I’m lost- how did Jefferson/The Mad Hatter retain his memories of his life in the Enchanted Forest? We know Regina and Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold remember, but that’s because they were both involved in the casting and production of the curse. And August remembers for reasons that will be revealed later on this season. What’s Jefferson’s excuse? Besides, wasn’t he trapped in Wonderland? Did he finally get his hat to work, but it brought him back right after Regina’s curse took effect and he couldn’t make a return trip for some reason? Is this something that’s explained in the Wonderland spin-off, which I have yet to see? Answers, please!
This episode picks up right where the last episode left off, with Mary Margret breaking out of jail with the use of the key she’d found in her cell. Upon discovering she’s missing, Emma goes off to find her and runs into a man called Jefferson. Noticing he’s limping, Emma decides to drive him home. But shortly after helping him get home, she realizes a bit too late that he’d deceived her and drugged her tea. Upon regaining consciousness, she finds out that not only has Jefferson been spying on her, quite possibly from the moment she first came to Storybrooke, but he’s also managed to capture Mary Margret as well. Jefferson tries to force Emma into helping him building a new magic hat, challenging her to start believing. Of course, things don’t exactly go his way. In the end, Emma manages to convince Mary Margret to not run away, and she returns to the sheriff’s station just in time to avoid being caught out of her cell. We also learn that Rumpelstiltskin had been the one who placed the key in her cell because Regina put him up to it, prompting us to once again ask what exactly his game is.
I’m really curious where those other doors within the magic hat lead? It’s safe to conclude the green curtain door leads to the Land of Oz, but there were plenty of other doors. Will we be able to explore that in future seasons? Make it happen, show writers!
How adorable was Jefferson/The Mad Hatter’s little girl, Grace? Every time she appeared on screen, I just wanted to give her a big hug. You could tell she was an all-around good girl, perfectly content with what she had. She even was able to graciously accept not being able to get the stuffed rabbit from the disguised Regina’s toy cart. Her father really did a wonderful job in raising her. And you could see that Grace was Jefferson’s whole world. So it’s not too surprising that he allowed himself to be manipulated into helping Regina when she promised him a better life for his little girl. Speaking of which, come on, Regina! While I understand you wanting your dad back and all, what you did to Jefferson during the Enchanted Forest flashback was a jerk move, and you know it!
A few episodes ago, we see that Ruby/Red has retained her ability to track people. In much the same way, Mary Margret discovers her dormant fighting abilities in this episode, so that was cool to see. I guess it’s like riding a bike. Once you learn something, you never really forget, even if you're under the effects of a curse.
This episode is really notable for the whole scene with Jefferson trying to force Emma to believe. While Henry and, to a lesser extent, August, have been attempting to get Emma to that point, they were clearly using the slow-and-steady method. Jefferson, however, uses the direct, blunt approach. But, while I do understand why Emma is reluctant to accept the things Jefferson tells her, you would think the events of this episode would have convinced her, particularly after seeing the illustrations of Jefferson in Henry’s book. That and the fact that he seemingly vanished after falling out the window. (So, did the hat work after all?) I know it would have made me at least consider the possibility. Emma, you really are a stubborn one, aren’t you?