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Syfy's Alice, pt 2 - Rewind TV

Feb. 18th, 2011 10:54 pm Syfy's Alice, pt 2

Alice, part 2

Part 1 is here.

Alice climbs back onto the board.

In Jack’s room, Duchess plies him with liquid Honesty to get him to talk about Alice. All she gets is ‘Alice is innocent’ and ‘I needed her’ before she’s interrupted by Ten. She storms out.

The board supporting Alice starts to crumble away. When she’s finally standing on a tiny nub, she agrees to tell them where the ring is, but insists that she needs to write it down. The doctors provide her with a desk, complete with fan and gloves.

The first time I saw this scene, I was sure Alice was going to use the fan to regain her size – that’s what happened in the book, in the scene this is homaging. But she didn’t.

Hatter and Charlie attempt to bluff their way in through a stage door – “We’re guardians to the mesmeric portals of the cosmos.” “What?” “Stage hypnotists.” – and end up beating their way in.

The Queen berates Duchess for not having gotten any answers. Interestingly, she claims Jack’s been in Duchess’s hands for three days. Has Alice been with the Tweedles that long, and if so why did it take so long for Charlie and Hatter to get there? Or does she mean Duchess was trying to get answers from Jack all along? We’ve only seen one night, so this should really be Alice and Jack’s second day.

Duchess insists she just needs a little more time.

Is Kathy Bates really that much shorter than everyone, or have they framed it like that on purpose?

The Queen gives Duchess until morning to get something from Jack. The king makes a half-hearted attempt to defend her, which the Queen takes as evidence that he’s in love with her. The King claims that’s not true.

Hatter and Charlie are in the Casino but have no idea where Alice is. Hatter suggests splitting up and searching different floors. Charlie uses his Dark Arts and spits out a stream of very specific directions.

I love the look on Hatter’s face in this scene – half disbelief, half something’s-really-going-on-here. And his instinctive tip of the hat when a couple of female Suits pass him.

Alice is still writing away when Hatter breaks in, almost falling into the pit. He urges Alice to jump; hesitating for a moment, she climbs onto the desk, jumps to a chandelier and swings into his arms, landing out in the hall. Charlie tells her they’re in her head, but he finds the exit and they all emerge into a corridor. I have no idea how that works. The doctors seem happy enough with her letter, though.

The three flee through the Casino, chased by Suits. Penned in, they duck into a lift. Charlie immediately starts pledging himself to Alice – “Just Plain Alice, I will stand at your side, shoulder to shoulder, knee to...knobbly knee...” Hatter cuts him off to ask if Alice gave up the ring. She claims she had everything under control. “Do you really think the Queen is just going to send you and your boyfriend home?” “No.” “No, of course –“ “Because he’s her son.”

That shuts Hatter up for a minute. Before he can do more than sputter variations on “Jack Heart?” they reach the roof, where two Suits are waiting. Hatter takes on one; Charlie attempts to take the other, but his sword seems to have rusted into his scabbard and Alice has to step in. Hatter knocks his out and they regroup at the edge of the roof.

There are small, pink flying machines, kind of like motorbikes – Flamingos – lined up there. Hatter orders them all on. Alice tries to refuse – “I have a thing about flying!” – but Hatter insists. “I’ve got a thing about bullets!” I swear he snaps his fingers for her attention here – you can’t see his hand, but you can hear it. “Look at me, I wouldn’t let you do it if I didn’t think you’d be ok.” And she trusts him.

They fly past Jack’s window, and he recognises first a Knight and then Alice.

I love how when they first take off, Alice is holding on behind her seat like a motorbike, and by the time we see them again she’s wrapped her arms around Hatter and is hanging on for dear life...

They’re chased by Suits, and first Charlie and then Alice and Hatter are shot down. They plummet into a lake.

Andrew-Lee Potts hated shooting those scenes. He said the Flamingo was seriously uncomfortable to ride. You wouldn’t know from watching, though, would you?

Duchess and an anonymous Suit enter Jack’s room to find him sprawled on the floor. When they kneel to examine him he jumps up, knocking the Suit out and tying up a strangely co operative Duchess.

