If only every episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland ended like that! The climactic scene in Season 1, Episode 8 (“Home”) made us realize just how little else has happened on this show prior to this episode. Lots of people running around Wonderland looking for one another, but very little finding of one another. This week, they did — and boy was it was a game-changer. Alice and Cyrus were finally reunited, Red confessed her love for The Knave, and a genie was put back in his bottle…
Flashback Wonderland — Cyrus’ Compass
This week’s episode was decidedly light on the flashback, with much of the action taking place in present-day Wonderland. But we do get to see another chapter in The Falling in Love of Cyrus and Alice, Wonderland’s favorite love story. The flashback begins with Alice and Cyrus traipsing about Wonderland, sleeping under trees, and being generally adorable together… Until a gaggle of thieves interrupt their evening of star-watching. (Rude.) The thieves want Cyrus as their genie, but underestimate Alice, who manages to surprise them with her excellent swordplay and general awesomeness. Cyrus and Alice fight off the robbers, but Alice is stabbed in the tussle. Yikes!
Cyrus brings Alice to The White Rabbit’s house and we meet The White Rabbit wife (distractingly and wonderfully voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) and his children...er, bunnies. Mrs. White Rabbit saves Alice while The White Rabbit gives Cyrus a strong talking-to about their chosen lifestyle: “Always hunted, sleeping under trees. What kind of life is that for Alice?” Cyrus is all: lay off, man. But The White Rabbit is determined: “I’ve known Alice since she was a little girl. She always wanted a place to call home.” Able to dig holes into other realms and a solid rhetorist? How does The White Rabbit not rule Wonderland by now?
Cyrus totally falls for The White Rabbit’s line, seeking out The Caterpillar for a solution. Cyrus trades his “Lost and Found,” a compass his mother gave him as a boy that he has carried with him ever since, for a cloaked cottage in The Outlands. We know the compass had sentimental value and everything, but, as far as down payments go, that’s not too shabby.
Present-day Wonderland — Lost and Found
Holy moly, a lot went down in this week’s present-day Wonderland! Now that Alice and The Knave know Cyrus has escaped Jafar’s Tower of Terror, the duo heads towards The Outlands. Apparently, Alice and Cyrus had a plan to meet up at their cloaked cabin in the woods if they should ever be separated. Good thinking, guys! One point, Team Optimism.
Unfortunately, Cyrus is not familiar with Wonderland’s tricksy grapevines — which are literally vines of grapes and leaves that snatch passersbys by the ankles and leave them hanging upside down. Guess who finds himself tangled up in one? Yep, the genie. For a guy who can whittle his way out of a cage using only a wishbone and some elbow grease, Cyrus can be such a dunce sometimes. Minus one point, Team Optimism. (Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.)
The grapevine reports back to Tweedledee at the castle, who promptly tells the Red Queen. Red quickly goes to collect Cyrus and convinces him to bring her to Alice. But, first, they have to make a pit stop: the abandoned carriage in the woods Red and The Knave used to hang at when they were just Anastasia and Will. Inside, Red stashes her most prized possessions, including the simple pink dress she wore when she came to Wonderland— pause action for Red to shoot it a longing look — and Cyrus’ bottle. You didn’t think she was hiding that in the castle, did you? Because Jafar totally did. Tweedledum smuggled it out of Red’s palace safe, only for Jafar to discover the bottle was a replica. Ha!
Meanwhile, Alice and The Knave make a short detour on their way to The Outlands: The White Rabbit’s house. The Knave is all: remember how he betrayed us those times? But as Captain of Team Optimism, Alice isn’t hearing it. The two travel to Rabbit’s faux-abandoned house and find the stressed rodent. They need his help.
Alice asks Rabbit to come with them so, once they find Cyrus, they can leave the dangers of Wonderland and go “home.” (Episode title reference!) Rabbit tells Alice that The Red Queen has his family. This is the only reason he has betrayed them and why he can’t help her now. Alice sympathizes (of course), but doesn’t give up so easily. New plan: they’ll rescue Rabbit’s family, meet Cyrus, then make their epic escape. Piece of cake.
