Once Upon A Time: Hat Trick

 

I feel like a broken record, but once again ANOTHER brilliant episode!
Sebastian Stan was the perfect Mad Hatter, wasn’t he? LOVED!

So we begin where we left off last week, with Mary on the lam after escaping her cell.

Henry is at the jail, waiting for Emma, who walks in with Gold. They discover Mary gone and Emma takes off in her bug to find her.

While driving on the foggy road, Emma almost hits a fellow citizen of Storybrooke, who goes by the name Jefferson (and wasn’t that a wicked-awesome nod to Jefferson Airplane, who’s most famous song is ‘White Rabbit’!). It seems he’s twisted his ankle after diving into the ditch, and Emma offers him a ride home.
He invites her in for a nice cuppa…and then promptly drugs her and ties her up while she’s unconscious.

Emma, always the thinker, easily escapes her bonds and discovers Mary Margaret tied and gagged in another room. Apparently Jefferson has kidnapped her, too!
Of course, they’re discovered as they’re trying to escape and Mary is once again tied to the chair.

Jefferson explains to Emma that he knows she’s magic and that he also remembers being someone else, somewhere else.
In a nutshell, he KNOWS Henry’s book is real and he wants to go back to Fairytale Land. He thinks she can make a magic hat that will send him home.

Emma realizes, after seeing the hats and the tea, that Jefferson thinks he is the Mad Hatter. They bicker about worlds–what’s real and what’s not. Emma gives up and makes the hat.

She fails at her first attempt and Jefferson explains to her that he needs to get home because his daughter, Grace, is now named Paige and lives with another family. She has no idea who he is or who she was.
Jefferson’s curse is remembering everything he had in Fairytale Land.

Emma tricks him into thinking she’s starting to believe…and then bashes him with his telescope, knocking him out.
She once again goes to free Mary, but Jefferson jumps her. Emma and Jefferson wrestle while Mary frees herself, and in the fight Emma spies a huge scar on his neck.

Mary bashes him with a croquet mallet (Ha! Again, a wonderful nod to the Disney movie!) and, in a VERY Snow White-like move, kicks him out the window!
But Jefferson is nowhere to be found when they look. Only his hat remains.

Emma gives Mary a chance to run. Mary refuses after Emma tells her how important she’s become to her. (*sniffle*)

Regina walks into the Sheriff’s office, and THAT’S when you realize it was HER who hid the key in Mary’s cell!
Gold is there and sees Regina out, and THAT’S when you realize it was HIM who hid the key in Mary’s cell and that Gold and Regina were working together!

Emma finds Henry and, after seeing ‘Paige’ in the schoolyard, asks to borrow his book. She flips through and sees a picture of the Mad Hatter…who has a nasty-looking scar on his neck. And then she asks to keep Henry’s book for awhile.

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In Fairytale Land, a man and his daughter are playing hide and seek in the woods.The man, who is the alter-ego of Storybrooke’s Jefferson, apparently has the same name in both worlds.
When they get to their cottage, they discover the Evil Queen inside. The Queen tells Jefferson she needs his help. She needs his ‘special skills’ to get her somewhere he’s been before, because someone’s taken something from her and she wants it back.
He refuses, worried that his daughter will be left alone if he’s lost like her mother was.

Some time later, Jefferson and his daughter, Grace, are at the market. Grace has her eye on a plush white rabbit (ha!), but her father can’t afford to purchase it.
We soon learn that the old hag who refused to lower the price on the rabbit is none other than the Evil Queen. …but I have NO idea what the point of that was, exactly.
Why did the Queen have to be the hag? Why couldn’t it have been just any old hag? Was it just to prove how evil she is? I’m pretty sure we know that already! 😉

Back at their cottage, Jefferson tells his daughter that he has work to do and she’ll have to stay with the neighbours.
Because he couldn’t afford to buy his daughter what she wanted, he’s changed his mind and has decided he’ll help the Queen after all.

