This week’s backstory focused on the Knave of Hearts whose real name turns out to be Will Scarlet, tying in with Once Upon A Time‘s introduction of Robin Hood a few weeks ago. Once Upon A Time in Wonderland‘s audience sees Will join Robin Hood’s Merry Band.
Just as Will’s backstory is shrouded in mystery, including the reason why Alice had to retrieve his heart for him, there also seems to be a specific, mysterious reason why Will has latched onto Robin and his crew. Early in the episode, we see him talking to his lost love Anastasia after he sneaks away from Robin’s crew. We don’t see her face, however, and by the end of the episode, we see why.
Will talks Robin Hood into robbing a place with plenty of gold and to take the gold and nothing else – everything else is off limits. Of course, Will isn’t after the gold. He finds and steals a magic mirror, instead.
Meanwhile, back in the present, Alice and Will are trying to figure out who knew where she and Cyrus hid his genie bottle. Will suggests finding the “forget me not” rope, which reveals the last thing to occur in a certain place. A trip to the Caterpillar, who Will owes money to, is in order since he’s the one in possession of the rope. Alice realizes, however, that the Caterpillar doesn’t have the item. He calls her a smart girl and adds that if they find it and bring it to him, then Will’s debt will be erased.
So, Alice and Will are off to find the “forget me not” rope. The Caterpillar informs them that the item is with The Grendel – a nasty beast not to be trifled with.
Meanwhile, Jafar and the Red Queen are still trying to figure out a way for Alice to use up all her wishes. Remember, if she uses all her wishes, then Cyrus returns to his bottle and the process of granting wishes can start all over again.
Jafar and the Red Queen decide to send a Bandersnatch after Alice. The Bandersnatch is a huge beast that takes years to digest its food. They hope this would cause Alice to use a wish. Not to mention the beast has given Alice nightmares since she was a child.
Alice and Will’s meeting with The Grendel doesn’t go well. They fall into a trap and wake up tied up in his house.
Good news, though, because he has the “forget me not.” Alice and Will are shocked to see the hideous monster is using it to watch a beautiful young woman – it is the last moments she was in that spot and he is using it to watch her.
Turns out The Grendel is actually watching his wife’s final moments alive. She has died and he, as a once normal man, was so stricken with grief he stole the “forget me not” from the Red Queen. She found out and deformed him.
Amidst learning The Grendel’s plight, the Bandersnatch attacks. Jafar and the Red Queen hope that Alice will use a wish to escape the belly of the beast are dashed. Alice, a quick thinking young woman who can always find a clever way out of a situation, lures the Bandersnatch into the loop of the “forget me not” – trapping it. Will, proving to be a great partner, stabs the beast and kills it. Cyrus taught her to face her fears and learn all she could about it – she says they are stupid creatures so she used that against it.
The Grendel gives Alice and Will the “forget me not” and the two are on their way. Arriving back to the place Cyrus’ genie bottle was buried, they discover it was the White Rabbit who betrayed them. Alice is noticeably upset from his betrayal. In the end, Will decides to destroy the “forget me not” saying he would rather keep the price on his head rather than give the Caterpillar such power.
And what of The Grendel? With their plan having failed, Jafar and the Red Queen coerce The Grendel into telling them about Alice and Will. Jafar’s way of giving The Grendel back his wife is by killing him. It would seem Jafar thought he was being cruel, but for a man so stricken with grief, perhaps Jafar did The Grendel a favor?
The end of the episode closes out part of Will’s backstory. Why did he betray Robin Hood and his men? Why did he steal the mirror? Will stole it for his love, Anastasia. And the last question – who is Anastasia? Well, Anastasia is a very virginal-looking Red Queen. Will stole the mirror in order to create a portal to a wonderful new land where they could become anyone they wanted. Where did they go? To Wonderland.