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Headscratchers / Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

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     Alice's conflicting morals 
  • So, Alice believes that it's morally wrong to kill The Red Queen, who has done great personal harm to her, but she has no problem threatening the lives of innocent beings who have done no harm to her at all, like the Mock Turtle or the crowd of bystanders blocking her way when she was trying to see who was being executed. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that picture?
    • Those were just threats. She wouldn't have actually plunged a sword into the Turtle or the bystanders if it had come down to it.

     One Season 
  • Where exactly has it been said that they're only doing one season? What I gathered was, after they only got a thirteen episode order (they were hoping for twenty-two), it was said that they have a story arc planned only for a single season, and subsequent seasons will feature new story arcs. But that's... how television seasons work. Excepting the very real possibility that the show gets cancelled after one season, why are people assuming it's only going to be one?
    • Since this spin-off, for the most part, appears to be a sufficiently self-contained story on its own? Either way, if it does end up being a one-season wonder, I hope it at least provides a nice setup for some grand future event in Storybrooke or the Enchanted Forest.
    • No, that's not how television sessions tend to work. Honestly, that's how I 'wish' television seasons worked. The shear number of 1 season shows that end on cliffhangers that exist are the way they are for the very reason that TV seasons don't work like that. Most shows go in with the assumption that their network well carry them until they have enough episodes for syndication. And it's one that bites a huge number of shows in the ass.

     Anastasia and Cinderella 
  • In Once Upon a Time episode "The Price of Gold", Cinderella/Ashley's two stepsisters were said to live in Storybrooke with the step-mother. How can Anastasia be one of them?
    • If it's true that Anastasia is one of them, then it's possible that Cinderella had three stepsisters. The show's been known to change fairy tales from what we know of them.
      • That's possible. Anastasia's mother did say "At least I still have your sisters", plural, which could imply that. If Ella has already married Prince Thomas, then the stepmother no longer "has" her. Alternatively, because although Ruby said that Ashley had a stepmom and two stepsisters she didn't talk to, she didn't outright say where they lived, it's possible that everyone who was under the Dark Curse thought that Anastasia had moved to another town.
      • Well, Ella having already married Thomas would give Lady Tremaine a good reason to want to mend things with her.
      • And besides, their mother was pretty much decided on disowning Anastasia anyway.
    • It could also be meant as a sly insult towards Anastasia. After all, Cinderella was just treated as a servant. It adds even more venom to mother's words if she's implying she now values the serving girl above her own biological daughter.
      • This. Essentially, Ella's and Ana's roles got reversed, when she met Thomas. Who would Lady Tremaine rather have in her family: the prince or the thief? Even looking at Ana's face in "The Price of Gold," she appears angry at having to go to the ball and looks as if she would rather be in the (Sherwood?) forest.
    • The parent show's sixth season confirms that there is another sister called Corinda. So that's who the stepmother is referring to when she says "I have your sisters". Drizella and Corinda.

     Lizard's last wish 
  • The genie's wishes can't directly kill anyone. It seems odd that one could kill Lizard indirectly, no matter what twisted wish-logic was in play.
    • Perhaps the limitation is on using a wish to kill other people, not yourself. That would also allow for Alice's wish to die if the Knave dies.
    • In the first episode, Alice said that if she wished to have Cyrus back, she might end up with his body hanging from a tree.
    • My guess is that due to Will lacking a heart, regret or remorse was the only feeling she could hope to elicit from him. And since she wasn't specific on how to make him feel those things, well, the Genie's sadistic magic just filled in the blanks. To address the statement that wishes can't kill, it's not covered in the three prohibitions of magic, so it's possibly still fair game. And even if the wish didn't really kill her, do you think she'd survive having two gaping holes in her head where her eyes used to be?
      • Cyrus said he had four limitations, three of which were the prohibitions we've heard elsewhere and the other was "I can't kill anyone" (quote).
      • Unless Cyrus said so out of personal preference not to harm potentially innocent bystanders. Polite as he is, it's perfectly reasonable that he'd be willing to lie to his masters about what he can do just to keep himself out of uncomfortable situations; he disguised his "inability" to kill as a limitation of magic, which has been proven untrue by both series.
      • Could be, or maybe, as above, it's a prohibition on making an explicit wish to kill someone else. Alice and Lizard's wishes were fatal to themselves, not others, and having Cyrus arrive hanging from a tree wouldn't be immediately fatal or be a wish to kill him.
    • Sleeping curse?

     The Nyx's stoicism 
  • So the Nyx wasn't willing to let Cyrus and his brothers save Amara because she was fated to die. Except that Amara would later go on to train Jafar, who would terrorize several worlds and attempt to rewrite the laws of magic, even the pursuit of which would be incredibly substantial just to call chance (especially given how close he's gotten to success). If Jafar's destiny involved magic in any capacity, then it was Amara's destiny to train Jafar - which she hadn't done yet. If Jafar succeeds in changing the laws of magic, then she would have been instrumental in more ways than one in fulfilling his destiny. So why would the Nyx deny them the water necessary to continue Amara's destiny, then go so far as to turn Cyrus and his brothers into genies? Other than just to be a dick, of course.
    • We don't know what Nyx means by destiny. It could be that the havoc Jafar has caused is a sign that the whole cosmic plan has gone badly awry due to Cyrus' actions. Alternatively, Jafar only knows about the plan to rewrite the laws of magic because Amara was focused on genies due to her sons being turned into them, so if Nyx hadn't turned the brothers into genies this would never have happened.
    • Well if Amara had died from the burns, there would have been no Lady of Black Magic to train Jafar. He wouldn't have grown up to become a powerful sorceror that wanted to change the laws of magic - and potentially be the worst tyrant the world has ever seen.

