After the Comic-Con panel Saturday, the cast and creators of Once Upon a Time met with entertainment journalists to talk about season three. As you may know, at the end of season two, the series main cast, including Regina (Lana Parrilla), Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Charming (Josh Dallas), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), and Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) set off aboard Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) ship the Jolly Roger towards Neverland, the place where Tamara and Greg are headed along with the captive Henry. The suggestion is that Henry is a major prize of their evil boss, Peter Pan — cast as sinister character. And in case you haven’t heard, Giancarlo Esposito is returning to Once Upon a Time, although, when I asked him whether Sidney’s been let out of the asylum, he cagily responded that he wasn’t sure we’d see him in that particular guise.
According to series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, the first part of season three will focus on Neverland and dynamics on the ship. We will not see Storybrooke for the first several episodes, so be forewarned.
They explained that in season one we saw the characters as two separate entities, but in season two the characters were a blend of their Storybrooke personas and their Enchanted Forest personas. In season three, however, we will observe our heroes trying to find their true selves. One of their favorite stories, the creators said is Rumple’s arc in the premiere. “He is on a very dark mission,” they said. “He is going to fulfill the prophecy, willing to kill himself to save Henry. We’ll see an entirely new Gold.”
More of their comments at my table in the press room:
Robert Carlyle spent a few moments discussing Rumple. I asked him if he would have actually gone ahead and killed Henry as seemed poised to do in the finale. He said, “I think he would have killed him without a doubt. He’s such a conflicted man and can swing wildly between good and evil. The problem really is Belle. The closer he is to Belle, the better he is, and the further away he is from her, he is much more likely to do evil.” But at that point in the story, Belle was Lacey, and although he’d brought Belle back to herself, by then he was “fireworks ready to go off.”
But now, he’s left her in Storybrooke while he goes off to find Henry. I asked him how he’ll keep it together. He explained, “Without giving away the whole store, they will meet again in Neverland, but in a way that’s unexpected in true Once Upon a Time style.” He also said that Rumple is “saving Henry to honor the memory of his son” (who he believes is dead), and that we’ll see another side of Rumple/Gold, a very dark side on this suicide mission. Here are Robert’s comments in full:
Colin O’Donoghue and Michael Raymond James appeared together; they are self-described “comic-con virgins.” Raymond James noted that Bae has now experienced to major betrayals in his life. First his father and now Tamara. Right now, he will be grappling with looking for the sense of family he has so long been denied.
Hook is sort of the wild card on the intrepid Jolly Roger, and O’Donoghue commented a bit on the ship’s dynamics. The six “heroes” have to work together, but there are three villains aboard and the three “goodies” (as O’Donoghue put it). They have to band together for the greater good, but is that really possible with their conflicting agendas.
As Adam Horowitz noted, the ship contains a “boatload of leaders who all want to be in charge.” What happens when they face that first obstacle is anyone’s guess!
More of Colin O’Donoghue and Michael Raymond-James:
Emilie de Ravin talked about Rumple leaving Belle behind in Storybrooke while he’s off on the ship with the others. She said Belle understands why he’s left her, not wanting her involved on his “suicide mission.” Also he’s entrusted her with the cloaking spell. She’s upset, but does what she has to do to protect the town, assuming the cloaking spell actually works.
Up until now, we’ve seen Belle largely attached to Mr. Gold or Rumple. Emilie affirmed we will see her strength and bravery in the upcoming season as well as her independence. More of Emilie’s interview:
Josh Dallas stopped by to talk about the dynamics on the ship. “It’s going to be hard for everybody with this motley crew high stakes situation.” All the characters live through different sets of rules and it will be explosive. The question is, he said, “Can they all come together to form an alliance to get Henry?” As for Charming, he really wants to go home to the Enchanted Forest and put things right back in Fairytale Land, but that will have to wait:
Lana Parrilla joked with me that Regina was “born to be bad.” Her efforts to be good were a nice experiment, but Regina’s had enough and is ready to embrace her evil side. But right now, aboard the Jolly Roger, she “being forced to work with all the other people, and hasn’t much of a choice.” She likes to see the six of them as The Avengers. “They’re all superheroes.”
Ginnifer Goodwin also sat down to talk about how Snow’s dark side will come back to inform her character this season:
And as a special bonus, here’s a special feature to be included in the forthcoming Blu-ray release of Once Upon a Time season two.
I will be posting my report of the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland press room tomorrow, along with my one-on-one interview with Jane Espenson. So stay tuned!