Similar to its mother show, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland does a nice job peeling back the layers of the characters. Last week we learned the Knave of Hearts started life as Will Scarlet, and of his relationship to the Red Queen. (Only this week I made the Scarlet-Red connection. D’oh!).
This week was devoted to Jafar’s back story. To celebrate, Naveen Andrews no longer has to wear that hideous wig. Thank you, show!
Jafar’s story is fairly predictable:
orphan boy bastard son of the Sultan works for an abusive blacksmith, asks the local sorceress Amara to teach him dark magic so he can wreak revenge on his father, learns said dark magic too well, takes all the sorceress’s powers, and turns her into his cobra staff . (Hey, cobra staff back story, too!)
Meanwhile, Alice and Will are on the run from the Caterpillar’s goons. Will separates from Alice to protect her, since he’s the one the Caterpillar wants, only to be captured by the Red Queen. Their interactions enhance and expand their story somewhat. I’m sure there’s more to come on that front.
Jafar wants the Red Queen to execute Will to show all of Wonderland the price for helping Alice. Although judging from the gleeful reaction of the Wonderland folk to the beheading, I wouldn’t think they’d need much persuasion.
With the help of Will’s protege Lizard (nee Elizabeth), Alice comes to Will’s rescue, because that’s just how kick-ass she is. The two catapult themselves over the castle walls to escape. (Wheeee!) Unfortunately, their freedom is short-lived. Trapped by Jafar on one side and the Red Queen on the other, Alice is forced to make a wish to save Will. Back in his bird cage prison cell, Cyrus laments, “Alice, no!” Of course, he has to grant the wish. However, it doesn’t prevent Jafar from turning Will to stone. Geez, that’s a depressing turn of events.
Jafar’s obsession to change the laws of magic is revealed to be more involved than we thought. He needs three genies as well as a magical partner. He already has two genies trapped their bottles, which makes his desire for Cyrus all the more crucial. The partner angle might be the Red Queen, but it’s hinted that his staff (aka Amara) is his real partner. Could he be planning to put the screws to the Red Queen? He’s certainly capable of it, and I for one wouldn’t complain too much.
Meanwhile, Cyrus remains in his giant bird cage, but now he has a wishbone, which he fashions into some sort of get out of jail card. Or shank. His fellow prisoner watches as he uses both sides of the wishbone to… create an escape hatch? Gosh, I hope he makes it, because I’m getting tired of his separation from Alice.
I’m beginning to think there’s more to Cyrus’s fellow prisoner, that he could he be Jafar’s father, aka the Sultan. The actor, Brian George, has been listed in the guest credits a few times. He’s relatively well known for playing Raj’s father on The Big Bang Theory, so I’m sure he’ll be much more involved in the grand scheme.
“The Serpent” was a decent episode. Heck, IGN even gave it a “great” rating. I was concerned because nearly everyone at Television Without Pity, that site a love to hate, groaned and complained. At least I’m now preparing myself for the show’s cancellation.