I must confess, marathoning the original Once Upon A Time is pretty high on my list of things I want to get done, but haven’t found time for yet. As a lover of all things Alice – I couldn’t bother with correcting my previous procrastination before jumping into the new land of OUAT.
Right away I love the feel of this show. Young Alice flying across the field like the personification of childhood freedom is immediately thrown against the harsh wall of the adult minds that greet her return. Missing child returns home with fanciful story? Must be fully mental.
Fast forward to modern day and we find Alice has spent the majority of her Post-Wonderland life enclosed in the walls of an asylum. During an interrogation by her medical team we see what has been drawing Alice back to Wonderland through the years. Her initial desire to prove her honesty is later replaced by a much deeper need when she finds herself in love with the genie Cyrus. They are adorable. Their environment is magical. In mere moments, we are melting in the vision of their love.
Of course this is when the Red Queen has to come along and rain on our parade. The lovebirds fight valiantly, but in the end the Queen sends Cyrus into the waves as we all cry out with Alice.
Back at the asylum, the doctors offer Alice sweet oblivion by way of a new procedure. We can see the memories have been haunting her when she signs the consent.
The doctor’s toys seem quite frightening so it’s a relief to see the Knave of Hearts at Alice’s door. He reveals Cyrus is alive and suddenly so is Alice. She throws down on anyone who attempts to keep her in the ward a moment longer. Go, Alice, go!
Once Alice is back in Wonderland, we find the rabbit hasn’t actually SEEN Cyrus – but he has heard rumors. The Knave is ready to push off at this news, but Alice has found hope and she’s clinging on for dear life. She brokers a deal with the Knave by offering a wish in exchange for help seeking Cyrus.
The rabbit is hopping along the bunny trail when he happens upon the Queen. First thoughts of “run, rabbit, run” quickly turn to images of bunny stew when we realize his rumors of Cyrus originated with the Queen. He has fetched Alice to Wonderland at the Queen’s request!
Could there be a stranger team in all of Wonderland? Funny you should ask….
After an attack by the Cheshire Cat and a visit to the abandoned home of the Mad Hatter, Alice realizes Wonderland is not the world she recalls. She is about to lose her tender grasp on hope when she finds Cyrus’s amulet on the ground. The Knave tries to convince her this is not proof that Cyrus lives, but Alice refuses to give up again.
So do I. Even a glimpse at what Jafar has been working on can’t damper my Team Alice spirit.
This why I have always loved Alice. She is the stubborn, curious, caring individual who has always been the heart of the good tales of Wonderland. I am so pleased to see her envisioned as more of an adult without losing that spirit.