Magic has come to Storybrooke, and with it, a whole lot of consequences.
In the Season 1 finale of ABC's Once Upon a Time, the Evil Queen's (Lana Parrilla) curse upon our favorite fairy-tale characters was broken, but Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) had another trick up his sleeve: release magic upon the real world. What does this mean for Storybrooke in Season 2? And why weren't the residents of Storybrooke transported back to fairy-tale land?
Edward Kitsis: [It's about] why you need it. So, I look at magic more of a currency than an object to fight over. It's why do you need money? Do you need money to buy a house? Do you need money to get something you want? I would say that magic, in a lot of ways, comes with a price. Why do you need and what price are you willing to pay for it? Adam Horowitz: Also, that was one of the themes of Season 1, which is magic has a price. In Season 2, it is, what does that price mean in our world?Because magic has a price, does this mean everyone is in danger now?
Kitsis: When you see the fairy-tale flashbacks, there is magic but there are people who don't use it. ... Not everyone is a practitioner of it, but everyone is used to living in it. But if I have just woken up after a 28-year sleep and I realize that magic's back, I would also start to worry. "Oh no, is the queen and Rumpel going to start doing it again? Are we going to be in the middle? What scores still need to be settled?"Will we be surprised by certain people who are able to wield magic, like maybe Emma?
Kitsis: That's an excellent question. I would respond with a question. The question is: Can anyone learn magic or does it have to be something inside you? Interesting. The curse was lifted in the finale and everyone remembered who they were from the fairy tales. How does the show go on in Season 2?
Horowitz: That was the goal. When we conceived the show and when we were lucky enough to get picked up to series, we knew internally we never wanted this to the "breaking the curse" show because we felt like if we did, that we ran the risk of really frustrating the audience. We have a lot of ideas for places we want to take the show, things we want to do with the characters and the mythology of the show. But we felt like breaking the curse at the end of Season 1 should hopefully send a message to whoever's watching to say that the show's not just about that. It's about something else.
Kitsis: Enjoy the ride.
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If Season 1 was about getting to the point of breaking the curse, Season 2 is...
Kitsis: I think that Season 2 is a lot about discovery. The curse breaks and everyone can remember what they lost and what they had and who they are. For some people, it might be a second chance. We'll see who repeats the same mistakes.
Is there a reason that when the curse broke, they weren't all transported back to fairy-tale land?
Horowitz: That question is one that is posed very early in Season 2. That is something that we want the audience to be asking.
Kitsis: The question is: Is there even anything to go back to? How do we know anything exists?
Horowitz: All we saw at the end of the pilot was this horrible curse wreaking havoc and then they woke up in Storybrooke. So, what happened? Is there anything left there?
Kitsis: Right. The person who designed the curse, maybe he never wanted to go back anyway.
How soon will Season 2 pick up?
Kitsis: I would be so f---ing pissed off at us if we picked up and it was three months later and Charming was mowing the lawn and Snow was coming home with Whole Foods and Emma was like, "Mom and Dad!" ... We are going to open up exactly where everyone wants it to open up. I think that there were a lot of loose threads last season — you know, a lot of those mysteries of like, what happens to August (Eion Bailey)? They will come. I would say be patient because it's all coming.
How will Emma and Snow's relationship be different now that they know they're mother and daughter?
Kitsis: Well, what's interesting is that Emma has always been the person that Mary Margaret went to. Emma was somebody who has walls up and two people got through to her last year, Henry and Mary Margaret. Mary Margaret truly is probably the only friend she's ever had. But if you notice, Emma is usually giving Mary Margaret advice. Mary Margaret very rarely gives Emma advice. So now, finding out that your mom is Snow White, after searching your entire life, and that she's actually quite a bad ass and she's not the meek, little teacher that you thought she was, that's like you're meeting a whole new person. I think that those complications are going to be a lot about the beginning of Season 2. But we're really, really excited because that relationship really develops in a fun way.
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Speaking of family, when Barbara Hershey was cast, there was an option for her to return in Season 2. Will we see her return? Especially considering magic is abound and she's more powerful than her daughter... or is she?
Kitsis: I mean, to not have Barbara Hershey come back would be such a travesty of Season 2. That is exactly the question. In the episode "Stable Boy," she talked about how she was the miller's daughter and she had to do a lot to keep Regina. If I remember correctly, the miller's daughter was given to a prince because she could spin straw into gold. Therefore, she owed Rumpelstiltskin a baby. The question is, is that baby Regina? ... When you get that Regina is the baby that's promised to Rumpel, then you're like, what did Cora do to get out of a deal with a man who usually kills people?
Horowitz: Right. So there's the connection between Cora, Rumpel, and Regina that we're quite excited to explore. It was meant to be subtle.
Kitsis: Everyone was like, why does the queen hate Snow? We were able to hide that. Now we're like, everyone go back and look!
Are you surprised by Regina's backstory or had you already figured it out? What are you excited to see in Season 2? Hit the comments with your thoughts and stay tuned for more Once Upon a Time scoop!
Once Upon a Time returns this fall on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.