I love that they are pulling in from different kinds of stories, from mythology, and from pop culture. It makes me think of Farscape, the sci-fi show with more comical pop culture references than can be counted. There used to be a website that listed those; I think I'll see if I can find it again.
I think any source of "make believe" works when the writers are this creative. The more material they have to work with, the longer the series can run.
As for Mr. Gold, he has his own agenda. Yes, it may appear that he was working with Regina on the outside, but he's got so many other things going on inside! Wonder what the "deal" was that Regina made with him and what sort of outcome she wanted. He promised her "results" but he didn't specify what they'd be. Clever man, he is.
Interesting that the queen of harts had a big shed of hearts whereas we've seen the Queen/Regina with the same (or at least similar looking) wall of hearts. So does she take them from the Queen of Hearts sometime? Or does she take the idea and apply it to her own world.
I liked the story last night. And Sebastian Stan is all kinds of fine.
Isn't Jefferson still in Wonderland? The Queen of Hearts (why didn't we see her face?) said he could have his body back if he made another hat...looks like he has made many, just like in Storybrook, but none of them is magic except for the one Emma made. I don't think he has the Queen's favor to leave back through the looking glass to Fairy Tale land. I love that the writers used him (mad, insane) to try to put that chink in Emma's closed belief system and that he outlined it for her as different realities, some with magic, some without. The last shot has her seeing Jefferson's story and wondering.
P.S. The Queen of Heart's box for Regina's father looked like it kept his soul, not his heart. That way he could reappear in full form (the purple mist.) And, yes, it is ironic, but necessary for Storybrooke to exist for her to cut out the heart of her most loved one (her father) in order to invoke the curse...and she turned Jefferson's creed of family first on its head - while he lost his.
Pure speculation, but I believe they didn't show the Queen of Hearts' face because she hasn't been cast. and she'll be back at a later date.
One complaint about the show:
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE STOP KILLING OFF THE HOT GUYS?
Apparently, Emma made the hat magic, and I love that Mary Margaret used a croquet mallet.
Regina marries the King. Regina kills the King. Regina does all sorts of evil stuff. Regina rescues her father from Wonderland but tricks the Mad Hatter and leaves him trapped there. Regina does even more evil stuff. Regina kills her father. We are now in the present and in Storybrooke, Maine.
They need to have a time stamp on the fairytale scenes cause I don't see where it said definitively that the Wonderland story took place before the queen killed her father versus after (with her bringing him back to life. She needed to kill him to set the curse in motion but how long did it take to set in motion? Maybe she had time to go get him. Or a Wonderland version of him. And just because she needed to kill him to start the curse doesn't mean he needed to stay dead. Cause she doesn't seem the type to blindly follow the rules when she can twist them to her own ends).
Yes, I get what you're saying is probably accurate and makes sense but I don't know for 100%. At the very least give
them different hairstyles or make them make allusions to other events so the audience can place the story in sequence.