Last night I was going to post a piece about all of the things that were frustrating me about “Once Upon A Time” this season. What the hell was up with Tamara and Greg? Why did they kill magical beings with a taser, of all things? Why did they want to kill them anyway? And why don’t Neal and Emma just get together already? But I didn’t, knowing I (along with some other journalists) was going to have an informal breakfast with show creators Adam Horowitz and Ed Kitsis today. The good news is that some of the things that were bugging me will be resolved by the end of the season finale on May 12, and even better? They can’t defend that stupid taser, either.
#1 We find out a little more about who Tamara and Greg are by the end of the season finale.
Well, sort of. “You will get an answer with a question,” said Kitsis, cryptically. Though we hear the dastardly duo refer to sending magic they gather back to a “home office” in next week’s episode, the more pressing question of who that home office is will be addressed by the end of the season. “You will find out who the home office is, and you will find out what [Tamara and Greg] want, but you won’t know why they want it. And hopefully, since we’ve all been trained with initiatives [during their stint on “Lost”], we’re hoping to lead you down a different path… Tamara and Greg are here for a mission, and whether or not they succeed in that mission will be seen in the finale.
Horowitz added, “More about them and their motivations and background will be revealed, and it will all be tied into the end run of the next episode and a half…By the end of the season, you’ll know a lot more about Greg and Tamara are trying to achieve, who they’re working for and what that means.”
#2 They regret Tamara’s damn taser, too.
With little prompting, Kitsis coughed up an apology for the taser. Yes, an apology. “Can we just talk about the taser? Here’s the thing. Adam and I, when we sat down to do this, we thought, we need a real world weapon. In the moment of making that decision, we never realized the backlash it would be for a taser. We just figured, oh, the audience would assume it’s not a taser, but it did not. I got a lot of history lessons about wood and conducting electricity. If I could go back this season and change one thing, I would have made it a syringe. Because if she took a syringe and shoved it into the Dragon, no one at this table would be giving a shit…”
Horowitz argued, “We’d still have the same problem, because if you shoved a syringe into a piece of wood, what was that gonna do?”
“But if it fucking glowed they would see it’s magic!” Kitsis sputtered. “But what these electrical currents are doing will be explained when you know what the home office is, and that will be next year. But yes, I’m sorry we chose the taser…. it robbed him of his essemce in a way that was confusing and not interesting… We fucked up, we’re human, we’re doing 22, it’s a fucking grind and we should have done a syringe or something cooler.”
#3 They always planned on taking the show out of fairytale land and including non-fairytale characters.
If you were jarred by the show’s journey to New York or some of the non-fairytale characters that have shown up, that was the point. “When the show was initially picked up, we didn’t know if we’d be on for more than a week,” Horowitz explained. “And when it became clear we’d be on for more than a week, we thought about what we wanted the show to be in the big picture. And we decided on very early on this show was not going to be about breaking the curse. It was going to be about these characters and these worlds, [different] characters from very different worlds, and how they intersect. So that meant the playing field was never going to be limited to just… fairytale world.”
As Kitsis explained it, taking the story to New York not only gave them an opportunity to test Rumpelstiltskin and show him at his most vulnerable [“What is crazier than getting in a tin can for 18 hours and ending up in Australia? A plane is a really frightening thing…”] but also surprise us. When we were expecting the story to head to fairytale land or Storybrooke, instead if landed in “New York, with a Lou Reed song.”
#4 Back when he was Bae, Neal made a pitstop in Victorian London.
In next week’s episode, we discover that Baelfire rides the portal his dad Rumpelstiltskin dumped him into straight to Victorian London, where he meets a little girl we might remember well — Wendy Darling of “Peter Pan” fame. “What happens to him in the Darling family is the emotional touchstone of what these last two hours are,” says Kitsis. “Hopefully to inform who he is in the character and kind of also set up a Neverland that is hopefully also not what you think it is.” So, that means a little darker and scarier, it seems. “The shadow is not the lovely, cuddly shadow we remember… The way we look at Peter Pan and Neverland will be completely different.”
As to how Bae travels from Victorian England to modern day New York without aging over 100 years, Horowitz would only say that, “Time is linear.” So… well, have fun with that.
#5 Peter Pan is on the way — but not quite yet. Also, characters you’ve missed will return.
Rumor has it that a character will be introduced this season, but we won’t actually meet this character until season three. So, any shot that this mystery figure is Peter Pan? “I would not confirm or deny, but if I made that guess it would be a good one,” Kitsis admitted. So, let’s take it as a yes. But there does seem to be someone else in the finale we already know. “We have hinted that Baelfire knew someone from the world of Peter Pan, and this person will be seen and he has beautiful guy liner,” said Kitsis.
“And a shiny hand,” Horowitz added.
“The finale is very Hook-centric in the flashback,” Kitsis said.
Also, thanks to Twitter, we already know of two characters who will be returning for the finale. “We’re only going to meet one other person [in the finale] who will definitely be in season three,” Kitsis said. “And we might have a few other people returning. As one of them tweeted, great to be back in Vancouver. Aurora and Mulan, thank you.” Who won’t be joining them? “There will not be Lancelot this year.”
#6 Will Wendy Darling get a continuation of her story?
