The Hollywood Reporter spoke with members of the Once Upon a Time cast to discuss some of the questions related to season 4 of the series! Are you all as excited for Sunday as I am?!?!?!
Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Lana Parrilla, Colin O’Donoghue and others preview the season’s non-‘Frozen’ arcs
With Frozen on the horizon in the Once Upon a Time universe, what else can viewers expect from the new season?
At the end of last season, Emma and Captain Hook inadvertently left a portal open, allowing just enough time for Frozen’s Elsa to slip into town. Plus, there was the awkward love triangle between Regina, Robin Hood and his once-dead wife Marian, Mr. Gold and Belle’s marriage lie and the Charmings’ venture into parenthood. As Jennifer Morrison tells The Hollywood Reporter, the premiere contains “a mess of information” that she promises will “come together.”
Ahead of Sunday’s return, the Once stars talk to THR about season-four’s biggest non-Frozen questions.
Can Captain Hook and Emma be in a healthy relationship?
Things were looking good for the happy couple at the end of season three but in Storybrooke, that bliss is only temporary. “They’ve really invested in maybe wanting to be together,” Colin O’Donoghue tells THR. “Emma is The Savior and Hook is a 200-year-old pirate — it’s never going to be plain sailing or easy going. But they’re going to try their best to make their relationship work.” In doing so, Hook — who will “do whatever it takes, good or bad” to maintain their romance — will be forced to decide whether “he can find a place for Emma within his heart when she’s so busy trying to save the world,” O’Donoghue adds.
Morrison echoes that sentiment, saying that though Emma and Hook both desire “to be the better versions of themselves and vulnerable enough to be close to someone romantically,” it’s easier said than done, especially when more immediate threats like Elsa’s snow monster loom. “There’s a lot of trying to work out a relationship in the midst of a lot of chaos, which is funny at times and heartbreaking at times, and causes them to really figure out how this could or couldn’t work,” she says.
Who will Robin Hood choose: Marian or Regina?
After the unexpected return of Marian, Robin Hood is now faced with a major dilemma, one that is addressed head-on in the show’s return. Does he honor his vow to Marian or does he start anew with Regina? A decision is made. “I have a certain living situation I have to deal with, with a current romance and a wife coming back from the dead,” Sean Maguire tells THR. “That seems to be the situation last season ended with. Suffice it to say, Robin Hood does come to a truce of sorts.”
Regina is understandably frustrated by the sudden turn of events, which may veer her off her path of goodness. “We’ll see Regina really battling the two sides of good and evil. She’s been on the road to redemption for the last couple of years and yet she’s been evil for most of her life,” Lana Parrilla tells THR. “Where is she really comfortable living? And is she going to continue down her old habitual ways or is she going to surprise us all and do the right thing?”
How does Emma cope with the guilt of causing Regina’s unhappiness?
Well, it’s complicated. “Emma can’t apologize for saving a life, but it’s not her plan to mess up Regina’s true love,” Morrison says. “She’s trying to toe the line. She’s trying to prove that she truly is Regina’s friend and that she truly wants what’s best for her, but also protect Marian.” Juggling a vengeful Regina won’t be an easy task for Emma and that becomes an ongoing season-four thread. “Ultimately, Emma is trying to keep Regina in a good place in her life. She’s worked so hard and come so far from her villainous mindset that it would be tragic, in Emma’s eyes [if she returned to that] because she’s become Emma’s friend,” Morrison says. “[Emma]’s going to spend time fighting to prove her friendship and fighting to keep Regina in a good place.”
How do David and Mary Margaret navigate parenthood?
“It’s hard because they’re finding this all out as they go. It’s basically the first time they’ve [raised a child]. They don’t want to lose [baby Neal] like they lost Emma,” Josh Dallas tells THR. “Emma has suffered a lot of psychological repercussions because of it. She’s isolated herself because of it. They want to raise Neal right and still honor Emma as their child.” Says Ginnifer Goodwin, Snow and Charming “are confronting a lot of their exceptionally guilty feelings in having lost the opportunity with Emma, who has a remarkable story with Hook.”
What about Charming’s past?
Attention will be given in the first half of the season to Prince Charming’s “origins,” Dallas hints. “We’re going to see, in my opinion, the most important friendship he’s ever had outside of Snow White that really changes the entire course of his life and sets him on the path of becoming the hero that he is. It’s an unlikely connection with a character that I can’t wait for people to see.”
Will Mary Margaret get back into the workforce?
The simple answer: Yes. Though her immediate focus will be to raise Neal, Goodwin says, she will find herself taking on a new job. “She has been thrust in a brand-new job while she’s trying to juggle [raising a newborn] and she’s expected to rule as she is technically the ruler of the Enchanted Forest transported to Storybrooke,” she says. Morrison hints that Mary Margaret will be taking over a position of considerable power for someone else within Storybrooke.