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?