Ten enters the throne room with Alice’s letter. The Queen pitches a fit because she’s not wearing her glasses, sending Nine to get them. The King reads it in his absence; Alice has described a location in her own world. The King realises this means they can’t get the ring back, as the looking Glass has run out of power. The Queen demands Alice, and they have to confess that she’s escaped again – “A crack team of commandoes, seventy at least, overwhelmed our valiant Suits and then...fled from the roof...on Flamingos.” The Queen sends for Jack, and they have to confess again – “Number Ten, you explain.” “No, but your Majesty is so good at explaining things. – Jack appears to have...disappeared.”

Nine reappears, carrying her glasses. The Queen stomps them to bits and orders his head off before storming out, followed by most of the court. Left alone with Ten, the King quietly reverses the execution order. He also sets March on Alice and Jack’s trail.

Alice and Hatter have made it ashore and are looking for Charlie. Hatter asks after the ring; Alice insists it’s safe but won’t tell him where. Hatter protests her lack of trust. Alice tells him she needs the ring to rescue her father, who she now believes to be in the Casino; Jack gave her his watch, marked with his initials and stopped at the time he disappeared. Hatter is firm – “He’s lying.” I love the delivery of that line.

Alice is convinced Jack is trying to help her. Hatter points out that Jack hasn’t done much for her yet; he gave the ring, making her a target for everyone in Wonderland, after all. She admits that he’s engaged and Hatter is quick to jump on it – “He’s two-timing you?” Alice isn’t sure.

Before the argument can deteriorate any further they hear Charlie, who has not only made it to shore but stripped off all his armour and started a fire to dry out.

Hatter suggests getting off the beach before they’re spotted. Alice says no. You can see Hatter take a deep breath to calm down before he answers her. She wants to go back to look for her father. Hatter attempts to convince her to help the Resistance, suggesting going straight to the top instead of going through lower levels like before. He asks her to wait for a few hours while he goes back to the city to make contact with the top man – Caterpillar.

Then there’s a very nice shot of Hatter being very cool and rebel-with-a-cause in his speed boat. Nice.


In the city he finds Dormie, a worker from his tea shop. Hatter wants to get a message to Caterpillar. [Dormie claims not to know anyone but Dodo in the Resistance; Hatter exasperatedly tells hir to tell Dodo to pass it on, then.] “We still have what they want; we’re ready to make a deal.”

[Ten trails March through the forest, attempting to be friendly. March is having none of it.]

Back at Charlie’s camp Alice is distracted. Charlie notices and asks about her father. She tells him she was ten when he vanished and implies that she blames herself for it. Charlie nods, slowly, telling her that he remembers being ten. That was the year the Queen came to overthrow the Red King and his Knights. Charlie, who was only a squire at the time, panicked and hid for three days. When he emerged everyone was dead. For a while, he tells a fascinated Alice, he wanted to die, but after a while a need to make up for his cowardice and avenge his friends overtook that, so he took his master’s armour and waited for a sign. He has taken Alice to be that sign and is ready to fight.

Matt Frewer is excellent in this scene; it would be easy to play it over the top, but he keeps it at just the right level to avoid melodrama and still be genuinely touching. It’s the first time he’s seemed really, truly sane, and with that kind of origin story you can’t blame him for retreating a little.

In the Casino Carpenter treats several Oysters who have regained their faculties, putting them back into the trance needed for their emotions to be drained.

Charlie is sleeping in camp when Hatter eases into shot, waking him with a yell. Charlie falls out of his hammock. Hatter is not impressed, since he’s supposed to be watching Alice.

Alice is standing on a rise near the camp. Hatter tells her that an agent is coming to bring them to Caterpillar, who wants to help them. Alice admits to being afraid he wasn’t coming back; Hatter wryly comments that she still doesn’t trust him.

His attention is caught by the view over the ruins of the city, and Alice asks if he’s still planning on joining the Resistance. Absently, Hatter confirms that he wants to try. He’s spent his life playing both sides of the court, he tells her, but he has to pick a side now.

In the original script, a couple of lines in here implied that Hatter’s dead brother was Mad March, and that it was likely Hatter’s fault March was dead a short while ago. The lines were sadly cut but remain part of my personal fanon.

At camp, Charlie is woken by the intruder alert.

