Since we are covering the theme of broken hearts, it is apt to start with some bad news. As you may have heard by now, Wonderers, ABC has officially cancelled ‘Once Upon A Time in Wonderland.’
Initially, ‘Wonderland’ was supposed to air during ‘Once Upon A Time’s’ winter hiatus. Perhaps the fantasy drama would’ve stood a better chance had it acquired the Sunday night time slot. EOnline reports on ABC president Paul Lee’s regret:
“That would have been a natural audience to go through there,” Lee said in January at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “That Thursday slot is difficult. We loved the idea. We knew the creative was great, and so we loved the idea of having a run of empowered women going all the way through Thursday night [with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal]. What we didn’t want to do is play defense on Thursday when we wanted to play offense. But in retrospect, I think it would have done better there and I should have stuck to the earlier idea. … I totally take responsibility for that.”
Although ‘Wonderland’ has been cancelled, we may not have seen the last of Alice, Cyrus, Will, Jafar and the others. After all, these characters exist in the world of ‘Once Upon A Time’ so it is possible to see them pop up on the mother-ship. As EOnline reveals, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis give Oncers some hope:
“The two stories kind of take place in different times,” Kitsis pointed out a recent press event, before the news of Wonderland‘s cancellation was announced.
“[Wonderland and OUAT] are slightly out of sync,” Horowitz added. “I would say that we love the characters in [Wonderland] obviously, and would certainly be open to it down the line…Next year, perhaps.”
‘Wonderland’ never really clarified when this story takes place. We know Will was living in Storybrooke when the White Rabbit fetched him, but other than knowing about Storybrooke’s 28 year existence, it is hard to tell when Alice’s adventures took place. Nonetheless, fantasy genre shows make it easy to bend the rules, so I have a feeling we’ll see some of these characters again in the future.
Luckily, the show is not over just yet. We still have the series finale to look forward to this Thursday, April 3 at 8 p.m. on ABC. So let’s rehash the last two episodes leading up to ‘Wonderland’s’ magical finale.
In March 20th’s “Heart of the Matter,” we learned how and why Will handed his heart over to Cora. In the present day, Will gets his heart back only to have it broken all over again.
Then: “I think love is weakness but that’s just one opinion.”
On the eve of Anastasia’s wedding to the Red King, Will offers her one more chance to choose love over power by meeting him before dawn at their wagon in the woods. Unfortunately, Cora interferes with their lives and destroys their chance at happiness.
Cora tries to recruit Ana as her magical protégé, but she resists the temptation. The Red King looks down upon magic and even Ana has her qualms about it since magic comes with a price. When Cora doesn’t get her way, she manipulates the situation to get what she wants.
Cora tells Will that Ana chooses to be the Red Queen instead. The heartbreak is more than he can bear so he asks Cora to take his heart. She tries warning him of the consequences, but he cuts her off. He doesn’t care about the cost and tells her to get on with it. Although Cora is a little surprised, she doesn’t hesitate to take advantage of the situation. Once Cora has Will’s heart, she pays Ana a visit.
Cora catches Ana just as she’s about to escape the palace to meet Will. She makes it look like Will lied and left without her. Tasting a dose of her own bitter medicine, Ana falls prey to Cora’s antics and succumbs.
Much like Regina, Ana quickly learns how to channel her anger and frustration to fuel her magical instincts. Cora has happily found her new protégé and creates a selfish, power-hungry Red Queen.
Now: “My heart’s cost me enough suffering. Nobody needs to die because of it, not even you.”
Ana desperately tries to earn Will’s forgiveness. When Jafar realizes he needs Will’s heart to make the ultimate spell work, he threatens to kill Ana if Will does not tell him where his heart is located. Ana is willing to die to protect Will and save Wonderland, but the heartless Knave admits that even she doesn’t need to die because of him.
Now the race is on, Alice and Cyrus must get to Will’s heart before it ends up in Jafar’s hands. They enlist the help of the White Rabbit and have him take them to Will’s apartment in Storybrooke. After oohing and aahing over the advances in technology, Cyrus and Alice find Will’s heart ironically hiding behind a dart-hole riddled sketch of Ana.
Cyrus and Alice land on their feet as they’re spit out of the portal back into Wonderland. Unfortunately, Jafar is there to greet them. He tries to injure them with his staff but it doesn’t work. The golden serpent’s eyes usually burn red as it strikes Jafar’s victims, but this time her eyes glow yellow. It seems as though Amara maintains some sort of power within Jafar’s serpentine spell. She refuses to harm her son, Cyrus. Running out of options, Jafar lets go of the staff and runs off with Will’s heart.
