Hats off to “Once Upon a Time” for a wonderfully wacky trip to Wonderland in Sunday night’s episode, which was the top-rated show of the night with 8.7 million viewers and 2.8 in the demo (although CBS won the night overall with NCAA basketball).
In another installment that proves Storybrooke has the best looking guys in all the land, Sebastian Stan (“Gossip Girl”) guest stars as Jefferson, a new mystery man who rides into town and promptly poisons Emma with a potent cup of tea. Desperately demanding, and well, madder than a hatter, Jefferson forces Emma to make him a hat. And we soon learn she isn’t the only kidnap victim this week. Prisoner Mary Margaret is also missing from her jail cell.
In Fairy Tale Land, Jefferson is The Mad Hatter, who loses his beloved daughter, not to mention his head (uh, literally) after a fight over a magic hat leads to entanglements with two powerful queens, the Evil Queen and the Queen of Hearts. It’s an interesting connection that reveals a bit more on that secret vault of hearts, and reveals another tale of an orphaned child like Emma, Henry, and many of our fairy tale characters.
But the real trick in “Hat Trick” is that this episode marks a pivotal moment in “Time”: Emma Swan starts to believe … believe in Henry and his storybook tales that aren’t just from a lonely child’s wild imagination.
Watch Sunday Night’s Episode, “Hat Trick,” Now: