Sunday night has arrived once again! Once Upon a Time
is seriously on a roll with week after week of incredible plot twists and witty characters. I don't think we fairytale lovers have seen anything yet, though. Tonight the bar will be raised as The Mad Hatter steps onto the scene. Roger Daltrey and Sebastian Stan guest star, creeping us all way, way out.
Before you make any assumptions there, folks, although crazy, the Mad Hatter has a heartfelt story and might just be here to help and not make matters worse.
The cell remains empty and we find Mary Margaret running for her life into the woods. Meanwhile, Henry sits in the police station looking over the story of Alice in Wonderland
. Sheriff Swan and Mr. Gold walk up and the young boy knows there's a "game plan" going on. Mr. Gold walks ahead to find MM's cell abandoned. Emma takes Henry with her to find the escapee. She "would rather lose her job" than a friend.
The little yellow bug of a car speeds through the forest when it catches wind of a dark stranger walking along the road. Emma says she's simply looking for "a lost dog" in order to save him details. Jefferson is his name and he's limping, so she gives him a ride. I guess MM will have to wait.
In fairytale land, the same man is running frantic through the woods, this time dressed with long coattails. His young daughter, Grace, finds him and they begin walking towards their home only to see that the Queen has beat them to it. Grace is ordered to hide in the woods like their game. After insulting his means to properly care for Grace, the Queen wants Jefferson's special abilities in order to get something that was taken from her. She uses his words against him: "There's nothing more important that family."
Emma drops Jefferson off at his luxurious home that I'm guessing the sheriff wasn't aware existed. Going the extra mile, she follows him inside and takes one sip of tea while looking of a map of the forest. Emma looks a bit woozy, but notices his limp has disappeared. "Who are you?" slips from her lips as she drops the teacup and passes out.
Grace and Jefferson stop at an old woman's cart where the excited little girl spots a stuffed white rabbit. Apparently, he would be perfect for her tea parties. Unfortunately, he doesn't have enough money to pay for the toy. Grace lets it slide; she's not like the ungrateful kids of the "give it to me know" era. Passing by a mirror, the Queen's trusted adviser appears. And who's reflection do we see? Why, it's the Queen, of course!
Emma awakes, tosses a pillow over the teacup, steps on it and uses it to free herself. She looks through a telescope to find that the police station isn't very far. What a creep! Jefferson prepares intently in another room, sharpening scissors.
It's tea party time! Grace is enjoying the festivities, but Jefferson is determined to go back into town to do his dirty work for the Queen. Grace doesn't want him to go, but as long as he's back for their tea party... "I wouldn't miss it for the world," he says as he sends her outside. Jefferson opens a trunk and sets a large box on the floor which looks somewhat like it houses a mad hat!
Emma slips from the room, since Jefferson is soooo busy with those scissors. It's a long hallway of doors, but she picks one and goes in right when he hears footsteps. But wait just a tick! Emma isn't alone; Mary Margaret sits tied to a chair, crying for help.
"This man appeared out of nowhere and grabbed me," whispers MM. She explains getting out of her cell with a key found under her bed, but no time for all that! Let's get out of here! "I see you've found Spot!" says Jefferson as he cocks a gun. Emma must tie Mary Margaret back up. She gets a little brave and confronts him about watching her. "I need you to do something." He shuts the door behind the both of them.
Jefferson walks into the Queen's chambers, asking that nothing be done to harm his little girl. Of course, she must be lying as she agrees. Anyways, he takes a hat out of the box, just as I suspected, and spins it. The hat spins and opens a sort of black hole. They take each other's hands and jump in.
Emma enters Jefferson's office. Hats adorn the lit shelves. "You're special," he says, explaining the curse that keeps them all in town and how things began changing when she got to Storybrooke. Until this point, Jefferson has been stuck in this house. "You're insane," she says. The task at hand -- make the hat work again. "You're the only one who can do this."
