Welcome to Once Upon A Time Observations — your weekly observations, easter eggs, parallels and connections guide for the ABC‘s fantasy series. This week we put “Hat Trick” under the Seriable microscope.


  • The foreshadowing clue for this episode are the mushrooms in the Enchanted Forest of Enchantment, signifying their involvement in the story.

  • Henry’s frown suggests he notices something odd about his book. This may tie back to “What Happened To Frederick,” when August tampered (and possibly edited) the book.

  • Grace (who forgets that her father is broke) wants a white rabbit for their tea parties. Two Alice In Wonderland references for the price of one. The rabbit hole must be nearby..

  • Regina masquerades as an old market seller as her arsenal of tricks expands.

  • Mad Hatter iconography such as the teacup and hat pay homage to AIWL, while informing Jefferson. That he should be so closely aligned with his FTL character is interesting. Though, unlike many of the characters, he remembers..
  • For him the quest is all the more tragic — not only is he trapped in Storybrooke, but even if he makes it back, he would presumably still have to make it out of Wonderland before reuniting with his daughter. Right?

  • Jefferson and Regina travel to Wonderland by jumping into the hat — just as Alice fell down the rabbit hole.

  • Wonderland furthers the notion of parallel universes/dimensions, each being ‘real’ in their own right. So far we’ve visited three of the show’s realms: Fairytale Land, Wonderland, and Earth (specifically Storybrooke).
  • While the magic that made Jefferson’s hat work is shrouded in mystery, its role as a portal expands the story somewhat. Wonderland is a metaphor for many things, including Storybrooke, it seems.

  • The size theme from AIWL is illustrated by Regina and Jefferson’s proportions to their new surroundings. Regina also uses some mushroom to restore her father back to his original size.

  • In a connecting reference, they stumble upon a caterpillar sitting on a mushroom, smoking a hookah. In AIWL, the caterpillar advises Alice to eat the mushroom to change her size.
  • The caterpillar also played a role in Alice’s identity quest. That parallel falls short here, but is touched on when he asks Regina and Jefferson “Who…are…you?”

  • Regina takes back her father who had been locked in a vault by the Queen Of Hearts. This appears to be the same vault that we see Regina use to store the Huntsman’s heart in “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.”
  • It seems she got hold of the vault at some point, or created her own version. The former is far more intriguing and could be a seed for future storylines. Plus, it looks a lot shinier in this episode.

  • Emma calls Jefferson “insane” for believing that she has magic. While the curse may have flipped him from a poor magician to a wealthy believer in magic arts, he has yet to escape ‘madness’.
  • The scar on his neck from where he was ‘beheaded,’ is a constant reminder.

  • In another AIWL ref, Mary whacks Jefferson with a croquet stick, and kicks him out of the window where he falls, seemingly, into his hat. There was a slight “Whoosh” sound before the camera cut away from his landing.
  • Seems he finally found his way out of SB — whether that’s back to Wonderland or FTL (or somewhere else) is left for us to ponder before laughing maniacally.

  • How could such a thing happen? Mary has a good kick on her (a carry-over from FTL), but it’s probably more to do with Emma starting to believe. She did take a good look at Jefferson”s scar before he bid farewell.

  • The newspaper headline is a little bit of that Storybrooke humor: “HEARTLESS! School Teacher Jailed On Murder Charges.” I don’t know what’s funnier, the headline or Mary reading about her own ‘murderous’ narrative.

  • Seems Reggie made a deal with Gold to frame Mary for Kathryn’s ‘murder’. Regina’s motivations are clearer, but Gold? Well, let’s just say he rarely makes a deal without knowing the terms. Regina must be a desperate soul..

Once Upon A Time Character Guide


  • So, we know how Jefferson was driven to madness in Wonderland. What’s interesting is the fact that he remembers — perhaps because he was driven mad by the pain of being separated from daughter. Or maybe because his mind was already so open to the reality of the many realities he visited with his hat..

