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Once Upon A Time Bosses Tease Character Relationships As The Show Returns This Sunday

KSiteTV was one of the media outlets that just returned from a screening of Sunday’s all new episode of Once Upon A Time, which airs on January 6. The episode, which is called “The Cricket Game,” sees Regina accused of killing one of Storybrooke’s most beloved residents. Meanwhile, in fairy tale land, we see how folks react to whether or not the Evil Queen can be redeemed. New menace hits town as Cora and Hook make their way to the port.

Following the screening, the group of us spoke with Executive Producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis with clues for what’s coming next — including details on beloved character relationships. For starters, how will things change for Snow White and Prince Charming now that they have 28 years to catch up on?

“It’s fun to see them together again,” Kistis says. “I think, for us, they are figuring out their new role, being together, being in Storybrooke, and being Emma’s parents, even though they’re the same age,” he adds.

“The first part of the season was them kind of coming to terms with [how] the memories are back and all that,” Adam Horowitz explains. “Now, going forward, it’s ‘what does this mean being a family? What does it mean, being in this world with these memories and with this new, strange familial relationship, and what do we want now?’ What does that mean with all of these circumstances that are completely different from anything they ever expected?” he posits.

Beyond the Charming family dynamic, the producers also fielded questions about romance, particularly the one that might involve Emma and Captain Hook, who had some sparks earlier this season. “I think its hard to deny the handsomeness of Hook, and I think the real question is, is he going to lose the guy liner in Storybrooke, and the answer is no,” Kitsis reveals, although warning that Hook isn’t Emma’s only suitor. “Emma is going to find herself with a few choices this season, and I think that, [like] in all life, there are people that are right for you, and there are the people that are wrong for you, and then there are the people that you just choose, and I think Emma’s going to face all of those things,” he says.

“The love of Emma’s life last year was Henry, and this year, we actually met the one person she’s fallen in love with. So, Hook is obviously eye candy. I don’t know if she would stare at him and think he would be a good father to Henry, but he might be fun in Vegas. What’s interesting about Emma is that now that she’s found her family, now that the shock of ‘they’re the same age as me’ has worn off, they’re starting to become a family, and she’s starting to settle down, and a lot of the anger and the walls that she’s put up throughout her life are going to maybe be able to broken, but not as quickly as you’d like. There’s still healing to do, but I think that includes her heart, so it’s a matter of who wins it,” he continues. And on the subject of Emma’s past loves, might we see Henry meeting his father this year? “I would be really disappointed if we went through the season and we didn’t show that. That would suck,” Kitsis says.

Another familial relationship that will be revisited within the first five episodes of 2013 is the one between Mr. Gold and his long-lost son, Baelfire. Adam Horowitz insists that it will be dealt with “pretty quickly” and that Gold is “pretty determined.”

The midseason premiere of Once Upon A Time propels the show into the second half of the season, where many of the relationships mentioned above will be explored. (What might stop Charming and Snow from consummating this time?) Catch it Sunday, January 6, on ABC. Here are some photos to get you prepared:


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ONCE UPON A TIME - "The Cricket Game" - Regina is accused of murdering one of the town's most beloved fairytale characters -- but only Emma senses that she may be innocent. Meanwhile, back in the fairytale land that was, after capturing the Evil Queen, Snow White and Prince Charming set about planning her public execution in order to rid the land of her murderous tyranny, on "Once Upon a Time," SUNDAY, JANUARY 6 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/JACK ROWAND) RAPHAEL SBARGE, LANA PARRILLA

About Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.


  1. Hook/Emma???
    So wrong!!!
    Hook slammed the innocent Belle. For me this is considered abuse!

    Unless Emma lose her mind, or has some mental problem, will date someone like Hook. Not to mention, how it will be bad for Henry…
    Even though Adam and Ed try to redeem Hook. To me, a man who punches women, leaving unconscious. These men do not deserve to be redeemed.
    I’ll give up to see Once Upon a Time, if they try to redeem Hook or if they do Emma dating or sleeping with Hook…Now I’m sad :(

  2. Gold and Regina have done worse things but everyone have forgiven them. Ridicolous double standars, keep them for yourself.

    And what about Gold slamming Ruby with magic in the last episode? Why don’t you consider it abuse, too? Double standars again :)

  3. OMG YES! thanks for the scoop on Captain Swan (emma&hook) and Snowing (snow&charming)! looks like the second half of the season is promising! Cant wait for sunday :)

  4. Regina and Gold can be redeemed and loved, yet people say Hook shouldn’t be redeemed because he hit Belle? Well, if that was the case, then Regina shouldn’t be redeemed because she raped The Huntsman/Graham for 28+ years and Gold shouldn’t be redeemed because he used magic to throw Ruby clear across the forest (and then there’s the whole “ripping out his wife’s heart and murdering her” thing). So many double standards when it comes to the villains on this show. If the two biggest villains of the first season can get redemption and find love, then I don’t see why Hook can’t one day. He might be on his journey towards revenge now, but that doesn’t mean the potential for growth and love is out of the question. If this show has taught anything, it’s that even the cruelest of people are capable of love and that evil isn’t born, it’s made.

