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Once Upon A Time in Wonderland - 1.06 "Who's Alice" - Review - Everybody Must Get Stoned




This week on Once Upon A Time in Wonderland we are treated at looking at many thing Alice from out nice lead in from last week's episode, "Heart of Stone" as Alice had to make a leap of faith and confront herself and also had the opportunity to compare her to The Red Queen.

In current Wonderland Alice sets out to find Cyrus on a toll road, which is also The Queen's Road. She comes across two not so clever, but overly righteous thugs. The warn her about the upcoming "Black Forrest", but also attack her. Alice easily fights them off, takes their torch, and continuous on her way.

In the meantime elsewhere in Wonderland The Red Queen is hot on the trail of Cyrus, who escaped at the end of the last episode. Eventually the Queen and her Tweedles come to a steam where it appears on first glance that Cyrus had crossed over. but being smart she uses her magic to discover that Cyrus had doubled back onto his previous steps! Cyrus comes to the edge of a cliff only to discover that it's actually the edge of a floating Island! The Queen comes upon him. She tries to argue her philosophy that True Love isn't always the most important thing, but Cyrus, like Alice last week, decides that it really is and he takes his own leap of faith and jumps off the edge of the floating Island!

The Knave revived sets out in search for Alice. He come across an old man and a wagon and asks for water and the to have an interesting chat about "stoning". He also comes across the two thugs Alice had defended herself against and they reveal, despite their threats, where Alice went.


We catch up with Alice who after three signs (there have been a lot of things in 3 in the series so far) warning her about the Dark Forest, comes to the end of the road where a temporal portal of darkness appears. She steps into it and keeps moving, but then suddenly her torch light blows out, but not before seeing light. She believes she has made it out of The Dark Forrest, as she is greeted in a lush wood full of purple and white flowers and a more than happy man. She tries to continue on her way, but the man, now revealing himself to a carpenter, tells her to stay. The flowers begin defuse a purple fragrant of mist and Alice becomes content, but slowly starts to loose her sense of self.

The Knave catches up to her, but he is not effected by the purple haze or beauty of the forest. It takes him awhile to plead with Alice. To show her how all the people whom have come into this wood eventually turn into trees! It's not until Alice starts to become one herself, and the Knave keeps reminding her of Cyrus by giving her necklace back, that Alice remembers herself that she is able to free herself ans Will from the magic of the forest.

The rest of the episode contrasted the happy, but forgetful Alice with the Alice she was when she returned home the last time after just loosing Cyrus. In the flashbacks she is unhappy, not just because she lost the love of her life, but because of the realization that her father remarried, had another child, and who's new spouse comes of pushy and cold. Alice's father encourages her to forget Cyrus and not to speak of it, especially to young Milly, but it is only Milly that truly feels and believes Alice. Soon Alice's stepmother Sarah invites a young man named Mr. Darcy to call on them, hell bent on finding Alice a new suitor as soon as possible. Alice makes a scene and storms out of the house. Her father then makes the ultimate deplorable plunge, as he gives Alice and ultimatum: Get well and happy and fit into society, or be committed to The Belthem Asylum! Alice chooses the Asylum, as it only has been a short time since she lost Cyrus.


In the meantime Jafar had crossed into the Victorian Parallel universe, where he gains access to a fine suit and the location of Bethlem Asylum. He greets Dr. Lydgate (who's been licking some poison) as another doctor inquiring about Alice. Lydgate denies ever knowing such a person, until Jafar wips the White Rabbit from his new medical bad, which forces Lydgate to divulge the truth of Alice and Wonderland along with giving Jafar the location of Alice's father's house. In Jafar's finale scene we see him arrive at Edwin's house, presumably to abduct him and take him back to Wonderland!


Sense and Sensibility
What I loved about the episode was the way we played with Alice's identity. I love the contrast from Alice's flashback in which she is not accepted for whom she is by the one person who should have had faith in her, to the way she looses herself in the forest, and then with Dr. Lydgate denying her existence. Even more so, it's also the way things rolled off of last week's episode with Alice facing a child version of herself, which in themselves seemed to represent two sides of herself: an over determined demonstrative and vengeful Alice and a sweet, charming, gentile, and rewarding Alice, but also how it is young sweet Milly that truly identifies with Alice in this week's flashback. Additionally last week's episode contrasted Alice with Anastasia and we were able to see that there was still love in Anastasia heart and fondness for Will. It should be noted that Milly wore pink and white the same colors we saw Anastasia wear in her flashbacks before jumping into the Wonderland portal and Sarah is another seemingly strict and gloomy mother figure much like Anastasia's. Alice and Ana both have sisters!




