Once Upon a Time in Wonderland "The Serpent" Review: Hiss or Miss

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland S01E04: "The Serpent"


At what point did you know that Jafar’s tutor/adoptive mother/lusty lover was going to turn into a serpent? Was it when she first appeared onscreen, wearing a serpent necklace? Or was it when you first heard that this episode was called "The Serpent" and you were like, "Oooh cool guest star! Bet she's a serpent somehow." Either way, congratulations. P.S. I don’t think I’ve seen a lady on TV as beautiful as Zuleikha Robinson in literally decades. It was like the people in the marketplace were scurrying away from her and hiding their faces so as not to be blinded by her beauty. Like WTF?! You got this kind of charisma on tap and you don’t make her a series regular?




Not that a series regular on this show would mean much at this point, it’s not doing so hot in the ratings. Will ABC continue to air all 18 episodes of Wonderland? That remains to be seen (or unseen, by the majority of primetime viewers). Still, there is something fundamentally wrong about a woman taking on an eight-year-old apprentice and then later making him her lover. 



Edgy choices. Edgy choices. This week we got the backstory of Jafar, a Sultan’s bastard who went from being a sweet young man who enjoyed a hilarious goat story as much as anyone else...


...to becoming a ruthless, murderous Sorcerer, trained by a powerful and beautiful Sorceress. And then he picked up some weird fetish for leather collars and genie wishes, I guess? There is a super special spell Jafar can do when he as ALL the wishes, although he seems pretty capable of making anything happen/materialize as is. But this Master Spell is the reason Jafar has been madly hunting genie bottles, and why he's willing to put a CGI knife through a hand to get one! 


Sure! Also, poor Peter Gadiot spent another week of filming alone in a green room. In "The Serpent" he slipped further into insanity by figuring out how to use a WISHBONE to cut through his solid silver cage. Apparently wishbones always magically rejoin when they break apart, but they don’t grant wishes! That was a story started by genies, who love to lie to people! If you are ever wondering where story ideas come from on this show, ask yourself what Adam Horowitz has possibly eaten lately. A rotisserie chicken, in this case, perhaps. However, I'd much rather read the genie's arc as him going slowly insane, scrubbing bones on the floor of his cage. WHOA: Will he wake up in the Victorian asylum and we'll learn that this whole season has just been in HIS head?! 



Anyway, Jafar’s backstory was important insofar as it mirrored how he learned to casually murder people in his search for self-fulfillment, a skill the Red Queen and Alice apparently lack. We got another long, drawn-out scene between him and the Red Queen with him really hammering home that she needed to PROVE she was STRONG enough to KILL someone AFTER SOMEONE BULLIED HER INTO IT. Please, can we never have a scene with just the Red Queen and Jafar ever again? Every week they get into some green room in their horrible costumes and yell and wince at each other and it’s so... tedious. And repetitive. And very "acting workshop." And the costumes are wearing them, okay? And who keeps approving the David Bowie face paint guys?

No. Just no. Anyway, the Knave got snatched up this week, and Jafar made a point of insisting that the Red Queen must publicly execute him. Alice met Lizard, a character previously known as Bill the Lizard in Alice in Wonderland but who's now been transmogrified into Lync from Zelda. (Wonderland u finally getting some lesbian subtext?! PRAIZE BE!!!!) 


Alice and Lizard found out about the impending public execution of Will as mandated by Jafar (and to be carried out by the Red Queen, albeit unwillingly), and decided to attend. After the executioner warmed up on a few watermelons (because that makes sense), we learned that the people of Wonderland dress like assholes.


Sunflowers on a top hat with a masquerade mask. Exactly what you put on right before you join a vegan co-op that generates its own electricity by burning hobo crap. Don’t ask, I practically lived in one. Suffice it to say that based on this clothing aesthetic, the 48 people who live in Wonderland should be pushed with a backhoe into a lake of fire. Anyway, the axe swung but ALICE WAS THE EXECUTIONER! Ohmigosh how did she do that, that must have been an exciting adventure swapping clothes with the executioner behind the big gates wow exciting too bad it all happened offscreen. O well. Then Alice and the Knave of Hearts catapulted themselves onto what logically should have been a large pile of all the heads ever beheaded.


