Once Upon a Time “Hat Trick” Review

This week’s episode of Once Upon a Time, Hat Trick, did exactly what I’ve been wanting the show to do for awhile. Thanks to the machinations of an evil queen and the insanity brought about by being trapped in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter (also known as Jefferson), finally got through to Emma and made her start to wonder if Henry has been right all along.

In Fairytale Land, the Queen wanted to get to Wonderland, but none of her powers allowed her access to the realm of the Queen of Hearts. She needed the help of Jefferson and his magical hat, but she had to trick him, blackmail him and ultimately tear him away from his daughter, Grace (who loved tea parties and stuffed rabbits), in order to get him to take her through the Looking Glass.

Of course, Regina was just using the poor man’s desperation to provide for his child. Once there, she stole a box from the other Queen that contained some small part of her father (or perhaps her father himself, only shrunk down) and fed him a piece of magic mushroom. He sprouted back to his regular size, but thanks to the rule that however many people pass through the mirror is how many can go back, Regina and her father trapped Jefferson in the wacky hell of Wonderland, leaving him at the mercy of the Queen of Hearts who promptly cut off his head.

As it turns out, that’s not the death sentence you would think; the red-veiled Queen promised to reattach him to his body if he could make another hat that would allow her to go to his world. Hence, the Mad Hatter of Wonderland.

Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Emma nearly runs over a man named Jefferson in the woods while looking for the escaped Mary Margaret. He took her back to his house on the pretense of giving her a map of the woods, only to drug her and capture her, along with Mary Margaret. He seems mad, but it turns out he just wants Emma’s help to make a hat that will get him back to his world. Apparently, when he was trapped in Wonderland, Regina’s curse didn’t quite make it to him and although he got sucked into the real world, he knows exactly who he was and why everything is wrong. Unfortunately, his daughter Grace got caught up like everyone else, and has a new family, a new name and no memory of him.

Everything changed when Emma arrived in town and Jefferson rightly believes she has magic within her. Of course, she doesn’t believe him and knocks him out in order to escape. After a scuffle, Jefferson out a high window, but leaves behind only his hat. After a plea from Emma to stay, Mary Margaret makes it back to jail in time for her arraignment. Regina, as it turns out, planted the key in her cell with Mr. Gold’s help. It’s impossible to tell what angle Gold is playing, but it’s doubtful he’s out to help either one of them.

But all of this happened to help Emma finally start to seriously entertain the possibility that Henry’s stories have a basis in fact. When she finds a picture in his book of the Mad Hatter, who looks a bit like poor Jefferson, you can see the wheels in her mind spinning. It’s about time. I was starting to get a little frustrated with Emma, so it was the perfect time (if a bit over) for the writers to start letting her think outside the box, especially after everything that’s happened since Henry showed up at her door.

Will she believe by the end of the season? There’s only a handful of episodes left. It feels like something big is coming; perhaps it’s just next week’s episode when we will finally learn why Regina hates Snow White more than anything in either of her worlds.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!