Welcome back, everybody! Pretty light on plot this week, but we did get to see Jafar's backstory. Back in Agrabah, he was the Sultan's bastard son, sent to work for a cruel blacksmith in the marketplace as a child. Hellbent on revenge, young Jafar begs a powerful evil sorceress named Amara to teach him the ways of dark magic. And she does! She teaches him magic, and then she teaches him how to be a dick when she makes him choose between letting a friend die and learning a new spell (he chooses the spell). She also tells him all about the spell he's currently after, the one that can change the Laws of Magic. Apparently you need three genies to perform this spell, and we see that Jafar is keeping two additional genies on a shelf in his storage closet, literally just sitting open on a shelf, not even a bike lock or a zip tie securing those things. Don't come crying to me when those things end up missing and on Craigslist, Jafar.
Amara gets hers, though. Eventually Jafar grows tired of being part of a team, sucks up all her power, and turns her into his serpent staff. Bonus serpent staff backstory!
As for the Knave, Jafar demands that the Red Queen have him publicly executed so everyone in Wonderland will know the price of helping Alice. He also seems to know she has some affection for the Knave and is at least partly messing with her here. But after they capture him and the time comes to behead him (with all of Wonderland just positively psyched to watch an execution), Alice and her new girlfriend Lizard come to the rescue and literally catapult the Knave out of the Red Queen's castle.
But their victory is short-lived. Jafar and the Red Queen quickly catch up with them all in the hedge maze's life-sized chess board (metaphors!), and Jafar uses the Knave to get Alice to waste one of her wishes. She wishes that if the Knave dies, so will she. That seems like it would violate the "can't kill anybody" clause, doesn't it? Apparently it's a loophole. Annoyed, Jafar turns the Knave into stone and flies off, leaving the Red Queen to be all creepy with a statue of her boyfriend, Ariel-style.
No White Rabbit budget this week, but Jafar does have a new set of spies in the Red Queen's Aladdin Sane guards. They are nervous and fabulous.
Oh, and Cyrus has a chicken bone shank now. Watch out.
Want to tweet about this poor, god-forsaken show with me? I am available at all times and spaces at @garnisheater. I am the White Rabbit of social media and so can you!
"Agrabah… many years ago." We're back in the same marketplace where Jafar choked out that poor scarf vendor a couple weeks ago. This time, we meet a very hairy blacksmith (his back looks like Burt Reynolds' chest!) with a hot temper and a boy assistant he treats like crap. So, this is Jafar's backstory. The blacksmith beats the boy and starves him and tells him he should have left him in the gutter where he found him. If only Jafar had had a good childhood, we all could have been spared this entire show.
As baby Jafar cowers in fear of his blacksmith overlord, the people outside begin cowering in fear of a woman entering the marketplace. She is played by Zuleikha Robinson, one of the terrorists from Homeland Season 2 (speaking of shows I'd rather we were all spared from) and one of the new characters that didn't end up mattering very much from the final season of Lost. She works a lot, is what I'm saying.
Anyway, she saunters through the market as people flee in terror. Everyone turns away from her, but Jafar decides to make intense eye contact because he kind of has nothing to lose. The blacksmith warns him that she'll "burn us where we stand" if he keeps staring at her, but the woman decides she's not in a firestarting mood and moves on.
At nightfall, baby Jafar knocks on the woman's door just on the outside of town. She's very annoyed, but more in a "Why are you interrupting my stories?" kind of way than "I AM EVIL YOU WILL DIE"! Jafar wants her to teach him the arts of dark magic so he can get revenge on his deadbeat dad the Sultan. Jafar hates the Sultan "with the fire of a thousand suns." Big 10 Things I Hate About You fan, that Jafar. And so is she, apparently. With that, she decides to take him under her wing of evil.
Back in Wonderland, the Red Queen is enjoying some new jewels with her Aladdin Sane guards when Jafar shows up. They trade some passive aggressive barbs and when Jafar accuses her of keeping secrets from him, she plays dumb. Jafar makes some demands, blah, blah, blah. These Red Queen and Jafar scenes sure are tedious, aren't they? Bottom line is that Jafar wants the Knave dead because he's Jafar and he likes to make people dead. The Red Queen keeps her past with him a secret and silently frets over how to get out of this. Also, she pronounces "purpose" like "porpoise," which is fun for all of us, I think.