The Once Upon A Time episode “The Cricket Game” has now concluded across the United States, so we can now share more of what Executive Producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz had to say in a special post-screening Q&A earlier this week.
Beware of spoilers within.
For starters, there was the apparent death of Archie/Jiminy Cricket… and what was revealed as his survival. The two showrunners, who rose to prominence on LOST, a show that never shied away from killing characters, admitted that to them, “death is a big deal.” “It’s obviously something we’ve done, with Sheriff Graham, which I still get death threats about,” Edward Kitsis says, referring to Jamie Dornan’s character, “but for us, when we were coming up with this, us and the writers, [we thought] ‘what does Cora need?’ She needs information. If you come to this strange land and you’ve never been there, a psychiatrist is perfect. He knows everyone’s secrets. He knows how they run. Gold’s gone to him, and Henry’s gone to him, so it’s more valuable to her to have him alive right now, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Was the person that she killed in Archie’s place anyone important? Kitsis insists that Cora’s choice was completely random. “Here’s a woman who doesn’t really care about who she kills,” he says. “In an alternate universe, we’d be able to show that guy, his family, they’re totally worried about it… but Cora? He’s just some schmuck she found.”
“She literally took a random Storybrooke resident, killed him, and made it look like Archie,” Horowitz adds.
“I would look at it more as a commitment to excellence. Cora is focused, and she’s committed, and she saw her daughter upset but not broken, and she said she would come back and break her. And she did. And that’s love,” Kitsis concludes.
Among the other things they talked about — and you can read even more about relationships in our earlier post — is Emma’s new ability to use magic. “It’s obviously a new element, something new about Emma for her to explore. How it’s going to play out? We don’t want to tell you. We want you to experience it on the show, but know that it’s something we’re excited to delve in to,” Horowitz says.
Beyond magic, and the romance alluded to in the other post, the showrunners were asked about when The Little Mermaid’s Ariel might finally make an apparance. “Probably not this season,” Kitsis admits. “We’ve taken a lot of toys off the shelf, so we’re probably not going to see her this year. We do have a plan for her, if there is a Season 3.”