Once Upon a Time Bosses Preview a Very Grumpy Outing and Tackle 6 Big Questions

ABC’s Once Upon a Time this Sunday will weave a magical tale about love that might leave you… grumpy?

The episode, which features a guest-starring turn by Angel/Dollhouse alumna Amy Acker as a fairy named Nova, reveals the backstory of Snow White’s crankiest dwarf pal. As the object of Grumpy’s affection, “[Nova] is going to help tell the story of how Grumpy became Grumpy,” says executive producer Eddie Kitsis, who describes the hour as “in the vein of a Pixar [movie].”

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As for Emilie de Ravin’s encore as Belle, “She’s got a nice little scene” with Grumpy, continues the EP. “She’s sitting  there [alive], with the person who loves her [Rumpelstiltskin] not realizing it, and he would be someone I would not want to piss off.”

Alas, there’s likely to be more heartache ahead for the beast’s beauty, who will be back “probably more towards the end of the season,” reveals Kitsis.

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Here’s what Kitsis and fellow showrunner Adam Horowitz had to say about Once‘s other big mysteries, during a recent Q&A:

WHO IS THE STRANGER? AND WHAT HE’S DOING WITH THE BOOK? | Not surprisingly, the answers to these two questions are deeply interconnected. When the consequences of August’s tampering with the book (and him getting it back to Henry) are revealed in a later episode, “it will inform who [he] is,” teases Kitsis. “Those pages are his story, you’d say.” Adds Horowitz: “What we saw August doing in that episode … is the first step in peeling back the onion on who this guy is and what his agenda in Storybrooke is. August’s goal is a very specific goal.” But if you think the handsome mystery man is the author of said book, you might want to guess again. “Who wrote it… will probably be something more for Season 2,” reveals Kitsis.

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WILL MARY MARGARET AND DAVID EVER GET TOGETHER? | The Evil Queen’s curse that is keeping them apart, one way or another, is no easy-to-break spell, and as such it will “definitely test them,” says Kitsis. And Kathryn’s vanishing, an arc that will run through several episodes, will only add complications. Horowitz, however, promises that the writers are “building to something this season with [Mary and David] that we’re excited to share with you.”

WHO’S COMING BACK? | All you Sheriff Graham lovers, brace yourselves: A possible encore by Jamie Dornan is up in the air. The producers would absolutely like to have the actor back, but “it is a scheduling thing that is beyond our control,” Kitsis explains. “Right now, we are trying to move Heaven and Earth to hopefully make it happen.” One return TVLine previously scooped is David Anders as Dr. Whale, on March 11. However, “the reveal of who he is [in fairytale land] will not be this season.”

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WHO IS HENRY’S FATHER? | That’s another question that won’t be answered until “further down the line” even though the EPs know who he is and “have a very specific plan for that character.” Could he be someone we’ve already seen on the show? While they wouldn’t they wouldn’t confirm or deny the speculation, Horowitz did offer this: “If we do it right, it’s an a-ha moment.”

WHAT IS THE EVIL QUEEN’S BEEF WITH SNOW? | “She just owes her money,” jokes Kitsis. But in all seriousness, keep an eye out for Episode 18, to air in April, because that’s when “you’ll find out why the Evil Queen hates Snow White so much.”

What do you think The Stranger is up to with the book? Any guesses on the identity of Henry’s MIA dad?


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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98 Comments
  1. Jason says:

    Does anyone know if the Mermaid that Price Charming stabbed was actually Ariel from the Little Mermaid?

  2. ggny says:

    the stranger dude is boring…they really messed up killing off Graham and bringing in that guy

    • jane says:

      I agree 100%

    • Dane says:

      The stranger just irritates me.
      I think Henry’s father is Rumplestiltskin’s son..

    • Kel says:

      I don’t see it as trading one for another. Graham clearly had his place and showing Regina’s hold over him (and his life in the real world) was a defining point for the story.
      I am of the mind that no one is really every gone. The format through which the story is being told leaves for anyone to come back, albeit in the fairy tale world.
      Think about it this way. Even the laws of the real world bend to Regina’s magic and Rumples. That being said, almost anything is possible.

