mad-hatter-OUAT.jpgThis is an episode we’ve been waiting all season for – some Lewis Carroll up in “Once Upon a Time.” “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There” are two of our very favorite books. Have you ever seen the made-for-TV movie of the books starring Natalie Gregory and a host of famous stars? They’re so great, the most faithful-to-the-book adaptations we’ve ever seen. Anyway…

Fairytale Land

This week’s guest star is Sebastian Stan as Jefferson, the Mad Hatter before he was the Mad Hatter and who now lives in Fairytale Land and has a daughter named Grace. He agrees to help the Evil Queen get to Wonderland to steal something back from the Queen of Hearts.

Jeff spins his magic hat and a vortex opens to Wonderland. There, he and the Queen go to the Queen of Hearts’ heart vault (is that where the Evil Queen got that idea?) and she steals a heart back, the heart of her father. She restores Henry with a bit of mushroom and takes him back through the looking glass, which can only take two, since only two entered. Jefferson is trapped in Wonderland.

The Queen of Hearts wants to know how he got there, and beheads him to find out (it doesn’t kill him, which is super creepy), so he confesses about the hat and is charged with making another magic hat to get himself home to Grace. He can’t, which is how he becomes the mad hatter. It’s both sad and kind of scary. Hopefully that’s a plot they’ll revisit, if not this season then next.


Jefferson lives in Storybrooke, a man obsessed with getting back to Fairytale World so he can be with his daughter, who in Maine lives with another couple. He kidnaps Mary Margaret after she escapes from jail to use as leverage against Emma, whom he knows is special.

He wants her to make a magic hat to get him back to Fairytale Land, but she just thinks he’s insane, knocks him out, gets an awesome assist from MM and they escape. Jefferson has disappeared.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gold and Regina are in cahoots, having planted the key in MM’s cell, but luckily Emma appeals to MM’s heart and gets her to come back to jail voluntarily. Gold and Regina made some kind of deal, but for what, we don’t yet know.

In the end, Emma finds the Hatter and Grace in the pages of Henry’s storybook. Just another piece of the puzzle for Emma on her quest to believing.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • It was cool seeing the Evil Queen as the hag for the first time, at the toy cart in Fairytale Land. Creepy disguise, they did that very well.
  • Did anybody else totally believe Emma while she was seemingly going along with Jefferson’s story about magic and MM being her mom? We thought, “Finally! Emma has started believing!” Drats.
  • Once again, the DVR cut off the very end (we’re gonna have to look into that), so if anything happened after the camera zoomed out on the Mad Hatter sewing his hat, we missed it.
  • Speaking of, though, what a crazy story to explain how the Hatter became mad. That was pretty ingenious storytelling by “OUAT.” We wonder why the Queen of Hearts never showed her face…
  • A big shiny shout-out in next week’s post to whomever knows what the title of this post refers to.

Interesting diversion of an episode. The plot didn’t really move forward too much, though we’re dying to know what kind of deal Gold and Regina have. Do you suppose Emma starting to believe will happen pretty soon, or is that a season finale move?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."