The Great Once Upon a Time Rewatch | Episode 17: Hat Trick

Emma finds herself in mortal danger when she attempts to locate Mary Margaret, while The Evil Queen has some business in Wonderland.

Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Jared S. Gilmore, and Robert Carlyle

Season 1
Episode 17: Hat Trick

The Enchanted Forest

Jefferson and his daughter are playing hide-and-seek in the woods, but discover the Queen’s carriage waiting outside their house when they return. Jefferson commands Grace to stay hidden in the forest until he comes to find her later, and sees what the Queen wants. She wants one last favour from Jefferson, in exchange for Grace having everything she could possibly dream of, but Jefferson refuses, as his previous job cost Grace’s mother her life, and he does not want to leave her without a father. The Queen reluctantly leaves.

At the marketplace, Grace sets her heart on a white rabbit from the toy stall, which Jefferson cannot afford. The toy merchant is actually the Evil Queen, who has disguised herself to lure Jefferson back into working for her. Sure enough, even though Jefferson makes Grace a homemade white rabbit, which she is more than happy with, he agrees to do one last job for the Queen. He wants her guarantee that his daughter will want for nothing, which the Queen gives him. Jefferson then produces a top hat, which he spins. As it spins, it grows to a huge size, allowing the Queen and Jefferson to jump in, where they discover a chamber surrounded by doors. Approaching a mirror, the two of them walk through, Jefferson explaining that the mirror will only allow two people back through, as that is the number that entered it.

The pair alight in Wonderland and find themselves at the Queen of Hearts’ hedge maze. The Queen blazes through the maze using magic, revealing the building at the centre, from which she takes a small box. She and Jefferson narrowly escape, and return to the mirror. Though Jefferson wants to jump through the mirror immediately, Regina places a small amount of mushroom into the box, revealing that her father had been miniaturised and placed within the box. She explains that the Queen of Hearts had always viewed her as a threat, and was holding her father as leverage, which the Queen was now removing. Regina and her father leave through the mirror, leaving Jefferson unable to follow and he is captured by the Queen of Hearts’ men.

The Queen of Hearts commands that Jefferson be beheaded, which he is, though he remains alive. Upon discovering that he entered Wonderland using a hat, she commissions him to make another, so that the return journey can be made possible. Jefferson does not believe this to be possible, as a hat without magic will not work as a portal, but the Queen of Hearts insists he must make one that works. He is later seen surrounded by top hats, frantically muttering that he needs it to work, living up to his monicker of “The Mad Hatter”.


Henry finds that Mary Margaret’s cell is empty, and congratulates Emma, believing that this is part of her plan to protect Mary Margaret from being framed, but Emma is aware that this is the worst possible thing because of the arraignment that happens in the morning. With Mary Margaret absent from it, it makes her a fugitive regardless of whether or not she is innocent of Kathryn’s death. While driving to find Mary Margaret, Emma encounters a mysterious man on the road, who throws himself off it when she drives nearby. Emma stops and discovers that he is limping, so offers to take him home. He gives his name as Jefferson, and explains that she was out looking for her dog. She delivers him back to his house, which is a mansion, and when he is still limping, she insists upon helping him indoors where he supplies her with tea as well as a map of the area, claiming that it will help her locate the dog. Emma drinks the tea and immediately feels dizzy. Just before she passes out, she notices that the man has lost his limp.

When Emma wakes, she is bound and gagged. She uses the tea cup that she dropped to free herself, and then tries to find an escape. None of the windows unlock, so she sneaks out of the door. Seeing Jefferson ominously sharpening a pair of scissors, she creeps into the next door along, where she finds Mary Margaret tied to a chair with a gag on. She frees Mary Margaret, who reveals that the man captured her in the woods. Just as the two women exit the room to escape, Jefferson discovers them and holds a gun to them.

