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Once Upon a Time Producers Tease Struggles of Redemption, A Shocking Finale... and Vegas?

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With the Once Upon a Time Season 3 finale looming on Sunday, we spoke with show creators and executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis to get the inside scoop on their plan for Hook and Emma, whether  Regina is truly redeemed and what we can expect going into season 4.

Which, yes, ABC has now confirmed!


Did you always intended to have Hook in love with Emma? Was that something you planned out or was it something that developed because of the actor's chemistry onscreen?

Eddy: Always. 

Adam:  Always. I mean, listen... You go into these things with the best intentions. That is to say we loved the idea that Hook and Emma would be kindred spirits and that is why we kind of wrote that in the beanstalk episode of season 2. But of course, you know, there's always the chance that there isn't any chemistry. We were very lucky that we feel that Hook and Emma have an enormous amount of chemistry so that kind of allowed us to stick to the plan that we wanted. 

Did you know you were going to kill Neal off at the start of the season?

Eddy: We knew very early in the planning stages for this season that that would occur. It's like anything when you plan a season, there are certain specifics. Did we know it was going to be in episode 15? No. Did we know when we cooked up the idea that it would happen before the finale? Yes. There's some wiggle room in how we plan things but we knew we wanted to do that and we knew that we kind of wanted this end of the season to lay out the way it laid out. 

So Content
David and Mary Margaret look so content with their newborn son in their arms on the season finale of Once Upon a Time.

Do we have to worry about any more character deaths in the near future?

Eddy: We have to worry about danger and we have to worry about things that are going to harm our characters. 

Adam: I think we should always worry about death, then what's the fun of having stakes. 

Henry's growing up. Will we begin to see him with his own story lines or will the plots be focused more on Emma and Regina dealing with a teenager in this magical world?

Eddy:  We're not really at the Sweet 16 episode yet, but I absolutely. I think Henry's the heart and soul of this show. He is Commander of Operation Cobra and I think that we will absolutely want to see him grow into a young man and have his own stories and develop his own character. I think that there will be individual stories with the character as well as how will he fit in with the family. 

With the help of Henry's love, Regina's had quite the journey of redemption culminating to the point where she uses light magic to defeat her sister. In contrast, even with Belle's love, Rumpelstiltskin continues to choose the dark side. Is that a choice you made from the beginning for these characters and is it a trend that will continue?

Adam: I would say that all the characters, I mean particularly in these example you've brought up of Rumpel and Regina they do kind of go back to the core of who they are and they fight it and they fight against it. They struggle with it. I think we're seeing Rumple and Gold struggle with it a bit right now. And as much as we've seen Regina use light magic and redeem herself in that way, she's still struggling. I think we've seen it all season long. Growth does not come easy for anyone.

Eddy: And Rumpel is a complicated man and he once told us that he was a difficult man to love. 

Regina and Robin Hood have finally found one another. Is that a relationship we'll be seeing a lot more of?

Eddy: Maybe.

I'm assuming the green smoke suggests we haven't seen the last of Zelena. Will we be seeing more of her in season 4?

Adam: All we can say is that Zelena died. That's what happened in the last episode.

Eddy: She has been defeated and we will really not see her in this finale and as far as season 4, you never know. 

This season we've explored Neverland and Oz. What's next?

Adam: Vegas.

Eddy: Yeah, Vegas. They're all going to go to Vegas and plan an Oceans 11 type heist using both good and dark magic. But where we're going next…

Adam: ...will be revealed at the end of the two hours.

Eddy: Yes, it will be somewhat clear and it will be a surprise.

What specifically can you tease fans about Sunday's season finale?

Eddy: Well, I think we can tease that it is a two hour movie that hopefully is a summation of all of the character arcs and conflicts that we've seen this season and it takes some of our characters back in time. That's a big problem because when you go back in time you can screw up the future and things have to be put right. 

What was your favorite episode or story of the season and what didn't quite work out the way you had hoped?

Eddy: That's a very a tough question to ask fathers of their children. I will say that we are very proud of this season because creatively we got into it and we wanted to tell two different, unique story lines. We wanted to do Neverland and we wanted to do the Wicked Witch and we wanted to really return to our core characters and deepen them. I think that we've done that in a really fun and interesting way this year. Are there things that you would like to do better. Of course but that is unfortunately network television. We don't get the luxury of writing all the scripts and shooting them so rock & roll's a messy business. You just have to keep moving forward.

