Once again, being dead doesn't mean jack in the world of Once Upon a Time.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Sean Maguire will be returning to the ABC fantasy series as Robin Hood despite the fact he shuffled off his mortal coil during Season 5. Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis told EW they are excited for the show's fans to see what they have planned, "which in the wake of his character's heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising."
This news of Maguire's return is a tad surprising in light of the fact that Kitsis told reporters that "dead is dead" during a screening of the Season 6 premiere last week. But by that Marvel-level logic, the actor can appear in flashbacks and Kitsis won't be considered a big fat liar. It also wouldn't be the first time an actor has returned in flashbacks after being killed off, as it was a loophole that was exploited when Jamie Dornan's Huntsman returned early in the show's run (and before Dornan probably realized he was too good for Once Upon a Time).
So how exactly will Robin Hood return? Well, Kitsis also confirmed the series would not be traveling to the underworld this season, like it did in Season 5, and that "a lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on." Does that mean Robin Hood is back as a ghost? Is he appearing only in dreams? Or is this the year Once Upon a Time finally tackles zombies? Only time will tell.
Of course, the possibility of a zombie-fied Robin Hood isn't the most interesting thing about Maguire's return. The actor, who will also be doing a guest stint on NBC's Timeless this season, told TV Line in May that he was shocked his character was killed off because he'd been led to believe Robin was headed down a different path. He also said he didn't know if he'd return to the show for flashbacks.
"I've been asked to go back to shows that I've been on before and I've never done it, because I tend to feel that once I've played a character, I've done that," he told the website.
Apparently that wasn't the case here.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.