Once Upon A Time in Wonderland Episode 1×10 Review – “Dirty Little Secrets”
Major plot twist - Amara is Cyrus' mother
Ana and Jabberwocky dynamic was fantastic!
Guardian nightmarishly creepy
Alice and Cyrus are not so perfect after all in this week’s Once Upon A Time in Wonderland…
As our unlikely band of heroes fights to save Wonderland the magnifying glass is held up to Alice and Cyrus’ relationship and we’re finally seeing the imperfections. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode 1×10 “Dirty Little Secrets” was the show back in true form with magic, new developments in the quest and even a dash of fear. The Jabberwocky was truly frightening and the Guardian of the Well of Wonders was chillingly reminiscent of the Ring. A lightness with the riddle to find the Well and its Monty Python-esque knight, and the shock twist of Amara being Cyrus’ mother. Jafar is getting very close to having everything he has ever wanted but this time I think he has truly underestimated his enemies and who he has aligned himself with.
Learning to play the hand you’re dealt… This week showed a different side to Cyrus. Once a bad boy, Cyrus managed to get on the wrong side of some pretty nasty people, sending him and his brothers down the path to becoming the three genies of legend. For once we saw a Cyrus who was driven and willing to do just about anything for the people he loves, something that we haven’t seen a lot of in the lead up to this episode. Now his secret has been revealed and we know what he has been hiding from Alice and they are back to being as sappy as ever:
Alice: …I’ll be your bottle
On the other hand it is nice to see a few stumbling blocks in their path. Now all that remains is to see if Cyrus will sacrifice his mother in order to free his brothers. I wonder what that reunion will be like…
Scared to death… The Jabberwocky has to be the first genuinely frightening character that has appeared in Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, her ability to get inside your head, her speed and virtual invincibility made some of her scenes truly terrifying. This is brilliantly supported by the cast who are all terrified of her, intensifying the same reaction in the audience. Her make-up is brilliant, creating an animalistic look that Peta Sergeant backs up with her embodiment of the character, almost cat-like as she prowls around Wonderland or lounges around the castle. One of her actions that I particularly wanted to bring to your attention was the way she strokes the face of her victims when she is reading their mind or trying to get them to share some information, did you notice it? If you did, did you notice she also did it to Jafar’s staff towards the end of the episode, given that Amara is now captive in the staff, could the Jabberwocky know more about the genies than Jafar? I can’t wait to find out. For once I actually think Jafar is in over his head, releasing the Jabberwocky is going to turn out to be his biggest regret because once she knows everything, she can double cross him just as easily as he has with some of his other partners and it is going to take more than Jafar’s magic to stop her.
Ana: What’s the matter? You afraid Jabber?
Jabberwocky: *Maniacal laughter* I’m not the one trembling. I can feel your nightmares. I can taste your dread.
Jabber, Jabber, Jabber… There was some brilliant work by the actors in this episode, particularly in the scenes between the Red Queen and the Jabberwocky. Throughout the episode I was starting to be convinced that the Red Queen really does want to change although she hasn’t lost that spark that we all know and love. In the second scene, we get a true look into Ana’s heart, when the Jabberwocky looks into her and reveals what is going through her head. Everything she has done, she did for Will and she lost him so quickly to Jafar. True she did have a supernaturally powerful creature in her head but I was hoping for a little more of a fight, or at least a clever wish that could have changed things. This scene came over beautiful and ghastly at the same time, the struggle to keep the Jabberwocky away and protect Will, her fear of what the Jabberwocky will reveal, or what she might do to them. The reaction that Ana had showed so acutely how terrifying and agonising the Jabberwocky is even though to an onlooker it may look so simple and the way she got so close to each of them added a level of terror that made an audience member want it to stop too. The moment Ana made that third wish I was overcome with a strange feeling of relief and dread, knowing that the scene was over but wondering what next, now that Jafar has what he wanted.
Now what? This episode was everything I love about Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, it completely changed the game with new information; Amara being revealed to be Cyrus’ mother and Jafar finally claiming the third genie. It completely creeped me out with the Guardian and even frightened me with the Jabberwocky. All of that and a glimmer of hope knowing that our heroes have a plan and even a loyal Tweedle still lurking about the castle – don’t you just love him? The promo for next week is exciting and infuriating; I hate it when they tell you that someone will die, but it does look like Alice and Cyrus are going after Will’s heart. Will the Knave get his heart back? Will Amara be released from the staff? Could Cyrus sacrifice her to free her brothers after all those years of searching for her? Will Anastasia ever get her love back? Bring on next week, I can hardly wait!