ONCE UPON A TIME Comic-Con Panel: The Cast and Producers Tease Season 6

once upon a time

Hades was defeated at the end of ONCE UPON A TIME’s last season — at the cost of Robin Hood’s life — but a new villain emerged when Regina split off her evil half and killed the Evil Queen. Only the Evil Queen didn’t die and it looks like she’ll be wreaking havoc for our heroes next season. There’s also the matter of Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde roaming around Storybrooke.

ONCE UPON A TIME stars Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Emilie de Ravin, Jared Gilmore and Rebecca Mader — along with executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis — took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con to tease what’s coming up in season 6.

Related: Watch a sneak peek from the season 6 premiere featuring Jafar and Aladdin

One of the biggest questions for season 6 is how the split between Regina and the Evil Queen will work.  Parrilla says that Regina is still sassy, even being split from her evil core. But the Evil Queen is slightly different “than she used to be, I think.  She is now without a conscience, so she’s pure evil. And a lot of fun. Regina is desperate to really be this hero and be happy internally and that’s really what she wants for herself. She has this beautiful family now. And her sister. So it’s going to be an interesting journey this year to see how the Evil Queen and Regina co-exist.”

Parrilla thinks that Emma and Regina have grown over the years and become best friends, but how will the appearance of the Evil Queen change that dynamic? “They’re working together and I think Emma has helped Regina get to this new place in her life,” Parrilla said. She sees them continuing down that path, but the Evil Queen is a different entity. Morrison thinks that Emma wants to believe in Regina, but she also knows she needs to protect everyone she loves (including Regina) from the Queen. How do you separate the two mentally? “I think it’s going to be complicated, like it always is,” Morrison said.

Other highlights: 

  • What is the draw for Belle with Rumple? de Ravin thinks that at the end of last season, Belle is now is acknowledging that part of that pull is him being a bad guy. She likes that, even if deep down she sees the good in him.
  • Are there any consequences about Hook returning from the dead? Has he changed? O’Donoghue thinks he’s “pretty much the same Hook.” But now that he knows it’s true love with Emma and Hook, they’re trying to figure out how to navigate being together. “We might find out a few things about his past,” he teased cryptically. Horowitz confirmed there’s more of Hook’s past that we dig into and more secrets will be revealed.
  • The one thing the Evil Queen wanted was Snow’s heart and that “will not stop,” Kitsis said. But Regina and Snow have become friends over the years. Regina will have a group of people supporting her this time, while her evil alter ego will just be trying to kill everyone. Horowitz said that Regina and Snow’s relationship will definitely continue being explored in season 6.
  • Gilmore thinks that now that Henry is the Author, he’s realized he’s a hero now and he can help people by giving them their stories and help them figure things out. He thinks that “Henry has found his place. He believes that now he’s a part of the heroes and I think he likes it. He loves it.”
  • We will get to see Hook and Charming together in “a fun arc,” Horowitz teased.
  • Mader thinks that being pregnant and having a baby really changed Zelena, along with Regina giving Zelena her trust even if she didn’t deserve it.
  • Can Zeus intervene in internal matters going forward? Kitsis thinks that was a one-time-only Zeus interference, so don’t expect to see him again anytime soon.
  • What’s happened in the Underworld since Hades left? The cast and producers screened an amusing video featuring Cruela and a guest appearances by James Marsters (from BUFFY) and she told us that King Arthur is running the Underworld now.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns on Sunday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (U.S.) and CTV (Canada).

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