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OUAT vs. Wonderland Spinoff - Rewatch

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I decided to go for Shanna Marie's idea and rewatched the first episode of the spinoff "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland".  Hopefully, everyone can join?  If we set up a schedule of an episode per week, it can stretch us for three more months.  I think there is a lot of interesting discussions we could have comparing this spinoff with the parent show, and in particular, Season 7's failed attempt as a requel.

Link to episodes on ABC website.

Episode 1

It is my second time watching this episode, but it has been a long time.  The second time was with my friend who visits and binge-watches the show with me.  

I still enjoyed this episode.  It's still not as good as the OUAT pilot, but it was a solid start.

I was thinking about why this pilot episode succeeded, while the Season 7 requel "pilot" failed, and there were several reasons.

First of all, this episode had more of a focus on a single protagonist - Alice.  We spent a lot more time with her and her companion in the present (Will) and her true love story in the past (Cyrus).  Alice as a character had room to grow... she had lost hope and wanted to forget.  She was intent on finding proof so we know she had a fractured relationship with her father.  It was still not as much room to grow as Emma, but at least there was potential for growth.  Compared to Adult Henry in S7.

Secondly, the protagonists were likeable.  I liked Alice.  She was a tad abrasive when she first entered Cyrus's bottle, but it was only one line.  I really liked Cyrus too, though I remembered viewers saying he was boring.   

I think the chemistry between the actors made this love story work (while Henry and Jacinda didn't).  Story-wise, the love story wasn't exactly developed.  We did hear they travelled the world together before the marriage proposal, so that was good.  It still depended on convincing chemistry.  The glowing necklace with hearts entwined didn't feel as contrived, though if it had been Henry and Jacinda playing these roles, it might have.

Will was also good as comic relief, but also as a character with potential for growth.  It sounded like he did things he regretted, and he was clearly flawed (considering stealing Alice's wishes but decided against it).  He had a sort of Hook vibe in terms of charisma and a possible redemption arc.

I rewatched this with the headcanon that it occurred AFTER Will's appearance on the parent show.  The storm didn't look exactly like when the Wraith came through.  It could have been a random storm near the end of Season 4.   I feel that would make Will's appearance on the parent show a lot more palatable.

A third reason why this episode worked as setup, was it could have followed Alice's character as we had seen in the animated movie... she was wearing the iconic blue dress when she came home.  Except she had disappeared for a long time and her father didn't believe her, and now she was grown up.  

They also made a lot of effort including Wonderland references in this one, so the usual forest actually felt like Wonderland... we got the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter's house, the White Rabbit, guards in the maze, etc.

Technically, they could have created this exact same pilot using Dorothy instead of Alice, with a few changes.  

I remember my biggest criticisms when I first watched this episode was bad CGI and bad acting from the villains.  I still thought the CGI was pretty atrocious, but it's alright.  I still didn't particularly like the performances by the Red Queen or Jafar.  Back then, they felt like very pale versions of Regina and Rumple.  The dialogue by everyone on this show also very breathy and hard to hear.

Fourthly, I think this spinoff had some nice differences from the parent show, so it wasn't too same old, same old, unlike Season 7's Curse retread.  Half of the pilot was set in Victorian England, so it was at least a different place.  The parent show never had talking animals, so that was new.   I'm surprised they were willing to do fantasy in both present-day and flashback... on the parent show, they mostly had the contrast of modern day for present-day vs. Enchanted Forest for flashback.

 

Edited by Camera One

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I read the title of this thread and thought it was going to be a spinoff about some kind of fight between Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Regina vs. Red Queen, Rumple vs. Jafar, etc.

 

Edited by KingOfHearts

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

If we set up a schedule of an episode per week, it can stretch us for three more months. 

I have trouble not binging this one, but I guess I can always go back and rewatch again on the schedule.

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

Alice as a character had room to grow... she had lost hope and wanted to forget.  She was intent on finding proof so we know she had a fractured relationship with her father.  It was still not as much room to grow as Emma, but at least there was potential for growth.  Compared to Adult Henry in S7.

Even aside from whether Alice had room for growth, she had a very clear and compelling goal: She wanted to find Cyrus. S7 Henry's problem was that his goal was so vague and not very compelling. He wanted to be a hero. I've heard the advice that a character's goal should be concrete enough that you can picture them getting it and you know exactly how that scene should go. We can easily picture Alice being reunited with Cyrus, maybe even her rescuing him, given the scene of him we see at the end. We can imagine the kind of steps she'll have to take to find him. What does being a hero even look like? It's too vague, and it's not very sympathetic because it sounds more like what he wants is glory.

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

I really liked Cyrus too, though I remembered viewers saying he was boring. 

I loved Cyrus. One reason I didn't participate in any discussion of this series when it first aired was that I went to the TWOP forum and found a lot of anti-Cyrus stuff, with a lot of people wanting Alice to get with Will instead. I knew I wasn't going to fit in and never made it back to the forum. Based on the one here, it looks like opinion shifted as we learned more about the characters.

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

The glowing necklace with hearts entwined didn't feel as contrived, though if it had been Henry and Jacinda playing these roles, it might have.

The glowing necklace did make me think of Henry and Jacinda's necklaces, but I think they were used in very different ways. Here, we may not have seen the whole story yet, but we know that by the time they have the glowing necklaces, they already know they're in love. This is just confirmation of where they already are, with the implication that there have been a lot of adventures (that we'll likely be seeing in future flashbacks). With Henry and Jacinda, it was like the relationship didn't really exist until they saw the glowing necklaces. That told them they were in love. There was no real foundation behind it. We'd already seen all we were going to see of the development of their relationship. Plus, here the glowing necklaces were to set up a plot point. They were more about the future of Alice having proof that Cyrus was still alive. Without that part, they could have done the proposal scene without the glowing necklaces without losing any impact. We still would have known they were in love. Henry and Jacinda's necklaces were necessary for them and us to be sure anything was going on there. They didn't write anything else to their relationship.

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

I rewatched this with the headcanon that it occurred AFTER Will's appearance on the parent show.  The storm didn't look exactly like when the Wraith came through.  It could have been a random storm near the end of Season 4.   I feel that would make Will's appearance on the parent show a lot more palatable.

That's the only way I can make any of it work. It explains Will's sudden disappearance, and his behavior makes a lot more sense. I can't imagine him dating Belle after going through all this and being married to Ana, but if it's during the time that he's on the outs with Ana after she betrayed him and married the king, the revenge dating and getting drunk and looking at an illustrated Alice in Wonderland fits perfectly. Then he vanishes from Storybrooke when the Rabbit comes to get him. The only problem is the timeline. It kind of works if Will wasn't in curse #1 and got caught up in curse #2 after going back to the Enchanted Forest. And I guess Wonderland and Victorian Literature World were also frozen in time by curse #1.

2 hours ago, Camera One said:

I still didn't particularly like the performances by the Red Queen or Jafar.  Back then, they felt like very pale versions of Regina and Rumple. 

I find that I appreciate the performances a lot more upon rewatching, particularly the Red Queen. Once we learn more about her, we can see that a lot of what looks "bad" is really acting choices that fit the character. She's fake because she's basically a poseur. She's imitating the women she saw at court. And she's trying to fool Jafar. I do think this Jafar is much better than the season 6 version, and it's not just because of the recasting because that actor works just as well. They just didn't seem to know what to do with Jafar in season 6.

I was pretty much hooked from the start with this series. I'm not sure why it flopped so badly, other than poor scheduling. It would have worked well as a hiatus replacement for the mother show, but sticking it on Thursday nights during the season it worked less well. This, even more so than the mother show, was a good family night kind of show for everyone to watch together on Sunday nights.

I absolutely adore Alice as a heroine. I guess she's what Emma might have been if she'd been from Victorian England and went to Wonderland as a child. She's got that combo of sweetness and strength. She's a good, compassionate person, but she's also a badass with potential for a real ruthless streak, and because this show doesn't have the same wonky morality as the parent show, it's okay for her to be tough, when necessary. She's also got a wonderful physicality (I recall seeing something about the actress being a former gymnast). They must have had a different makeup designer because she's got a clean, fresh look instead of the caked-on makeup and tarantulas perched on her eyelids that they had on all the women on the mother show.

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41 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Even aside from whether Alice had room for growth, she had a very clear and compelling goal: She wanted to find Cyrus. S7 Henry's problem was that his goal was so vague and not very compelling. He wanted to be a hero. I've heard the advice that a character's goal should be concrete enough that you can picture them getting it and you know exactly how that scene should go.

Yes, for sure.  I suppose Alice's goal for this series was simplistic on the surface - to find her true love.  But these Writers weren't capable of writing a good story without an explicit goal.  I suppose they could say Henry was Cursed, so he couldn't really have a goal, per se.  The goal was for the viewers to see Henry and Jacinda connect and reunite.  I don't know if Adult Henry's goal was originally supposed to be writing a new book, but it can't be because he didn't even bother to try.

In Season 1, Mary Margaret was Cursed, but she still had a goal.  She wanted to find happiness and someone to care for her.  

And Emma's goal in staying in Storybrooke was to determine if Henry was safe or not.

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The glowing necklace did make me think of Henry and Jacinda's necklaces, but I think they were used in very different ways. Here, we may not have seen the whole story yet, but we know that by the time they have the glowing necklaces, they already know they're in love. This is just confirmation of where they already are, with the implication that there have been a lot of adventures (that we'll likely be seeing in future flashbacks). With Henry and Jacinda, it was like the relationship didn't really exist until they saw the glowing necklaces. That told them they were in love.

I agree that made a big difference.  I didn't even remember the glowing necklace until this rewatch, and it immediately reminded me of Season 7 since we had recently rewatched it.

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The only problem is the timeline. It kind of works if Will wasn't in curse #1 and got caught up in curse #2 after going back to the Enchanted Forest. And I guess Wonderland and Victorian Literature World were also frozen in time by curse #1.

I don't remember the particulars of the timeline, but I'm glad there is a workaround for it.

