Once Upon a Time in Wonderland- Episode 2 Review- (Spoilers)
This episode centered on what I think is going to be another major theme of the show, hope and trust. We see a majority of the characters having to deal with who can be trusted and who can’t be trusted. As well as struggling to hold onto hope in this land that has turned dark on them.
Alice states near the end of the episode that “One thing you can count on in Wonderland is that you can’t count on anyone.” (Alice). Everyone in this place is out for themselves, they want to persevere and will manipulate and backstab just about anyone to get control. You have to become a guarded person, someone who doesn’t extend a hand easily, to be able to survive in this place and time.
We see this well in the Red Queen. I still don’t know what her agenda is but she knows how to play her part very well. She is very aloof and uncaring, or at least she appears to be. She tells the peasants that their problems, “bore” her. She knows she has a responsibility to her realm, something that comes with the territory of her title. She finds it tedious but she won’t back down easily from her responsibilities. She knows being queen means she has to do the mundane tasks to maintain her right as ruler.
Jafar scares her, or at least it would seems he does. He freezes her and makes sure she understands that he is in control. He holds all the power and she is jut a pawn to him. He uses his power to try to scare her, and for a moment it seems like it works. Again we see the fear flit through the queen’s eyes. Jafar DOES scare her in some way. He has power she doesn’t and will never possess. He can destroy her if he wants to.
The queen has to figure out a how to get the upper-hand back. She might be pushed to the ground but it doesn’t last long. The queen is not someone who enjoys lying in the dirt and will not stay there. She just needs a way to pull herself back to her feet. It takes her a moment but she figures it out in the end.
The White Rabbit gets her the genie bottle. Just like that she has back her control. She has something Jafar needs and she is not just going to hand it over because he says to. She will remain in possession of the bottle until she gets what she wants, whatever that might be. She might not have a physical power, she can’t stop time or turn people into dust but she has something just as powerful, her brain. She is smart, she understands the situation and what leverage will do for her. She knows how to hold onto what will keep her alive and out of Jafar’s hands. This battle is going to come down to her intuition and mental prowess versus Jafar’s physical powers.
Jafar wants the bottle and Cyrus to rewrite the laws of magic. We learn from Cyrus that there are four rules to magic and wish making. No one can be killed, you can’t change the past, you can’t raise the dead and you can’t make anyone fall in love with anyone else. These are pretty standard rules for magic. The question becomes why does Jafar want to change them? Does he want to change them all or just a few of them? Will this give him unstoppable power in some way?
These rules are going to play a prominent role in episodes to come. Wonderland is a land of the impossible the idea is that there are no rules. No one here wants to be held down and fighting these rules is going to be a main part of that. These are restrictions keeping people down and under someone else’s control.
We saw in this episode how Cyrus and Alice fell for each other. Alice was a lost child until she met Cyrus. She wanted proof of Wonderland, so she could earn her father’s love back. She wants to find a place to belong but she doesn’t know how. She feels lost and confused until she meets Cyrus. Cyrus helps her find a new, stronger side to herself.
Cyrus teaches her how to fight. It is because of him that she isn’t some distressed damsel who needs others to save her. Cyrus awakens her strong side, the fighter in her. It is good that he did too because she is going to have to hold onto that side if she is going to save the love of her life.
Alice isn’t perfect though, like all good protagonists she is flawed. She still has the human weakness of doubt inside her. When she sees the bottle is gone she immediately breaks. She believes Cyrus has moved on from her, she is sure she is on a fools errand. She sits wallowing in her sorrow, afraid she has lost him yet again. Alice is like many of us, assuming the worst right off the bat.
It takes a moment, some wise words from Will and a note for her to come back to herself. Will is an interesting character. He is with Alice for a wish, a wish he plans on using to give himself a new start. In this episode we see a little more of why he needs this new beginning. The fairy we meet holds a grudge against him, a minor one considering everyone else who is out to get him.
Whatever Will did, he did it to many. He is wanted by the whole of Wonderland. Yet he sticks by Alice’s side and truly wants to help her. He tries his hardest to not let her give up on Cyrus and the love they share. We see that he understands her predicament. He has a lost love, Anastasia. Whatever happened between them, broke him. He doesn’t believe in love for himself but he does for others. He continuously tires to hold Alice back from the edge, he doesn’t want to see her give up.
Is it because at one time he gave up? Did he leave his love and break her heart, whatever they had too much for him to deal with? Will has made some major mistakes but he doesn’t want others to follow him. He didn’t believe, he didn’t trust in love. He gave up and now he is a broken man. If he does get this wish it won’t fix everything, it will only be a bandaid. Will needs to find the hope that Alice has, so that he can move forward and not remain in the past.
In the end Alice gets what she needs to continue her search. She keeps saying love doesn’t need proof but she ends up eating her words in this episode. She says that it is nice to have. She is just like any of us, at our lowest moment, when we have no belief left we need something to bring us back. Proof isn’t a bad thing, it is a tool we need to keep moving forward.
She gets a note from Cyrus telling her to run and save herself. The last thing he wants is for something to happen to her. She sees the words and hope reignites inside of her. He is alive and still loves her and that is all she needs. I found it interesting that she doesn’t even entertain the idea of running. She tells him she is coming and just like that is back on her steady feet. She shows no fear or doubt. She wants Cyrus and now that she is sure he is alive she has all she needs. She is going to have to hold onto this moment if she is going to succeed. Her fighter’s heart is going to take a beating but in the end it will win.
“To make the impossible, possible, you much have some truly unholy desires”- Jafar- rewriting the laws of magic is going to take a dark heart. You can’t turn the whole world around without having no fear of what you could do the people in it.
“Wishes come with a cost….Bigger the wish the bigger the consequence”- Cyrus- Will really needs to heed this warning.
“What everyone wants, what they don’t have”- Cyrus- everyone is constantly searching beyond what they have. See what you have and realize how great that is.
“Don’t make the good guys pay for the bad guys mistakes”-Will- he knows he has messed up his life but he won’t let that hurt Alice. He knows there might be no hope for him but he won’t let everyone be destroyed because of his mistakes.
“In Wonderland you have to be creative”- Alice- this is a world that thrives off the un-probable and the impossible. A hard closed mind will never succeed here.
-What laws does Jafar want to change?
What is Will’s full story?
Who is Anastasia?
What did he do to her?
Why does the caterpillar want him?
Is there any significance to Cyrus’s paper rose turning real?
Does true love conquer all here?
What is the Red Queen holding over the White Rabbit?
What is the time line?
What does the Red Queen want?