[This is a review of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland season 1 episode 2. It contains SPOILERS.]–
True love comes under scrutiny in this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, as Alice and Knave search for the genie’s bottle. The beautifully realized fantasy world comes alive, as we learn about each character’s motivations for pursuing Cyrus and his three wishes.
Of all the inhabitants in Wonderland, the Knave of Hearts may be the most obscure. Does he truly wish (pun intended) to help Alice on her quest, or is he the handsome scoundrel we all expect him to be? His encounter with the lovely fairy named Silvermist (Jordana Largy), was an obvious indication that he’s a ladies man, but does that make him a potential villain?
Alice’s frustration with Knave has its own charming qualities, which beg the question – is there a potential romance between them, or will Alice’s belief in true love dispel that notion? In a fairytale land made up of dandelions that actually look like a lion, it’s difficult to forget that Knave has been living on Earth, and enjoying the finer things in life, like television. The headstrong young man doesn’t believe is wishy-washy romances, or two hearts destined for a lifetime of happiness.
There are moments when Knave has a point. Disney movies, like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella would have us believe in love at first sight; however, relationships don’t always work that way. While Knave longs for a cup of coffee back in our realm, Alice wishes to be stuck in a fairytale with her beloved genie, but what are his intentions? He claims to have never fallen in love with anyone like Alice, but he’s ancient. Does he mean to say that in the thousands of years he’s lived, that no woman has tempted him so?
The Once Upon a Time franchise uses this duality effortlessly. These fairytale worlds are real, but they also exist alongside our version of reality, where men and women don’t always find true love. Hopefully Alice will find happiness, whether it’s with Cyrus, or someone else. Alice and Knave’s quest to find the bottle was thwarted by The Red Queen, who showed how powerful she really is.
Categorizing Emma Rigby (Red Queen) as just another beautiful blonde would be doing her a disservice, as the talented young actress proves she has the chops to stand toe-to-toe with a villain like Jafar. The sorcerer from Agrabah is probably the more “evil” of the two, yet The Red Queen demonstrates that she deserves respect. Their campy banter was a highlight of ‘Trust Me,’ which showed how over-the-top villains are just as fun to watch as they were in the Disney classics.
The magical world of Wonderland remains a well-crafted television series that stayed true to its premiere, without showing any signs of decay. Will Alice’s search for Cyrus end in tragedy, or does true love still have a chance? Keep watching to find out.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland continues with ‘Forget Me Not’ next Thursday @8pm on ABC. Watch a preview below.