Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 1×06 “Who’s Alice?” TVAD Award Revealed

by

Michael Socha

 

Heartless Knave?

Up until now there has been one actor unintentionally overlooked in my weekly musings and as it turns out he is one of the most loved and talked about characters in the show.  Michael Socha plays a fabulous character and even though Will wan’t as featured in Once Upon A Time in Wonderland Episode 1×06 “Who’s Alice?” his performance (as always) is worth the recognition.  Sophie Lowe of course did not escape my attentions as Alice had quite a journey in this episode but I think it is high time we have a closer look at the Knave.  Michael Socha plays a defensive, cunning and witty thief who is hiding a lot more beneath the surface than the audience or even Alice is aware of. New information in this episode explain a lot about his character and opened up a whole new potential storyline.

Desperation in the Face of Danger… From the moment he enters the Boro Grove, Will is full of his usual wit, Michael Socha has fantastic timing with his comedic lines and brings a lighter dimension to the dark tales told in Wonderland.

Don’t worry about the man with the saw and the scary grin.Once_Upon_a_Time_in_Wonderland_S01E06_KISSTHEMGOODBYE_0695

That was a particularly well delivered line in the episode and a fantastic addition of Socha’s character to the scene, being able to show just how ridiculous the situation was and trying to sort out what was going on before something disastrous was to happen. Michael’s expressions, particularly in the Boro Grove were fantastic.  When Alice refuses to go he doggedly works to drag her out of the grove, he softens when he is telling her about when she got his heart back and then returns to a mixture of frightened and imploring when the tree is beginning to take over. Socha is able to show how he cares for Alice as well as an almost dispassionate air about him, something that has been explained later in the episode. Michael Socha and Sophie Lowe work very well together, their different character choices contrasting beautifully to create a fantastic team.

 

A Rare Display of Emotion…  Will is a character who very infrequently gets worked up, he has quite boldly faced a fight, or Anastasia, and even when he was discussing the tatters of his relationship with the fairy he seemed detached and almost insincere about his apology.  During this episode we found out that this was because of his heart, it had been hinted in the past that he had quite literally lost his heart, presumably to the Queen of Hearts, and Alice had helped him to retrieve it.  Now we know that he never replaced his heart after that incident.  I can’t wait to see how all of this happens in flashbacks.  Watching him when Alice is talking about the pain in his heart you can almost see regret in his eyes, torn about not feeling anything at all but it is the dialogue after this that most affected me:

“Anastasia broke my heart, I knew the minute I put it back in my chest I’d feel all that again… So I thought why not put off all that misery until tomorrow, then the next tomorrow, then the next.  After a while I kind of got used to it, the emptiness.”

He may seem dispassionate at times but it is because of the pain he once felt that drives him to keep on that way.  Even at the mention of Anastasia’s name, we see a flash of that hurt, a past memory that informs the way Michael Socha performs Will.  All of this back story to the character shows us just how much work Michael and the rest of the cast have been putting into their characters.  I wonder 1x06-Whos-Alice-Alice-in-the-Boro-Grove-Smelling-the-Fumeswhat we will see next that will highlight other decisions the actors have made. 

 

Alice out of Wonderland… One quick mention of Sophie’s journey through the episode, her time back in the real world was an emotional time where she was constantly seeking the approval of her father and trying to return to a normal life.  In particular, the scene where she breaks the glass is very telling of her feelings even though her words are something completely different.

 


Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 1×07 “Bad Blood” airs Thursday, Dec 5 at 9|8c on ABC