"To Catch a Thief" is the 12th episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
In flashback, Will hunts Alice per Cora's directive and he finds himself striking a deal to get his heart back, while in present day Wonderland, Alice and Will's friendship is tested as he does Jafar's bidding and steals from her. Meanwhile, the Jabberwocky attempts to free herself from Jafar's control and Jafar is confronted by his former partner.
Previously in Wonderland...
Anastasia tells Alice, Cyrus and Will that the four of them are no match for Jafar's magic, and if he completes his spell, his power is going to become unstoppable. ("Dirty Little Secrets") Jafar places the three genie bottles beside one another and says, "So... let's begin," referring to his spell; he proceeds to open his spell book. ("Heart of the Matter") Having been revived, Amara asks to look at her three children - Cyrus, Taj and Rafi - commenting that they're her brave and beautiful sons. ("Dirty Little Secrets") In the dungeons of the Red Queen's former palace, Jafar tells Anastasia, his prisoner, that he had a partner once upon a time named Amara, but he found another use for her. ("Dirty Little Secrets") Jafar sees Amara, a powerful sorceress, walking through the market place of Agrabah. He is later seen having transformed her into a serpent, going on to solidify her to form his staff. ("The Serpent") Alice sees that the needle of Cyrus' Lost and Found is following him, but he points out that it's actually following Jafar's staff, which they stole. He adds that his mother always said that the compass would one day lead him back to her, leading him to believe that she's in the staff. ("Heart of the Matter") Jafar, who's holding Will's heart, warns the Knave that what he's about to do may sting a bit, before plunging it into his chest; Will screams with pain. Soon, Will is locked back in his cell whilst Jafar holds a knife to Anastasia, pointing out that she's made all her wishes and so he has no reason to keep her alive. He stabs her in the gut, killing her, whilst a dismayed Will screams in devastation. ("Heart of the Matter")
The Red Queen is laid to rest.
A solemn Will stands helplessly in his cell within the dungeons of the Red Queen's palace, whilst Jafar comments that love makes people do the maddest things. The Knave requests that he goes away, but the sorcerer ignores him, going on to point out that Anastasia went through so much to get him back and it's a pity that things didn't work out. As he does so, the shot reveals Ana's dead body to be lying peacefully within a glass coffin; she has been clothed in a lavish red dress and a single red rose rests atop her corpse. "A pity..." Will repeats in a croaky tone, and Jafar says that the Red Queen looks beautiful in her current state, like she's only asleep, like you could almost reach out and wake her up. When Jafar leans in towards the coffin, having moved round it, Will begins insanely banging against the bars of his cell, ordering his captor not to touch his dead lover. "I like you with your heart in your chest," Jafar comments, adding that he imagines Will must want to kill him for what he did. The Knave tells the dark magician that he should open up his cell and find out, but Jafar merely stares back at him.
Jafar talks of a way to bring back Anastasia.
The former Sultan of Agrabah, who's in a cell of his own on the other side of the dungeon, asks if Jafar hasn't tortured the boy enough, begging that his son show Will some mercy. Jafar sarcastically retorts that his father would be an expert on the subject of "mercy", and the Sultan explains that he's learned the error of his ways, but he's waiting for Jafar to learn anything at all. The latter then says he's going to give Will something better than mercy; he's going to give him hope... if he agrees to one small favor. The Knave spits on the ground, telling Jafar that, if he thinks he'd ever help him, he's madder than the hatter. Jafar recounts that, when he was a young boy, he lost someone he loved (see "Bad Blood"), and he can still remember exactly how it felt: the cold rushing in like the fabric of the world had ripped in half. Again looking down at Ana's body, he approaches Will and asks, "What if I told you there was a way to sew it back together again? To bring back Anastasia?" But Will replies that Jafar is a lying bastard, leading the sorcerer to tell him that he's half correct. He then tells the Knave to ask himself: what if there is the chance, no matter how small, to see her again? Will then looks towards Ana's slumbering body, considering what's being said to him, whilst Jafar points out that the Red Queen risked everything for him. The Sultan begs Will not to listen to Jafar, but the magician says that he thinks he'll do more than listen, for when a man is provided with the right motivation, there's no telling what he might do. Will just continues to look down at his true love's corpse.
SOME TIME AGO...
Will Scarlet, the Knave of Hearts.
In Wonderland of the past, a team of soldiers dedicated to the Queen of Hearts is seen marching their way through the forest, led by a captain, beside which is Will, the Queen's Knave. He sarcastically comments how lovely it is, being in horrible conditions, and wonders if anyone knows a good marching song. When no one replies, he wonders aloud what these people enjoy more, the frostbite or the conversation. The captain begs Will to stop talking and he says that he'd like to stop walking, but the Queen of Hearts ordered him to so now he has to. As he's saying this, the captain grabs him by the throat and turns him so that they're face to face; he tells the Knave to listen, explaining that they're hunting the most dangerous criminal in Wonderland who has killed plenty of men, women and children and has been evading trained soldiers for weeks, he asks how Will is going to help them. "By paying attention," the Knave replies, but the captain wonders what he's referring to, leading Will to reply, "The campfire you're standing in." He looks down and finally spots the freshly put-out campfire on the ground, meaning the criminal is close. The captain tells this to his men and orders them to spread out and show no mercy, for they shall receive none from this monster. A twig is then heard snapping in the distance and the soldiers all spot the figure running through the woods; each of them draw their swords and begin running after the supposed criminal. They split up, meaning Will is the only one with a clear path to the cloaked bandit, who continues to run away. After a long chase through the woods, the Knave comes to a stop and draws his own sword, looking around for signs of the murderer.
