I have been looking forward to Once Upon a Time in Wonderland for a while now. The fact that this has been made into a full blown series instead of a limited run series does concern me a bit. But it sounds like they’ve got season one figured out at a minimum, so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy.
Frankly, I felt last night was a typical season premier and not the magical premier that the original Once was. So I was probably expecting too much last night. And it didn’t help that they had showed way too much from the previews.
The first scene is actually of a young
dressed as the Alice
from the Disney version of the story returning from her first trip to
Wonderland. Of course, the twist here is
that it is real instead of a dream. Her
father is certain she made it all up, and worse yet, she had disappeared so he
was worried something had happened to her.
Next up, we have a brief stop in Storybrooke with cameos by Emma’s car and Grumpy. There’s also someone closing down what I thought was Granny’s, but it wasn’t Granny or Red. We’re seeing everything from a point of view, and this person is stealing a cup of coffee when the White Rabbit shows up, announces that
is in trouble, and then convinces our coffee thief – the Knave of Hearts – to
We then join
Alice as a young
woman back in Victorian era England. (Did I mention that they stuck to the
original book time for Alice?) She’s spent a year in a mental
institution. Through an interview and
flashbacks, we find out that she returned to Wonderland looking for proof to
show her father that she was right.
While she was there, she met Cyrus, a genie. She freed him, and they fell in love. He has just proposed to Alice when the Red Queen shows up and throws
him off a cliff to his death.
And so she heads back. They land in the Mallowmarsh and almost get pulled under the quicksand like marshmallow (what a way to go), but
takes a dragonfly (real dragon, of course), and hardens the surface so they can
get out. Rabbit has run off at this
point to get help.
Knave isn’t sure he should be back.
had already saved his heart once, but he did something worse after she left to
get himself on the wanted list, head attached or not. But Alice
convinces him to stay, promising him the use of her wishes when they find
Cyrus. (And these wishes sound a lot
like magic in the original series – they come with strings attached.)
Their quest through the woods almost gets them lost, but
Alice climbs a tree and
finds their destination – the Mad Hatter’s Cottage. Cheshire Cat shows up and almost eats Alice, talking about how
food has disappeared in the woods. But
Knave uses a mushroom to shrink him down to size.
They get to the cottage to find it empty. At this point, Rabbit finds them again, and starts offering excuses and explanations. But
finds Cyrus’ locket outside the cottage, and it is glowing, meaning both of
them are close to each other. She’s ready
to keep searching even though Knave wants to leave.
What they don’t know but we do is where Rabbit went when he was away from
Alice. She met with the Red Queen. Red Queen is luring Alice
into a trap of some kind because she needs what Alice has for some plan.
That plan might involve the sorcerer Jaffar, who shows up to visit Red Queen. He even threatens to kill her because he doesn’t need her any more. Some how, this trap involves the wishes that
Alice has, however, wishes have to be
given. They can’t be stolen. What these two villains are plotting is a
mystery – for now.
As to Cyrus, he is indeed still alive. When he was falling off the cliff, Jaffar used a magic carpet to rescue/capture him. Cyrus is being held in a cage. I should mention both Jaffar and Cyrus are from Agriba (or however it is spelled).
It definitely feels darker than the main series, and I think that was part of why it was off putting. It also didn’t feel like it had the breath of characters from the original.
Also interesting is the timeline. How can
know the Mad Hatter in her time line of 100+ year ago and yet he still be a
young man in modern day Storybrooke? Oh,
I know, those characters didn’t age during the sure, but even so that’s 80
years or so unaccounted for.
For that matter, how did Knave get there?
I’ll give it several episodes to grow on me, and I think it will. There’s certainly some fun potential here. But I was expecting to have my socks blown off, and that didn’t quite happen.
What did you think? And what do you think Red Queen and Jaffar are up to?