In a new interview, the Once Upon a Time showrunners preview upcoming episodes, including Gold and Belle’s journey, the new characters and more.
Ed Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have spoken to Collider about the second half of season 2, who reveal that the Regina/Cora storyline will “progress rather quickly.” Kitsis explains that, “Cora is focused, and she’s committed. She saw her daughter upset, but not broken. She said she would come back and break her, and she did. That’s love.”
While the story of Mulan, Aurora and their search for Prince Phillip will hopefully continue this year, Kitsis affirms that for the next batch of episodes, “we’re focusing on the Charmings, the Rum-Belles and the Cora and Regina family. Family dynamics is really what’s going on.”
We can also expect to see much more of Rumpelstiltskin/Belle, a fan favourite pairing, as Rumpel goes in search of his son Bae, Kitsis says, “He and Belle are definitely going to face challenges. What’s interesting is that you’re also going to see Rumple change for her. As we all know, sometimes that’s hard.”
Talking about the new characters, they tease Ethan Embry’s role. Kitsis says that as the codenamed “Mysterious Stranger,” he is (obviously) “both mysterious and strange,” and they’re adamant about keeping his identity secret. But, “you’ll see him soon, [and] we’re very happy to have him,” Horowitz says.
It also seems like Downton Abbey‘s Lesley Nicol might possibly be playing Snow White’s mother, as she’ll appear in episode 2×15 and, “has a connection to Snow White and her family.” Or perhaps she’s a fairy godmother (crossing over from another fairytale)? We shall see.
They also reveal that while they won’t be bringing in The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel, if Once Upon a Time is renewed for a third season, they do actually have a storyline in mind for her! Which should be good news for fans hoping to see this character on the show.
Emma, meanwhile, will be finding herself “with a few choices.” They’re looking to explore the magic storyline for her, and with Neal Cassady coming back to town, there might be some romance too – although the showrunners still aren’t ruling out the idea of Emma and Hook becoming a thing. Kitsis teases that, “there’s still healing to do [for her], and that includes her heart. So, it’s a matter of who wins it.”
Read the full interview with the Once Upon a Time showrunning team at Collider.