“Once Upon a Time’s” Emma Swan and Captain Hook are about to face some very Marty McFly-style problems in the ABC drama’s season finale on Sunday, when they are transported back in time.
As the two work to get back to the future – and Storybrooke – they will have to walk a careful line to avoid altering the past.
With the two-hour Season 3 finale just days away, Executive Producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis spoke with AccessHollywood.com about the dangers Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue’s characters are set to face. They also hinted at what’s next for Robert Carlyle’s Rumple, who once again, showed how strong the pull is to his dark side.
AccessHollywood.com: Our poor Zelena, who was so wonderful at being wicked, you’ve turned her into smoke. Is she gone for good?
Adam Horowtiz: She is dead, but as you’ve seen on the show, when characters die, it doesn’t mean we can’t always see them again in a flashback in some other form.
Eddy Kitsis: And, to be fair, we never saw her body.
Access: No, we saw a [porcelain] one.
Eddy: So one never knows with her. She’s very wicked and she proves to be very good at certain things.
Access: How fun was it for you guys and for Lana [Parrilla] as well, to transform her character, Regina, like you did in last week’s episode [where she used light magic to win]?
Eddy: It was fun, because I think for us, that was the 64th episode of the show and so for us, we felt like it was earned. We’ve seen her go on and off the bottle of evil, but in this moment, we felt like it was a really great thing and one of my [favorite moments of the episode], was the quiet moment she took in her vault where you just see her smile because she won. The whole thing started because the Evil Queen never felt like she could win. She never won against Snow White, she could never win – evil never wins, villains don’t get happy endings, and in that moment, we just saw a really private, quiet moment, where you see how far she came and I think for us, as writers, to get to spend 64 episodes, I think it was great because it was earned.
Access: Emma and Hook go back in time in the Enchanted Forest this week, and I know you guys are ‘80s fans, so you’ve probably watched every ‘Back to the Future’ movie. We know Marty McFly had trouble when he disrupted the space-time continuum.
Eddy: Did he!
Access: So tell me, what kind of troubles are Emma and Hook are going to run into?
Adam: Well first, on that front, if we haven’t already said it, Episode 19’s title, ‘A Curious Thing,’ was our homage to the Huey Lewis ‘Power of Love’ song.
Eddy: From ‘Back to the Future.’ … For me and Adam, one of our favorite scripts ever and the one we wished we wrote was ‘Back to the Future.’
Adam: Yeah, it’s an amazing screenplay.
Eddy: I would say that this week, as you just said, time travel is tricky business and the littlest thing can have the biggest consequences, so we hope our heroes…. don’t touch anything.
Adam: And don’t do any sports betting.
Access: Is there something they need to be wary of, like a sports book?
Adam: There’s a lot of things they need to be wary of and to us, that’s some of the fun of this finale. Every step and every turn’s a minefield.
Eddy: Yeah, and what’s fun for us about the finale is we really did write it like a two-hour movie. It is not two episodes back to back, so I think fans watching it will see the fun of a two-hour movie.
Access: I love that you’re pairing Hook and Emma together. Is this going to help them grow closer? She’s so concentrated on solving the problems, and on her son. She doesn’t get to explore her feelings for Hook or think about them too much.
Eddy: No, I think she doesn’t and I think that Emma is very conflicted, because her happiest moment turned out to be fake, which was her and Henry in New York. And as we’ve seen this year, she started out in Neverland saying, ‘I feel like an orphan,’ and last week she said, ‘I wanna go back to New York,’ because she wants to [leave] all this behind, because Emma is a character that is looking for home, but because she’s never had one, she doesn’t know what it is and I think this two hours is really going to answer this question and speak to that. … We’ve seen that Emma’s had really bad relationships. Every time she lets her wall down, she gets hurt and so we’ll see if Hook can knock that down.
Access: Is he still the love sick puppy?
Adam: I would not characterize him as a lovesick puppy. I would characterize him as a man who [has] faced some very difficult challenges this season, and certainly, in this finale, [you’re] not gonna see someone whose lovesick. What you’re gonna see, I think, is a man who is forced into a very tricky situation that will require some heroism and will require some big choices.
Eddy: I think also, as far as lovesick, I think Hook is a gentleman and he has basically declared that, ‘I’m going after you and I’m going to win your heart,’ and I think he’s at a point now where he’s beginning to get frustrated because how can his charms not have melted her by now.
Access: So, Rumple – how dangerous is he now that he’s back to his old ways?
Eddy: I think, as he once told us, he is a difficult man to love, and you know, it’s interesting, he kind of lives in the gray area. Instead of dark magic or light magic, his code is gray, because we saw that Zelena offered him to go back in time and never have given his son up and live a great life and he chose to avenge his son and kill her, but at the same time, that proposal is real. His feelings for Belle [are] real, but he is a very, very tricky, tricky man.
Access: Finally, can we talk about William Shatner Tweeting about your show?
Adam: Can we talk about how awesome that is.
Caught up with #OUAT See? Told you Henry needed his book.— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) May 1, 2014
Access: Have you interacted with him? How does that make you feel?
Adam: It was an honor and it was unbelievable when he started talking about the show and reached out. We contributed some things to his charity after interacting with him and we’ve chatted via Twitter a few times. He says he wants to live Tweet the finale and we are just honored that Capt. Kirk--
Eddy: We are beyond honored. We can’t even believe it’s real, because being such huge fans of William Shatner, to have him actually take an interest in the show is so overwhelming to us that it makes our heads spin and it makes us giggle and cry and scream.
Access: Does it make you think, maybe we need a grandfather figure on our television program?
Eddy: Or we need a captain.
Access: Another one.
“Once Upon a Time” kicks off its two-hour Season 3 finale on Sunday night at 8/7c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash
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