In episode three of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Alice puts away the bright red lipstick, Jafar’s guyliner returns, the Red Queen learns the meaning of “less is more” and Iggy Pop’s in the opening credits. Psych! Just kidding — about almost everything except Iggy Pop. Here’s what really happened.
Flash back to a few years ago in Once Upon a Time’s Enchanted Forest, when a bunch of ruffians held up a stagecoach. If you guessed they were Robin Hood and his Merry Men, you’d be right. If you guessed Will the Knave was also Will Scarlet, you’re one of the show’s writers. Don’t be so shocked. Given this universe’s track record, he’s probably also Willy Wonka, Prince William and I’m Losing My Will To Live.
In Alice’s present, she and Will stroll down a polka-dot road. Will alerts Alice to a forget-me-knot, a “terribly useful item” that may help them discover who took Cyrus’ bottle. Will takes her to The Underland, a club decorated like a Goth BDSM bordello. Quelle surprise, the Knave owes everyone money. The Caterpillar (Iggy Pop), who wears a jaunty fez, has gone all Jabba the Hutt and Will is his Han Solo. Too bad he doesn’t have the knot; “the Grendel” does. If Will brings the knot back after he and Alice are done with it, the Caterpillar will consider his debts paid. Will and Alice go off to Casa Grendel in the Whispering Woods. “Keep your cool and always stay one step ahead of your mark,” Will advises his new padawan in thievery. Of course, he and Alice promptly fall into a booby trap.
Iggy Pop as the Caterpillar
image from here
Meanwhile, Cyrus’ cage is dragged over to a visit with Jafar and the Red Queen. (It’s like dinner with your boyfriend’s parents, but even more awkward.) Jafar reads Alice’s note aloud, continues to have tragic hair and pulls out a very ominous book. The Red Queen flips through it, looking for a nasty beastie they can sic on Alice. She even name-checks the Sarlacc, reminding us that Disney now owns Star Wars. Thanks to a reaction from Cyrus, she and Jafar settle on the Bandersnatch. No, not the Cumberbatch. (That would be way more fun.)
Back in the Enchanted Forest flashback, Will Scarlet encouraged Robin Hood to pillage Maleficent’s castle, ‘cause she’s all rich and stuff. He then went home to a mysterious ladyfriend, crowing about getting “in” with the Merry Men and soon having what they needed to blow this pop stand. The next day, the gang broke into the castle, and Will grabbed a magic mirror. Of course, Maleficent figured it out, and given the show’s terrible CGI budget, we just heard Kristin Bauer van Straten’s voice booming that the Merry Men could keep the money but needed to give back her magical treasure. As Will snuck away later, Robin Hood showed up. No dummy, he called Will out for stealing from Maleficent. “You will meet the fate you’ve earned,” he warned. The Knave pointed out that it’s ridiculous to cast stones when you’re the Prince of Thieves yourself. Burn!
Robin tells the Knave he's a lying liar who lies
image from here
In the now-ish, Alice and Will are held prisoner by the Grendel (who bears no resemblance to the Old English Grendel), but Alice refuses to waste her wishes on escape. Will spies the knot and realizes Grendel is using the knot to watch his own past. (Actually, your recapper figured it out before Will did. But I hate to brag.) Will tries to bond with the Grendel over their mutual heartbreak, urging him to move on from the woman he loved. The Grendel’s not havin’ it, so Alice uses one of the wish gems to cut through their ropes. Too bad the Bandersnatch, which looks like a boar and a bear’s bad CGI love child, is on the other side of the front door! Alice and Will use the forget-me-knot as a lasso to secure the Bandersnatch and then kill it. ‘Cause, guess what, Cyrus figured Alice would know how! He’s smart and pretty. Touched that they saved him (even if by virtue of self-preservation), the Grendel lets the Knave and Alice have the knot. Afterwards, the Red Queen and Jafar show up at Grendel’s, and he tells them about his visitors in the hopes that he’ll get his wife back. Jafar reunites them all right — in death! He’s such an asshat.
No wastin' wishes!
image from here
As Alice and Will hit the road once again, she asks about the “mysterious Anastasia,” but Will refuses to ‘fess up. They bring the knot to the hole where Cyrus’ bottle was buried and look through it, learning that the Rabbit betrayed them to the Red Queen. (They could’ve just watched last week’s episode On Demand.) Back at the Underland, Jafar arrives to question the Caterpillar about the Knave. Clearly possessing good instincts, Will decides not to give the knot back to erase his debt. He burns it instead.
In the fairy tale past, Will came home with Maleficent’s looking glass and gave it to his beloved pink and white clad Anastasia … the future Red Queen! Gasp! The young lovebirds used the looking glass to open a portal to a new world. If you guessed Wonderland, you’re watching the right show …
Alas, this is where I jump into a portal of my own! Thanks for reading the three Once Upon a Time in Wonderland recaps to date. I hope to return to RT recap shenanigans soon — with a show that’s a little more enjoyable for me to watch.
Are you still sticking with Once Upon A Time in Wonderland? Or have you jumped ship, too? Let me know in the comments!