Once Upon A Time 6×15 “A Wondrous Place” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

No one to tell us no. Or where to go. (But someone should tell Killian which direction he can go back home to Emma.)

Episode Summary: In flashbacks, we learn about Jafar’s proposal to Jasmine and the princess is united with Killian after her mission with Aladdin goes south. We also learn that Ariel and Jasmine knew one another. After Killian doesn’t come home and Leroy says he saw him leaving, Emma and the entire town believe he’s gone for good. Charming learns the truth behind his father’s death. Snow and Regina try to distract Emma. Basically, a lot happened.

Review | Analysis: “A Wondrous Place” was an adorable adventure we’d never see anywhere else. No seriously, Captain Hook, Ariel, Jasmine, Aladdin, and Nemo? Brilliant. Sometimes, even when Once Upon A Time does things that are undoubtedly questionable, it’s moments like this that make up for it. Episodes where the audience could just have a little fun as we watch things unfold in a way we’d otherwise never been able to. And Once Upon A Time’s most important lesson? Princesses get stuff done!

Once Upon A Time isn’t perfect, but when it comes to reminding us of how great its female characters are, it always succeeds. And in “A Wondrous Place” Princess Jasmine was on the heart of the carpet (metaphorically) guiding us through the thought process of an incredibly real woman. For as long as I remember, Jasmine’s been one of the avidly stronger princesses, but I appreciated the show giving us a glimpse into the reality that there’s fear within her. When Jasmine voiced that she couldn’t face Jafar, it reminded me a bit of Snow expressing her fears of taking back the kingdom. And those very real fears have made the females on the show incredibly realistic. No one wakes up in the morning ready to take on the world. No one is ever truly 100% fearless.

But where there are fears, there are also people ready to remind them of the fact that they can conquer anything. And it was gorgeous to see Aladdin be that person for Jasmine alongside Killian. (How adorable was Aladdin and Jasmine’s banter?! They were melting my heart one word at a time.) But I appreciated both of them standing by her side and reminding her of the fact that she doesn’t have to face him alone. It was a beautiful reminder of the fact that teamwork could do even the impossible. Plus, bring in another princess supporting a princess and the feminist inside of me will jump for joy.

On another note, Oded Fehr’s work as Jafar was something else. I was a little sad that Naveen Andrews wouldn’t be reprising the role, but Once Upon A Time never fails in the casting department, so both men have brought something interesting. At the end of the day, what’s often been riveting in the battle between good vs. evil is the way in which good has won. And nothing’s better than a man laughing in your face because they believed you’ve failed only to have them crumble.

Jasmine’s story would’ve easily been special, but personally, it’s as if it had an even greater impact given the fact that it was between a man and a woman. Jasmine didn’t want to marry and Jafar wasn’t okay with that. I’m sure we can all picture where I’m going here. When rejected, some men believe they can hold something above a woman’s head in an attempt to control them, but Jasmine’s comeback was everything I wanted it to be. And in an episode where a woman’s kingdom and heart were in question, I appreciated the fact that she had two men standing by her side protecting her. These are the types of progressive images that Once Upon A Time floors me with. And these are the types of storylines that I’ll always appreciate watching — especially today.

I also appreciated Joanna Garcia’s return as Ariel because seriously, how is one person that precious? And how is her grip on the character so perfect? To return evoking hope everywhere felt incredibly right for her character.

But let’s now get into the fact that there’s not a single fairytale moment on this show that hasn’t tugged on my heartstrings, and Jasmine’s True Love’s kiss freeing Aladdin as the genie was everything I’d hoped it be. And the costumes. Oh, the costumes. Eduardo Castro can do no wrong. Their romance was every bit as magical as it was in the cartoon. And for her to be the one to show them all a whole new world this time felt right.

