It’s been almost three months since we’ve been able to travel to Wonderland with Alice, and the spin-off of the popular Once Upon A Time has not been doing so well with ratings or with fans. Many have complained about cheesy set design and over the top CGI; so it’s a bit surprising that Alice returns in the ninth episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland’s first season, titled, “Nothing To Fear.”
Things pick up where the mid-season finale left off: Alice has been reunited with her genie lover, Cyrus. The Knave of Hearts (real name: Will) has released Cyrus from his curse of being a genie; but alas, “Every wish comes with consequences,” and now Will is stuck to bear the burden.
The bottle goes missing during the switch of powers, rolling into a river that sends it downstream. Who finds the bottle but the girl thief and friend of Will, called Elizabeth or Lizard. She’s excited to see him pop out of the bottle, but why the hell is she not wearing any clothes? Girl, it’s the middle of the day! It was also nice to see the use of actual forest scenery instead of the fake green screen sets the show overused in the first half of the season. Will tries to escape from Lizard, explaining that he must check on Alice and Cyrus, but is quickly pulled back to her. He then realizes that she’s now his master, and he needs to grant her three wishes.
The episode cuts to Alice waking up inside the secret hideout she and Cyrus created. She has a lapse in memory, but is quickly brought up to speed by Cyrus and some quick-witted remarks from the Queen. The Queen has developed a lot as a character over the last few episodes, but Alice is still suspicious as to where her loyalty lies.
Meanwhile, Jafar has taken over Wonderland and is making some dangerous changes. He’s still trying to punish his father, who we’ve learned had previously tried to murder Jafar, and he’s still on a mission to find Alice and her Genie. He has a long conversation with the Caterpillar (who is still very cheesy CGI) about the whereabouts of the Jabberwocky, and soon the plan is clear. If he can’t find the Genie or Alice, he will sacrifice all life in Wonderland to get what he wants.
The rest of the episode consists of a lot of bland dialogue, walking around, and soap opera stares, though there are some notable scenes. First, Cyrus finally proposes to Alice, but the scene is very drawn out and of course features fireworks (REALLY?).
Second, Lizard admits that she really loves Will and accidentally wishes he had feelings for her. BIG MISTAKE. She immediately dies, and Will is sent back into the genie bottle (come on, we knew she was going to die a long time ago). Luckily, the Red Queen finds him and he is reunited with the group. They all promise to band together to fight Jafar. Oh and guess what! Those other two genies that Jafar has been talking about having in his possession? Those are Cyrus’ brothers (talk about family problems).
Biggest let down of the episode? The Jabberwocky. They built this “monster” up the entire episode, with many warning Jafar against its release, and you know what it is? Just some random woman with a Walgreens wig and bad, sorority-girl, “I’m such a badass,” Halloween makeup. It kind of made me wish for the cheesy CGI. Don’t get me wrong—as a woman I can say that we have ways of being evil if we want, but this is the “beast” that you’re saying will destroy and kill everyone in its path? Where’s Tim Burton when you need him? Get it together, Once Upon A Time!
“Nothing To Fear” – B-
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland: Season 1 Episode 9, “Nothing To Fear,” aired March 5th, 2014 on ABC.