He forces Emma to tie Mary Margaret back up and then takes Emma into a craft room. Emma wants to know why Jefferson has been spying on her, as his telescope had been pointed at the sheriff’s station. Jefferson reveals that he thinks Emma to be special, as he was forced to live the same day on repeat for 28 years until she came to town. He claims that she brought magic to Storybrooke, but Emma thinks that he is insane. Jefferson explains to Emma what he wants, which is for her to make a hat for him that “works”.

Emma realises that Jefferson believes himself to be the Mad Hatter, and sets about persuading him that this is just a story. She also wonders what the hat is for, which Jefferson explains is to take him home. He also explains to Emma that his daughter, Grace, is now living with a different family, with the new name Paige, and it’s torture for him to witness it. When his back is turned, Emma attacks Jefferson with the telescope and goes to rescue Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret then manages to kick Jefferson out of the window, but he has disappeared when the two arrive outside.

Emma takes Mary Margaret back to the police station, begging Mary Margaret to trust that she will get her out of it. She admits that up until that point she has been alone, until she met Mary Margaret, who she calls her family. When Regina arrives at the police station, she finds Emma’s parking space empty, but surprisingly discovers Mary Margaret happily in her cell. When leaving, she demands to know of Mr. Gold why Mary Margaret was still there, revealing that the key was part of Mr. Gold’s plan. He explains that Emma is more resourceful than they thought possible. Regina reveals that she has made a deal with Mr. Gold to get results, and he promises that he will get these results at the arraignment.

At Henry’s school, Emma spots Paige (Jefferson’s daughter) and asks to see Henry’s book, where she spots Jefferson and Grace inside it. Emma asks Henry if she can hang onto the book while he goes to school, and he excitedly agrees.


  • Let’s play Where’s Raphael Sbarge this week? He is having a cup of tea with Eoin Bailey, and Josh Dallas, and sobbing on their shoulders as to why he never gets to do any work.
  • Even though Charming was similarly absent from this episode, I did not mind at all. The storyline of Mary Margaret evading arrest and prosecution was more than compelling enough to hold my interest, not to mention the actual mortal danger that Emma found herself in.
  • It seems that Emma is getting much closer to believing. Not only has she opened up her heart, as she explained to Mary Margaret – even terming her family (which is even more delightful considering Mary Margaret is, actually, her mother) – but she is also voluntarily flicking through Henry’s book. The significance of spotting Jefferson and his daughter within it (though the actual visual similarity between the pictures and Sebastian Stan’s actual face is very little), considering that Jefferson had not seen the book, seems to be drawing her closer to believing that this impossible tale might actually be the truth.
  • I wonder what happened between the Queen of Hearts and the Queen in the past?
  • One element that I consider to be a plothole – having read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is the fact that the blue caterpillar is not, in fact, giant, but rather that Alice at that point within the story is not as large as she is meant to be, having eaten a ridiculous amount of random stuff that she’s found in Wonderland thus far and altering her physical size. It is strange, therefore, that Regina and Jefferson appear here at such a small size, but I suppose I am being nit-picky.
  • Why did the Queen need to remove the leverage that the Queen of Hearts have against her? Was the Queen of Hearts trying to prevent Regina from being able to cast the Dark Curse? Also, if Jefferson was transported to Storybrooke, does this mean that the Curse also reached Wonderland? Or did he escape Wonderland somehow? Or is the Queen of Hearts’ counterpart somewhere in Storybrooke?
  • It is certainly not the last we have seen from Jefferson, after that escape.
  • Here we start to get explicit confirmation that Regina is actively trying to get Mary Margaret arrested for Kathryn’s murder, even planting the key so that she would be a fugitive. However, I still doubt that Regina would have killed Kathryn herself. After all, if she could kill people, then surely she would just kill Charming as that would hurt Mary Margaret more? Sure this is a pretty convenient way to get rid of her and ruin her and David, but it’s still very convoluted. She has far too much time on her hands, clearly.

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