Gonna have to start this off with saying that I am ever so sorry for not keeping up on this, however in my defense, I am almost never home the night it airs, Thursday is game night with Snooty and others, can’t pass that up.
But here I am, back with my ramblings about Wonderland. As I stated previously, this post is primarily going to be me summing up my general thoughts on the first half of the season. So without further stalling, lets get into it.
I honestly I am still having some mixed feeling about this show, even with being halfway in. It seems for every really good episode we got, it was followed up by two mediocre episodes, and this is very disappointing because the show does have so much potential to be a great adventure series, so why isn’t it?
Short answer, the villains. While Jafar and the Red Queen aren’t terrible villains, or characters for that matter, but there is nothing overly great about them. They very much fall into what I have come to realize is the cookie cutter Once villains, meaning they have magic and mommy/daddy issues. Jafar is obviously the worst of the two. I found myself rolling my eyes throughout his entire back story episode because it was just so dumb, allow the Goon a moment to paraphrase a few lines from that episode:
Jafar: Waaa, daddy why don’t you love me?
Sultan: You’re a bastard child, duh! You are nothing more than the product of a bad choice with a servant girl. But, because I am a decent bloke I will let you live in the palace, you’ll be a servant, but is better than starving in the streets, so buck up.
Jafar: Daddy look at me, I know more than your idiot son who is the prince, and my superior, and showing him up like that will totally make you love me!
Sultan: Yup, gonna have to kill you now.
Nothing about this story was in any way original or even interesting. For a story that is supposed to make the viewers feel sorry for Jafar, I just found him to be a moron. Sultan clearly laid out the terms of his living in the palace, he should have followed the damn rules! Jafar in the present day isn’t that much better because he is such a cliche’d villain! Nothing about this character is in any way unique or outstanding. The only strong point to him is Naveen Andrews’ portrayal of him. I hate the character, but like him in the role. Now our other baddie is a slight bit better, not her back story mind you, that is just as bad as Jafar’s, but her present self is actually proving to be a somewhat interesting character. As it was revealed in the in mid-season finale her primary motivation seems to be get Will back. I honestly didn’t expect that. I was working of the assumption that her random acts of kindness towards him was just due to some lingering feelings that would be used as part of some sort of “there’s still good inside you, help us stop the baddie” cliche, but her wanting to rewrite the laws of magic to make up for a past wrong, interesting. I am honestly starting to like her more as a character, could even make for an interesting reluctant hero if the latest episode was anything to go by. So, to sum that up:
Jafer = Waste of a villain, nothing at all interesting or original about him.
Red Queen = Potential to be an interesting character.
Moving on to our heroes, Alice and Will. I have commented on them in the past so I won’t spend to much time on them, but I am loving them both. Alice is a strong, competent, has guts, but still has enough flaws to her character to prevent her from being a Mary Sue and allowing for character growth and making the audience be able to relate to her. She is a character that I do find myself able to empathize with, she spent most of her life trying to prove Wonderland to her father, only causing her to lose him in the process, then lost the man she loved, and when she tried to repair things with her father was sent away. I would honestly say that one of the better episodes so far is the one that deals with her back in England after losing Cyrus, seeing her with her family was almost heart breaking to watch and I would be lying if I said I didn’t give out a little cheer when she and Cyrus were finally reunited in the last episode. Alice is a solid character, enough said.
And that brings us to the Knave of Hearts, aka Will Scarlett. Not gonna lie, he is my favorite character of the show thus far. He does an excellent job of portraying the Honorable Scoundrel character. Despite Alice needing to pay him with a wish to get his help, he has proven to legitimately care about her, and best of all, it is just a friendship caring! No stupid love triangle! Will is smart, resourceful, and despite all appearances to the contrary, is a good person. We still know so very little about his history, and that is what makes him so interesting, how did he become the Knave of Hearts, how did he end up in Storybrooke, whats the deal with his missing heart? He is still very shrouded in mystery and I personally can’t wait to see more of his history. The moment that cinched his character for me, his wish. Using his wish to save Alice and allow her and Cyrus to be together was amazing. Him becoming a genie, even more so. We know have a switch from Alice trying to save her love, to them trying to save her friend. Michael Socha is nailing this role and I can’t wait to see what he does with in the future.
The supporting characters have proved to be interesting additions to the cast. Cyrus, even having spent most of his time in a cage, was always fun to watch and showed a lot of ingenuity in his escape and how he helped Alice even while locked up. As for the White Rabbit, I honestly feel sorry for him, granted that is the point so kudos to the writers to selling it well. He falls into the double agent character, but is not a villain. He iis a guy forced into an impossible situation where he must betray his friend to protect his family, this adds the good kind of drama to the show. Best about this, it wasn’t a dragged out plot point, his family has been rescued and Alice and Will have forgiven him for his wrong doings.
That pretty much seemed to be the point of the mid season finale, to wrap up all the dangling plot threads, save of course for the main one, to allow way for a brand new ones, and that is why I am still watching this show. The writers have set a solid pace for the series and the story is moving along well. While it has stumbled at some points, I can chalk that up to its still trying to find its feet and the writers still trying to set the course for the show.
Overall, Wonderland has gotten off to a shaky start, the villains are less than awe inspiring, but the story is solid and the heroes are enjoyable characters. The first half of the season ended on a very strong note. Now to just sit back until March and hope the show can continue taking steps forward without having to take two back.