The Knave thinks he might know where Red is hiding the family of rabbits: the carriage stowed in the woods. Sure enough, they are there, and Rabbit is reunited with his wife and bunnies. Huzzah! Everything is going according to plan...
Well, for everyone but Jafar, who is pretty pissed that The Red Queen tricked him with that bottle replica ruse. We kind of love that he is constantly underestimating her. In a terrible invasion of privacy, he snags a strand of Red’s hair from her hairbrush. (When Jafar held up Red’s hair brush and stared at it meaningfully, was anyone else hoping he would use it on his own thick tresses? No...just me?) Jafar builds a storm cloud out of a strand of Red’s hair, and tells it to “Find the Red Queen, and kill her.” It makes for The Outlands. Yes, this scene actually happened.
And, now, the scene you’ve all been waiting for: Alice and Cyrus’ reunion! It was pretty magical. There was running towards one another across fields and million-watt smiles and infinity points for Team Optimism. Then, Alice sees that Cyrus has a tag-along: The Red Queen.
But Red has a surprise of her own: she’s there to win The Knave back. She regrets losing him in her bid for the crown. The reason she wanted to change the rules of magic is so she can rewrite history and choose The Knave. OK, this is actually really sweet and who wouldn’t regret giving up The Knave? But couldn’t she have just asked for his forgiveness rather than chasing Alice and Cyrus across Wonderland? Seems easier.
The Knave has doubts of his own. He doesn’t believe Red — and neither does Alice. But Cyrus does. He can tell the truth of others’ wishes, and he knows this is truly Red’s wish: to be Anastasia again. The Knave still doesn’t care — he isn’t Will anymore — because he doesn’t have a heart. Or so he says. When the storm cloud Jafar sent comes to find them, Will jumps in front of the lightning strike meant for The Red Queen.
As Will lays dying, Alice also crumbles to the ground. She tied their fates together with her first wish. Whatever happens to The Knave will happen to her, and Will is dying. Cyrus begs Alice to use her third wish to save herself, but Alice refuses. She will never put Cyrus back into a bottle.
Knave to the rescue! Proving he is officially the best BFF ever, he tells Cyrus of his deal with Alice: She told him that, if he helped her find Cyrus, he could have a wish. That’s good enough for Cyrus! He gives the wish to Will who wishes “to end Alice’s suffering.” Aww.. BFF forever.
Alice awakens, and all seems right in the world again because, not only is Alice alive, but Cyrus has been released from his servitude as genie, since Cyrus’ genie status was part of Alice’s suffering. Until Red notices that The Knave is missing…
Will wakes up in Cyrus’ bottle — but now it is Will’s bottle. He has inadvertently wished himself into Cyrus’ place, gold cuffs, and everything. His reaction: “Aw, bloody hell.” Of course. The camera zooms out and we see that the bottle is being tossed amongst the rapids of some river. Are we in Wonderland or somewhere even more ferocious? And will Will’s friends be able to find him again? We’ll have to wait until new episodes start up again in March to find out. Oh, cruel world!
“Your majesty, I’ve heard something through the grapevine.” “I know you’re ticked off about how he’s betrayed us, but now is not the time to settle the score.” “Sometimes, people turn on you and you’ll never understand why.” “Me, too, I also, apparently, understand.” “I’m her home now, and she is mine … It’s the truth. We might not always have a warm hearth or a roof to sleep under, but our life together, it’s better than we ever could have imagined.” “Must you always speak in metaphor?” “If my family were in danger, I’d do whatever it took to protect them.” “Well, if you can’t believe in love, what can you believe in?” “I wish for you to shut up.”
“Your majesty, I’ve heard something through the grapevine.”
“I know you’re ticked off about how he’s betrayed us, but now is not the time to settle the score.”
“Sometimes, people turn on you and you’ll never understand why.”
“Me, too, I also, apparently, understand.”
“I’m her home now, and she is mine … It’s the truth. We might not always have a warm hearth or a roof to sleep under, but our life together, it’s better than we ever could have imagined.”
“Must you always speak in metaphor?”
“If my family were in danger, I’d do whatever it took to protect them.”
“Well, if you can’t believe in love, what can you believe in?”
“I wish for you to shut up.”