But no, instead of ending up on the Bonestripper via Nothin’ But Trouble, they just landed on some CGI grass, as usual. I hate to harp on this, I know I go off about this every week, but how expensive is it to buy some astroturf and a single sidewalk made of Nerf? The post-production folks could copy and paste that again and again, but having the practical reality of a sidewalk underfoot for one shot out of 20 would make the others seem more real. How is this terrible CGI allowed week after week?! I am only a simple woman who lives for the heart of Peron, but the CGI on this show is simply distracting! I’m sorry. I appreciate what they are trying to do here, I certainly couldn’t do any better, and I appreciate the overall inventiveness, but would it be so hard to draft an actual art department? There are super skilled people out there who fabricate beautiful sets and who have been waiting for YEARS for a show like this to make it to air, but we're still stuck watching an endless parade of MYST background. The showrunners are betting hard that we will find the characters SO COMPELLING that we will forgive unconvincing CGI. Well, my patience this episode, much like Alice’s body, was stretched awful thin.


For a moment I thought Alice was going to literally pop apart and the series would be like "We’re canceled, F all of U, True Love loses! YAAAHAHHAHA" which actually could have generated some word-of-mouth buzz. What to do with Wonderland? It’s great hate-watching if you have that kind of time to kill and love raggin’ on sloppy green screen edge-feathering, but otherwise it is not exactly pushing me to the edge of my seat. The writers probably envisioned that audiences would respond to their characters the same way we've gotten attached to OUAT Original Seasoning. But OUAT Original spent a good year laying groundwork, letting us get to know the characters before making them pull laughable stunts in 100 percent CGI environments. And not once has someone worn a top hat bedazzled with a sunflower and paired it with a masquerade mask on OUAT. OUAT has done many unforgivable things to me, but no, never that.

The wholesale torture of Alice by Jafar was meant to coerce her into making a wish for Jafar to stop. She did link her life to the Knave’s, using ONE WISH, but then she withstood oh so much bone-creaking without using the other two. Good job, Alice. Unfortunately the show immediately negated Alice’s ingenious "Link my life to the Knave’s life" wish by turning him into stone.


Sigh. Wonderland, you had one compelling character. ONE. And you turned him to stone? Fantastic. Even before he got stoned tho, my beloved Michael Socha couldn’t ignite the reunion with Red Queen/Anastasia. The scene did not exactly sparkle with electricity, maybe it was because the Knave kept yelling at the Queen to kill him already, maybe because they were never completely in the same shot. I wish there had been more clutching of bars and whispering of sweet nothings.


Next week, Red Queen will have an opportunity to look on aghast as her former boyfriend is in mortal peril. Is anyone really convinced she’ll respond any differently? Is anyone really concerned? Are y’all worried about Alice and her genie ever meeting up, or have you forgotten why she’s looking for him in the first place? Will True Love prevail, or are people more interested in relationships that happen with both actors in-frame? Do you love-watch or hate-watch Once Upon a Time in Wonderland? Y’all know I’m passionate about OUAT. How do I get invested in Wonderland?


QUESTIONS (YES, MORE OF THEM):

... On the timeline, is all this before or after Aladdin? (Lamp suggests after, but then what happened to Aladdin and Jasmine?)

... Red Queen and Knave reuniting: missed opportunity or emotionally overwrought?

... Dave Bowie face paint guys: WHAT.

... Are you watching this "for realsies" or for laughs?


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May 07, 2014
Ok, so this is forever after the fact, and I haven't really read over the other comments, but I just really wanted to answer the David Bowie makeup question, because when I figured it out it just hit on everything I simultaneously love and hate about this and original OUAT:

It's not just David Bowie makeup, it's Aladdin Sane makeup. ALADDIN SANE.
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Dec 20, 2013
I'm a OUAT fan and I've been looking forward to giving the spin off a try...
But I've seen my first 4 episodes and I'm done. Alice isn't particularly likeable, the CGI is laughable the writing is terrible and I'm just plain bored.
Such a shame
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Nov 15, 2013
One of the genies is in Storybrooke, so how can Jafar have two of the three bound to him already?
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Nov 12, 2013
Get. Knave. Back. He is the best thing is this show, period.

Naveen Andrews looked really hot again without the horrible perm.

The CGI is horrible, just horrible.

