The cast of ABC’s hit show ONCE UPON A TIME, along with showrunners Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis, talked to journalists this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con about what we can expect to see in season 6. With two villains in town, Storybrooke will now take front stage again, as the show returns to its roots for its sixth season. Lana Parrilla, Jared Gilmore, Emily de Ravin, Rebecca Mader, Colin O’Donoghue and Josh Dallas talked about what’s in store for their characters this season and how they are all going to have their hands full dealing with the Evil Queen and Hyde at the same time.
Adam Horowitz told us that this season will not be all about the Land of Untold Stories, as it was previously teased in the season 5 finale. This time, they are not going to a different land and stay there for the first half of the season, like they did for the past couple of seasons. “We are in Storybrooke and the characters from the Land of Untold Stories have arrived, and that is part of the story we’re telling. But the arc of this season will touch on a bunch of different things.” Horowitz teased.
According to the showrunners, these characters fled the Land of Untold Stories, so their stories wouldn’t play out. Now that they’re in Storybrooke, things will play out as they were supposed to and Emma will find herself again in the position of Savior, trying to help everyone find their happiness. Add to that the fact that both Hyde and a far more terrifying Evil Queen will be on the loose, so the heroes will most certainly not have time to take a break before the next crisis.
Origin of the savior. During the panel, we watched a sneak peek of the upcoming season, and found out that Alladin was a Savior. Eddie Kitsis mentioned that, this year, we are exploring the Savior mythology, and we will soon realize that Emma is not the first savior and that there is an origin story to that position of power. In the sneak peek, we saw that being a Savior has really taken its toll on Alladin and that it might be a glimpse of what is in store for Emma. “Last year, we saw Emma finally saying ‘I love you’ to Hook when there was no problem or death, so she was able to let in these new emotions. So one of the things we want to get into this year for Emma is what is it like to find your parents? What is it like to have the pressure of being the Savior and having to fight all those fights? Is she ever going to have a happy ending? I think the Alladin thing kind of showed you what happened to the Savior, right?” Kitsis teased.
Regina vs Evil Queen. Lana Parrilla said that the Evil Queen is different than what she used to be. “Before, she was still part of Regina, and Regina has a conscience. We will see how the Evil Queen will fare without a conscience and how far she is willing to go to get her revenge. She is still hung up on Snow and getting her heart.” Parrilla teased.
She also mentioned that Regina is still trying to be a hero and she turns to Snow for advice. “Part of her feels that [what is happening] is karmic, but she is not going to let the Evil Queen win. She is going to battle against her and really fight for redemption and her happiness.”
Jared Gilmore also talked about how Henry is going to react to having three mothers now. When he was asked about how he is going to feel about the Evil Queen, Gilmore said that it’s complicated. “It’s hard to explain. She raised him for ten years, so he has some sort of feelings toward her. Even when she was still in Regina, he wanted to see the good in her, which means he also wanted to see the good in the Evil Queen. But now that that’s gone, it will be really interesting to explore.”
Robin’s death. Last season, we saw Robin perish when Hades used the Olympian Crystal on him. Regina hasn’t really had time to process what happened and Parrilla says there is so much going on with the characters, that we won’t see it right away. “Regina is very private. There is so much going on. As soon as we start the season, we have Hyde and Gold has given him Storybrooke, so we need to protect our civilians. That’s why I think these moments are more private. It’s talked about, but I think the grieving happens behind closed doors.” she elaborated on how her character is dealing with Robin’s death.
Zelena. When asked about how Zelena is fairing when season 6 starts, Rebecca Mader said that there is a lot going on with her character. When we last saw her, she had just killed her first love in order to save her sister, so she is not in the best head space right now. “I had finally gotten a sister, and now I have two. So it’s a lot – dealing with Regina and the Evil Queen, and the baby and I just killed my boyfriend, so I made an appointment with Jimini Cricket for next week.” The actress laughed.
About how her relationship with the Evil Queen and with her own dark side that she is still trying to leave behind, Mader said that being a villain is like battling an addiction, so Zelena might slip up a little bit on her journey.
Belle and Rumplestiltskin. Emilie De Ravin told us that Belle starts off season 6 still inside the box – just as we last saw her in the season 5 finale. However, she says that Belle will most likely not stay there for too long. “The way she gets out of the box, that she’s extracted from it, and the characters involved in that – it’s really cool.” De Ravin commented. “It reveals a lot about her relationship.” She added.
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Snow and Charming. Josh Dallas talked about how the Evil Queen is going to affect Snow White and Prince Charming, since she never really let go of her grudge against Snow and wants revenge at any cost. That and the fact that she is pure evil now, so the Charmings will have a lot on their plate when season 6 starts. “[The Evil Queen] is coming after everybody. She is really doing some mental manipulation and it’s going to turn everybody inside themselves and they are going to have a lot internally to deal with.” He teased. “She is full on evil, and much like the whole basis of Once Upon a Time, with the Evil Queen going after Snow White and wanting her dead, it’s definitely going to be the case [this time]. She is going after his wife, so she is definitely going after Charming too.”
Emma and Hook. One of the most beloved relationships in television, Emma and Hook finally seemed to be in a good place when we last saw them. However, Colin O’Donoghue said that – even though it’s true love – just like every year, their relationship is going to be complicated, but in different ways. “Now they have to figure out how to move forward. True love it’s such a rare thing and it’s such a big part of the show, and the Evil Queen will be gunning for Snow and Emma, so who knows how that is going to affect [their relationship].”
During the panel, it was mentioned that we would find out more about Hook’s past. O’Donoghue said he couldn’t elaborate much about that, but that we would see some of Hook’s actions in the past catching up with him now. “It’s going to test some of the relationships he has in Storybrooke, and it’s going to make him reflect even more about who he was, who he is now and how he can forgive himself. But more than that, it’s going to affect some specific relationships.”
When asked about if that would affect Hook’s relationship with Emma, he said that, even though some of the things Hook did in his past a lot of people wouldn’t be able to forgive, he and Emma would work through it. “Emma has said before that she is willing to move on from that and leave the past where it is.” O’Donoghue reassured.
Hook and Charming. Josh Dallas and Colin O’Donoghue did the interview together and were excited to talk about the fact that Hook and Charming are going to be interacting a lot more this year. “You’re definitely going to see a more meaningful friendship between Hook and Charming, but it might get rocked by something later on.” Dallas teased.
“We’re going to have quite a bit to do together this season, which is going to be interesting, because we don’t always get to do that.” O’Donoghue said. When asked if the bromance between the two characters was back on, they both confirmed. “The bromance is back on. And blossoming.” Dallas added, laughing.
ONCE UPON A TIME returns with an all new season on Sunday, September 25, at 8/7c on ABC.