**This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, including last night’s episode, 1x04, “The Serpent.”**
In Agrabah, many years ago, a blacksmith berates a young, ragged boy for not finding any coal. It's another night without food for young Jafar. Jafar spies the beautiful sorceress, Amara, and cannot look away. Later that night, Jafar seeks Amara out, asking her to teach him dark magic. He wants revenge on his father, the sultan, who abandoned him as a bastard. This explains a lot, but how does this wounded boy grow up into someone so slickly evil? Watch and learn.
Grown up Jafar learns the Red Queen brought Knave to Wonderland because she needed someone Alice trusted. Knave was that, and now his service is done. Jafar wants Knave removed from the playing field.
Red Queen’s collectors chase Alice and Knave through the forest. Alice clutches her wishes, vowing that she will be with Cyrus soon.
In prison, Cyrus begs his guard for food. Guard throws him a bone; see if he can find a morsel left on that. Ah, but it wasn’t the food Cyrus wanted. It was the wishbone. Is he going to wish himself out of jail?, another prisoner asks. Something like that.
Back in the forest, Knave finds he’s run straight into the Red Queen’s clutches, as she’d planned.
In long ago Agrabah, Young Jafar gifts a friend with a wineskin before visiting Amara. The spell Jafar wants to learn requires a human liver, and since the wine his friend just drank is poisoned, he’ll have one. Amara has the antidote. Jafar can save his friend, but then they won't have the liver and he can't learn the spell. If Jafar lets his friend die, that will prove to Amara that Jafar means business. Jafar sets the antidote down on the table, and melts into Amara’s arms.
Alice, meanwhile, encounters a female collector, Lizard, who insists on coming along. Knave owes her and dead men can't pay debts.
Jafar demands the Red Queen tell him why Knave is still alive. Red Queen points out that Jafar wanted him removed. Jafar wants a public execution, so all will know the price of helping Alice in Wonderland. Queen says Knave could still be of use to them. Jafar clarifies that she means of use to her. He demands she prove she's more than a little girl with a stolen crown and orders her to kill Knave.
Back in old Agrabah, Amara shows Jafar a book with all the world’s knowledge of genies. If they can pull off a special spell requiring three genies, they can change the laws of magic. How can Jafar ever repay Amara for this? No one has ever shown him such kindness. No one has ever loved him like she has, Amara replies.
Meanwhile, in Wonderland, a suspicious guard confiscates Knave’s wishbone and throws it down a deep hole. So much for that.
Alice learns that Knave took Lizard in when she was on the streets, but not in a romantic sort of way. Just larceny buddies, that's all. Lizard knows about “the whole Anastasia thing,” and says Anastasia wrecked Knave, causing him to leave Wonderland.
Red Queen visits Knave in prison, with whispers of an escape plan. There’s bicker, there’s banter, and Knave tells the Red Queen she doesn’t have it in her to kill him. She stalks away.
Alice and Lizard happen upon an excited crowd, getting ready for Knave’s public execution. Alice and Lizard have to save him.
This, too, is all part of the plan. Jafar wants to see how far Alice will go to get what she wants.
Young Jafar can’t kill a genie’s owner to get his second bottle, but he can use a large knife to convince him to use the last wish. Amara is very, very pleased.
In Wonderland, hooded figures drag Knave onto the platform and put his head on the block. Up goes the axe and then…chaos. A disguised Alice and Lizard spirit Knave away, but they don’t get far. Jafar and Red Queen catch them again, Jafar using his magic to torture Knave. Alice begs him to stop, but she doesn't have to beg, only wish. She does, and Cyrus knows immediately. He'd be heartened to know that she's resistant to making the other two. Jafar needs her alive, but not whole. Drawing and quartering in midair should do the trick. All she has to do is wish and the pain will stop.
She won’t wish. Jafar will have to kill her. Jafar warns Alice there are worse things than death, and turns Knave to stone. If Alice won't use her wishes to save herself, Jafar will keep torturing everyone Alice loves until she does use her wishes. She has a heart and he’s going to exploit it.
Alice slugs Red Queen and calls her by name...Anastasia. She knows Red Queen still cares for Knave. Red Queen doesn’t have to put Alice in prison. What does Alice think Wonderland is? From now on, things are only going to get worse until Alice does what she must. A tearful Alice regards Knave's stony countenance.
Jafar taunts a still imprisoned Cyrus. With Alice using her wishes, Cyrus will soon be where he belongs, in Jafar's pocket.
In Agrabah, Amara preens, while Young Jafar brings the wine and announces that he knows where the third genie is. Then he'll be ready to begin the spell. He means they will be ready, right? Amara collapses to the ground. But Jafar loves her, she protests.
No, he replies, she loves him. Like the serpent she so admires, it's time for her to shed her skin. Or turn into an actual serpent. The golden serpent we saw earlier adorning one of Red Queen's chairs.
Cyrus still has the other half of the wishbone and fills in his fellow prisoner on the truth about wishbones. People pull wishbones apart, hoping magic will spill out. It's not about that. It's about being connected to our other halves and doing anything it takes to be put back together again.
Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.