The fall finale of Once Upon a Time included two major reveals and a bunch of questions to tide fans over until the show returns in March.
First, the mysterious man under the hood from Emma's (Jennifer Morrison) vision turned out to be Gideon (Giles Matthey), the adult version of Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and Belle's (Emilie de Ravin) son who was kidnapped by Rumple's mother, the Black Fairy. Now, the new parents will not only have to deal with whatever damage was done to their son, but also try and stop him from becoming the killer of the Savior.
In happier news, Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) made his return to the "wish-realm" in which Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Emma are currently trapped. The re-emergence of her soulmate has Regina questioning a lot of the progress she's made in letting him go, and she'll have to figure out once again what she considers a happy ending.
TVGuide.com got a chance to talk to showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz about the big events of the finale and what they mean for the upcoming season. Check out their answers below.
When did you guys decide it was going to be Gideon under the hood, and how did you come to that decision?
Eddy Kitsis: In between seasons we do what we call "mini-camp," and that's kind of when we plot out the big moves of the season. We did a mislead and wanted you to think it might be Regina, but we knew it was Gideon pretty much from the start.
The last time we saw Gideon before the reveal, he told Belle that he would always remember that she loved him and she was doing the best for him. Then there was this ominous encounter with her and Rumple at the end of the episode. What can you say about Gideon's feelings about his parents when the show returns?
Kitsis: That is the question for the second half, which is what happened to him? Who has he become? We know who Belle wanted him to become, and the answers to that will be revealed right in the premiere.
Will we also see a lot more of the Black Fairy in the second half of the season?
Kitsis: Yup, we're going to see it all.
Now that we know Gideon is under the hood and he may be the person that kills Emma, will that cause any tension between her and Belle?
Kitsis: It's going to cause tension between all of them. What we sometimes forget is that Gold is actually Henry's grandpa, and they're all weirdly tied together. I think that you have Rumple and Belle looking out for their child, and you're going to have the Charmings looking out for Emma. I would say the family is going to be divided.
The idea that their son was in danger put Belle and Rumple back on the same page for the first time in a long time. Should fans still hold out hope for them as a couple?
Kitsis: I think they should. This is a show about hope. As Mary Margaret said in the pilot, "Even believing in the possibility of a happy ending is a powerful thing." For us, people face adversity. People split up. They come together and I have hope for them.
Robin Hood also made his return in this episode. What made you guys made you want to bring him back in this half of the season?
Kitsis: It's kind of hard to answer that question until you see the second half. Regina, she's going through some things this year. She lost Robin last year. She decided to cut off the dark side of herself. We realized that Regina has worked really hard at not being bad, but one thing she hasn't worked on is her own happiness. She was on a path to move forward and now she's in an alternate world with a Robin who was created by a wish. We'll have to see what happens.
Can you guys talk about how similar the dream Robin is to the Robin we already know and love?
Adam Horowitz: That's a big question, and an important one, and one we certainly explore and get into as soon as we return.
Kitsis: What we can tell you is that if people think we just brought Robin back, he's the same person and we're just like, "Oh, he's coming back to the show!" — that's not what's happening. It's a new story. It's a different Robin and they will enjoy it in March.
We had that big moment at the beginning of the season with the feather, where Regina was letting Robin go. What effect is even the possibility of having Robin back going to have?
Kitsis: We saw Regina choose faith. We saw her choose to believe in something even though there was no proof of it. She chose to move forward and not let herself get consumed by revenge or anger. I think that this story is really going to test that.
Horowitz: The significance of that feather from the beginning of the season comes back into play when we return.
Before Aladdin and Jasmin returned to Agrabah, Aladdin left this talisman for Emma. What can you tease about the importance of that?
Horowitz: The [talisman] that Aladdin handed over was a symbolic gesture of saying that they were both connected, as Saviors, to this deeper Savior mythology. He's on Emma's side and theoretically, Emma would be on his side as they move forward with the challenges of being a Savior. Aladdin paid the price that Emma seems to be paying now. This is definitely not the last we've seen of Aladdin and it's definitely not the last we've seen of the Savior mythology.
Are Prince Charming and Captain Hook Storybrooke's main line of defense, now that Emma and Regina are in a wish-realm and Snow White is under the sleeping curse?
Horowitz: Yeah! Hook and Charming have to step up. They both love Emma and she's in deep danger. They are both aware of her vision. They are both aware that now this hooded figure has arrived. Now they want to make sure that she's safe.
Once Upon a Time returns with new episodes in March on ABC.