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OUAT in WONDERLAND - 1x02 "Trust Me" - Review - Pieces Are More on the Game Board!

Our second episode, "Trust Me"written by Rina Mimoun (Everwood, Hart of Dixie) and directed by Romeo Tirone (Dexter, True Blood) was delightfully improved from last week's pilot, "Down the Rabbit Hole".

To start us off we delve into a brief flashback in the reality that Cyrus and Jafar derive, Argabah, as Jafar made his way into home of a humble merchant who is better off than he ought to be, as he has not one, but TWO camels!!! (Watch out, they spit!) The man, who does have something to hide, is able to get away from Jafar for moment to go and see about his water boiling over! In the kitchen it is revealed that he is the current master of the Genie Cyrus and in panic wishes Cyrus to a land far far away, but unfortunately for him, Jafar is not in a mood to show mercy and merchant tragically dies through Jafar's suffocation via magical telekinesis. (A little nod to Darth Vader perhaps?!)

The first scene with Alice (Sophie Lowe) and Will/Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) was my least favorite, as Sophie Lowe seemed to change her voice in experimenting with different aspects of Alice, but it was short lived, as the rest of Lowe's scenes were more in line with the Pilot's Alice. 

At any rate The Knave and Alice set out to find Cyrus' bottle, which turns out to be a false location, showing the audience a rather clever Alice, but also to point out the main theme of the episode, which has to do with trust!

We explore trust on many levels from Alice figuring out who wants Cyrus' bottle and if she can still attempt to trust the Knave, to The Red Queen turning the tables on Jafar, because she knows where the bottle actually was buried through her black mail on the life of The White Rabbit, and as The Knave seems to reveal a playboy aspect in which he did seemingly wrong by two women: The Fairy Silvermist and Anastasia, and then ultimately the trust Cyrus puts in Alice in not using her wishes which would break his heart let alone take away his freedom.

As briefly mentioned the Knave and Alice set out to the first location, but Wonderland has changed, in which now there is lake to cross, but the Knave [allegedly] can't swim. Alice summons a ferry, errr, I mean fairy named Silvermist (Jordana Largy) to ask if she could fly them across. The fairy, although obviously disgruntle with Knave (and hinting at a past relationship or one night stand) insists she won't hold this against him and allows them to fly across the lake...well, almost! About half way to the other side Silvermist lets the Knave fall into the lake where he begins to start drowning. Alice can't convince Silvermist to help him and is able to free herself from the magic of the fairy dust and tries to save the Knave from drowning. Luckily there is an small rocky Island near to where they fell in and Alice is able to get herself and Knave upon it. True to what we might think of Wonderland, nothing is as it seems and this rocky Island is none other than the The Mock Turtle who is able to take them ashore. The Knave is able to reconcile with Silvermist and Alice and The Knave set out to their location, in which she discovers Jafar and some rather disturbing black and red/orange beetles searching for the bottle!

Alice reveals what she has done to The Knave, who is a little put off, but Alice comforts him in letting him know that she trusts him now...and they set out to the real location near the Dandy Lion, but to Alice's astonishment, the bottle has been dug up and taken!!

Other parts of the episode reveal the chess game centered around Jafar and The Red Queen, as Jafar seems to believe he has the upper hand over her...We also are treated to flashbacks regarding Cyrus and Alice from when they first fell in love. We see Cyrus use magical origami paper to make a flowering rose he gives to Alice and teaches her how to sword fight! Most importantly we see Alice come up with an interesting way to temporarily free him by promising to not use her wishes leading them to hide the bottle.

In the mean time Cyrus, who is being kept in a silver cage that reveals that silver and Genies don't mix, is able to to write a note and send a magical paper origami paper crane to Alice. The note arrives to Alice just as she started to loose hope after discovering Cyrus' bottle has been taken. He tells her to go home, which she will in no way do now that she know's he is alive and hadn't abandoned her.