Given that everyone in Storybrooke has had two lives — one in fairytale land and one in Storybrooke — it seems only fair to find out what happens to Wendy after she outgrows Peter Pan, right? “I would be disappointed if at some point we would introduce her and [then] never show what happened,” Kitsis sighed.
“Wendy is a very big part of the Peter Pan mythology, so as we fold that into the ‘Once’ mythology, yeah, it would be disappointing not to have more of her.” So it seems a safe bet that more Wendy is in the cards.
#7 Someone might or might die in the season finale.
Which is about as specific as Kitsis and Horowitz were willing to get. Any chance Bae might be next on Tamara and Greg’s hit list? “We’ll find out,” Kitsis said. “[Bae] can always die.” What about anyone else? “Perhaps.”
# 8 Whether or not Emma and Neal get back together, sparks are set to fly.
Maybe, maybe not — but romantic connections, missed and otherwise, are going to play a major part in season three. “This year you see Emma really suppressing her feelings,” says Kitsis. “Last night you see she still holds a torch for Neal, [and] obviously he still has feelings for her. I think that she’s so scarred its hard for her to open up her heart. She did a little bit for Henry, a little bit for her family, but this is a really heavy wound. So I’d like to explore that and next year I’d love to explore when other people find love. We see it with Rumpel, but love is pretty much what the franchise of the show is. Everyone wants it, but they pick really stupid ways to get to it.
#9 Belle may not always be Lacey, but Rumpelstiltskin may not care so much.
If you’re developing a fondness for the bad boy version of Mr. Gold and the newly trashy Belle/Lacey, you’re not the only one. “Before the end of the season we’ll see more of the Rumple and Lacey relationship. Love plays a big part in this season. Whether they’ll be happy together is another question,” Horowitz said.
“I would be depressed to never see Belle again,” Kitsis said. “Though I really like Lacey. She’s straight out of a Whitesnake video… [Rumpelstiltskin] seems to be enjoying Lacey because she lets him be who he really wants to be, and it’s his son who he wants to be better for, so it’s just which one of those will win. That’s the internal showdown for Mr. Gold.”
While Rumpelstiltskin had believed all he needed to do was make Lacey fall in love with him for the two of them to share true love’s kiss and turn Lacey back into Belle, it may not be that easy — even if he still wants to do it. “[It’s going to be] brand new. Because they’ve already been kissing a lot,” Kitsis said.
#10 They hinted at what’s going on with “Wonderland,” the pilot ABC picked up that’s a sequel to “Alice in Wonderland,” and what that means for “Once.”
“I think well, that’s a sitcom,” Kitsis jokes. “I can just tell you the truth. ‘Wonderland’ takes place post-curse. So it starts when magic comes and the wraith happens. We are in present day wonderland, post Queen of Hearts. Just like we saw in the enchanted forest [in “Once Upon A Time”], we saw pockets that were saved, and there are pockets that were saved, and similar to this, how did Alice get saved? And the Knave of Hearts is a character we’re throwing around now.”
But will there be “Wonderland”/”Once Upon A Time” crossovers? “As far as the mythology of the two shows, ‘Wonderland’ touches upon ‘Once Upon A Time’ but is intended to exist as its own thing.” Horowitz explained.
“I definitely think there definitely probably will be, but it will have to be in flashback… it would be really confusing to have someone say, I have to visit my friend in Wonderland,” Kitsis said. That being said, one character is definitely crossing over. Maybe. “You cannot do ‘Wonderland’ and not bring Barbara [Hershey]. We have to ask her. I think there are many Cora stories still to be told, both young Cora and old Cora. Even though she is dead, she is very much alive in our hearts.”
Still, “Wonderland” will be its own animal, one that you can enjoy whether or not you watch “Once.” “We’re not going to make you do the math of, that tea cup was at Granny’s a week ago!’ If you’ve never seen ‘Once,’ you can [still] watch Wonderland,” Kitsis said. Not that you’re going to see a big plug for the new show on “Once.” “Our show isn’t looking to do a big Alice arc. This is… It will not be like this season, Alice [comes in] and says, hey, watch my new show!”
As to what kinds of different worlds you’ll see on “Wonderland,” you can expect the show, like “Once,” won’t just be limited to the world of Alice and Wonderland. “There is a mash-up, because we are 12, so it’s not enough to pay with Darth Vader; you also have to bring in GI Joe and one of your “Welcome Back Kotter” dolls. For us, there’s a mash-up we’d rather not say right now. There are a couple of mash-ups, one big one.”
#11 Sebastian Stan will still be the Mad Hatter in “Wonderland.” When he can make it, that is.
The good news is that the Mad Hatter won’t be recast. The problem, though is that Sebastian Stan may not be available very often. “Good god getting him…If Sebastian has a week, we’ll take it,” Kitsis said.
#12 Disney has the rights, but don’t expect a “Star Wars”/”Once” crossover.
That would be a firm no. “We’re not bringing ‘Star Wars’ on other than the ring tones. There are no bigger fans than us, but we have no plans to go to Tatooine,” Kitsis said.
“The way we’ve thought about the show sadly never included Star Wars,” Horowitz said. “And we don’t think it should.