After last week's epic premiere of Once Upon a Time Season 3, this ABC favorite takes viewers back to Neverland tonight. What's in store there for Snow, Charming, Emma, Gold, Regina and Hook as they try to rescue Henry from the evil Peter Pan?
TV Fanatic got a sneak peek at tonight's episode and - combined with being on the Vancouver set with cast members last week - thought we'd give you a few reason (11, to be exact) on why this installment is a must-watch. Consider yourself spoiler warned and scroll down for some major scoop...
- Hook is somewhere in the middle of good and bad for the time being... but look for some interesting relationships to form, according to Colin O'Donaghue. "You've got the three bad guys and the three good guys and they're all sort of thrown in and they have to work together, so there's bound to be conflict and then sort of unlikely friendships. They'll be a couple of surprises in there, which I think people will be surprised with." Will his character back off from flirting with Emma? "I guess you'll just have to see, won't you?" he said with a Hook-like grin.
- Speaking of Emma, where is her heart since she's grieving Neal, who we know is very much alive? "She's extremely vulnerable this season," Morrison explained. "She IS human. She's definitely been through a lot." Does that mean she may say yes if Hook persists? Morrison didn't necessarily agree with that but did add: "I just know that she does not have her guard up the same way, partially because of Neverland and partially because of how much she's been through at this point. And also because she's desperately in love with her son and will do anything to get him back and to take care of him and protect him.
- We'll see that magic is not what we're used to now that we're in Neverland. "It's different than in Storybrooke in the second season," said Lana Parrilla. "It was just a little bit wonky and nothing quite worked the way she had hoped. In Neverland, it's more like she's being contained. Like her magic's being contained and she's been forbidden to use it. That's because when we use magic, it alerts Pan and the Lost Boys where we are."
- But good news for those wanting Regina to get a little love in her life. Parrilla teased there is romance coming and while she wouldn't give up too many details, she did reveal "there is something coming up...I will say, Regina has not met him. But maybe the audience has." (Who do you think this mystery love could be?!?)
- Watch for Henry to be even more independent as he's separated from his family while held captive by the Lost Boys. Will his usual undying belief hold up? "His belief will change," Jared Gilmore teased. "He believed in Emma and her being the savior. And then the second season, he believed about Fairytales and in his family and friends. Now, he doesn't have anyone to believe in." Perhaps he'll find some unlikely alliances in Neverland?
- A Neal/Mulan coupling? Don't count on it, but James does get why the two might get along. "I think they're similar," he said. "They're a bit of kindred spirits in terms of being on the outside a little bit, you know? So yeah, I certainly think there's a bond." And while Neal has some skills of his own in defending himself, he may get some help. "[Mulan's] got impressive skills as a warrior that can come in handy," he added with a smile.
- Snow may be getting shut down by Emma in terms of being a mom, but Ginnifer Goodwin said Snow isn't about to give up gaining her grown daughter's affection. "She's having to learn to compromise in that way this season," the actress told us. "And not give Emma her space necessarily and let it be but reconfigure in Snow's mind what it is that she needs to do to earn Emma's love because it's not going to be nearly as easy as apologizing profusely."
- Neverland is going to messy with everyone, says Josh Dallas. The actor said the island is "about belief and it's about believing in who you are and who you are at the core." While Pan is an obstacle, he said, so is each of our Storyland characters. "It's about believing in who you are and then keeping who you are and compromising as a group in order to get this done. I guess you can say Pan does prey on that, but in Neverland, Neverland is Pan." Also watch for Snow and Charming to go through some challenges that are too spoilery to talk about at the moment. (Check here Monday for a post-episode interview with Dallas.)
- Parrilla explained that the Regina/Emma dynamic is definitely different this season and [gasp] there may be signs of a truce in one major regard. "They start to talk about themselves as the mothers of Henry," Parrilla said. "I found that to be quite refreshing. Especially for the first two seasons, all I kept saying was, 'He's my son. He's my son. He's my son.' And this year, 'he's our son and we have to save our son.' I like that. I like that they're coming together."
- Nobody is happier about the Rumpbelle pairing than Emilie de Ravin. When asked why she thinks it works, the actress said: "I think the dynamic just clicked. It’s not about age or looks or the situation being so weird. Basically, he’s awful to her at times and she’s such a strong person that she can see through that, as well." And while it may be awhile before we're back in Storybrooke, [SPOILER ALERT] don't be surprised if you get a little dose of Rumpbelle sooner rather than later.
- Back to the Future?! Not exactly but Goodwin shared her excitement in getting dynamics with the core characters that harken back to the Once pilot. "We're back to that story, really," she gushed. "Having all these characters stuck in a place together where they have to check their egos...they're all realizing they have to check their egos." She said the common goal of saving Henry drives much of this as "they're going to have to put all the conflict between them on the backburner, and it's really exciting to explore their new relationships that involve team work."
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.