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I find that I appreciate the performances a lot more upon rewatching, particularly the Red Queen. Once we learn more about her, we can see that a lot of what looks "bad" is really acting choices that fit the character. She's fake because she's basically a poseur.

That explanation does make it better.

There was one thing I didn't get in this episode, and I wasn't sure if I didn't hear some dialogue.  

Why didn't Jafar follow through on choking Ana to death?   Was it because his powers were limited in Wonderland?  Or he realized he needed her?  Because then Ana started laughing and saying he's in her land.

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I do think this Jafar is much better than the season 6 version, and it's not just because of the recasting because that actor works just as well. They just didn't seem to know what to do with Jafar in season 6.

I liked the actor a lot in "Lost", but I didn't like him in this one.  He wasn't an entertaining villain like Regina and Rumple.  He just seemed despicable, and not in a good way.  

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I'm not sure why it flopped so badly, other than poor scheduling. It would have worked well as a hiatus replacement for the mother show, but sticking it on Thursday nights during the season it worked less well. This, even more so than the mother show, was a good family night kind of show for everyone to watch together on Sunday nights.

Viewers are fickle and strange, though.  Especially when it comes to fantasy type shows.  I do agree it was mostly the poor decisions regarding scheduling.  

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I absolutely adore Alice as a heroine. I guess she's what Emma might have been if she'd been from Victorian England and went to Wonderland as a child. She's got that combo of sweetness and strength. She's a good, compassionate person, but she's also a badass with potential for a real ruthless streak, and because this show doesn't have the same wonky morality as the parent show, it's okay for her to be tough, when necessary. She's also got a wonderful physicality (I recall seeing something about the actress being a former gymnast).

I agree she was a good heroine.  She was likeable but strong.  I did find the fight choreography on this show a tad weak though.  The fight on the cliff didn't look good. 

This show also established the rules right from this first episode.  How Alice had 3 wishes, which cannot be stolen but must be granted.  And how the villains needed her to make all 3 wishes, and find the bottle, before they could summon the Genie.  I thought this was quite good they specified the restrictions regarding the wishing.  Even in the live-action "Aladdin", one wonders why Jasmine didn't grab the lamp and make some wishes while she had it. in the climax.  

I wonder why the parent show never had talking animals again.  Were they too expensive?  Too goofy?  Not having talking animals made them avoid adapting the animal-based Disney movies.  

I also liked how the Cheshire Cat mentioned that Wonderland had changed, and the woods used to be full of food.  So that was the legacy of Ana's poor rule.  I wish they had done that type of thing with Oz... how Zelena's poor rule was ruining the land.  Though A&E were never interested in political worldbuilding.

1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

I read the title of this thread and thought it was going to be a spinoff about some kind of fight between Once Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Regina vs. Red Queen, Rumple vs. Jafar, etc.

Good point... maybe I should add the word "Rewatch" in the title.

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3 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Why didn't Jafar follow through on choking Ana to death?   Was it because his powers were limited in Wonderland?  Or he realized he needed her?  Because then Ana started laughing and saying he's in her land.

She told him she knew how to find Alice (since the Rabbit was conning Alice and the Rabbit was working for Ana), so he still needed her in order to get Alice to use her wishes so he could control Cyrus.

Poor Cyrus, he was apparently held prisoner all that time, ever since he fell on the carpet over the boiling sea. Didn't they say it had been a year since Alice returned home?

5 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I did find the fight choreography on this show a tad weak though.  The fight on the cliff didn't look good. 

The fight was pretty stagey. I think her gymnastic background showed most when she was confronting the Cheshire Cat up in the tree and she was walking along the tree branch. You could tell she was used to being on a balance beam.

6 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I suppose they could say Henry was Cursed, so he couldn't really have a goal, per se.  The goal was for the viewers to see Henry and Jacinda connect and reunite.  I don't know if Adult Henry's goal was originally supposed to be writing a new book, but it can't be because he didn't even bother to try.

Oh, I didn't even think about present-day Henry. But even cursed, he should want something and be trying to get it. I guess a lot of the problem there was that everyone was cursed, so they didn't have a real protagonist who was out to get something. Season one had both Henry and Emma, with Henry having the goal of getting Emma to accept who she really was and break the curse, while Emma had the goal of protecting Henry (and later the rest of the town) from Regina. In season 7, Lucy was trying to get Henry to break the curse, but she didn't really do all that much toward it, and she doesn't really work as a protagonist.

10 minutes ago, Camera One said:

I wonder why the parent show never had talking animals again.  Were they too expensive?  Too goofy?

I guess they didn't fit into the Enchanted Forest world. When you look at the other Disney fairytale movies, they don't really do the talking animal thing. The mice in Cinderella had their own way of talking, but I don't recall any other talking animals in the fairytale movies (aside from the sea creatures in The Little Mermaid, but they only talked to other sea creatures, not to the humans). Mostly, if animals talk, they talk to other animals, not to people.

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19 hours ago, Camera One said:

I do agree it was mostly the poor decisions regarding scheduling.  

It honestly would've gotten more viewers during the winter break, since OUAT fans were eager to get their fix after 3A's cliffhanger finale. The hiatus between 3A and 3B felt like an eternity.

20 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

I find that I appreciate the performances a lot more upon rewatching, particularly the Red Queen. Once we learn more about her, we can see that a lot of what looks "bad" is really acting choices that fit the character. She's fake because she's basically a poseur. She's imitating the women she saw at court. And she's trying to fool Jafar. I do think this Jafar is much better than the season 6 version, and it's not just because of the recasting because that actor works just as well. They just didn't seem to know what to do with Jafar in season 6.

I like the Jafar better here too because he wasn't just some campy villain popping up because "oh I guess we're doing Aladdin now". He had some vulnerability and had a motivation beyond just hating the heroes because he was evil. Underneath all his bravado was a scared boy who wanted approval. You can go back, rewatch, and still get that sense. He's no saint with a heart of gold by any means, but there were more dimensions to his character than the incarnation from S6 of OUAT.

 

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I'm going to try to look for that on this rewatch... a sign of Jafar's backstory showing through in his performance.  I didn't get that from him previously.  I think in the second episode, he murdered a bunch of innocent civilians, and I never got past that.  

The Season 6 Jafar was all over the place.   The poor redshirt messenger got murdered by him, but he was fine with watching Aladdin's shaky hands with glee.  I think overall, his "look" was more Jafar-ish to me but as you said, he had no dimension.  I couldn't even equate the two Jafars with each other at all even though he was meant to be the same one (I think).

Another similarity between this pilot and the parent's show pilot is that the flashbacks showed a story that took place over a longer period of time.  In the parent's show pilot, we saw Charming wake Snow, then their wedding, then their worries and plans leading up to the Curse, and then the Curse itself.  On this show's pilot, we saw Alice as a child, then Alice on her second visit to Wonderland, her meeting with Cyrus, their engagement/fall off a cliff.  Contrast this with Season 7's "pilot".  We basically saw one evening during which Henry and Jacinda apparently fell in love, except it involved a crash, Jacinda punching Henry in the face, Jacinda threatening to murder someone and then Henry saving her.  It didn't raise many intriguing questions about who Jacinda was, or their backstories.  

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21 minutes ago, Camera One said:

Contrast this with Season 7's "pilot".  We basically saw one evening during which Henry and Jacinda apparently fell in love, except it involved a crash, Jacinda punching Henry in the face, Jacinda threatening to murder someone and then Henry saving her.  It didn't raise many intriguing questions about who Jacinda was, or their backstories.  

I think the season 7 flashbacks were way too linear. With both Wonderland and season one, they hit the key high points in the story to kick things off, then went back and filled in the blanks. In season 7, they only went out of order to get into the distant past. In Wonderland, the first meeting and engagement between Alice and Cyrus is only a teaser, and we'll learn a lot more about their relationship along the way. With season 7, there really wasn't much more than what we got up front.

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Was this spinoff was the first indication of the "realm of story" idea?  I mean, with the concept of "Victorian England Realm".  In Season 2, the Darlings really were in the real historical England.  

I suppose they needed to have this Victorian England world be out of time, because Alice had to be in the asylum at the same time Will was in Storybrooke.  But it did lead to the rather clunky concept widening in later seasons with Dorothy coming from some Fictional 1930s Kansas Land. 

I did notice at the asylum there was actually a painting of Queen Victorian on the wall behind the doctor.  Alice also referred to her land as "England".  So how was a Victorian England world with elements of real Victorian England created?  

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11 hours ago, Camera One said:

Was this spinoff was the first indication of the "realm of story" idea?  I mean, with the concept of "Victorian England Realm". 

Do we count Frankenstein's World Without Color? It certainly fits, since it's somewhat based on our world but is a fictional version.

11 hours ago, Camera One said:

I suppose they needed to have this Victorian England world be out of time, because Alice had to be in the asylum at the same time Will was in Storybrooke. 

I've wondered if they originally planned it as Victorian England Realm or if they just wrote it the way it was and made up the concept of "Victorian England Realm" later when someone asked about the timeline. They were so bad at timelines, I wouldn't be surprised. I don't think there's anything actually on the screen that makes it clear that this is a different world. It was just one of those things said in an interview/on Twitter when someone asked how Will could be in Storybrooke at the same time as Alice was in Victorian England. Ditto with "Depression Kansas World" when someone asked about how Dorothy should have maybe been from the 70s or 80s (depending on whether Oz was frozen by the curse) rather than looking like movie Dorothy (book Dorothy is from the early 1900s).

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5 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Do we count Frankenstein's World Without Color? It certainly fits, since it's somewhat based on our world but is a fictional version.

I was thinking about Frankenstein's world too.  Based on the costuming, would that be 1800s era?  I just thought the Victorian world seemed very specific with the references to "England" and the portrait of Queen Victoria.  