And Alice, the notorious murderer.
He suddenly begins running again, catching wind of their location, but his feet get caught up in some vines and he ends up tumbling down a hill, dropping his weapon as he goes. The hooded criminal then draws their own sword, pointing it at the floored Knave's neck. "You're quite clumsy for a soldier," says the voice of Alice, and Will, seeing her face, points out that she's a little young to be a murderer. Alice asks if this is what the Queen of Hearts says she is and the Knave replies that she used a few other nasty words as well, but, given the circumstances, he hopes she's wrong. Alice assures him that she is wrong, withdrawing her hood and retracting her sword, and the Knave stands up, straightening out his uniform. She tells him that he should be a little more selective with who he takes orders from, addressing him as "soldier", but he informs her that he isn't a soldier. She wonders who he is then, but Will refuses to tell, saying that he doesn't have to. She then points her sword at his throat, again asking who he is, and he admits to being the Queen's Knave, much to Alice's amusement. "A Knave?" she questions, "Kind of like a court jester?" Will denies this, saying that he's more like a Jack of all trades, but comments that he's apparently the master of none. He warns her to watch her tongue, or else she'll lose that as well as her head, but she points out the redundancy in that, leading him to point out in turn that it depends which one is severed first. "See you around, Knave of Hearts," she says, retracting her weapon again before running off into the woods. He calls after her, assuring Alice that this isn't over and promising the young girl that they will be seeing each other again.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
Will makes a shocking proposal.
In their home in the Outlands, Cyrus is telling Alice that she has to understand, but she informs him that she does understand, she just doesn't agree. He explains that, to defeat Jafar, they need to free his brothers from their bottles, and to do that, they have to return the stolen water to the Well of Wonders. Alice asks if he believes that water to be in Jafar's staff, which is propped up against the bed, and Cyrus answers positively, saying that if his mother's in there then the water rests with her. Alice suggests freeing her, adding that she would do anything for the chance to see her mother again, but Cyrus reminds his fiancée that he defied the fates once before and was cursed into a bottle for hundreds of years; he would sacrifice his own life, but not a life with her. She smiles briefly and stands up from the bed, telling Cyrus that, if he's certain, they are to set off at first light. "Set off where?" Will Scarlet asks as he enters the invisible tent, and Alice appears ecstatic to see him, running up to and hugging him with glee, commending him on having gotten away. She comments that she never thought she'd be so happy to see his face, but when she notices how sad he seems, she asks what's wrong. With great pain, he reveals that Anastasia is dead, having been stabbed by Jafar who returned Will's heart to his chest and made him watch her die. Shocked, Alice offers her condolences, and gives the Knave another hug. She assures him that both she and Cyrus are there for him, and he asks them if they mean it, which Alice confirms. He then tells her that there's something she could do; something which would truly, actually make things better. When she asks him what this is, he reveals, "Remember when I said anything's possible in Wonderland? Well, turns out I was right: we can bring Anastasia back to life. There's just one catch... we have to let Jafar win."
How very Snowing.
In flashback, Alice is seen sleeping on the forest ground in Wonderland, still in her hooded outfit. Someone is watching her from behind the trees, and the shot pans to reveal Will, in his Knave of Hearts uniform, who slowly makes his way towards her. He sneakily draws a dagger from his boot and prepares to kill who he's hunting, but as he takes a few more steps forward, a trap is suddenly sprung and he finds himself hanging between trees in a net. The noise wakes Alice up and she realizes with disdain who her attacker is, unhappy to be faced with him again. He seems annoyed also, telling her how uncomfortable the net is, but she appears gladdened by this, hoping that this time the Knave could learn his lesson. He reaches his dagger through the holes of the net and tries swiping it at her, but she's too far away for him to reach. She simply stands there, bemused, and comments, "Apparently not." She then grabs a large stick from the ground and whacks the Knave's wrist with it, causing him to howl in pain as his dagger falls to the ground. He angrily tells her that that hurt, and as she moves the dagger out of his reach, she says that that's good, because it was supposed to. She then tells him that he's making her wonder why she keeps sparing his life when he is continuously trying to take hers, and he admits to wondering the same thing, given her history. Alice is surprised to learn she even has a history, trying to explain that all she did was try and pick a Weeping Willow from the Queen's garden, and Will says that he actually believes her.
Alice believes that Will deserves a second chance.
"Good," she replies, however, he soon adds, "But I still have to kill you!" And with that, he reaches his hands through the holes of his net and begins trying to grab her, to absolutely no avail. She asks him why, and he reveals that he doesn't have a choice, leading her to say that everybody does. "Not me," he assures her, and Alice, pondering, says that she's heard of people like him, wondering if the Queen of Hearts took his heart. The Knave answers positively, adding that, in hindsight, it wasn't one of his better ideas, and Alice is shocked to learn that he asked her to. He explains that it's a long story and he didn't quite know what it all entailed, gesturing the net he's in. Alice realizes this means he has to do whatever the Queen says, and he again confirms it. She comments that this is a predicament, knowing that she can't leave the Knave where he is and she can't have him running around trying to kill her either, but says that maybe there's a way to both get what they want. He wonders what she means, and she answers, "What if I... stole your heart back?" He laughs at the prospect, much to her annoyance, and she demands to know what is so funny. Will assures her that nothing is, but that she's obviously not a very good thief; she asks who this is obvious to, and he replies, "A thief." He goes on to tell her that the first rule of thievery is that thieves never work alone, something she clearly doesn't know, but she points out that she works alone and still managed to get the drop on him... twice. The Knave argues that she got lucky - twice - before revealing that his heart is locked in the Queen's vault, guarded by her best men, wondering why Alice would take a risk like that just for him. She shrugs, telling him that everybody deserves a second chance.