After a brief test with his Lost and Found compass, Cyrus and Alice quickly deduce that his mother is trapped in the staff. Since Amara is the key to breaking the genie curse cast by the creepy chick from the Well of Wonders, they must find a way to free Amara and return the water to the well. Meanwhile, Will hopes his heart has earned Ana’s freedom.
Jafar proves to be the ultimate cold-hearted villain. Will gets his heart back and all of his feelings for Ana come rushing back. He feels love for her once more and hurries over to kiss Ana. After they share a brief smooch, Jafar breaks his promise and kills Ana. Oh that is so cold!
This time around Will’s heartbreak comes courtesy of Jafar. Is there a way to bring his beloved Ana back from the dead? Perhaps.
Last Thursday’s (March 28) episode, “To Catch A Thief” picks up from where we left off and Jafar has a tempting proposition for Will.
Jafar may be able to bring Ana back to life after he completes the spell that will enable him to break the laws of magic. However, it takes two sorcerers to cast the spell. Jafar needs Amara. If Will retrieves the staff from Alice and Cyrus, Jafar says he will resurrect Ana. This unsettling mission finally shows us how Alice and Will first met.
Then: Alice: “You’re quite clumsy for a soldier.” Knave: “And you’re a little young to be a murderer.”
When Cora took Will’s heart he became one of her Knaves and was forced to do her bidding. One of his assignments was to kill Alice who has been charged with murder. After a cute little game of cat and mouse, Alice gains the upper hand and entraps Will.
Will and Alice explain themselves. She may be a thief, but she is not a murderer. When she learns how Will is stuck under Cora’s control, she offers to get his heart back. Alice has learned the timing of the Queen’s guards, so retrieving the heart is a piece of cake.
In classic Will and Alice banter, the two realize that Alice can control Will as long as she holds onto his heart. I guess Will wasn’t too thrown from becoming a genie since he’s had to serve others before when he was Cora’s jack of all trades. As the new “master” of Will’s heart, she takes her new mate out for some beer. Will trusts Alice and opens up to her. Have your tissues handy, Wonderers.
Will had a little sister, Penelope, who died when they were really young. He imagines that Penelope would’ve grown into a badass girl like Alice. Aww. Poor Will has endured more heartbreak than the kind dished out by Ana. No wonder he was so eager to get rid of his heart. Alice gives Will his heart back and asks for his help. She needs to convince her father that Wonderland is real and she wants Will to help her get some proof. Will believes two thieves are better than one, so they set out to snatch the White Rabbit.
Once their mission is accomplished, Will tells Alice that he has no doubt there’s a lucky guy out there who will fall madly in love with her. With that prophetic adieu, the two thieving friends bid each other a fond farewell. Alice dashes off with the bagged White Rabbit, not knowing that True Love is just around the corner.
Now: “Love makes us to the maddest things, doesn’t it?”
Will strikes a deal with Jafar and agrees to retrieve his staff so that he can bring Ana back to life. Will catches up with Cyrus and Alice and tells them the truth. They need to make Jafar think he has won so that he casts the spell, break the rules of magic, and brings Ana back to life. Surprisingly, Alice and Cyrus refuse to help their friend.
Alice says that Will is thinking with his heart instead of his head. This plan is too risky and they can’t let Jafar gain control over Wonderland. That night, Cyrus wakes up to find Will stealing Jafar’s staff. He begs Will to reconsider, but the Knave knocks him out and makes a run for it. Cyrus and Alice awake and chase after Will, they split up in hopes of closing in on Will from both sides.
During their great chase, Alice slips into the river. Will turns back and rescues her. This is a big deal people! Remember how Will is afraid of water and can’t swim? So sweet! Alice is grateful for Will’s bravery and friendship. He apologizes for blindly thinking with his broken heart. The three of them agree to come up with a new plan to take down Jafar. Luckily, they receive some help from an unlikely new ally.
The Jabberwocky doesn’t trust Jafar and fears what will happen to her when he gets what he wants. She fears she will never have the freedom she seeks, so she offers her assistance to Cyrus, Alice and Will.
Will distracts the guards while Alice and Cyrus break into the palace. The guards capture Cyrus and take him to Jafar. The Jabberwocky helps Cyrus by claiming he does not know truth about Amara. By now, Jafar put all the pieces of the puzzle together. He momentarily released Cyrus’ brothers from their bottles earlier and realized why Amara wanted to collect all three genies. As the guard close in on Will, he waits for Jafar to summon him back into his bottle as planned.
When Will pops back into his bottle, Amara suddenly appears. (How did she get out of the staff? Did someone help? It would be nice to know how this transformation happened.) After spending centuries as his subservient serpentine staff, Amara is ready to put up a fight.
In a magic-off, Jafar and Amara use their power to ward off shards of broken glass. As they struggle, Jafar says he knows the truth and uses her weakness to his advantage. Jafar kinetically stabs Cyrus with a shard of glass. Amara rushes to her son’s side as he begins to bleed out. Will sorely watches them from the confines of his bottle.