Now while fear played a crucial role in this week’s episode, when it came to Emma Swan, it got a bit harder to grasp in the end. And unfortunately, it distracted me a bit from the episode. I can understand the fact that Killian’s departure engulfed her with the abandonment issues she’s always felt. I can understand her heartache and the desire to distract herself. What I can’t understand is, why not one person, said something along the lines of, let’s wait it out. Didn’t this occur in the course of two days? Maybe even one? It was strange to me that instead of being treated like the tough, real woman she is, Emma was treated like a little girl who’d just got her heart broken for the first time. (Plus, alcohol.) And I actually thought the scenes with Regina and Snow were genius, but if only they were executed differently. Give me all the girl’s nights with Snow White drunkenly playing darts and defending herself. But don’t try to convince me that it was that easy for everyone to believe Killian would just leave and never return. After everything they’ve been through, it simply didn’t fit. It especially didn’t seem to fit because while he once may have been under the impression that she wants him gone, the love that runs through them is too deep to just part without goodbyes. It’s too deep not to fight.

And though the weight of the secret is enormous, Emma did state that Regina was forgiven. Thereby, if Regina was forgiven, he could be, too. That’d linger in his head sometimes even if Snow didn’t tell him everyone could be saved. But let it be known above all things that this isn’t an Emma Swan problem but rather a writing problem. And sometimes, this tends to happen when the plot is the focus instead of the characters. Because while I understood her, the conversation with the bartender was misplaced and off. It isn’t like her to think she should move on after a day if she couldn’t move on when he died. It was off on so many levels.

For what it’s worth’ “A Wondrous Place” was a gorgeous episode for Jasmine, Aladdin, and Killian. It could’ve been better if handled differently, but six seasons in, I shouldn’t be surprised that the drama will take priority. I only hope that we’re somehow told the town’s under some drug forcing them to act strange. (Too hopeful?) But it seems like next week will be promising, and hopefully, Snow and Charming’s curse is broken, too because I need another do-over at this bar.

Worth Mentioning:

  • I couldn’t believe Charming already knew, but I also couldn’t believe that he seemed to be calmer than I imagined? It’s something I had hoped Killian and Emma would tell them together.
  • But on an exceptional note, Colin O’Donoghue once again broke my heart into tiny pieces with his declarations of needing to get back to Emma. O’Donoghue brought to life the pain and suffering that stemmed from the fact that a loved one may not know how you feel about them. He made it clear that he’s hurting not for himself, but more so for Emma because of how she may be feeling at the thought that he left her.
  • “I’m not a bloody matchmaker!” The episode was filled with some ridiculously hilarious lines between characters that wouldn’t normally interact as often and I loved that.
  • loved the scene where Liam and Killian embraced one another — never in a million years did I imagine that’d happen, but it was beautiful for them both to be reminded of the fact that they’re not alone in the world. They’ve got a brother out there who cares for them.
  • It was just nice to see Killian get a few hugs this week. Especially from Ariel who’s often slapped him as a greeting. (Lol!)
  • It was also nice to see Emma back in her parents’ loft confiding in her dad, sitting on the counter like a little girl.
  • Drunk Snow was too good. Too good. Too perfect. Too pure. More, please.
  • I’m usually not a fan of Regina’s hair (because it reminds me of mine right now), but it was so adorable this week.
  • I can’t get over how precious Karen David is as Jasmine. Can we keep her on the show forever because she’s spot on? And I loved the fact that the series gave her the opportunity to layer the character further showcasing David’s abilities as an actress beautifully.
  • I’m going to adopt “Son of a fish” as my new form of cursing. Thanks, Ariel!
  • But most importantly, I’m thankful the episode left us with a bit of hope where Emma could hear that Killian wouldn’t have abandoned her and that Gideon was the problem through it all. Thank heavens that didn’t last longer than an episode. And when she said she loved him, too, you could see light come back into her eyes.
  • Speaking of Gideon, I’m actually excited to see him team up with Emma? Is that strange? It may end well.
  • We’re going back to Neverland! Is anyone else as excited as I am? I loved Neverland.

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