I am definitely giving this series a serious try if they revive Michael AND Zuleikha. If they don't, I'll probably still watch it for a while but can't promise I'll keep interested.
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Nov 12, 2013
I seem to be in the minority here. I liked this episode. In fact, it was the first episode of this show that I actually have liked, and the one that gives me hope for the rest of the season. It's not great, and I doubt it will be (could be wrong though; the first half of season one of Merlin was TERRIBLE and that show became really good), but I think it MIGHT turn out to be decent.
Will it ever be as good as Once Upon a Time? No. Will it be canceled after (or possibly during) the first season? Quite likely. Will it bother me? No. The writers said season one was more like a miniseries than an ongoing show, so if it isn't renewed no harm done, we'll see the conclusion of the story.
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Nov 11, 2013
Check out my review on The Serpent and let me know what you think!
http://lostboy3.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/what-alice-found-there-serpent-review.html
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Nov 11, 2013
I was a little time line confused too, I am actually assuming that these Wonderland events take place before Aladdin/Jasmine. Like he is unsuccessful in getting Cyrus and returns to Agrabar and he has to become the Sultan's advisor while looking for another bottle. I also was thinking that the actress playing the sorceress is to be important, for no other reason than the snakes eyes lit up at the end of the episode. She offers a deal to someone or something.

Um, who is Cyrus' fellow prisoner?
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Nov 11, 2013
I enjoyed the goat story and the episode
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Nov 10, 2013
1. I think after. Pretty sure the showrunners will find a way to squeeze Jasmine in OUAT (Original). It's like they really must have all the "princesses".

2. This ship isn't working for me. Also, the new girl? Meh.

3. Don't forget the big labyrinth by the palace. Now all we need is a stolen baby. And Jafar wearing David Bowie's pants.

4. It's not exactly hate-watch, more like "disbelief-watch". I think SyFy did a much better job at creepy/campy Alice: http://www.tv.com/shows/alice-mini-series/
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Nov 12, 2013
"And Jafar wearing David Bowie's pants."

*drool*

Labyrinth is one of my absolute favourite movies and I wouldn't mind Bowie or Andrews in tights.
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Nov 12, 2013
Hell yeah! Alice is one of my favorite miniseries, and by far the best Alice in Wonderland adaptation/reimagining. Anyway.
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Nov 10, 2013
Was it ever explained if the Genie in OUAT that turned into the Evil Queen's mirror one of the genies Jafar is hunting? Was he just completely ignored?
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Nov 10, 2013
The show is not great, but it is entertaining for me. One comment though: don't know if I'm just too naive, but I don't watch it looking for clues of what is going to happen, so I was really wondering where were Amara when Jafar was carpeting around Wonderland. I also was genuinely surprise when Anastasia was revealed to be the queen. Maybe working with a lot a tv series makes you more prone to find out stuff, Lily, IDK.
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Nov 10, 2013
OUAT Wonderland is very good overall, Serpent a big HIT their is only one problem with Wonderland the CGI !!!
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Nov 10, 2013
I'm a bit late watching this episode. Only just started. But the very first thing I feel needs to be asked is WHAT is happening with Jafar's hair? Seriously, did he steal the Queens straightener?
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Nov 10, 2013
Also, hasn't is been made clear that beheading doesn't kill a person in Wonderland? So how is beheading an execution? What happens to the people's heads? Aren't they still alive? Is there a room of heads sitting somewhere, in a macabre futurama-esque storage room?
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Nov 09, 2013
It's been on the backburner for me, kinds laying around on my laptop till Sunday night when I'm bored, but I actually really liked this episode. It finally got the characters together rather than just the pairs they've been stuck to and stuff actually happened. It fell into the whole "oh perfect piece of magic that's never come up until we need it" thing with the wish bone, but I'm glad Cyrus will finally get some interaction time, maybe. CGI is killing me, and I think it's dissapointing OUAT fans cause it's hard to root for the (other) evil queen, something we're all used to.
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Nov 09, 2013
I actually kinda dreaded the first 2 eps, but I feel like with episodes 3 and 4 (especially ep 3 with the Robin Hood backround and all) the show is improving, and now I look forward to watch more; let's give it a chance.
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Nov 09, 2013
Funny how this show was on my top list for this year after I watched the trailer
It looked amazing, beautiful colors, photography, effects.....

