'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland' Recap: "Serpent" Delves into Jafar's Backstory
This week's episode of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, "Serpent," gave us Jafar's origin story. And what is that origin, you ask? Jafar is basically Aladdin. No, he doesn't have a fun talking monkey, but he does start his life as a street rat and first sees his love while she's stealing at the marketplace. Unlike Al though, Jafar's love is Amara, a wicked cougar of a sorceress who takes him as an apprentice when he's a child, and she's a grown lady who takes him as a lover when he grows into super-hot Naveen Andrews. Here's what we learn about Jafar throughout the episode.
1. Jafar was a bastard street rat.
Even though he grows into a badass sorcerer, Jafar started his career on the streets of Agraba as a street rat, not unlike Aladdin in the Disney classic. Again, he's not 100 percent Al though. Jafar is super burned from a young age, because he's actually the sultan's bastard son (which means we should really hope half-sis Jasmine doesn't show up in a red bikini this season). His entire motivation in going to the dark side and learning magic is to take the power that he feels is rightfully his. Hey there, motivation.
2. Jafar will do anything to get what he wants.
Amara is both Jafar's lover and his teacher, even as he grows into adulthood. In flashbacks, Jafar is a pretty good guy. Sure, he went begging for dark magic lessons like the child star of a Japanese horror movie when he was still in elementary school, but, as a grown up, he's not a total asshole. That is, until Amara steps in with a big life lesson that will change everything. Jafar has been dying to learn a certain spell in her book, but she's told him that they can't go forward with it. They need a human liver. She poisons the wine that Jafar gifts his friend and then gives him a choice: He can have the antidote and save his friend, but then he won't have a liver, and he won't learn the spell. Jafar lets his friend die, proving that he'll do whatever it takes to get to his endgame.
3. Jafar is testing people left and right.
When the Red Queen — who is really Anastasia, the Knave's long lost love — captures the Knave, Jafar tells her that she has to sentence him to a public execution... or else. When she finally complies (she doesn't want to because there is SO still something there), he uses the execution to test Alice, who is spotted in the crowd by the palace guards. When Alice knocks out the executioner, takes his place, and frees the Knave, Jafar realizes that she has a heart and a weakness and exploits her love for her friends to force her into making her first wish. (It's a really clever one — she wishes that if the Knave dies, she will die. If she dies before she makes her third wish, Jafar can never possess her genie.)
4. Jafar's power staff is Amara.
Jafar and Amara were collecting genies for a big spell that was so massive, it was going to require both their power to pull off. Instead of keeping her around for the long haul, Jafar waits until she's helped him capture two genies and locate a third (Cyrus), and then turns her into his serpent staff to keep her power forever. Yikes. Sorry, Amara.
What did you think of the episode (and Jafar's unending evilness)?