I also loved that it was the one character that doesn't actually have his heart that has chosen to help and save Alice! Knowing this about Will game changes a lot of things. Firstly it makes it much harder to kill Will. So when the time comes and Jafar thinks he can kill (or make Ana kill) Will to kill Alice, he may find a problem. Secondly it emotionally might explain some of Will's more recant past behavior.

I'm glad in a way that Jafar has taken Edwin, since it provides an opportunity for him to come to believe in Alice and maybe even believe in himself. It's not that I blame Edwin for his choice to remarry. It would of had to have been hard to loose your wife and then constantly loose your child and how that might reshape you, but I do wonder what will happen to Milly in his absence. Will Sarah be effected by her husband's absence? Will she instantly move on? Or will Milly ever come to Wonderland somehow?



Once Upon A Time Factor:
Each review I will bring this section to mention things like crossovers, riffs, similar themes, contrasts, and tie-backs, which may also span into Bad Robot works as well, since OUAT already clearly references them. I watch a lot of TV with mythology however, and if any of you see something I missed, then please share with us in the comments below!


The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Although I had made note of this after reviewing "Down the Rabbit Hole", again to we have reference back to Alcatraz as OUAT in Wonderland's Jonny Coyne who plays Dr. Lydgate aslo played Alcatraz warden Edwin James. The name of Alice's father is also Edwin.

I had suspected that Alcatraz like many of J.J. Abram's/Bad Robot's works (Felicity, Lost, Fringe) and along with Once Upon A Time/Once Upon A Time in Wonderland was meant also to reference Charles Dickens with both the character Jimmy Dickens and with character Edwin James and mystery centered around himself and Alcatraz to be a reflection of Charles Dickens' unfinished novel "The Mystery of Edwin Drood?". The novel also starts out being incredibly trippy and drug induced, which drug culture generally goes hand in hand with psychedelic aspects of Wonderland.


Additionally the phrase made iconic by Jimmy Hendrix "Purple Haze" first appears in written word in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations". There may be a reference to it in OUAT as magic, such as the magic that came with the making and breaking of the curse is purple, just as it was purple dust that came from flowers in this Wonderland episode. In both cases it relates to loosing or reshaping identity.

I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding.
We also had another 19th century literary shout out to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" with the introduction of Mr. Darcy. The reference is really nicely placed since 'pride' and prejudice' is really what we see the majority of the characters struggle with and the idea that pride in extreme does often lead to prejudices. Additionally both OUAT series have epic love stories with witty female leads; a staple note of most Jane Austen works.

There was also a small reference to Kate Austen from LOST. In the episode "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" John, Jack, Kate, and Boone try and track Ethan Rom. Kate reveals when two paths emerge that maybe on is a dummy trail and the other he doubled back on top of. John was surprised that Kate was smart enough (most likely revealing she knows from personal experience) to even consider that. In this episode we see the Queen figure out that Cyrus had doubled back on top of his own tracks.

Castle in the Sky

And speaking of LOST some theories early on centered around a Floating Island, which in fact it was. One literary reference associated with it was Gulliver's Travels and the Island the Island Laputa, which is also explored in Studio Gibli's animated film Castle in the Sky (most Studio Ghibli works are distributed in the US and dubbed in English by Disney). Much like the character Sheeta, does Alice and Cyrus also have magical glowing necklaces.


Girl, You Know It's True
Milly is also a variation on Amelia, Camilla, Emily, Mellesa, Mildred, or  Millicent.
On Lost we have a minor character an other named Amelia. Some common theories stem around the idea that she was Amelia Airhart. Emily is the name of a reoccurring character on Alice, Arvin's Sloane's wife. And on Once Upon A Time Regina's family name as it appear in Storybrooke is Mills.

Milly may mean: Industrialist, Striving, Work, Helper to the Priest, Rival, Laborous, Bee, Honey, ect


So what did you think of "Who's Alice"? Where do you think the Knave hid his heart? Do you think Alice's father will survive Jafar's ruthless plans? When will Alice find Cyrus?  And what will Jafar do to The Red Queen once he learns Cyrus escaped?

LAURA BECKER (DARTHLOCKE4) is a long time commentator, TV addict, and aspiring writer participating with other fans on SpoilerTV. She writes reviews and analytic type articles. Some of her other interests include philosophy, cultural anthropology, reading, drawing, and working with animals, as she grew up and continues to work on her family's horse farm.

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