Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Review “Heart of Stone”

EMMA RIGBY

I am a little torn over this week’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. It managed to hold my attention more than recent episodes, so that is an improvement. But, there are still so many problems that keep it from being a good show. Let’s start with the good.

Good: Cyrus escapes from the cage.

It feels like Cyrus has been in the cage forever. This week, he was finally able to extricate himself and get some revenge on the burly guard. It’s interesting because in this tale, Cyrus is the damsel in distress, essentially. But, the thing is, damsels in distress – male or female – aren’t that interesting. I am hoping that by getting out of the cage, Cyrus is able to develop into multi-dimensional character.

Good. Alice’s decision to do the right thing.

Alice must confront her darker inclinations in order to secure the magic dust. She has the opportunity to exact revenge upon the Red Queen, but chooses not to. This is the type of decision we expect our heroes to make.

Good. The Red Queen releasing the Knave from stone.

Having seen the Red Queen’s cruelty, it was nice to see her softer side. She uses the magic dust to free the Knave from the stone, but then rushes away before he sees her. This was a pleasant contrast to the backstory that showed her betrayal of him.

Not Good. The transformation of the Red Queen.

Did anyone else feel like Anastasia transformed into the evil Red Queen a little too quickly? This is the problem with trying to do everything in backstories. You only get snippets and if it takes too long, people complain. Conversely, though, if you go to quickly, people (like me) will also complain. Anastasia decides she’s tired of being poor and comes up with a scheme to steal the crown jewels. The King catches her and offers to marry her. This is a leap, but ok. She’s pretty, so that must be the motivating factor. Fairy tale characters have love at first sight in almost every story. But here’s where things got incredibly ridiculous. The Knave is standing below the castle balcony, waiting for Anastasia to drop the jewels. Instead, he sees the King come out, holding Anastasia’s hand (she has a new outfit and new hair), and announces that she is his wife. Say what? Did all that happen in the span of 10 minutes? Why not have the King announce his engagement? Married? And instantaneously, Anastasia’s face changes from the open happy girl, to the smug, cruel queen. I don’t understand why this was so rushed.

Not Good. Mutilating the White Rabbit.

They want this to be an edgier version of a fairy tale, but cutting off the White Rabbit’s foot and holding it up in front of him was too much. I don’t care that it was reattached. Don’t mutilate beloved children’s story characters.

Not Good. Cave girl Alice.

What was up with the motley, cave-girl Alice? I understand she was the equivalent of Alice’s shoulder devil, but why did she need to look like the wolf-girl?

Not Good. Cyrus Cyrus Cyrus.

I’m pretty tired of hearing, “I must find Cyrus,” “Where is Cyrus,” “Cyrus, I’ll find you,” “Cyrus is my true love.” This narrative is gratingly one-note. I know it won’t happen, but the incessant Cyrus-ing is making me wish death upon the character.

If they can wrap this Cyrus business up soon, there might be a chance to save the second half of the season. “I keep wishing, it could be that way….”

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