“I wish to end Alice’s suffering.” These six words spoken by The Knave at the end of Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’s winter finale can be considered a game changer.
It uses Alice’s third wish – remember she promised The Knave one of her wishes if he helped her find Cyrus, and it frees up Cyrus to return to the bottle, but he doesn’t return to the bottle. So, how did that happen?
We flash back to set up the ending.
To recap, Alice and The Knave are still searching for Cyrus, realizing he has escaped Jafar’s palace. Alice knows there is only one place Cyrus would go, their secret place hidden from everyone. Cyrus traded in a family heirloom to the Caterpillar, a compass that would find anything or anyone you wanted, to set up the secret hideout.
We learned this tidbit on Cyrus during another flashback in which Cyrus told Alice he wasn’t born a Genie, he was made one. He was hoping to use the compass to find out what happened to his mother but traded it in to give him and Alice a safe place to hide and be together.
It was during that same flashback we saw Alice get gravely injured and Cyrus take her to the White Rabbit’s house where his wife heals her. Why did we suddenly meet the White Rabbit’s family? Because it set up the next scene in which Alice and The Knave ask for the White Rabbit’s help, admitting they knew he betrayed them, but still trust him enough to get them all out of Wonderland.
The White Rabbit refuses because of the worst kept secret through the first half of the season. The Red Queen is holding the White Rabbit’s wife and children hostage so he would spy on Alice. The Knave and Alice promise to help get The White Rabbit’s family back and Will has an idea where The Red Queen is keeping them.
It is the same place, an old broken down wagon, that the Red Queen is keeping the Genie’s bottle. Jafar thinks he has procured the bottle when he talks one of the Tweedle’s into stealing it for him. But, the Red Queen is one step ahead – the bottle that was stolen was fake, and she has hidden the real bottle in the old wagon.
After she captures Cyrus in a snare, and rides out to get him, The Red Queen goes and gets the bottle and now she has both of the key pieces on the chess board – the bottle and Cyrus.
Will is right, the White Rabbit’s family was being held at the old wagon and the rabbit family is reunited. The White Rabbit sends them into hiding and he, The Knave and Alice go in search of the secret hiding place she knows Cyrus will be waiting for her at.
When Alice gets there Cyrus is nowhere to be found. Just as she is giving up hope, Cyrus appears and the two lovers are reunited.
Of course, in Wonderland, there is only a moment of happiness before the walls start crashing in. The Red Queen is just behind Cyrus and she tells them they are in grave danger. Jafar has sent a dark and ominous cloud out to kill The Red Queen and she pleads with them that they have to get out of Wonderland by telling The White Rabbit to dig his hole.
Alice doesn’t believe her – after all it was The Red Queen’s fault she thought that she Cyrus was dead. Cyrus had told The Red Queen earlier that she harbored a secret wish and soon it was revealed she partnered with Jafar because she wanted to change history and go back to a time before she was the queen and Will, The Knave, loved her.
I’m sorry, but that was a weak plotline. The conniving and heartless Red Queen has a change of heart and wants to go back to being Anastasia and loving Will? This is a very weak plotline and I think the writers threw it in because they see that the story of Will, The Knave, and Anastasia, The Red Queen, is not a love story anyone is buying. Theirs is not panning out to be a great love story; it is just as flat as Cyrus and Alice.
The real chemistry, from the beginning, has been The Knave and Alice. The Knave, painted as a selfish character, commits two acts of unselfishness at the end of the episode. One, he pushes The Red Queen out of the way when lightning strikes her way and tries to kill her. Will collapses to the ground dying, but Alice falls as well. It goes back to the first wish Alice made – “If The Knave dies, I die too.”
So, Alice and The Knave are dying. Cyrus pleads with Alice to use the last wish but if she does, Cyrus returns to the bottle. The Knave then tells everyone that he actually owns the last wish – a payment from Alice if they find Cyrus.
In his second act of unselfishness, The Knave says “I wish to end Alice’s suffering.” Alice awakes in Cyrus’ arms and the lovers are reunited. It is then that Cyrus notices the binding on his wrists, tying him to the Genie’s bottle, are gone. He and Alice turn and see The Knave has disappeared as well.
Where has The Knave gone? We found out in the final scene of the winter finale. The Knave is in the Genie’s bottle wearing the binds on his wrist. His wish cured Alice and freed Cyrus but there is always a cost with a wish and the payment is that The Knave is the new genie.