'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: Rise of the Red Queen
'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: Rise of the Red Queen
Josie Rhodes Cook
Josie Rhodes Cook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Alice takes a leap of faith, Cyrus takes a leap of escape, and we learn how the Red Queen took her throne in this episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

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Humble Beginnings

Will and Anastasia are just preparing to jump into their portal to Wonderland in the beginning of this episode when Anastasia's mother appears. Apparently, she thinks Will is a loser (her words not mine!), and that she had wanted her daughter to be a queen, or to at least marry a nobleman. She also basically tells her that if she leaves, she is not welcome to come back. 

Relying on the strength of Will's love, Anastasia goes with him, and the two started their life together in Wonderland. But as it turns out, it's not all they had hoped it would be. The two struggle for awhile when they arrive, and they have trouble even finding food. Not a good start for the new life the lovers had hoped to form together.

When a passing cart filled with bread passes, although the people driving it won't give Will and Anastasia any food, they do give them an idea; they are delivering the food to the palace for a ball, you see, and Anastasia decides it would be a great idea to attend said ball. After "borrowing" (see: stealing) clothes for the occasion, the couple is ready to attend in style.

The Ball

Soon after arriving, Will and Anastasia split up. Will goes to enjoy the food, and Anastasia wanders off to enjoy the crowd. She practices a posh accent after hearing one of the ladies use it, and who should happen to come upon her as she's doing so but the King himself. What a crazy random happenstance!

The two talk, and the King says he knows all the ladies in court and doesn't recognize Anastasia. Just as they are starting to bond, Will is caught stealing some of the food, and when the crowd realizes they've been infiltrated by commoners, the couple is thrown out.

Later, Anastasia has done some thinking on their situation and tells Will she wants to go home. He says her mother will never let her live the whole thing down, but Anastasia is obviously not pleased with what's become of them since she left home. 

The Crown

Somehow this all leads to Anastasia deciding that they should steal the crown jewels she spotted at the palace, and follow Will's old "steal from the rich, give to the poor" motto. Which works for them, since they are currently the poor. If they sell the jewels, they will be rich, and have the life they imagined. It's clear that's not the life Will imagined, but he agrees to go along with the plan.

Anastasia breaks into the palace while Will waits outside, but as she goes to grab a very familiar crown, the King shows up. But instead of punishing her, he offers a proposition: the jewels can belong to her, she doesn't have to steal them, but only if she agrees to be his Queen. Her drive to be something more drew him to her, he explains, and despite loving Will, Anastasia buys into the fantasy.

When the King announces on the balcony of the palace that his people have a Queen, Will is still waiting outside for her, because apparently the royals in Wonderland know how to put together a quickie marriage like nobody's business. He is of course heartbroken, having lost his only love to a life he could never have dreamed of giving her. And with that, the Red Queen is born.

Magic Dust Mission

In present-day Wonderland, the Red Queen is up to yet another scheme. She approaches Alice while the girl is apologizing to poor Stoned!Will (sorry, couldn't help it!), and she tempts her with an offer. She will tell Alice where her "precious genie" is, if Alice helps her with a task. 

In short, the Queen needs magic dust in order to protect herself from dark magic, which includes anything Jafar can do to her. But retrieving the dust is a suicide mission. Alice is understandably not sold on the deal, but the Queen tells her that Jafar's tower is hidden, and if Alice helps her, she will tell her how to find Cyrus. And since Alice is fairly single-minded about that now that Will is stoned (I'm sorry but that's never going to get old!), she agrees to the deal. 

They take a carriage to a cavern where the Queen says the dust is, but there's catch. The dust is across the ravine, but there's no way to cross it. Or is there? A plaque reads, "the pure of heart shall make the leap," which seems to be a test, and one the Queen would never pass. 

Alice realizes it's a riddle, and that the leap is actually a leap of faith. She believes her faith in Cyrus will help her cross, and at first, she's correct. She goes to cross the ravine and manages to take a few steps onto thin air, before plunging into the cavern. Oops?

The Test

When Alice falls, she finds herself in a dark, enclosed area, and she isn't alone. A little girl appears to her, and it's actually a version of Alice when she was younger. Which is all sorts of psychologically crazy, but it works in a weird way here. 

Little!Alice's voice is echo-y and she looks really creepy, so clearly something strange is going on here. You know, besides the whole two versions of Alice in one place thing. The girl claims Alice has dreamed of revenge against those who took Cyrus from her for a long time, and gives her a chance to kill one of those people: the Red Queen.

Thanks to a bit of stomping on Little!Alice's part, the Queen falls into the cavern as well. Little!Alice says that if Alice kills the Queen, she will tell Alice where Cyrus is. But Alice won't stoop that low, which is a good thing, since it means she passed the whole "pure of heart" test, and the girl turns to the magic dust the Queen and Alice have been searching for.

Of course, the Queen doesn't keep her end of the deal. She says everything she has, she's had to take, which we now know a little more about thanks to all those flashbacks. The Queen and one of her Ziggy Stardust Tweedle's walk away with the bag she magically took from Alice, but Alice is clever, and kept a handful of the dust for herself.

Alice blows the dust she has into the wind, and it reveals Jafar's tower in the distance. And at that tower, things have changed quite a bit during this episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

The Escape

Cyrus worked towards escaping his cage during this episode, and we got a few dropped hints about the other prisoner's background in the process. Apparently, he has something Jafar wants, but he claims he will never get it. And he apparently doesn't have much to strive for beyond their bars, which is pretty depressing. 

My guess is that the guy is Jafar's father. Imprisoning him all this time would be a cruel form of revenge for his abandonment of Jafar, but I'm not sure what he would have that Jafar would want. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I'm betting on. 

After cutting a hole in the bottom of his cage, Cyrus rocks it back and forth and manages to jump from it to the nearby ledge. The guard shows up, of course, and they fight, but eventually the guard falls into the abyss below the cages. Score one for Cyrus!

But the other prisoner won't go with Cyrus, saying that Jafar won't kill him no matter what (another reason for my guess), and Cyrus leaves his behind. 

Meanwhile, the Rabbit has been interrogated by Jafar, who offers to help him with his debt to the Queen if he gives him more information on Alice. He wants to know who else Alice cares about, and when the White Rabbit won't give him answers, Jafar cuts off his foot, which is awful and terrible. He also makes a bad "lucky rabbit's foot" when he does it. See? Awful. And terrible.

But he says he can reverse the injury if the Rabbit tells him who else Alice cares for in Wonderland, but the Rabbit claims there is no one else. At least, not in Wonderland. Apparently he spills the beans because he gets his foot back and runs off, but we don't actually see what he tells Jafar. Nice one, writers. 

Cyrus and the White Rabbit meet in the hall, and in an act of selflessness, the Rabbit tells Cyrus to escape, and Cyrus manages to make his way out of the tower. The Rabbit goes back to Jafar, who demands that the rabbit take him to what I will assume is the "real world" Alice came from. Guess we'll find out in a later episode!

The Knave is Free

At the end of this episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, the Queen actually uses the magic dust Alice got her to un-stone Stoned!Will. Of course, she walks away before he can see who freed him. Is this proof that she still feels something for him, or that she can at least still feel remorse?

And while we're on this topic, is anyone else wondering where Lizard, who was thrown aside when Will was first turned to stone, was this entire episode? Or is that just me?


Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airs Thursday nights at 8:00 PM on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)



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