fans are well aware, the Savior ain’t saving no more.
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As seen in the final seconds of the Season 4 finale, Emma — in the name of protecting Regina as well as the rest of Storybrooke — dared the Darkness, which had just been freed from Rumplestiltskin after hundreds of years, to consume
. And as it did, all that was left behind was the Dark One’s spinning dagger, now emblazoned with the name Emma Swan.
What does it mean that among the fairest of them all is now host to so frightful an entity? Who will endeavor to ride to her soul’s rescue, and in doing so what all (life? love?) will be put at risk?
With the ABC series’ Season 5 premiere (airing Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c) drawing ever closer, TVLine presents nearly all of our Fall Preview Q&A with series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis.
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TVLINE | You were at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, you get tweeted at all the time…. Do you feel there are any misconceptions out there about Season 5A?
ADAM HOROWITZ | I think that just by a quick look at Twitter and the Internet, there are a million misconceptions out there – and I’m kind of glad, because that means there will hopefully be a lot of surprises.
EDDY KITSIS | I think the theme is “Love is a dangerous weapon.”
TVLINE | We’ve heard a lot about Emma feeling “freed” from Savior-ing, but beyond that, what kind of a Dark One is she? Is she vengeful, is she power-hungry, does she have a bone to pick…?
HOROWITZ | She’s a very motivated Dark One. There’s a real driving force behind what she’s doing and why, that we will unfurl. It’s not like a rampant, uncontrollable evil that’s been unleashed. Emma as a non-Dark One was a very smart person who did things for a reason, and I think that translates.
KITSIS | She’s clearly going to be hiding something from the audience that will be revealed as the first half of the season unfolds.
TVLINE | Will we get to see Emma do decidedly bad things? I feel like when Regina went on that “bender” with the Queens of Darkness, you were torn between having her doing bad things but “we can’t make them
too bad” — so they just, like, torched a police cruiser.
KITSIS | Emma is going to do something particularly bad coming up, and to the people she loves.
VIDEOSOnce Upon a Time Season 5 Promo Has Dark Emma, Brave Merida and More
TVLINE | There are publicity stills of Emma in training mode, but with old school Rumplestiltskin. Given his coma, that would suggest she not only traveled realms after being consumed by the Darkness, but through
travel realms. And why Rumple’s there will be immediately explained within the first act of the premiere.
TVLINE | Obviously everyone standing there on Main Street wants to help Emma. What sort of distinct, perhaps conflicting paths will they choose to that end?
KITSIS | We saw in Season 3, when they went to Neverland, that Emma was there to coach, she united them all. Now they find themselves in a place where everybody wants to save Emma, but everybody has a different opinion on how to do it, so emotions are very heightened. David and Regina and Mary Margaret are also tasked with looking after all the citizens, yet at the same time the villain right now is Mary Margaret and David’s daughter, so they have a bias, and that’s going to be used against them.
TVLINE | Jen [Morrison] and Lana [Parrilla] talked at Comic-Con about how their roles have sort of been “flipped” here. How does the role of quasi-savior fit on Regina at first?
HOROWITZ | It’s not necessarily that Regina is the Savior, but she has been put into a position now where she owes Emma [for saving her from the Darkness]. She’s become a more heroic character over the years but now she has her biggest challenge yet, and it’s an awkward fit for her because she’s not used to having to lead or take charge. And she’s got to work with people like Hook, who has a very strong interest in saving Emma as well. And both Hook and Regina are strong personalities.
be more active in this arc? Perhaps his most active since Neverland?
KITSIS | He is hell-bent on saving Emma, so he is going to be quite active over the first 10 episodes.
HOROWITZ | Emma facing the darkness as the new Dark One forces Hook to confront the darkness in himself that he’s spent hundreds of years coming to terms with. It gives him unique insight into Emma’s predicament and pushes their relationship to what we think are exciting but also potentially dangerous places. It’s never been easy for these two, and things are only going to get dicier. That said, Hook has proclaimed his love for Emma — and he’s not going to give up on her easily.
Once Upon a Time Season 5 Premiere Sneak Peek: Can Hook Summon Dark Emma to Return?