This episode has what Pilot was missing which is bringing the villains more into the light and into the fold. Naveen Andrews gives a much stronger performance with seductive mysticism and Emma Rigby gives a kind of charming oddity and proving her character not just a pretty face or a useless entity, but a character that does have cards up her sleeve. The two characters also have interesting chemistry and am wondering if these two are going to be/have been each other's love interest?  The introduction of Silvermist and The Mock Turtle along with more from Jafar and The Red Queen makes this episode feel more fleshed out than the Pilot and much more like Once Upon A Time.

You Don't Need Proof, But It's Still Nice To Have It
Additionally the episode also highlighted Eastern Philosophy and/or culture through the introduction of Silvermist and paper origami folding. A Thousand and One Arabian Nights uniquely presents various philosophies from eastern, mid eastern, and western (European) influences. But the concept of a paper crane may also go hand in hand with the Japanese legend of stringing together "A Thousand Origami Cranes" in which one may be granted one great WISH, several small wishes, or life long good fortune and/or health. They are popular gifts in Japan among friends and family for weddings and treating illness, Cranes, like dragons and tortoises, are considered "Holy" animals said to live a thousand years.

Mythology wise we get a set of four rules in relation to what wishes the Genie can't grant (which is almost identical to Disney's Aladdin's version). 1. Can Not Kill People 2. Can Bring People Back From The Dead 3. Can't Make People Fall in Love 4. And Wishes Can Not Change The Past. (So, No Time Travel ?) This leaves the door open however for things like immortality.  We also learn generally what Jafar wants to use the Genie for, which is change the mechanics of "magic" [in Wonderland ?] somehow... Jafar's serpent staff can also freezes people in time (a kind of stasis) and we see that Fairies also can exist in this realm. We also learn that SILVER ( theme in the episode) is painful to Genies...

The 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!

To start us off lets go with the Fairy mythology! Once Upon A Time has given us Fairies and Fairy Dust from the start with the introduction of The Blue Fairy/Mother Superior. Last week on Once Upon A Time ("Quite A Common Fairy") we were introduced to another well known fairy Tinkerbell, which expanded the Fairy Mythology with the reveal Pixi Dust (a super form of fairy dust) and how a fairy can loose their wings and become demoted, (which also has to do with the Blue Fairy not being able to trust Tinkerbelle), who stole the dust to help Regina find a new true love! In "Trust Me" we meet Silvermist. The character most likely originates from Disney's more recant computer animated films featuring Peter Pan's Tinkerbell and some of her fairy friends including Silvermist. In both episodes we see each fairy also explore revenge.

Silvermist and The Knave seem to have some bad history, and although it's unclear if it's of a romantic nature, it seems likely the case and might be similar to OUAT's story in which the Dwarf Dreamy becomes Grumpy, after not being able to run away with a potential love interest, the fairy Nova, as both characters are kinds of slaves in terms of making fairy dust for the alleged 'greater good'.

Silvermist is also played by actress Jordana Largy and had a minor role on in episode of Fringe during it's finale season as The Coat Check Girl ("Twenty-Five-Ten").

In this episode we may be better able to compare Jafar and The Red Queen to Rumple and Regina. We see that Jafar and Rumple are both powerful sorcerers and perhaps both have weapons that make them 'darker' than they really are. Regina and The Red Queen (or Iracebeth) are both Queens who maybe went through much planning to get be where they are and neither seem to be happy or satisfied with their conquests, but when it gets down to it, the roles  towards each other are reversed, as Jafar comes off with an initial hold over The Red Queen. He is also much more in line with Regina's personality, disposition, and appearance and The Red Queen proves to be a trickster like Rumple and both have something refine, distinguished, or proper to them (which perhaps is more evident in Mr. Gold), despite that Rumple is perhaps 'over animated' and The Red Queen 'under animated'...And there is one time were we see Rumple dressed in red ("In The Name of The Brother")

"Quite A Common Fairy" and "Trust Me" also showed other ways to travel to other realities. In "Trust Me" we see you can "wish" someone somewhere else and in "Quite a Common Fairy" we see that you can summon a Shadow to take you to Neverland.

