Once Upon a Time Season Four Preview

In the Fall 2014 issue of Disney twenty-three, now shipping to D23 Gold Members, D23 sat down with Once Upon a Time creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz to discuss their very cool plan to incorporate Frozen into the new season.

But there’s much more happening in Storybrooke this fall!

Here’s our D23 Member “web extra” previewing what’s to come for Snow, Charming, Hook, Regina, Emma, and the rest of the characters when the ABC hit returns September 28. Plus, get ready for a reveal that will have you reeling!


So, looking back to the end of last season, can you explain what exactly happened when the Wicked Witch disintegrated, turned into dust, got into the box with the emerald pendant, and opened the portal?
Adam: She died. She turned into some kind of dust and disappeared because of her magical nature. What happened was, the pendant—which had her magic in it—was triggered at the moment of her death and opened the portal. That wasn’t Zelena in smoke form coming out—it was the magic that we had seen that was absorbed into the pendant Glinda gave her. The pendant became the source of Zelena’s power. Regina removed it and put it into her vault. And at the moment of her death, that triggered the portal opening.
Eddy: Of course, “death” is a relative term.

Emma has finally opened—to her family and to Hook—how do you see their relationships evolving?
Eddy: One of the big themes that tied Never Land and the Wicked Witch together is that happy endings aren’t what we think they are. They are something you have to fight for every day. Now it seems like Emma has found her home and she’s happy where she is. Rumple is married to Belle and that seems to be his happy ending. Snow and Charming have a child and they now share one heart. The question is, what happens next? For us it’s continuing to evolve the characters—especially with Regina. We left her in a really tough spot. People immediately thought she would go “crazy evil.” For us, that’s what’s interesting—now that we’ve done 66 episodes, how does Regina react? We know how she would have reacted in season one. How does she react in season four? We want to honor that and deepen the characters and create some fun mystery along the way.

Do you think it will be difficult for Hook to see a “little Prince Neal” running around as a constant reminder of Neal and Emma’s relationship?
Adam: I think Hook ultimately recognizes Neal for the hero that he was. And because of that, hearing the name and seeing him carried on in a new generation—he sees that as a good thing.
Eddy: He’s far too confident to be worried about other people.

For a while David and Mary Margaret were arguing about whether to stay in Storybrooke or go back to the Enchanted Forest. Will that arise again?
Eddy: The theme of the second half of the season last year was “there’s no place like home.” And what everyone started to realize is that Storybrooke is their home now. I don’t think anyone is interested in portal jumping right now. They’re interested in laying down some roots.
Adam: And in our world there’s penicillin.
Eddy: And cable television!

Michael Socha, who played the Knave on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, will be joining the cast next season. How will he fit in?
Eddy: There are two things we know about him from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. One is that we know he spent a short amount of time with the Merry Men [Will is “Will Scarlet” of the Robin Hood story] and we know Robin Hood is in Storybrooke. The other thing is we know he was in Storybrooke before. He is familiar with the town even though he didn’t have a lot of interaction with our people.
Adam: He was a victim of the first curse so he had a life in Storybrooke. So there’s a connection with him to the town and to some of our characters, including the Merry Men. Those will all be explored. We’ll also discover he has ties to other members of the Storybrooke world. He’s going to meet new people like Emma and Captain Hook, and his relationship with Captain Hook will be… testy.

And what does this mean happened with Anastasia?
Adam: What does that mean about Anastasia?
Eddy: That story will be told this season. We intend to tell it in a way that for people who never saw Wonderland, they will have full context. We’re not assuming viewers watched that show. So questions like “Who and where is Anastasia?” or “Is she with him?” will be answered when the season starts.

Are there characters we may not have seen for a while, for one reason or another, like Red, the Giant, Hopper… who we may see more of?
Eddy: Yes! Giancarlo Esposito is back as Sidney and the Magic Mirror.
Adam: Brad Dourif played Zoso, one of the early Dark Ones in season one, and he’s coming back.
Eddy: We’re going to dive into some…
Adam: …Dark One mythology. We’re going to learn more about Rumple and his past.
Eddy: And we’re going to meet Belle’s mom.

Is Belle’s mom dead or will we see her in flashbacks?
Adam: The truth of that—or not—will be revealed. We’ll learn more about Belle’s past. And we’ll see Belle in the time period before she met Rumplestiltskin.
Eddy: We’ve met Maurice [Belle’s father]. He runs Game of Thorns, the flower shop in town.
Adam: And we saw him in the first Belle flashback in season one. We’ll see more of him this season.
Eddy: We’d love to have Jamie [Chung, Mulan] back. She’s in our hopes. We definitely want to bring her back this year. There are so many characters over the years that we have touched on. We have a wish list and a plan for bringing them all back. It will really come down to how much story we can and will tell this season.

Can you tell me a little bit more about Elizabeth Mitchell’s character?
Eddy: A fan favorite from Lost. We were very excited to get to write for her again. She will have a tie to both somebody on the Frozen side and somebody on the Once Upon a Time side.

Okay, for Disney fans, is there anything that will be of particular interest we should keep an eye out for?
Adam: Yes! There is something coming up in the first few episodes that real Disney fans, I think, will really enjoy. It’s a shout-out and an explanation of some Disney lore. To say any more would ruin the surprise. But in many ways, it’s one of the most pure Disney explorations we have done yet.
Eddy: In the premiere you will see something very iconic that will launch a new story and a new area of Disney that we have yet to explore that we’re excited about.

Emma’s little Volkswagen becomes Herbie?
Eddy: No, but we have talked about that!

When the first curse was enacted, if the characters from the Enchanted Forest left Storybrooke, they would forget who they were. Is it the same with the second curse?
Adam: The rules will be explained very quickly at the start of this season. But we’re in a new place. The characters will be coming to terms with what it means to be in town and what it means if they want to leave town. Not everyone will necessarily want to be there.

Maybe they want to go to Walt Disney World?
Adam: Maybe they want to go to Walt Disney World.