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‘Once Upon A Time in Wonderland’ Episode 11 Recap: “Heart of the Matter”

This week’s Once Upon A Time in Wonderland is all about finding what is lost. Cyrus is searching for his mother, and Jafar is looking for The Knave’s Heart.

Cyrus wants to find his mother to help lift the curse off his brothers, who are still Genies tied to their bottles. Jafar needs The Knave’s Heart because without it his spell to bend the laws of magic won’t work.

Alice shrinks herself so Cyrus can distract the Caterpillar and she can sneak in to find the Lost & Found Compass, an item Cyrus traded to him in a previous episode. Once back in his possession, Cyrus seeks to use it to find his mother as it will find anything that is lost.

Meanwhile, The Knave and The Red Queen are still prisoners of Jafar and the Jabberwocky. It is during this time we get a little more backstory on The Red Queen. We also get a bit of crossover with Once Upon A Time as Regina’s mother, Cora (Barbara Hershey), shows up at the wedding of The Red Queen and The Red King.

It appears Cora takes a liking to the Red Queen and promises to teach her magic. Of course, Cora has another motive: when she witnesses The Red Queen looking to throw away all she has to run away with The Knave, Cora steps in and tells The Knave the best he can do for his love is to walk away. The Knave asks Cora to take his heart and this, we find out, is how The Knave lost his heart.

This comes back into play when Jafar threatens to kill The Red Queen if he doesn’t tell him where his heart is located. Finally, The Knave caves in and tells him.

Meanwhile, Alice also knows where The Knave’s heart is and she and Cyrus seek out The White Rabbit to take them to Storybrooke. Yes, another crossover.

I have issues with Alice and Cyrus going to Storybrooke and being shocked by the modern conveniences. It seems a bit of a continuity issue since Alice came from 19th century England. So, did Alice travel in time or was her England in an alternate universe? There is that contrived five minutes of Alice and Cyrus being really shocked by the modern conveniences and then Alice of course figures out where The Knave’s heart is – hiding behind a picture of The Red Queen.

The moment Alice and Cyrus return to Wonderland with The Knave’s heart, Jafar shows up and takes it. But a nice turn of events is when Jafar tries to use his serpent staff on Alice and Cyrus, and it flies to Cyrus’ hand. Of course, it does. As the audience learned last week, the serpent staff is not only Jafar’s mentor and mistress, Amara, but it is also Cyrus’ mother.

Cyrus gets the staff but Jafar gets The Knave’s heart. He scampers back to his palace and puts the heart back into the Knave. He allows The Knave to kiss The Red Queen, lovers reunited I suppose, before pulling them away.

Jafar threatens The Red Queen, placing a knife to her back. But this time there are no threats, he plunges the knife into her and kills The Red Queen. The Knave is distraught as the screen turns to black.

A few issues, besides continuity with this episode and the storyline in general:

  • Cyrus is still the most boring vanilla character ever – and there is NO chemistry between him and Alice.
  • I am just supposed to believe that The Red Queen, aka Anastasia, has flipped a switch – given up her evil ways and returned to the virginal ingénue?
  • And why, oh, why do we not focus on Alice being more of the badass she is – why is she now just following the weak milquetoast Cyrus around?