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Once...in Wonderland: Heart of the Matter

“You’d be surprised what magic can do.”

When a series takes on more than it can handle, it often falls apart due to the sheer implausibility of maintaining several stories and dynamics. Wonderland did itself a massive favour by reducing the likelihood of that happening by narrowing down its cast of characters, and the ways in which those characters could develop. That decision really paid off in ‘Heart of the Matter’, which succeeded on a number of different levels, but it never would have been possible if everything was too spread out.

Many different series have been cancelled before their time, and recently networks have given those series a chance to tie up loose ends. Unfortunately, in most cases the expansive nature of certain series can’t be written into a tidy ending, and instead we see plots forced in a way that is neither organic, nor legitimate. Wonderland doesn’t have the same roadblock and, OK, so maybe the staff finding its way back to Cyrus so easily is a bit silly, but considering how well everything else worked out this week, it’s an easy thing to overlook.

Will and Anastasia have been the biggest draw for me recently, but their story came to a seemingly fatal conclusion, here. I’m not sure whether or not Ana’s death is final, but the way that it happened was well timed, and despite so much else falling flat during this show’s run, it was one of the hardest hitting moments of Wonderland for me.

Cora was woven easily into Ana’s past, and given the blame for officially ripping the star-crossed lovers apart. The best thing about her being the manipulator behind their separation is how well it ties into her betrayal over Regina shunning her. She channeled all her regret onto Ana, and turned her into the daughter that she never had.

Last week painted Anastasia as a muddle of unfulfilled desires, but this week she was less indecisive and because of that, so much easier to understand and feel for. I’m genuinely upset that her journey has ended the way she has, especially since Wonderland’s main love story lacks the same chemistry that Will and Ana’s had. I’m not sure if her death will stick, but regardless of that it worked in the moment.

‘Heart of the Matter’ was a nice reward for those of us who have stuck around. The stories are coming together really well, and though this episode wasn’t without its flaws, I’m happy to see Wonderland find its feet, just in time for the final round.

4 out of 5 lost hearts


Not much happened in Storybrooke, not even a run in with other characters, but they definitely had fun with Alice and Cyrus in a modern setting.

He Said, She Said

The Sultan: “We create our own prisons”

Ana: “I know you’ll never love me again, but do you think you’ll possibly be able to forgive me.”

Ana: “I really don’t want Jafar to succeed, but I really do hope you get your heart back. You deserve to feel something for someone, even if it’s not me.”

Originally posted at PandaTV.

1 comment:

  1. Best episode so far. Wonderland is improving markedly, but I'm relatively sure it's just too late.

    Ana's death (which I hope isn't permanent) was really affecting. Wonderland totally pulled a Whedon here. Star crossed lovers get one moment of happiness together and then boom one of them dies.

    I have a feeling we're not totally done with Anastasia. We got a couple hints along the way there's more to her than we've yet seen (I'm quite certain she's one of Cinderella's step sisters). I like her so much more when she's being herself as opposed to her villainous persona with that ridiculous accent.


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