TVLINE | I have to wonder, was it tricky to break the Rumple story for this arc? Because you don’t want to keep one of your most entertaining characters in a coma for too long, nor do you want to bring him back as a diluted version of himself…
tricky, and hopefully we found the porridge that was just right, where we kind of get to have everything.
TVLINE | And is it Belle’s charge to do what she can to save Rumple? We’ll see the more adventurous Belle?
KITIS | We’re absolutely going to get the more adventurous side of her, especially when she and Merida (Amy Manson) find themselves on and adventure.
HOROWITZ | We’ve always wondered what would happen if Belle and Merida went on an adventure together. We hope you do too, ’cause it’s coming!
TVLINE | You promoted not just Sean Maguire but also Rebecca Mader to series regular status. What’s the plan for Robin and Zelena?
KITSIS | Robin is really just picking up from last year; he is with Regina, we know Zelena is carrying his baby, and Zelena
is the “wild card,” so to speak. She’s like the Hannibal Lecter. We can never really trust her and we never really quite know what her motives are, but we absolutely know we should be frightened of her. In the premiere, people will see why.
TVLINE | I see her as a fly the heroes have to keep swatting away. Like, as if they didn’t already have enough to deal with…
TVLINE | Camelot is the primary other realm we’ll be in this half-season, as the search for Merlin gets underway. How might that kingdom’s residents help or hinder our heroes?
KITSIS | You have some big personalities there. You’ve got King Arthur (played by Liam Garrigan), Guinevere (Joana Metrass), there are rumors that Lancelot (Sinqua Walls) is on his way back… Camelot and the search for Merlin (Elliot Knight) is very germane to the central goal of our heroes. And while some people are going to immediately [befriend our heroes] — you’re going to see a huge bromance between Charming and King Arthur — some people might be more skeptical of them.
TVLINE | After all, I can’t imagine the people of Camelot have just been sitting there, waiting to help
interlopers. They probably have their own drama going on.
KITSIS | Yes, exactly. And I would say that they have a similar goal to us.
TVLINE | To be clear, Camelot’s timeline is parallel to ours?
HOROWITZ | It works just like The Enchanted Forest or Arendelle. They’re all just a few days ride away from each other.
TVLINE | Camelot could just as easily be, say, Detroit.
TVLINE | You’ve said that the flashback structure will be a bit
different this season. But will there still be some centric flashbacks?
KITSIS | We’re obviously going to get some of Merida’s story, and there’s absolutely going to be King Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot origin stories.
HOROWITZ | And will be getting an Emma flashback in the early part of the season.
TVLINE | I have a reader asking if we’ll see more of Robin Hood’s adventurous side. And might he have a connection to Merida?
going to see him interact with her. And we will see his adventure side.
TVLINE | Another reader asks: “Is the incredible resemblance between the new King Arthur and a certain one-handed pirate just happy coincidence?”
KITSIS | Yes — please watch it. Sundays at 8. Watch it live, the way it’s meant to be. Watch it with your friends, watch it on TVLine, watch it on Twitter…. We’re very excited for people to see it, because this is a season that we really truly think is a season for the Oncers.
KITSIS | Well, I hope there’s a full moon this year…. You never know who might come out during a full moon. Or come back, I should say! [
, or for any other show? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.
“With the ABC series’ Season 5 finale” – premiere :)
Thanks for the interview. Firstly yes there is ONLY one savior – and that is Emma Swan, she still is that inside her. Thats what she was born with.
Thanks for the Hook question and how active he will be and also the very darkness he dwelled in concerning the whole Dark One thing… and now the woman he loves is the new Dark One and should be something intriguing and dangerous. Ironic and poetic to a man who has had the longest history with the dark one.
I look forward to what we will see with Emma and Hook, and their relationship. Individually and together.
Thats one way to put it – Zelena is like Hannibal Lector lol
I just don’t know why people are focusing on Hook’s short interaction with the Dark One and think it is all poetic. He and Rumple barely interacted for hundreds of years and the only time Hook got one up on Rumple, was when he was in the land of magic and it is not like THE DARK ONE was his foe. Hook would had hunted down Rumple even if he wasn’t the dark one since he killed Milah.
