Once Upon a Time

Season 1 Episode 17

Hat Trick

21
Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 25, 2012 on ABC

Episode Recap

After leaving her cell, Mary Margaret runs through the woods

Henry is at the sheriff's station reading a story when Emma and Gold comes in. He tells them that he's there to congratulate Emma on her plan, but realizes that Gold doesn't know about it. When he goes on into the office, Henry admits that he thought Gold was in on it. As Emma wonders what he means, Gold calls them in to see Mary Margaret's empty cell. Mary Margaret's arraignment is the next day at 8 a.m., and Emma realizes that she has to find her friend and bring her back before then, or she'll be labeled a fugitive. She tells Henry to go home, while Gold warns her that Emma's future is in danger as well since people will believe that she let Mary Margaret escape.

Emma drives out into the rainy night and almost hits a man walking on the forest road. She swerves and narrowly avoids hitting him, and then gets out to check on him. The man, Jefferson, realizes that she's the sheriff and finally admits that he twisted his ankle. Emma claims that she's out looking for her dog but offers to drive him to his home a mile or so down the road and Jefferson accepts.

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Jefferson runs through the woods, but his daughter Grace finds him in their game of hide and seek. He tells her that it's time they go to work and start looking for mushrooms to sell at work. As they go back to their cottage, they see Queen Regina's carriage outside. Jefferson tells Grace that he doesn't know Regina and tells his daughter to stay hidden in the woods while he finds out what Regina wants. He goes inside and Regina comments on how poverty doesn't suit him, speaking from familiarity. Regina says that she has a job for him but Jefferson says that he doesn't do that work anymore because he doesn't want Grace to lose her father as well as her mother. The queen wonders what kind of future Jefferson can offer his daughter, and offers him vast wealth if he'll do one last favor. Jefferson tells Regina that he won't abandon his family, but she persists and hands him a scroll, and asks him to send her there. He wonders what there is there for her, and Regina explains that something of hers is there and she wants it back. Jefferson still refuses and Regina says that she understands, and that nothing is more important than family.

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Emma drives Jefferson to his huge home and he explains that he's the only one who lives there. She helps him inside and he makes some tea for her. Jefferson also has a map of the area and Emma studies it, but starts to pass out. He lies her down on the couch and Emma realizes that he's not limping, and Jefferson admits that she's caught him.

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Later, Jefferson and Grace go into town and she admires a stuffed rabbit that she wants for her tea parties. The elderly vendor sells it to them for one silver and Jefferson admits that he's short of money. She admires his dedication to his daughter but admits that she can't settle for anything less. Grace assures her father that it's okay and finally convinces him to move along. Once he goes, Regina drops her disguise and tells the Magic Mirror that there was no fun in letting Grace have her toy.

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Emma wakes up and discovers that she's been bound and gagged. She breaks her discarded tea cup and cuts herself free, but discovers that she's been locked in. There's a telescope and when she looks through it, Emma discovers that it gives Jefferson a clear view of the sheriff's office. She hears someone in the next room and looks out, and sees Jefferson sharpening a pair of scissors.

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Jefferson makes a patchwork rabbit for Grace and she thanks him while pouring tea for one of her pretend tea parties. He asks her to go to the neighbors for the rest of the day because he has work to do, and she realizes that it has to do with Regina's visit. Grace insists that he shouldn't do it, and that all she needs is him, but Jefferson says that they have no choice. He promises that he won't mess her next tea party and sends her on her way, and then opens a chest and removes a hat box.

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Emma slips out of the room but steps on a floorboard, alerting Jefferson. She hides in another room and finds Mary Margaret gagged and tied to a chair. Emma frees her friend and Mary Margaret explains that Jefferson grabbed her and brought her there. She tells Emma that someone put a key in her cell but admits that she didn't know how to do it. They slip back out into the hallway but find Jefferson waiting for them, armed with a gun. When Emma claims that she called backup, Jefferson figures that Emma doesn't want anyone to know that Mary Margaret is there. He has Emma tie Mary Margaret back up and she then asks what he wants, and Jefferson says that he needs her to do something.

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Jefferson goes to the palace, carrying the hat box, and demands that Regina make sure that Grace wants for nothing once he does what she wants. The queen agrees and Jefferson removes a top hat from the hat box. He sets it down and spins it, and it starts spinning a portal. He tells her to go through and Regina takes his hand and insists they go through together.

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Jefferson takes Emma into a workroom filled with hats and assures her that he's saving Mary Margaret's life by keeping her in Storybrooke. He knows about the curse keeping everyone but Emma trapped, but he doesn't know about Henry or his storybook. He knows that Emma has chosen to ignore the stories, and says that if she knew what he knew, she wouldn't. Jefferson tells Emma that he's been stuck in the house for the last 28 years, nothing changing, until one night Emma arrived and things started changing. He tells her that she's magic and tells her to look around and accept what she's seeing. When Emma asks what he wants, Jefferson sits her down in front of a workbench with a hat on it, and tells her to get it to work.

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Regina and Jefferson find themselves in a vast chamber within the hat, filled with doors and mirrors. He leads her to a looking glass entrance and says that because of the rules of the hat, they have to stick together. Jefferson steps through the mirror and Regina goes after him a second later, and they find themselves in a landscape of giant grass and mushrooms. They follow a path and a giant caterpillar turns to greet them. The Caterpillar asks who they are and Jefferson ignores it, saying that he hates Wonderland.

