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OUAT in Wonderland - 1x03 "Forget Me Not" - Review

"Forget Me Not" was written by Richard Hatem (who also serves as consulting producer) and directed by David Soloman (Nikita, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) who has directed some Once Upon A Time episodes such as "The Price of Gold", "Dreamy", and "The Crocodile".

For Alice and the Knave their story continues from the Dandy Lion of which unknown to them someone had dug up Cyrus' Genie Bottle. The Knave knows of a magical object, The Forget Me Knot, an magical object that allows you to view the past of a space you hold the object over, that could possibly help them figure it out who took it, as Alice explains how important it is to know exactly whom one is up against.  Unfortunately the last being the Knaves knows who may have the object is The Hookah Smoking Caterpillar. The last couple of episodes have pointed out that he has some major authority over Wonderland and that most characters don't want to deal with him, as Alice had tried to dodge him the time when she came to Wonderland and she met Cyrus.

The Knave takes them to large mushroom which has a door that takes them to Underland, as seemingly intoxicating and allusive club reminiscent to Jabba the Hutt's Palace or The Cantina featured in Star Wars. The Hooka Smoking Caterpillar seems not in the mood to make a deal the Knave first suggests, but Alice is quick to think that this is because The Caterpillar doesn't have The Knot; she would be right! So The Knave makes a new deal saying he will get The Forget Me Knot for him, if the Caterpillar knows where it is, and in return the Knaves name will cleared from being a wanted criminal of Wonderland. The Caterpillar agrees as he laughs that all 3 outcomes that he foresees will benefit him, as the Forget Me Not lies in a house of The Whispering Woods of The Grendel, a seemingly dangerous monster! The two set off again to find the Grendel!

In the mean time Jafar and the Red Queen decide to invite Cyrus to dine with them in the caves where Cyrus resides in his large silver cage, but Cyrus declines. Jafar points out to Cyrus that he has the return origami crane that Cyrus had originally sent to Alice and lets him know, that he knows, that Alice is trying to help him. The Red Queen and Jafar then open and go over a great book in front of Cyrus, presumably the one that relates to the history of Wonderland, as they go through a creature and/or beast guide and when they come to something called "The Bandersnatch" the Red Queen is quick to point out that Alice had problems with one when she came to Wonderland as a child. Jafar then takes note that Cyrus appears rather worrisome as they discussed the Bandersnatch and decide it is the right creature to send after Alice! They go to some dungeon where a Bandersnatch is kept, allow it to smell Alice's sent from the magical origami paper crane and unleash it! It should be known that Jafar hopes he can get Alice to start using her wishes so that he can acquire the bottle and make wishes himself.

Alice and The Knave continue to to banter while they make their way through the whispering woods and soon enough come upon the house, but before they really get close they fall into a trap and become unconscious. They then awake in the kitchen of the house where the Grendel is starting to prepare them for his meal. The two discuss the idea of using one of Alice's wishes, but Alice insists they try something else first. The Knave however starts to notice that he's taking to himself and actually watching a man and a women in the forget me not set right in front of his fire place. The Knave suddenly identifies with the Grendel, loosing the one he loved, but tells him he has to try and "move on". The Grendel at first is listening, but feels pushed and gets angry. Alice and The Knave are able to get themselves free, but right as Alice opens the front door to escape, the Bandersnatch charges in. The Bandersnatch almost killed the Grendel, but Alice was able to catch him through the rope of the Forget Me Knot and the Knave stabbed the Bandersnatch. The Grendel touched allows them to take The Forget Me Knot, and agrees with the Knave that perhaps it's time to move on. Alice also explains to The Knave that the Bandersnatch must have been partially Cyrus doing, as he is the one who taught her how easy they are to defeat! 

They set off again back to The Dandy Lion, where The Forget me Knot reveals that it was The White Rabbit dug up the bottle and gave it to The Red Queen...The set off again to give it to the Caterpillar, since the Knave had insisted all through the episode that he was doing this to clear his name and not just as a favor to Alice, but suddenly, he has a change of heart and decides not go...and it was a good thing, as Jafar learning that Cyrus had deceived him, atfer killing the Grendel, and that Alice wasn't alone in her quest, also goes to The Caterpillar....

But what made the current story really work, was the flashbacks of The Knave, also known as Will Scarlet, who, in the Enchanted Forest, used Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men as a way to invade Maleficent's castle to find a magical mirror that serves as a portal to Wonderland for the women he loved, Anastasia. If it wouldn't have been for reading the Press Release for next week's episode, I would have NEVER seen Anastasia also being The Red Queen coming! It truly made the episode that much more intriguing along with being able to see Emma Rigby show a rather different side to her character, who's aesthetic of pale pink and white offer a lighter, freer, and warm contrast to that of the ardent Red Queen and is similar to young Alice's blue and white dress, but also to note that Alice wore light pink dress on her last visit to Wonderland. (In the novels sometimes cover art of Alice's dress does feature pink and white as apposed to the more common blue and White)

This episode beautifully continues to expand and intrigue with clever and reflective plots. One of my favorite scenes was Jafar and Red Queen eating and discussing together, allowing us to see them in a state much more at ease with each other, unlike the last to episodes. It gave them each a dash more of humanity and allowed for us to really enjoy them. It was also nice to have a little shout out to Beowolf folklore by having the monster Grendel be an obstacle for Alice and Will. Once Upon A Time in Wonderland continues to improve every week and I hope we get to finish out the journey and learn more about who these characters really are!

