'Once Upon a Time' Bosses Spill on Underworld Adventures, True Love's Kiss, the Same-Sex Romance & Much More!
By Leanne Aguilera
We've got a long four months ahead of us, Oncers!
After enduring Sunday's jaw-dropping and absolutely heart-wrenching, mid-season finale on Once Upon a Time, our journey into the depths of the Underworld has been put on pause until the spring premiere in March 2016.
To help curb your magical cravings, ETonline called up executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis to bring you a massive amount of exclusive scoop on what's to come for all of your fairy tale favorites, including the chance of True Love's Kiss, that same-sex couple, and a baby bombshell!
Thanks for breaking my heart on Sunday night, guys! I mean, it's been breaking all season but that mid-season finale was just the final sword to the stomach, so to speak.
EK: Well that has always been our goal and so we are happy that we finally achieved it. [Laughs] But you know, the best part about breaking your heart is repairing it and putting it back together so…
Well, great! Please tell me that's what the second half of the seasons is all about?
EK: I think the second half of the season is going to be about that. I think the second half of the season is that our characters are going to have to face their past -- a lot of them are going to have to try and get closure on some things that have always bothered them.
We’re now headed for the Underworld, which is where so many villains from our pasts have been banished. Is it going to be like one huge bad-guy bash?
AH: Well, we can say one thing which is the Underworld isn’t about villains. There are plenty of villains there, but the Underworld is not hell -- it's sort of an in-between place and it's a place that's filled with people with unfinished business, and that's what we're going to be exploring. So even though we've seen some hints that there are villains there, there's not just villains. In fact, you can have unfinished business without being a villain, and I think that a lot of our characters are going to be encountering a lot of people from their past -- good and bad -- as well as people they haven't met before. It's going to cause some complications and cause our folks to figure out a really messy situation.
Besides finding Hook, what are our characters' goals going to be while in the Underworld?
EK: I think there's a lot of unfinished business and the need for emotional closure with people who have passed in the lives of our heroes, and this second half is really going to get to honor that. The 100th episode is the spring premiere and we've been on for five years and for us in this second half our real goal was to have a very season one vibe and I think that will be apparent after people see the premiere in spring.
What do you think fans are going to be most surprised about in the second half of season five?
EK: We feel that by going into the Underworld, the biggest surprise is it's not going to be what people expect it to be. I think they're probably thinking, 'Oh, it's like we're going to Neverland again,' or 'It's like we're going to Camelot again,' and they're going to be surprised at how similar it is to season one in its own weird kind of way.
Now that Zelena has been banished back to Oz, will we finally have an opportunity for Regina and Robin to bond a little bit more?
EK: In the second half, we're going to definitely see way more Regina. There is going to be a lot of Regina, in fact. There's going to be more with her and Robin Hood, and we have not seen the last of Zelena, so I think all of those stories are going to continue to play out over the second half.
The Same-Sex Romance:
When we chatted at the beginning of the season, you made the Internet explode when you said there will be a same-sex relationship. Is that still the plan for this season?
AH: I think what we've said is that our goal with this is to not talk about it, but to do it. Meaning, the more we talk about it, the more we feel like we risk turning it into a very special storyline as opposed to what we want it to be, which is a normalized [one].
EK: So what happens is the more it gets written about, the more people anticipate it, the more people want it, and the more it turns into this special episode of Once, instead of 'Hey, they're setting up a new arc.' And for us, it's no different than any other love story but the more we start talking about it, the more it becomes, 'Here's the special one,' so we'd rather just not deal with the question.
Rumple and Belle:
Rumple has been particularly frustrating this season. We watched him grow into a hero, only to cave into his darkest desires yet again. Is it safe to say that there's no redeeming him this time?
EK: You know, what I would say is we saw the true Rumple which was he did what was best for Belle, the person that he loves and he got her out of town. And then, he thought he would never seen her again, he thought he would have to die that day and be sent to the Underworld a place that does not have good memories or good people waiting for him and so it became a crime of opportunity where he saw a way out. I think you know that is who Rumpelstiltskin is, he is a guy who finds the loop hole and exploits it when it suits him best.
Will he continue to lie to Belle? He's done it so many times and then acts shocked when she wants to break up with him when she discovers the truth.
EK: I think that is a great question and I think the way he handles it and the way he handles it with Belle with show us whether or not he will learns from past mistakes and if he'll continue to repeat them.
CaptainSwan fans are obviously devastated, but the silver lining is that Killian is the one who told her to kill him -- it's not like she betrayed him. What was the decision behind that scene?
EK: I think the decision behind that scene for us was Hook being able to find the love within the darkness, and giving Emma the permission to let him go to save everyone. In that moment, he realized he took it too far and he didn’t want to hurt her. Through Emma, Hook has found friends, family, and a future, and he was willing to give that up to not ruin theirs. And what we saw at the end with Emma echoing her father's line, "I will always find you," that was Emma -- who has lost everyone she has ever dated -- not wanting to lose another person she loves. She wants to go there and split her heart just like her [parents did].
Fans online were making a big deal saying that the sword scene was very similar to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Had you realized the similarities when you were plotting the story?
EK: Had we realized it when we were plotting the story? Probably not. Have we realized it post? Yes, but we felt that although they are similar, we were trying to pay off that Emma couldn't let Hook go and then had to and that was kind of their arc together.
Please clarify something for me: At the point when Emma plunged the sword into Hook and it crumbled, we didn’t know that Rumple had orchestrated his betrayal. So was it True Love's Kiss that brought Emma back from being the Dark One?
EK: No, what happened was, here's the complicated math: Hook was going to use Excalibur to harness all the darkness from every Dark One that came back including Emma and himself and then put it into the sword. Emma was going to stab him and therefore and therefore he was going to absorb all that darkness and then when he died, the darkness would die and that's what they believed. But what they didn’t know was that Rumple stole it. So while Hook thought that he was blowing up the darkness, Rumple kind of siphoned all of it for himself.
Damn! I was really hoping for a True Love's Kiss. Hopefully you'll give me one by the end of the season?
EK: I think you will definitely get one by the end of the season.
I'm so excited for Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas and their new baby, but I'm curious to know how that's going to play into the story. Is Snow going to get pregnant again or are we going to see her wearing a lot of heavy winter coats?
EK: I think we are going to winter coat that one [Laughs]
AH: And actually just given the timeline of our show, I don’t think that is physically possible for her to have a another child [at this point.]
Where is Baby Neal and Baby Hood while the gang heads off to the Underworld? Who's babysitting?
AH: There was a line, I believe, where they mention that the fairies are taking care of the children.
EK: Yes, they are in the care of the Blue Fairy daycare!
The Blue Fairy Daycare? Hopefully it's not the Shady Blue Fairy Daycare. She'd better take good care of those babies!
EK: She is absolutely going to take good care [of them]. If there's one thing you can count on from the Blue Fairy, it's good child rearing. Look at what she did with Pinocchio.
What happened to the Camelot characters and when will those stories be resolved?
EK: I think that they’re still in Storybooke and perhaps we will give closure to them at the end of the year. They're still kind of hovering around and that'll be something we get to at another time. They're on pause.
Once Upon a Time returns with the second half of season five in March on ABC.
What are you most looking forward to when Once Upon a Time takes us to the Underworld? Share your thoughts with @LeanneAguilera on Twitter!