In typical Once Upon a Time fashion, a lot of flashback business got done in this episode. We learn that Cyrus (and to that end, Jafar as well) ended up in Wonderland after a lowly scarf vendor wished for him to be sent far away from Agrabah for fear that Jafar would kill him if he knew he had the genie. Obviously, Jafar killed him anyway. Can't win 'em all, Scarf Man. Or people of Agrabah who now have chilly necks.
We also spent a lot of time in the past watching Cyrus and Alice fall in love, which was a good idea from a writing perspective – their relationship felt so hollow in the pilot -- but the glaring lack of chemistry between the actors is going to be a big problem with this show, isn't it? Anyway, as they fall in love, Cyrus teaches Alice about Jafar's attitude problems, swordfighting, and genie origami. Not joking! So much origami in this episode.
In the present, Alice lays a trap that allows her to figure out who she's up against -- Jafar. She takes it pretty well. What she doesn't take very well is the fact that the genie's bottle is missing from the spot where she and Cyrus buried it ages ago. She assumes this means Cyrus has "moved on" (read: dumped her), but in reality it is the Red Queen who has it, courtesy of that creepy spying bastard the White Rabbit. So over him already.
But thank god for magical paper folding! Cyrus is able to write a love note to Alice from his cage, in magic ink on magic paper, fold it into a crane, and send it off to fly over to her. She receives the note, and is resolved to reunite with Cyrus anew.
In other news, genies are a lot like sexy True Blood vampires in that they are allergic to silver, and poor time-traveling Alice has never heard of the Care Bears. Also, the Knave of Hearts has a crazy ex-girlfriend in a fairy named Silvermist, and some broken heart residue from a relationship with a girl named Anastasia, which was a Fox cartoon, not a Disney property. Now they're just getting crazy.
Oh, and at one point these words came out of Cyrus's mouth: "You have the whole world, Alice. I can show it to you." Like the beginning of that song from Aladdin! Sometimes this show is just so clever that I pass out for a while when I watch it. Can't take it!
So it’s week two, and we’re down 29% from an already disastrously low premiere week. The CW even beat it. The CW. Dear god.
Flashback time! We begin "Many years ago" in Agrabah with Jafar swooping through the sandy city outskirts on a magic carpet. He enters a modest abode and hassles its resident, a local scarf merchant, about how “well-appointed” his home is despite his "very little income." Which, I mean, is it? It looks like he has a few piles of fabrics, but those are business expenses. He’s not exactly the Queen of Versailles over here.
Instead of punching Jafar in the face like any normal person would in this situation, the man tries excusing his opulent shanty full of scarves and tea kettles as the spoils of a family investment. But Jafar and I know better -- this guy has the genie. How else could he afford such a two-room manse with an alley view!
The man makes an excuse to move to the back room, and we see that he does indeed have Cyrus in there. He foolishly uses his third wish (the other two I’m assuming he used on his awesome beard and a chotchke shopping spree at Cost Plus, by the look of this place) to send Cyrus far away from Agrabah, thinking it would get Jafar off his back for good. It doesn’t. Jafar comes in shortly after and chokes him to death. And then I’m sure he totally raided his scarf arsenal. Jafar loves him some accessories.
The wish sends Cyrus wildly tumbling through the multi-verse in his bottle. When he arrives in Wonderland, we see he has crash landed in the hedge maze where Alice found him in the pilot and G-rated romantic history was made.
In the present, Alice is practicing sword-fighting on a defenseless tree (in a new purple outfit!) while the Knave of Hearts lazes about. Alice decides their new course of action is to retrieve Cyrus’s hidden bottle from – where else? -- underneath the Towering Tom Tom Tree in Mimsie Meadows, where nobody goes. The Knave: "Why would they, unless they were a Care Bear." Alice: "What’s a Care Bear?" Don’t you just love watching these two learn from each other?!
They’ll make three "harmless" wishes (actually, the Knave will, which is obviously going to go terribly), causing Cyrus to be automatically drawn back inside the bottle and all their problems will be solved. Then, they’ll find some crazy way to grant Cyrus his freedom so he and Alice can picket fence it together until the end of time. Alice makes sure the White Rabbit hears this plan while he’s pretending to be asleep, then she and the Knave ditch him. We only had a CGI budget for three short White Rabbit scenes this week, apparently. I am not complaining.