The Once Upon A Time Factor:
So this week we learn that The Knave was in the Enchanted Forest in Fairy Tale Land sometime during the curse or post curse Era (it's hard to say what "A few Years" really means?!). It might suggest that The Knave was not in Storybrooke during the time of the curse or rather he wasn't in Fairy Tale Land when the curse was inacted. Probably he and Anastasia visited Wonderland during the end of the rein of The Queen of Hearts. 

Prince of Thieves

With an introduction from the end of the season two, who's becoming a more frequent reoccurring character during season three, Robin Hood was a nice tie back, especially considering OUAT's recant episodes had featured Bealfire require Robin's help and that Mulan just also recently joined The Band of Merry Men after not feeling right about displaying her feelings for Aurora, who also then ties us back with Maleficent., even through we have not seen the beginning of the "Sleeping Beauty" story on OUAT. Robin Hood is also allegedly another True Love of Regina, which is kind of ironic, since he is so much like Snow White...

Anastasia is also a figure in our actual history like Mulan, who has legends and/or mythologized stories centered around her, as opposed to being completely fictitious. It's hard to say if going by Anastasia does imply she's going to Wonderland to take back her rightful throne or if there is still some other angle on the Anastasia story, like being an impostor? Additionally we might want to be open minded to the idea that The Knave and Jafar might double over allude to characters Dimitri and Rasputin. Additionally Anastasia is thought to have been orphaned from escaping a tragedy from the execution of her parents. Emma, August, Baelfire, Rumple, and possibly Peter Pan may all be characters who were separated from their parents (or parental figures in August's case) due to various tragedies.

The Maleficent facet kind of provides another angle to her own personal mythology. Depending on when exactly this is (curse or post curse) the fact that her voice could be heard through the Enchanted Forest is curious since she had also been bind by the curse to be apart of Storybrooke in Dragon form, but also because even beyond that she is able to come back after being slayed by Emma, as a kind of zombie-like version of herself.

We also were able to take a closer look at The Hookah Smoking Caterpiller and it's evident after this episode that he has a similar role of that of the former Rumpleskilstin being a deal-making type of character whom also collects and/or knows of magical objects. Rumple is also the one who gives Regina a mirror or looking glass in which like the one The Knave has stolen, is a portal to Wonderland. Regina in a fit of rage pushes her mother through ("We Are Both"), which is juxtaposed to Anastasia choosing to go to Wonderland on her own free will.

Here Piggy, Piggy, Piggy, Piggy!
One possible Lost reference might lie with the Bandersantch, as it basically looks like a giant mythological version of a wild boar! It's James "Saywer" Ford, another thief and con man like the Knave, who used a baby boar to extract revenge on the baby's boar's mother, as Sawyer believed the boar was out to get him after ransacking his tent ("Outlaws"). An additional reference is with Wonderland's whispering woods. In Lost the whispers of the spirits of the dead could occasionally be heard and often times accompanied The Others when they traveled across the Island. Sayid Jarah is one of the first 815-ers to hear the whispers on his way back from meeting Danielle Rousseau ("Solitary"). In "Outlaws" Sawyer here's whispers as well of the final words of Frank Duckett, a man Sawyer was set up kill falsely believing that Frank was the real "Sawyer". But it's Frank's final words, "It Will Come Back Around" implying a belief in cosmic payback is what eats at Sawyer during the episode, which is similar to what Robin Hood tells Will Scarlet in that Will's luck will eventually run out and his actions will haunt him...Also the theme of holding onto the past verses "letting go" is also a common Bad Robot theme more predominately seen in LOST and Super 8.

Note: The Whispering Woods is also an Enchanted Forest featured in the 1980's television series She-Ra. The Whispering Wood is a prominent place in The Song of Ice and Fire series in which The Five Kings Battle.

Jafar also mentions again his plans for altering and/or changing the laws of magic when he temps Grendal with an offer to bring back his wife from the dead for information about Alice. Jafar says that the Impossible will become possible! Fringe's original tagline was "Imagine the Impossible", as Fringe dealt with space and time altering situations on regular basis. It seems likely in my opinion given both the possible reference back to Sayid Jarah and because thematically Grendel featured a story about loosing his significant other, the Forget Me Knot lets you see into the past, and that Jafar may parallel Regina, that Jafar may interested in bringing back someone from the dead somehow...

More food for thought with this might also come with looking back at Maleficent, if the flashback with the Knave was within the past 28 years, then it provides that more living-dead  or in between states of existences due to Maleficent's many forms and/or incarnations and the possibility of [part] of her essence being able to exist in two places at once, since her voice echoed through the Band of Merry Men's camp...

Another aspect comes with Jefferson in "An Apple Red As Blood" where he is able to use what is left of Regina's magic to use his hat and reach back in time and pull out one of Regina's magic poisonous apples. This in itself could be perceived as a type of time travel, just with objects and not humans...Regina and Dr. Whale have also tried to bring people back to life in which their accomplishments are much less than the people Daniel and Gerhartd were...

And lastly Cora: The Queen of Hearts also provided looks at things pertaining to living dead as she was able to reanimate the dead and make them into zombies ("We Are Both"). And there also is the matter of The Wraith, where she had told Aurora that there is a way to get Phillip back, but we have yet to see that back story to see if The Wraith and or it's pocket universe (?) is in line with a kind of after life.

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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