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I've wondered if they originally planned it as Victorian England Realm or if they just wrote it the way it was and made up the concept of "Victorian England Realm" later when someone asked about the timeline. They were so bad at timelines, I wouldn't be surprised. I don't think there's anything actually on the screen that makes it clear that this is a different world. It was just one of those things said in an interview/on Twitter when someone asked how Will could be in Storybrooke at the same time as Alice was in Victorian England. Ditto with "Depression Kansas World" when someone asked about how Dorothy should have maybe been from the 70s or 80s (depending on whether Oz was frozen by the curse) rather than looking like movie Dorothy (book Dorothy is from the early 1900s).

I think you might be correct that A&E just made that whole concept up when answering questions about Wonderland, and they hadn't thought about it when creating the spinoff.  

Maybe they originally considered the White Rabbit could travel through time and space, but that doesn't explain why the Rabbit can't just travel back further in time to get an earlier Alice and change history instead.  

Plus the Rabbit was insistent that it was an emergency to save Alice.  Speaking of which, the Red Queen had no idea that Alice was in immediate danger when she sent the Rabbit to get her and Will.  So it was very convenient that Alice was literally about to lose her mind when the White Rabbit and Will came to the rescue.

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On 3/17/2020 at 12:33 PM, Camera One said:

Plus the Rabbit was insistent that it was an emergency to save Alice.  Speaking of which, the Red Queen had no idea that Alice was in immediate danger when she sent the Rabbit to get her and Will.  So it was very convenient that Alice was literally about to lose her mind when the White Rabbit and Will came to the rescue.

I don't remember, was Will specified, or was the Rabbit just sent to get Alice? Maybe the Rabbit went to get Alice but couldn't get to her because she was locked up in stone (which he had trouble getting through, and I don't think she was on the ground floor), so he then found Will to help, and that's why the Rabbit knew saving Alice was an emergency. I know Ana was hoping for a reconciliation with Will, but her plan was to use changing the laws of magic with Jafar's spell to go back in time and change her decision to leave Will, so she didn't really need Will there.

ETA: It just occurred to me that even if Will was specified, the Rabbit might have gone to Alice first. She would be an easier sell. Just say "Cyrus is alive" and she's in. Then she could help persuade Will, who would have been a lot more reluctant if Alice hadn't been in danger. Then the Rabbit would have realized Alice was in trouble and went to Will. They just didn't show that part. So I'll let them have this one.

Edited by Shanna Marie · Reason: brain lag

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I like those explanations.  Within the pilot episode, the Rabbit and Ana don't speak about Will, only about Alice.  So maybe the Rabbit got Will from Storybrooke of his own accord.   Now how did Rabbit even know where Will was, if he was carried over from the Curse?  

I don't remember if we find out in the next episode who planted Cyrus' necklace at the Mad Hatters' house.

The romantic in me did like the whole concept of not needing proof when you love someone.  

I also liked Alice saying "Curioser and curioser".

The Boiling Sea was an interesting concept, though not really from Wonderland.  The islands in the sky reminded me of the Land of Untold Stories.  The marshmallow swamp seems more like something you'd find in Oz... the brick path that Alice, Will and the Rabbit walked down at the end was reminiscent of the Yellow Brick Road.

Maybe if there had been a second season, Alice would have met "Kansas" in Fictional Victorian Land, and they journey to Oz to rescue her friends.

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On 3/19/2020 at 11:38 PM, Camera One said:

The Boiling Sea was an interesting concept, though not really from Wonderland. 

The writers actually ripped it from "The Walrus and The Carpenter", one of the poems found in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There"

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"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

They took a random line nobody remembers from a nonsensical poem in the source material and made it a thing. This was back when the writers actually did more than just read the cover of the books they were taking material from.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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24 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

The writers actually ripped it from "The Walrus and The Carpenter", one of the poems found in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There"

That is very neat!  I was googling "Wonderland and boiling sea" and nothing came up.

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12 minutes ago, Camera One said:

That is very neat!  I was googling "Wonderland and boiling sea" and nothing came up.

Yeah, it took a little bit of digging. That's one thing I love about OUATIW. I've actually read both of the Alice in Wonderland books, and there's a lot of great references in the show. I don't think I've ever seen the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen as two different characters as they are in the books. There's a lot of references to words in the Jabberwocky poem and minor characters like the Lizard. They didn't just stick with the famous stuff like the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, which I really appreciate.

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1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

That's one thing I love about OUATIW. I've actually read both of the Alice in Wonderland books, and there's a lot of great references in the show.

And they add in a lot of other little whimsical references, like the Mallow Marsh and the Clothes Horse, and then there's the bit about needing the Ferry/Fairy to cross the lake. I was amused by a line in which someone says something is "very good advice," since one of the songs in the Disney movie is "Very Good Advice."

They do so many things in this show that there should have been more of in the main show. For one thing, they stick with two key bits of mythology, the Alice story and the Jafar/Genie story. They may have a few other references, like Will being Will Scarlet from Robin Hood and Ana possibly being one of the stepsisters from Cinderella (in my head she still is because the story's better that way), but they focus on those two main stories and mine them for material instead of throwing in a bunch of random stuff all at once without really doing anything with any of the stories.

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14 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

but they focus on those two main stories and mine them for material instead of throwing in a bunch of random stuff all at once without really doing anything with any of the stories.

This is what I wish they would've done with Oz, because Oz was jampacked with mythology that went beyond a basic understanding of the MGM film. 

The writers in OUATIW seemed to give a crap about the material they were adapting. Kind of funny how they went through all the trouble of delving into Jafar and the Genies but totally phoned it in when it came to Aladdin and Jasmine in S6 of OUAT.

Even though it was goofier, OUATIW seemed to embrace the fairy tale aspect a lot more and just went ham with the fantastical elements. 

Edited by KingOfHearts

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Okay, episode two. They had the whimsical things I mentioned above. I still crack up when I think about them waiting for the fairy ferry and clapping their hands to call her (it's one of those jokes that works better out loud and doesn't work in print).

I'm still thinking it works best if you pretend this is happening after season 4, so there was love-'em-and-leave-'em heartless Will who broke hearts all over Wonderland, then he left, got caught in the curse, met Belle and started getting better, then she dumped him to return to her abusive husband, so now he's bitter about love, but also feeling some remorse for the way he treated people in the past.

We see more development of the relationship between Cyrus and Alice, her compassion toward him and her selflessness in refusing to use her wishes, his growing trust in her that she might be the mistress who can actually carry through on that. Two episodes in, and there's already more depth to their relationship than we ever saw from Henry and Murderella (or countless other "true love" relationships on the main show). You can see how and why they fell in love. He sees her, which is something she's not used to. He makes her feel like she matters. Likewise, she actually puts his happiness ahead of her own, something he hasn't really experienced in his life as a genie. There's a playfulness to their interactions, though, overlaying that trauma and pain. They seem to be having fun together.

And I like that Alice is allowed to be both good and smart, something the parent show had problems with. On that show, she probably would have either not been deliberately spreading information but rather actually just naively (and stupidly) telling everyone her business or she'd have been blasted and there would have been terrible consequences for her lies.

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I'm hoping to watch Episode 2 later today.

34 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

And I like that Alice is allowed to be both good and smart, something the parent show had problems with. 

It's the small things.  I liked how in Episode 1, Will mentioned modern smores from Storybrooke and then Alice used that information to free themselves using the dragonflies.  It felt less generic than a lot of the "dangerous" situations in the parent show, where you could substitute one character with any other, or they all pull out their swords on Main Street against some magical threat.

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I just watched Episode 2.  I liked it, maybe moreso than the pilot.

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10 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

Okay, episode two. They had the whimsical things I mentioned above.

I was going to mention that. There were so many whimsical things they included, not just one or two.  It felt like they were actually having fun with a fantasy setting.  Between the Wonderland locations (like the Tum Tum Tree), to Alice getting new clothes, to the fairy/ferry, to the mock turtle, to the dande-lion (I googled that, and a dandelion flower in the animated cartoon looked like a lion).  It seemed like the Writers did love the source material.

Regarding to the "look" of Wonderland, I liked that the green was very saturated in the first scene, so it looked less like the Enchanted Forest.  The lake and the mountains in the background looked too "Earth", though.  

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I'm still thinking it works best if you pretend this is happening after season 4, so there was love-'em-and-leave-'em heartless Will who broke hearts all over Wonderland, then he left, got caught in the curse, met Belle and started getting better, then she dumped him to return to her abusive husband, so now he's bitter about love, but also feeling some remorse for the way he treated people in the past.

I watched it with that mindset as well, and it really works, the stuff Will said which was so jaded about love.  

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We see more development of the relationship between Cyrus and Alice, her compassion toward him and her selflessness in refusing to use her wishes, his growing trust in her that she might be the mistress who can actually carry through on that. Two episodes in, and there's already more depth to their relationship than we ever saw from Henry and Murderella (or countless other "true love" relationships on the main show). You can see how and why they fell in love. He sees her, which is something she's not used to. He makes her feel like she matters. Likewise, she actually puts his happiness ahead of her own, something he hasn't really experienced in his life as a genie. There's a playfulness to their interactions, though, overlaying that trauma and pain. They seem to be having fun together.

I found this a really interesting contrast to both the parent show and the Season 7 requel.

On "Once", the second episode was devoted to Regina's perspective.  I remember thinking that was quite clever, since we saw where the story went after Charming threw the sword at her.  In hindsight, it actually revealed the true protagonist of the series.  We immediately saw Regina's sob story, which made us more sympathetic to her.  

Whereas on "Wonderland", I still felt the villains were the weakest part of the show.  The Red Queen's whispery voice was a little grating.  I hated Jafar for killing those civilians.  You could tell the Red Queen wasn't happy about it, but in the next scene, she was over it and enjoying skin sanding.   I also felt Jafar was way too overpowered.  I'm surprised he wasn't spying on the Red Queen when she put the bottle into a box in front of the open balcony... he could have frozen her easily and stolen it.  Jafar also had the power of insects to dig and look for the bottle.

Going back to the Season 7 requel, we never saw Henry and Jacinda actually fall in love until way too late. 

I liked how this second episode's flashbacks, sort of filled in the blanks starting with Cyrus's perspective - how he ended up in Wonderland, and then their early "dates", his doubts and ending with the bottle burial.  

