Once Upon a Time in Wonderland drew us further into the rabbit hole in its second showing as we learned more about the romance between Alice (Sophie Lowe) and Cyrus (Peter Gadiot); discovered the lengths Jafar (Naveen Andrews) is willing to go to get Cyrus’ wishes; and witnessed some impressive displays of magical origami. Here’s what went down on Season 1, Episode 2: “Trust Me” of Wonderland…
Agrabah - Many Years Ago
Wondering how Jafar and Cyrus the Genie ended up in Wonderland? Well, you’ve come to the right episode. It seems Jafar has been hunting Cyrus for quite some time. He managed to track down Cyrus’ last master, a scarf seller with a few too many camels for his station, who uses his last wish to send Cyrus “as far away from here as the Earth from the sun.” Jafar kills the scarf seller, but it’s too late: Cyrus is already “safe” in Wonderland.
Wonderland — Flashback
This episode also gives us the story of how Alice and Cyrus fell in love. After stumbling into Cyrus’ bottle (an introduction we saw in last week’s ep), Cyrus explains the rules of wish-making to Alice before she makes any of the three wishes she gets for finding the bottle. Basically, a genie cannot:
Bring someone back from the dead.
Change the past.
Make someone fall in love.
Alice decides to think on it (i.e.flirt with Cyrus some more) before making any wishes, and the two become traveling companions. As they wander Wonderland, they talk about the people who have left them behind. For Cyrus, it is every master he has ever know. For Alice, it is her mother who died in childbirth and her father who has been sad ever since. Cyrus charms Alice with magical paper he can shape into origami shapes that change color and reform at the blink of an eye and, upon Alice’s request, teaches her swordplay.
Everything is going swimmingly until Cyrus tells Alice to use her wishes. Alice is hurt, but Cyrus explains that he is falling in love with her and, if they spend more time together, he won’t be able to stand her moving on. Alice agrees never to move on from him if he agrees never to move on from her. They kiss, and all is right with the world. They agree to bury Cyrus’ bottle where only they can find it.
Wonderland — Present Day
In present-day Wonderland, there’s decidedly less kissing and more turning of people into ash. Alice and the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) continue their quest to find and free Cyrus. Alice has a squeaky new plan.
Retrieve the bottle, which she claims is by the TumTum Tree.
Use all of her wishes (on small things “like a cupcake,” so as not to screw anything up).
Have the Knave rub the bottle so that Cyrus will be drawn back into it.
Go about trying to find a way to free Cyrus forever.
Easy as pie! Too bad the White Rabbit (aka the Red Queen’s spy) is listening in behind a nearby tree…The Red Queen passes the TumTum Tree location onto Jafar, but not before he has turned a roomful of her subjects into ash. He then makes a show of proving to The Queen just how much power he has over her, magically freezing the red-loving royal and implying that she could share her subjects’ fates if she keeps testing his limits.
Meanwhile, across Wonderland, Alice and the Knave have hit a snag in their plan: a big, fat lake between them and the Towering TumTum Tree. Alice suggests that they swim, but the Knave never learned. He’s been busy doing other things, like “being afraid of water” and, apparently, not calling dates back. When Alice settles for calling “the fairy” — aka an actual fairy called Silvermist whose job it is to fly people across the lake — Silvermist immediately sets about slapping the Knave for breaking her heart. But, because she’s a professional, she agrees to take them across the lake to the TumTum Tree...
Or not. Halfway across, she drops the Knave into the water. Rather than continue the flight without him, Alice falls in too, pulling them both to safety on a small, rocky island in the middle of the lake. The Knave apologizes for his part in stranding them there, but continues to question Alice on how she can be sure that what she shared with Cyrus was real. After all, Cyrus hasn’t tried to find her. Alice refuses to doubt Cyrus, instead asking the Knave what happened to make him so distrustful of others. The Knave says he just chooses not to fall in love, and we wonder what heartbreaking sob story he's hiding...
A flashback for another time, however! Alice has more pressing problems, like getting off the rock. Frustrated, she stomps her foot, sending the ground beneath them into some kind of quake. Turns out the “rock” is really a giant Mock Turtle/their ride out of there. Alice mounts the turtle’s neck and steers him, sword to his neck, towards their destination.
Once ashore, they run into Silvermist again. She has returned to capture the Knave so she can collect the bounty on his head. It turns out he is in deep with the Caterpillar, which — even to us non-Wonderland residents — sounds pretty not-good. The Knave convinces Silvermist to let him go so he can help Alice because, even if he isn’t a good person, she is and she deserves to be reunited with her long-lost love. Apparently Silvermist is a romantic, so she agrees, but not before mentioning something about an Anastasia who broke the Knave’s heart.
Alice and the Knave finally make it to the Towering TumTum Tree — but Jafar has beat them to it. The Knave laments the fact that the villain will soon dig up the bottle, but Alice disagrees. Our wily protagonist had actually been lying about the location of the bottle for their entire trek, assuming that if she told enough people in Wonderland about their destination, it would get back to their nemesis. The purpose of the ruse: to discover who they are up against. She recognizes Jafar from Cyrus’ warnings about the serpent-staffed man, and now knows he is on their trail. Clever girl! Alice and the Knave happily make their way to the true location of the buried botte, but when they arrive, the bottle has already been dug up. They are too late...
Meanwhile, in Jafar’s super-secret lair, Cyrus hangs in a silver-ensconced cage (genies and silver apparently don’t mix) in the middle of a mountain tower. An older man hangs in a nearby cage, asking Cyrus to continue the chess game they have going. Cyrus has other things on the to-do list for today. He writes a message for Alice on some of the same magical paper he used to make an origami flower when they first met. He folds the paper into a crane and sends it to find Alice. Just in time, too, as Jafar storms into his lair and brings Cyrus’ cage to him. He threatens to kill Alice if Cyrus does not disclose the location of his bottle. Before Cyrus can respond, the Red Queen arrives. She informs Jafar that she has the bottle and holds all the keys.
In light of the missing bottle, the Knave’s doubts about Cyrus’ true intentions begin to eat away at Alice’s confidence in their love. Only she and Cyrus knew the location of the buried bottle...or so they thought! It turns out that the White Rabbit was spying on Cyrus and Alice while they were conducting their super secret bottle burying ceremony. The White Rabbit gave the Red Queen the bottle’s true location, which is how it fell into her hands.
Alice is feeling hopeless when the origami crane arrives from Cyrus, proving that their love is true. In his note, Cyrus asks Alice to leave Wonderland so she will be safe. But she ignores Cyrus’ request, sending her own note in reply: she is coming to save him.
What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments below!