     Why does no one use the genies? 
In the first episode, Alice reasons that she can't use the wishes to wish Cyrus to her because he might be returned to her hanging from a tree. And so far in the series, wishes that are simple enough to understand generally turn out well like Lizard wishing for beers all around while unspecific wishes tend to end badly like Lizard wishing for the knave to feel "something". Fair enough, but why does no one wish for Jafar's bottles? A simple wish like "I wish I had the genie bottles Jafar had in his possession" can hardly be mistaken for anything else. Or even Jafar, with two genies in his possession, he can open them, make six wishes in total, and put them back in their bottles. Why not wish for his staff back?

Heck, I would have wished that Jafar "could do no harm to anyone". The man Jafar had stolen the second bottle made a similar wish and it worked for him.

  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum. Does wishing for the genie bottles count as wishing for more wishes? Given that this is a spin-off, even in the original series, almost every non-evil character is scared of using magic in general. Regarding Jafar's unwillingness to use the genies, maybe he just likes complicating matters.
    • Well wishing for the bottles is a no-no because Jafar owns them. He is master of both genies. Although Anastasia had Cyrus's bottle, she couldn't use it at all because Alice was still his mistress.

    Events in the spin-off affecting the original series 
Would Jafar and Amara successfully changing the laws of magic affect magic back in the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke too? Here's hoping...
  • In the finale it seemed the spell to change the laws of magic really just removed the three restrictions to magic from the casters of the spell. Only Jafar and Amara could bypass the laws not everyone, which is a shame since re-writing the rules for all magic could have been interesting.
  • Frankly, this troper only brought up this Headscratcher due to Neal's death back in the original series, hoping that it wouldn't stick. At the very least, it seems Zelena's now out to do virtually the same thing, with the sole exception of her true goal being to change the past.
    • If Jafar or Amara had travelled to Storybrook then they wouldn't be bound by the laws of magic there either.

    Did the water from the Well of Wonders give Amara eternal youth? 
Cyrus and his brothers not aging makes sense, because genies would be immortal to continue to grant wishes. Amara looks exactly the same as she did when her sons were first cursed. She also trained and raised Jafar since he was a boy to adulthood all without aging. The waters have extreme healing properties it doesn't seem far fetched if it could renew youth as well.
  • Maybe, and maybe it was her sorcery. She looked pretty young to have three grown sons before the magic water too.
    • Since she's stepped outside the bounds of the Nyx's definition of "destiny" by that point, I presume that includes aging as well.
    • Amara appeared to be stuck in limbo by the waters of the well - until she returned it.

     Alice's Adventures In Wonderland 
  • Okay, so Alice in Wonderland is an autobiography. We know from our brief glimpses into Storybrooke that the events of this show are taking place during Season 2 of Once Upon a Time, meaning that Alice couldn't have written her book until at least the latter half of that season. So how is it that in Season 1, Emma recognized Jefferson's tea and his hat collection as Motifs of The Mad Hatter? Now, The White Rabbit could easily have distributed copies of the book to other worlds, but A) he never demonstrates the ability to travel through time and B) even if he could, all indications are that Storybrooke is the only place in the Land Without Magic that his portals reach. In other words, there is no possible way that his abilities could have made the book reach Emma prior to her arrival in Storybrooke. Did someone use magic to send Alice's book back through time? While this is theoretically possible, as Jefferson was able to help Regina reach back into a past version of The Enchanted Forest to retrieve her posion apple, it's hard to imagine that it would serve a purpose.
    • Will Scarlet is set to appear in the fourth season of OUAT. That will shed answers on Alice in Wonderland stories between the worlds. I doubt the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Alice wrote is the same one in the Land Without Magic/Real World. Emma was familiar the Mad Hatter character, but he was a character that is in most versions of the Alice story. Characters like Cyrus or Jafar she probably wouldn't know from the Alice stories. She probably recognize Jafar was the villain in Aladdin movie and not the main antagonist of Alice's story. Alice's autobiography most likely mentions Cyrus, his family, Will, and Jafar.
    • Word of God is that Alice's home is a separate world from our own. So her book is just a story in her own world. The biggest difference being that in Lewis Carroll's story, Alice is a little girl - and here she is a young woman. The parent series has never really explained how any of these stories entered our world's knowledge. Though if you wanted, you could argue that Jefferson at one point travelled to our world and met an impressionable Lewis Carroll.

     Jafar and using hostages 
Why didn't Jafar just keep threatening Alice with the knave? He's proven that there's way worse things than dying, such as torture and whatnot. Instead of convoluting the matter by getting her father and threatening to kill him, why not just torture the knave in front of her until she makes another wish? It's not like her first wish protected the Knave from harm. And speaking of that, why not just get Alice's father again from England and use him to threaten Alice again? Her wish sent him back to England but did not protect him from any further harm. Why did Jafar have to think of a new shtick each time?
  • At least he seemed to learn. By the time Anna got the wishes, he simply tied her and Will up in a room with the Jabberwocky and had all 3 wishes tortured out of her right then and there.
  • It's likely Jafar is rather powerless in Alice's land as magic is not commonly accepted as real. He managed to get her father to Wonderland in the first place by tricking him. Going back a second time would involve manhandling him into submission possible I guess but much too risky.

     Can't anyone "poof" in Wonderland 
  • Nice as the carpet flying effects are...why don't the sorcerers teleport more often? It's shown to be more than possible in the parent series. It's particularly egregious when Amara comes back as the most powerful sorcerer in the world and elects to carry her dying son to the rabbits house rather than just teleporting there. The only instance of non Genie based teleportation that I can recall is Cora teleporting a few objects around during her introductory scene.


Example of: