Is the Evil Queen really done being evil... or could the use of darkness actually be a good thing in the near future?
We'll get the answer on Once Upon A Time Season 4 Episode 14, as the Queens of Darkness have found their way into Storybrooke. But will they soon find their way into Emma's soul?
If that happens, it will affect her relationship with Captain Hook (who has a past of his own with one of the Queens), her son, Henry and, also, with Regina.
While Regina has been working hard at being on the good side of things for a change, she may have to reach into her dark bag of tricks in order to save the people she loves. Yes, that includes Emma.
With that in mind, I spoke exclusively to Lana Parrilla in order delve into the darkness that has been hidden inside her beloved character for so long, yet may soon make its way out...
TV Fanatic: In these new episodes, Regina does have a broken heart because of the Robin Hood situation, but she seems to be keeping it together and not off in a corner eating Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Lana Parrilla: She’s not. I think she’s come to some sort of resolve with how her life unfolds over the years. I think she’s just like ‘this is kind of par for the course. This is my life. It never works out for me. Therefore, anything that goes wrong it’s to be expected.’ However, she hasn’t given up completely because we now know that there’s this author out there. That’s given her a sense of hope. So, that’s actually where her primary focus is for the remaining backend of the season is to find this author.
TVF: I’m concerned that maybe she’s putting all her eggs in one basket with finding the author. Do you think she’s doing that?
LP: I think it’s where she’s at right now. It’s kind of like when you focus on one thing and you’re somewhat obsessed about finding it or getting it or whatever it is until it happens. Then there’s really nowhere to go from there. So, she’s really just focused on that at the time being until other obstacles challenge her and her focus deviates and has to now deal with this new problem I guess you can call it, which is when the Queens of Darkness enter the picture.
So, it does kind of throw her off course a bit, but right now where she’s at is locating this author, finding out who he is. What we see in the second episode back is she gets this brilliant idea that the only person who really knows anything about this author is Pinocchio. So, she goes to Marco for help and Pinocchio for help to see if they know anything that can lead her to this author.
But she really wants to find this author because she knows that he’s in charge of her destiny. To get him to sort of rewrite her story would be the best outcome in her eyes. However, as we move forward, which you’ll see over the course of the season, it’s not the best way to go about it. Is there another way? That’s what we’ll explore and we’re currently filming the episodes where is it about finding this author? Is that what’s really going to make me happy or is there something else that I need to figure out? So, that’s really the path that she’s on without giving away too much.
TVF: There were a couple moments in the first episode back where we’re reminded that Regina was the evil queen. What do you think that means since she’s tried so hard to get away from that yet she’s reminded frequently about it?
LP: I mean, she was and she’s worked really hard to not be that person anymore. Yes, it’s interesting because she hates hearing the word because it’s just a reminder of all the negative things that she’s a part of and all the horrible decisions she’s made over the year. She wants to be separate from that because she’s working towards being a good person, I guess somewhat of a hero.
Even though that’s not her goal to be a hero, she’s really trying to do the right thing. If you’re constantly being reminded of your past flaws or mistakes it’s almost like reminding an alcoholic that he’s an alcoholic even though he’s been in AA for the last year. It’s like you don’t need to rub it in my face. ‘I don’t need to hear about it. We know what I’ve done. Let’s move on as I’ve moved on and am trying to move on.’ She doesn’t want to be connected to that word, per se.
However, like I said, as we move forward Regina discovers that darkness maybe isn’t so bad and maybe it can help her. Instead of using that power and that darkness to terrorize and torture people maybe she can actually use it to stop the people that are committing these horrible acts. Maybe she can transform that darkness, that dark power, using it for the greater good.
A hero can’t necessarily rip your heart out and crush it but Regina, she’s done it so many times. If she ripped someone’s heart out, someone who’s hurting children or someone who’s out there to destroy everyone, it’s less of a setback for her than it would be for anyone else. It’s basically like using this dark power to stop anyone from doing anything else wrong…she’s learning to embrace both the light and the dark and finding the balance between the two.
TVF: We’ve been teased that Emma may be exploring her dark side sometime very soon. How will that affect Regina since we’ve seen them now working together much more often?
LP: Emma’s gotten much better with her magic. She’s really learning how to control it. I think Regina’s quite proud of her for graduating to this level. They both know that working together is much more effective than working solo. They’re both on the same team, which we’ve seen a lot of ads asking is the savior going dark? We’ve seen a lot of those teasers that have been put out there. I think that that’s something Regina is very concerned about because that’s probably the last thing she wants is to Emma cross that line because she knows what the outcome is. It leads to a very unhappy ending. I think she’s really going to do her best to try to help Emma along to make the right decisions and do the right thing.
TVF: We’ve seen the history in the past with Regina and Maleficent. Safe to say that their reunion is not going to be a happy one when they do finally see each other?
LP: Well, she trapped her underground for 30 years in the form of a dragon so I think there’s definitely going to be a confrontation between the two. We will see it as a flashback episode, episode 14 where Regina meets Maleficent for the first time. So you see how that friendship formed. It’s a really great Maleficent backstory and Regina’s heavy in that backstory. It’s a really cool episode. There’s a lot of fun things that happen. We see how they became friends and then when you flash forward into Storybrooke you’ll see the contrast of that. It’ll be a compelling episode I think. Everyone will really like it.
TVF: How has it been for you with Kristin [Bauer van Straten, Maleficent] and with the two other ladies, Marin [Dungey, Ursula] and Victoria [Smurfit, Cruella]?
LP: It’s been a ball, just a ball. I absolutely love those women. They are a ton of fun, so stunning in every way. Just talented, charismatic, full of energy and very generous women. I’ve really, really enjoyed working with them. It’s been a great backend of the season to be in their company and to play the way we’ve been playing. There’s a lot of laughter, a lot of compliments. ‘Oh my God, look at you, you’re stunning.’ Honestly, the costumes, everyone looks beautiful and I think the audience is just going to love these new villains. I really do. I mean I don’t know how you can’t. I adore them.
TVF: I’m sure Eduardo [Castro, costume designer] is having a good time with dressing all of you. Having been to the set and his work space, I know he’s very good at what he does.
LP: He’s just so good at what he does. It’s fun to see them step on stage and admiring their costumes. I can’t believe how amazing these costumes are. It’s just nice to see them feeling good about being in these clothes and feeling like sexy, powerful, beautiful women because that’s what they are and it just enhances that. It’s remarkable. I really have enjoyed them.
Once Upon a Time Season 4 airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.