When I heard that the creators and stars of Once Upon A Time would be doing a panel at PaleyFest 2013, and that it would be streamed live, I made a note to be sure to watch, and I’m definitely glad that I did. Fans were treated to some great on stage moments, and most importantly, a few teasers of what is to come. Panelists were creators and executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, and stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow), Jennifer Morrison (Emma), Robert Carlyle (Rumple), Josh Dallas (Charming), Lana Parrilla (Regina), Colin O’Donoghue (Hook), and Emilie de Ravin (Belle). The moderator was Matt Mitovich from TVLine (www.tvline.com).
There is much to which we can look forward in the rest of the season, and while the two-part season finale will no doubt be wonderful, I think personally I was the most excited to hear about the upcoming episode Welcome to Storybrooke. Various sites have been reporting the return of Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman (Jamie Dornan), and this is how we will be seeing the dearly departed character. In Welcome to Storybrooke, we will be seeing some of the first few days following the start of the curse, way back in 1983. I think this is wonderful, as I have often wondered about the early days after the characters were brought to this world. It will be interesting to finally see how they adjusted, and see more of their history from a different point of view than we usually see.
Other fan favorite characters were also mentioned. Recently, there have been rumors concerning a possible spin-off and/or the recasting of the character of Jefferson/The Mad Hatter. No mention was made either way about a new series, but Kitsis and Horowitz did assure fans that no one is being recast. They also said that it was unknown when we might be seeing Jefferson again, as the actor who portrays him, Sebastian Stan, is very busy. However, there may be yet another person returning, as there were references to Pinocchio, so hopefully we will be seeing Eion Bailey back soon as Pinocchio/August. There is definitely some aspects of the story that need to be clarified involving August.
There was a very important question to the panel, asking if the show would be visiting any more worlds this season. The answer was a resounding yes, but they refused to say what world, or whom we might be meeting. However, one thing they did say most likely relates to this … the final two episodes of the season will be a two-part season finale. Second Star to the Right will be followed by And Straight on Til Morning. Kitsis and Horowitz did indicate that fans could perhaps infer important information from those titles. Most likely, this is a reference to Neverland, which is of course a land we already know is tied to the series because of Hook. However, there were no clues as to whom we might see from there, or what stories they might decide to tell.
Another major tease has to do with the current path of Snow. There have been hints that she may have to make some tough decisions in the future, and some of those are related to the most recent episode (which was screened for the live attendees at PaleyFest). Kitsis and Horowitz repeated something they have said before, which is that these characters all have some good and some bad in them, and it would appear from comments from them, as well as from Goodwin, that we may get to see just how bad Snow can be.
They also talked a bit about upcoming episode, Lacey, which will focus on Belle. From remarks from Kitsis, Horowitz, and de Ravin, it would appear that we will be getting more backstory on this character, but not from the fairytale land. In Storybrooke, she was known as Lacey, and there is apparently some history between her and Charming, or rather David.
While we did get some great information from this panel, there were also some things that they have to keep to themselves. They can’t give away all the spoilers, of course. Some of the more humorous moments came when they were asked questions by Mitovich or the fans that they could not truly answer. At times, I was thinking, to paraphrase a famous line, the first rule of OUAT is don’t talk about OUAT. The creators and stars gave the fans what they could, and for that I am grateful, but it is equally important that they don’t tell us too much. Doing that would ruin the ride, and after seeing this panel, I believe we are in for quite a few more twists and turns before that ride is finished.