Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) “Nothing to Fear” Review

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 9 Nothing to Fear (6)

The writers killed Lizard.

I would say it was a bold move if I wasn’t so heartbroken over watching her die senselessly. The moment was yet another illustration of just how unafraid OUAT in Wonderland is to tap into the darker side of fairy tales. When they say magic comes with a price on this show they mean it. Even though it seems like Will has landed in the safest hands possible when his bottle finds its way to Lizard, her final innocuous wish for Will to feel something for her goes horribly awry. She doesn’t know his heart is gone or that her final wish would cause him pain and cost her life. It’s a painful twist and a crushing loss, but it made for a compelling storyline in an otherwise lagging episode.

It seems the trio of Alice, Cyrus and The Red Queen leaves much to be desired. Alice came off as more than a little petulant in this hour. After Will sacrificed himself for her safety, she seemed put out by the idea of saving him from Jafar. Oddly, Cyrus told The Red Queen, Alice didn’t remember what Will did for her, but his statement was nothing more than a throwaway line. They went in search of Will so they could leave Wonderland anyway; Alice just griped about not being able to spend all of her time with Cyrus.

The series’ portrayal of Alice has always highlighted two things: her strength and her child-like absorption with her own happiness. Her inability to understand The Red Queen makes complete sense in this context. Of course they don’t like each other, they’re both little girl’s lost at heart. However, the women they have grown up to be are hard, ruthless and willing to go to great lengths to achieve their goals. In “Nothing to Fear,” they share the common goal of getting Will back, but their mistrust of one another makes it impossible for them to work side by side, at least until The Red Queen proves herself by giving the bottle back.

After seeing the squalor of her people and losing Will (and nearly being eaten alive by giant forest rats), The Red Queen realizes Wonderland deserves better leadership and the people have to be protected from Jafar. In the final moments, we learn Cyrus’ brothers are the other two genies held by Jafar (one is in a lamp– so in advance: hi there, Aladdin!) giving Alice a reason to stay and fight as well. Our threesome in a foursome now, and with Will back in the mix, I feel the dynamic will have more energy next week. Alice and Cyrus getting engaged just didn’t do much for me– those two are better as separated lovers than they are together. As a couple they’re almost offensively boring.

Meanwhile, Jafar releases the Jabberwocky…who is a lady wearing a truly terrible wig. I’m talking bargain bin Halloween wig bad. I…don’t know what to say about this development. It was an odd choice to make the most fearsome creature in all the land look like a former member of an ’80s hair band, but maybe OUAT in Wonderland can make this work. So far, her only skills are creepy stretching and getting inside of your mind. I guess that is scary. Jafar looked impressed, but that was probably just Naveen Andrews though. He’s got skills.

Mostly, I was just happy to have this series back, Jabberwocky and all. What did you think of the return? Are you glad Will was reunited with Alice, Cyrus and The Red Queen?

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