Will's plan isn't well-received.
"Aren't you the one who told me 'everyone deserves a second chance'?" Will asks Alice in the present day, still in the Outlands, quoting a sentence the audience just heard her utter in flashback. Alice barely has time to reply before Will states that this is Anastasia's second chance - if they give that staff back to Jafar then he'll change the laws of magic. Cyrus points out that that's exactly what they've been trying to prevent, but Will, not knowing if Cyrus has been paying close enough attention, argues that the situation's changed. He turns back to Alice, admitting that it sounds like a bad plan, but she corrects him in saying that it sounds like an awful plan, leading him to ask if she's got a better one. Alice assures him that they want to help, but the Knave, whilst wanting to believe that, points out that neither of them are doing anything. Will begs for Cyrus to hand over the staff, saying that he would do it if they were true friends, but Cyrus apologizes, saying that he can't. Alice appears saddened, and Will then pleads with her, but she too tells him that they cannot do what he's asking. She adds an apology, and Will comments that "this is how it is", causing Alice to explain that, even if Jafar kept his end of the bargain - then what? Yes, Ana would be alive, but many others would die because of it; they can't give someone so evil that kind of power. "I'd do anything for you... I just can't do that," she finishes, leaving Will devastated. He turns to Cyrus, but the former genie remains silent. The Knave then admits that Alice is right, saying that he was thinking with his heart as opposed to his head and hasn't had the option in a while, commenting that sometimes you just need a friend to set you straight. She tries forcing a smile, before asking Will if he'd like to come with her and Cyrus, who are trekking to the Well of Wonders, "where this all started, and where it's going to end". He supposes he could go on one last adventure and get some fresh air before Jafar puts him back in the bottle, and Alice says it'll be for old time's sake whilst Cyrus straps the staff to his back. They leave the tent together, with the Knave keeping his eye on the serpent.
The Jabberwocky's fears are highlighted for a change.
In the Red Queen's palace, Jafar is flicking through his spell book whilst the Jabberwocky asks him if he knows that everybody's fear has its own unique scent. She goes on to tell him that his fear smells like pine needles in the snow, before discreetly reaching for the vorpal blade. Spotting her movement, Jafar grabs it first and aims it at her belly, telling her that, should she sneak up on him like that again, he'll pin her up to the ceiling for another thousand years. She points out that, if he's tired of her, he can just give her the vorpal blade like he promised, and she'll be on her way, but Jafar tells her that she'll only get the weapon back when he's finished the spell, not before. She reveals that his words say one thing, but his fears say another: he's worried he won't be able to complete the spell, because he needs another sorcerer for that; he's wondering why his staff wasn't able to harm Cyrus and thinking it might have something to do with the one inside, Amara. He tells her that she mistakes curiosity for fear, before explaining the difference between the two of them, which is that he doesn't need to get inside her head to know what she's afraid of because she wears it on that tortured face of hers: she's afraid that he won't live up to his end of the bargain, and she'll be his slave for as long as they both shall live. "The thought had crossed my mind," the Jabberwocky utters after hesitation, and he replies, "Good. Now let's see if there's a way for you to keep my fears from coming true. And then maybe, just maybe, I'll consider doing the same for yours." She appears angered as he walks away from her.
Will decides to steal Jafar's staff.
In Wonderland's forest at nighttime, Alice and Cyrus are seen sleeping on the ground near a river, with Jafar's staff propped up against one of the magic mushrooms. Will is nearby, laying awake, and continues to eye the staff. Seeing his chance, he removes his blankets and approaches where Cyrus sleeps, hoping to retrieve the serpent-headed treasure, but as soon as he lays a hand on it, the former genie wakes up and grabs his wrist, saying that, if he didn't know better, he'd say Will was trying to steal that. "So what if I am, mate?" Will retorts, and the disappointed Cyrus reminds the Knave that Alice trusts him, unlike him, and it'll break her heart to find out about this. Will assures him that Alice is a tough girl and will be fine, but Cyrus offers the Knave a chance to return to bed and pretend like this never happened. "I was never really good at pretending," Will says, before launching his fist in Cyrus' face.
Alice steals back Will's heart.
In the palace mazes of the Queen of Hearts, Alice is seen standing behind a hedge, peering her head over to look at the four regimented guards standing outside the Queen's Chamber of Hearts, where the Knave's heart is being kept. She counts down from three, at which point the guards turn simultaneously, with two of them marching round one side of the chamber and the other two marching round the other side. When they do so, Alice runs towards it but hides behind a potted plant, waiting for the guards to resume their position round the front. They soon do so, at which point she sneaks round the large plant, managing to follow one of the guards and pickpocket his keys before counting down from three again. The guards turn to face forward, and Alice quickly hides behind one of the chamber's pillars. Alice again counts down from three and the guards take a step forward, allowing her room to approach the chamber's doors and use the key she stole to unlock them whilst the soldiers' backs are turned. They turn as she does so, beginning another routine march round the chamber, but she enters without being seen, closing the doors behind her. She is then shocked to be faced with rows upon rows of drawers, all of which contain hearts. "Lovely," she comments, "Now which one of these drawers holds the Knave's heart?" She soon begins to notice writing on the front of each drawer, reading things such as "3.H", "7.S" and "Q.S", which leads her to realize that they're marked like a deck of cards. She begins searching for "K.H", thinking it will house the Knave of Hearts' heart, but quickly realizes that "K" would stand for King. She wonders what a Knave would be in terms of cards and soon remembers Will describing himself as "the Jack of all trades", her eyes settling on the drawer marked "J.H". She slides it open and removes the small chest from within, opening it to reveal the Knave's glowing heart.