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Jefferson tells Emma to make a hat like the one on the bench and make it work. She realizes that Jefferson thinks that he's the Mad Hatter from one of Henry's stories. Jefferson says that even storybooks come from somewhere, and that no one wants to believe in magic. He tells her that there are an infinite line of rules, each with their rules, and some have magic and some need magic... like theirs. Jefferson refuses to leave until she makes the hat work and hands her the scissors. Emma has no choice but to start cutting, and asks what happens then. After a moment, Jefferson tells her that he'll go home.

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Jefferson and Regina come to a maze that belongs to the Queen of Hearts. He refuses to help Regina further, saying it wasn't part of their deal, but she warns him that he can't leave Wonderland without her. Jefferson finally gives in and accompanies Regina into the maze. He confirms that the walls are carnivorous, but Regina unleashes a fire blast, burning a path through the maze. They make their way to a vault that contains dozens of caskets. Regina takes one and they start to leave, but soldiers arrive to arrest them. Jefferson and Regina run into the maze, using the walls against the soldiers.

They get back to the looking glass but Regina stops to remove a piece of the Caterpillar's mushroom. She opens the casket and puts the piece inside, and then steps back as her father Henry materializes. Regina explains that the Queen of Hearts saw her as a threat and took her father. Jefferson realizes that Regina knew about the fact that only two can go back, and she admits that tricking him was the only way she could get Jefferson to help her. She traps his feet in the path and turns to go, and Jefferson reminds her that he promised Grace that he'd be home for tea. Regina turns on him, furious, and says that he would never have abandoned his daughter if he loved her. Regina and Henry step through the looking glass and the Knave of Hearts arrives and has the soldiers take Jefferson to the Queen.

Jefferson is brought into the court of the Queen of Hearts. She speaks through the Knave, saying that she knew Jefferson tricked her. The Queen wants to know how Jefferson came to Wonderland, but refuses to release him if he speaks. She orders her soldier to decapitate him, and Jefferson is astonished to discover that he's alive. The Knave repeats his question and Jefferson tells him that they used his hat and Regina has it now. He explains that he can't go back without a magic hat, and the Knave tells him to get it work.

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Emma insists that she can't get it to work, and doesn't understand why he's trapped there. Jefferson explains that he, like the others, has had everything he loves from him. He shows Emma another telescope, this one focused on the home of a family. Grace is there, and Jefferson explains that in the real world her name is Paige, but she's his daughter. He remembers, but Grace doesn't, and that's his curse. When Emma wonders why he doesn't reach out to Grace, Jefferson says that he can't bear to destroy her reality and inflict the same cruelty on her that he suffers from. Emma realizes that he wants her to make the hat work so he can take Grace home to his world, and he says it's the only world where she'll remember him and they can be together. Touched, Emma says that she knows what it means to be separated from one's child and it can make someone lose their mind, and Jefferson insists that he's not insane. He wonders if she believes, and Emma says that if he's right then Mary Margaret is her mother and she wants that, and that she has to open herself up to magic. Happy that she'll help him, Jefferson turns to get the hat and Emma knocks him out with the telescope. She takes his gun and frees Mary Margaret, but Jefferson comes in, wearing the hat. They struggle for the gun and Jefferson finally gets it, but Mary Margaret hits him with a croquet mallet and then kicks him out the second-story window. However, when they look down, there's no sign of Jefferson except for his hat.

They go downstairs and look into the hat, but there's nothing inside. Emma wonders where Mary Margaret learned to kick like that, and Mary Margaret admits she had no idea where it came from. They find Emma's car and Mary Margaret asks if Emma is taking her back. Emma gives her the car keys and tells her that it's her choice. However, she warns that running isn't easy and there's no stopping. Emma asks Mary Margaret to trust her and says that she'll find a way to get her out of trouble. She reminds Mary Margaret that she did the same thing for her, and that she's the only person who has been there for her. Emma says that she can't lose her family, but then hastily corrects herself to say "friends." Mary Margaret gives her the keys back and takes her hand. They realize that it's 8 o'clock and that Regina will be at the arraignment, waiting.

Regina arrives at the sheriff's station and discovers Mary Margaret in her cell. Gold tells the mayor that her client isn't having any visitors and sees her out. As she leaves, Regina asks Gold what Mary Margaret is doing there, and that he said it would work. He explains that their plan went as intended, but Emma was more resourceful than they thought. However, Gold points out that Mary Margaret is still guilty of murder and Regina will get what she wants. The mayor says that she made a deal to get results and Gold tells her that she'll get what she wants.

Emma visits Henry at school and tells him that Mary Margaret is fine. Grace/Paige walks by and Henry explains that she goes to school with him. Emma asks for her storybook and finds a picture of Jefferson and his daughter... Grace.

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In Wonderland, Jefferson goes insane, making thousands of hats in a desperate attempt to make the one with the magic he needs.

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Emma asks Henry if she can keep his book, and he gladly agrees. As he goes, Emma looks at the picture of the Mad Hatter... which looks just like Jefferson.

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