I am surprise more astute people don’t realize the true poetic story and that is Henry. Just like his father, Neal, had to struggle with Rumple turning into the Dark One, so too must Henry do the same. And since Henry shares canon True Love with Emma, that is the best and natural story to focus on, not a guy that obsession is not in his grasp anymore.
This is a great interview! I especially loved the info on Hook & Emma. It sounds like it’s going to be an exciting ride for them, & Hook’s focus is going to be on her the whole time. Like the article says, the Charmings & Regina have responsibilities to the town. But Hook (& probably Henry, too) will likely put saving Emma before all else. That could definitely cause tension among the heroes, but it will be interesting to watch.
yay captain swan and hook news, the best kind. I am also super excited for emma to actually have a front and center story this season
Agreed. It’s always been about Emma’s journey. :)
@ metalhead777 ikr captain swan news is the best CANT WAIT!
I really hope season 5 switches the focus back to the core family – Emma, Snow, Charming, Regina and Henry. There are plenty of other characters and relationships I’m interested in, but I’m here for the core family and their connections to one another.
Outside of that, I’d like to see the show do more with Belle. She is so poorly underused, she might as well be recurring instead of a series regular and it’s been that way since season 3. I’m glad she’s getting an adventure with Merida but I doubt that’ll last for more than an episode or two.
I’m very happy we’ll be seeing Ruby again but I’m worried they’re only bringing her back to kill her off. Having Dark Emma kill someone would be a huge turning point in her villain arc and killing Ruby would have the most impact without forcing the show to lose one of their regulars.
The Killing only seems to work on regulars, not the supporting characters.
hence why they would plan on burying a supporting character instead so that their current regulars are safe, me thinks little red will be coated in red probably by dark swan’s hands.
look at it this way killing Ruby may give Emma’s folks reason to bring her down, hard to still believe the best of your daughter when she murders your oldest pal. And since they railroaded Ruby from season 2 to give more screen time for other characters giving her a send off will seem like the most logical thing to do.
I wouldn’t mind to be honest. For those reasons you said: Ruby hasn’t shown up in a while, they never explain that, at least if she is dead there would be a reason, and we would still see her in flashbacks; plus, it would make Emma a REALLY tough and serious villain.
I’m excited to see what this arc brings for my favorite character Emma. It almost sounds like she knows something we don’t – maybe she’ll be doing things we perceive as evil, but they are done for a good reason toward a good end.
Anyway, interested to see how this will impact her relationships with her parents, Hook, and Henry! She believed their love could help to save her, so I hope we see that play out. It’s time for everyone to rally around Emma in her time of need!
Thanks for this article – loved the questions. I’m really excited to see what this arc brings for my favorite character Emma. It almost sounds like she knows something we don’t – maybe she’ll be doing things we perceive as evil, but they are done for a good reason toward a good end.
Any info about the bell jar that was shown at D23Expo?
I’m very excited for the DarkSwan arc. My hope is that Emma goes very dark. I want there to be a body count at her feet (NOT Ruby though). I say this because I want to SEE Emma have to deal with her actions. These writers have not allowed Emma to deal with anything that’s happened to her since Season 1 so, I hope this arc is different. I really want to KNOW Emma Swan.
I don’t care about Hook. He’s boring. I suppose every new villain needs arm candy so whatever.
I despise Hood with the white hot heat of eleven suns. And the idea that the Queen is with him makes me ill. That she would stoop to settling for THAT is unthinkable. I could do without Zelena as well. They are both terribly uninteresting and poorly written characters.
I can’t wait for Merida! I’m excited to see how Regina & the Charmings work together to help Emma. I love Regina & Snow in scenes together. There is magic there. And my sweet baby, Henry, he’s going to be amazing through this.
I’d like to see them do something with Belle that isn’t the equivalent of her patting Rumple on the head. The moment she graveled at his feet, they lost me.
I’d like the focus to be on the core of the show, Emma, Regina, Henry & the Charmings. That’s the show at it’s best.
I miss when this show was different and really about its female leads rather than an ode to white men.
Well, this does it. Cancelling OUAT from my dvr. Not watching live either =/ Sounds boring, and ugh bromance? No thank you. Call me back when this show gets back on its lane or when it proves to be a modern twist on fairytales.