Cyrus begins searching for the Knave.
In the present day, Cyrus wakes Alice, who continues to slumber on the forest ground by the stream. She senses urgency and wonders what happened, but Cyrus simply rubs his face in pain, allowing Alice to realize herself that Will is missing, as well as Jafar's staff. She asks how long ago he stole it and Cyrus informs her that it was a few minutes at most; she stands to her feet, saying she can't believe what Will did, and apologizes to her fiancé for trusting the Knave. He points out that she was merely putting her faith in a friend and that this was Will's mistake, not hers, but fortunately, he made another mistake. With this, Cyrus pulls his mother's Lost and Found from his inside pocket, explaining that, as long as Will has the staff, this will lead them right to him. Alice, grabbing her sword, wonders what they are to do if they catch him, but Cyrus says that, when they catch him, they will ask him politely to return the it to them, and if he doesn't, then they will take it back. The couple sets off, following the direction of the magic compass' needle.
Jafar questions Cyrus' brothers.
Jafar strolls through the Red Queen's throne room and hastily uses his magic to open the crate containing all three genies' lamps; he takes out Taj's and Rafi's and again uses his magic to force them from their bottles, causing them to appear before him in clouds of orange smoke. The latter seems happy to be free after all these years, but he soon recognizes Jafar standing before him, demanding to know what the evil sorcerer wants. He asks who said he wanted anything, leading Taj to point out that, in all these years, he never once let them out of the bottles, but Jafar retorts that he's never been interested in them before now. He begins to walk around them, explaining that he's curious about the woman who first taught him about genies - whose name was Amara - and wonders if either of the genies before him have ever heard of her. After hesitation, Rafi answers negatively, and Jafar asks if he's sure, informing them that she spent quite some time searching for them and Cyrus. Taj points out that many others have done the same, for genies are rather desirable, and Jafar replies, "Indeed." He then approaches their bottles, ready to put them back in, and they appear surprised that that was all he wanted. He confirms this, saying that he didn't bring them out for their conversation; all he really needed was to get a look at them. The dark magician smiles in a sinister manner, and the two brothers look uneasy.
Over in the woods, Will is running with Jafar's staff strapped to his back, clumsily trying to make his way back to the Red Queen's palace. He soon stops and utters, "Oh, bollocks," signifying that he's gotten lost, soon deciding on one one way before stopping again.
Elsewhere in the woods, Cyrus and Alice are following the former's Lost and Found, but it keeps leading them from left to right to left again.
Meanwhile, Will approaches a tree but ends up backtracking on his route, turning around and heading the other way. He stops again, still lost, and comments, "Double bollocks."
Cyrus and Alice, aided by the compass, continue to zigzag from left to right, leading the former to comment that Will is taking a very strange route. Alice recalls that navigation was never the Knave's strong suit, but Cyrus soon spots him through some trees, leading Will to quickly run away, frightened. Alice begs him to wait as she and Cyrus begin to chase after him, before pointing out to her fiancé that if they split up then they can box the Knave in. Cyrus runs uphill whereas Alice runs downhill, and Will just runs away. Alice soon finds herself at the edge of a cliff, stopping herself before she runs into the river below, and Will grabs her from behind, putting a knife to her throat. They greet each other, and she points out that he's not as clumsy as he used to be as he draws her sword from her sheath and takes it from her, before backing away. She turns to him, defenseless, and wonders what happens now; he tells her that, despite it not making sense, he loves Anastasia, and Alice assures him that she understands. Will denies this, saying that he finally got his heart back and now she's asking him not to use it before pointing out that he went to the ends of the Earth for her and Cyrus, risked his neck a dozen times, but she argues that that's different. He wonders why, but Alice can't answer, and the Knave tells her what her problem is: she thinks her love story is the only one worth fighting for. As he turns to leave, he orders her not to follow him, and the saddened Alice tries to go after him, asking him to wait. However, she trips on a stray root and falls off the cliff, into the river below. From afar, Will hears the splash and runs to Alice's aid. She calls his name and he calls hers, before jumping in to rescue her.
Heart to heart.
Alice and Will, both very wet, sit beside a campfire as the former drains water from her hair. She looks at her friend and happily comments that he saved her, but he points out that she'd have done the same for him, and, now that he thinks about it, she has. Alice smiles, before recalling that fact that Will doesn't know how to swim (see "Trust Me"), and he replies that he doesn't know how to lose her either, but there's no telling what a man will do when he's provided with the right motivation. She smiles again, and she admits to him being right, which he agrees with; she goes on to say that, no matter how bad things got or how much danger he had to go through, he stood by her until she and Cyrus were back together. They always found a way to survive, and Alice recites: "The best thieves never work alone." Will jokingly forgets saying such a thing, and Alice tells him that he deserves the right to fight for his own love story, but helping Jafar is not the way. He agrees with this, telling her that she's right, but that he thought... "You thought you were alone," Alice finishes for him, "But you're not."