Adam: Many might argue with this, but there's no harsher critic of the show than ourselves. We can look back at everything and say we wish we could have done this better or that better but as a whole I'd say we're very proud at where this season has wound up. Whatever mistakes were made that's between us and our therapist. 

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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So glad they always planned for Emma/Hook. They are a big part of the reason I started watching the show since the first episode I ever watched showed their undeniable connection. I also always thought Neal was more connected to Rumple and their story rather then him and Emma as a couple. No offense but I never saw the appeal with Neal/Emma. I really hope season four gives Emma and hook a break and let them build their relationship and be happy and instead focus on Regina and Robin. Season three was Emma's love life and struggles so season four should be Regina's!


but my fave was dat lil smirk he does i mean you might as well just shoot me in da feels killian ur my bae marry mae


hook is sexy af!!!:$,&?&?


From what i see and confirmed by actors as well, is two ppl who are kindred spirts and have a connection, and similar experiences and understand each other, they have an attraction, and he is the man who loves Emma to the moon and back, and devoted to her, the man who will NOT leave like the rest of them have... this is what Emma is scared of, that ppl who she loves and lets in always leave her or break her heart like Neal and Walsh did... and Hook isnt like that, he is the one who always comes back to her.... he is her person, she is his person!!!!! And they are BETTER together!

@ Bereal



ALWAYS felt that Emma and Hook were going to be since the Emma centred episode, first time we see an episode on her and her past v present and two ppl who formed a connection and kindred spirtsness element.
From what i see and confirmed by actors as well, is two ppl who are kindred spirts and have a connection, and similar experiences and understand each other, they have an attraction, and he is the man who loves Emma to the moon and back, and devoted to her, the man who will NOT leave like the rest of them have... this is what Emma is scared of, that ppl who she loves and lets in always leave her or break her heart like Neal and Walsh did... and Hook isnt like that, he is the one who always comes back to her.... he is her person, she is his person!!!!! And they are BETTER together!

@ Be real

Killy is mah bae yaah Killy is my day yaah


I have never like or supported CS and knowing that they planned on killing Neal just to put them together is sickening. If they wanted Neal dead they should've said he was dead long before Rumple ever found him. Hook and Emma absolutely have NO chemistry. He has never once made her smile like Neal did and I bet if Emma knew he stole Neal's mother from him she'd think twice about kissing the bastard. But that will never happen because the writers can't even keep their own stories straight and tend to ignore the facts they've already laid out. ONCE maybe back for a fourth season but I sure won't be. Not even Rumbelle can save this disaster.

@ Anon

Who do you think you are lulz

@ Anon

Thank you!! My thoughts exactly:)

@ Anon

Emma has figured out who Milah is to Hook, she isnt that dumb.
Also Neal died due to dark magic, its been pretty much explained on the show. it was never about Emma and Hook, because it was progressing itself even with Neal who was fake dead in Neverland.
Goodbye and these crappy comments


My question is. If Zelena is indeed dead, does Emma have her magic back? She says she doesn't have it back, so that indicates to me that Zelena isn't dead. Or her magic isn't dead since it's holding up the damage done.

@ Aja Bird

It is never specifically stated that if Zelena is dead then Emma will get her magic back, Zelena could be dead and Emma just doesn't get her magic back (When Emma lost her magic, you saw it sort of float swaying to the air, not like get sucked in by Zelena or something


hook and emma had that spark the first eppy they had together, i saw it right away and am glad that A&E are keeping with it! now that Rumpel isn't "dead" or being taken over by Zelena i feel we'll be seeing more of him and his decline with Belle (c'mon he gave her a fake dagger, when she finds out she'll be pissed---but she does always forgive him for his misgivings no matter how horrible they are)..... i have a feeling next season is going to be killer (as will the finale!)


Glad A&E confirmed Hook and Emma were always planned. I thought so. Their interaction in 2x06 did seem to be lying the groundwork and that Hook would be her future, while Nealfire was her past. I also am not surprised to read that the latter's death was planned as well. It felt like a natural conclusion to the character, and that his fate was always linked to Rumple's story.


I love how this show doesn't revolve around a certain character and we get to follow ALL these people, Snow, Regina, Rumple, Emma, Hook, Henry and even some Ruby and others and see their lives play out. It's realistically written for such a fairy tale show and it gives people in real life hopes that if these people can overcome their darkness, revenge, and abandonment that they can find happiness. Even's Neal's story, as tragic as it was, still had a beautiful character arc. There's nothing I dislike about this show.