This episode also did a way better job of using dialogue to reveal little things about the characters giving them depth, which Season 7 failed at on all levels.  The dialogue in this episode hinted at Will's sad past with love and the mysterious "Anastasia", and showed how Alice felt her father moved on from her.  

I felt like a lot of dialogue between characters on the parent show, and especially between Henry and Jacinda in Season 7 were pretty useless and unrevealing.

I also find it interesting that the Alice-Cyrus love story wasn't A&E's tried and true formula of two characters sniping at each other and/or physically threatening to hurt one another followed by some betrayal followed by the sudden realization of feelings.  I guess maybe they thought Alice and Cyrus didn't need as much conflict because it was a forbidden love type of relationship between mortal and genie.

Edited by Camera One

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On 3/22/2020 at 10:37 PM, Camera One said:

Whereas on "Wonderland", I still felt the villains were the weakest part of the show.  The Red Queen's whispery voice was a little grating.  I hated Jafar for killing those civilians.  You could tell the Red Queen wasn't happy about it, but in the next scene, she was over it and enjoying skin sanding.

I enjoy her a lot more on rewatch than I did first time through. Once you know what she's up to, she works a lot better. She's going through all this believing that she's going to get to rewrite history, so none of this will end up happening. It will all be erased. So she's willing to go full-on evil to accomplish her goal, she's trying to play Jafar, and she's enjoying the pleasures of being queen while she can, but she's also not entirely comfortable about things, and she's probably consoling herself with the fact that none of this will end up happening if she's successful.

On 3/22/2020 at 10:37 PM, Camera One said:

I also felt Jafar was way too overpowered.  I'm surprised he wasn't spying on the Red Queen when she put the bottle into a box in front of the open balcony... he could have frozen her easily and stolen it.  Jafar also had the power of insects to dig and look for the bottle.

He may be overpowered, but he keeps getting outsmarted, which I find amusing. He's not like the overpowered villains on the parent show, who are just about invincible until the deus ex machina at the end of the arc. Others keep getting the upper hand all along with Jafar.

On 3/22/2020 at 10:37 PM, Camera One said:

Going back to the Season 7 requel, we never saw Henry and Jacinda actually fall in love until way too late. 

Did we ever really see them fall in love? There was some bickering, then the glowy necklaces, and then their kid was born. In the present, there was a mix tape and ... well, I guess some stuff. I don't know. I think I tuned them out.

On 3/22/2020 at 10:37 PM, Camera One said:

I also find it interesting that the Alice-Cyrus love story wasn't A&E's tried and true formula of two characters sniping at each other and/or physically threatening to hurt one another followed by some betrayal followed by the sudden realization of feelings.  I guess maybe they thought Alice and Cyrus didn't need as much conflict because it was a forbidden love type of relationship between mortal and genie.

And no cutesy nicknames! There was no sniping even on the level of "well, aren't you Prince Charming." There was a little wariness at first, but then that was a weird situation, with her barging into his bottle, but they hit it off without insulting each other, and it seems like their feelings grew gradually. The conflict is in the present, with them being separated. It's a "you and me against the world" type of conflict rather than them being in conflict with each other. I guess there was always that sense of the two of them against the world, even in the past, with him bringing up the potential threat of Jafar, and there's the worry about whether she'll be able to resist using her wishes. They didn't really need much conflict in the past, since we know they got together, though the standard pattern on the parent show would be to show that although they're in love in the present and were engaged when they were separated, they hated each other when they met.

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Just for fun, I have decided to write the story of Alice and Cyrus correctly, using The A&E Method of Writing™.  

The first 3 lines of dialogue is from the real script, and then I will Adamandeddy it.  

Flashback #1

After shrinking, ALICE sees large guards and runs around the corner and is surprised to find she is inside a bottle.  She sees CYRUS.

CYRUS: What are you doing in my bottle?

ALICE: Turn me in, and I get big.  Right here, right now, burst your house into a million shiny pieces.

CYRUS: We wouldn't want that now, would we?  Good bottles are so hard to find these days.  My name is Cyrus.  My home is your home.

ALICE smiles as CYRUS approaches.  As he gets close, ALICE swings her bag and smacks CYRUS hard on the side of the face and dropkicks him, causing him to fly across the room and hit the wall.  ALICE turns around and runs, with a smile because she is a kickass female.

Outside the bottle, full-sized SOLDIERS see ALICE.  One stoops down to pick her up.

SOLDIER: Now I've got you!  

SUDDENLY, CYRUS comes out of his bottle and stabs the soldier in the foot, causing him to drop ALICE.

ALICE screams as she falls, but is caught by a blast of magic from Cyrus, allowing her to land softly.

ALICE: You caught me!

CYRUS: I will always catch you.

ALICE: Wait a minute.  How did you get out of the bottle?  You can just do magic whenever you want?

CYRUS: Never mind that.

FLASHBACK ENDS.

Flashback #2

NEXT FLASHBACK.  Undetermined time later (gotta remain flexible).  ALICE and CYRUS are talking in the Enchanted Forest uh, I mean Wonderland, uh, I mean New Wonderland™.

ALICE: After the third wish, what happens then?

CYRUS: I get returned to my bottle, and then someone else finds me.  

ALICE: So you spend your entire life...

CYRUS: Serving at the pleasure of my masters... And why are you in Wonderland, Alice.

ALICE: I wanted to find proof for my father.  I've always wanted to make him happy.

CYRUS: I'm sorry.

ALICE: Don't be.  Now, aren't you going to show me Wonderland... SERVANT.  I'm going to call you Servant because you will always have to serve a Master until the end of time.

CYRUS: Well I'm going to call you Unloved!

ALICE: Servant!

CYRUS: Unloved!

ALICE and CYRUS gaze into each other's eyes.  They kiss.  FLASHBACK ENDS.

Edited by Camera One
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Jafar was a great villain in the spinoff. Such a shame that they totally wasted him on ouat.

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On 3/17/2020 at 12:45 AM, Camera One said:

I did notice at the asylum there was actually a painting of Queen Victorian on the wall behind the doctor.  Alice also referred to her land as "England".  So how was a Victorian England world with elements of real Victorian England created? 

Alice's doctor was the same one in the Jekyll & Hyde story. So I guess she was from that realm?

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16 hours ago, Camera One said:

ALICE: You caught me!

CYRUS: I will always catch you.

ALICE: Wait a minute.  How did you get out of the bottle?  You can just do magic whenever you want?

CYRUS: Never mind that.

Hee! I was just muttering to myself, "He can't get out of the bottle on his own. That's the whole point and why he's been stuck there all this time," but you were ahead of me and, yeah, that's the way they tended to work. They certainly changed the genie rules in season 6. In this show, no one else could use or control Cyrus while Alice still had her wishes. That was a key part of the plot, that even as powerful as Jafar was, he had to force Alice to make her wishes because otherwise the bottle was just a bottle and he couldn't make Cyrus do anything. In season 6, it's like whoever has the bottle controls the genie, even if the wishes haven't all been used. And you can make wishes for other people that backfire on them, not on you.

The rest of it was spot on.

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I haven't watched Episode 3, yet, but I was thinking about Will and how he really had no equivalent in Season 1. 

Comparing the parent show and Season 7, there was a clear formula occurring.  The Wonderland spinoff had some equivalencies, but I think Will was a unique addition.

Snow/Emma = Alice = Adult Henry (I guess he was also Charming minus charm)
Charming = Cyrus = Jacinda (I guess she was also Snow too minus charm)
Regina = Red Queen = Victoria (Red Queen was part Drizella too)
Rumple = Jafar = Mother Gothel
Henry = none (maybe White Rabbit as the cutesy addition) = Lucy

I suppose if there had to be an equivalency, Will was most similar to the role of Hook for Season 3 onwards... he was the flawed quippy guy wanting/needing redemption.

I guess the Season 7 equivalent would be Alice, who was quirky like Will, who was a bit more of a comic relief character.  Tiana's role was too small and inconsequential to be compared to Will in the spinoff.

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3 hours ago, Camera One said:

I suppose if there had to be an equivalency, Will was most similar to the role of Hook for Season 3 onwards... he was the flawed quippy guy wanting/needing redemption.

That's probably the closest equivalent. He even has his own relationship, though I wouldn't parallel Ana with Emma. And Hook wasn't friends with either of the Charmings prior to the story.

It's hard to parallel them too directly because the stories are so different, really. We can compare the main romances, but the plots and casts don't really line up all that well. That's probably why the spinoff works so much better than the requel does. They just told a story instead of trying to create parallels, and they didn't repeat the same story over again.

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Rewatching episode three, I couldn't help but think of the recent discussion in another thread about how random the costuming decisions were. In the Enchanted Forest flashbacks, we had the coachmen from the 1700s in their tricorne hats and caped greatcoats being robbed by the Merry Men in their medieval garb. Meanwhile, Will is among them in his Elizabethian doublet (though missing his collar ruff and the puffy short pants), and Ana seems to be wearing a dirndl, or possibly a Renfest costume that might be a rough approximation of peasant garb in the 1500s or 1600s.

Wonderland is fairly eclectic, but I think tied less to any one era than the Enchanted Forest, where there's a lot right out of a particular time, but all thrown together. There's maybe a bit of a Victorian theme going on, but the Red Queen's outfits are pretty much from Crazytown. There was the steampunk thing going on with the Caterpillar's club, and Alice's outfit might sort of fit the steampunk vibe, since it does involve brown leather and something corset-like. The franchise's heel fetish continues, with poor Alice having to walk all over the place in high-heeled boots (at least they're a chunky heel and not a stiletto, and they aren't platform boots) that leave her towering over Will.

As for the plot, it was refreshing to see that doing the right thing and being nice to someone actually worked instead of backfiring. On the parent show, them sympathizing with Grendel and saving his life would have had terrible consequences for Alice and Will instead of winning them their freedom and getting them what they needed. But I guess we have Grendel getting murdered by Jafar in spite of him doing the right thing and letting Alice and Will go with the forget-me-knot, so the franchise's trademark Hope! is intact. Or did he earn that by telling Jafar about Will and Alice?

