Thursday, April 3, 2014

TV Recap: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland 1-13 - And They Lived...

I got word on something this week I thought was a spoiler for tonight's series finale of Wonderland.  Well, it is, but I thought it meant I knew the fate of two characters.  I was wrong on that front, but I am thrilled to be so.

More on that later.

For now, shall we get to the climax of this 13 episode story?  No flashback tonight.  It's all taking place in our current storyline, which isn't surprising since we need to resolve everything.

We start where the last episode ended as Jafar and Amara complete the spell that will allow them to rewrite the rules of magic.  With it completed, Amara goes to revive the dead Cyrus.  However, Jafar isn't happy sharing his powers.  He plans to kill a distracted Amara. Before he does, his father comes in.

Jafar gets distracted by his father, who is still trying to talk Jafar in to being a kind and generous person.  Jafar has other plans, however.  He uses his new powers to make his father love him.  Frankly, that scene was sickening with how his father was fawning over him.  And then Jafar shows his father what it is like when someone you love kills you.  Yep, his father spontaneously and magically drowns.

Jafar turns back to Amara, but she is gone, taking Alice and Cyrus with her.  They flee to White Rabbit's house where Amara revives Cyrus.  At this point, Amara and Cyrus set out for the Well of Wonders so they can return the water that was taken.  Meanwhile, Alice and Rabbit are to gather as many people as they can to try to fight Jafar.

For his part, Jafar has used the dagger to trap the Jabberwocky in the dungeon and then extinguished all the light.  And he has resurrected Anastasia and brought her up to see Knave, who is trapped in a triangle made by the three genie bottles.  There's a catch, however.  Anastasia is under Jafar's spell and is certain she loves him. For his next trick, Jafar raises a whole field of dead knights to kill Amara and capture anyone working for her.

The knights who do meet up with Amara and Cyrus don't fair too well as Amara is able to kill them with magic.  However, while Alice and her army put up a brave fight, she is captured and taken to Jafar.

Jafar tries to get Alice to tell him where Amara and Cyrus have gone, but she refuses to talk.  Jafar even threatens to change the past so that Alice and Cyrus have never met, but it has no effect on her.  He probably would have done it except two of his knights show up, one of whom escaped Amara and reports on where she is.  Anastasia, still under the spell, quickly tells Jafar exactly why they are going there.  He takes off to stop Amara.

Once he goes, Rabbit shows up to try to free Alice, who has been tied to a chair this entire time.  However, Anastasia catches him at it.  Knave is finally able to talk to Anastasia a little bit and get her close enough that he is able to grab her and kiss her.  It works to break and spell, and she immediately frees Alice to go and try to stop Jafar.

Meanwhile, Amara and Cyrus have reached the Well of Wonders.  Amara is ready to return the water, knowing that it means her death.  Cyrus stops her for a moment, but she says this must to done.  She takes another step toward the well, and Jafar stops her magically.  Yep, he's shown up just in time to keep her from sacrificing herself, ending the genies, and reversing the spell they cast together.  She struggles, but ultimately, she dies, turning into water.  Jafar is just about to kill Cyrus as well when he goes flying.

Yep, Alice and Rabbit have arrived and come up from a tunnel right under Jafar.  He quickly recovers, however, and freezes Alice into place.  Alice can still talk, and she tells Cyrus to scoop up the water that came from his mother and return it.  Jafar won't let him, however, taking the water and scattering it himself.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Just like I predicted a couple of weeks ago, this action causes Jafar to turn into a genie himself.  As his new home/bottle disappears, everything he has done is undone.

Why Cyrus stayed alive, I don't know.  (Maybe because Amara healed him and not Jafar?  And what about Jafar's father, who died via magic?)  Anyway, the curse has been broken, and all three genies are free.  Unfortunately, Anastasia dies again.

But it was not written that she die yet.  Cyrus and Alice are given water from the Well that revives her, and no one turns into a genie as a result.

And we get an incredibly long coda where Alice and Cyrus return to England and are married by the White Rabbit.  Alice has reconciled with her father (although her step-mother doesn't quite know what to make of all of it).  And they say goodbye to a happy Knave and Anastasia who are going to return to Wonderland.

The final scene is of Alice reading her daughter a story, which her daughter decides should be called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  Cyrus shows up, and as the three sit down for a party, we see the Rabbit looking at them from behind a bush.

Frankly, I do feel that Anastasia's resurrection was a bit of a weak element, something the writers forced in so we could have some happy endings.  At the same time, I liked it.  In fact, I liked that fact that all the good guys got happy endings.  It's nice to watch a show like that again.  (Psych did it, too, last week, but still, the trend seems to be to kill off someone major as you finish up a series.)

The friend I watched it with thought it was a let down, and I do think I see some of what he was saying.  There weren't many twists.  It pretty much went exactly how I expected it to go.  And the coda was so long (the entire last segment) that it was a bit slow.  Still, I am so happy there was a happy ending.

No, this wasn't the mother show.  But I'm glad I stuck around for the entire run of Wonderland.  It was a nice little side show and I enjoyed.

Oh, and the potential spoiler I mentioned earlier?  There is talk of bringing Will Scarlett, aka the Knave, to Once Upon a Time starting with season 4.  I knew he'd live as a result of that, and I honestly figured it meant that Anastasia would die, probably in some heroic fashion.  If he does show up on Once, I hope it's not because their relationship has gone south again, but we'll see what happens.

So, what were your thoughts?  Are you glad you stuck around for the entire series?


  1. Yes, I am. It was kind of a long ride at times but I think these final episodes made up for it.

    Pretty much ended like I thought it would but like you I have some open ended questions. I had not thought of the Father, but you are right. If he died by magic he should have come back. Anna going back to being dead made sense. And what about Jabberwocky. Should she now be free? Maybe that wasn't magic though. Kind of felt sorry for her because I think she really did want to start over. When Jafar made Alice repeat the three rules and she came to the one "can not raise someone from the dead" I liked the quick camera shot of the look on Anna's face. Not sure how Knave was able to break his arm through that shield and get Anna to kiss him through that shield! Oh well.

    The ending was a bit long. Not so sure I like the fact Cyrus and Alice ended up back in England. His English look just didn't do it for me. And what does he do for a living? What are they living on? Her Father's money? Glad she and her Father did reconcile though and that we got to see their daughter.

    So Will is going to Neverland. Interesting considering he lived there before. It would be kind of nice if Anna came along too. She kind of grew on me after a while.

    Overall a nice little series with a beginning, a middle and an end for a change.

    1. I think that Jabberwocky is still trapped in the dungeon since, like you said, that wasn't magic, or at least Jafar's magic. I wish she'd been captured back at her old cell, but whatever.

      I hadn't thought about what Cyrus and Alice did for money. I wonder what kind of skilled an ex-genie has to offer. Still, they can't fill in everything like that, even with the long ending they gave us. I liked it, but I did kept fearing some twist would come.

      Once Anastasia switched sides, I really liked her. She never completely worked for me as an evil character, but as a good one, she was great.

      As to Knave breaking the barrier to kiss her? I just figured he was able to fight it that much to get to kiss her but he wasn't strong enough to truly break out.

      Apparently, this show was always supposed to have 13 episodes (up from the original 9, which might explain some of the slower early episodes). The arc would be wrapped up at this point. If they had been given a second season, it would involve some of these characters, but not all of them. I think that's one reason why we got a beginning, middle, and end. It was always going to be that way, although I'm still so thankful ABC didn't kill it for us part way through because of the low ratings.