Posted by Ashley B at Friday, April 04, 2014 17 Comments
The episode beings right as the last one left off, with Jafar and Amara completing the spell and breaking the laws of magic. As the electric boogaloo dies down, Jafar, looking a bit shell-shocked, proclaims "It is done". No flash, no reverberating poof of magic and yet the laws that govern spells have been changed. It should be noted that a triangle of power, formed by the three genie bottles, has been left on the floor, This will come into play later. Amara snaps out of the post-spell daze and runs to Cyrus's side. Apparently he is less dead than I though last episode and Alice begs the mother to help her son. Jafar assures our heroine that the sorceress can do the trick as she and he are the two most powerful magic-wielders around now. And Jafar plans on becoming a solo act, for he enchants one of the shards of glass from their previous battle and prepares to literally stab Amara in the back.
Despite this momentary setback, Jafar has time to ferret out the Jabberwocky, who had been skulking around the dungeons all this time. He confronts his pet monster and asks her to read his fears. The Jabberwocky pauses and we hear the faint whisperings as she listens for what the sorcerer dreads. As she does, her face grows more concerned. And if the Jabberwocky is concerned, you know there is trouble. It appears that Jafar is afraid of nothing. This can be troublesome as our fears hold us in check. They keep up from being too daring, too reckless, and we will see just how that plays out for Jafar. As the Jabberwocky draws back, looking fearful herself, the sorcerer brandishes the Vorpal blade and enacts the Jabberwocky's worst fear, pinning her to the wall and leaving her to rot in the dungeon. Assuring the Jabberwocky that he can and will do whatever he wants with his new-found power, Jafar blows her a kiss and leaves her in the dark. Getting really cocky there, Jafar.
Meanwhile, Alice and Amara have used the magic carpet to spirit the dying Cyrus away to the White Rabbit's house. Mrs. Rabbit is intent on using her herb-based hoo doo to cure the former genie, but Amara once again displays her power and quickly heals her son via magic. The White Rabbit is certainly not pleased with these uninvited guests and gets some sassy one-liners to break the tension, remarking how Cyrus's spleen on their carpet will serve as a historical monument to future generations. While Cyrus rests, Amara and Alice have a moment where the sorceress thanks Alice for finding her son. She comments on the girl's bravery, as well as Cyrus and her connection. It seems Alice has her future mother-in-law's approval. Amara then goes on to proclaim that they must now take down Jafar, a feat that's going to take the combined powers of good in Wonderland.
This is pure torment for the Knave of Hearts, but Jafar's resurrection act is far from over. With a flash of eldritch magic from his eyes, the sorcerer begins raising dead soldiers from the palace grave yard Night of the Living Dead-style, complete with arms punching through the ground. Oh, now you're just showing off. I love the detail of the chess pieces as headstones here. Jafar now has a zombie chess piece army and with it he will tighten his grip on Wonderland into a stranglehold.
Alice suggests they split up. Never a good idea, though here it seems to be our heroes' best bet. Cyrus will take Amara to the well while Alice and the White Rabbit gather as many loyal soldiers as possible. Alice knows that stripping Jafar of his magic will not be enough to stop the sorcerer for good. As she and Cyrus prepare to leave each other, Cyrus assures her that they will find each other again, just as they did during their strange journey through out this show. Somewhere in Storybrooke, Prince Charming's ears are burning; someone said his line. The strength and trust Alice and Cyrus display knowing that they will once again be reunited speaks of how far they have come. They are no longer seeking each other out of fear that the other is lost, but in confidence that they will always be united. It is no longer a struggle for them to be apart or reunite, but a testament that their True Love has already conquered every obstacle. With one last kiss, Cyrus sets off with his mother for the Well of Wonders.
The battle is supposed to be set at sunrise, but Jafar's forces surprise Alice and her allies as they move closer to the palace. With all this talk of battle, you'd think we would have a huge action sequence. And we do see some fighting as the armies clash, but nothing I would constitute as "epic". I don't think that would fit in with the feel of Wonderland, where cleverness has always been seen to trump brawn in a conflict. As always, Action Alice is my favorite Alice. I do love that even after finding Cyrus, our heroine doesn't loose her edge. She has continuously fought her own battles throughout this series, not shrinking into the background and letting her man battle for her. In fact, when Alice and Cyrus did fight together they worked as a team, supplementing each others' strengths. But Alice still holds her own even without Cyrus, putting up a good fight here. Unfortunately she is outnumbered and captured by Jafar's forces.