Alice has some fun.
In flashback, Will swings back and forth in the net Alice left him in, trying his best to grab onto a branch at either side, but he keeps failing. Soon enough, Alice herself arrives on the scene and witnesses what her prisoner is trying to do, before simply slicing through the rope with her sword and causing him to tumble onto the floor. She removes her hood whilst he struggles to his feet, telling his new comrade that a bit of warning wouldn't have hurt - not as much as the ground, anyway. However, she ignores him and states that she has good news: the Queen of Hearts no longer controls him. "Oh, is that so?" Will asks, grabbing a log from the ground and attempting to strike Alice with it. She ducks and pushes him into a tree, making him yelp in pain when he bashes his face on the hard bark. She says she doesn't understand, pulling his glowing heart from her bag, and he says that he doesn't understand it either, but he still feels like he has to kill her. He then offers her a head start, but she tells him she doesn't want that, leading him to ask what she does want. "I want you to stop trying to kill me!" she exclaims, and with that, his mind is changed and the urge is gone; he tells her that that did the trick, and she seems happy that the Knave is done coming after her. He outstretches his hand, requesting his heart, but she doesn't allow him access, retracting it. She realizes that, if she possesses his heart, she can make him do whatever she wants, and so she orders him to stand on one foot. He does so, much to her amusement, and he again requests his heart, saying that she's had her fun. However, her fun isn't over, and she tells him to flap his arms like a chicken. He again begins doing so whilst she laughs hysterically, but he points out that, just because he's not ordered to kill her anymore, doesn't mean he can't. After a few more moments of flapping his arms like a chicken, Alice tells him to stop, before ordering, "Help me show my father I'm not crazy. Help me find proof, so he can see that Wonderland is real." He asks if that's what she wants, and she replies, "More than anything," leading him to say, "Right then. Let's go get you your proof."
The Jabberwocky comes out to play.
Back in the present, Alice, Cyrus and Will are trekking through Wonderland's forest; each one of them is carrying a flaming torch and Cyrus once again has Jafar's staff strapped to his back. He thanks the Knave for rescuing Alice and Will wonders if this makes them even, which Cyrus confirms. The Knave then offers to give the former genie a free swing, to make up for the punch he earlier gave, but Cyrus passes up this opportunity, leading Will to assure him that he doesn't mind. Cyrus again refuses, and Will wonders if this is because he's a "lover not a fighter, and all that", but the former replies that he simply doesn't want to carry Will around for the next five hours. Alice orders the two of them to stop, listening out for something, but Cyrus says he hears nothing. "Exactly," says Alice, "The Jabberwocky... she's here." Her fiancé asks if he's sure, but when he does so, an ominous wind blows their torches out, confirming the dark creature's presence. Alice orders her to show herself, and soon enough, their flames relight and the Jabberwocky approaches from behind, warning them to be careful what they wish for. They turn to her, and Alice assures the beast that she doesn't scare them, but Jabber points out that she knows what does. Cyrus draws a dagger and puts it to the Jabberwocky's throat, telling her not to take another step forward or else he'll take her head clean off her shoulders. She asks if that's any way to talk to a lady, proceeding to stroking his head with her long-nailed fingers and wonder aloud what his mother would think.
And now it's Amara's turn.
He replies that she doesn't know anything about his mother, and Will warns his friend not to let the Jabberwocky get in his head because she's poisonous. She turns to him, but doesn't say a word, and Alice wonders why Jafar would send Jabber if he knows they're there. Jabber then reveals that Jafar knows nothing and that she is there on her own accord, going on to say that her affinity to Jafar is less than deflate, and Alice asks the beast what she wants. "I want what anybody wants," she says, "Freedom." But Alice says that the Jabberwocky's freedom is neither a priority nor a concern to them, before spitefully wishing the dark creature the best of luck. She turns around, only to be faced by Jabber, much to her fright. The Jabberwocky tells Alice not to be a fool or else she'll end up buried in a dungeon with her fair-haired friend, and a glass coffin can only delay decay for so long. Will calls Jabber a "bloody monster", and she replies that nobody's born a monster, they're made; the products of a cruel world filled with cruel people. She then admits to feeding on fear but points out that, should Jafar be removed from Wonderland, then fear will leave with him, and with nothing left to eat she'll be forced to simply... move on. "Isn't that what everybody wants?" she asks, but Cyrus reveals that they want more than just to defeat Jafar, and Alice turns to Will as she says that they want to bring back the Queen, so unless the Jabberwocky can help them with that, she is of no use to them. "I'm sorry," says Jabber, "I can't help you with that... but she can." Everyone then looks at where the dark creature is staring - Jafar's staff, inside which Amara is trapped; her eyes glow gold.
Chug a lug!
Back in time, Alice and Will clink tankards within some sort of tavern, before downing them simultaneously. Alice manages to chug hers the fastest, slamming her empty tankard down on the table as a sign that she's finished. Will quickly does the same and checks her tankard's definitely empty, commenting that he thought she didn't like to drink. She says she doesn't, but she does like to win, and Will moves his tankard aside, saying that he used to love throwing back a pint, but these days, it's just not the same; "You might say my heart is not in it." Alice apologizes, this being a clear reference to her still having possession of his heart, and adds that he must think she's a terrible person for holding on to it. However, he points out that she could make him do anything she wanted and yet she allowed him to come out for a cold beer; she's fighting to hold on to her father - the only family she's got left - and if that makes her a terrible person, then he wishes everyone was as terrible as her.