After 4 episodes what remains for me is that the actor playing the Genie is cute, sorry but that's not enough for me to watch a show.(it used to be when I was younger).
I'll wait for his next show I guess.
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Nov 09, 2013
I really don't get this show and really don't like it anymore..i gave it the 4 episode thing and it is not getting any better...
The only funny part was to watch how Jafar got his snake stick thingy...in Aladdin you never saw that...he had it already...
I ams till hoping to know when Whoopi Goldberg is coming to be Rabbits wife....un the other hand, i think she is worth way more to play in a dumb series like this...
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Nov 09, 2013
how DARE you compare the cgi with MYST, myst way soooo much better and more enjoyable :) yes i cant stand this shows cgi either
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Nov 09, 2013
All I keep saying is : How is it possible that a show from the CW has better cinematography than an ABC one. I'm talking about Reign. Which looks stunningly good!! I Wish they would film Alice episode in real castles and nice locations. It's so dumb I don't understand. I'm pretty sure ABC has more production budget than a CW show.... right??? I will still watch it. Maybe they should wrap up the story in a 10 episode arc/series, and move on.
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Nov 09, 2013
Anastasia must have really screwed the Knave over for all kinds of "whatevs I don't care what you do now" between them. So how she betrayed him might be interesting, but if Cyrus doesn't get outta his birdcage next week then will stop watching for laughs or realsies. How are we supposed to believe Alice and Cyrus are in love? Oh, cuz they keep telling us over and over.
Jafar's mentor serpent lover was creepy but also fabulous; here's hoping when he gets to cast the super awesome universe spell she comes back to turn him into a glowy-eyed Pier 1 end table. Also, was he planning to betray her all along, and only fake laughing at the awesome goat story? I just can't trust this guy.
Side note: I would have added the Red Queen to Tim's list of terrible new characters; besides always being Jafar's whipping post, her permanent duck mouth makes me want to take a cheese grater to her face.
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Nov 09, 2013
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has the honor of being the first show I gave up on this season. Yay! (So many others to choose from...)
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Nov 09, 2013
The second for me (Marvel Agents of Shield was first)
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Nov 09, 2013
I miss Jaffars crimped hair XD
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Nov 08, 2013
I don't think the genie has anything to do with aladdin. Like they said, there's three different genies. To me this is after aladdin but a different genie.
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Nov 08, 2013
"Lync"? I've never seen anyone misspell Link that way.
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Nov 08, 2013
1. Alice: "Sounds like you two are close friends. Unless... wait were you two...?" Lizard: "No, I mean... that would never... Will and I just RUN together. Sometimes for Caterpillar sometimes just for fun."

Will and Lizard are Shadowrunners! And Caterpillar is the Wonderland's version of Mr. Johnson! Finally, it all makes sense! YAY!!!

Also I LOVE Lizard - make her a regular, ABC!

2. I wish against all the odds that ABC doesn't cancell OUAT in Wonderland.

3. Alice: "Excuse me. Pardon me. I HAVE A BLADE" - I adore this girl :)

4. Jaffar turned his ex-lover into a cane. How sick and twisted is that?

5. I suspect Anastasia stole the crown of Queen of Hearts - and it made her evil.

6. "I wish if the Knave of Hearts dies - that I die" - Go Team Alice of Hearts!

7. How dare you turn Michael Socha into stone, writers??!! Bring him back to life!!

8. I actually like OUAT in Wonderland CGIs :)

"The Serpent" was another great episode. I can't wait for the next one.
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Nov 10, 2013
I agree Lizard needs to be a regular
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Nov 10, 2013
It's nice to know I'm not the only one liking this show ;)
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Nov 10, 2013
I also like OUAT Wonderland but the CGI needs work
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Nov 11, 2013
Wonderland is a dream world. It's not supposed to look real. The bad CGI is intentional.
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Nov 08, 2013
Okay, so they want to collect all genies? What about Sydney Glass in Storybrooke? Does he still count? Or because the king wished him free he's of no use to Jafar? If so, why couldn't Alice just wish Cyrus free? Why am I trying so hard to understand this crazy show?!
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Nov 08, 2013
There may be 1000 genies in the world. They just needed 3. But it was hard to find a 4th one and that's why they continue trying to get Cyrus and don't search for another victim. About Alice, she already explained that she didn't want to wish Cyrus out of his cage because that could end badly, and Cyrus had told her that freeing a genie always ends badly when she suggested that she should have done so.
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Nov 08, 2013
OMG!
That was terrible. The whole episode was just terrible.
Except for 2 scenes. These were the ones that might have been less than boring, although I thought one of them was even brilliant.
1- That scene in the maze when they made her make a wish and Will was turned to stone.
2- As for the brilliant one: The scene where Cyrus cut his cage with the wishbone. I liked the message in that scene. And he said it loud and clear.
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I can't believe this is Kitsis and Horowitz. They used to be better than this. What happened to these people? Even OUAT is going downhill now. What's going on? What's distracting them? Is it coz they are working on two shows now? I guess that might be it.
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The only story I care about now is the Anastasia/Will story and backstory and that is it. If they don't give us something about them soon, I don't know if I can keep watching this show.
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As for your Questions:
1- I think I've had part of that answer ever since we saw Cyrus in his cage for the first time. I'm 90% sure it's the right one.
This is supposed to be happening years after the Aladdin and Jasmin story. So I can safely say Aladdin is the old man who's imprisoned with Cyrus.