And After All, You're My Wonderwall:
A Couple of LOST references also seem to surface as our male British comic relief and almost thief The Knave of Hearts tells Alice that he can't swim. In LOST during the episode "White Rabbit" Charlie Pace says a very similar line, "I don't swim." when it's revealed that Boone went after a women about to drown named Johanna and Jack tries to go after them both. In Charlie's case the difference of the more normal "I can't swim." in contrast with "I don't swim." points out the fact that "don't" is different than "can't" and that swimming was something that Charlie could do well, but emphasizes the unrealized fear in relation to how Charlie had often died in other incarnations (in other time lines), as revealed through Desmond's visions, who's deaths were often of suffocation in relation to water and/or drowning. Swimming also marks Charlie's significance in the series, as Desmond being able to spare Charlie those repeated deaths is able to give Charlie a death with meaning as he tries to help Claire and Aaron get rescued by swimming down and jamming the signal in The Looking Glass underwater Dharma Station. (and Aaron and Claire both live and leave the Island by the way!) It may have marked a change in that some of the characters do not have to deal with the Island directly in the next go around as presented in the first part of the flash sideways. Charlie also gave hope to Desmond, as it was revealed through Charlie after making contact with Penny, that she was coming and looking for Desmond. 

Another possible reference comes with the character the Mock Turtle. There was a popular theory and on going joke  that the Island on LOST was able to move because it was on the back of a Giant Turtle relating to Iroquois creation myth! A mild reference may be when Alice asks for a Fairy which obviously sounds like Ferry and in LOST we had the Pala Ferry (which "Pala" may be a reference to Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World") and then the concept of Jafar changing the laws of magic may be similar to "changing the rules" and "finding a loophole". I'm think that if he changes the laws, then maybe he can change the wishing rules as well. I suspect he may have lost someone, like Regina did, which could parallel Sayid Jarah in loosing Nadia and Shannon...

Lions, Sneakers, and Flowers, Oh My!
Last week I also noticed the red converse sneakers key chain the Knave used to enter granny's dinner which is most likely a double reference to both Desmond/Mrs Hawking/Time Travel/Fail Safe Key/The Swan (Lost) and to the ruby slippers from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Speaking of Oz, the red ruby slippers were also mentioned on last week's OUAT episode "Quite a Common Fairy" by Baelfire/Neal looking for another way to travel to from FTL to Neverland, but also this episode of OUAT in Wonderland may also continue to reference 'OZ' with the Dandy Lion playing to the cowardly lion (which The White Rabbit and possibly the Knave may prove themselves at times to be "cowardly" the same as Desmond David Hume and Charlie Pace), but also since I brought up Fringe and it's final season up already, dandelions were also significant in being a symbol of hope and pre-season one poster art suggested "patterns" in multiple Universe. Additionally Walter Bishop was also alluded to be "The Cowardly Lion". It is also the yellow dandelion found in the crack ("Transilence Though Unifier Model 11") in a now desolate world that gives Walter the courage he needs to find himself and march onward. "Quite A Common Fairy" also featured a LION as Robin Hood was 'the boy with the lion tattoo'! (This might be something you guys want to keep in mind for next week's Wonderland episode, "Forget Me Not"). Both Once Upon A Time series also featured flowers from Blue Fairy's Tulip Patch, to origami rose, and again the dandelion.

 Walking on Snow White:
And briefly going back to Fringe for a moment, there was a flash of The Red Queen's servants (Tweedle Dee and/or Tweedle Dum??? It does look a bit like Matty Finochio) that are sporting David Bowie's classic lighting bolt face paint from his character (and album) **Aladdin Sane ( A Pun for "A Lad Insane" and an evolution of 'Ziggy Stardust'). Aladdin Sane also features the song, "Jean Genie".  David Bowie is also a cultural reference that appears in Fringe through characters David Robert Jones (David Bowie's Birth Name), Olivia Dunham/Astrid Farnsworth, and Thomas Jerome Newton ("The Man Who Fell to Earth" - Oliver Farnsworth, Thomas Jerome Newton) and  album/song, "The Man Who Sold the World" relating to the misgivings of William Bell and Walter Bishop.

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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