Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 1×04 “Serpent” MVA Revealed


Jafar Red Queen

Once again I was torn when it came to awarding an MVA for OUAT in Wonderland episode 1×04 “Serpent”.  Each of the actors in the series are really beginning to hit their stride with their characters.  In this particular episode, my attention was captured by Jafar (Naveen Andrews) and the Red Queen (Emma Rigby).  Jafar’s storyline moved the show along the most, the Red Queen was the most expressive and their combined chemistry and partnership was intriguing. I have decided to award this weeks MVA to Naveen Andrews, but I cannot go the whole article without giving a special mention to Emma Rigby.

The Man of the Hour… Episode 1×04 “Serpent” really revolved around Jafar, providing Naveen Andrews with a wealth of different scenes to sink his teeth into.  We watched as Jafar grew from an angry little boy into a sorcerer under the guidance of Amara, a woman feared by many because of her power and dark nature.  We also discover why he is so intent on claiming Cyrus and the bottle as well as being given an idea of how powerful he could become. This history explained a lot in my eyes, we know what started him on this path as well as what he has done to get to this point.  Jafar is clearly fixed upon his goal, driven and focussed with only one end result in mind and he is prepared to do anything to get it.  Up to this point his actions have been quite calculated, testing the people around him, getting to know their weaknesses and what they are prepared to do to get what they want, he did this with the Red Queen when he demanded she kill Will and has been doing the same with Alice as he tries to make her wish.

“You have a weakness Alice, I have seen it today, you have a heart and trust me I shall exploit it.” ~ Jafar.

Jafar is getting so close to his goal that he is beginning to show elements of desperation, trying to force the wishes out of her all at once and trying to eliminate all of her allies were moments when we saw Jafar the most passionate.  I think Jafars biggest weakness will be believing he is in control; he is not the only one who seeks to know their enemy and so far people have been doing his bidding but what happens when he faces resistance?

The Woman in Red… I have said it before and I will say it again I love the Red Queen!  I admire actors who create characters that the audience loves to hate, or can’t make up their mind what they feel about a character because their work elicits such a response from their audience.  Although the Red Queen still holds elements of mystery, it was the unspoken things that truly excited me about Emma Rigby’s performance.  It seems clear to me that Anastasia was the one who broke off the relationship but it seems that she still cares for him.  When they first come face to face she is trying to be aloof but as the episode goes on it becomes harder for her to do so especially when he knows how to push her buttons and when Jafar orders her to have him killed and Will refuses to go. She can’t even look at him Will chokingwhen he is lead out to be beheaded and when Jafar is torturing him she breaks and out of desperation practically begs Alice to make a wish.  Are we starting to see a tear in her resolve to do anything in the pursuit of power?

There’s no I in Team… For the past two episodes Jafar and the Red Queen have been claiming to be a team but it seems that both parties are using that term loosely.  After all, look what happened to the last person Jafar was partners with, if he did that to Amara who practically raised him and loved him, what will he do to the Red Queen who is in possession of the bottle?  If Alice makes all three wishes then that makes the Red Queen his new owner if things remain the same.  It is also clear that Jafar has some of the tweedles working for him but if you ask me they seem to obey him more out of fear than anything else.  I might just remind you not to write off the Red Queen just yet, after all we have already learnt not to underestimate her and there has begun to be an emphasis put on games, with her playing chess and the maze on the castle grounds.  Is she obeying him or biding her time?  We already know she has been keeping secrets from him, what else doesn’t he know? Now that she knows what he is capable there may be a little opening for a change of heart later in the game…  

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 1×05  airs Thursday, NOV 14 at 9|8c on ABC