2- They'll get there. You know how shows go. They keep peeps apart for so long only to get them back together later on.

3- Who?

4- I just wanna know where this is going. And I don't give up shows till I've watched at least half a season.
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Nov 08, 2013
I'm going to write an article on it one of these days, but the "problem" is that Wonderland is really a different show than its progenitor.

Alice is already pretty much a fully developed character. She's on a quest, with weekly adventures. It makes the show more like Hercules or Xena. But she's not going to become a better person.

OUaT is more like a soap opera. The characters' goals are personal.

Alice seeks out conflict because she's an adventurer. If the Storybrooke folks didn't have problems come to them, or if their own natures or attempts to change them didn't generate problems (primarily Regina and Gold), they'd sit around and just enjoy their lives, and it'd be a boring hour of TV each week.
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Nov 08, 2013
This episode really played on Alice's character and the fact that she doesn't trust anyone, at least not in Wonderland, and has a fight my way through approach to things. It was the Knave who pointed out to her that wasn't an option with the collectors and they had to run. Lizard pointed out that people aren't inclined to answer questions when they have a sword pointed at them. I think one flaw is that Alice can't do this by herself. Her instinct is to fight, and that doesn't work in all situations. She needs other people to help her on their journey or she'll fail. And now that the Knave is stone and Alice seems to have abandoned Lizard, Alice is going to have to team up with someone or the whole thing is going to fall apart. I think there's room for character development there. Whether they'll pursue that is a different question.
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Nov 08, 2013
Storybook adventures don't preclude character development. Look at Hercules and Xena. But Alice seems quite capable of working with people: she befriended the Knave, she was friends with the White Rabbit, after some initial issues with a stranger, she seems to work well with Lizard. I think that she's impatient since her lover is imprisoned, but I don't get the impression that's a permanent character flaw that she needs to overcome.
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Nov 08, 2013
Wonderland is storybook adventures.

OUaT is storybook characters having real-life adventures and problems.
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Nov 08, 2013
I don't get how simple this could all be solved
Luckily for Jaffer all the other characters are really really stupid

You don't mess with someone who can wish for everything he wants

Like the guy who got stabbed with the knifes he could have told Jaffer heal me or I will put in the worst torment of your life forever
The same goes for Alice one wish to strip Jaffer of his powers his life or simply to probit him from hurting or killing anyone ever again
there done problem solved
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Nov 08, 2013
"I wish....I wish YOU had a HEART!!"

*Jafar sheds a single tear and then explodes*
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Nov 08, 2013
I also get the impression Jafar knows more about the limitations of genies and wishes than either we or Alice have been told. After all, he doesn't seem to be too concerned that Alice will harm him, strip him of his magic, or whatever. He's not spending every week worrying about what she'll do with him while she's walking through a forest and decides to make her "Let's screw with Jafar wish."
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Nov 09, 2013
Of course Jaffer is not worried because most of the good guys in OUAT
and OUAT Wonderland are completely stupid though I have to say I am impressed with Cyrus canning
maybe there is hope for "Good" yet
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Nov 09, 2013
He also has the power of two captive genies backing him up. Or he used a third genie to make himself immune to the wishes of other genies. That's what I would do...
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Nov 09, 2013
1) both sides do not have equal intelligence in this OUAT franchise most of the good guys are really really stupid
2) Alice does not have to wish he be killed she can just turn him into a snail and than crush him like the dark one
3) I am willing to bet Jaffer has no allies because he kills everyone he meets
4) I mean the red beans of wishes Alice carries the one she got from Cyrus
Let me some it up for you for everything there is a solution if you have time to think about it.Jaffer is not a god and he is not indestructible.He is also not all that smart see how he is easily blackmailed by the red queen
where he can just torture her to give him the genie bottle.The writers of the shoe make stupid plot decisions to keep the show running for an entite season

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Nov 09, 2013
Don't get me wrong. Basing a TV series on a premise of nigh-on infinite yet undefined magic is inherently dubious.