Down in the dungeon, Alice has set Jafar’s father free from his cage and has recruited him in their cause to defeat Jafar. Suddenly, Alice feels a pang in her heart and immediately senses that Cyrus is dying. Alice and the former sultan arrive onto the scene to find Amara casting the spell with Jafar. Alice cradles Cyrus in her arms as Jafar’s eyes turn white with increasing power.
The ominous event they’ve been trying to prevent has now come to pass and it may be their only hope in saving Ana and Cyrus’ lives.
Whoa! I really didn’t expect back-to-back deaths on ‘Wonderland.’ Jafar is so evil! This is quite the cliffhanger going into the series finale. I’m not sure how they will be able to wrap everything up in one last episode.
Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis always clarified that this show focused on Cyrus and Alice’s love story. Given the finale’s title, “And they lived…” I really hope Alice and Cyrus get their happily ever after.
I also believe Will deserves to live happily ever after. Despite Ana’s mistakes, she did truly love him and redeemed herself in the end. It may be a long shot. The promo for the finale shows that Jafar brings Ana back to life and uses her against Will. Can Ana and Will live happily ever after? Or are they destined to live in heartbreak?
Do you hope to see the cast of ‘Wonderland’ appear on ‘OUAT’? Should ABC give ‘OUAT’ other spin-off in based on a different fairytale? What story would you like to see on the small screen?
How do you feel about the episodes leading up to the finale? Were you hoping to learn more about these characters’ pasts? Are you surprised by the turns their stories have taken? What do you hope to see before the series ends?
On the finale episode of ‘Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’:
Here is ABC’s official description for “And they lived…” Beware of spoilers, especially in the guest star listing:
The all-powerful Jafar succeeds in making his father love him and forcing Anastasia into thinking she loves him. After Alice, Amara and Cyrus escape, Jafar imprisons the Jabberwocky and calls upon an army of dead soldiers to do his bidding. Meanwhile, Alice and the White Rabbit raise their own army to fight Jafar for the realm and a final confrontation between Alice and Jafar takes place at the Well of Wonders on the season finale of “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” THURSDAY, APRIL 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” stars Sophie Lowe as Alice, Michael Socha as Knave of Hearts, Peter Gadiot as Cyrus, Emma Rigby as The Red Queen with Naveen Andrews as Jafar and John Lithgow as the voice of the White Rabbit.
“And They Lived…” guest stars include Peta Sergeant as the Jabberwocky, Zuleikha Robinson as Amara, Raza Jaffrey as Taj, Whoopi Goldberg as Mrs. Rabbit, Brian George as Old Prisoner, Benjamin Wilkinson as White Knight, Toby Levins as Sentry, Christian Bower as Jafar’s Guard, Leah Gibson as Nyx, Dejan Loyola as Rafi, Shaun Smyth as Edwin, Heather Doerksen as Sarah, Ben Cotton as Tweedle #2, Kylie Rogers as Millie and Amelia Wilkinson as Alice’s Daughter.
“And They Lived” was written by Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Zack Estrin and directed by Kari Skogland.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE
Entertainment Weekly exclusively reports that Michael Socha’s Knave of Hearts will become a series regular on ‘Once Upon A Time’ if the show gets picked up for a fourth season:
This is not yet a done deal because Once Upon has not been officially renewed. While the Sunday fantasy drama is considered a lock by insiders to return, ABC hasn’t announced any of their 2014-15 pick-ups yet.
Wonderland fans, your wish is close to coming true: The Knave of Hearts is headed to Storybrooke. Actor Michael Socha is expected to join Once Upon a Time as a series regular next season.
When the order comes in, we’re told producers will exercise their option to bring aboard Socha, who charmed viewers on Once Upon‘s spin-off this season Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
This is great news! I’ve been a fan of Michael Socha ever since he played Tom on UK’s ‘Being Human’ and he has been my favorite part of ‘OUAT in Wonderland’. Will’s charismatic personality and general likability makes this decision a no-brainer. No that Robin Hood is part of the gang, I think it would be a clever way to introduce Will to the ‘OUAT’ crew. After all, if everybody in Storybrooke got sent back to their home, Will Scarlet could’ve been reunited with Robin Hood and his merry men during their lost year in Fairy Tale Land. Of course there are a lot of other fun/creative ways to bring him in, but this is the first/obvious choice that came to mind.
Does this news ease the pain of ‘Wonderland’s’ cancellation? What are your theories on Will’s introduction to the ‘OUAT’ gang?
Watch the series finale of ‘Once Upon a Time in Wonderland’ this Thursday, April 3 at 8 p.m. on ABC.