Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Review: Episode 1×07 “Bad Blood”



Seriously Messed-Up Families

So the story goes on and it is good to see that the creativity of the writers has not diminished over time.  Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Episode 1×07 “Bad Blood” centred around Jafar and filled in some of the gaps in his story; before he became the charge of Amara, Jafar went to his father, the Sultan after the death of his mother.  Their resulting arrangement was far from ideal and resulted in Jafar’s botched murder. Back in Wonderland, Jafar has brought Alice’s father to Wonderland to force Alice to make her wishes, he does manage to get one step closer but not before Edwin tells Alice that her genie has escaped.  Meanwhile the Red Queen is still working to get the upper hand and Will obviously cares for Alice more than he lets on.

“True power comes from fear”… It is no secret that Jafar has major league daddy issues but it wasn’t until this episode we found out just how messed up Jafar’s relationship with his father truly is.  As the Illegitimate child of the Sultan, Jafar was forced to become a servant boy in the palace.  No matter how hard he tried, what he learnt or how obedient he was he was repaid with only with ridicule and beatings, learning the hard way that it is fear that endows power.  Anthony Keyvan, the boy who plays Young Jafar does a fantastic job, working for the approval of a harsh man.  The scene where he is being beaten by the prince while their father looks on is particularly moving, the first time we really feel for Jafar and slowly begin to understand how he could become that angry boy that turned up on Amara’s doorstep.


“What child doesn’t want to be rescued by their father?”… Another person whose relationship with their father is strained is Alice; a little girl who just wanted her father to believe in her and fight for her but she never got what she wanted.  Even though  a lot of her scenes with her father were actually Jafar impersonating him, it was touching to hear the things that Jafar wished his father would say and to witness just how fiercely loyal Will is to Alice.  As messed up as their relationship was, Alice still knows her father well enough to figure out that it wasn’t him that was helping them and they went on without him.  There was a small glimmer of hope as Edwin gave his touching speech of apology and loving gesture of telling Alice that Cyrus had escaped but now we are not sure if he will believe that it is all a dream.  Hopefully this won’t ruin all the good that was done in their relationship.

My father, your father… The parallels between the two fathers in this episode was set up very well, at their foundations, Alice and Jafar are not all that different.  What sets them apart is how they deal with this in their daily lives; Alice has moved on and is working to start a new life with Cyrus when Jafar has fostered his anger and his desire for revenge and his father’s respect has completely consumed him.  The fathers have also taken different paths, Edwin has recognised his mistake and wants to work at fixing his relationship with his daughter when the Sultan, who I was beginning to like as the old prisoner is not remorseful in the slightest and stands by his judgement of Jafar.

Changing the laws of magic… A big deal, whichever way you look at it and there are two characters who have their heart set on doing just that, only now we are beginning to get a clearer picture of why.

“You can’t live out your twisted dreams without changing the rules of magic”

From our history lessons and previous episodes, there are two things that could be behind the Red Queen’s drive to change the rules, her mother and increasingly, Will.  Let’s stop for a second and recap those pesky rules:  “There are four of them:  I can’t kill anyone, I can’t bring anything back from the dead, I can’t change the past and I can’t make anyone fall in love” – Cyrus. Does she want to make her mother love her?  Change the past so she and Will never came to Wonderland?  Make Will love her again?  Surely if it was as simple as killing someone, it could be done without magic, after all, Jafar has killed people before, that is why I believe his plans for his father are more complex than that.  I do believe that Anastasia wants to be Queen but what else does she want?  I am also loving the dynamic between Jafar and the Red Queen, she is proving that she is definitely not afraid of Jafar, her irreverent and confident way of dealing with him is amusing.

“While you were gone your fancy silver prison developed a Cyrus-shaped hole”

I can’t wait to see how this plays out, especially now that Alice is down to her last wish.


Comedy of Errors… The quest to reunite Alice with Cyrus almost got to the level of a Shakespearian comedy, at least they didn’t quite make it to the palace before discovering that Cyrus had escaped.  The writers are doing a good job of adding some excitement to the journey, throwing in the dragon (well we’ve had everything else, why not a dragon too) and even inventing something new in the bird bark tree.

Well this episode was full of messed up families!  If nothing else, Jafar’s relationship with his father shows that your family isn’t that bad and that inside every vengeful man is a sad and angry little boy who just wants his father to love him (Awww).