Alice gives Will his heart back.
She smiles, saying she doesn't know why she still need to find proof for him after all these years, and the Knave states that she's stubborn, before belching. "Exactly," she replies, and Will proceeds to inform her that he grew up with a very stubborn girl, who always think they're the best kind. Alice wonders if this girl was an old flame, but Will answers negatively, explaining that she was his sister, Penelope, who was four years younger and better at almost anything; "We had a lake by our cottage, and in the winter it would freeze over. We used to spend hours, days even, out on that lake. But all it takes is one second. One thin patch of ice and your whole life changes forever... I always wondered what she'd be like if she grew up. Maybe I think... she'd have been a bit like you." Alice offers her condolences, saddened by this story, and says she knows what it's like to lose someone, having endured her own mother's death. She then takes the small chest containing his heart out of her bag and puts it on the table, saying that it's not right for her to hold on to it. "Bloody hell," he utters as he opens it up, taking a look at his glowing, beating heart. He then closes the lid and expresses surprise that Alice is just giving it back to him, and she tells him that finding proof for her father is her problem, so she can't drag him into it, she needs to do it alone. She grabs her bag and stands up, but Will stops her, wondering if she's forgotten already: "The best thieves never work alone." She smiles.
In the present, Alice and Will use all their strength to pull a grate from the outside wall of the Red Queen's palace, throwing it to one side and freeing up a large vent. The Knave then notices that Alice is counting, and wonders if she's been doing so the whole time. She answers positively, reminding him that they need to time this out perfectly, and Will asks if she's still counting right now whilst talking to him. She snaps that she's trying to, leading him to ask if it would be better if he shut up. "If you don't mind," she says, "Three-hundred and nineteen, three-hundred and twenty, okay, go!" Will then climbs into the vent and begins crawling through, soon followed by Alice, who continues to count.
Cyrus is presented as a gift for Jafar.
Meanwhile, Cyrus, whose hands are tied up with rope, is led through the palace's entrance hall by the Jabberwocky, who's pulling on the rope like a leash. She calls out for Jafar, who soon emerges, and says that she brought him a treat, referring to the captive Cyrus. Jafar inspects the former genie, telling his servant that this isn't what he ordered, but she points out that he could be quite valuable to them, and, she might add, a worthy payment in exchange for the Vorpal Blade. Jafar ignores this last comment, further approaching Cyrus and telling the Jabberwocky that she could be right. He then says that Cyrus has something that belongs to him - his staff - and demands to know where it is. Cyrus simply spits in the sorcerer's face, much to his rage, and receives a hard punch after it's wiped away. Jafar grabs Cyrus by the lapels and suggests that they try that again, but Cyrus tells him that his stick is long gone, as are Alice and the Knave. Jafar asks Jabber if their prisoner is telling the truth, and she begins to consider him, revealing that he fears the consequences, but yes, he is. She then gives Cyrus a brief smile, out of Jafar's view, confirming that this is all a ploy. Jafar simply stares at his prisoner, saying it's a good thing he still has him, and as for the Knave, he has his bottle, which is all he needs to bring him back no matter how far he runs. He then snaps his fingers which causes two of his guards to approach; they seize Cyrus and carry him away to the dungeons. Once they're gone, the Jabberwocky asks about herself, wondering what will become of her, but Jafar simply tells her to sit tight like a good little girl and he'll let her know when her services are required. He walks away, and she looks incredibly angry.
Lying in wait...
In the dungeons, Alice and Will are standing, out if view, in wait, whilst Jafar's guards walk around, unknowing. Alice wonders if it's too hard for her friend to be there, with Anastasia's corpse lying in a glass coffin not far away, but Will says that it's good because it helps him remember why they're doing something as crazy as this. Alice continues her countdown, saying it's almost time, and asks the Knave if he's ready. He simply replies with the same question, pointing out that, once they start, there's no turning back and no telling what's going to happen to either of them. "Just be careful," Alice warns, but he says, "Come on. That's never really be either of our styles, has it?" She agrees, and he takes her hand, comfortingly, saying that he'll see her soon. Alice reciprocates, before finishing her countdown completely; "It's time." With that, Will steps out and casually approaches Anastasia's coffin, stroking the edges and looking inside. The former Sultan of Agrabah sees this and stands up in his cell, surprised, whilst Will tells his beloved that they're almost there. Soon, one of Jafar's guards spots him and asks what the hell he's doing, to which Will replies that he's paying his respects, wondering if the two knights mind. The guard tries to grab him, but Will evades capture, running out of the dungeon and up a flight of stairs; both guards follow, leaving the dungeon safe for Alice, who's ready to come out of hiding.
In the throne room, the captive Cyrus finishes a countdown of his own, and we briefly cut to the Knave being chased down the palace halls by Jafar's men.
Alice frees the Sultan.
Back down in the dungeons, Alice emerges and grabs a set of keys from the wall, using them to unlock the Sultan's cell. She points out that they haven't met, going to introduce herself, but he reveals that he knows who she is. She goes on to mention that Cyrus said he's of great importance to Jafar, and if she frees him, then he'll help them. The cell door then opens, and the Sultan wonders what he'd be helping her with. "Making sure Jafar never hurts anyone again," she reveals, and the old prisoner nods, following her out of the dungeons. The shot closes in on Anastasia's deceased face.
