'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: Hot Pursuits
'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: Hot Pursuits
Eva Des Lauriers
Eva Des Lauriers
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Everyone is on the move in this episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Past-Alice learns that her father has a replacement family and is sent to the asylum. Present-Alice heads West to save Cyrus but runs into a few snags on the way. The Knave pursues Alice in his attempts to repay his debt to her. The Red Queen pursues Cyrus to the edge, again. Jafar finds out everything he can about Alice's escape from the asylum.

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Red Queen Is Up To No Good

The Red Queen is in pursuit of Cyrus and discovers that he is not in his cell and interrogates another prisoner until he reveals that Cyrus escaped to find Alice again. He also adds his own two cents that he has the greatest weapon of all on his side: true love. Aw.

Cyrus uses his true love weapon to scale down a mountain to begin a pursuit of his own; a reunion with Alice. He gazes across the sea and sees her amulet necklace thing beckon him. He is on his way and he is excited. The Red Queen and her weird minion (is he really supposed to be a tweedle dee? He's so David Bowie meets George Washington) are hot on his trail. She makes a speech about how she knows how to get her hands dirty and needs the Genie and his bottle and now I have the Christina Aguilera song in my head. 

Cyrus fakes his footsteps going into the river and totally tricks the soldiers who are pursing him. But the Red Queen is too clever and finds his real path, and thus, chases him to the edge of a cliff. Again. She determines that he is trapped and love doesn't conquer all. He looks across the world, sees the beacon again and flings himself off the cliff to prove her wrong. Where I assume he lands in the water and is totally fine, but that is not confirmed. 

The Enchanted Drug Garden

On the opposite side of the world, Alice is in pursuit of Cyrus. She determines that she needs to head West to get to the tower where Cyrus is being held. On her trek West, she runs into a bunch of what I assume are thieves, who try to steal her necklace. Unwilling to part with her very important necklace, she kicks both of their butts and takes a torch to light the rest of her way through the forest. 

She makes it to the Black Forest where a bunch of signs warn her to go back the way she came, turn away, abandon all hope ye who enter here etcetera. Of course she will do no such thing and enters that pitch black forest with but a small torch at her side. Just as the torch is about to go out, a bright light beckons her forward to a perfumed drug forest garden thing. 

There is a creepy guy who encourages her to stay, which she does thanks to the effects of the purple perfume spray that hit her every few seconds, making her forget who she is and what her purpose is. This is the most classic Alice and Wonderland nod I've seen yet. Luckily, Will runs into the same two thieves who tell him Alice is headed into the Black Forest. Determined to return the favor of saving his life, he heads after her knowing it could be dangerous.

Alice Returns Home 

In a flashback dated one year ago, we are back into Victorian England and shown a bit more backstory on Alice and her family. She returns to the "real world" after learning Cyrus' fate at the hands of the Red Queen and bumps into a little girl who offers that her parents can help her find her way home. Little girls' father ends up also being Alice's father. Twist!

Alice has been gone many years in Wonderland and her father had given up any hope that she was still alive. Alice learns that her father remarried and had another daughter in her absence. Her step mother, while not yet entirely evil in the fairy tale terms, is very Victorian and unhappy at Alice's return. 

The Ultimatum

During said flashback, Alice's father does not believe that Wonderland is real and encourages Alice to forget about it all and "just be happy." She is hurt, but gives her new Victorian life of one day an honest try. She wears a high collar and everything. Her stepmother suggests that Alice start dating and get married already, much to Alice's disgust and her father's lack of protest. Alice refuses, many tears are shed.

Ultimately, Alice's father is concerned about her little sister, Millie, being so young and impressionable. He does not want Alice filling her head with stories about Wonderland, which he still believes to be folly. In a nutshell, he tells her that she either has to live in his house, date and get married or go live in the asylum. Harsh. She chooses the asylum and it's a total bummer.

The Knave Saves The Day

Present-day Alice is still stuck in the garden and doesn't want to leave because she is finally happy there. Will finds her and discovers that all of the trees that are in this enchanted forest were once people. People get turned into trees for never wanting to leave the enchantment since they forget all of their troubles.

He tries to pull Alice out but she starts turning into a tree, so that sucks. He tosses her the amulet necklace she threw to the ground earlier and it shocks her memory and to-do list back into place: Cyrus, true love, quest, check.

They leave the enchanted drug den together and he decides they are even now. Alice's troubles all come back at once and she is doubled over in pain. Will reveals that he never put his heart back in because he never wanted to feel the pain of Anastasia breaking his heart again. He therefore feels nothing on the daily. Aw.

"Sometimes the maddest stories are the truest ones."

Jafar is in pursuit of Alice and poses as a doctor to get information about her at the asylum. He convinces her doctor that he needs all the information he can get by showing him the White Rabbit who is in his bag.

This episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland ends with Jafar showing up at Alice's father's doorstep offering to lead him to where Alice went after breaking out of the Asylum. They want it to be so suspenseful, but it was more confusing than anything. 


All in all, there are some intriguing questions about where the show is going, but despite all the pursuits, this felt like a bit of a stagnant episode. At least Sophie Lowe is a great actress despite the myriad of issues with the show overall. 

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

(Image courtesy of ABC)

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