But if we agree to anything, it's hopefully that both sides have to be assumed to have equal resources and equal intelligence. In this case, we can't assume that Alice has all the wish magic, and Jafar has none, or that hers is somehow superior. Even granted that all genies are equally powerful, they only need to be equally powerful to cancel each other out.
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Nov 09, 2013
1) They already established the four rules, and one of them is that genies can't kill.

2) There's only one Aladdin story that has Jafar, and we don't know when that occurs, or if it occurs. Jafar in the movie doesn't look much like Naveen Andrews. :)

3) See #1. We don't know how many allies Jafar has, or if they know he turned Amara into a staff.

4) I don't know what that means. "wish beans"? He can't wish anyone would die.
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Nov 09, 2013
1 simple solution one wish Jaffer and all his people who aid him or will aid him be dead :)
2) Of course a genie is more powerful the Jaffer like in the aladin stories but I guess he can not use his magic unless it is for his master
3) Alice and the bartender had a Genie for a long time
They could have come up with a great full prof protection
wish like the one I offered in number 1.Alice especially since Cyrus already warn her about Jaffer.Let us not forget that Jaffer in his stupidity tured is only ally in\to a snake stick.so no one is going to help him if Alice wished he was dead and whould have time to wish somthing else
but like I said they are really stupid
4) Alice could wish to have Jaffer wish beans in her hand before he wished he would die so he could not wish for anything to help him.like I said they had a long time to plan for this. :)
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Nov 09, 2013
1) They said they already had one of the lamps.

2) We don't know if a single genie is more powerful than Jafar, although it seems unlikely. That's why he needs three genies: he's got enough magic to match one, but the spell requires three.

As far as genies protecting from other genies, you seem to be arguing that a genie can do anything (other than break the four rules). So "immunity to other genies' wishes" would seem to fall within "anything." :)

If you want to argue a genie can do anything, then it can protect Jafar from other genies. If you want to argue they have limits, then Jafar has something that limits them against him. Take your pick. :)

3) Are you talking about Gerard, who was making a spur-of-the-moment wish? Or Alice, who has had time to think out a really "killer" wish? Because Jafar definitely has two lamps to trump Alice's wishes, plus his own power and whatever other wishes he may have made.
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Nov 09, 2013
1 You don't know if he had those lamps before he came to that bartender
2 You don't know if Genies can protect from other Genies wishes
3 Like I said the only thing really protecting him is the other characters stupidity

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Nov 08, 2013
Honestly the guy should have just wished for Jafar to melt into a puddle. Like that was a plot hole the size of the grand canyon.
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Nov 08, 2013
There's also the fact that Gerald the bartender might not be a murderer, or want to torture an enemy, or essentially end his life for all practical purposes even if he specified "Turn him into a puddle of water but let him live" - whatever that means.

Ditto for Alice. Allowing that she could torture or effectively murder Jafar with her wish... is she a murderer or a torturer?
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Nov 08, 2013
Since that would be fatal, and genies aren't allowed to kill anyone...
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Nov 08, 2013
And Jafar got around the "you can't harm me" wish already. He just called in Amara to kill Gerald the bartender instead.

Also, keep in mind what Alice said: the bigger the wish, the likelier it will be to bounce back on you in a harmful manner.
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Nov 08, 2013
Some wishes are worth the risks
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Nov 08, 2013
It's not a risk. The way Alice put it, it's a certainty. And it's pretty standard in wish myths. Look at any number of "sell your soul to the devil" wish stories. They always end up badly. Now, Cyrus seems like a pretty nice guy, at least when he's helping his master against Jafar or helping out Alice, but we don't know what other genies are like...
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Nov 09, 2013
Except the genie liked Aladdin. That's what I meant about saying that Cyrus could be helpful with his wishes, but not all genies might feel that way.

Check out some Twilight Zone episodes with genies and devils for examples of people asking for wishes from supernatural creatures that don't like them, and having it all go horribly wrong.
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Nov 08, 2013
Like I said If I have chance to stop someone as evil as Jaffer I would take it no matter the consequences
and I don't remember Aladdin had any bad luck directly
because of his wishes

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Nov 08, 2013
But then once Jafar heals him... then what? Jafar just cuts him again.