  3. xav says:

    My big question is when they’re going to make Emma less of a bumbling moron. Breaking and entering, stealing, mistaking an obvious playground design for a mansion, Emma needs to actually use some logic and show herself to be a real hero.

  4. YowzaPowza says:

    And yet again, an interview in which nobody asks the main question of this entire series: are they ever going to return to the fairytale world? For me, this is the main element of the show I’ve been waiting for. Not necessarily to go back soon, but the possibility of going back at some point down the road really opens this series up. Why has nobody ever asked this yet?

    • sara says:

      Why would they answer the main premise of the show? There are already so many foregone conclusions on the show, like Snow and Charming living happily ever after that to answer that question would take every bit of mystery out. But I’m pretty sure they’ve been asked that a lot and either avoided it or said it wasn’t that simple.

      • YowzaPowza says:

        They should answer it because there has been nothing at all in the series about whether or not they’ll ever return to fairytale world, so it makes it seem like it’s not even on their radar. All they need to do is acknowledge that it’s a possibility. Just have one character pose the question of whether or not they can go back there. It’s just a little disappointing is all. They could make the audience realize the possibility of this fantastical over arching story, instead they’re just continuing with flashback after flashback. I love the show, but it would be leaps and bounds better if they could just start to bring in the question of possibly going back at some point.

        • billie says:

          I remember them showing a glimpse of the fairytale world below present day storybrooke. Its obviously around just hidden because of that curse. It was the very end of episode after Henry was rescued from the mine. And that glass piece showing up in storybrooke? I bet, thats some kind of foreshadowing of possibly ftw merging with storybrooke or a quake opening the ground for ftw to emerge. These two events are all in same episode.

    • April says:

      That’s like wanting them to answer the question of when the LOST characters would be rescued IN THE FIRST SEASON. Not knowing if or when the characters will return to Fairytale world and who will or won’t join them when it happens is a reason I keep turning in each week. Also, he may be a SOB but I love the character of Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin. Hope he is reunited with Belle in the end.

    • Kel says:

      Because going back means the end of the curse and the end of the real world.
      Could that rule be bent? That remains to be seen.

  5. Soccer says:

    I want David and Mary Margaret to get together to break the curse. But that’s the only reason. He is a coward and an a$$. She’s a bit of an idiot, too. It’s getting harder and harder to like either one of them as the show progresses. That said, I would just love for someone (anyone) to punch Regina in her smug face. Just once. I can’t stand her. I know that’s the whole point, but man, is she becoming irritating.

  6. Adam says:

    It wasnt Ariel. I think it was supposed to be the Lady in the Lake from the knights of the round table/King Arthur/Merlin stories

  7. John Grose says:

    What the hell are they going to do in season two (assuming the show gets one)? At the rate we’re going, are they going to need an American Horror Story style reboot? Are they really going to keep putting off lifting the main curse for five or six seasons? – John

  8. Ross says:

    The show has definitely lost some of it’s zing since to “much too early” demise of Sheriff Graham. He was one of the few characters on the show that exhibited the romantic flair I associate with fairy tale heroes. There is a ho-hum blandness that has taken over, especially in present day Storybrooke. Also, if the producers plan on pairing Emma with the Stranger, I think they’re way off base – no chemistry there.

    • Lily says:

      LOL Graham is gone and I’m really good with that, actually I’ve forgotten him so… The show is good with or without him, it’s not a huge loss for the show and BTW the stranger has much more chem with Emma than Graham

    • Autumn says:

      Ross- I agree with you completely. The show really feels empty without Graham and I could care less about August. He really does have no chemistry with Emma (thus far). Everyone I know loves him so I hope they don’t listen to fans like you Lily.

      • dk says:

        The only one that has chemistry with Emma so far is Regina, but… as much as that’d be interesting. (And make fairy tale sense. Break the curse when the daughter of the reason that they’re all in Storybrooke falls in love with the one that cursed them all there…)
        But, this is network TV in the land of the fear mongering homophobes, so…. the storyline that makes sense is unfortunately never going to happen. *Sigh* what can ya do I guess.

