[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!]
Once Upon a Time fans were likely both simultaneously cheering and lamenting Snow White's game-changing decision during Sunday's episode of the ABC fairy tale drama after she finally avenged the death of her mother Queen Eva by killing Cora (Barbara Hershey).
Fearful that Cora would kill Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) in order to become the Dark One, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) used Cora's own dark magic against her by lighting the candle that would spare Rumple's life in exchange for Cora's. Yes, that's the same candle that Cora had once tried to trick Snow into using on Queen Eva (Rena Sofer) in hopes of corrupting Snow, the payback for Queen Eva slighting her all those years ago. After tricking Regina (Lana Parrilla) into placing Cora's cursed heart back into her body, Cora cryptically told her daughter that she "would've been enough" before perishing.
Unfortunately, committing murder has darkened Snow's soul, a consequence which is Cora's ultimate form of vengeance. Can Snow be redeemed? TVGuide.com turned to executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis to get the scoop:
How will Snow White change after killing Cora?
Edward Kitsis: The journey to restore her heart and the lightness in it becomes her arc at the end of this season. Obviously her husband is going to her, her daughter is going to help and there are going to be circumstances to give her the opportunity to help her lighten that heart again.
Right before she died, Cora told Regina, "You would've been enough." Was that your way of saying that maybe if she kept her heart, maybe she wouldn't have turned out so evil?
Kitsis: That's exactly right. But really what she was saying in that moment is that when she looked at Regina and she looked at Rumple, two people she could've loved, she realized she spent a lifetime choosing power over love. In that one moment, she realized she made a mistake. That, to us, is what was so heartbreaking for Regina. All she ever wanted, as you realize in this episode, is for her mother to love her, and the minute she does, she dies.
It seems like Regina will be hellbent on getting revenge. Is there no stopping her now?
Adam Horowitz: A fire has been lit under her. We've seen what she's like when she's been motivated before, but I'm not sure she's ever been quite as motivated as she is now.
Even Henry (Jared Gilmore) couldn't stop her?
Kitsis: That's a great question. Keep watching, please!
Even though Rumple says he had nothing to do with Cora's death, will Regina still be out for his blood as well as the Charming Family's?
Kitsis and Horowitz: Absolutely!
Kitsis: She is an equal-opportunity attacker.
The next episode flashes back to the first week of the curse. What can you tell us about that?
Kitsis: It gives you an insight into Regina. We will give you an insight into her feelings about revenge and about casting the curse and how she feels about everything. You're going to really be with Regina in that episode and understand what it was like to come over, what it was like to feel like she won.
Horowitz: What's been fun for us is that when we premiered the show, we dropped you right down in the middle of this story in terms of Storybrooke 28 years later. We saw the curse get cast in the pilot then the 28 years later. It's been fun to fill in some of the blanks, but we're really excited for the audience to see why we're filling in the blanks. Those are the surprises we intend to unravel in this episode. What is it about those early days of Storybrooke that are so important and relevant to what is happening now?
We know Rumplestiltskin had both sets of memories early on. Will we get a taste of how that came to be in this flashback?
Kitsis: This episode is really Regina-centric. Whatever Mr. Gold knows in this episode, he is keeping to himself.
Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is dealing with the fact that Neal (Michael Raymond-James) is going to be in town, along with his fiancée, Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green). How will she handle that?
Kitsis: It's going to be hard for her. We know what their dream was, which was the two of them going to Tallahassee. In a lot of ways, it's hard for her to see that he's found it with someone else. The one thing we know about Emma is that she has a great self-defense mechanism where she convinces herself she doesn't care, so I think those two things will be at war with each other.
Will Tamara be let in on the truth? Or does she already know?
Horowitz: Tamara met Neal in the real world. They fell in love and got engaged. Now, Neal is caught up in something that no regular person could possibly conceive of. How is she going to react to that? Or not react to that? Is he going to keep it from her? These are the questions we intend to pose, in addition to the more important emotional question: How does this affect Henry's family, which is now expanded in many, many ways? Tamara is now a wild card thrown in the mix and we're really excited to show you how it's all going to play out.
At PaleyFest, you guys teased that we'll meet Belle's (Emilie de Ravin) alter ego in an upcoming episode called "Lacey." What can you tell us about that episode?
Kitsis: The most important thing in that episode is that Gold is faced with a very tough choice. He knows that Henry is his undoing. We know that the only person whose life has ever been a great influence on him is Belle, so what happens when that is taken away?
Is there a possibility that we'll see a young Belle as we've seen a young Snow?
Kitsis: Not in that episode, no, but that is a great idea.
What other character-centric episodes will we see?
Horowitz: We're going to be seeing more of all of central figures and of our newer additions. We'll be learning a bit more about Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) and a bit more about Neal/Baelfire.
What can you tell us about the possibility for the residents of Storybrooke to get back to fairy tale land?
Kitsis: We saw in "Tiny" that Anton brought a bean back. Charming (Josh Dallas) wants to go back, that's his home, that's where he wants to be. He's lobbying at Mary Margaret, but she's like, "Only if Emma comes." What's going to happen is that becomes an alluring goal for them because that is like, "If we could just do that, maybe it'll solve a lot of our problems!" But as we know, life's never that easy.
It seems like the finale is heading to Neverland. What can you tell us about what's going to bring the show there?
Horowitz: Who says we're bringing the show there? [Laughs]
Kitsis: It could be a flashback, as we've seen other lands. We know Hook spent time there.
Horowitz: Again, we're going to be learning more about both Hook and Baelfire and there may or may not be another land in that. What we see of it and what we learn of it is something that we want to keep as a surprise.
Kitsis: But I'm sure we'll spoil it in a month. [Laughs]
Do you think Snow White can be redeemed? Are you excited about the show flashback to the early days of the curse? Hit the comments!
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.