Once Upon A Time in Wonderland episode 1×09 “Nothing to Fear” Review

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New Year, New Genie in this weeks of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

Well I hate to say it but Once Upon A Time in Wonderland episode 1×09 “Nothing to Fear” didn’t quite get the year off to the start I hoped it would. There was a lot of what we wanted to see; Will as the Genie, Ana working with Alice and Cyrus, a mad and power hungry Jafar on a rampage, and Alice and Cyrus finally reunited.  They even tried something new with this episode, doing away with the usual flashbacks (at least for now); and added some new elements from the Lewis Carroll classic, the Jabberwocky.  Even with all of this I felt like something was missing, the usual charm of the story just fell short for me this time.

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There is not much better than a genie with the attitude of our beloved Knave.  Having been thrown into the deep end, magically speaking he struggles with what to do next when he is discovered by Lizard.  I really loved the way that some things seemed to be automatic when you are a genie for example obeying their master and the Mistress Mine line but other things are not so intrinsic.  In the first village scene Will can’t seem to remember the rules to which magic must conform.  The only rule he seems to be able to remember is the one where he can’t make people fall in love the only rule that seems to sound disappointing to poor Lizard.  Can Will truly be that 109 Liz Willclueless? Lizard spent just about every second she was around Will dropping hints about how she felt about him.  For a guy who claimed to have spent a lot of time around women (remember the incident with the Fairy?) he wasn’t picking up on any of them or if he was he chose to ignore them.  Once again the ongoing question of Will’s heart is brought into the mix, I hope this constant reminder means that they are going to get it back for him.

“Mistress mine, my will is thine, tell me your wishes three”…

“When I see her it feels like fireworks are going off” When he said this I couldn’t help but get the impression that this was or even is how he feels when he would see Anastasia, for two reasons, he was looking away from Lizard, looking down like he was sad, missing how it used to be, also if he had meant Lizard he would have looked right at her, given his character type and that he was watching her closely through the list of other qualities in a woman.  There is still much more to be explored in the Will and Ana realm, I can just feel it.

Awakening the Beast… Jafar has returned to our screens in full force and just as power hungry as before.  Every step forward he takes in his mission he thinks he has proved himself as the ruler his father could not see in him but only manages to succeed in making his father think worse of him.

“The throne is made when the man who sits upon it is worthy.  Where you sit Jafar is nothing more than a large chair.”

I feel like an actor is doing a good job when they create a strong reaction in their audience, during this episode I felt like I wanted to kill Jafar just to stop him, to me that means Naveen Andrews is doing a fantastic job as the villain.  One question that was raised in my mind during this episode was:  If the Jabberwocky is so powerful and frightening, wouldn’t the threat of releasing it alone be enough for Jafar to jafar jabberachieve the same result as actually freeing her?  Although if this was the case then we would have actually got to meet this fantastic beast.  Peta Sergeant did a magnificent job, completely creepy before we even saw her and then once she was freed had such a physical, animalistic quality that gave us a hint to why she was such a fearsome creature.  Now the only thing that Jafar doesn’t know is the identity of the genie, did it matter that the three genies were brothers or could it be any three genies?

Down the rabbit hole… There were a few little (rabbit) holes in this week’s episode that I found rather curious. The capture of the Red Queen by the villagers was a nice touch to show the impact her rule had on the people of Wonderland but it could have been execute much better.  For Example:  If there was that much of a struggle, how did Alice and Cyrus not notice that she had been taken?  Also, why did they only start to extinguish the flames once the creatures had already started advancing?  Finally, if Cyrus had owned that necklace for thousands of years how come he had no idea it would glow? This storyline did have some nice aspects to it.  I particularly liked the village man’s use of ‘darling’ and the slow but steady realisation that the Red Queen had no one who cared for her.  Maybe hanging around with Alice and Cyrus will change her, she may not be queen any more but she has definitely not changed her attitude.  I did find it nice that Alice and Cyrus aren’t back together and automatically perfect but this tension just added to the list of characters that didn’t seem to sit right in the episode, making it hard for the audience to get alongside them.

Things are looking up… On the whole, the show has been set up with somewhere to go over the next few weeks with relationships to mend and battles to be won.  I am looking forward to getting back to the characters that we all know and love.