        • an says:

          That would not make sense whatsoever, and has nothing to do with these fairytales…. that isn’t homophobia, which is obviously what you are searching for, but just normal common sense. Probably the worst idea I have seen on here yet.

          • Kel says:

            Well, I disagree that it is the worst idea presented, but I don’t think it would work. I do love the dynamic between the two of them and there have been a few fun “subtext-y” moments, which I can enjoy. But there is no way they would go that route. Nor should they. I don’t think it would be true to either one’s character, from what we have seen so far.
            I have a different problem with Emma, however. She ONLY seems to have chemistry with Regina now that Graham is gone. I find myself losing interest in her and her story. I don’t think the writers have given her enough meat in her back story. We need to have some more hints about Henry’s father to care.
            By contrast, my favorite character is Regina and I am almost at the point where I like her more than the “good guys.” Lana has done a nice job creating depth in her portrayal as well.

        • Lisa says:

          I agree in a way concerning the chemistry thing. Jennifer Morrison and Lana Parrilla definitely have some of the most “passionate” chemistry so far. Emma has nice chemistry with Mary Margaret and Henry and we’ve only seen little of her so far, but I do see the potential for chemistry between Emma and Ruby too. But Emma and Regina have some of the most fun chemistry because it’s so flaring, explosive and you can see the actresses and the writers have a lot of fun with their dynamic. It’s one of the best things about the show for me, to be quite honest.

          • Katie says:

            I agree, Emma and Regina have a great chemistry, I think she have chemistry with Mr Gold too.
            I love:
            Emma-Regina
            Emma-Mr Gold
            Evil Queen\Regina-Rumpelstiltskin\Mr gold.
            These pairssparks!

    • Lisa says:

      Graham is actually one of the few characters I didn’t care about at all. I didn’t mind having him around, but it didn’t bother me in the slightest when he was killed off either. Heck, I had more of an reaction to the Archie death scare in “That Still Small Voice”. Jamie D. brought the pretty and that’s nice, but there wasn’t more to Graham than that. They’re welcome to give the Huntsman a bit more of an edge in future Enchanted Forest flashbacks though.

  9. Amanda says:

    YAY!! My fingers and toes are crossed for the return of the Sheriff. I still don’t know why they had to kill him off so quickly.

  10. Angel says:

    “his story”? So he’s a ft character? But actually I think that maybe August could be Henry’s dad, Jared and Eion are similar (except for the eyes), and Jennifer has said in January that Eion’s character could be connected to Emma, it’s maybe that?
    And Unfortunately I don’t think MM and David will be reunited anytime soon

    • Jessica says:

      Why would Emma have no idea who August was if he was Henry’s dad? Even if they just pretended not to know each other in public to avoid suspicion, they wouldn’t continue pretending when they were by themselves. I hope you’re right about August somehow being connected to Emma and/or Henry, though.

  11. Stein says:

    Did I miss this, but what happened to Rumplestiltskin’s son? Could he be the stranger or Henry’s father?

    • Angel says:

      I’m thinking the same thing when I read this, Rumple’s son or maybe Henry’s dad

    • Jessica says:

      His son ran away. In “Skin Deep” when Rumpy was talking to Belle he said that he lost his son how he lost his wife, which if I recall was because she ran away. So that’s definitely possible.

    • Lisa says:

      I think the problem with that theory is the timeline. We know Rumple has been the Dark One for Ages. Even if he did find a way to get his son into the real world, his son would have to be much, much older than August by now.

    • Stein says:

      But was the Darkness of Ages Rumple or the mantle that belonged to the creature he stole the powers from?

  12. cj says:

    here’s a stretch – the stranger is prince charming’s twin brother who was killed in fairy tale land, but somehow regina brought him back in the real world to prevent people from breaking the curse. he was messing with pages about prince charming so if the above quote is taken literally, then the stranger is somehow connected to charming.

  13. Sami H says:

    August is Pinnochio. He was carved of an enchanted tree so was her wardrobe. That’s the connection.

