Countdown to Once Upon a Time – Jefferson/The Mad Hatter

With one of most heartwrenching backstories of any of the characters, Jefferson, while quite freaky at times, is a fascinating and sometimes fun character. One of two Wonderland characters to appear on the show thus far, Jefferson’s story begins with a visit from Regina in the Enchanted Forest, asking him to take her Wonderland with his amazing, magical hat that can open portals. Jefferson refuses at first, telling Regina that his daughter, Grace, needs him, but later changes his mind when Regina offers to give him enough money to live comfortably with Grace. He takes Regina to Wonderland, reminding her that the same number of people went in through the hat have to come out. Regina agrees, taking him to the home of the Queen of Hearts, who Regina claims has taken something from her. Jefferson and Regina make it through her maze and guards, and Regina takes back… her father? Yes, the Queen of Hearts took Regina’s father and kept him captive. When Jefferson realizes that Regina means to leave him behind, he tries to stop her, to no avail. Heartbroken at the knowledge that Grace will never see him again, Jefferson is dragged off to the Queen of Hearts, who tells him to make her a hat like the one he used. And thus, Jefferson spends the rest of the days until the curse making hundreds and hundreds of hats, slowly going mad with the fear of never seeing his daughter again. In Storybrooke, he kidnaps Emma and Mary Margaret in an attempt to get Emma to believe, telling her that she has magic and that she can make the hat work. Jefferson is one of the three people in town who remembers his past life, but Emma thinks he is crazy. She and Mary Margaret escape, and Jefferson disappears until right before the curse is broken, when he helps Regina get a poisoned apple in return for new memories for Grace. When the apple does not hurt Emma, but Henry, Regina refuses to complete the deal, so Jefferson releases Belle from the asylum underneath the hospital in spite. After the curse is broken, Jefferson is reunited with Grace in a tear jerking scene that made my sister actually start sobbing. :’) Later, it is revealed that Jefferson and Regina have something of a past.

Name(s): Jefferson, The Mad Hatter

Characteristics: Loving, wants what is best for Grace, devious at times, lonely.

Why do I like this character?: Other than the fact that he is a touching character, I found Jefferson to be a really interesting addition to the story. Many questions about him still remain however, such as how he got the hat. Sebastian Stan, who plays the character, has not appeared in recent episodes due to work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hopefully, now that the movie is out, Jefferson will return to the show! I loved his relationship with his daughter. In the Enchanted Forest, he would play games with her and let her use her imagination, and is willing to go to any lengths to give her a happy life. In Storybrooke, it is obvious how much he loves her and longs to see her again, but does not go to her because he thinks she will hate him. In the end, it is Henry who reminds him of true love, not just romance, but the love of a family, and Jefferson and Grace have a happy ending.

Why do I dislike this character?: I can honestly think of very little about him that I dislike, though the fact that he was willing to help Regina poison Emma in order to be with Grace again was a tad disturbing. I also disliked how he helped Doctor Whale and Rumplestiltskin trick Regina in the Enchanted Forest.

Favorite quotes: “You know what the problem is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and no one wants to believe in magic.”

“Pardon me for eavesdropping…”

Emma: “History books are based on history.”
Jefferson: “And storybooks are based on what? Imagination. Where does that come from? It has to come from somewhere.”

“*A* real world. How arrogant are you to think yours is the only one? There are infinite more. You have to open your mind. They touch one another, pressing up in a long line of lands, each just as real as the last. All have their own rules. Some have magic, some don’t. And some need magic. Like this one. And that’s where you come in.”

Other thoughts: I think it would be very interesting to see more of his backstory, and to learn about Grace’s mother. Jefferson is a very well layered character, and it seems that we really don’t know very much about him other than the obvious Mad Hatter stuff.

And for your viewing pleasure, I present one of the best scenes from the show ever. You might want tissues:


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