Season two of Once Upon A Time began with the introduction of Michael Raymond-James' mysterious city-dweller -- a man who turned out to be connected to Storybrooke in several significant ways. We learned he was not only Neal, the big love of Emma's life and Henry's father, but also Bae, Rumple's son who was forced into a wormhole, and out of fairytale land, by his father.
Last week's episode not only revealed where that portal popped Bae out (Neverland!), but brought the character full circle as the hour ended with Neal disappearing into another wormhole -- so where did he go this time? ETonline asked the actor that very question when we talked earlier this week!
ETonline: Last week's episode ended with a potentially terrible turn of events for Neal.
Michael Raymond-James: Potentially being the operative word. We haven't seen a body yet, so you never know!
ETonline: What was your reaction to finding out he was headed down another wormhole?
Raymond-James: When I first met with the creators, I knew the broadstrokes of what we were going for in terms of the overall character development. So I knew where it was headed, but when I was up in Vancouver when we were still working out the finer points of the finale, and we had a chat about the wormhole, I was stoked. The symmetry was great. The fact that instead of his dad letting him go, this time he chose to let go of the love of his life in order for his son to not lose both of his parents.
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ETonline: So you consider Emma to be the love of Neal's life?
Raymond-James: Yeah. I don't think there's any question about that. The thing with Tamara is what it was. I didn't feel like I was going to be able to explain to Emma what actually transpired with August. I mean, there is so much unsaid and unseen from that scene in Tallahassee, but the only guy who can vouch for me is now a little boy [laughs]. I think there's no question that Emma is the absolutely love of Neal's life. Whether or not that means anything is not for me to say. But when Neal lets her hand go, he knows he's letting go of the woman he loves.
ETonline: Whether it's shown in the finale or not, do you know where Neal went?
Raymond-James: I do know. What I don't know is if it’s revealed in the finale or not. But, yes, I know where Neal winds up though.
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ETonline: Having at least read the script, what do you think about the finale?
Raymond-James: It's exciting. It's massive. Everyone behind the scenes really know what they're doing. They're masters at this kind of episode where questions are answered but those answers only lead to more questions.
ETonline: Looking back, what made Once Upon A Time a show you wanted to work on?
Raymond-James: The arc they pitched me was intoxicating. Their enthusiasm is infectious -- it's nearly impossible once you're near their clutches not to dance the way they want you to. And I mean that in the best possible way. The story they spun for me is great and I wanted to be a part of it because I think Once Upon A Time is dressed up in the world of fantasy and magic but is, at its heart, an intense human drama.
The Once Upon A Time season finale airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.