He brings his magic hat to the castle, and after some funky CGI effects, the Queen and Jefferson jump into the vortex the whirling hat creates.

It sends them to a circular room with many doors. Jefferson directs the Queen to a large mirror, they walk through, and now we have a THIRD world in our series–Wonderland.

And what a Wonderland it is! The CGI in these scenes is AMAZING. Beautiful and vivid and bright!
In a WONDERFUL touch, the first being we see is a very familiar hooka-smoking caterpillar (voiced by The Who’s Roger Daltry, no less!), who speaks a very familiar phrase, “Whooooooo arrrrrrrrre yooooooooou?” I got goosebumps!

Jefferson and the Queen reach a maze, which belongs to the Queen of Hearts. More cool CGI shows us that it’s not just any ordinary maze. The hedges in THIS maze will actually grab you if you get too close!
The Evil Queen being, well, evil, decides to just blast her way to the middle of the maze.

The Queen quickly finds what she came to get and the two retreat back to the looking glass after a fun little battle with the Queen of Hearts’ guards.
There, the Evil Queen takes a piece of mushroom from the rather large plants that are nearby and places it into the box she took from the middle of the maze.
In a haze of purple smoke, out pops her father, Henry, and now we know what it was that the Queen of Hearts took from her.

Of course, because two arrived in the hat, only two can leave through it, which means that now, Jefferson will be left behind. Oddly, the Queen seems rather emotional when Jefferson brings up his daughter being left alone, doesn’t she? Foretelling what she goes through in the next episode, perhaps? Hmmmm!

The Queen of Hearts’ men find Jefferson at the Looking Glass and take him to her. The Queen of Hearts, who wears a thick veil so her face is never seen, also speaks through a tube to her knave who speaks for her…although we can clearly hear when she says, ‘Off with his head.”
Poor Jefferson! Er, but he’s still alive and he tells her how he came to Wonderland–through his magic hat.

And so poor Jefferson, the Mad Hatter, is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in Wonderland making hat after hat after hat, because he’s not magic and none made by his hand will ever get him home.

And so, what at first glance appeared to be a fun, light episode is, in fact, sad and heart-wrenching.
Oh, you fooled us good, OUAT writers!

Highlights:
-The CGI in Wonderland. AMAZING!
-Sebastian Stan’s performance.
-Seeing the Evil Queen use magic.
-The nod to Jefferson Airplane.
-Mary’s ‘Snow’ kick!
-The costumes–Jefferson’s coat in Fairytale Land, the Evil Queen’s dress.

Things we know after this episode:
-We now know that they’ve been trapped in Storybrooke for 28 years.
-Those who remember Fairytale Land use their real names (Regina, Jefferson), with the exception of Gold. Probably because Rumpelstiltskin is too obvious. 😛

What questions do we have after this episode?
-Are Jefferson and Regina somehow related? There was much talk of ‘not abandoning family’ in a way the seemed a little too obvious, and Regina had also been to the door-room in the hat before. Half-siblings? Cousins?
-Why did the Queen of Hearts take Regina’s father?
-Where did Jefferson get the magic hat?
-Who is Grace’s mother?
-How did they ‘lose’ her?
-Does Regina know Jefferson remembers Fairytale Land?
-Why didn’t Regina’s father seem to care they were leaving Jefferson behind, stuck in Wonderland?
-Why does Regina seem so upset when Jefferson mentions Grace being alone if Regina leaves him in Wonderland?
-Where do all the other doors go in the hat?!
-Where did Jefferson go after being kicked out the window?
-Is Emma actually starting to believe Henry’s book??
-What will happen to Mary Margaret now?

Next week we finally, FINALLY find out WHY Regina hates Snow White so much, and we get to see what made the Evil Queen so damn evil!

What did you think of Hat Trick? Comments are always welcome!

 

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I came into my geekiness late in life. Well, later than normal people do anyway. I have my brother to thank for that, although he’s probably the biggest not-geek I know. “Watch ‘The Eleventh Hour”, he told me. I haven’t looked back since.
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