  14. Perry p says:

    Omg!!!yay!Graham! Allright…. I have 2 theories. Remember Regina said she loved someone? I think she loved either rumpy( somehow) or pc’s twin that died

    • Kel says:

      They have made a point of calling the one she lost “loved one” without really providing further clues. This could be man, woman, or beast. But whatever it was, she blames Snow for its loss and Snow seems to know that she is somehow responsible for that.
      I am thinking whomever/whatever this “loved one” might have been, it is somehow connected to the apple tree she has tended since childhood. (Either that or the tree is connected to her mother). She tended the tree in the Fairy Tale world when she was married to King Leopold. How long has that tree been a part of her life? It was also the first thing Emma attacked to send a message to Regina.

  15. grace says:

    is there no ask ausiello tonight…?

  16. Spencer says:

    I thought Graham was already revealed to be the Hunstman from Snow White?

    • Jessica says:

      You’re right. Maybe he’s something else too? Perhaps he’s a different fairytale character that eventually became a huntsman? I read somewhere that originally he was meant to be Robin Hood, but they were unable to get the rights for the character or something. Anything seems pretty possible with this show.

  17. fotreya says:

    I need more Snow&Charming and Mary&David, the best of the show.
    Or Emma&Daddy&Mommy scenes, the royal familie.
    THE BEST

  18. April says:

    Since Henry has read the fairy-tale book a hundred times by now I am sure it will take no time for him to realize that it’s been altered. I thought maybe August would turn out to be a Grimm, but now I’m not so sure. BTW, I am looking forward to seeing how his character develops. I also think he and Emma have great chemistry.

  19. Hannah says:

    I’ve seen some theories that August is an adult Henry. They do look very similar.

  20. Patti says:

    I know Emilie de Ravin has a pilot but since it’s for abc I hope we see Belle next season alive. I really liked her as Belle and love her chemistry with Rumpel/Mr.Gold.

  21. Nicole says:

    They need to bring back Graham in any capacity, the show hasn’t been the same since he was killed. I really hope they can make this happen

  22. austen. says:

    Killing Graham killed this show for me.

  23. Mistyk says:

    A Rumpel/ Gold connection to Henry would be awesome. As for August te best hint if found is the horn on his necklace. All I keep thinking is the ‘boy’ who cried wolf. I’m surprised also that Graham isn’t going to be in the red riding hood episode. Also on the point of will the ever return: I think it be great to see the characters realize that who they are in the modern world. I mean can you imagine how border pc and Sw would be with no real battles to fight other then to have to pretend that they are normal.

  24. eli says:

    BRING BACK CINDERELLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. thing says:

    MORE BELLE & RUMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Aiden says:

    Jamie Dornan returning (even for a brief stint) would be the best news for ONCE. I still love the show but I must admit that I lost a bit of interest when Sheriff Graham died. It’s still a great show but it just worries me that they’ll just kill beloved characters for no reason at all. If there’s anything that’s most irritating about TV shows, it’s when they don’t respect the characters and write in twists just for shock value.

    • Sam A says:

      I completely agree!! its sucks that they had to kill of Graham! he was great! i really hope he comes back…the show will be interesting once again!!

  27. Jess says:

    Yay Belle’s back!
    Just give me more Rump/Gold/Belle and I’ll be happy.
    Looking forward to the Hatter episode.

  28. an says:

    maybe it wasn’t charming but the prince from sleeping beauty? maybe that is where he is from?

  29. OUAT Fan says:

    Could the stranger be a future Henry?

  30. Spik3 says:

    I really hope we get to see more of Emma Caufield!!!

  31. Lisa says:

    I think we do know a bit more about what’s been going on between the Queen and Snow White. The show has been dropping hints since episode 2 and it seems like the puzzle is slowly coming to together. It’s still one of the episodes I’m most excited about this season. In a way this is the foundation of the show. If Regina had gotten her “happily ever after”, like basically everyone else in the Enchanted Forest, there would be no curse. This really has to be well done. I’m confident the writers are aware of this though and Lana Parrilla and Ginnifer Goodwin will knock it out of the park with their acting.