The Queen and Jefferson are in the bottom of the hat now, I suppose. There are doors and mirrors all around the circular room. They step through a special looking glass and find a vast land of color and overgrown vegetation. "Who are you?" asks the Caterpillar, whose one line sounds a lot like Mr. Daltrey. He blows a puff of smoke in Jefferson's face. "I hate Wonderland."
Emma should be worried about making this hat work, but she's more focused on how psychotic this man must be. "You think you're the Mad Hatter," she says. "Those are just stories." Jefferson gives a great speech about how a magical world is just as real as one who needs magic, then hands over the scissors. The faster she makes the hat work, the faster he can go home.
Jefferson and the Queen enter the maze, heading straight for the Queen of Hearts. They must go together or not at all. "Two come in, only two come out," she says, reciting the rules of the mirror. The walls will devour anything that touches them, so the Evil Queen throws a fire ball and marches right through to a small temple. From it, she takes a box. Sort of looks like a fancy post office.
Before they can leave, the Heart Soldiers are after them. They make it out, but at the cost of the soldier's lives. The Evil Queen stops before the mirror, taking a piece from a mushroom and opens the box. Her father appears. Only two go back. "You don't abandon family," she says to him as they leave. Jefferson is dragged away to the Queen of Hearts.
Sorry to disappoint, but Helena Bonham Carter is not the Queen of Hearts; I actually cannot tell who the woman is or if it's even a woman. She wears a veil and whispers everything to her adviser. The one thing we can understand is "Off with his head!" Without hesitation, a guy comes over and slices his head off. His body falls and another soldier holds the head by the hair. "I'm alive," says the head. The Queen of Hearts wants the hat, but the Evil Queen took the hat. He must fetch the hat and make it work again.
Another home, stalked by Jefferson, is that of his daughter Grace. Her name is Paige in Storybrooke. Jefferson's curse is "knowledge" while trapped inside of his home alone. He only wants the hat to work so that he can take Grace home. Emma realizes that she may just need to open up her mind (YES!) and believe (YES!) because "the woman in the other room is my mother," she says. Could it be true?! Does she believe the stories?! Nope ... she whacks Jefferson over the head with the telescope.
Quickly, Emma runs to untie Mary Margaret. Then all hell breaks loose. Jefferson runs in with his hat on, knocks both women to the ground and they all wrestle around for a bit. He hops up both women on either side of him and reveals the scar on his neck. "Off with his head." Emma looks on wonderingly as MM hits him in the head with a croquet stick then kicks him out the window. They hurry to look out but only find his hat on the ground.
Mary Margaret and Emma pick the hat up from the ground. Still no sign of the crazy guy, though. Emma swipes the keys from her car and tosses them over to MM. Emma wants her to trust that she will somehow make things better; she can't lose "family." How cute! They shake on it just before the bell is rung for Regina's arraignment.
Regina walks into the sheriff's office only to find Mary Margaret inside her cell, reading the paper with her picture plastered all over it. Mr. Gold walks out, saying that his client won't be seeing anyone at the moment and he walks the mayor out to the hallway. And here we go, more deals. Regina made a deal with Mr. Gold that MM would take the key and leave. "Emma is more powerful than we though," says Gold. Regina will get what she asked for.
"Hi, Henry," Paige says, walking by him outside of school. Emma asks to see Henry's storybook and flips past Grace's pages to find the Mad Hatter sitting in a dark room. He's surrounded by hats on top of hats on top of hats. They're all in different colors, different sizes, different textures. Over and over again, he cries, "Get it to work, get it to work!" No wonder the poor man went crazy!
We were sooooo close, you guys! Could this finally be the thing that sticks out in Emma's mind? Will she come to the realization that Mary Margaret is her mother? And where is Jefferson? Let's hope that we get all these questions answered by the season finale, coming up soon!
Next week on Once Upon a Time
, it is the episode we have all been waiting for. What on earth did Snow White ever do to deserve such treatment from the Evil Queen? Barbara Hershey guest stars as Snow White's mother as all is revealed. Tune in to ABC on Sunday at 8pm.Jilliane JohnsonContributing Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)