Cyrus reunites with his brothers after about a few hundred years of separation. The eldest asks after Amara and Cyrus informs his brothers of her passing. The eldest brother scoffs, believing all their journeys to be for nothing, but Cyrus assures him that her sacrifice was for everything, it was so they may live on in her memory. Elsewhere in the palace, the Knave is mourning over the Red Queen's body. I've lost count of how many times he's had to say good-bye to her.
While the Red Queen and the Knave have a moment, Cyrus and Alice are alone together on a balcony taking in the Wonderland sunset. This shot mimics that beautiful silhouette from the pilot, where Alice and Cyrus had their first loving moment overlooking the Boiling Seas. And now their story has come full circle. Alice expressed that she's ready to leave Wonderland and start a new adventure. There is closure in these words as we the viewer are also about to leave Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and begin our own new adventures with whatever show catches our eye next. With closure comes a sad finality as we, like our heroes, will never see this quirky, dangerous, wonderful world again. When Cyrus asks where they are of to next, Alice suggests they go "home".
We quickly find out how Alice's father was convinced as we see it is the White Rabbit officiating Alice and Cyrus's wedding and no one present is batting an eye. Cyrus's brothers are of course in attendance, as is the Red Queen and the Knave of Hearts. Even the loyal Tweedle made it out for the ceremony. The wedding scene is beautifully shot with the most haunting music. Our characters are speaking, but we heard no dialogue, only that music. Say what you want about the series, but you have to admit that throughout all thirteen episodes Mark Isham has worked magic with the score. I feel having only the music in this scene helps the audience concentrate on the expressions in the scene better, that the emotions we see outweigh any words. The joy and wonder on Alice and Cyrus's faces, the cheekiness of the Knave fake-objecting to the ceremony. We see the Red Queen and the Knave content and even Alice's step mother is enjoying herself, though she seems taken aback by the presence of the White Rabbit's wife a few rows back. This is what a happily ever after looks like.
Before they leave, the Red Queen assures Alice that it isn't "good-bye", it's "I'll see you soon" and she and the Knave turn to leave before Alice calls the Knave back for one last hug. This hug is heartfelt, a real expression of their time together. Alice jokes for the Knave to "hold on to his heart" and he bids her to do the same, only you know he means Cyrus. The Knave and Alice were each others' only allies for a long while and their stories mirrored each other in their search to regain the ones they loved. The Knave of Hearts and Alice will always be family, even if they are realms apart.
Well readers, for the last time, there you have it. Did you like the finale? Tell us in the comments! I am extremely satisfied with this conclusion. I like the fact that Jafar was unable to escape his fate and water ultimately was his undoing. No matter how much power he amassed, his destiny was sealed that first time the Sultan tried to take his life. Now Jafar has all the power in the world, only his punishment is he can't wield it freely and do what he wants. Very fitting.
the Knave is to join the main Once Upon a Time cast. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think the Red Queen and the Knave had a splendid happy ending here and I'm not sure, as much as I love the Knave, if I want to explore his story further. Also, I feel that perhaps his personality might clash too much with the regular characters on the Once Upon a Time. Our Once Upon a Time in Wonderland heroes are just as sarcastic, but they aren't wracked with as much pain as the mother show's cast, especially not now that happily ever after has been achieved.
I've grown so accustomed to thinking and writing about this story each week, it's going to be odd not being able to tune in on Thursdays and laugh at the Knave's sass, or appreciate Alice's quick mind, or shake my fist at Jafar's nefarious doings. Like I said, I do hope Once Upon a Time in Wonderland gets a DVD release so others have the chance to discover Wonderland themselves. Of course I'll still be contributing to SpoilerTV now that this show is over (keep an eye on the Penny Dreadful reviews). I have to say though, it's been an adventure dear readers.
Thank you for going down the rabbit hole with me!
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