Alice learns her father is in Wonderland and they start healing their relationship; young Jafar is distressed by his mother's death.Alice learns her father is in Wonderland and they start healing their relationship; young Jafar is distressed by his mother's death.Alice learns her father is in Wonderland and they start healing their relationship; young Jafar is distressed by his mother's death.
The best 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' episode since "The Serpent", perhaps even better than that episode, and one of the show's best, "Bad Blood" is far from bad and far from bloodless. Not everything works smoothly, but mostly it is a very good episode with a lot of great things and indicative of the show properly starting to settle when watching the first half of the show without seeing yet the second. Those were my feelings after watching.
"Bad Blood", apart from one consistent sore spot, looks good. With it being beautifully and atmospherically shot as ever and one sees a welcome return to the more vibrant and varied colours after the appropriately gloomier look of the previous episode "Who's Alice?", doing so in not a garish or overblown way. The music is not intrusive in tone or placement and the opening titles has lost none of its enchantment. In terms of the writing, "Bad Blood" is one of the better written episodes of 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland'. It was nice to have more wit here and to have Knave play more of a prominent role tonally more akin to the first three episodes. It wisely doesn't take itself too seriously, while also not treating things too much of a joke.
As well as the wit, there is also an emotional punch. Thanks to Jafar's backstory, which is every bit as interesting and perhaps more emotionally investable than that in "The Serpent", where motivations and such are explained, and sees him as more than the one-dimensional bland villain of most of the previous episodes. It is narratively a very eventful episode, without making the mistake of trying to include too much. It's one of the better acted episodes, with both Naveen Andrews and Emma Rigby (instead of being the weak links) surprisingly giving some of their best acting of the show. Both did little for me mostly before, but Andrews especially makes Jafar more than stock villainy. His younger self is well portrayed too.
Did personally think that the Cyrus, a character who has been underwritten since "Trust Me", subplot was underdeveloped and got lost amidst everything else going on in the story.
Little improvement in the less than special special effects either.
Concluding, very well done. 8/10.
- May 24, 2021