Wonderland Finale Roundtable
1. Our Characters get their Happily Ever Afters. How do you feel about Alice and Cyrus', and Will and Anastasia's?
Gareth: Loved it. The final scene was just about perfect. It was so nice to see all the characters getting their Happy Endings. I was pleased that the theory that Anastasia would become the White Queen turned out to be correct. I hope we see some of the Wonderland characters pop up again on Once, especially now that we know the Knave will be returning to Storybrooke in OUAT’s fourth season. I can’t imagine the Knave without Ana by his side.
Mauri: I think they wrapped things up pretty well. I'm very pleased with it. I like that in Alice's book about her adventures in Wonderland she had written that the White Queen and King (Anastasia and Will) had rebuilt Wonderland.
Sam: Very, very happy that everyone got their happy endings! It was nice to see Alice reconcile with her family. Totally loved the epilogue where Alice wrote the book of her adventures, and how wonderful that Anastasia became the White Queen, as some people around here had predicted!
Amy: I loved it. The wedding…oh my gosh, I don’t even have words. It was gorgeous. Visually, musically, everything was just amazing. That whole scene just squeezed my heart. And I absolutely adore the fact that Ana and Will went on to rule Wonderland as the White King and Queen.
Teresa: The finale was one of the most satisfactory endings to a series I’ve ever seen.
2. Thoughts on Jafar's defeat.
Gareth: I figured he would be trapped in a bottle somehow, but the way they did it was very well done. I’m sure Jafar will make his way to Storybrooke at some point.
Mauri: Jafar’s defeat was like what happened to him in the cartoon. I was expecting him to have entered the wrong red door at first when he had gone after Cyrus and his mother.
Amy: I figured he would end up in the lamp. I’m glad he didn’t die because I feel like this leaves him open to show up on ONCE in the future. I love the parallel to the Disney movie. I feel like Jafar was a very well done villain, and I’d absolutely love seeing him again.
Sam: I think Jafar's demise was what we all wanted from the first time he showed up wanting to change the Laws of Magic. Seeing him in that “teeny tiny living space” was very rewarding.
3. Is this the last we've seen of the Jabberwocky?
Gareth: I hope not. Peta Sergeant was brilliant as the Jabberwocky. For me, her introduction was the moment Wonderland really raised its game and became a truly interesting show in its own right, so I hope we get to find our her origin story and what happened to her.
Sam: I like to think that Ana and Will went and set her free. She did promise to leave Wonderland after Jafar was gone. Of course, that would free her to wreak havoc on other lands so I'm sure she's lurking out there somewhere.
Mauri: I hope it's not the last time we see the Jabberwocky since I very much enjoy her character, and I hope she can get her chance of a happy ending too one day.
Amy: I thought she was a great addition to the story. My theory about her being Alice’s mother was way off lol, but that’s ok. It’s been eating at my brain, so I’m writing my own version of her story. I liked the way she developed in the show. She went from what we thought was absolute pure evil to giving us a glimpse of her humanity when she said she was not born a monster. Absolutely loved her.
Teresa: The Jabberwocky was magnificent. I want her back! Bring her to Storybrooke!
4. The series is now concluded. What is your over-all evaluation of the mini-series?
Gareth: I enjoyed it, but I feel like it was robbed of the opportunity to be so much more. Some things felt very rushed while other story threads were only hinted at. I think Wonderland would have benefitted from a full twenty-two episode season. Sadly, the ratings pretty much condemned the show from the outset.
Teresa: The time-slot itself just slaughtered the show as well as the wavering between making it a series or mini-series, which I believe negatively affected the pacing in the first episodes. It should have stayed as a hiatus mini-series. Changing that original plan was a grave error.
That said I really had fun with Wonderland. It was a great tale with delightful characters, and a fantastic ending. Michael Socha was a real treat. Alice and the Rabbit were popular with the tweens and kids I know, while I think Anastasia and Will connected with the grown-ups. I loved Cyrus too! He and Alice were the perfect couple. But most of all Scarlet Queen gave us a magnificently layered love story. Their kiss when Will got his heart back made me just hang my head and sob! That has never happened with any TLK on Once. I also adore that Ana saved herself from the darkness. Upon discovering that getting power only made her unhappy, she went to Hell and back to correct her mistake; one of the strongest female characters Once has given us. Moreover, the marriage of Will and Ana was the perfect Happy Ending plot-wise and symbolically. As another favorite character of mine told his True Love: "It's forever, dearie." Finally, as romantic as the pairings were, Wonderland's equal focus on the True Love of family and friendship makes the series high drama and a worthy addition to the Once verse.
Mauri: Overall I loved the Wonderland series. If it had been able to continue I would have liked to have seen the process of Anastasia and Will rebuilding Wonderland.
Sam: I really enjoyed it! The writing was terribly clever: Clothes Horse, Dandy Lion, Fairy Across the Lake. The sets and costumes were beautiful! Even in the short season there was time to develop some very interesting characters. I liked Alice as the older, wiser and somewhat broken young woman we met in the pilot. It was nice to see her regain her confidence and become a leader, problem solver, warrior and even a mother by the end.
The Knave was a standout throughout the series. It's great news that his character will be written into Once Upon a Time. I hope they have room for him, but even a little bit of Will Scarlet goes a long way. Jafar was everything you could want in an evil villain: ruthless, powerful, greedy, sexy, and yet after seeing his backstory you could really sympathize with the young boy he was. But in the end, he stayed true to his evil tendencies and got what he deserved.
Finally, there was The Red Queen or Anastasia. She was the character who grew the most. I have to admit that I wasn't sure I was going to like her after the first two episodes, but then she began her path to redemption and I came to love her. It was really satisfying to see her complete her journey and I hope her and Will have a long happy life together.
Amy: I felt that the series was such a fun ride. The writing was really clever and so smart. I loved the strong characters. This Alice was not taking anything lying down! I’m really hoping for writer commentary and bonus features when the DVD/Blu-ray is released. I feel like there are so many little details in the series that were just fantastic. The overall tone of this series was darker than ONCE. I love that. I really am drawn to the dark twists that we get in both series and this one was full of them. I am really sad that Wonderland ended and I would be crushed if we don’t see the characters again.
Mauri: I still think Jafar’s father was wrong about how young Jafar had to earn his love. Parents should just naturally love their children it shouldn't have to be earned. Respect is something that you earn, not love from a parent.
Sam: I really encourage fans who didn't watch Wonderland to give it a try when it's released. If you stick with it, you won't be disappointed.
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Once Upon A Time in Wonderland is a mini-series that ran in 2013-2014. It starred Sophie Lowe, Michael Socha, Emma Rigby, Peter Gadiot and Naveen Andrews.