Jefferson is a simple man. He has a daughter, Grace, whom he cares for immensely and a side job that helps them get by: collecting and selling wild mushrooms from the forest. However, that wasn’t always the only things he did.
Once upon a time Jefferson could perform hat tricks. No, not the pull-a-white-rabbit-from-a-hat kind of trick, but something a little more exciting. He could travel to different worlds using his magic hat. One place in particular is Wonderland which is ruled by a crazy and selfish queen, the Queen of Hearts.
When Queen Regina from the Enchanted Forest visits Jefferson, he knows what she wants. But he’s decided to never go back to Wonderland. There’s no need now that he has to care for his daughter, especially since his hat trick business cost him his wife, Grace’s mother. But the mushroom business isn’t what it used to be. And he wants to provide for his daughter above and beyond the necessities of life.
After a little undercover convincing from the queen at the market, Jefferson’s pride can’t help but say “yes” to Queen Regina and her request.
And so, a few magic spins later, the hat morphs into a vortex, one large enough to transport two people to other realms. But like all magic there’s a price, and in this case regulations: the number of people going into the hat must be the same when leaving. So no one can be left behind.
The inside of the hat is an interesting place. There are doors that lead to other worlds, doors with brick or trees, or interesting shapes. But one looks like a looking glass. And that is the one for Wonderland.
And if any of you have seen any version of Alice in Wonderland you know why a looking glass would represent such a world.
Through the mirror the queen and Jefferson go. They’re met by a colorful world filled with strange creatures like a talking caterpillar who can only say “Who are you?” It is not long before they reach the Queen of Hearts’ maze of shrubbery.
Through that maze are the Queen of Hearts’ throne and a wall of magical safe-deposit like boxes. Inside one of those boxes is the thing Queen Regina’s come for. Queen Regina wants it back without the Queen of Hearts knowing.
With a few magical flames, the queen and Jefferson burn down the maze and reach the magical boxes. Regina grabs the specific box and they make a run for it as they are being chased by angry guards.
Queen Regina uses some simple magic and they two escape. They reach the looking glass but Regina stops them. She plucks a little bit of mushroom from the side of the road, opens the box, and feeds it to whatever’s inside.
The thing grows and grows, and it’s not a thing but a who: Queen Regina’s father. The Queen of Hearts took him and she wanted him back.
Jefferson won’t go without a fight, but Regina has magic and she locks his feet into place so he can’t follow or ruin her plan. Queen Regina and her father leave just as the Queen of Hearts’ men race up the pathway and capture Jefferson, hauling off to the Queen of Hearts.
The queen is not happy and orders Jefferson’s head to be cut off. The guards immediately do, but just the cutting blow does not kill the poor, simple man. He just wants to go home and be with his daughter.
So, he can. But he’ll have to make another magic hat to get him there.
And so we see Jefferson crazily slaving away his days to recreate the perfect hat that will take him home.
He’s become a mad hatter…
Her first place to look is the woods. There are many, many, many places to hide in the woods. It’s large and dark. But knowing all of these fairy tale characters, they all try to run to the city limits. So Emma begins her search along the road. In her yellow VW Bug, she drives along the mist-covered road only to hit a pedestrian.
Shocked and horrified, she offers to drive him home. He declines at first but then accepts. He says his name is Jefferson.
At his home, Emma practically invites herself in so that she can make sure he’s alright. He allows her to come in, asks how he can help with her search for her, uh, dog, and offers her some tea to help her warm up.
But the tea is spiked and Emma falls unconscious, dropping the teacup next to the sofa where she falls.
Quietly opening the door she sees Mary Margaret! That man had captured her from the woods and tied her up. Why? To lure Emma to his home?
Emma quickly unties her friend and they try to escape, but Jefferson catches them, orders Emma to rebind Mary Margaret, and come with him. He explains that he remembers everything: the Enchanted Forest, his daughter, the curse, everything. And he has a plan. He wants Emma to use her magic and create a hat that will get him back to his world.
Yes, there are multiple worlds and the one they’re in is cursed by the Evil Queen. (Emma, haven't you been listening?!)
He wants to get back to his daughter. The only way is through a hat. And the only magic in this place must come from Emma. He’s seen the changes in the town and knows that she is the one.
Skeptically, Emma refuses to help feed his delusions. But knowing she won’t be able to leave until she does what he wants, she gives it a try.
She runs for Mary Margaret, whom Jefferson also insisted was her mother, and swiftly unties her, but Jefferson’s alive and well and he can’t let them leave so soon. The two women fight off the crazy man as he tussles with them across the floor. Emma reveals a nasty scar across Jefferson’s neck before shoving him off her. Mary Margaret karate chops him in Snow White style and Jefferson is sent flying out the window.
Yet when Mary Margaret and Emma search for him, the only remaining evidence is broken window shards strewn around the hat Emma made. Where did he go? Did the hat actually work?
That doesn’t matter. All that matters is that they’re safe and Emma can take Mary Margaret back to jail. But Mary Margaret wants to run away.
Emma decides to throw her a curve ball, or possibly a guilt trip: Running away isn’t easy because you can’t stop once you start. She should know because she’s done it. Mary Margaret needs to trust Emma that she can get her out of this mess. They need to stick together like family…I mean friends.
But with Mary Margaret in her cell, Regina’s plans seem to have changed, especially when it comes to light that Mr. Gold and her plan was to have Mary Margaret run so that she could be charged. Mr. Gold insists he can make this right.
At Henry’s school, Emma sees Paige, the little girl whom Jefferson says is his daughter Grace. Emma looks through Henry’s book and sees the Mad Hatter’s story, how he works frantically to create a magic hat, the scar on his neck captured perfectly in picture’s light.
In Emma’s eyes there’s a sort of awe that maybe is the beginning of her belief!
1) Did Emma’s hat work? Does she have magic?
2) Where did Jefferson go? Back into the hat?
3) How did Jefferson get transported to Storybrooke? Does the curse transcend realms?
4) What will happen to Mary Margaret if she’s charged with Kathryn’s murder? How will that ultimately help Regina?
5) Is Emma starting to believe?
6) How far away from his house can Jefferson leave? If he can go wherever he pleases couldn’t he tell the Storybrooke citizens about their true past, even if it means they’ll live with two realities? That’s Henry’s plan, right? What are Jefferson’s limitations?
7) Who is the Queen of Hearts?