Posts Tagged With: ABC

[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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[Review] Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (“Forget Me Not”)

Pun of the week: the Forget-Me-Knot

A key character from Alice’s adventures makes an appearance in this episode.

Who are you? Source: OUaT Wiki

Jafar and the Red Queen are trying to make Alice use up her wishes so that Cyrus won’t be bound to her anymore by creating situations where she has no choice but to use them. Using Cyrus’ reactions as a guide, the villains finally decide on releasing a Bandersnatch, which takes the form of a wild boar with an incredible sense of smell.

Following the discovery that the bottle has been stolen, the Knave suggests using the Forget-Me-Knot, a rope with a loop that acts as a magic lens with the power to see past events in any viewed area. The problem? It is in the possession of the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, who put out a bounty on his head for not honouring his debt, further illustrating the impact that the Knave has had on Wonderland that we haven’t seen yet. The caterpillar then confides in the two adventurers that the knot has been taken by the Grendel, a monster so terrible that adventurers never returned. The Knave then sees an opportunity to settle the debt: retrieve the knot from the Grendel and give it back to the Caterpillar, who agrees, seeing as whatever outcome occurs benefits him in some way: if the Knave fails to retrieve the knot, the Caterpillar is rid of him once and for all; if the Knave succeeds in bringing the knot back, the Caterpillar can use it for his own gain; if the Knave gets the rope and runs off with it, the Caterpillar will take glee in having his head (still conscious, and a callback to Jefferson’s decapitation in Once Upon a Time) as an ornament.

At this point of seeing the portrayal of a pivotal character I realised that there was a compromise during the show: the mystique, logical arguments and philosophy of Lewis Carrol has been replaced by backstory and action. I don’t really mind the reimagining of the characters, but it is something that made Alice and her adventures what they were.

When Alice and the Knave reach the Grendel’s house (and subsequently captured and tied to be the beast’s next meal), it is revealed that the monster is really just a deformed man who is using the knot to hang onto the past and his deceased lover. The Knave tries to empathise with the Grendel by mentioning his ex-lover Anastasia to no avail. It’s at this point Alice seemingly accomplishes the villains’ plans in getting her to use her wishes; just not in the way they had intended. Alice uses them to cut through the ropes, just in time as the Bandersnatch arrives. After dispatching of the pig the Grendel decides to let go of the past and relinquishes the rope. A while later, Jafar and the Queen stop by for a visit, and after promising to “reunite [the Grendel] with his wife,” the sorcerer kills him, but not before alerting them to the fact that the Knave is accompanying her, causing the Queen to have a small reaction shot, reasons which become apparent with the Knave’s origins.

Alice and her companion return to the site of the stolen bottle and discover the White Rabbit unearthing the vessel, something that we the audience learned in the previous episode. Learning about it beforehand lessened the impact, something that would have better kept concealed until now. I’m guessing the writers were trying to establish the Queen’s power play against Jafar, but that could have been easily done by her presenting it without the Rabbit being included in the scene.

The most interesting part of the episode by far was the flashback. Sean Maguire makes an crossover appearance from Once Upon a Time as Robin Hood accompanied with his Merry Men, stealing from the rich to give to the poor in the Enchanted Forest. Here we discover the petty thief Will Scarlet, the Knave of Hearts’ true identity. After convincing the band of thieves to pillage Maleficent’s castle for gold, he steals a magical artifact with a warning that keeping the artifact will only bring misery. When Robin finds of Will’s treachery, he simply lets him go, as it is “the cruelest thing [he] can do.” He brings the item–a looking glass–back to Anastasia, who is revealed to be the Red Queen. Using the glass, they jump into the magical world of Wonderland. The whole using the looking glass thing makes Anastasia seem like Alice herself,

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[Review] Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (“Trust Me”)

Pun of the week: Dandelion

After the pilot episode, this one tells of how Cyrus came to Wonderland and some of his adventures that Alice tagged along on.

Getting letters from her supposedly-dead boyfriend, eh? Source: Hypable

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[Review] Zero Hour (the unfortunately cancelled TV series)

This series had 13 episodes. Could that have anything to do with a swift end? Source: TV Film News

This past TV season quite a number of shows didn’t live past their season 1. ABC’s Zero Hour was one of them. It lasted for 2 or 3 episodes during its original time slot on Thursdays at 8 but was rescheduled to air in the summer due to low ratings. Spoilers ahead.

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