Also they said you can't kill someone with wishes.
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Nov 08, 2013
Than Jaffer become his bitch if he does not want to die a horriable death
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Nov 08, 2013
But your wish "heal me or I will put in the worst torment of your life forever" wouldn't do that.
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Nov 08, 2013
Like Jaffer said somethings are worse than death
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Nov 08, 2013
I not know what it is but I like all that Once upon a time stuff! I feel it take me out of my crappy real life for like 43 minutes what most drama series fail to do.
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Nov 08, 2013
I read your reviews of ONCE and Wonderland every time you post. I've never commented till now, but I think you're hilarious and brilliant, and I usually agree with everything you say. But this time, I feel like we watched two completely different shows. This episode was definitely the best one so far, and we finally got some character and plot development! We learned Jafar's backstory, we got to see the Red Queen is clearly conflicted over the Knave, Lizard is cute and adorable and she clearly has a thing for Will, Alice made one of her wishes, and it looks like Cyrus is on his way to breaking out. These are all important developments that bring forward a lot of questions and possibilities for the future, and I'm very excited about it. FINALLY, the show has some direction! And since we are usually on the same page, I thought you'd at least be a little excited, but your review consists of nothing other than bashing every aspect of the episode. I don't think you mention even one thing that you liked. I have to wonder if you'd already made up your mind to hate it before you sat down to watch it.
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Staff
Nov 08, 2013
Well first, off, thanks for saying hi& for reading along every week! You're right, I did sit down to watch this show expecting to not like it, but that's because the last four weeks have been directionless and weak. By the time you get to a fourth episode of a series it should be must-watch TV. There are just too many choices in the marketplace to take THIS LONG to develop the most basic building blocks of the conflict (Knave & Red Queen conflict, why Jafar needs the genie so badly.) I think also there are just certain moments that come off as so lazy- like Alice somehow swapping places with the executioner offscreen- that it makes it very hard for me to have patience with the slow progress. But if you're enjoying it, then great. All I can do is try and sit down next week with a better attitude, but that's kind of a hard way to enjoy something: "I better mentally erase all the mistakes this show has made so I can try and enjoy this."
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Nov 09, 2013
Thanks so much for replying! I do agree that it really shouldn't be taking them this long get into the good stuff, and I have felt the frustration. But I kind of agree with tv_worm. I suppose I have lowered my expectations. I know the show isn't going to be great. But it finally found direction this time, and it was kind of an "oh, thank god! Yay! I'm liking this more now" moment. Is that a dismal way of approaching the show? Yes. But if I'm going to continue watching it, and I do plan to, then I can't sit down and hate the show every week because where is the enjoyment in that? Is the show bad? Of course it is, the CGI being the least of it's problems. But at least it's improving. Was there nothing about the episode you liked or enjoyed?
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Nov 08, 2013
@Lily: The difference between you and us it that we have already lowered our expectations of this show - we know the CGI is a complete disaster and that its going to take a miracle to make any of these characters even remotely likeable.

However, the BIG thing this show needed was a reason for us to give a f*** (pardon the language). It finally, got there by making Jafar and the Red Queen a bit more worthy a villain (still got some work to do there). Plus the introduction of Lizard who was genuinely likeable and the fact that the stakes were raised with bodily harm coming to Alice. Stupidity like Alice becoming the executioner and her ridiculous wish is still present but at least the show is moving in the correct direction.

You should have mentioned that it was moving for a better story experience (like it could get any worse lol). Also, is there really a need to harp on the CGI every time? The amount of writing space spent on it week after week when we all know how atrocious it is. I would have preferred to hear your opinion on whether you believe that Jafar and The Red Queen are more capable villains now then to hear another paragraph harping on the CGI.
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Nov 08, 2013
It was boring as usual but the ending was just so darn stupid. Alice wished for her life to be tied to the knave? SERIOUSLY?!?
The guy at the shop wishing to be protected from Jafar made a heck of a lot more sense.

No I'm sorry, I just can't let that one slide

That is the first thing she came up with? Not - I wish Jafar would be turned into a toad? I wish Jafar would not be a be to harm another living being?
I wish me, the knave and Silas would be taking a ride in Disneyland?
Anything would have been better than that dumb stuff.

Seriously the whole wish, which I'm sorry but she had plenty of time to think about, thing was absolutely dumb. She could have wished for loads of other things.

And Jafar torturing her like that is stupid. Not only was it terribly done (special effects wise) but he also clearly knew that she would do anything for a friend.
So you don't threaten her, you begin threatning her friends. Or just random people. Seriously, just start executing random villagers until she makes her damn wishes.

heck why didn't he just strangle Lizard who was standing right there?!?

I'm sorry but this show just gets dumber and dumber every day.
At least we finally got one wish out of the way, we'll probably get another one by episode 8-10 and the last one in the finale.

