The ABC series Once Upon a Time is back with new episodes, as Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and the Charmings attempt to fight the Savior’s fate. At the same time, Belle (Emilie de Ravin) and Gold’s (Robert Carlyle) son, Gideon (Giles Matthey), is making his dark intentions in Storybrooke known, while Regina (Lana Parrilla) tries to determine whether Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) would have been better off never having known her.
During this phone interview with Collider, showrunners Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis talked about the themes being explored in these new episodes, fun alternative reality versions of the characters, finally revealing how Emma got the last name of Swan, whether there’s a way to change the fate of the Savior, the huge threat that Gideon represents, whether there’s still hope for a happily ever after for Rumple and Belle, Regina’s connection to Robin Hood, what’s next for Henry (Jared Gilmore), what viewers can expect from Tiger Lily, and what a possible Season 7 might look like.
Collider: It’s always fun when fans get to see alternative versions of characters that they love, and one of the most fun in this episode is Hook. How did you come to the look for him? Did you just want to torture Colin O’Donoghue and give his fans a good laugh?
EDDY KITSIS: We don’t want to torture Colin. The thing is that Colin was so game for it, and I think you see that in his performance. We loved the idea of Hook aging, getting a big pot belly and letting himself go, but still believing he’s as hot as he was, in the height of his guyliner days. We wrote it, but Colin just elevated it. He just went for it. What’s funny is that we had lots of takes in the editing room where Jennifer [Morrison] and Eion [Bailey] would just literally laugh in the middle. They couldn’t even respond to him, but he would just stay in character.
With the return of new episodes, what are the main themes and ideas you’re looking to explore, and what are the big questions we should be asking ourselves now?
KITSIS: The big themes for the second half of the season are belief and fate, what is a happy ending, and do the ends justify the means. We’re asking the big life questions that we all do, in how they relate to our characters.
We get to learn a bit more about Emma’s backstory, in this episode, and how she came to choose the last name of Swan. Was that something that you always knew and just weren’t sure where to fit that in? And why was this a good time to finally reveal that?
KITSIS: We always wanted to save that for later.
ADAM HOROWITZ: It becomes a question of when, in the storytelling, does it feel right. It felt like we were at a place where Emma is really dealing with who she is. That’s been her journey. Since the start of the season, we’ve been dealing with what it means to be a Savior, and all of that.