  32. Cari says:

    A few people have mentioned maybe August could be a future Henry. Um UCK… if he were a future Henry then that would mean he’s been KNOWINGLY flirting with his MOTHER. Again… UCK.
    Love that Jamie may be back!!
    As for the poster who asked why the question hasn’t been asked about if they will ever get back to fairytale world .. maybe because only two characters actually know who they really are (Regina and Mr. Gold). Everyone else is under the curse and believes the “backstory”. They have no reason to ask that question.

    • Kel says:

      Oh, good point and yes, UCK. I had forgotten the flirting. I guess I blocked it from my mind, as I saw no real connection/chemistry with Emma.

  33. lauren says:

    just seeing the picture of the huntsman makes me happy. i miss him so.

  34. Kelly says:

    Robert Carlyle and Emilie de Ravin have phenomenal chemistry. In one episode, they added so much chemistry,heart,sweetness and angst. I hope Belle stays alive and the show continues the slow Rumpel&Belle build for many more seasons.

  35. Patty says:

    I really wish that the characters in Storybrook were more similar than those in the Fairy tale world, I mean, Regina is obviusly very similar wih the Evil Queen, but Mary Margaret is nothing like the brave Snowhite, also Prince Charming was willing to fight for Snow, but David is such a coward, it actually seems like the real world, that men are such cowards and we expect the to be such princes.
    I´m also very curious if it is true that any curse can be broken by true love´s kiss, I think that when we find Emma´s true love, it will be the trigger.. just thinking…

    • Jessica says:

      I like the idea that Emma’s true love’s kiss will be what does it.
      As for the characters not being like their fairytale characters, I agree. I love Prince Charming, but cannot stand David because of how much of a jerk and coward he is. I can’t explain that difference. As for Snow White the difference makes a little more sense. When we see Snow White under her father’s care, we see her as a much sweeter and kinder woman, very similar to Mary Margaret. Once her father has died and all this other dark stuff happens to her (such as almost being murdered), it seems to have hardened her and made her into a much stronger person. I think once Mary Margaret faces certain hardships she will start being as powerful as Snow White.

      • alittlered says:

        I think that’s part of the curse. Most everyone’s personalities are altered. Mary Margaret is even-tempered and soft-spoken. David is cowardly. Ruby is wild and rebellious (I speculate RRH will be a lot more respectful to her grandmother). Archie, for a while, strayed from his conscious. So on and so forth.

  36. bkwrm says:

    @YowzaPowza
    They don’t need to answer that question because the answer is obvious. You are over thinking it. These are fairy tale charecters. They don’t belong in the real world. The are only there because of the curse. Once it is broken, they will go back to their normal lives. Which is in fairy tale land.

  37. Blackbird says:

    All I want from this show is good writing for their central female characters: Snow White/Mary Margaret, Evil Queen/Regina and Emma. I don’t care much for the men. Rumple is great but not sure I’m feeling this Beast/Beauty thing. Charming is a flat character in both worlds. And Graham and this August guy are completely interchangeable forced love interests for Emma. I don’t care about either one of them. Give me Snow White and Evil Queen backstory, Evil Queen/Regina character exploration, character development and backstory for Emma and I’m a happy camper.

  38. TVDIVA says:

    August Booth is representing the real life man who worked with the Grimms on restoring their books. My questions are about what is he doing in Storybrooke. Is he restoring the pages Henry took out? Did Regina also mess with the book? Has the book changed because Emma showed up on Storybrooke? Is he adding missing stories? I am really enjoying Once Upon a Time more so than Grimm. Grimm is just a police procedural with a monster of the week. Maybe Grimm will get more into their actual Grimm mythology in the remaining episodes for this season.

  39. mailene says:

    A siren is a mermaid
    Maybe you all should look it up
    And that was not Ariel but they should fit her into the story love this show

  40. GG says:

    I like that idea!! Would def be cool :)

  41. buffyfan says:

    Amen, Spik3!!! She would have made an awesome addition to this cast, especially considering her performance of Anya on Buffy, which was spectacular!

  42. Carlynn says:

    I read that Ariel is going to be on Season 2.

  43. Carlynn says:

    I like the idea of him being Rumple’s son, then Henry would be his grandson and he might soften up. He loved his son a lot before the change.