Friday, November 8, 2013

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1-4 - The Serpent

Alice used a wish.  It was a noble reason or purpose, but it was still a wish.  It’s still in keeping with the darker tone of this show over the original.  I still feel like she is facing overwhelming odds and I’m not sure how she’s going to get out of that.

But that’s the analysis I usually save for the end.  Let’s start looking at the flashback, shall we?

This week we focused on Jafar.  When we first meet him, he’s almost a beggar boy who is being abused by the man who is supposed to be teaching him a trade.  But he runs away and joins up with a sorceress.  He wants to learn magic who he can get revenge on his father, the Sultan, who won’t acknowledge him since he is an illegitimate child.

A few years later when Jafar starts learning magic, he also starts turning evil.  His first major spell comes at the cost of someone’s life, and he lets this man die to get his liver.

Then the enchantress tells him about a spell so powerful it takes three genies and all of their combined power to pull it off.  They collect two genies (including one in a lamp that looks very much like Aladdin’s), but Cyrus is the third genie.

However, when they have two genies and the location of Cyrus, Jafar turns on the enchantress.  He steals her essence and power, meaning he won’t actually need her to enact this spell.  Her favorite animal was a snake because it sheds its skin to become something new.  And so she turns into a snake, specifically the snake rod Jafar always has with him.  And in a real creepy scene, we actually see the rod blink after we know this.

Meanwhile, in present day Wonderland, Jafar is still upset by the revelation from last week that Alice is working with someone.  He wants Alice separated from Knave so she won’t have any help.  He sends Red Queen to get him, which she does.  She locks him up in a dungeon.

Knave and Alice had separated before he got captured, and when he doesn’t show up at their meeting spot, Alice makes a new friend, Elizabeth, but everyone calls her Lizard.  Lizard and Knave were a pair of thieves for a while.  Nothing more than friends, but there is a loyalty there.

Which is a good thing because Jafar doesn’t just want him locked up.  He wants Knave dead.  Queen is actually going to help Knave escape out of her prison and Wonderland period, but Knave goads her into going along with the execution.

Naturally, Alice and Lizard are going to stop it.  And Lizard manages to knock out the executioner and Alice takes his place, free Knave at the last second instead of killing him.  Then they both catapult over the wall to freedom.

Well, expect they’ve got Jafar after them and they are in the Queen’s maze.  Jafar corners them and starts force chocking Knave, trying to get Alice to use a wish.  And she does.  “I wish if Knave dies, I die.”  And since a dead Alice can’t use her last two wishes, Jafar is forced to release Knave.  He tries torturing Alice next, but she won’t use a wish on herself.  Jafar then turns Knave into a statue and then leaves, announcing that he has learned something very important – Alice has a weakness – her heart.

Meanwhile, Queen is standing there looking very pained at the statue of Knave.  While she tried to deny it all through the episode, we can see she truly has feelings for him still.

And what is Cyrus up to?  He manages to talk his guard into giving him a piece of meat.  But he’s not interested in the actual meat, he wants the wishbone.  He breaks it apart and appears to be trying to use it to break free of his cage.  The guard catches on and makes him drop it down the pit he is dangling over.  But that was Cyrus’ plan all along.  The two halves of the wishbone are powerful because they always try to get back together.  The bigger piece comes back from the pit and Cyrus starts using it to try to cut apart his cage.

Also of note, at one point when Jafar is taunting Cyrus about Alice using her wish, he bows to the man in the other cage as he is leaving.  It’s a mocking bow, but I think that man may be his father the Sultan.

Back to where I started this recap.  I still feel like Alice is up against overwhelming odds.  It’s one thing to face that for a few episodes, but an entire season of being this powerless again Jafar might be overwhelming.  We need to learn of some weakness or hope for defeat soon.  After all, Alice only has two wishes left and this is only episode four.

I’m really hoping we get more about the Red Queen soon.  I’m really curious how she became the queen and what caused her to turn so evil even though she still obviously loves Knave.  And having the Tweedles, or at least one of them, spying for Jafar is going to make things very interesting.  I loved how they used a mirror to communicate.

I think that’s all I’ve got for this week.  Is there something I missed?  Some theory that shows light at the end of the tunnel?  Because right now, I don’t see how this can end well for Alice or Cyrus or anyone but Jafar for that matter.

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