Previously on Once Upon a Time: Heart of Darkness
This week on Once Upon a Time, Emma is confronted with the truth once again, and may actually be starting to believe it. While out searching for Ms. Blanchard, Emma is kidnapped by the Mad Hatter, Jefferson, who is fully aware of the curse. He wants her to use her “magic” to recreate his world-jumping hat that would allow him to return home and restore his daughter. In the Enchanted Forest, Regina tricks Jefferson into taking her to Wonderland via his hat, and it does not end well for him.
We start in Storybrooke, where Ms. Blanchard is on the run in the forest. Emma goes after her, because if Ms. Blanchard misses her arraignment, she’ll be branded a fugitive. Emma nearly runs over Jefferson (played by Gossip Girl’s Sebastian Stan) on the road. She offers him a ride home, and he offers her some drugged tea. When she comes to, she breaks her bonds, sneaks down the hall, and slips into another room only to find a bound and gagged Ms. Blanchard. Before they can escape, Jefferson – now with a gun – finds them. Ms. Blanchard is tied back up, and Jefferson needs Emma’s help. She questions his motives, and he reveals he knows about the curse and he needs her magic to make a hat “that works.” Emma puts two and two together, and figures out that Jefferson is the Mad Hatter. Despite her claims of this being the “real world,” he counters that it is a world in a string of worlds that all connect, some with magic, some without it. Interesting. Emma puts together a hat, but it doesn’t work. Jefferson explains his curse is knowledge of the world he lost, and a daughter who doesn’t know him. He needs the hat to set it right. Emma acts like she believes him just long enough to knock him out. She releases Ms. Blanchard, but Jefferson comes back, and in the resulting struggle he gets thrown out the window – but there’s only a hat and no body. Emma begs Ms. Blanchard to trust her, saying she doesn’t want to lose her family. She ends up back in her cell, foiling Regina’s plans, but Mr. Gold promises “her majesty” she’ll get the results she wants. Emma visits Henry, and upon learning of the Hatter’s fate in the book, asks to borrow it. Henry is ecstatic that she might be starting to believe.
In the Enchanted Forest, the Mad Hatter is living a happy but poor existence with his daughter, gathering mushrooms. Unfortunately for him, the Evil Queen (rocking an awesome feathered collar) needs a favor. She promises him luxury if he helps her retrieve a stolen item, but magic cost his daughter Grace her mother and he’s not willing to dabble again. Disguised as a crone, the Queen refuses to sell a toy to Grace because the Hatter is too poor – it’s the push he needs to agree to her deal. He leaves to help Regina, but promises to be back for tea. At the palace, he uses his hat to create a portal that takes them to Wonderland. The catch is the hat only allows the same number of people to enter or leave, so he’s forced to go with the Evil Queen. Their target is in the Queen of Hearts’ maze, but with the help of the Queen’s magic they grab a box (from a vault that looks suspiciously like Regina’s heart vault) and escape. Regina opens the box, and with the help of a magic mushroom, her father is restored. Jefferson does the math a little too late – the Queen and her father go through and while gets left behind. He is brought before the Queen of Hearts, who in addition to cutting off his head (which doesn’t kill him), demands he makes a new magic hat. The episode ends on the poor Hatter, making hat after worthless hat, going insane.
Next week, we finally learn what Snow did to inspire Regina’s wrath. Maybe.
o Here I thought Mr. Gold and Regina were going to battle it out, but now it seems they are working together as part of a deal (the one with Henry? A new one?) to make sure Snow is punished for whatever she did to Regina.
o I really like Jefferson. I hope he comes back, because: A. I want to know where he went, and B. I want to know about his shady past involvement with Regina.
o I’m glad we got to see the emotional side of Emma this episode. With Henry in the background these past several weeks, and her disapproval of Ms. Blanchard’s affair with David, she’s been a little cold. As much as she refuses to believe, you know there is a part of her that really wants Ms. Blanchard to be her mom. Her speech at the end about family made me love Emma again.
Nicole N. decided to justify the countless hours she spends watching television by writing about it here. She enjoys a challenge and is currently re-watching all 15 seasons of ER. Follow her @nicolemnelson