Hatter and Alice wander back towards camp. Alice asks quietly what she will do if she can’t go home. Hatter promises to take care of her.

That’s a fic I’d love to read; what if the coup had failed and they’d joined the Resistance? There must be one like that out there somewhere, yes?

Hatter moves in for a kiss and at the last possible second, Jack speaks up from behind them. I’m just pre-emptively going to say I adore this scene.


There’s some awful editing which seems to make Hatter jump back and forth from in front of Alice to beside her.

Hatter snatches up a stick to defend Alice – “Do you think you can take me on with that?” “I’m not an old man.” “(Charlie) Oi!” – but Alice insists it isn’t necessary. Jack admits to a little jealousy on seeing Hatter and insists that she leave with him, straight away. Hatter tries to protest, but Jack over rides him, telling Alice that if she wants to see her father she has to come.

Hatter tries to persuade Alice against going, but even Jack’s admission that he does want the ring – “We need the ring to get you home” – isn’t enough. Hatter tries to point out Jack’s family ties; Jack responds by reminding them that Hatter sent for him. Jack is the Resistance member tasked with bringing Alice to Caterpillar.

Oh, poor Hatter. He just keeps getting shot down, poor guy.

Jack explains that he needs the ring to overthrow his mother. He asks Alice who he trusts more; “A Resistance insider and future king, who’s already scheduled your return trip through the Looking Glass, and who cares for you more than anyone else in the world...(re Hatter) or this man.” Hatter, already knowing what the answer to that has to be, drops his stick and edges away from her.

Jack asks again for the ring. Alice tells him it’s where it belongs, and turns. The Red King sits behind her. Jack finds the ring on his finger.

Hatter quietly wishes her luck. Alice, surprised, protests that he’s coming, but he “(don’t) think I figure in the future King’s plans.” Alice appeals to Jack, who tells her Caterpillar will only see her if she comes alone. Hatter tells her he wouldn’t want to go anywhere with Jack anyway. Alice asks what he’s going to do; Hatter promises he’ll be fine. “Believe me – you’re better off with this guy. (Softly) Go.” And she trusts him.

Andrew-Lee Potts breaks my heart in this scene. Everything Hatter tries, Jack tops without even trying. Hatter can maybe sneak Alice back to the Looking Glass. Jack has a plan in place to get Alice and her father home. Hatter works with a fairly insane low-level member of the Resistance. Jack was directly recruited by the head of the Resistance. Jack has a – big shiny sword. Hatter has a stick. Hatter’s been asking about the ring for two days. Jack gets it handed to him his very first time. Andrew nails every beat and he just makes you want to cry.

[Hatter and Charlie watch them leave. Charlie wants to follow them, but Hatter stops him. “Your work here is done...brave knight.” After a moment, he adds, “But you should be proud. You’ve done one hell of a job.” She’s inn safe hands, he says, but I think he’s just trying to convince himself...]

Alice and Jack pause to get a drink and freshen up. Jack tells her that his marriage was arranged for him and there’s no feeling on either side. [He thinks someone may be watching them, but he doesn’t tell Alice.]

Hatter has somehow managed to get ahead of and above them and is watching from a horse. He spots a reflection way across a valley.

The reflection is Charlie, wandering along singing. Hatter manages to surprise him by approaching from directly in front of him, and they accuse each other of following Alice before giving up and heading on together.

Jack brings Alice to the Hospital of Dreams, where Wonderlanders who have overdosed on human emotion are treated. Caterpillar is kind of weird and condescending, but eventually he starts to explain things.

Jack, it turns out, went to Alice's world specifically to look for her. They need her to deprogram her father to help break the Queen’s hold on Wonderland. Jack claims he really did fall in love with Alice, but she is not convinced.

Caterpillar takes them to her father, who is – drum roll please – Carpenter.

He doesn’t recognise her. Alice spends several ever-more-upsetting minutes trying to jog his memory, but nothing works until she starts crying. Apparently out of habit, he murmurs, “Don’t cry, Jellybean.”

Before they can capitalise on the moment, March arrives with some Suits. Carpenter instinctively shields Alice when they start fighting, letting her go after a moment with a vaguely puzzled look.