I was impressed by how subtle they were willing to be with Jafar trying to read Cyrus's reaction. Cyrus barely moved his face, and Jafar noticed it. It wasn't as though Cyrus got all dramatic with something like, "No! You can't send a Bandersnatch after her!" I'm sure they were trying to save the later revelation that Alice knew exactly how to deal with a bandersnatch, which might have been more obvious if Cyrus had been less subtle, but at least this time their spoilerphobia actually amounted to a proper setup.

Robin got to do more Robin Hooding on this episode as a tertiary flashback character than he got to do on the main series in a couple of seasons as a regular. He still comes about as a bit sanctimonious about his "stealing to help other people is good" stance, but at least here he didn't say it makes you a hero, and it may not come across as quite so obnoxious without the context of his holier-than-thou speeches on the main show. I don't think he mentioned his "code" either. And here, at least, he isn't making those speeches and then doing dumb stuff that goes against his code (like saving the Dark One from dying of his own evil, or having cryptsex with the woman who imprisoned his wife next to his wife's frozen body).

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Episode 3

I agree with your thoughts on this episode.  

On the surface, it's one of those episodes where they Find The Super Useful Magical Object that no one has ever heard of, but is subsequently never used again.

But it was still a well crafted episode.  There were some good character moments for Will.  Watching it after Season 4, you see why he dug up the picture on the beach.  His decision to not give the caterpillar the forget me not showed him trying to do the right thing.  So did Alice inspire him to do that, or was he thinking of that sanctimonious Robin Hood from years gone by?  If Will had recently seen Robin in Storybrooke, it actually would have made that connection more meaningful.  Will's feelings about lost love also allowed him to connect to the Grendel.

I liked how the episode brought up the moral consequences of giving the magical rope to the caterpillar, as Alice said, putting the hurt on others, in order to save Cyrus.  That was almost always ignored on the parent show.  

The twists were good as well, from Cyrus tricking them to pick the Bandersnatch, to the Anastasia flashback reveal, to Alice "using her wishes" - the sharp edges - to untie herself from the rope.

The concept of the Underland where the Caterpillar was clever, though for a moment, I thought of Underbrooke.

Grendel and his house/previous appearance seemed like it came out of Fictional Victorian Land.  That was a weird choice considering that isn't even the time era of the Beowulf story.  Grendel looked more like The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  It was pretty cruel of Anastasia to turn him into a monster, though.  Speaking of Hunchback, the Rose Window in Maleficent's castle reminded me of Notre Dame.

I'm glad Alice found out about the Rabbit's betrayal three episodes in.  

It is funny how Robin Hood got a more bearable centric on the spinoff show.  So was this post-losing Marian?  He reprimanded Will for going after magic, yet he broke into the Dark One's castle to save Marian with magic.  As you said, Robin was probably more watchable in this one because he wasn't being a total hypocrite.

Edited by Camera One

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17 hours ago, Camera One said:

On the surface, it's one of those episodes where they Find The Super Useful Magical Object that no one has ever heard of, but is subsequently never used again.

In this case, they used it for the purpose they needed it for and then destroyed it so it couldn't be misused, so it works, I think. And it wasn't the Super Useful Magical Object no one has ever heard of that miraculously appears in time to defeat the villain at the climax. It only offered them a small bit of moderately useful info and gave them a bigger problem instead of solving their problems. They're now really on the hook with the Caterpillar and they know that the Rabbit is working against them. I guess it does help knowing they can't trust the Rabbit, but it also means they've lost an ally at a bad time.

17 hours ago, Camera One said:

His decision to not give the caterpillar the forget me not showed him trying to do the right thing.  So did Alice inspire him to do that, or was he thinking of that sanctimonious Robin Hood from years gone by?  If Will had recently seen Robin in Storybrooke, it actually would have made that connection more meaningful. 

I guess that depends on whether we're supposed to view the flashbacks as actual memories the characters are having or if they're just scenes inserted for the audience's benefit. It used to be that flashbacks were supposedly what the characters were thinking. We'd see them staring off into space, and then the wavy screen effect, and then the flashback. Then probably starting with Lost, the multi-timeline storytelling thing took off, and I don't think the flashbacks necessarily tracked to the characters' present thoughts anymore. In season one of the main series, the flashbacks couldn't have been present-day memories, since they didn't remember these events, unless maybe these were meant to be buried bits of memory the characters weren't conscious of. Here, you could probably argue it either way. The situation might have made Will think of Robin (possibly after having seen him recently). Or it could have just been stuck in for our benefit.

17 hours ago, Camera One said:

So was this post-losing Marian?  He reprimanded Will for going after magic, yet he broke into the Dark One's castle to save Marian with magic. 

I think it would have to be pre-Roland, considering all that has to happen before the curse, and Roland is only about three as of the curse. After these flashbacks, Will and Ana have to have time to be starving and miserable in Wonderland, then there's her marriage and Will working for Cora, and then Alice coming along and getting Will's heart back before she meets Cyrus, and possibly then all her adventures with Cyrus, depending on where the curse falls in their story and how they're affected. It also seems like time must move slower in Wonderland, given that Alice seems to have been gone longer than she realized. When she gets back after her time with Cyrus, her father has remarried and has a 5-6 (or so) year old kid, and I don't think Alice knew she was gone that long.

So this has to be after Robin meets Marian, because she was who turned him to the idea of doing good, but maybe before Roland is born. I guess saving his wife and child were enough for him to consider magic later. His morality tends to be flexible.

I've been pondering the timeline, but there's a lot to hash out there.

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Okay, thinking about the timeline (this is a good insomnia exercise):

They don’t give us any specific timestamps, but there are a few points of intersection with the main series that give us some kind of clue. When it first aired, I think we assumed that the Rabbit showed up in Storybrooke around the time of the wraiths from the season 2 premiere, since there was stormy stuff happening, but upon rewatching, I don’t think that’s so. It’s at night, after the diner has closed, and we see the yellow Bug driving down the street, which means Emma’s in town (or someone else has stolen her car, I guess). As I recall, Emma went through the wraith portal in daylight.

So, the series has to kick off sometime after the memory curse is broken (since Will knows who he is and remembers his adventures) and during a time when Emma is in town (since we see her car driving) and prior to a time when Will isn’t seen in Storybrooke for a long enough stretch. That leaves two options. For the option of “Wonderland happens before we see Will in season 4” version of the timeline, the Rabbit has to come for Will during 2B. Then he has a few weeks of the rest of 2B and 3A plus possibly part of the Missing Year for him to have the adventures in the Wonderland series, go to Cyrus and Alice’s wedding and then have whatever thing happened to leave him in the Enchanted Forest when Curse 2 was cast. The other option is the “Wonderland happens after Will disappears in season 4” timeline, so the Rabbit has to arrive after the last time we see Will and before Emma takes on the Darkness, or else after everyone gets back from Camelot in 5B (but before Emma heads to the Underworld).

I’m sure they originally meant for the Wonderland series to take place before season 4, since at the time of the show they had no idea they were going to bring Will over to the main show and they had plans for him (or at least plans to plan something for him). But I don’t think there’s anything in the show that specifically says this is the timeline. Since they never gave an explanation for what was going on with Will and dropped his story entirely, what we see fits far better with the idea that the reason Will disappears at the end of season 4 is that the Rabbit came for him. That means he’s not making out with Belle within months of having a genuine TLK with Ana. He’s trying to move on after Ana ditched him to be a queen. I would also hope that he’s not indulging in petty thievery after the events of the Wonderland series, when he had an epiphany early in the series that stealing for himself was wrong. I don’t think he was breaking into the ice cream shop or pilfering among the Merry Men’s tents for the good of someone else. Belle ditching him to go back to her abusive ex would certainly add to his jaded attitude about romance. The one possible argument against the post-season 4 timeline is the fact that it would mean Will didn’t have a heart throughout season 4. He’s pretty morose about Ana early in the season, he starts to date Belle, and he does seem to be affected by Shattered Sight, while Hook isn’t. But they’ve also shown that people with their hearts ripped out can still feel. Hook is still angsting all over the place while Rumple has his heart. Will never seems that particularly into Belle. Both of them are on the rebound, probably mostly just looking for distraction. And perhaps Hook was spared because Rumple shielded his heart, while Will’s heart inside the walls of his apartment was still vulnerable to the curse. I can’t really think of any arguments for the “Wonderland happens before season 4” timeline, other than the fact that it has to have been what they originally intended. And, you know, maybe their plan for Will on the main show was actually a prequel to the Wonderland series (or did they say something in interviews/Twitter that specifically contradicts this?).

The other issue is where the curse falls into all this. It must have frozen time in both Wonderland and Victorian Literature World, since there are flashbacks with these characters that have to be before the curse and the characters don’t age 28 years (then again, it’s about 28 years from the end of season 6 to the present part of season 7, and no one but the kids changes at all, so maybe Alice is in her 50s during Wonderland). We know the curse reached into Wonderland to take Jefferson, so it could have affected time there. The curse probably hits during Alice and Cyrus’s adventures. Either they’re truly frozen, the way they made it sound like was happening in the Coradome in season 2, or they’re having adventures without the awareness of the passage of time, as the season 6 retcon made it sound. They might not have any awareness that so much time passed, since it happened equally to everyone. The same thing must have happened in Victorian literature world, since Alice’s half sister is still a child when she returns, not older than Alice. Time resumes, they have more adventures, and Cyrus is presumed dead and Alice returns home around the time of the Missing Year, Will is in the Enchanted Forest at the wrong time and gets yanked to Storybrooke, season 4 happens, and the Rabbit comes for Will. Then the present events of Wonderland happen.

