Last week we were welcomed to Wonderland and left with a determined Alice, a reluctant Knave, and the revelation that Cyrus is indeed alive. This week, the adventure begins!




NAVEEN ANDREWSSo we start off with a flashback where we see Jafar hunting down Cyrus. Cyrus’ master, in an attempt to protect him from Jafar, wishes that the lamp were as far as possible from Agrabah. Which, of course, is Wonderland. (Is it just me, or is Wonderland the Timbuktu of the Once-verse?) And because Jafar is the baddest of baddies, even though he gains nothing from it, he kills the poor scarf salesman. I wonder if he kicks puppies in his spare time. Or maybe just the Red Queen. Because, although she levels the playing field by the end of the episode, Jafar seems to enjoy kicking her around. And not that I’m rooting for the bad guys, but who else felt gratified when the Red Queen got leverage over Jafar. She’s the freaking Red Queen! She’s not supposed to be afraid of anyone. It was getting pretty upsetting watching her get bullied. And now that she’s at the appropriate power level, I can properly root for Alice to defeat her.

MICHAEL SOCHA, SOPHIE LOWESpeaking of Alice, who else loved that the show not only addressed her glaringly obvious and sudden outfit change from frilly lady to adventure girl, but did it the Wonderland way? Of course the “clothes horse” came through! It’s a horse. With clothes. Common knowledge. Also, I love the Knave’s- or is it “Will” as Alice keeps calling him- references to the modern world, as well as his self-aware commentary on being in Wonderland. It makes moments that could be tiresome and too-easy into ones that are whimsical and funny.

So, during this episode’s progress toward Cyrus, we learned that the Knave has girl problems. Namely with a fairy named Silvermist and Anastasia. (And I can’t help but wonder if Anastasia would happen to be a certain Russian princess.) We don’t get all the details, but Silvermist is clearly a fairy-woman scorned, and the Knave clearly had a thing for this may-or-may-not-be-Russian-princess Anastasia. I’m gonna go for the obvious conclusion and say the Knave was less than faithful. Still, a cheating heart doesn’t explain how he ended up on the run with his face on a wanted poster. A mysterious man all dressed in black- yeah, no, there can’t be enough of those. I like it.

I also like that not only do we learn where Alice got her fighting skills, but that Cyrus taught her. It’s nice to see a couple falling in love doing something cool like sword fighting instead of… I don’t know. All the sappy ways couples fall in love on the shows I don’t watch because they’re sappy. And, like Jane Espenson, I’m an Alice/Cyrus shipper. They run around in a magical land having dangerous adventures. They’re fun! Plus, they made something as dorky as origami magical and romantic. SOPHIE LOWE, PETER GADIOT

We also find out in this episode that Jafar wants to change how magic works via Cyrus’ wishes. And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because I could really go on all day with speculations.

SOPHIE LOWE, PETER GADIOTSo the object everyone is after this episode is Cyrus’ bottle. (He’s a genie in a bottle- oh, just too many jokes to choose from. Most of them with a stronger rating than this review can handle.) Clever Alice tells everyone the bottle is in a false location to draw out her enemy and recognizes Jafar from Cyrus’ description. Now that she knows her enemy, she goes off to the real hiding place- only to find the bottle is already gone.

Side note: There’s all this hoopla about burying the bottle, hiding the bottle, who has the bottle- what if the bottle is destroyed? Would Cyrus automatically be freed? Or would he die? Can it even be destroyed? Or is it like Rumple’s doll? Wait, oops! Wonderland, not Neverland. (You are watching both shows right?)

As in any story worth its salt, the hero- or in this case heroine- gets discouraged, questions whether the quest is worth it, and feels like giving up. And- right on cue- Cyrus’ love letter shows up to reinvigorate Alice and convince her to keep up her search. Or rather, the letter confirms his undying love, warns her of the impending danger and tells her to leave Wonderland. But, like a true hero, she doesn’t even flinch before writing back “I’m coming for you!” (Which I kind of love about Alice.) My only question is whether that correspondence will be intercepted. SOPHIE LOWE

What do you think? Are you relishing how evil Jafar is? Were you unsure of how to feel when our heroine forced the mock turtle to do her bidding at knife point? Do you now find origami romantic?

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