March gloats over Carpenter, who calmly eats a mushroom and vanishes. March makes do with Jack and Alice, dragging them off.

Charlie and Hatter have made it to the city. Hatter rapidly outlines an attack plan which basically involves going in swinging and hoping for the best. Surprisingly, this doesn’t turn out too well. Charlie loses his nerve and bolts, and Hatter is overpowered and dragged off the horse. It looks like he really hits the ground, too. That must have hurt.

In the throne room the Queen gloats over Jack and the return of the ring. Alice is stuck in what looks like a big round birdcage covered in clingfilm; the King explains that they can’t risk Carpenter hearing her. The Queen wants her executed, but the King talks her down to “the harsher sentence of banishment.” Jack, meanwhile, will be executed in the morning.

Jack claims that the Resistance leader is dead. Was it a self-immolating mushroom, then? I thought it just magically vanished him to somewhere else.

Charlie, back in his fortress, is pacing around and muttering to himself. He thinks the Red King must be terribly disappointed in him, as this is the second time he’s run from battle, but he’s not sure what else he could have done. Finally, he has an idea.

Alice is taken by Scarab from the Casino back to the city.

In the Casino Hatter is being cattle-prodded by Drs Dee and Dum.


Mad March sends them away. Hatter is apparently pretty far gone – “Why is a raven like a writing desk? The clockwork’s not ticking properly. May be crumbs in the butter.” – but not so far gone that he can’t completely own March despite being tied to a chair. Hell yeah!

Nine brings Alice back to the Looking Glass, but she has to wait while a raiding party comes through. When she sees that they are now kidnapping children, something in her breaks. She tears apart her Suit escort and flees up to the roof, where she manages to conquer her fear enough to get on a Flamingo. Avoiding the pursuing Suits, she heads back to the Casino.

The King and Queen are sampling some new emotions when Ten bursts in to tell them they’re under attack. Outside, Charlie has propped up all the skeletons of the old Knights. Despite them clearly being skeletons, everyone reacts as though they actually are under attack. The Queen orders all her Suits out to deal with them.

Jack’s being held in a wall that is literally covered with eyes. Presumably people can look in on him from anywhere. Starting to crack, he throws his chair at the nearest wall, but it just vanishes. Not his best idea, because now he can’t even sit down.

The eyes start to vanish and when the room is pitch black, Duchess arrives with a coat and hat to disguise him. She’s bribed the guards because she truly cares for him. They hurry off together.

Alice, sneaking around the Casino, finds herself in the Gaming Rooms. She’s stopped by two Suits, but Hatter arrives just in time to take them down. Alice throws her arms around him gratefully – “Oh, that feels good ... we should save that until we’re safe.” – and apologises for not trusting him. “Do you trust me now?” “Completely.” She locks them in the room and starts waking the Oysters up, urging them to realise what’s going on.

The new emotions start seeping into the tanks below. When Carpenter realises what’s going on he heads up to deal with it. Walrus, suspicious, follows and tries to kill him. Carpenter shoots him and leaves him behind.

The Suits break into the Game room and a firefight breaks out. Love Hatter’s athletic leap over the edge of his stage. Carpenter yells the Suits into submission on the basis that they’re scaring the Oysters. Alice bitterly tells them that this is the man responsible for their predicament. Carpenter remembers her, though, and he tells her a story from her childhood to prove it. Alice, sobbing, lets him hug her.

Walrus staggers in. Carpenter, seeing him, spins so that he is between Alice and Walrus, and gets shot in the back. Hatter promptly shoots Walrus.

The negative emotions overload the tanks, which start to explode. A worker frees the Oysters and a mass stampede for the exit begins. Carpenter has time for a last few words with Alice before he dies. Hatter drags her out, apologising all the way.

The Queen decides that the time to evacuate has come. The King refuses to leave. [He’s tasted every emotion there is, but he’s never felt her love for him.] He can’t keep living in a world where she doesn’t love him, not after everything he’s done to try and earn that love. The Queen leaves him behind.

Jack and Duchess, who apparently either got lost or stopped to do something else, join the Oysters and workers fleeing the Casino.

Charlie, almost completely unconscious, fires one last harpoon. The Casino tumbles and he collapses, satisfied in a job well done.

The harpoon thuds into the ground some distance away.

