When we last left Wonderland, Alice and Cyrus found Will’s heart, only to lose it to Jafar. Jafar wasted no time in shoving said heart back into Will’s chest. And with his heart restored, Will remembered his love for Anastasia, just as Jafar seemingly killed her.

In tonight’s episode, “To Catch a Thief,” we get a glimpse into how Alice’s friendship with Will began, as present-day Will risks that friendship in a desperate move to save Anastasia. Read on to see how Once Upon a Time in Wonderland delightfully surprises us with magic, determination, and love. 

Will Betrays Alice

Jafar begins tonight’s episode by taunting Will over Anastasia’s death. He repeatedly reminds Will of everything Anastasia gave up, simply for the chance of being with him again. Jafar claims he does not say these things to hurt Will, but to give him hope. Jafar says there is a way to bring Anastasia back from the dead, and all Will has to do is help him complete the spell. Unfortunately, Will’s devastation keeps him from seeing what a bad idea this is.

Meanwhile, Alice and Cyrus are discussing their next move. Alice thinks they should free Amara first, but Cyrus wants to go back to the Well of Wonders to return the water, as it is the only way to free his brothers. They are about to head for the well when Will shows up. Will tells them about Anastasia’s death and asks for their help.

Will tells Alice that if he gives Jafar the staff and lets Jafar finish the spell, they can save Anastasia. If the rules of magic are changed, they can bring Anastasia back from the dead. Will’s plan to change the rules of magic to save Anastasia is a nice echo of her desire to do the same thing to re-write their past.

Alas, Alice and Cyrus cannot let Will have the staff. If Jafar wins, it will cost countless lives and the risk is too great. Will pretends to come to his senses, but he tries to steal the staff the first chance he gets. Cyrus catches him, but they get into a fight, and Will gets away with the staff. Since Cyrus and Alice still have the lost-and-found, they can use it to track the staff.

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Alice and Will Make Up

It does not take them long to find Will, since navigation has never been in his skill-set. Alice gets to Will first, and they have an interesting chat. Will asks Alice why it was okay for her to risk everything to find Cyrus, but she will not let him do the same to save Anastasia. Will points out that he stuck by Alice until she was reunited with Cyrus, and he wishes Alice would do the same for him.

Later, after Will risks his life to save Alice from drowning, Alice tells him she was wrong. She knows he deserves the chance to fight for the woman he loves, just like she fought for Cyrus. But Alice points out that Will is not alone. Alice will do everything she can to help Will fight for his love the way he helped her fight for Cyrus.

The emotional scenes between Alice and Will in this episode are fantastic. Sophie Lowe and Michael Socha have such a great dynamic, and the unlikely friendship between their characters is one of my favorite things about Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The Alice-Will friendship has been the heart of the series since day 1, so it is great to see that relationship highlighted in the show’s penultimate episode.

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

The flashbacks are an aspect of this show that I was not thrilled with in the beginning, but I have become quite fond of them throughout the season. Seeing how Will and Alice met has been on the short-list of flashbacks I was hoping the show would get around to, so I am thrilled by those scenes in tonight’s episode.

In said flashbacks, we see Will back when he was working for the Queen of Hearts, hunting someone the Queen declared a murderous monster. But when Will meets Alice, he realizes she is not what the Queen said she was. Alice proves that by letting Will go, despite the fact that he tried to kill her and she had the drop on him.

Will continues hunting Alice, and winds up getting caught in one of her traps. Alice wonders why he is so determined to kill her, and he tells her about the deal he made to let the Queen take his heart. Apparently, the catch is that he now has to do whatever the Queen asks. Alice offers to get his heart back from the Queen because she believes that everyone deserves a second chance.

As promised, Alice manages to retrieve Will’s heart from the Queen, but she needs something before she gives it back to him. She wants Will to help her find proof that Wonderland exists so her father will believe her. But once Alice and Will bond, Alice gives him back his heart, not willing to drag him into her mess. Will agrees to help her anyway, because that is just what Will does.

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The Jabberwocky Switches Sides

Back in the present, the Jabberwocky has gotten a bit tired of Jafar’s constant threats. She does not believe that he intends to free her once the spell is complete, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. The Jabberwocky tracks down Alice’s little band and offers to help them defeat Jafar. But Alice says they also want to bring Anastasia back. The Jabberwocky cannot help them with that, but she tells them that Amara can.

While Alice and Will wait to make their moves, the Jabberwocky “delivers” Cyrus to Jafar. Jafar demands to know where his staff is, but Cyrus says the staff is with Will and Alice. Jafar has Cyrus arrested and calls Will back to him using the bottle. But Will does not have the staff, either. Before Jafar can kill them for not giving him what he wants, Amara shows up, freshly freed from the staff.

Jafar Triumphs

While Jafar and Amara face off via a magical show-down, Alice frees Jafar’s father from the dungeons so they can have one more ally in their fight against Jafar. But they run into some trouble with the guards, so Alice is busy fighting off Jafar’s men when tragedy strikes.

Jafar realizes that he is no match for Amara when it comes to their magical skills, so he resorts to dirty tricks instead. Earlier in the episode, Jafar managed to piece together the fact that Amara was after the genies not because of some spell, but because they are her sons. So Jafar stops fighting Amara and uses his magic to stab Cyrus. As Cyrus starts to slip away, Jafar tells Amara that she can save him if they complete the spell and change the rules of magic.

Having sensed Cyrus’ distress, Alice races to find him. But once she arrives, Jafar and Amara have already begun the spell. As Alice rushes to Cyrus’ side, Jafar and Amara seemingly complete the spell. What will Jafar do with his new-found power? Will Amara use the magical rule to save Cyrus and Anastasia? And will Alice ever get her happy ending? Tune in to next week’s finale to find out.

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What did you think of tonight’s episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland? Did you like seeing the early days of Alice’s friendship with Will? Were you surprised by how far Will was willing to go to save Anastasia? And did you think the battle between Jafar and Amara was a bit anti-climactic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airs Thursday nights at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV