Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) Review “To Catch a Thief”

Good thieves never work alone.

Thank goodness, because otherwise we would never have gotten the dynamic duo that is Alice and Will. In the penultimate episode of Wonderland, our two central comrades’ relationship came full circle. We saw their beginnings, back when Will’s heart was possessed by the Original Flavor Red Queen and he was sent to kill Alice by her bidding. Alice, using a combination of timing and smarts, retrieved Will’s heart, and briefly controlled him herself.While her control over him was more benevolent– she simply wanted him to help her find proof of Wonderland that she could take back to her father –it is interesting to see that Alice would hold on to someone’s heart. Then again, what makes Will and Alice’s friendship work is a mutual understanding of one another. They are good people, but they are capable of going to great lengths for the ones they love.

Ultimately, it was a story about losing his sister when he was young that prompted Alice to give Will back his heart. By then, they had already forged a friendship. That same friendship has carried them through countless journeys and run-ins with The Caterpillar, Jafar and other Wonderland characters as their quest to find Cyrus took them on a winding course. They snap at each other and tease each other, but their love for one another is genuine. For that reason, “To Catch a Thief” was the best episode of a great series (I doubt even next week’s finale can top it).

With his heart back and Anastasia dead, Will wants to believe Jafar’s spell can change the rules of magic more than he has ever wanted to believe anything before. Jafar cannot complete his spell without his staff (or at least not without the woman who resides in the staff), so Will ventures off to convince Alice and Cyrus to give the staff back to him. Neither party thinks this is a brilliant plan, so they shut Will down and he pretends to agree. Alice knows Will to well to believe him though. He steals the staff from Cyrus in the middle of the night, and even holds a knife to Alice’s throat so he can relieve her of her blade.

The scene was executed beautifully. Alice doesn’t react as if Will is betraying her. She, of all people, understands what love can drive a person to do. She can’t abide the idea of Jafar holding so much power, but Will can’t see any other way out– until Alice slips and tumbles into a river. Will, despite not being able to swim goes in after her– saving the sister he chose from meeting the same fate as the sister he lost. I have nothing but admiration for the writers of Wonderland for writing such a compelling male/female friendship. There were no cliches in how the disagreement between them was resolved, just a quiet sense of knowing between two people who have been to hell and back together.

Alice hatches an alternative plan that involves releasing Amara and pitting her against Jafar, and it goes horribly awry. Cyrus ends up as dead as Ana, forcing Amara’s hand. She helps Jafar perform his spell, leaving the series with a big cliffhanger to resolve. Now that Jafar has all of that power what will he do with it? And if he is stripped of it by episode’s end will that return Cyrus and Ana to their previous conditions? We will have to wait until next week to find out, but no matter how the story ends, Will and Alice’s journey has been entrancing every step of the way.

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