‘Once Upon a Time in Wonderland': The Red Queen Shows Her Power

Published 2 years ago by

once upon a time season 1 episode 2 alice Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: The Red Queen Shows Her Power

[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.

once upon a time season 1 episode 2 lion Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: The Red Queen Shows Her Power

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.

once upon a time season 1 episode 2 jafar Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: The Red Queen Shows Her Power

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.


Follow David Griffin on Twitter @griffinde
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  1. i’m liking this show so far. it’s as good as OUAT, while being it’s own thing, i also see the potential of crossover story lines.

  2. I’ve not seen this show so I can’t say anything about it, but man, why is it almost every actor from Lost have such low profile careers? Naveen Andrews should be in bigger things than this. Same with Josh Holloway, he’s stuck doing lame sports movies and I’ve no clue what happened to Matthew Fox. I know all of them still have other works but these Lost actors should be the high profile actors we hear about everyday.

    • Matthew Fox was actually supposed to have a pretty good role in World War Z but they ended up cutting his whole storyline =/. I think that Kate girl (Forgot the actor’s name lol) is playing an elf in the next Hobbit film. She’s had quite a lot of screen time during the trailers so I’m guessing she’ll have a hefty part in the film. Josh Holloway I just feel sorry for, great actor, lame projects.

      • Out of all of them Evangeline Lilly/Kate has had the best career for sure. She had a big role alongside Hugh Jackman in Real Steel and like you said, is going to be in the Hobbit for a bit. Good on her.

        • Wait a minute. Doesn’t Holloway star in the upcoming show “Intelligence”? Early trailers have seemed rather promising, so here’s to hoping this one’s going to be the next big thing for Sawyer. I have to admit, I wasn’t aware of any sports movies – exactly what are you guys talking about?

          Back on topic: I just watched the first two eps of the OUAT spin-off and quite liked it. I can’t for the life of me comprehend why it doesn’t seem to be capable of attracting a bigger audience. To me the lead is what the urban dictionary would refer to as “cutiful”, her more or less trustworthy sidekick grows on you (I can’t really tell though since I knew him already, thanks to watching the original run of “Being Human”) and the bottle search / wish greed looks like a straightforward throughline that will certainly surprise us with several twists along the way.

          I’m not entirely sure whether this spin off is supposed to be a mini series, though. Does anyone have realiable intel on this?

          • Battle of the Year. Its a dance competition movie.

  3. Well the knave MUST be a scoundrel.

    Its simply in the dialoque where he tells the fairy hes sorry
    when he says “but care about hers, she’s a decent person. And so is the man she loves who;s live is LITERALLY hanging in the balance as we speak”

    Now…how would the knave know the genie is in a balance like trap?
    He must know more.

  4. The episode involved Alice and Knave going on a journey to find Cyrus’ genie bottle. It was an interesting journey and you get a good vibe from Alice and the Knave’s relationship. We get a hint of the Knave’s past and it appears he is bitter about a past love. There was a mention to his relationship with an Anastasia and I wonder if it’s the Russian princess. Alice has mentioned that she helped him get his heart back in the past but I wonder if his heart was taken by the Queen of Hearts (Cora). So I didn’t like the Red Queen for a while because she wasn’t doing anything villainous and she was such a push over for Jafar but my opinion of her changed by the end of the episode. I still don’t like the melding of Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin and I don’t think its working out well. Hopefully there will be more Wonderland than Aladdin for the remainder of the season.

    So this episode involved a flashback that was about Alice and Cyrus falling for each other. I thought it was a poor attempt to show that they loved each other since you don’t really get that vibe at all. I don’t feel any chemistry. I did like the reference to the Aladdin song “A Whole New World.”

    I rate this episode 6 out of 10.

    • You’re right about the mixing of the stories not working so well, but to be honest I think I’d rather see more Aladdin and less Wonderland. I mean, Alice in Wonderland is so overdone everywhere, I was frankly surprised that that was the spinoff theme OUAT was going with :/
      I also still don’t like the Red Queen. She is not strong enough.

  5. I did not feel that Emma Rigby was a sensible casting choice for the Red Queen at all. She comes across as just another pretty blonde, pouting to get her way. After casting such a spectacular villain in OUAT, they can’t expect us to be satisfied with a pouting blondie as an adversary in their spinoff show. Disappointing…

  6. i think this awesome that people are so into this show and yeah :)