Cyrus continues to stand in the throne room, his hands still bound, whilst Jafar uses his magic to open the crate containing the genies' lamps. He takes out Will's bottle and points out that it must be strange for Cyrus to be outside the bottle looking in, but the latter only seems interested in the other two lamps, containing his brothers. Jafar goes on to say that he can't imagine what Cyrus' life must have been like, knowing at a moment's notice, no matter where he was, he could be yanked away by his master.
As this is said, Will continues being chased through he palace halls. He stops at a dead end, meaning all six guards catch up with him. They advance menacingly.
Jafar asks Cyrus if it hurts when one turns to dust, but Cyrus simply asks why Jafar doesn't call back his genie and ask. The sorcerer appears maddened.
"Sorry lads," says Will, whose continuously being backed into a dead end by Jafar's men, "I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got a bottle to catch. Any minute now..." The guards all draw their swords, and Will loudly repeats, "Any minute now!" A knight goes to strike him, much to his fright, but he turns to orange smoke and disappears before any harm can come to him.
In the same flurry of orange smoke, Will appears in the throne room, met by Cyrus and Jafar. He greets the latter in a sarcastically cheery manner, which only leads him to be strangled by the sorcerer's magic; he's lifted into the air as he clutches his throat for breath. Jafar demands to know where his staff is, or else he swears the Knave is to spend eternity in a cell, watching his precious Anastasia rot away until she's nothing but hair and bone. Will says nothing, and so Jafar tightens his magical grip, again demanding to know where his staff is. "Right behind you," says a familiar voice, and Jafar is highly surprised to be greeted by the human form of Amara. He utters her name whereas she simply stares back at him, determined.
Old friends catch up.
Jafar is still strangling Will via magic as Amara says hello, commenting that it's been a long time. She then clicks her fingers, causing Will to drop to the ground, relieved. Jafar is surprised that she's able to counteract his magic with such ease, and, as Cyrus rushes to the Knave's aid, Amara points out to her former student that this is between she and him, as such, the others should be left out of it. Cyrus asks Will where Alice is, whilst Jafar agrees to Amara's terms, before waving his hand and causing Will to return to his bottle in another flurry of orange smoke before he gets the opportunity to answer Cyrus' question. He puts a cork in the bottle, giving Amara the chance to look at her son, who nods at her, ensuring her that he's fine, and when she looks back at Jafar, the two of them begin walking in circles around one another. He says he's curious as to how she got out of that staff, and she reveals that she didn't teach him everything she knows. As their conversation moves forward, Cyrus stands up and begins to approach the crate containing his brothers' bottles, whilst Jafar tells his old teacher that she was safer when she was in the stick. "As were you," she retorts, before using her magic to make the throne come flying towards him from across the room. However, Jafar is fast, and he uses his own magic to destroy the throne before it has the chance to hit him; this act knocks over Will's bottle. He then tells Amara that she's going to have to do better than that, and she again looks briefly towards Cyrus, who begins working on untying his hands.
Meanwhile, a sword-toting Alice runs up the palace stairs, closely followed by the former Sultan of Agrabah. Multiple knights come from up and down the stairs, and so Alice tells the old prisoner to get back, despite him arguing that there's too many of them. However, one swipes a sword at her and she easily ducks under it, grabbing his hand and stealing his sword before shoving him to one side. She then uses her two swords to clash blades with other guards, many of which are flung out of her way or hit in the face by a hilt whilst she skillfully dodges all their attacks. She elbows a guard in the knows and uses his crouched body as a leaning post, swinging round and kicking one guard so that he becomes incapacitated, going on to clash swords with another. She then lifts the kicked guard and throws him into two others, causing all three of them to go tumbling down the stairs together. Only one knight remains standing now, but Alice quickly manages to slam him into a wall, knocking him out. The Sultan watches in amazement, asking the young woman how she learned to fight like that, and she reveals that Cyrus taught her. "It was a lucky day when you stumbled upon his bottle," the old prisoner points out, but Alice says that it was more than just luck, for she had a little help.
Alice sets off to meet Cyrus, not that she knows that.
In flashback, Alice and Will are doing battle with the Queen of Hearts' guards within her palace maze, and the former exclaims that she's never used a sword before, asking what she's meant to do. Will, who's doing well in his own fight, tells her to put the pointy end in the guy who's trying to kill her, but the guard simply uses his sword to knock hers out of her hand. She notes that there's a slight problem, and the guard tries to slice her with his weapon, however, she manages to grab him by the wrists and flip him into the maze wall, causing tendrils of hedge to reach out and absorb him. Seeing this, Alice asks the Knave if he did too, but he says he's a bit preoccupied at the moment, currently clashing blades with his former captain. Alice tells her friend to get his adversary close to the wall, and Will manages to dodge several attacks before kicking the knight in the gut and sending him flying into the hedge, which quickly begins to absorb him too. Alice tells her friend to grab the knight's bag, and Will manages to do so, taking the large pouch away from the captain before his hand is sucked into the wall as well. He hands the bag to Alice and tells her not to open it until she's home, for rabbits have a nasty habit of running off; in there is all the proof she needs for her father. Will tells Alice to take the bag - which contains the White Rabbit - whilst he distracts the guards, for it's time she got the hell out of Wonderland. Alice asks about his motto, "Thieves never work alone," but her assures her that a great girl such as herself won't be alone for very long, and he has a feeling her happy ending is right around the corner. Alice smiles, before running off through the maze, where she'll go on to meet Cyrus and fall in love (see "Down the Rabbit Hole"). Will watches as she goes.
