March 13, 2013 – The Disney Channel Original Series Special The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex Premieres
“People should appreciate you for who you are, not for what they think you should be.”
On March 13, 2013, the special for the Disney Channel Original Series The Wizards of Waverly Place entitled The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex premiered. The cast of the show returned for the special, except for David Henrie. It received 5.9 million viewers on its premiere. The special was directed by Victor Gonzalez, and written by Vince Cheung, Ben Montanio, and Dan Berendsen. It starred Selena Gomez as Alex, Jake T. Austin as Max, Jennifer Stone as Harper, Gregg Sulkin as Mason, Beau Mirchoff as Dominic, Maria Canals Barrera as Theresa, and David DeLuise as Jerry.
The special starts in a crystal cavern high in the mountains, where Alex is standing in front of the Crystals of Justice, accused of trying to destroy the world. Alex tries to defend herself (poorly), and she is found guilty of treason. She implores the Crystals to review the events that led up to the charge, and they send her back through the time vortex to when the events began. Alex is taken back to a night at the drive-in with her best friend Harper, although Alex’s dad Jerry finds that the two have made their own makeshift drive-in in the living room. Jerry lectures Alex on her immaturity as the Family Wizard. Alex’s boyfriend Mason and her mom Theresa show up with supplies for a surprise party for Alex’s older brother Justin. Alex is jealous that no one threw her a party, and Jerry lectures her again about using magic for selfish reasons. Unfortunately, Justin won’t make it to the party, as he’s too busy at Wiz Tech to make it. Jerry reveals there was another reason for the party: the family is heading to Italy for a family reunion. Alex decides to make it easier for everyone and creates a portal to Italy from their living room, and once again gets scolded by Jerry for using selfish magic.
Before Alex can remove the portal, her younger brother Max steps through to get a girl’s phone number, leaving Jerry and Theresa with no choice but to chase after him. They manage to retrieve him and head back to the New York apartment, but Alex doesn’t know how to undo the spell. When Jerry compares her to Justin, Alex gets upset, as she thinks Jerry wanted Justin to be the family wizard, and zaps herself away to the back of a Jumbotron to sulk. She is found by Justin’s friend Dominic, who asks her about joining the Wizard Council. He gives her the confidence that she could be a powerful wizard and gives her a friendship bracelet. Mason arrives and scares Dominic away, surprising her with a picnic. When Alex changes the food he’s made, he gets upset with her, as he also believes she’s just using her magic selfishly.
When Alex gets home, she still doesn’t know how to get rid of the door, and Max keeps traveling through to find a girl. Alex relates to Harper how she hates how everyone wants her to change, and Harper tells her that she should be loved for who she are, not who she should be. Alex decides to change her personality for the better with magic. Unfortunately, all of Alex’s bad parts end up in a nearby mirror. While Alex thinks she’s trapped, the mirror version seems to have a plan to get back at her. Jerry and Theresa, having gone to search for Max again in Italy, meet up with Jerry’s family, and find that Max has fallen for his cousin. Back in New York, Harper is taking advantage of Alex’s good nature, but the mood sours when they hear a mirror break. They realize that Evil Alex has gone through the door to Italy, and when they find her parents, Alex tries to convince them that she’s changed, but they don’t believe her.
Evil Alex stumbles upon Max trying to kiss his cousin Francesca, and traps him in the friendship bracelet from Dominic. The rest of the family is taken on a tour of the family vineyard, where Jerry and Theresa are asked to go stomp grapes, and the two begin to fight, throwing grapes at each other. While they fight, they suddenly disappear; Alex believes her evil self must have done something terrible. When Jerry and Theresa find themselves in Evil Alex’s bracelet, and are surprised to find that Evil Alex has teamed up with Dominic. Mason accidentally discovers Evil Alex and Dominic together, and walks away sadly before Dominic takes Evil Alex away to the Tower of Pisa. At the Tower, Dominic reveals his plan to rid the world of mortals. He needs Alex’s help to set his plan in motion, as she is the most powerful Family Wizard of their generation. Alex and Harper rush to the tower to stop them, but Harper is captured in the bracelet. Dominic reveals that he is the nephew of Alex’s old nemesis Gorog, the leader of the Dark Angels, and Alex refuses to cooperate, except when Evil Alex goes to trap Dominic in the bracelet.
Alex manages to find Mason, but he is still angry with her after he thought he saw her with Dominic. Unfortunately, Evil Alex arrives, and Mason has to determine which is the real Alex. He picks the Evil Alex, and is brought back to the Tower of Pisa, where Dominic is waiting to trap Mason in the bracelet. Back in the apartment, Alex stares at some photos of her family, Mason, and Harper, and remembers Harper’s words about being appreciated for who she is. Realizing that everyone will need to accept Alex the way she is, she decides to save the world again, and heads to Pisa. Alex and Evil Alex get into an argument over who will go first with their bargain, but Alex has to cast the spell first, with all the mortals being wiped away from the Earth and trapped in beads. Alex is then given the bracelet back, but before she can undo the spell and save her family, she is brought before Crystals of Justice. Dominic is then brought before the board to give his testimony, and he blames her for the entire thing. Alex is found guilty again, and sentenced to death. Unfortunately, what Dominic failed to notice is that one of the charms on the charm bracelet is broken: Mason’s.
Mason manages to find Alex’s cell and breaks her out, where they rush off back to Pisa. Alex confronts Dominic and Evil Alex, and when Evil Alex heads back to New York, Alex is there to fight her. Evil Alex manages to run away, and Alex finds her behind the Jumbotron. The two continue to duke it out, and Alex manages to save her family, although it’s seen that she didn’t actually destroy her evil self. Alex heads back to Pisa, and finds herself trapped and has the bracelet taken away by Dominic, but she finally is able to destroy her evil self. Dominic throws the bracelet over the side of the tower, but Alex manages to save her family. Mason throws Dominic over the side of the tower, ending the plan. Evil Alex revives, and plans on taking over the world herself. When Alex decides to cast a spell to get rid of her powers, Evil Alex disappears within her, and her wand also vanishes, which brings back all the mortals. Back before the Crystals of Justice again, they laud her for her bravery, but refuse to give her back her powers because they believe she is not mature enough. Alex is angry that no one seems to accept her just as she is, except for Harper. The council is moved by her appreciation for Harper, and decides to give Alex her powers back. The family enjoys the rest of the family reunion, but Harper and Alex decide to remain in Italy for a while after Jerry and Theresa see the mess that the fight between Alexes left behind.