[Review] Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (“Heart of Stone”)

This post is a bit late. Finals and labs have been happening.

People of the kingdom, your new queen. Source: IGN

This episode focuses on Will and Anastasia’s entry into Wonderland. It begins from where Will and Anastasia are about to jump through the portal that he stole from Maleficent. Before they jump in, they are stopped by Anastasia’s mother, who cautions Anastasia that “love” won’t be enough for her new life with Will. It’s interesting to see the parallels between Anastasia and Regina from the parent series: cold, overbearing, poor ambitious mothers who coax their daughters into marrying royalty. However, whereas Cora (Regina’s mother) managed to use magic to force Regina into her eventual fate as the Evil Queen, Anastasia’s mother just lets her escape to Wonderland, but cautions her that “love won’t be enough,” and expects her daughter to return (with a bucket of water). At first, the couple seems to be happy by themselves, though their desires for riches eventually overcame as they crash a ball held by the king of the realm (mother does know best, doesn’t she). Formulating a plan to steal the crown jewels, Anastasia gets caught by the king himself, who offers to make her his queen and overlook her burglary. How the king meets his demise has yet to be seen.

Meanwhile, in the “present,” Anastasia coaxes Alice to the Great Divide to acquire magic dust on the other side that can point her in the direction of Jafar’s lair. Alice is still savvy enough to ask why the Red Queen herself didn’t go across and fetch it herself, to which she responds with an “[Alice’s] heart is the purest of them all,” noted by Anastasia’s betrayal to Will and lingering regret evidenced by her giving Alice a look as the girl mentions her love for Cyrus. After falling into the chasm after crossing an invisible bridge, Alice comes face-to-face with a younger version of herself that preys on the hatred she has towards Anastasia by reminding her that it is her fault that Cyrus is gone. The apparition then summons Anastasia into the rift and gives Alice the chance to kill her for all the suffering she has been put through. Alice, being the bastion of incorruptible goodness that she is, puts down her blade and spares the Queen’s life. The being then congratulates Alice and gives her the magic dust. When the two women climb back up from the chasm, Anastasia promptly takes the pouch of magic dust and leaves Alice, but not before the latter had taken some for herself to be guided towards Cyrus. Anastasia returns to the garden where Will had been petrified and uses the dust to cure him and leaving as he gets de-stoned, as if she feels that she cannot face him yet despite her unfaltering love.

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