Posts Tagged With: Alice

[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 (“The Serpent”)

Pun of the week: wishbone

After a week’s hiatus, the denizens of Wonderland are back to continue their little chess game.

(Ex-)Lovers reunited. Source: Seriable.com

Following the trend from its parent series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has given the chief villain a justifiable motive for their start of darkness. Jafar is revealed to be an illegitimate son of the Sultan of Agrabah whom has been abandoned and falls under the sorceress Amara’s tutelage. Like Regina, he was unwilling to take the life of an innocent at first, but with some prodding from his mentor, that habit was slowly forced out of him. The clear difference is that Amara is enamoured by Jafar (of course, seeing as how she took him in at a young age (when he was conspicuously a boy, giving off a creepy implication of sex-flipped wife husbandry) during the time they’ve spent together  compared to Rumplestiltskin finding Regina (and her mother’s) antics amusing. Unlike Rumpelstiltskin, Amara ends up getting turned into Jafar’s iconic serpent staff.

Meanwhile, a new character is introduced–Elizabeth (who also goes by Lizard)–who like Anastasia has run with Will in the past. Whether or not she is an original character remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Alice has reached an ultimatum during the escape from the Red Queen: she uses her first wish to bind her life to Will’s to prevent Jafar from killing him. This doesn’t stop him from turning Will into stone, however, and that probably means we won’t be seeing Michael Socha for a while now.

I still find Alice to not be as interesting as the other characters in the series, particularly Anastasia. Will, for the most part of his capture, taunts his ex-lover to kill him, something that she has been pressured to do by Jafar. In fact, the few close-up shots of her show her frustration breaking through her stony facade. It is interesting to note that the Tweedles answer not only to her but also to the sorcerer from Agrabah; one could make the argument that the servants are being shared among the two, but there should have been a sequence where they answer to Anastasia before Jafar.

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[Review] Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (“Down the Rabbit Hole”)

With the success that is the hit ABC series Once Upon a Time, the creators had decided to do a spinoff series that tells the tale of a well-known girl who followed a rabbit down a hole into a mysterious land. Alice is portrayed by Sophie Lowe and her companion the Knave of Hearts is played by Michael Socha. I’ll try and get a review for the second episode up soon.

Mushrooms that make you get big? They’re back. Source: Wikipedia

This incarnation of Alice is an adolescent (young adult) who has been to Wonderland multiple times to bring back proof to her father that it is real. Along the way she discovers an old bottle that contains a genie by the name of Cyrus hailing from the land of Agrabah. With him, they go on many adventures, culminating in a confrontation with the Red Queen (played by Emma Rigby) at the Boiling Sea where she tosses Cyrus off the cliff.

Dismayed, Alice returns to “our” world and is institutionalised and is set to be undergoing an operation that looks suspiciously like a frontal lobotomy. Just as she resigns herself to the surgery, the Knave bursts in and proclaims that Cyrus is still alive, whereupon she opens a can of whoop-ass on the orderlies, further distancing the idea that heroines are not action-oriented.

After she and the Knave jump back into Wonderland, we can see how creative and punny the world is; the Mallow Marsh and the dragon flies (that spew fire!). Granted, it does seem a bit too technicolour, but then again, it is Wonderland, where anything is possible.

As the Knave and Alice leave the marsh, the Knave refuses to travel with her any further as he’s become a very unpopular character that warranted a bounty on his head. Alice decides to bribe him with 1 of 3 red stones that she’s hidden in her shoe that turn out to be the physical manifestation of her wishes, to which the Knave wonders out loud why she can’t just use one of them to bring Cyrus back immediately. She replies and states that the bigger the wish, the likelier it is something will go terribly wrong, thereby prolonging the series and rightfully so. The White Rabbit then declares that Cyrus was last seen at the Mad Hatter’s place. Alice then decides to climb up a tall tree, leaving her wishes down with the Knave. Up there, she meets the Cheshire Cat, who has grown to large proportions and wants to eat Alice. She jumps down and discovers the Knave missing with her wishes. After a bit of adequate combat, she is pinned down and about to be snacked on when the Knave returns, throwing one side of a mushroom into the Cat’s mouth, shrinking it back to normal size and fulfilling the “I saved you just in time!” trope. It turns out that he can’t use the wishes, as they’re not his, and so he is stuck with Alice on her quest to find Cyrus.

Meanwhile, we learn that the White Rabbit is actually in cahoots with the Red Queen, and that she is in an unholy alliance with Jafar (played by Naveen Andrews, who you may remember from Lost), who is the one that holds Cyrus captive and brought Alice back so that she would use all of her 3 wishes so that the genie would be unbound from her.

This new series so far is promising, though Sophie Lowe seems a little wooden. Michael Socha as the sardonic tag-along brings reluctance contrary to Alice’s determination, becoming a nice foil around her. I haven’t made my mind about this show yet, but I hope it get renewed for a second season.

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