Once Upon a Time in Wonderland- Episode 4- Serpent- Review (Spoilers)
This episode gave us back story for Jafar. Jafar at first just seemed like a cold calculating villain. I love these series because of how complicated the back stories become. There isn’t just one simple reason that makes someone turn into a villain. It is always a combination of things and motivations. Jafar starts out seeking revenge and in the process loses all connections to any human side of himself. Both of these shows delves into the intricate nature of human beings and why we end up as we do.
We meet Jafar as a child in this episode. He is an abused orphan who is just struggling to get through each day. A woman shows up at the market place where he works, no one will look at her or let her see them. She strikes complete terror into every heart. Jafar is entranced by her. He can’t look away. Right away we learn something about Jafar, power mesmerizes him. Power doesn’t scare him. He doesn’t shrink away from those that can harm him, he wants to learn about them and figure out how he can become like them.
Jafar goes to Amara and begs for her help. He wants revenge against his father, the sultan, for abandoning his bastard son. Amara sees something in him, a ruthless vengeful spirit. Something she has been searching for, for ages.
Jafar isn’t cold hearted right away though. Even though he is upset and wants magic to get revenge he doesn’t hate the whole world. He doesn’t cast his dark anger on everyone he encounters. That is until Amara drives home a point about dark magic. Quickly Jafar learns what it takes to become a ruthless killer.
As in the original series dark magic isn’t to be used lightly or without second thought. Dark magic requires you to distance yourself from your human side, to cast aside the love and care you have for the people around you. You have to become cold and uncaring. You can’t hold anyone close.
Jafar allows an innocent man to die so he can get what he needs for a certain spell. He hesitates at first, he doesn’t want to kill someone, but Amara points out that if he is to get what he wants he has to make sacrifices which includes hurting people. Again he sees that you can’t let your heart rule in any fashion. To get his revenge and see the sultan at his mercy he has to be willing to do absolutely anything. Jafar learns quickly that to accomplish his goals he has to firmly detach himself from the world. He has to become an island unto himself.
Amara learns how destroying someone, how breaking them into ruthless, survival only, pieces will mean nothing good for you. She believes Jafar loves her but he is only using her. You can’t love, she taught him that. You can’t care or think, even for a second, about anyone else. Once you do it leaves you weak and vulnerable. That’s how he ends up imprisoning Amara in his staff.
Jafar teaches this lesson to Alice in turn. Will gets taken prisoner and Alice rase to rescue him without a second thought. Someone she cares about is in danger, she doesn’t care about anything else. She rescues Will with her cunning abilities, abilities she is going to have to really get in control. She thinks of smart ways out of situations but she doesn’t consider any type of consequences. She thinks about now, but not about later. She can out smart her enemies but she can’t out run them.
Jafar threatens Will’s life making Alice use her first wish. If he dies, she dies. This is clever again, she wishes for something that will keep him alive for a while and not just that moment. Here she thinks a little bit ahead but not fully into the future. Jafar tries to get her to wish again this time to save herself but she won’t do it. She will not give up a wish to save herself.
Alice understands the game they are all playing. They need Alice alive and able to think, they can not just kill her. She won’t use a precious wish to save herself when she knows she isn’t in any real danger. She is tough and won’t do anything for herself only.
Jafar is smart and puts the pieces of her decisions together. Alice won’t use her wishes to save herself but she will use them to save her friends. Alice will not let others get hurt because of her. As Jafar points out, that is her weakness, her heart.
Having a heart is extremely important and I would never say that it is not important. Locking you heart away makes one cold and unfeeling, it break you and you can’t just pick up the pieces and put the puzzle back together again. Alice though has to listen to what Jafar is telling her. She has to stop thinking only with her heart. She is smart, we have seen that often, now she has to combine the two. She is clever and that combined with a strong heart will make her unstoppable. Wearing her heart on her sleeve is going to get everyone she cares about killed. She has to be a little manipulative and cunning. She can save everyone if she thinks and feels together instead of using those two skills separately.
Will is stone now, she has lost her one companion. She is now alone once again. It is going to be interesting to see her work alone. The last time she was alone was in the asylum, and she was a shell of herself back then. Now it is Alice’s true test, can she fight alone? Or does she need that second voice pushing her forward and helping her think?
Alice learns how hard it is to have a true feeling heart something the Red Queen is reminded of in this episode. I thought when Will met up with the queen, he would break and crumple. I saw him wanting to just be with her, trying to remind her of the love they shared. I saw him being weak around her, not a fighter. She took his heart and he never truly got it back.
Their interaction was the complete opposite of that idea. Will was hard and cold towards her. He shouts at her, expressing his anger and disappointment in her actions. He reminds her of who the person she used to be. He calls her Anastasia refusing to let her live outside of her past. She wants him to escape, she plans a whole escape plan. She does not want to kill him but he refuses to run. He refuses to do anything to make her feel better. He won’t give her peace of mind. She made these decision, she got him here and now she has to deal with the consequences.
Will wants her to hurt. He wants to see how far she has fallen. He dares her to kill him. He is angry and done with trying to remember who she once was. She can’t just pretend nothing happened between them or that any of this mess isn’t her fault. She has to live with her decisions and needs her to understand that. He reminds her of all she left behind in her climb to being queen. He reminds her of all the people she stepped on and hurt in that process.
The Red Queen can’t fight Will, she only goes through with the execution because she has no other choice. But it breaks her, gets her in touch with her human side again. This is not going to be the last we see of this side of her. She’s cracking and like Regina (Once Upon a Time), this one love is going to be her anchor to her good side. I foresee the Red Queen having to team up with Alice to save Will. She won’t let him stay stone for long, she wants him alive and well.
Just a small bit on Lizard. I really liked her and I hope she figures more prominently in the coming episodes. She wants to repay Will, she looks up to him. Unlike everyone else in Wonderland she is not out for his head. He saved her and she now wants to repay the favor. I think she is going to be a key player soon. Maybe a new love for Will to move on from Anastasia’s betrayal.
“Nothing more important than honesty,”- Amara and later Jafar- Only true honesty can be trusted. Anyone who is honest with you is someone you can work with.
“You are in prison”- Red Queen- she tells this to Alice about Wonderland. Wonderland is a place that no one has complete control over. It is somewhere where anything can happen and does happen. You can’t be free here
What will Jafar do with the ability to rewrite the laws of magic?
Who is next on Jafar’s list to hurt Alice?
Will the Red Queen and Alice be able to work together?
WIll Lizard become a prominent figure?
How and when are they going to save Will?
How is well is Alice going to be able to work alone?
When and how will she use the last two wishes?