    That being said, I can’t wait to see what’s to come with the Charming family, Emma’s issues being faced, and anything with Captain Swan.

  5. Um. I personally don’t like many characters from this show other than Mulan, Aurora, and Graham. Although I quite enjoy Jeffersons personality. The thing I fear from this show (Because I love villains) is the redemption arc that Hook might get (Like the one Rumple got, which I wasn’t a fan of). I personally was interested in Captain Swan until I went in the Tumblr Tag and saw what the fans thought would happen. I know it’s wrong to base an opinion of a ship on the fandom but this just pissed me off. Most of them want Hook to be Henry’s step dad, which is horrendous because Captain Hook was based upon a fairy tale of a man basically harassing a child(Peter Pan). And the fact that Hook is probably near to a psycho doesn’t help. (Although they don’t show that side much) I mean he almost killed Belle, and yes, he slammed her down. He just has one this in his mind and that is revenge for a woman he loved. So basically I just don’t see the point of introducing a very well written villain then giving him a redemption arc.

  6. I think Hook, Regina, Rumpel, Cora, none deserves to be redeemed … sorry!!
    I hope nobody here has family members who have been abused, because if you have, then you understand why I dont like Hook…

  7. Rumple was a horrible arc, lets be honest. Him and Belle were so cheesy, and I honestly thought if they were going down that whole Rumbelle route, they would’ve made it more dark, then showed glimmers of his humanity, than angsty, then more dark+humanity, then they get together but with more angst. They just made it so fast, and ooc. I really didn’t like how they played it out.

  8. I agree Bia.
    And if the show is seen by all kinds of people. So Ad amand Ed should respect who suffers daily abuse.
    None of the villains of Once Upon a Time deserves any excuse for committing murders and wickedness.
    And then if Neal is Bae. Things will get worse for Henry. Poor boy…Did Henry deserve that same man, who made her dad grow up without mother (Milah), go dating with his mother Emma also.

  9. Honestly I think what this show lacks his the characterization of villains, except maybe Cora, who seems determined, but will have a great downfall which will be her daughter. But at least she’ll die a villain. The thing with Hook is that he is determined, and I know some people hate him for it. I’m not going to justify his actions, and make him into one of those annoying Charmings Dogooders ( Which are so annoying with there whole entire “We’ll find eachother, we always do” I mean it’s like you’re in a never-ending labyrinth, and there whole “Good always win” If you’re going to do good vs. bad, do the whole Harry Potter portrayal of it or GOT). But this show brings villains but makes them turn all goody and I really hope Hook or Cora ends up staying as a villain, because every good story deserves a will written villain.

  10. I hate Hook. He’s not even attractive IMO. I need august back. Why is he just being pushed aside.

  11. God I hope They keep Hook away from Emma and Henry He shouldn’t be anywhere near them I hope Neal comes back soon and takes His family back.

  12. I’m still a Hook/Swan shipper and I’m going to be severely disappointed if they don’t play it out. It sets up s perfect fairy tale for redemption for Hook and after the crap they put us through with Sheriff Graham they owe us. I’ve never been so pissed off at a tv show in my life when that happened and frankly I stayed pissed at them until the introduction of Hook. Please don’t disappoint us again

  13. What will be Gross is if Neal is for sure Baelfire and Emma gets with Hook she will be sleeping with her son’s step-granndfather since Hook was with Baelfire’s mom until she died.

  14. That would be gross that would make once on the same level as young and restless who had a character sleep with her kid’s grandfather and their uncle talk about keeping it in the family .

  15. [“Honestly I think what this show lacks his the characterization of villains, except maybe Cora, who seems determined, but will have a great downfall which will be her daughter. But at least she’ll die a villain.”]

    Why is it so important to have a one-dimensional villain? Why? Because it’s easier to deal with than a villain/villainess who might more complex . . . and easier to relate to? Or because it insinuates that anyone can be good or evil, based upon choices that he or she makes? Does that scare people?

  16. “Hook is obviously eye candy. I don’t know if she would stare at him and think he would be a good father to Henry, but he might be fun in Vegas.”

    OMG SO TRUE! Hook is hot and fun to look at. Hook did fall in love with Rumples wife a woman who ABANDONED her son. Hook is obviously capable at some level of Love or was before Rumple killed her. Human Rumple was a coward ( still is and he admits it)
    The point being that in a land where children are dragged of to war, monsters and magic are all VERY real and YOU KNOW your husband is a coward the idea of taking your son on a pirate ship (or going back to get him a year or two after leaving) Makes more sense than ABANDONING HIM with a man you know probably wont protect him. Hook loved a woman who ABANDONDED her kid so I doubt he himself would be great Parent material.