Was Will in curse one or just curse 2? He’s got an apartment in Storybrooke, but that could have happened during the interlude between 4A and 4B. It’s hard to tell if he’s actually living in the Merry Men camp during 4A. He’s got some modern knowledge, but I don’t get the feeling he’s so fully assimilated that he got the memory download and fake identity of curse 1. I don’t recall him getting out a cell phone or talking about a lot of modern stuff. So maybe he hung around in Wonderland after Alice freed him from Cora (and Cora left), having all those bad relationships and getting in debt to the Caterpillar, went back to the Enchanted Forest after time started moving again, and got caught in curse 2. He and Hook seemed to know each other, possibly from when Will was still working for Cora and Hook came to kill Cora but joined her instead. We don’t know how long Hook stayed in Wonderland before he and Cora went back to the Enchanted Forest. I don't remember if Cora was still around when Alice was there. Was it Cora's soldiers she was on the run from when she met Cyrus? As I recall, that came right after she stole Will's heart back.

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26 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

And, you know, maybe their plan for Will on the main show was actually a prequel to the Wonderland series (or did they say something in interviews/Twitter that specifically contradicts this?).

This is what Eddy said:

Quote

"Wonderland takes place post-curse," Eddy said. "The pilot of Wonderland starts when magic comes back and the wraith happens. Then it runs concurrent. Present day Wonderland [is] post-Queen of Hearts. Just as we saw in the Enchanted Forrest, there are pockets that are saved and then we will flash back during the show, similar to [OUAT], to say how Alice got there [and introduce] the Knave of Hearts, which is a new character we’re throwing around."

I like your explanation better, that Wonderland took place post-Season 4.  As you said, there is nothing on the show itself that said the pilot starts with the wraith happens.  

I think Will could have been without a heart and still have feelings.  Graham did.  They were very inconsistent with that concept.  Cora removing her heart was a big deal in the flashback of "The Miller's Daughter", and that was around the time they came up with Wonderland and Will losing his heart.

For old time sake, the interview quoted above is the same one where Eddy said his biggest regret about Season 2 was the taser:

https://www.etonline.com/tv/133446_Once_Upon_A_Time_Season_2_Finale_Spoilers

Quote

"Here's the thing, we thought, 'We need a real world weapon.'" In the moments in making that decision we never realized the backlash that would be from a taser," Eddy emphatically said. "We just figured the audience assumed it wasn't a taser ... but they didn't. So I got a lot of history lessons about wood and conducting electricity. If I could go back one season and change one thing, I would have made it a syringe. If she had just taken a [glowing] syringe and shoved it into the dragon, no one would give a sh*t. I am sorry we chose a taser. We are willing to take the hit for the taser. We f*cked up."

 

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Was it ever explained why Will was cursed in Storybrooke? From what I could tell, residents of realms other than the Enchanted Forest were only brought to Storybrooke if they were on Regina's Guest List of Evil. (Jefferson, Dr. Whale, etc.) The writers said other realms were frozen, if I recall correctly. Did Regina know he worked for her mother or something?

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I think Will could have been without a heart and still have feelings.  Graham did.

Our Good Queen Regina has shown that being without a heart means nothing emotionally. You can apparently passionately make out with your lover and even TLK someone without your heart.

Edited by KingOfHearts

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14 hours ago, Camera One said:
 

"Wonderland takes place post-curse," Eddy said. "The pilot of Wonderland starts when magic comes back and the wraith happens.

That must be where I got the impression that it was the same time as the wraith, even though it doesn't actually fit. I guess they were so determined to fit in the Bug since it's an iconic image in the parent series that they forgot Emma was in another realm at that time. But when was that interview done? Before or after they added Will to season 4? The season 2 timeline works if you don't put Will in season 4, but once Will shows up in the parent series, it throws a monkey wrench into the timeline. Will's behavior in Storybrooke undoes all his character development from the spinoff if it happens afterward. He's not the more evolved, mature Will we had by the end of the series, in which he'd apologized or made amends to those he'd wronged, had his heart restored and dealt with his grief, realized that stealing for his own personal gain was wrong, and had a TLK with Ana. Then he comes to Storybrooke, breaks into the ice cream shop, pilfers from the Merry Men, gets drunk and breaks into the library, and starts dating Belle. On the other hand, it works if he does all that stuff in Storybrooke, then the Rabbit comes for him, he has his adventures with Alice and later Cyrus, learns a lot, apologizes to a lot of people, changes his ways and his attitude, is reunited with Ana and reconciled enough that he can break the spell she's under with a TLK, and then they (apparently) get married and rule as the White King and Queen.

1 hour ago, KingOfHearts said:

Was it ever explained why Will was cursed in Storybrooke?

I just figured he ended up back in the Enchanted Forest at a bad time. If he was in the first curse, then he went back to the Enchanted Forest soon after Alice stole his heart back and he was freed from Cora, and that got him caught in the curse with everyone else (since he probably wouldn't have been hanging out with Robin, given that they didn't part on the best of terms, so he wouldn't have been in the Coradome). If we're going with the post-season 4 timeline and he wasn't in curse one but got caught in curse 2, then maybe after he's freed from Cora, he hangs out in Wonderland a while, and that's when he has his string of bad relationships (like with the Ferry Fairy) and gets in debt to the Caterpillar, and sometime between time moving again and curse 2 he goes back to the Enchanted Forest and gets caught in the curse.

Poor Jefferson, slaving away, trying to create another hat so he can be reunited with his daughter, and yet other people are bouncing back and forth to Wonderland. Will had the mirror, and there was the Rabbit. How did Alice get back for her second visit (when she met Cyrus)? You'd think they'd have found a way to help Jefferson. It sounds like Alice knew him. Or was he too mad by that point to tell her exactly what he needed?

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2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

That must be where I got the impression that it was the same time as the wraith, even though it doesn't actually fit. I guess they were so determined to fit in the Bug since it's an iconic image in the parent series that they forgot Emma was in another realm at that time. But when was that interview done? Before or after they added Will to season 4? The season 2 timeline works if you don't put Will in season 4, but once Will shows up in the parent series, it throws a monkey wrench into the timeline. Will's behavior in Storybrooke undoes all his character development from the spinoff if it happens afterward.

I totally agree with your assessment.  The interview was from Season 3 when they were promoting the "Wonderland" spinoff, but they never backed off from the timeline.  I vaguely remember them answering a question on Twitter or some interview.  That's the problem with them; they're not willing to put in any extra thought to adjust, even when it makes sense.  

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This is the only reference I can find:

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TVLINE | You’ve been rather mum on your plans for The Knave thus far. What can you give me?
HOROWITZ | His background as Will Scarlett, who was one of the Merry Men and a thief, comes into play very early.
KITSIS | And for those [Once Upon a Time in] Wonderland fans, we will be explaining why he’s in town and what happened [since the spin-off ended]. I can tease that he fits rather nicely into Storybrooke. His introduction is a really fun one.

There was nothing more fun than seeing him revert to being a thief again.

Edited by Camera One

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Will fit so nicely into Storybrooke that they had absolutely no idea what to do with him, kept him offscreen most of the time, threw him into a random temporary relationship, then let him disappear without anyone so much as noticing or mentioning his absence. It was like his time on the show was a hallucination that was instantly forgotten.

Going back to the comparisons between characters on the parent show and the spinoff (more insomnia thoughts), although their roles in their respective series don't line up at all, I think Cyrus is closer to being like Hook than Will is.

There are similarities between Will and Hook -- having been thieves of some sort (though Will was more the sneaky type than the "hand over the valuables" type), the black leather, some speech patterns. But at the core of the characters, Cyrus and Hook (once he's reformed) have a lot in common. They both have shady pasts that they're guilt-stricken about. Both of them tend to be karma's punching bag as they get immediately and thoroughly punished for their bad decisions. They're both deeply romantic and self-sacrificial. They both have that nice boy/rogue combo (though I think Hook tilts more toward the rogue and Cyrus more toward the nice boy). They both wear their hearts on their sleeves. I can't imagine Hook getting his heart ripped out so he wouldn't feel the heartbreak (like Will did). He's more likely to have stood under his love's window and refused to give up on her.

But as I said before, I think the strength of the spinoff (especially as compared to the "requel") is that there are no direct parallels with the main series. They're not doing the same thing all over again. There may be similarities, but there's no direct comparison. I think that "it's just like season one!" approach was the weakness of season 7. Wonderland wouldn't have worked if they'd done "it's like season one, but in Wonderland!"

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1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

But as I said before, I think the strength of the spinoff (especially as compared to the "requel") is that there are no direct parallels with the main series. They're not doing the same thing all over again. There may be similarities, but there's no direct comparison. I think that "it's just like season one!" approach was the weakness of season 7. Wonderland wouldn't have worked if they'd done "it's like season one, but in Wonderland!"

Which is as it should be.  Season 7 was practically plagiarizing themselves, to reset the show with essentially the same premise but different characters.

With "Wonderland", they were actually trying to tell a different story.  Hence, you can't draw direct parallels very easily.  

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18 hours ago, Camera One said:

There was nothing more fun than seeing him revert to being a thief again.

Emma giving him a half-eaten poptart between prison bars is comedy gold, I guess?

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Okay, episode four ...

This episode seemed to confirm my guess that Will wasn't in Wonderland when the curse hit, so that he was probably swept up with everyone else in the Enchanted Forest -- more likely, this episode was where I got that idea, since Lizard told Alice that Will had left Wonderland, and I just didn't remember the exact scene.

It complicates the timeline a little, since Lizard also said they'd hung out together for years between the time Alice freed Will from Cora and the time he left, which had to have been before the curse. Hook and Will seemed to have known each other, which I'd thought would have happened while Will was working for Cora and Hook showed up in Wonderland, but that doesn't give years before the curse, so maybe they met back in the Enchanted Forest just before the curse. That's if he was in curse 1 (which had to have been what was meant during the series itself since they didn't know then that he would have met Hook or ended up back in Storybrooke). If he was just in curse 2, then Alice could have freed Will right after Hook's arrival, then he had his adventures with Lizard before, during, and immediately after the curse, only to arrive back in the Enchanted Forest just in time for curse 2.

We see more of the worldbuilding failure. The only houses we've seen are the castles, the Hatter's old hut, and Grendel's house. So where do all those people who were at the execution live? There's no city around the Red Queen's palace. They don't walk through a village during all their wanderings.

