Penultimate episodes of series set up the final conflict of the season (or in our case, series) and thankfully Wonderland did it well. This week's episode "To Catch a Thief" pulled all the strings together, gave us one final peek into the past for the story we knew we were missing and set up what has to be some sort of epic battle next week. After this episode, I am even more disappointed that we aren't getting a second season. If this is the kind of storytelling of which the writers are capable, then I want more. I want another 13 episodes to explore more of Alice's past, more of the Knave's adventures, more of Cyrus's life as a genie and more Jafar (love to hate him). But, at the same time, I worry that the writers couldn't recreate the magic that has happened these last few episodes. For all I know, some terrible love triangle would overtake the show and it would descend into madness. So maybe this is for the best. But as of right now, I have no doubt that the finale of Wonderland is going to go out with a major bang.
It's very appropriate that this is our final (probably) flashback for Wonderland. While the show was touted as an epic love story for Cyrus and Alice, the real drive for the first half was the friendship between Alice and Will. For almost 8 full episodes, we watched them race against time, fight monsters, snark at each other, and be generally awesome together. While the two love stories being told side by side are wonderful, the best friendship between Will and Alice is almost more endearing because it is somehow fresher. Love stories are everywhere, but how often do you see best friends working together like this, their respective love interests nowhere to be found. Thus, I am thrilled that our last flashback takes us back to where we began. We knew that Alice and Will had rescued Will's heart from the clutches of Cora (who was sadly absent for this episode) but this story was the missing piece and the fact that it brought us full circle made it even more important.
I Did Not See This Coming
Jafar is keeping Ana in a glass coffin in front of Will's cell. Well, that's a whole new level of creepy and deranged. Jafar, get thee to Storybrooke and seek out a man turned cricket named Archie. He'll help you out, you poor sod. Jafar knows all about desperate souls and he knows how to pray on Will; "there is a way to bring her back." If Jafar can break the laws of magic, then he can bring back Ana for Will. To what lengths wouldn't you go to bring back the one person you loved more than anything? For Will, that means seeking out his friends and asking for their help. If Alice and Cyrus hand over the serpent staff, Jafar can break the laws of magic and make what happened, un-happen. "We have to let Jafar win." But as sorry as Cyrus and Alice are that Ana is dead, they can't stomach the idea of Jafar winning. They are thinking of the greater good, after all. They want to take Amara to the well of wonders and return the waters so that Cyrus's brothers might be freed from their genie-hood. But fools in love....
The quartet, that now becomes a quintet, strikes up a plan to break into the palace and free Cyrus's brothers and save the Red Queen. It all revolves around freeing Amara from that staff. And this is where I do have a major complaint. How the blazes did she get free???? One second she's a stick and the next she saunters in, in a killer red dress and serpent necklace without even a bit of warning. How was this achieved? She says that she didn't teach Jafar everything she knows but I am seriously confused. If she could free herself this whole time through her own magic, was she just waiting for the right moment to strike? Until Jafar had all her sons gathered in one place? The fact there is no explanation is a little disconcerting, but what follows Amara's appearance is SO EPIC that I'm not going to dwell too much. So the plan? In several parts, the first of which was to get Cyrus into Jafar's chamber where is brothers are and wait. Will creates a distraction until Jafar summons him back to his bottle; Alice frees the Sultan who agrees to stop Jafar before he can hurt anyone else. Like Alice's plan to break into Cora's heart vault so long ago, this one is built on precise timing. Yay for Alice being an epic strategist (and freakishly good at counting...)
I did not see this coming. I figured Ana would bite it because of the name thing, but it never occurred to me that Cyrus might die as well. It just seemed so...out of the realm of possibility. But of course, Jafar is right: it all comes back to family. Killing Ana was the perfect motivation for Will; but what about Amara? What do you do to ensure that she helps you with your "break the laws of magic spell?" Kill one of her sons, of course. And now that Cyrus is no longer a genie, Jafar can hurt him all he wants with no fear of what it means for his magic spell. One tiny flick of his finger, and a shard of glass lodges in Cyrus's heart; a pain that even Alice can feel. Their hearts are entwined, forever linked in love. And Alice can't get there fast enough.
Jafar has gotten everything he wants. And now the final battle begins.
Miscellaneous Notes On To Catch A Thief
--Jafar becomes a genie. That's my series end prediction. Genie and trapped in a bottle.
--Will Jafar go back on his word to bring back Ana and Cyrus?
--Will Alice fight against Jafar even if it means loosing Cyrus?
--"I won't sacrifice a life with you."
--Really wish I knew more about the Jabberwocky now. She's so fascinating.
--Cyrus carried the Snake on his back almost the whole episode. Given Momma a piggy back ride!