Whoa! Did you see that twist coming, Wonderers? I really like the way things played out in ‘Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’s’ winter finale. There were quite a few surprises. Cyrus and Alice finally reunite, the White Rabbit gets his family back, the Red Queen has a change of heart, and Will proves that he still has a heart, even though it may not be in his chest. As “Home” comes to an end, Cyrus, Alice and the Red Queen team up and Will embarks on a new journey, which will hopefully lead to new fanciful adventures when the show returns with new episodes in the spring.
Then: “I've known Alice since she was a little girl and she's always wanted a place to call home.”
Wonderland flashbacks reveal Alice and Cyrus’ budding romance. As they get to know each other, we learn something interesting about Cyrus. He wasn’t always a genie. A long time ago, Cyrus was born a human. Alice learns this tidbit when she sees Cyrus’ compass. It was a gift from his mother, whom he lost years ago. Unfortunately, it has stopped working and the needle spins in circles, directionless. During this sweet moment, Alice and Cyrus are ambushed. Alice gets Cyrus out of a tough spot and the two fight their attackers back to back. Shockingly, Alice is fatally stabbed during the scuffle. After shedding a few tears, Cyrus immediately rushes Alice over to the White Rabbit’s house for help.
It turns out that Mrs. Rabbit (delightfully voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) is a healer of sorts. She works her homeopathic magic on Alice and saves her life just in the nick of time. The White Rabbit tells Cyrus that Alice survived this mishap, but he fears her life will always be in danger as long as she stays in Wonderland. He realizes that Alice has found a new home in her relationship with Cyrus. However, the White Rabbit worries that Cyrus is putting Alice at risk. He tells the genie, “Perhaps the only way to truly protect Alice is to let her go.” Cyrus takes the Rabbit’s words to heart and comes up with a compromising solution.
Cyrus visits the hookah smoking caterpillar and makes a deal. He knows the caterpillar has a way to make people disappear, so Cyrus makes an offer he can’t refuse. Cyrus pays the caterpillar with the very special compass that his mother gave him. It is called a “lost and found” and it will point you to anything you’ve lost in your life. Judging by what Cyrus said earlier in the episode, it sounds like the compass used to point in his mother’s direction. When Cyrus said he “lost” his mother, he could’ve meant it literally, since the compass no longer points in a precise direction. Hopefully, we’ll get to learn more about Cyrus’ family and past because this episode raised some questions. Cyrus trades in this connection to his mother in order to help protect the woman he loves and we soon find out that the clever genie procured something pretty cool.
Cyrus takes Alice to the Outlands and says he would do anything to protect her. She laughs and points out the fact that she’s been protecting him. Then she honestly says that the only thing that could ever hurt her is being apart from him. Cyrus knows this and feels the same way, which is why instead of sending Alice away, he created a safe haven. Cyrus steps through an invisible portal in the marsh and shows Alice the surprisingly home-y interior. Cyrus traded in his compass to give Alice a secret home where they can return to if they ever find themselves in danger. Alice feels bad that Cyrus gave up something so dear, but he sweetly assures her, “What I gave up is nothing compared to what I gained.” Aww.
It is really great to finally see more of Cyrus and learn a little bit about his past. They have set the precedent for True Love on ‘Wonderland’ and this flashback is just another example of how their love conquers all.
Now: “I wish to end Alice’s suffering.”
Alice tells Will that she knows where Cyrus is headed. Alice and Cyrus agreed to meet at their secret spot in the Outlands if anything ever separated them from each other. However, Alice also realizes that it will be too dangerous for them to stay in Wonderland, especially since Jafar will stop at nothing to gain control of Cyrus. She decides to reach out to the White Rabbit for help. Despite Will’s hesitation, Alice believes that the Rabbit must have had a very good reason to betray her. After Anastasia’s heartbreaking betrayal, Will cautions Alice, “Sometimes people turn on you and you’ll never understand why.” Nonetheless, Alice has faith in her furry friend. Besides, he is still the only person who can get them out of Wonderland.
Alice and Will get to the White Rabbit’s house and the place looks abandoned, so Alice already knows that something is wrong. They enter his little home and find the White Rabbit. He finally explains himself. The Red Queen has held his family captive, as suspected. Alice understands and tells him that they can find his family and all leave Wonderland together. Will comes around and offers his help. He knows where Anastasia would hide something so important, so they follow his lead. Meanwhile, Cyrus winds up on an unexpected journey of his own.
Jafar has one of his spies in the palace steal Cyrus’ bottle. Once the Red Queen is aware of this theft, she sets up a trap for Cyrus. She captures the genie and explains that his real bottle is still in her possession, but they are running out of time. She takes Cyrus with her as she travels back to the old trailer in which she and Will lived long ago. The Red Queen retrieves the bottle from her hiding place and gives Cyrus a choice. Jafar is gaining Alice and now he’s coming after them too. Cyrus can work with the Red Queen and take her to Alice or he can run the risk of letting Jafar get there first. As Cyrus decides to whether or not to trust the Red Queen, we see Jafar blow up her castle. They don’t have much time left to find Alice and a hunch tells Cyrus that the Red Queen can be trusted, so he leads her to the outlands where he plans to meet Alice. As they head out, Will brings Alice and the White Rabbit to the trailer he once shared with Anastasia.
