Storybrooke Scoop: Showrunners Edward Kitsis and Adam Horotwitz Preview ONCE UPON A TIME’s Wicked Mid-season Return!

By: Sarah Stephens

ONCE UPON A TIME is back and this season is setting up for the ultimate Evil vs Wicked Battle! Last night’s return introduced us to the Wicked Witch of Oz and the mysteries are unfolding about her connections to Evil Queen and what’s been going down in Team Snow’s absence. Hang on to your broomsticks. Things are about to get green in the Enchanted Forest!

There’s no shortage to the questions brought up in last night’s episode, “New York City Serenade.” After a year in the real world, Emma and Henry are returning to Storybrooke, but this time Henry’s in the dark about the truth of the fairy tale town and its inhabitants. The big mystery driving to the end of season three will be what happened to our favorites during their missing year. Not to mention, how excited are we to meet the new big bad flying in from Oz? We had to get it straight from the source on what to expect for the second half of this season, so we sat down with executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Check out the breakdown of the rest of season three below, and as always, if you don’t want any spoilers, better to click your heels out of here now.

Meet the Wicked Witch of the West. One thing to note…this is not Elphaba: “Her name is Zelena and she is kind of our own creation.” Executive producers Kitsis and Horowitz continued “As far as her origin story, we’ll actually reveal that in episode 16, which is entitled ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’”

What’s the story with Zelena and Regina: “When we learn more about the Wicked Witch and her backstory and what happened, we’ll understand that what she has against Regina is kind of a global problem. And an internal problem. But I think we can tease that those two are definitely going to get into it.”

Who else from Oz will we see?? Say like….Glinda? “We will meet her in this half of the season. We just cast Sunny Mabrey as Glinda and we’re very excited to have her join our world. The mythology of the four witches, we created our own. Our Glinda is pure goodness but she’s a character who has gone through a lot more.”

What else from Oz can we expect to see: “We will definitely see some iconic friends from Oz and their relationship is going to be explored in a couple of episodes. A lot of the big touchstones from Baum’s books are hit and we try to do our own spin on them.”

But beware: “The ruby slippers may have been a false road. In the books, they were silver slippers. We will be sticking to the book.”

Any more flashbacks coming? “Only for a couple episodes, when they’re origin stories. We’re going to get Zelena’s origin story and we’re going to get a Cora, a Rose McGown backstory, at some point.”

Kitsis and Horowitz also let us in on some other fun backstories we’ll visit. “We’re going to see some of the Snow White family, the early years. We’ll see a little bit of King Leopold when he was younger. We’re going to see some of the interactions between him and some of the other characters that you may or may not have expected. We’re also going to learn a bit more about Snow’s mother.”

Now that Henry is under a spell giving him different memories, will we see him regaining his real memory any time soon? “That is something that is important. He is the heart of the truest believer. So to see Henry not have his memories is something we’re going to play with. Certain people, like Regina, would love to see them come back right away. But if you were maybe thinking you were happier in New York, maybe you’re not in such a rush to wake him up.” But they warned us, “The road to whether he gets his memory back or not will be a complicated one that will not be as simple as someone concocting a potion.”

Hook isn’t the only pirate marauding around this season. Kitsis and Horowitz gave us the scoop on Blackbeard: “That will be in the year, the missing year. He does not shower very much. He is a pirate through and through and he and Captain Hook do not have a lot of love for each other. The only thing two pirates would fight over, other than a woman, would be a ship.”

Now that Regina and Robin Hood have met in “New York City Serenade”, what about Tink’s prediction about true love? “Whether true love happens or works out or not, it’s going to be a hopefully very interesting road they both travel together. She will see that tattoo and it will definitely have an effect on her.”

With Rumple gone, what about Neal and Belle? “Safe to say there is a significant story that is being launched by those scenes [in episode 312] that involves Neal, involve Belle. We’re going to be seeing some more from Belle’s story, in the form of Lumiere the candle, who is going to be showing up pretty soon. We’re going to see her start seeing her coming into her own by using her brain. She is the hero that will reach for a book or use her intelligence more than a sword.”

Catch ONCE UPON A TIME Sundays at 8pm on ABC (CTV in Canada).

Sarah Stephens’s first and longest running TV addiction is with Days of Our Lives, starting at the age of four. Now a grown-up entertainment and pop culture addict, Sarah lives in Los Angeles where she watches too much TV, chases after all things Disney and writes. Follow her on Twitter @SnowWhite22.