs for some of the chicken the guard is eating so he can get the wishbone and sharpen it into what looks like a lock pick. But before he can use it for anything, the guard catches him and drops it into the abyss Cyrus is suspended over.

Meanwhile, Alice meets one of the bounty hunters, a girl named Lizard (real name Elizabeth) to whom Will owes a debt. So, she decides to help Alice get him out of the castle. Turns out that’s not the real reason she wants to help. Will is actually Lizard’s mentor and thieving partner. This motivation makes a lot more sense than the other one, and we’re not sure why they needed two separate scenes to reveal this. It’s not that surprising.

They then find out that Will is going to be executed that very day. They rush to the palace, where Alice changes into the executioner’s clothes, cuts Will’s bonds and then they use a conveniently placed catapult (apparently intended for the severed heads) to launch themselves over the castle’s walls.

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Fuck you, Gravity! We’re riding a head-catapult to freedom!

Lizard meets them in the hedge maze outside, where they are promptly cornered. Jafar throws Lizard off to the side then pulls a Darth Vader on the Knave until Alice wishes that if Will dies, then she will die as well. This stops Jafar from killing the Knave, so he instead moves on to torturing Alice on an invisible rack. She still refuses to make her remaining wishes, so Jafar turns the Knave into a statute and then leaves.

During all of this Alice has also apparently figured out that the Red Queen is Anastasia and confronts her about standing by idly while Will was turned into a statute. The Red Queen says:

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Then tells Alice to get it over with and make her wishes already. But don’t worry, she abandons this take-charge attitude and goes back to being conflicted about statue-Will soon enough.

Meanwhile, continuing the evil-speech theme, Jafar goes to Cyrus and lets him know that soon, SOON, Alice will make all of her wishes and he will go back in the bottle MWAHAHAHAHAHA. Then Cyrus reveals his master plan with the wishbone: to summon the other half up from the bottom of the abyss and use the magic between the halves to carve through the metal bottom of the cage. Because wishbones are THAT magical.

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So, our episode ends with Will made of stone, Lizard either dead or unconscious in the garden, and Cyrus carving through his cage with a chicken bone. Who knows what they’ll throw at us next?

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