B-O-R-I-N-G!
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Nov 08, 2013
In her defense, even if she protected the Knave from Jafar, he could order one of his servants to do the killing (the Red Queen could also assist). And I guess that Alice can't wish for more than one thing in 1 wish, hence wishing for everyone to not get harmed by Jafar would mean that she would have to spend a number of wishes equal to the number of people this land has.

Moreover, we don't know that Alice is that altruistic. She was willing to spend a wish for a friend, but maybe she wouldn't do the same for a complete stranger. She is not Snow White and she gives me the impression that she is selfish enough to not care about anyone else but her friends and Cyrous (or at least I hope so, as I don't need one more 100% good character).
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Nov 09, 2013
Except that she might as well have wish they'd teleport somewhere and be out of his reach. Again there are loads of options here, inlcuding the classic never ending story 2 "I wish you had a heart" thing. Her wish made very little sense and in fact was completely wasted.

And still doesn't explain why didn't Jafar go after Lizard? Heck, did he know for a fact that Lizard isn't as close to Alice as Will?
Unless Lizard is working for him, he should have targeted her instantly.

P.S
Another issue, Alice says she knows who Jaffar is because Silas told her. How exactly? I hate to say it, but the only thing separating Jafar from the rest of the characters on this show (that has plenty of wizards and sorcerers) is his skin color...

So he told her to stay away from any non white guy?
How PC.
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Nov 09, 2013
I can't think of any more effective wish as the one she did. Wishing her, Will and Cyrus on another land would mean she would have to waste all her 3 wishes (3 people). Moreover, she already said that teleportation spells may have unwanted side effects. Last but most important, wasting 3 wishes would mean that the Red Queen would be in position to get her own 3 wishes as she possesses the bottle.

Cyrus should have told her stories about Jafar (could even have described the serpent scepter and the flying carpet). Moreover, Alice saw Jafar searching for the genie bottle some days ago.
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Nov 08, 2013
P.S
Should we talk about how we have seen in the original Regina turning a person to stone, twice in a second without that silly black mist that takes forever?
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Nov 08, 2013
Throughout this episode I kept thinking that Naveen Andrews has figured out a fine way to earn a living: Zuleikha Robinson seducing him over and over in different series.
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Nov 08, 2013
This review was not fair... In my opinion not only was this episode the best of the series but it also was remotely a really nice and enjoyable episode. The back-story of Jafar was really interesting. In the present, we had progression of the story and we got to learn some things about the protagonists.
The special effects are not getting any better so each one should either go along with it and rely on his or her imagination or quit watching it. I love good effects but I can live with these too if the story is nice (and this episode was quite promising).
I watched the first 3 episodes just to kill some time. I used to laugh in the effects etc. But this episode was really good and I didn't bother about the effects at all, not even at the "ridiculous" scenes in Wonderland.
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Nov 08, 2013
I def hate-watch it and for a good laugh.
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Nov 08, 2013
They had me (ZZZ) at 3rd episode - I STOPPED watching and dun plan too. Same thing too for TVD. I switched to The Originals, which has way more mature and interesting storylines. At least Once Upon A Time has great costumes, (think Regina and again Regina as Ursula), and better actors overall.
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Nov 08, 2013
I don't get why you have to review it if you really hate it that much. You can simply put, I hate this episode so much, make a list of it in bullets and not in paragraphs and be done with it. You keep yammering about how bad the CGI is then quit watching the show and move on to reviewing other shows.
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Nov 08, 2013
Cause people should be warned to stay the heck away from it?
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Nov 08, 2013
This comment has been removed.
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Staff
Nov 08, 2013
No namecalling, please. Disagree all you want about the show, but personal attacks are grounds for banning.
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Nov 08, 2013
If you don't like it don't read it. There are a lot of people (me included) who read these reviews, even when they've stopped watching the show, because they are entertaining and funny, even when she's hating on the shows. Actually especially when she's hating on the shows. I personally like wonderland, but still enjoy the reviews. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but if you're going to read someone else's, you can't complain about it. If you don't like it, don't read it.
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Nov 08, 2013
I started watching for real and then stopped now I read your reviews for a laugh
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Nov 08, 2013
i gave this show the 4-episode test just like TV.com does. First episode almost made me quit, second episode was terrible and the third episode just improved slightly but this one pulled me back. This episode finally realized what needed to be done and reached up to the level that OUAT has enjoyed. Not sure if I am going to continue watching but this episode was definitely the best of the series so far.
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