    Of course if the belief of some fans about Baelfire also being Neal Henrys father and the guy Emma fell in Love with are true than Hook “Hooking” Emma and gaining a possible foothold in Henrys life would make Rumple (Henrys grandfather) more then a little angry. Assuming that killing each other is an option they have already tried and failed. But that idea might be a stretch even for this show.

  17. I don’t understand how Neal could be Bae due to the timing. Bae left Fairytale land right after Rumple became the dark one and Rumple help Regina as a baby after he became the dark one, so Bae is older than Regina. He also wasn’t affected by the curse and should have been aging the 28 years during the curse. Doesn’t that make him too old to be Henry’s father?

  18. I honestly don’t understand why a lot of you are slamming Hook.
    – Firstly, Rumple and Regina have done FAR WORSE than Hook and yet they have been forgiven and rewarded with true love (in the forms of Henry and Belle). Remember Regina ripping out the hearts of an entire town, crashing Snow/Charming’s wedding and threatening everyone? Creating the curse in the first place? Remember Rumple tearing out people’s hearts and tongues, beating a man to death with a stick, tying up Robin Hood in his home?
    – Also, Hook had an actual reason behind his anger. Rumple ripped out the heart of his first love, Milah, right in-front of his eyes, and if this or anything similar happened to us, we wouldn’t exactly be bezzie mates with the killer, would we? Hook’s determination for revenge against Rumple, to me, highlighted how much he loved Milah and the closure that he needed, to let Rumple know that he would never forgive him for killing her.
    – Hook changed. Rumple and Regina might have slightly morphed into nicer people (slightly), but Hook is a changed man. He turned the ship around so that he could give Emma the magic bean, when he could’ve easily kept on sailing and saved himself. Does that show a ‘monster’? No. Not to mention, in Neverland, his sole drive was to Save Henry, not even kill Pan, which it would’ve been for his old self.
    – Emma kissed him in Season 3. He didn’t kiss her, which if there was ever going to be a CS kiss, I’d expect him to kiss her. But he didn’t. That shows that no matter how much he clearly cares about Emma by helping she and her family, saving her Father’s life for goodness sake, and finding it heartbreaking how she loved Neal…he didn’t force himself upon her. He let her take things in her stride and waited until she was ready for him.
    – He told Snow and Charming straight away when Pan told him that Neal was alive and on the Island of Neverland. If he was a selfish, monster like some of you are making him out to be, surely he’d keep that entirely to himself, without risking Emma finding out and ruining what they had. When Snow told Emma he didn’t look sad or heartbroken…he just looked caring. Because he cares more about Emma’s happiness than his own, unlike Neal.
    – In the Echo Cave when saving Neal, where you had to reveal your darkest secret, he told them that he kissed Emma. Emma had already told Snow, which shows that it was playing on her mind, and that she put a lot into the kiss and it DID mean something. (If you don’t believe me then youtube it. No kiss that passionate means NOTHING). He’s turned into a true gentlemen, rather than a sleazy flirt now. He still has his flirty moments, but when around Emma and her parents, he’s so professional and caring, stating that Emma made him realise that he can love again after Milah.
    – When Emma went to save Neal from the bamboo cage, she told him that she would always love him, but that she wished he’d stayed dead so she wouldn’t have to deal with the pain from her past again. To me, this doesn’t show any chance for Neal. He put her through so much, with jail and getting her involved with shop-lifting, and then didn’t even return to StoryBrooke when August sent him the postcard – they had to find HIM. PLUS he was ENGAGED, meaning that he had clearly moved on from Emma, so can’t have loved her THAT much.
    – At the very end, Neal tells Emma that he’ll ‘never stop fighting’ for her, despite her feelings against him. This is just plain selfish in my opinion. When I said before that Hook cares more about Emma’s happiness than his own, unlike Neal, it’s true. Emma makes Neal happy, but he doesn’t make her happy, yet he still insists on them being together meaning that he only wants to be together so that he can be happy with Emma…even if she isn’t. Whereas Hook cares about her happiness in finding Henry, Neal, her parents, and letting her make the first move on him.

    I understand this ‘ship’ business, so I have nothing against people shipping Swanfire or whatever, just like I’m sure you have nothing against me shipping CaptainSwan. But people blatantly slagging off Hook? I couldn’t hold it in after all the good that he’s done.

  19. ONE LAST THING: About Hook making a bad father – are you CRAZY?! Neal was a THIEF, and he dragged Emma into his mess as well, before leaving her to sort it out herself! Is that what makes a good father in your opinion?! I’m all for people changing but if you’re saying that Hook can’t change then surely you can’t be insinuating that Neal CAN?
    Also, in the early days, when Neal was a young boy, Hook clearly cared about him on that ship. He was probably grateful of the company, but I saw a real connection, and he was playing a real fatherly figure to Baelfire. The way he taught him how to sail, asked him about his life, made sure he was okay and happy, protected him from the Lost Boys the first time.