Once Upon a Time Season 3 Scoop: Jumping to Neverland, Captain Swan Shipping and More!

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Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have built quite a world in the past two seasons of their hit series Once Upon a Time.

And from what I gathered moderating a panel with the producers at the ATX Television Festival in Austin earlier this month, the guys have more up their respective sleeves than even the dastardly Rumplestiltskin.

Following a juicy Neverland-relayed cliffhanger to close out Once Upon a Time Season 2, Horowitz and Kitsis are just getting started on crafting Season 3, while also dedicating time to their much-anticipated spinoff, Wonderland.

All Shocked

Here are the high points of what I was able to get out of Adam and Eddy during our panel:

“I think you can say it’s pretty much a direct pickup,” said Horowitz of where Once Upon a Time Season 3 will start. “I think that what you saw at the end of the finale is the jumping off point.” Watch for our good and bad characters to have to work together to get Henry back in Neverland.

For the Captain Swan fans out there: is there hope for romance to blossom? “The thing I like about Captain Hook in the finale is he started to look back on his life and he was like, ‘maybe I’ve wasted it.” So here you’ve got a guy who wants a new chance,” Kitsis said, reminding us that - at least at the start of the season - Emma believes that Neal is dead.

Back in Once Upon a Time Season 1, it was established that Gold “is a difficult man to love and that is his character,” said Kitsis. “I think for all these characters, I know it was supposed to break the curse and return their happy endings [but] they’re still in search of their happy endings.”

Gold will still be torn between good and evil in the new season, Kitsis and Horowitz said, and that includes, perhaps, having to decide to do with his grandson, Henry, who he knows has been said to be his ultimate undoing.

“It’s going to be another challenge in their relationship,” Horowitz said of Gold being on the ship on its way to Neverland and Belle being left behind. Are all the magic beans gone now? Horowitz and Kitsis took a moment before answering with a simple “Yes.”

Will we see more of Emma’s magic? Horowitz joked that she’ll be getting a show in Vegas but “She’s going to ask the question, why do I have magical capabilities, what does it really mean to be the savior and we’re going to dive a lot deeper into Emma’s character and we’re going to see a lot more of her past like we did this year.”

“One of the things that we’re most excited about,” Kitsis said of the new season, “this year we’re going to do 11 episodes in fall and 11 in spring and we’re approaching it like two seasons.” The plan is to run each block of 11 episodes without a break or reruns.

One piece of trivia that came out during the panel: did you know the first TV writing job for Kitsis and Horowitz had together was the unsuccessful reboot of Fantasy Island on ABC back in 1998? They also wrote on Birds of Prey, Felicity and, of course, Lost, before launching Once Upon a Time in 2010.

So, what are you most excited for heading into the fall? Sound off now in our Once Upon a Time forum.

UPDATE: The Season 3 premiere will be titled "The Heart of the Truest Believer."

UPDATE: The first OUAT Season 3 teaser has been released.

UPDATE: Rose McIver has been cast as Tinkerbell.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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I think that I'd rather have two seasons with breaks and re-runs than 1 broken up season with no re-runs or breaks.

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i love it thought it was wierd because what happen to sunny

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Hook tells Emma that he'll wait for her for as long as it takes for them to be reunited. Henry doesn't understand this at all. As they go through a portal Gold used a magic bean given by Peter Pan to leave, before he changes his mind. Instead of taking the ship back to SB, the portal leads them to EF where they finds Neal with Charming, Aurora, Phillip and Mulan. Then the Gang leave them in EF and Neal uses a bean to take them back home, only in this case, he is questioned by Emma, but he says to trust her, bcos Henry does. This portal doesn't take them to SB directly, but it takes the Gang to London and this is where WE meet Tinkerbell. This is where Mr. Gold meets Tinkerbel as Mrs. Cassady, his adoptive mother. Rumple's old Fairy Godmother who abandoned him when his father died. Secretly, no one knows her true identity except for Rumple and Neal, maybe even Hook. But Gold meets the woman who kept his son alive all these years. ..blah blah blah.

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Here's how my theory of how Season 3 will turn out to be. For a reason to not shop CS is becos of Gold, he'll be pissed. He'll try and make sure these two don't get together at all. Because to Rumple, it'l be like history is repeating himself. Except this time, Emma is HIS daughter-in-law, no matter how much he wants to hurt Henry. To make sure, CS doesn't happen at all. He will kill Hook, just like in the books and then PP will show sometime too. Or maybe, Rumple will make a deal with PP to take Hook away and make Pan leave Hook behind, or else Pan would use the Lost Ones to hurt Emma. Hook will eventually be left behind, becos in theory Hook wasn't meant to leave Neverland. His home is Neverland and Peter Pan owns Hook. So Rumple will make a deal with Peter Pan to keep Hook in NL, so that he makes sure CS never happens. This would probably be around the time, where Hook sacrafices himself for Emma and her family, including Regina and Gold to leave him behind, Hook tells Emma that he'll wait for her, for as long as it takes. So, of course they can't take the ship back to SB. So Gold uses one of the magic beans Pan gave to him with payment, only to be transported with the Gang to EF. They met again with Charming, who find out Neal is still alive and with Charming, Aurora, Mulan and Phillip. Then they leave M/A/P in the EF and use another Magic Bean, Neal had before Tamara show him. He uses it and instead of going through the portal straight to SB, they all end up in London and this is where we get to see Tinkerbell. I'm guessing, she left Peter bcos she chose Neal over him. She made a deal with BF and promised to keep Bae alive. Only this time, Mr. Gold meets Tinkerbell as Mrs. Cassady.

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I think Emma hasd finally found a match in Hook! I never really shipped her with anyone in season 1 and to be honest there werent any love interest there for her (besides Graham) her journey in S1 was always to find Henry, break the curse and believe in it.
I think in S1 i understood if Emma was to get a love interest it has to be someone who totally gets her, and gives her the love and every other thing that demands in love... coz she deserves it. It wasnt until Hook came along that i noticed the way they did their scenes and how much they match and what we saw - the trust being spoken about, the connection, the kindred-ness, the open book she is to him - coz he understood her in the little time he spent with her, that she has walls to protect herself like he does too. And this man believed her lie dectecting skills, he never laughed her off or dismissed it, he actually was intrigued and asked her to detect if he was telling a lie when she handcuffed him on the beanstalk coz she couldnt trust herself to trust him. When you find a connection and understanding with someone, its rare and its something that cant be dismissed.

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Makes sense that since you don't like Hook you want him to be paired off with the person that tried to kill him. That's what ticks me off about the basically non-existant HQ shippers. It has no viable sense in canon yet the only reason anyone wants it is because it gets Hook out of the way. What a pathetic reason to ship something.

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Yaaaayyyy! Count me in for Captain Swan!

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I am so aboard the SS Captain Swan. The fact that the media has started to talk about them more and more are making me so happy. It's a weird feeling, because it feels like we're getting closer and closer to CS happening. So excited!

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Ugh. I want Swan Thief. I can't wait for Henry's reunion with Neal. (Because, it's going to happen, dang it!)

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Idk why, but I don't like Hook at all. I guess both him and Neal are really insignificant to me somehow. I'd much rather see more Regina-Emma-Charmings interaction than anyting romantic between Hook and Emma (or Hook and Regina for that matter). I love the little dysfunctional family thing they've got going on.