This episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
introduces us to a new friend, and almost has us saying goodbye to an old one.
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A Doomed Partnership
In this episode, we learn that Jafar is not just an evil character for the sake of being evil, but that he has a tortured past that writers so love to give their baddies in television shows these days.
Turns out, Jafar is the "bastard" of the Sultan of Agrabah, and his abandonment, and the awful childhood Jafar endured as a result, led him to seek out the sorceress Amara for revenge. Amara eventually agrees to teach Jafar her dark magic ways, but he pays a price for these lessons.
In order to test whether Jafar was truly ready to learn all that she could teach him, Amara has him unwittingly poison a good man, Akil. They need a human liver for a spell, and Amara offers Jafar the antidote to give to the man. He has to decide what he is willing to do to get what he wants, and as it turns out, he's willing to let a man die.
Amara has a love for serpents that she explains to Jafar as being a result of her admiration for their ability to shed their skin and be reborn. Well, this comes back to bite her later on (no pun intended...well, maybe a little intended), when, after she believes Jafar loves her, he kills her and turns her into a serpent and then into the staff that we see him with often.
But why did Amara work with him in the first place? Turns out, she needed another sorcerer in order to master a spell that requires the power of three genies to be cast. In killing her and turning her into his staff, Jafar has gained her knowledge, her presence, and her power.
I have to say, this turn of events, and by that I mean Jafar killing Amara in the end, was pretty obvious. In fact, my roommate who watched about ten minutes of the episode guessed it before leaving the room for the rest of the episode. You might want to work on the plot twists, writers.
Capturing the Knave
Will and Alice's main storyline this episode involves evading capture by a group of "collectors," and Will's subsequent apprehension by the Red Queen herself after he runs to distract the group from Alice and after the Queen kills off the collectors.
Jafar wants Will dead, during a public execution no less, but thanks to the Queen's past as Will's love, she is reluctant. She has Will thrown into a cell, but she does attempt to help him escape by telling him she will send the White Rabbit to get him out of Wonderland.
But Will doesn't want her pity, and anyway, he doesn't think she has the guts to kill him. After their conversation, she storms off. Dang Will, have you got a death wish or something?
We meet a new character this episode by the name of Elizabeth, who goes by Lizard, which I kind of love. When Alice goes after Will, she meets Lizard, who is a collector and who learned everything she knows about stealing from Will after he took her under his wing. She tells Alice that Will has been captured, and says she will go with her to find him. Apparently, he "owes" Lizard. Interesting.
Alice asks if Will and Lizard were ever an item, but she says no, they just ran together. According to Lizard, Will was pretty messed up after the whole Anastasia thing, and he ultimately left Wonderland because it reminded him too much of her. Poor Will!
The two happen upon a crowd who are looking at a notice of Will's execution. Of course, Alice won't let that happen, and they head to the event, which is happening that very day. A crowd is gathered there, shouting things like "Off with his head!" and "Kill the Knave!" and Alice isn't sure what to do.
But she must figure it out pretty quickly, because when Will's head is on the chopping block, the executioner's blade doesn't swing down to cut off his head. Instead, it breaks the bond around his wrists, and the figure unmasks to reveal Alice. She attacks the guards, and they both use a catapult to escape the scene.
There Are Worse Things Than Death
Alice, Will and Lizard meet up in a maze, but just as they're about to leave, Jafar, the Queen/Anastasia, and her Ziggy Stardust-esque "tweedles" arrive on the scene. Lizard is quickly thrown aside, and Will begins to be choked to death by Jafar. The Queen is a freaking coward and allows it to happen, so Alice is forced to make a wish: if the knave dies, she dies.
At first Jafar stops his assault, but then he just turns it on Alice instead. He starts torturing her to try to make her make a wish, but she is steadfast in her refusal. Eventually, he lets her fall. But then Jafar turns his attentions again to Will, who he turns to stone before Alice's eyes.
"You have a weakness," Jafar tells Alice. It's her heart, and he's going to exploit it in order to win. He leaves, and Alice gets in a punch to the Queen's face. The Queen tells her to grow up and use some common sense, and Alice questions why she isn't having Alice thrown in prison. But the Queen claims that Alice is already there. That's deep, show. Too deep for something with the word "Wonderland" in the title.
So Alice is left with a stone, Will, and no word from Cyrus in an entire episode, and that last bit alone is kind of the definition of a bad day for her. I'm wondering what she'll do next; team up with Lizard, perhaps?
Elsewhere, Cyrus is still imprisoned, but he has a plan. He tricks a guard into throwing him a wishbone, which he breaks and sharpens in his cage. Eventually the guard notices and forces him to drop half of the wishbone, and it falls into the dark abyss below him.
But all is not lost! After some taunting from Jafar about Alice using one of her wishes, Cyrus explains to his dungeon-mate that the myth about breaking a wishbone is just that: a myth.
What a wishbone wants, Cyrus says, is what people want as well: to be joined by their other half. If separated, they will do anything to be together again. Which I suppose it meant to be a metaphor for his and Alice's story.
As he is explaining this, the other half of the wishbone is magically pulled towards the half still in his hand. As the two pieces try to join, the sharpened half of the dropped piece begins to cut into the bottom of the cage. I think we know now how Cyrus is planning to escape Jafar's clutches!
Don't miss the next episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, airing Thursday nights at 8:00 PM on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)