Previously: 1x01, Pilot
1. The ep kicks off with Jafar being all menacing.
A bad guy can't just stroll into someone else's house and demand they give him the genie's bottle; not without showing off those impressive deduction skills first. So the guy has some veggies and more than one camel; apparently that means he's had a magic helper. Because in fairy tales people are incapable of, I don't know, working? Anyhow, now we know how Cyrus ended up in Bad CGI-land.
2. Cyrus continues being unimaginably boring. Or at least banal. To be honest, when he said he couldn't make people fall in love, I found myself wondering: can a genie owner order a genie to have sex with him/her? I'd watch that show... though probably without Cyrus.
3. Try as I might I can't get behind Alice/Cyrus. Alice has her moments of epic badass and I generally like how single-minded she is (would help if she wasn't such a buzzkill though), but her energy seems to be focused on such a transparently dull guy that I can't endorse it. Like every other OUAT character, Alice has family issues that can only be fixed via true love. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having such a romantic attitude, but Alice is ultimately just another one in the long line of characters coming from a loveless background, finding epic love, losing it and tearing the world apart trying to regain it. At some point it stops being romantic and becomes repetitive and annoying. Not to mention the Cyrus/Alice relationship barely gets any build-up at all (except for the magical, go-to fantasy solution: a fencing lessons. Somehow it only works for straight characters though).
4. It's only been two episodes, but just in case we forgot what it was all about, Alice had to have a moment of doubt and nearly revert to her half-catatonic, mental asylum-inhabiting self at the thought of Cyrus forgetting her. The scene where Alice and Will discover the bottle is gone (and its aftermath) are hilarious, especially in light of Will stating earlier than in Wonderland the walls have ears, sometimes quite literally. Which means: just because you think you are alone doesn't mean you are alone, and that makes Alice's assumption that only Cyrus could have dug up the bottle rather ridiculous. But hey, apparently people in love seldom use logic. Alice knows Jafar is after Cyrus; yet when Cyrus "died", the Red Queen was there. It doesn't seem to arouse any suspicions. Surely if Jafar is only looking for the bottle now, he can't possibly have Cyrus in his grasp; surely the Red Queen has nothing to do with this. Not to mention this: why on earth would Cyrus want the bottle back? He doesn't like being a genie. But hey, we need to have doubts because they generate such angst. Of course it doesn't last because Jafar has somehow failed to search his captive genie and, I don't know, take away his super-magic paper that would allow him to maybe ask for help?
The Knave is actually me. XD He spends the whole episode making weird references and cracking sarcastic comments about Alice's love madness. But we'll get back to him.
5. The villains are doing marginally better, though I still maintain that Emma Rigby's acting is... how do I put it mildly? Non-existent. This is that rare occasion when "dollface" is not a compliment. The character does have some potential. She mentions taking Wonderland; I wonder if that means she took the throne after Cora. I like it that she's making an effort to be a proper queen even though she admits she finds it incredibly boring. Actually, she kind of reminded me of Yzma from Emperor's New Groove:
Similar style of ruling. XD With a proper actress she could reach the Sylvia Tietjens level of awesome. Oh, wait, no, that's too high a standard. Okay, at least Regina's. As it were, the way she acts makes me think she's: a) can barely breathe and/or move in her dresses; b) is perpetually horny. She comes off as a little nymphomaniac. I don't know what she means when she says she has needs, but my dirty mind has already imagined enough.
That said, I like it that she finally managed to outsmart Jafar. He spent two episodes showing her her place and now she finally showed him his. Keep this going and I might learn to ignore the absence of acting, girl. Also, I feel like she and Jafar have some UST but I don't feel it. It's like, I can see it but the actors just don't click. Not yet at least. Then again, still better than Alice/Cyrus.
6. Now, finally, the Knave. Baby, let me love you. :) He continues being funny, cute, cynical and reluctant. The best cocktail there is. Which, of course, the show is beginning to dissolve with yet more talks of true love. Everything was pretty cool up to a point: I loved Will making sarcastic comments on the weirdness of the plot (like Alice's new outfit that came virtually out of nowhere very conveniently in the middle of a forest) and some place names, making references to our world again, being afraid of water and breaking a fairy's heart. Despite looking utterly ridiculous, fairies in OUAT-verse can be pretty badass (see Tinkerbell in this week's parent show; not to mention that many people semi-jokingly agree that the Blue Fairy is the real Big Bad of the show) and Silvermist isn't an exception. The only thing I don't understand is how the Knave could seriously not guess that this:
would lead to this:
I did enjoy his apology though. What I didn't enjoy was someone named Anastasia thrown into the mix. Because hey, either we're dealing with this:
or with this:
And I'm not sure what's worse. The princess had better not have a Russian accent. ;) Of course it could always be the singer, or - and that theory is actually plausible in a way - Anastasia is the name of the Red Queen. In which case: ew, no, thank you.
All crack aside, this is much worse than my fear that the Knave might fall in love with Alice. The Knave is basically the local version of Emma from the main show: cynical, skeptical, tough - but wounded by his past experience with love. According to the philosophy of these shows, you can't be cynical and sarcastic about love unless it has hurt you in some way. Just as Emma was hurt by Neal, Will was apparently hurt by this mysterious Anastasia, which of course makes him the ultimate authority on love now:
I'm beginning to wonder if Jafar's quest to change the laws of magic has something to do with Jasmine or any other girl who refuses to love him; if the Red Queen is Anastasia and just wants to be loved; if the reason the White Rabbit is helping the baddies is because the Red Queen is holding his wife hostage; etc.
So far the Knave is the only one who actually has some personality. He's intriguing, his background is unknown due to all the Alice/Cyrus flashback, so we can imagine anything we like. Please don't make it as simple as a heartbreak. There are other reasons to be cynical and seemingly callous.
7. Minor things: was anyone else uncomfortable with Alice's way of dealing with things? Yes, girl, I get it, you want to find your boyfriend, but what did you stab the poor turtle for!? It didn't even look evil!
Also, I've seen some people say that Anastasia is not a Disney movie, which is why the Anastasia they mentioned here can't be that one. Excuse you: is Frankenstein a Disney movie? Because last time I checked there was a Doctor Frankenstein in OUAT. Come to that, Disney's Robin Hood is a fox but he looks very much like a human being in OUAT. Still, I'd rather they went with the book. That would explain why the Knave is so traumatized by love. XD
All in all, it was the kind of episode you'd expect from this show. Entertaining, frustrating and predictable, hung up on true love and sporting some serious logic fail. Which still doesn't make the show any less enjoyable for us masochists.