On the up side, those extras at the execution were really getting into it, giving full-on performances.

On the parent show, it got ridiculous how everyone ended up being connected, but here it seems less like straining to make everyone connecting and more like weaving a complex web. There's Ana and Jafar working together, Ana and Will's past relationship, Will and Alice's friendship, Alice and Cyrus's romantic relationship, Jafar's need for Cyrus, Jafar's relationship with Amara, and Amara as Cyrus's mother. It all flows.

I wonder if Amara in the past was doing the same thing Ana is doing in the present -- trying to break the rules of magic so she could change the past, and that meant she could be utterly ruthless on that path, since all these actions would eventually be undone. Based on what we see her doing later, I'd guess she was planning to save her sons. It doesn't speak well of her that she seemed to take so much pleasure in cruelty.

We continue getting good guys being allowed to be clever. On the parent show, only the villains are usually allowed to be smart. The good guys have to be gullible and have to put their own goodness ahead of any practical matters. But on this show, the good guys are allowed to outwit the villains. We've got Cyrus expertly playing the guards to be able to use the wishbone to open his cage. Then there's Alice making a really clever wish that keeps Will from being used as a hostage against her, after she pulled off a decent rescue.

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Episode 4

Fourth episode brings the male villain centric.

On 4/4/2020 at 12:02 PM, Shanna Marie said:

We continue getting good guys being allowed to be clever. On the parent show, only the villains are usually allowed to be smart. The good guys have to be gullible and have to put their own goodness ahead of any practical matters. But on this show, the good guys are allowed to outwit the villains. We've got Cyrus expertly playing the guards to be able to use the wishbone to open his cage. Then there's Alice making a really clever wish that keeps Will from being used as a hostage against her, after she pulled off a decent rescue.

I think that makes the show a lot more fun to watch, to have rootable, active heroes who succeed.  The "twists" on this show are sometimes how the heroes outwit the villains; whereas the "twists" on the parent show are often how the villains have tricked the heroes.

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I wonder if Amara in the past was doing the same thing Ana is doing in the present -- trying to break the rules of magic so she could change the past, and that meant she could be utterly ruthless on that path, since all these actions would eventually be undone. Based on what we see her doing later, I'd guess she was planning to save her sons. It doesn't speak well of her that she seemed to take so much pleasure in cruelty.

This was a major reason why I didn't like this episode all that much the first time.  I hate redshirts dying.

Knowing the outcome of this series, the way Amara acted just didn't seem like the same person who would have been Cyrus's mother, no matter how desperate she was.  As you said, why would she be relishing in the demise of others, even if she was hoping to turn back time.

I don't remember if we later find out that two people were needed to do the Curse, since she certainly didn't need to take on Jafar as a protegé.  The whole arrangement was very icky considering they probably had a mother/son relationship to start with (it would be like if Regina and Adult Henry became a couple).  I still hated Jafar and didn't enjoy him.  They should have cast a kid who looked a bit more shady.  I didn't find the backstory all that believable.

Given how ruthless Jafar is, he would have used Lizard to force Alice to make a second wish.  

Having said that, I think I might have liked this episode more this time.  I liked that they slowly showed that the Red Queen did care about Will.  I think they could have cut her gleeful smile when Jafar was torturing Alice, though.  

That was a clever origin story for Jafar's serpent staff.

I like Cyrus's voiceover way more than the horrible ones on the parent show.  

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This episode seemed to confirm my guess that Will wasn't in Wonderland when the curse hit, so that he was probably swept up with everyone else in the Enchanted Forest -- more likely, this episode was where I got that idea, since Lizard told Alice that Will had left Wonderland, and I just didn't remember the exact scene.

It seemed like Will realm-travelled a lot (though I'm not sure how... stealing one of the many Last Magic Beans™?).  He was in Oz before he was in Wonderland, where he first met Robin Hood (that occurred in flashbacks of "Heart of Gold", a real crowd favorite among us, LOL).  He was getting some sort of elixir to heal his broken heart from his sister who died falling through the ice into a lake and drowned... was his sister the other Anastasia?  Maybe Will found his way back to Oz before the first Curse and waited it out there inside Zelena's bubble?  

Edited by Camera One

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2 hours ago, Camera One said:

He was getting some sort of elixir to heal his broken heart from his sister who died falling through the ice into a lake and drowned... was his sister the other Anastasia?

Sounds like grounds for a great crack theory. That was so oddly specific I have to imagine the writers were leaving it open to be revisited later if they were going to continue using Will.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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22 hours ago, Camera One said:

Knowing the outcome of this series, the way Amara acted just didn't seem like the same person who would have been Cyrus's mother, no matter how desperate she was.  As you said, why would she be relishing in the demise of others, even if she was hoping to turn back time.

I could imagine that her enjoyment of the guy dying of poison was more about her enjoying Jafar's choice, but there was no need to turn the guy at the Agrabah franchise of Ye Olde Tavern (I swear, they have one tavern set) into stone after they got the genie from him. Unless maybe she thought he'd been abusing her son while he was the genie's master. I wonder if there's some element of the corrupting influence of magic going on here. Things tend not to go well for people who get immortality and great power. They lose their humanity, and an obsessive focus on a goal, even a good one, doesn't help. This is kind of a gender flip of Rumple's relationship with Cora, with Amara in the Rumple role as the one with power and immortality, teaching the hungry younger person with something to prove, planning to use that person for her own ends, and getting double-crossed.

22 hours ago, Camera One said:

I don't remember if we later find out that two people were needed to do the Curse, since she certainly didn't need to take on Jafar as a protegé.  The whole arrangement was very icky considering they probably had a mother/son relationship to start with (it would be like if Regina and Adult Henry became a couple).

They said in this episode that it takes two people to do the spell, and it did take the two of them teaming up to cast it, since he wounded Cyrus to force her. And, yeah, it was rather icky that she took Jafar on as a trainee when he was a kid and ended up having a sexual relationship with him. (And I'm not sure that Regina and Adult Henry were all that far from it. That relationship got weird.)

22 hours ago, Camera One said:

I liked that they slowly showed that the Red Queen did care about Will.  I think they could have cut her gleeful smile when Jafar was torturing Alice, though. 

My read on that smile was more that she was enjoying seeing someone manage to defy Jafar than that she was sadistically enjoying the torture. I think she did a decent job during the whole thing of showing how conflicted she was. She wants to succeed, but she didn't want any harm coming to Will, and she hates Jafar. If she could get the spell cast but also have Jafar fail, she'd be all over it.

22 hours ago, Camera One said:

He was in Oz before he was in Wonderland, where he first met Robin Hood (that occurred in flashbacks of "Heart of Gold", a real crowd favorite among us, LOL).  He was getting some sort of elixir to heal his broken heart from his sister who died falling through the ice into a lake and drowned... was his sister the other Anastasia?  Maybe Will found his way back to Oz before the first Curse and waited it out there inside Zelena's bubble?  

I totally forgot Will ran into Robin in Oz. I think I've repressed the memory of that episode for the sake of my own sanity. But I think the sister falling through ice and dying is more a case of lack of creativity than complex interrelationships. Didn't Will also end up in the water when his sister died? We know he doesn't know how to swim and is afraid of water because of this, so if the other Anastasia was his sister, then Will would have been there when that incident happened. Ella was the one who went into the water at the same time. So they plagiarized themselves, repeating the exact story with different characters. I wonder if they even remembered that this was Will's backstory. They seemed to have forgotten Will's entire existence late in season 4.

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I'm joining in on the rewatch. The quarantine demands it!

I absolutely adore the episode, "Heart of Stone". The writers did a wonderful job of weaving the theme of doing something in the name of love with all the different character threads. If OUAT had an episode theme, the majority of the time, it would only be constrained to the story of whatever character was getting the centric. Here, the theme not only gives you a better perspective of Ana's character motivation, but of Wonderland itself. People come to Wonderland to fulfill their desires, but the unexpected always seems to happen.

Ana is one of my favorite characters in the OUAT universe. This episode in particularly has some great parallels between her and Regina/Cora, but I find Ana more compelling. Cora was just a social climber who wanted revenge on the royals who mocked her. Regina's motivation had to do with losing her love too, but that was also about vengeance. Ana went forward thinking she could undo all the evil she did. She went into Wonderland with Will not for selfish reasons, but to be with someone she loved. It wasn't originally about gaining status. Her realization in this episode that she couldn't just run on love alone was a good subversion of the typical fairy tale romance trope. I'm just going to say it - Ana is much better written character than Regina.

I love how everything in Wonderland is a riddle. It's awesome.

I think my one complaint about this episode is that the Red King is just... sort of there. He's not even wearing red. It was pretty fortunate for Ana that he was looking for a common girl like her and was totally okay marrying a thief. He basically exists to get murdered so Ana can take the throne, much like Leopold. He's bland. He thinks Ana should be queen because "has the drive to be more than [she is]. That is how one rules, and that is what I desire at my side"... was he just really lonely? I did like him talking about love as a very "noble thing" but only something that can get you so far. It made a bit more sense than Cora's vague "love is weakness" mantra.

It's oddly refreshing to see Alice and Ana working together begrudgingly without becoming instant besties. Says a lot about the OUAT universe when that's a pleasant exception to the norm.

Favorite line of the episode: "If I wanted you to fall off the cliff, I'd push you."

Edited by KingOfHearts
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Episode 5

Will has been such a big part of the last four episodes, so I was a little surprised that he was literally a rock for most of this, and I was engaged enough to hardly notice his absence.

While watching this episode, I was thinking it reminded me of "The Miller's Daughter".  But you're right that Anastasia motivations are very different, because unlike Cora and Regina, the whole vengeance piece was completely absent.  

I really liked that Will and Ana in Wonderland had a very basic and realistic problem - trying to find enough food to get by.  It made the flashback more grounded.  

I find it interesting that Anastasia seems to be Cinderella's stepsister, and she too experienced going to a ball and catching the eye of the royal. 

This "Lady Tremaine" got a similar line as the Season 6 one... they both said that they didn't work so hard, just to let their daughter marry down.  

