Once Upon a Time in Wonderland recap: A Message and a Bottle

Alice and the Knave set off to find Cyrus's magical home -- with the Red Queen and Jafar hot on their trail
Ep. 02 | Aired Oct 17, 2013

THE RETURN OF JAFAR He's... ecstatic.

Jeff Weddell/ABC

Good thing Silvermist chose a drop spot that's within spitting distance of an enormous, curiously mute Mock Turtle! When Alice jumps out of Silvermist's magic bubble to save the Knave, she quickly drags her pal onto the turtle's back, then threatens it with a sword until it takes them to the other side of the lake. I like this girl; she gets stuff done. It will be a little difficult to believe that Wonderland is as dangerous as we keep being told it is, though, if Alice and the Knave keep getting out of (occasionally literal) sticky situations so easily.

Anywho, Alice and the Knave arrive at the Mimsy Meadows only to find that they've got company: the dastardly Jafar, still looking and sounding utterly ridiculous as he unleashes a horde of scarab beetles to dig for the magical bottle. He's learned of its location from the Red Queen, who has spent all her scenes thus far pouting and purring and stopping just short of telling Mr. DeMille she's ready for her close-up. (The queen got her intel from Rabbit John Lithgow, who's still secretly spying for her.)

Ah, but here comes Twist the Fourth: Alice has been lying about the bottle's whereabouts this whole time! She told the fib hoping that it would get back to any of her mysterious opponents, then hoofed it to the Mimsy Meadows to see who would show up so she'd know who she's up against. Clever girl. Can we maybe skip the rest of these shenanigans and just watch a series about Alice being awesome and the Knave cracking jokes?

Having learned Jafar's identity, Alice leads the Knave to where Cyrus's bottle is truly hidden -- a sculpture garden where there is of course a "dandy lion" made of dandelions in the shape of an actual big cat. But much to her surprise, the bottle has already been dug up. How? Well, turns out the Red Queen knew its actual location all along, because the Rabbit told her where it really was. And how did the Rabbit know where it really was? Because he... happened to be standing nearby when Alice and Cyrus buried it in the first place. Wait -- seriously? (Yes, seriously.)

So much for steely determination. Alice reacts to the missing bottle by throwing herself a full-on pity party, complete with figurative black balloons and a Cake of Sadness. Could all really be lost, so soon after the series' beginning?

NEXT: Don't be silly!

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