‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 2 Scoop From Creators Adam Horowitz And Eddy Kitsis
After watching the Season 2 premiere of “Once Upon A Time” (Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC), HuffPost TV had the pleasure of talking with the show’s creators, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis.
They discussed some of the events of the premiere and touched on what’s to come this season in our wide-ranging Q&A, which has been edited, condensed and presented below. Read on for some hints on what you can expect from Emma and Snow’s relationship, how we’ll meet Henry’s father, August’s return and what will happen to Regina in upcoming episodes. Spoilers for the Season 2 premiere ahead.
On how Emma and Snow’s relationship will evolve from here:
Kitsis: Well, I think the interesting thing for us on that is that all last season, Emma didn’t believe that [Mary Margaret] was her mom. She was kind of like the big sister, giving her dating advice and things you would never do with your mom. Now they’re in a strange land where Mary Margaret remembers she was Snow White. Snow White doesn’t need a big sister, and Snow White has more information about that land than Emma. So I think it’ll be interesting as they feel out their mother/daughter/big sister/friend/best friend relationship. And I think that what’s also interesting is that it’s one thing to believe [that magic is real and Snow is her mom] and it’s another thing to see it. Now Emma’s actually in the land where Henry kept telling her she was really from. And so I think there’s a real mix of emotions. And we’re excited also that you’re going to get a bit of Emma before she had Henry. [The flashback to Emma’s past] will be Episode 6 … In that episode you’ll meet Henry’s father.
On Charming’s story while Snow and Emma are trapped:
Kitsis: He’s Dustin Hoffman in “Kramer vs. Kramer,” except instead of his wife leaving him, she fell through a magical hat into another world. [Laughs.] What’s so interesting for David is he now has a wife to find, a daughter to find, a town to run, and a grandson to take care of, even though he was a parent for 28 minutes. And so there’s a lot to unwind in the town. There’s lots of questions I’m sure people have, like, “Can they leave, and what the hell was that smoke, and what the hell’s going to happen?” He’s going to have to sort through that all and bring his wife back. Luckily for him, Snow and Emma are not damsels in distress, so I have a feeling they’ll be able to find their own way back.
Horowitz: We call them “damsels with daggers.”
On writing strong female characters:
Kitsis: For us, that was the kind of show we wanted to do, because we weren’t interested in weakness with women, because that’s not real. And what’s real is a Snow White that wields a sword, and that can steal, and torture a knight with a pickaxe.
Horowitz: Exactly. From day one of writing the pilot, I remember writing the first sequence. We sat there and we said, “When that queen comes in, who’s going to pull the sword?” “It has to be Snow.” And that kind of started it.
On Regina’s journey this season:
Horowitz: She’s got a dilemma.
Kitsis: Well, for us, what was interesting about writing the finale was, she had a choice. We have seen an entire season of her making the wrong choices. This one is, you can save Henry or you could save your curse, but you can’t have both. And she chose her son, so it makes you wonder if that void in her heart has been filled. And I think in the premiere, one of our favorite moments is Regina finding out that the only reason Emma and Snow are helping her is because Henry asked.
Horowitz: That’s the thing; she can be evil and she can do terrible, terrible things. But if we understand why, and there’s a humanity at the core of that, that’s what allows you to watch it. It allows us to write it. You still want her to be a villain. You still want her to be an antagonist. But she’s got extremely good arguments for everything. She raised that kid for 10 years before this woman came. But she has to balance the fact that she tried to be a mom with the fact that she does horrible things like curse millions of people.
Kitsis: And yes, she took her son to a psychiatrist who turned out to be a cricket because her son had delusions that these books were real, only to find out they were actually true. So there’s some damage control to be done with her [and Henry].
On Rumple and Belle:
Kitsis: The thing that’s great about Belle is, she can see the beauty beneath the skin, and Rumple clearly has a plan. I don’t think in that plan, as meticulous as he is, he ever accounted for her being alive. So again, there’s a man who’s often faced choices between love and power …
Horowitz: That’s the thing; it’s about having these choices, having these crossroads, and creating these dilemmas where, as a writer and an audience member, you can look and say, “I’d want to go left, too. I know I should go this way.” But the deck is stacked so that you get why they make the choice, even if it’s wrong.
On August’s return:
Horowitz: You will see him.
Kitsis: Yeah. We can’t tell you how, or why, or where, or when, but we can tell you that Eion Bailey will be back this season.
Horowitz: Yeah, we’re very excited to have him returning and to further that character’s story.
On bringing back The Huntsman (Jamie Dornan) at some point — and whether they regret killing him:
Kitsis: Well, we designed that character to die, but knowing Jamie and how much we love him, of course it tortures us.
Horowitz: We love Jamie so much.
Kitsis: We’d love to get him back again this year. He just did a movie, so he’s busy.
Horowitz:He’s part of the DNA of the show, and because of that he’s always a part of it. Any time we can find the way to bring him in, we would be happy to do it.
Kitsis: Yeah, in the finale that was sort of our fave — we designed that entire thing just to give him that entrance where he pulls the mask up. His handsomeness will stun you.
On Captain Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) introduction:
Horowitz: All we can reveal is that he will tie in rather quickly, in this first batch of episodes …
Kitsis: He has interesting relationships with a few of our characters …
On bringing in other iconic characters — such as Ariel — who were rumored early on, but aren’t in the first batch of episodes:
Kitsis: There’s a lot of characters and people that we have ideas for, it’s just a matter of when we get to them. We’re going to meet Lancelot, Hook.
Horowitz: The Giant [from “Jack and the Beanstalk”]
Kitsis: We have a lot of toys, right? So we’re going to deal with them.
Horowitz: We have ideas for a lot of characters like Ariel, for example. Right now, these are the ones we’re playing with, but we’d love to have the opportunity to do a lot.
On whether Mulan, Phillip and Aurora can technically be classified as a love triangle:
Kitsis: Well, what I think is interesting about that love triangle is that it started with her, Mulan, helping her friend go wake up his true love. So in a way, the triangle is done, in the sense that she’s already said, “You need to go do that.” So what happens from here on out, and whether or not he’s dead … I mean, all I saw was his soul being sucked out …
On whether there will be one major villain in Season 2, or a number of antagonists:
Kitsis: I don’t know … I know that Barbara Hershey will be back [as Regina’s mother]. I know that Captain Hook, if I remember from “Peter Pan,” wasn’t the nicest of guys.
Horowitz: He’s got a hook on his hand!
Kitsis: I think he is misunderstood. He has a complicated backstory.
“Once Upon a Time” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
"That’s how you know you’ve really got a home. When you leave it, there’s this feeling that you can’t shake. You just miss it." Neal Cassidy