The White Rabbit gets his wife and kids back. After an adorable fury family reunion, the White Rabbit tells his wife to take the kids to her mothers. He says he will join them soon, but first he must fulfill a promise he made to Alice. Elsewhere, Cyrus and the Red Queen chat on their way to the Outlands. He can tell that the Red Queen has a secret. Cyrus explains that after so many years of being a genie, he has developed the ability to sense what people want to wish for before they even ask it. His instincts tell him that the Red Queen isn’t all that bad. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Jafar. The sorcerer uses a strand of hair from the Red Queen’s brush to cast a spell. He releases a thunderstorm to locate and kill the Red Queen who is now headed in Alice’s direction.
Alice, Will and the White Rabbit make it safely to the Outlands. Will can’t believe they’ve been roughing it when Alice had such a comfy hiding place to turn to. As he cracks jokes, the White Rabbit grows nervous. After sweating it out for a bit, Cyrus and the Red Queen finally arrive. Alice and Cyrus are reunited, but the moment is bittersweet. Will immediately questions the Red Queen’s presence and she quickly explains how she has broken her partnership with Jafar. As Jafar’s storm approaches, Anastasia pleads her case to Will. She still loves him and wants him back. The reason why she teamed up with the Jafar in the first place was so that she could change the laws of magic and go back in time. Anastasia regrets her mistakes and wanted to go back to a time when Will still loved her. Her apologetic plea does not change the heartbreak Will has suffered, so he bites back, “You’ll never have me.” Jafar’s storm is growing closer, so the Red Queen snaps that there is no time to fight. Cyrus assures Will that Anastasia is telling the truth. He realizes that this is the secret wish she has been carrying with her all along.
The thunder rolls and storm clouds loom overhead, so they tell the White Rabbit to dig a portal to take them anywhere else. Suddenly a bolt of lightning ricochets off of the genie’s bottle and strikes Will nearly dead. Alice then collapses to the floor. We are reminded of her first wish: If the Knave dies, then she dies too. Cyrus holds Alice in his arms and tells her to use her last wish to save herself. He pleads, “I would gladly spend eternity in the bottle if you live.” But she refuses to use her last wish. Will realizes he can make his first wish, since Alice gave him her ruby wishes. Cyrus warns him to be careful what he wishes for. Will selflessly says, “I wish to end Alice’s suffering.”
Cyrus’ shackles disappear and he is finally free. Alice has completely healed. All seems to be well until we discover that Will has vanished from Anastasia’s side. As the episode concludes, we see Will trapped in Cyrus’ bottle. Will looks at the shackles on his wrists and laments, “bloody hell.” As his bottle drifts away somewhere in the vast sea, we are left wondering what will happen to the brave knave.
“Home” was a great episode and definitely delivered a very surprising twist. How can Alice, Cyrus, and Anastasia track Will down? What will Jafar do when he realizes that Cyrus is no longer a genie? Can he cast another spell to find Will and his bottle? Will Anastasia be able to use magic to help free her former beau? Is Will still in Wonderland or did he land in another realm?
· Cyrus: It was wonderful to see more of Cyrus. I feel as though Peter Gadiot has been underused in the first half of the season. Hopefully, we will get to see more of Cyrus and learn more about his past. After seeing what happened to Will, I’m really curious to see how Cyrus became a genie. I’m also fascinated by Cyrus’ ability to sense wishes before they are asked. Does this mean that he got a sense of Jafar’s plan? Can his insight help stop the evil sorcerer? Or did his hunches disappear with his shackles?
· Will: Once again, Michael Socha is a scene stealer. He has been my favorite part of this series. He is so refreshing and fun to watch. I cannot wait to see what is in store for him now that the Knave has become a genie. He’s no Robin Williams, but I can see Socha as a very witty and amusing genie. He definitely will give his future masters a hard time, if it comes to that. Hopefully, his friends will find a way to save him before it is too late. Also, the Knave does not have his heart. Will this affect him in a new way now that he is a genie? Do the same rules apply if his heart is missing? Will we ever find out where he hid his heart? Side-note: I think it would be cool if Aladdin found Will’s bottle, but show-runners told TVLine that Aladdin or Jasmine would not appear on either ‘OUAT’ series any time soon.
· The Red Queen: Anastasia was in cahoots with Jafar so that she could find a way to turn back time. Years ago she gave up love for power and she paid the price. I suppose she always knew that Will would never be able to forgive and forget. She didn’t want to try to win him back, she wanted to undo the pain she caused and re-write history altogether. That was another interesting twist in this episode. We knew she still had feelings for him. It seems as though the Red Queen realized how she feels now would never outweigh the heartache she caused him in him the past. What is she willing to do to save Will from a life of servitude? Can Alice and Cyrus really trust her? Does she have the same wish even though Will vowed that she could never have him back?
· The Rabbits: The White Rabbit’s family was adorable. Very cute CGI bunnies. I like how the White Rabbit’s wife played an important role too. He opens portals and she helps heal people. Talk about a power couple. Do all rabbits in Wonderland have a gift of some sort?
There is a lot left to ponder during this winter hiatus.
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‘Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’ will return with new episodes in the spring.