Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Review “Home”

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 8 Home (6)

After watching Alice pointlessly run around Wonderland for the past couple months, she finally caught up with Cyrus this week. Thank goodness. The only problem is that it’s unclear what future the story has from here. The description for the episode promised that we’d get more of Cyrus’ backstory, but that didn’t really happen. We did learn, though, what has made the White Rabbit turn his back on his friends.

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Throughout the episode we kind of see the development of Alice and Cyrus’ relationship. Ok. That’s a stretch. They’re already madly in love and we just see the threats that surround them because he’s a genie. Alice gets injured after busting out some serious Xena-inspired moves on would-be Cyrus kidnappers, and Cyrus has to take her to the White Rabbit for healing. We meet the White Rabbit’s wife and little bunny babies. This provides the context for Alice’s relationship with the Rabbit and gives more significance to his betrayal in working for the Red Queen.

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Intertwined with the backstory, we see the Red Queen capture Cyrus in order to help keep him from Jafar. She retrieves his bottle and takes him to the rendez-vous point where he believes he can reunite with Alice. Once there, the Red Queen makes an impassioned plea to reunite with the Knave, but he is having no part of it. He’s gotten rid of his heart, which likely explains his refusal to reconcile. For her, it seems like a drastic change of heart without sufficient build up. If the Red Queen had spent some time alone with the Knave and had a chance to rekindle the flame, it may have made more sense.

At the end, we got the dramatic twist that Cyrus is now out of the bottle, but the Knave is in it. My only concern about this is that we are going to substitute Cyrus for the Knave and when the season picks back up in March, we are going to be repeating the aimless roaming around Wonderland.

The biggest problem with the story is that I can’t see where it’s going to go from here. Cyrus is free and reunited with Alice. Knave and the Red Queen will probably rekindle their relationship. Jafar will inevitably be defeated. Then what? Are they going to leave Wonderland? The story feels boxed in, largely because of the choice to have all of the relationships between the characters already established. If we had started with Alice getting to know Cyrus and the Knave and Anastasia arriving in Wonderland, there would have been more room for a story exploring character development. By sticking to the stilted format of the flashbacks, there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to go.

There are a couple things about Wonderland that are just off for me. Alice’s age is ambiguous, so she appears to be a teenager. Her dress is juvenile, though, which gives her the air of a younger girl. Her romance with Cyrus has always seemed very pie-in-the-sky romantic; the kind of infatuation you would expect from a young girl. But, this week, we saw that Cyrus had basically created some kind of sex lair for them. I don’t think there’s any other way to look at it – there was one bed and a bathtub in the middle of the room. This isn’t in and of itself inappropriate – it would be akin to what you get on any number of CW network shows. But, it is odd considering how juvenile Alice is dressed. Ribbons/ruffles/sex lair. Something is not right. If they want Alice to seem older, put her in some pants and big girl clothes – like what we see for Snow in Once Upon a Time. Also, it appears that Alice is gradually becoming a brunette, which is weird.

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I am still not feeling the magic of Cyrus. I would much rather have Alice and the Knave together. Cyrus feels like a cardboard character that gets propped up in each scene, but really doesn’t carry much of an impact. I am oddly surprised that the show is coming back after the “Winter Finale.” We’ll have to see if the time gives them a chance to right this ship.

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