SPOILER ALERT! I’M LATE! I’M LATE! FOR A VERY IMPORTANT DATE!
I didn’t really like this episode, but let’s see if I can come up with something to say about it anyway.
One of the first things we learn in this episode is that Dr. Lyndgate is doped out of his mind most of the time. I looked it up and laudanum is a tincture of opium. So that’s fun.
So, to set the scene, we’re back in the past and Alice thinks that Cyrus is dead. She has been unceremoniously dumped back into Victorian England near her house.
A little girl runs up to Alice. Who is she?
It’s Alice’s half-sister, Millie!?
Time in Wonderland and Victorian England must work differently, because it turns out that several years have passed while she was in Wonderland, enough time for her father, Edwin, to start a whole new family.
Alice is much more concerned about losing the boyfriend she’s had for, like, 3 days, than the father she abandoned for a decade. The most important love is True Love™.
Alice’s new stepmother, Sarah, is evil and hates Alice, because of course she does. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland only subverts traditional female fairytale roles for its heroes, the villainous women have to all be clichés.
Wouldn’t it have been interesting if Alice’s new stepmother was the one that was sympathetic to Alice, the one defending Alice from a father that doesn’t understand her?
Back to the present, Alice is wandering around the forest looking for Cyrus, because the producers paid a lot to rent out this section of the Vancouver forest and, buy gum, they’re going to get their money’s worth out of it.
So, Alice wanders around the Black Forest (Hey! It prefers to be called the “African-American Forest”) and she ends up in the Boro Grove, which is still pretty much the same forest, only it’s more purpley.
The first thing Alice does in the Boro Grove is inhale a strange, purple mist, because, you know, that’s what one should do when they come upon an unidentified gaseous substance. The mist make her all mimsy. Get it? It’s like “All mimsy were the borogoves”. It’s like that thing from that book by that guy!
We meet the Carpenter from the poem The Carpenter and the Walrus. He doesn’t do anything really, except stand around and become a tree, because he inhaled the purple mist. His buddy, the Walrus, is nowhere to be found. They’re just name-dropping a character from Through the Looking-Glass to remind us that we’re still in Wonderland, because, really, without the occasional shout-out and fibreglass mushroom, this is just like any other generic fairytale world. I blame all the wandering about in the woods.
The Red Queen also wanders around the woods, because they needed to give her something to do this episode. She wants capture Cyrus for evil reasons. but, like, they’re reason’s that are slightly less evil than the reasons that Jafar want’s him for. We still don’t know what either of them are trying actually trying to accomplish and it’s hard to stay interested at extremely vague hints at potential evil doings.
The Red Queen is really mean to her Tweedle. What are the Tweedles, exactly? Is a Tweedle a type of critter, or is it a family name? When are we going to find out how they became David Bowie fans?
Anyway, she better start being nice to the Tweedles, or they’ll probably quit doing her hair up all pretty-like. Oh… And they’ll probably keep reporting her secrets to Jafar, which is what I assume the missing Tweedle is doing.
Back in the past, Alice is having a lot of trouble readjusting to Victorian England norms. Her evil stepmother wants to marry Alice off as soon as possible, because finding a good husband is the best a woman can hope for in Victorian England. Doesn’t Stepmom know that in Wonderland a girl can aspire to be a princess or an evil witch? It’s way more progressive in Wonderland.
And it’s not like Alice offers up any viable alternatives to her stepmother’s plan. Moping over your dead boyfriend and trying to convince people that Wonderland is real isn’t going to put food on the table, Alice.
Alice says that they should believe her about Wonderland, because love means never having to provide proof, or something. You know, my Uncle Vito told us to believe that he had stopped drink because we loved him, and then he drove his Honda Accord into a lake. Sometimes, love means throwing Uncle Vito into rehab. And so, Alice gets carted off to Bethlem Asylum for saying crazy-sounding things.
You know that purple mist from earlier? It turns you into a tree for some reason. Don’t worry, the Knave shows up to save her.
Why doesn’t the Knave start turning into a tree as well, you ask? Well, as it turns out, when Alice got the Knave’s heart back for him, he never bother putting it back in.
But the Knave doesn’t act heartless at all! Actually, I’d say that he seems to have the biggest heart of anyone on this show. He agreed to help the White Rabbit save Alice, even though there was nothing in it for him. He’s always trying to find nonviolent solutions to things, while Alice is going around stabbing everything. He apologized for breaking Silvermist’s heart. These aren’t the actions of a heartless man.
Oh. Did I mention that Jafar is in Victorian England? Well he is and he stole some guy’s clothing and left him dead and naked in a field. Sure, Jafar could have probably just have magiced himself some new clothes, but the other way was more fun.
Jafar is probably going to do nasty things to Alice’s dad.
And then Cyrus fell off a cliff again, because it’s his favourite pastime.
Some other stuff:
According to the creators of the show, there is an entire Victorian England realm, so this show doesn’t actually involve any time travel. I’m still waiting for them to go to the Star Wars realm.
Seriously, what the Heck happened to Elizabeth Lizard? Did she die? Why does no one seem to care?