Alice and Hatter fetch up with a crowd of refugees a ridiculous distance away. Hatter suggests having that hug they’d put off, but the Queen arrives with a handful of Suits and demands they arrest Alice. An Oyster jumps to her defence, and Alice advises the Suits to take a good luck at the Queen.

Jack and Duchess appear, and the Queen orders Jack to arrest Alice and get the Suits back in line. Jack refuses – “Didn’t you sentence me to death?” “Oh don’t be so sensitive!” Alice demands the ring back and the Queen tells her she’s rather have her finger cut off. “That can be arranged.”

Hatter, who’s been standing behind Alice, turns to Ten, who’s quietly switched sides, and asks for a knife. Ten produces a pocket knife and Jack advises “Make sure it’s a clean cut. We don’t want any blood on the ring.” Faced with Hatter and a crowd that’s clearly turned against her, the Queen gives in and hands over the ring.

Any opinions on whether Hatter would have actually done it? I’m not sure he could have. It takes a lot of strength to saw through bone, especially with a pocket knife, and I’m not sure he’s cold-blooded enough to keep sawing, even to her. Of course, if he did it with his right hand, he might have been able to just swing once...anyone?

Alice wanders around the Looking Glass hall, watching as the Oysters are prepared to go home. Charlie, fully recovered, comes to thank her for freeing them. Alice doesn’t bother correcting him.

Jack approaches and quietly steers Alice away a few feet. He offers her the ring and his hand in marriage. Alice gently refuses him. She’s changed and Jack isn’t what she needs anymore. He accepts it and gives her a hug.

Hatter comes in just in time to see them.

Jack asks Alice to start up the Glass for him. She does, and Hatter turns to leave.

Apparently catching his reflection, Alice calls after him. Hatter promptly puts a brave face on it and comes to meet her. He’s almost too late to say goodbye – “I guess I was...trying not to think about it.” Alice takes off his coat, though he tries to leave it with her, and they awkwardly invite each other to holiday in their respective worlds.

This conversation is actually painful, because they desperately don’t want to be having it, and they keep saying the wrong things and knowing it, and it’s all just very...aw, man.

It is quite amusing to watch Jack and Charlie pretend not to be listening, though.

They’re interrupted by a mirror tech, who shoves Alice through the Glass.

Back in her world, Alice wakes in hospital. She briefly cries for her father before calming. Her mother tells her she was missing for almost an hour before a construction worker found her.

At home, Alice clears away her father’s things and the maps and paraphernalia she used to search for him. Her mother is clearly unsure where this about-face came from, but she doesn’t have time to wonder before someone rings the doorbell. She tells Alice that the construction worker who found her wanted to come check up on her. “Very sweet.”

Alice finishes tidying, lingering over her father’s copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Carol calls her to “Come meet David!” and she goes.

David is waiting in the lobby and she wanders in. Glancing up, she beams and throws herself at him.


Because it is Hatter, of course, but he’s taken off his hat and his hair’s a bit weird and all in all, he doesn’t look much like himself. Alice doesn’t seem to care, hanging onto him for dear life. The look of relief on Hatter’s face would break your heart.



And then he kisses her, pausing only to murmur “I missed you.” Carol, more or less forgotten, watches from the side as they kiss again.

I like how they’re framed between two mirrors for this shot, it’s a nice little reminder.

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Date:February 20th, 2011 05:24 am (UTC)
Any opinions on whether Hatter would have actually done it? I’m not sure he could have. It takes a lot of strength to saw through bone, especially with a pocket knife, and I’m not sure he’s cold-blooded enough to keep sawing, even to her. Of course, if he did it with his right hand, he might have been able to just swing once...anyone? Oh hell yeah, Hatter would have started sawing. This is the woman who has made his life hell, and if you go by the deleted script stuff is responsible for his father's death and turning his brother to Mad March. PLUS what she did to Alice.

Now granted, first slice and the Queen of Hearts would have caved before getting down to bone. But I don't think he was bluffing all that much.
Date:February 20th, 2011 08:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, I guess. I'm glad he didn't have to prove it, though. (It was a spectacularily awesome scene. Someone threatening to cut off someone else's finger should not be that sexy, lol.)