A Portal to Wonderland for the Mad

Mad Hatter in the Once Upon a Time episode titled “Hat Tricks.”

A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.

……….Nikos Kazantzakis

The Alice in Wonderland episode of Once Upon a Time was titled Hat Trick. I loved a few of the new takes on the fairy tale. Some of the new ideas I like involved: the rabbit (which was portrayed as a stuffed animal); the hole to Wonderland (which was a science fiction like portal or a space worm hole); the green labyrinth in Wonderland (which was alive and capable of consumption); and the Queen of Hearts (who remained hauntingly faceless).

In Storybrooke, Mary Margaret escaped from jail, because no one believes she is innocent. She escaped using a key she suspiciously found inside her cell. When Emma (the Sheriff of Storybrooke) realizes Mary is gone, she sets out on a search to find her before Regina (the Mayor of Storybrooke, and the Evil Queen) realizes she has escaped.

During her search for Mary Margaret, Emma is kidnapped by a mad man (yes- the Mad Hatter of Wonderland). Jefferson is crazy for hats. It turns out that the Mad Hatter actually makes several hats in an attempt to recreate a particular hat which could evoke the said portal to Wonderland. He is aware that there are parallel worlds, and insists that Emma has the power to recreate the magical hat. Emma also finds that Mary Margaret has been kidnapped by the mad man. While attempting to force Emma to recreate the magic hat, the hatter tells her “you are precious Emma. You brought something special to Storybrooke…magic.” Emma tells him that he is “mad” and he tells her maybe she is “the one who is mad.” He goes on to explain that fairy tales must come from somewhere- which kinda reminded me of oral histories. They come from somewhere right? Fairy tales are a type of story- passed on from generation to generation. Has anyone ever heard of Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth? If not, you should check that scholar out! The hatter tells Emma “stories-stories-what’s a story?” He says that “storybooks are based on imagination, and that it has to come from somewhere,” as he explains to Emma that there is more than one world.

In the fairy tale world, the Evil Queen hires a man of magic, the Mad Hatter. He brings the Evil Queen an old hat box. From the box, he pulls out the special hat. When the hatter puts the hat on the floor, it begins spinning. As the hat spins, the motion creates the portal or worm hole to Wonderland. Regina wants to travel to Wonderland to rescue her father, who is being held captive by the Queen of Hearts. As they begin their voyage through Wonderland, there is a guest appearance by Absalom (the smoking caterpillar—he was part of my last web page theme). Absalom blows smoke in the Evil Queen’s face (loved it)! The Evil Queen and the Mad Hatter end up in the living, green labyrinth of the Queen of Hearts. The walls of the labyrinth will consume those who come close. That is no problem for the Evil Queen, as she simply uses fire to burn a path to walk straight through. Once she arrives at the vault housing her father’s spirit in a box, she saves him. Using a piece of magic mushroom (apparently for his growth- and the Eat Me part of the tale), he is returned to his true form. Having tricked the Mad Hatter, she leaves him trapped in Wonderland, as only two can return back through the looking glass portal.

Back in Storybrooke, it turned out that Regina had made a deal with Mr. Gold (Mary Margaret’s lawyer)- but things didn’t go as she planned! In the end, to Regina’s surprise, Mary Margaret sat casually in her jail cell reading a newspaper. Fittingly, the headline of the newspaper read “Heartless.” It would have been nice if this one could have been a two hour special because there was so much that could have fit in…

Until next time! 🙂

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Explore posts in the same categories: Allusion, Fairy Tales, Fire Symbol, Pop Culture, Quotes, Reviews, Series Review, Spiral Symbol, Symbols and Imagery, TV Series, Worthy Reads

4 Comments on “A Portal to Wonderland for the Mad”

  1. KC Says:

    More and more niftiness every day around here! This post references many-many of my favorite play toys. First and foremost is Joseph Campbell and his myth work. I am a total addict for all things myth related, especially the idea of recurring archetypes and concepts among all mythologies in the world. Being a tricksterish person myself, I tend toward the darker side of things mythological, magical, and poetical. I love madness and insanity, at least the myth of them if not the technical realities. Someone once said that the moon hasn’t lost her mystery, even though we’ve stepped on her face, and charted every inch of her skin, calculated her pull on the Earth…and still she is our Mother, our Eye, a glowing sphere of magic in the night sky, the creator and instigator of madness…aka Lunacy. Mystery and illusion are another toy of mine, as is anything Alice related, in any form at all. The retelling and seeing of fairy tales from a different perspective is a love of mine as well, so as you can see, you pretty much covered it here! *laughs*

    Sorry for the “rant”…at least it was a positive one? Anyway, I wanted to let you know I’ll be following you now, and to thank you for a fun post!


    • flujan Says:

      Hey KC- thanks for taking the time to post a great response! Niftiness ha? Cool! Play toys are fun and Joseph Campbell and his myth studies rock!! Archetypes in mythology- very interesting! You love madness and insanity? You sound like someone I would like! Haha!!! I loved the “rant” and thanks for the visit- I like your writing! *F

  2. KC Says:

    Have you seen “Malice in Wonderland” yet? If not, you really should. It’s an awesomely gritty Alice remake/retelling…very trippy but sweet at the same time. Great soundtrack, too. Weird, of course…but awesome. If you have Netflix, it’s available on there.


    • flujan Says:

      No— I have never heard of that! I totally have to track that down. Once I get my hands on that one, I will surely post a review! Thanks for letting me know about that flick…. 🙂 Felicia

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