Jafar and Amara do battle.
Will watches from the grate on the bottom of his fallen-over bottle as Jafar and Amara continue to confront one another. The latter tells her former student that he still has much to learn and proceeds to send a stream of purple smoke into the chandelier which then envelops it. Jafar watches in anticipation whilst Cyrus continues to try and untie himself, and sure enough, the chandelier falls from the ceiling and smashes loudly on the floor. The purple smoke that surrounds it then transforms the decorative item into a large, four-headed serpent, which tries to attack Jafar. One head opens its jaws and tries to bite him, but he manages to move out the way in time, meaning it only damages the already broken throne. Will continues to watch, interested, whilst Jafar uses his magic to set fire to the snakes, incinerating them in an instant. This angers Amara, who Jafar says needs a new bid for snakes are so common in her repertoire, adding that the years appear to have made her lazy. She chuckles, saying that he should have killed her when he had the chance, before quickly glancing over at her son, who's almost free of the rope around his wrists. The sorceress then remembers that he's unable to kill her because he needs the power of two sorcerers to complete his spell, and promises that this fight only ends when one of them dies, so, no matter who that is, he loses.
She then waves a hand which causes the Red Queen's mirror to magically smash, sending the many sharp shards into Jafar. However, he intercepts them with his own power, and the two magicians stand opposite one another as each tries with all their might to push the hovering shards into their opponent. Will watches apprehensively whilst Cyrus comes very close to being free. Jafar tells his old teacher that, after all these years, he's finally figured out what she was really after; it wasn't power, it's always the same story with sorcerers, at the end of the day, it all comes back to family. And with that, Jafar sends a large shard of mirror flying towards Cyrus, whose just managed to break free and discreetly take hold of his brothers' bottles. The shard hits him directly in the chest, and Amara worriedly screams her son's name. All other shards of mirror drop to the floor, as do the bottles in Cyrus' hands. The former genie looks down at the mirror in his chest, held in by Jafar's magic.
Whilst running up the stairs with the Sultan, Alice clutches her chest, in pain. She falls to the floor, feeling Cyrus' pain.
Cyrus is murdered by Jafar.
Meanwhile, in the throne room, Jafar uses his magic to twist the mirror shard within Cyrus' chest, making the wound even worse.
The Sultan wonders what's wrong with Alice, rushing to her head, but she simply continues to clutch her chest, knowing that her true love is hurt.
Finally, Jafar removes the piece of mirror, allowing the wounded Cyrus to fall to the ground. Amara rushes to his aid, turning him round, as Jafar watches.
"Cyrus..." Alice utters, before telling the Sultan to stay where he is whilst she ascends the stairs alone, hurriedly.
"You were never after the bottles," Jafar comes to realize as Amara cries over her wounded son, "You were after the people inside them." Cyrus struggles to breathe, his chest still bleeding, whilst Jafar tells his old teacher that her son is dying, and there's only one way she'll be able to save him when he does - by doing what they set out to do in the beginning; "Complete the spell and change the laws of magic." She just continues to cry, devastated over the loss of her son, and Jafar goes on to repeat what she asked him all those years ago: "Are you willing to do what's necessary to get what you want?" (see "The Serpent") She looks at him, knowing he knows the answer.
The laws of magic are broken.
Alice continues to run through the palace halls, still clutching her chest, and every set of candles blow out as she dashes past them. Loud and crackling lights are seen being emitted from the throne room, and when Alice finally makes it, she is shocked to see Jafar and Amara casting a large and magical ball of electricity over the three genies' lamps - the spell is taking place. Alice walks in for a closer look, still shocked, whilst Will looks worried within his bottle. She then spots Cyrus' dead body on the floor and runs over to it, ducking to avoid any stray blasts of lightning. Realizing there's no life left in him, she begins to cry, distraught, over her fiancé's corpse. Will sees this and appears saddened and hopeless, whilst Alice looks up at Jafar and Amara and what they are doing with sheer worry on her devastated face. Soon enough, Jafar's eyes open and glow white with ultimate power. The spell is complete, and the laws of magic are no more.
- The title card of this episode features the Chamber of Hearts.
- Although credited, John Lithgow (The White Rabbit) is absent from this episode.
- This marks the second episode penned by Adam Nussdorf and the second also to be penned by Jerome Schwartz, while Bill Gierhart makes his directorial debut on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, previously having directed a single episode of the main series.
This episode garnered 3.35 million viewers, marking a slight decrease from the previous week.
- Christine Orlando of TV Fanatic started her review by saying, "With Anastasia dead, Jafar offered Will one thing in Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Season 1 Episode 12. Hope." She then ended with, "With Amara now giving Jafar exactly what he wants, it's anyone's guess how he'll use this new and powerful magic. Why is he so determined to change the rules of magic and will he use any of it to save Cyrus and Anastasia? We'll have to wait until next week's series finale to find out."
- Ashley B of Spoiler TV stated that the spin-off had "aged like a fine wine" over the past few weeks, a comment on its improving plot. She ended by hoping for the characters to get a happy ending in the upcoming finale, going on the say, "This has been an amazing journey and I hope that you tune in with me for episode thirteen, entitled 'And They Lived...' and see if our favorite characters do live happily ever after."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.
- ↑ Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Review: The Madness of Hope, by Christine Orlando, TV Fanatic (March 28, 2014)
- ↑ Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - Episode 1.12 - To Catch a Thief - Review, by Ashley B, Spoiler TV (March 29, 2014)