  • It’s also intriguing that Jefferson is in Storybrooke at all, given that Wonderland is in another dimension from FTL. Perhaps this is predicated on his connection to Grace or being born in FTL. Or, maybe realms are linked once intersected..
  • It’s also possible that the two realms were already linked in some inherent way. The ultimate curse might be wider in scope than initially thought. That said, the show is based on a fairy tale conceit, with flexibility.
  • Jefferson lives at 316 — another LOST easter egg that parallels Wonderland with the Island.
  • Interesting that Regina and Jefferson kept their FTL names in SB — makes sense though, the other characters (most of them anyway) don’t remember who they are.
  • Grace wants the White Rabbit to attend her tea party, though it works as a March Hare reference as well.
  • Jefferson and Regina both believed in family. It’s useful to see how far Regina would go for her father (both in a positive and negative sense), helps make her ultimate sacrifice more weighty.
  • Emma calls her make-believe dog Spot — in reference to the children’s books, or is there some ‘Spot the dog’ fairytale I’m not aware of?
  • Jefferson mentions the “hat’s rule” about the number of people who go through having to come back. Could this rule, in some way, extend to Storybrooke? It seems as though everyone has to remember to break the curse..
  • “The Queen of Hearts has always seen me as a threat.” Can’t think why, Reggie. :)
  • Where do those other portal doors lead? Narnia, perhaps? Planet Seriable, maybe? The latter sounds appealing..

Previously on Once Upon A Time Observations: 1.16 “Heart Of Darkness”

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  1. says

    “or is there some ‘Spot the dog’ fairytale I’m not aware of ?”

    Roco, how about “Fun With Dick and Jane.” They have a dog named Spot.

    Like: Thumb up 3

  2. Sam says

    Dear Roco,
    I read these observations all the time. I LOVE THEM. Please don’t ever stop making them! Thank you for all your other observations=]=]=] I learn a lot from them. I always look forward to the next one=]

    Like: Thumb up 5

      • wildheart says

        I have to second what Sam wrote. I now watch everyone OUT episode twice, once on Sunday when it first airs, and after reading your observations. It helps me notice more easter eggs, clues, etc. So if you ever read this Roco, thanks.

        Like: Thumb up 1

  3. wildheart says

    “Where do those other portal doors lead? Narnia, perhaps? Planet Seriable, maybe? The latter sounds appealing..”

    I’d take that Narnian portal any day. Unfortunately, Disney sold the movie rights to Fox, so I doubt we’re going to see that anytime soon.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • Fastthumbs says

      “Where do those other portal doors lead? Narnia, perhaps? Planet Seriable, maybe? The latter sounds appealing..”

      Well, there’s Oz, Mordor, Danta’s Hell,

      And if you want to get sci-fi ish, well there’s always Stargate Command, the Federation of Planets, The Island…

      And if you want to get silly, there’s an apartment in Pasadena CA with a broken elevator with two super genius college Profs living in 4A while accross the hall a wannabe actress who works at the Cheesecake Factory lives in 4B…

      Like: Thumb up 1

    • Todd says

      The other doors definitely lead to the following…
      There are 11 doors.
      The Land Without Colour (Grey Door)
      The Enchanted Forest- Fairy-tale land (Red door)
      Neverland (Door that looks like ship window)
      The Land of the Dead (Coffin Door)
      Oz (Green Curtain)
      Wonderland (Mirror)
      Atlantis (Blue Door)
      Narnia- possibly (Brown Door)
      There will be no Middle earth door.
      There could be a ice world? (White Door)
      Maybe The land of milk and honey? (Yellow door)
      The first seven I am positive of!!!

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  4. Peanut says

    It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the portals leads to Oz.

    Thanks again for continuing to observe OUAT.

    Like: Thumb up 0

    • wildheart says

      According to wikipedia, Oz is owned by MGM, which was just bought by a Disney company, so Oz may come up eventually. I also would be surprised if Neverland doesn’t come up.

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    • Quickfeet says

      I guess maybe I just play way too many videogames but the kingdom hearts games were all about traveling to disney based lands and I imagine that the writers and disney were all too aware of how many possible lands could be used to elongate a season into multiple…

      Atlantica, Tarzan’s Jungle, Mulan’s ‘land of dragons’, Neverland, Halloween Town, 100 Acre Woods (since wonderland proves they aren’t afraid to have mystical animals in play), Olympus… I mean, they could even go as far as to use a “monsters inc.” type world given the significance of doors to that movie.

      Some of them sound pretty silly but this show has done such a terrific job with changing silly cartoons into plausible and human characters that given enough seasons they could deviate from the classic worlds by using doorways to modern ones.

      Like: Thumb up 3

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