It was a nice touch that we saw Ana immediately trying to imitate the royal ladies in the palace.  

Anastasia didn't tell Alice that she was going to use the dust on Will and left immediately after un-rocking him.  It's rare in this universe to see a villain doing a good thing and not being congratulated that they're actually good deep inside.

Even though I actually didn't mind Cyrus in a cage for four episodes, it was nice to see him finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.  

 

 

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This is the episode when it became quite clear that the somewhat stiff, affected performance by the Red Queen in earlier episodes was an acting/character choice because we can see here that there's a distinct difference between younger Ana and the Red Queen, and we see the transition, when she was trying to imitate the women she saw at the ball. We saw where the "Darling" bit came from. And I think we're getting glimpses of the girl she used to be in the present. The sheer joy on her face when Alice stepped out on faith and it worked looked like a throwback to her old self.

22 hours ago, KingOfHearts said:

I think my one complaint about this episode is that the Red King is just... sort of there. He's not even wearing red. It was pretty fortunate for Ana that he was looking for a common girl like her and was totally okay marrying a thief. He basically exists to get murdered so Ana can take the throne, much like Leopold. He's bland.

That could have been fleshed out a bit better, like if we got some compare/contrast to the women at court and how that fit (or didn't) his personality so that we understood why he found Ana so appealing. Maybe it would have helped if we'd seen scenes of the court women sucking up to him, or if we got a sense that they were all "thieves" in a sense, so that the courtly women were, in essence, basing their lifestyles on the work of poorer people, and that made a poor woman who was actually stealing to support herself a lot more honest.

Otherwise, him marrying the woman who's stealing from him is even dumber than Leopold marrying the daughter of the woman he caught stealing from him. At least Regina had saved Leo's daughter (and him having known Cora was an obvious retcon).

11 hours ago, Camera One said:

While watching this episode, I was thinking it reminded me of "The Miller's Daughter".  But you're right that Anastasia motivations are very different, because unlike Cora and Regina, the whole vengeance piece was completely absent.  

I was thinking more of the later episode in which we learned that Cora nearly married Leopold, but he dumped her when he caught her stealing from him and learned that she was already pregnant with another man's child. In both cases, the royal catches a woman stealing palace treasures, and in the warped morality of the show, it's wrong of Leo to ditch her, but I kind of think here they were showing that the king made a bad choice, or at least that Ana was making the bad choice. They probably would have been writing the Cora episode around the time this one aired, so did the parent show rip off the story? Or did they just have the idea of a commoner woman and a royal, and he catches her stealing, and it got stuck in their heads?

11 hours ago, Camera One said:

I really liked that Will and Ana in Wonderland had a very basic and realistic problem - trying to find enough food to get by.  It made the flashback more grounded.  

This is where I'd have liked just a little more detail about what they'd done to try to get by, like if we'd seen them trying to get work and getting turned away. They jumped through the mirror with the clothes on their backs, but they'd managed to obtain that wagon, and they'd added cloaks to their outfits, so they must have had some money along the way. Why were they unable to feed themselves? I think seeing an intermediate step in which they realized they didn't have marketable skills or couldn't get work because they were outsiders with no references, or something like that, might have made the desperation behind Ana's choice stronger.

We have yet another case of a good guy winning for being good, something that seldom happened on the main show. Alice resists the urge to kill Ana, and she's rewarded for it. Then she's allowed to be smart enough to save some of the magic dust instead of blindly trusting Ana.

12 hours ago, Camera One said:

Even though I actually didn't mind Cyrus in a cage for four episodes, it was nice to see him finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

I like that they allowed him to escape in the middle of the season. The way the main show was paced, his escape and reunion with Alice would have been saved for the last episode or two. They'd have treaded water for most of the season, then had everything happen all at once. And instead of Cyrus's escape being set up over multiple episodes, there would have been some magical gizmo coming out of nowhere.

I do have to say, the costuming in this episode really bothered me. There was Ana's mother's outfit, to begin with. Ana is wearing essentially a dirndl, maybe a Renaissance peasant-type outfit. Her mother is wearing an Edwardian lace blouse, but with an exterior corset kind of like a steampunk look, and that corset and that blouse don't work together at all. Then there's the ball, where everyone is wearing evening gowns off the rack from Macy's, circa 1995 or so. Alice's hair was also distracting me. I think this was on during the era of the ombre haircolor trend, but she kind of looks like she's growing her roots out, with the very blond ends of her hair and darker everywhere else. In the style she's wearing in this episode, the blond tips really stand out. I couldn't help but imagine that she was too depressed to get her roots touched up once she went back home and then ended up in the loony bin.

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I thought it was weird how Anastasia's mother walked in and hardly blinked an eye when she saw the portal.  Does that mean magic was quite widespread in the Enchanted Forest?  It was also weird that the Mirror was a two-way portal.  Though I'm assuming they can only go back and forth one time?

I was also thinking that if Anastasia was actually Cinderella's stepsister, then by the end, she reverted to type.  "Lady Tremaine" clearly affected her outlook on life, once Anastasia got past the honeymoon phase in her relationship with Will.

16 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

Otherwise, him marrying the woman who's stealing from him is even dumber than Leopold marrying the daughter of the woman he caught stealing from him. At least Regina had saved Leo's daughter (and him having known Cora was an obvious retcon)

This didn't enter my mind, maybe because this Wonderland King seemed like a sleazeball.  I got the sense that he was physically attracted to Ana, and hadn't been able to get her out of his mind since the theft, so he enticed her with riches.

Whereas Leopold was introduced as a good guy.  Which apparently equals dumber than a pile of rocks on the parent show.

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I do have to say, the costuming in this episode really bothered me. 

I guess after the prehistoric Victorian girls, I became immune.

One other thing is I think they filmed Anastasia and Will along the lake in Wonderland in the same place they filmed Jasmine and Aladdin wandering around the Enchanted Forest looking for Agrabah in that epic Season 6 episode.  

As @KingOfHearts said, it would have been nice if his fellow monarch the Red King was more thematically attired, along with his entire staff... there should have been a Chess theme.  Other than the outside of the castle, you'd think this was back in the Enchanted Forest.

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3 hours ago, Camera One said:

I thought it was weird how Anastasia's mother walked in and hardly blinked an eye when she saw the portal.  Does that mean magic was quite widespread in the Enchanted Forest?

Depends on which story we're in. Either it's quite common or very shocking. But at this point, Regina would have already been in full Evil Queen mode, so if they're in the Enchanted Forest, they're familiar with magic.

3 hours ago, Camera One said:

It was also weird that the Mirror was a two-way portal.  Though I'm assuming they can only go back and forth one time?

Didn't they have the mirror with them? Or something? So they can get back if they want to. They just didn't have a lot of reason to do so.

3 hours ago, Camera One said:

I was also thinking that if Anastasia was actually Cinderella's stepsister, then by the end, she reverted to type.  "Lady Tremaine" clearly affected her outlook on life, once Anastasia got past the honeymoon phase in her relationship with Will.

Of course, they later blew up the theory that this was Ashley Cinderella's stepsister by introducing entirely different sisters and stepmother and saying that no, this Anastasia wasn't Cinderella's stepsister. Maybe this is one of the many versions of Cinderella, and there's more than one in the Enchanted Forest world. But it really seemed like they were leaning toward Ana being from the Cinderella story during this series. They even had Ashley make an appearance in the pilot, like that was a hint. The story works better that way.

4 hours ago, Camera One said:

I got the sense that he was physically attracted to Ana, and hadn't been able to get her out of his mind since the theft, so he enticed her with riches.

I guess that works. He wouldn't be the first man ever to make a really poor choice of wife because he wasn't thinking with his brain. And if he's a sleaze, we care less that Ana married him for riches. They deserved each other, and both of them made bad choices. He was pretty kind to Ana, but then he also had her thrown out of the ball.

She was thrown out in the stolen dress, so did she get to keep it, or was she required to return it after she changed into her own clothes? The gems on the straps should have been worth something.

We still have the problem that there's no sign of civilization other than the castle. Where did all the courtiers at the ball live? Do they live in the castle? Are there no estates with serfs or tenant farmers? No villages? We could have at least seen Will and Ana trying to find work in a village.

Ana's reaction to running away to Wonderland with Will is probably pretty much what would have happened if Regina had been able to run away with Daniel. She'd have handled being poor probably about as well as Ana did, though I guess Daniel had more marketable skills than Will, if he could have got a job without a reference. After a few months of being poor and hungry, would Regina have found her way to the palace and asked Leopold if that proposal was still on the table?

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2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

She was thrown out in the stolen dress, so did she get to keep it, or was she required to return it after she changed into her own clothes? The gems on the straps should have been worth something.

Maybe the noblewoman didn't want it anymore since it was worn by a peasant.  More likely, the Writers didn't even think about that.

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Ana's reaction to running away to Wonderland with Will is probably pretty much what would have happened if Regina had been able to run away with Daniel. She'd have handled being poor probably about as well as Ana did,

That's an interesting possible parallel.  Solely from her first flashback, Regina seemed less feminine than Anastasia.  We saw young Regina be heroic so she seemed more active as a person.  Whereas we only saw Anastasia lying in bed waiting for Will to get the magic mirror.   Making Regina too "good" in her flashback made it more difficult to buy her transformation.  In flashbacks of Regina as a child, she might as well have been Snow.

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Didn't they have the mirror with them? Or something? So they can get back if they want to. They just didn't have a lot of reason to do so.

I think I just found it weird how Will threw the mirror on the floor and it turned into that weird looking puddle portal.  I guess magic mirror glass doesn't break? 

They could have come back and forth from the Enchanted Forest to get food.  Somehow, they managed to survive before they went to Wonderland.  I assumed Wonderland had fewer people to steal from.

2 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

We still have the problem that there's no sign of civilization other than the castle. Where did all the courtiers at the ball live? Do they live in the castle? Are there no estates with serfs or tenant farmers? No villages? We could have at least seen Will and Ana trying to find work in a village.

I was wondering about that too.  

Edited by Camera One

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