Sad to say that I’m not too enthusiastic, either. It still sounds like an awful lot of time will be spent on guest characters…again. You’d think they would have learned their lesson after “Frozen” took over the first part of last season. If they’re going into the backstories of all the Camelot characters, plus Merida, how much time will be left for the regular characters?
I don’t care about Hook, either, and am still “meh” on Dark Swan. l’m also wary that Rumple is going to be sidelined for much of the arc (their answer to Matt’s question about him didn’t exactly instil me with confidence). Instead of watching live, I’ll watch from my DVR if it sounds like there’s anything worth watching.
I always get so excited when a new season starts then lose interest and quit watching after a few episodes. S1 was so great but the following seasons always seem to lose focus the further into the season it goes.
You know what made S1 great to me and so many others? The focus on the female leads. That’s what the show was about, but it’s kind of lost its way over time.
The cast now is so huge and the storylines are so scattered. The lack of Lana Parrilla in 4A was probably the worst mistake the creators could have made, all the while forcing all these Frozen characters down our throats.
I hope at some point they regain the magic from S1 and focus more on the core characters that have been there from the Pilot episode. That’s what made the show so success in its initial season.
agreed they for lack of a better term lost the magic when it became ‘how many disney characters can we cram into a season’
But… Emma is the main villain, Regina is the main hero. If this doesn’t make the lead protagonists relevant, I don’t know what does. And if you’re hoping to see no new characters added, stop watching any shows.
Emma is STILL a hero. A hero who sacrificed and going through this journey and will overcome it. Emma is STILL the show’s protagonist and always has been since season 1.
“so he (hook) is going to be quite active over the first 10 episodes.” OMG YES FINALLY!… wait for the FIRST 10 EPISODES so does that means that’s it after that? idk but still EXCITED!!
Obviously the main season 5A they are talking. We dont know what is coming up in season 5b.
Emma is my fav. So as always interested in her journey and story.
I want to see more scenes with her parents esp Snow… that relationship needs more time on it.
For me Emma is the savior (and I really do not need anyone else) the point of Emma and being the protagonist is these powers and all are unique to her.
Excited and nervous about Emma and Hook’s relationship – they have got a bigger challenge and angst coming their way. I am here to see Hook trying to do everything in his being to save Emma and fight for her.
I still think Rumple is going to be villain, that is what he is and always will be. I still think he will want his powers back and go after Emma, when hasn’t he.
I don’t care much for Regina, she has her happy ending whilst others again suffer.
I see comments on core characters lol. Which to me are all connected to Emma and since ppl love to always say from pilot just like to remind all. Hook was always wanted since Season 1 but they didn’t get the rights in time so I do see as a core character much like Charmings, Emma, Henry and Regina.
I’m curious if they’ll address the time that Belle’s True Loves Kiss almost broke Rumple’s curse in ‘Skin Deep’ especially given that Emma and Henry have already shared a True Love Kiss that worked.
Thanks for the interview! I’m excited for Emma’s arc this season and Camelot (and Merida).
I hope it’s not to premature to hope so, but is it possible that our dear Emma to be pregnant? That would be absolutely fantastic! I think that’s something that we would all love to watch.
Glad to FINALLY see some info about Hook, even thought they didn’t really tell us much. However, with these writers’ propensity for promising things that don’t happen, I’ll believe Hook being active when I see it. I can’t believe they haven’t been promoting him at all with the Dark Swan arc — after all, she is his girlfriend and he spent hundreds of years trying to kill the Dark One. That should be one of the main emotional through-lines in the arc!
I am SO tired of all the guest characters! Merida on top of all the Camelot folks is just TOO much, when some of the regulars whose names don’t begin with “R” can barely get a storyline. I wish they would stop cramming in new characters we know we’ll never see again after their arc ends, and concentrate on the regulars instead. No wonder the show’s ratings are falling, when the characters that fans are invested in keep getting pushed aside for new ones.
Ugh, that whole Zelena baby storyline is just so off-putting.
I would really like to see August as a regular character!
I just hope this does not make Emma and Hook break up
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