Once Upon a Time Midseason Finale Post Mortem: Burning Questions Answered!

1Once_FallFinale_SnowingIS IT FINALLY TIME FOR SNOW AND CHARMING’S HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
Regina, by helping get the girls back, in essence offered an olive branch. Plus, with her mother coming to town, surely she has other, scarier fish to fry, right? “I hope so,” says Josh Dallas. “But with all great epic love stories, there are always obstacles thrown in front of the lovers – particularly with our show.” So as much as the reunited lovebirds may want a breather to assess “what their life is like now,” Dallas hints, “There are some things happening that the Charming family has to deal with. Cora and Hook are showing up, and we have something else happening in Storybrooke that needs our attention.” Hmmm.

2Once_FallFinale_EmGoldWHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THAT EMMA/MR. GOLD CONVO?
Having become aware that Rumplestiltskin knew from before her birth that she was the savior, Emma upon returning to Storybrooke confronted Mr. Gold about keeping secrets – only to realize that she has a surprise to share with him. “It’s a game of chess for her, because if she has the power to not have her heart ripped out by Cora, that makes her pretty powerful,” says Jennifer Morrison. “She doesn’t understand that power, though, and she doesn’t know the rules, but she doesn’t want to ask him for help, so she is in a delicate way trying to figure out how powerful she is in relation to him.”

WHO’S THE SHERIFF?
Now that Emma is back in Storybrooke, expect her dad to hang up his badge. Somewhat. “David always said he was only going to take over until she got back,” Dallas reminds. “Of course, naturally he’s a leader, so maybe we’ll see some father-daughter sheriffing going on. He likes the gun holster, for sure!”

JENNIFER MORRISON, GINNIFER GOODWINHOW DID THE SHOW SEND EMMA TO FAIRYTALE LAND AND NOT ONCE GET HER INTO A PRINCESSY GOWN?!
“Ask Eddy and Adam!” Morrison says, deflecting the question to the show’s creators. “Because I was dying [wearing the same thing for 10 episodes]. I was like, ‘Can’t I lose my leather jacket and pick up someone else’s coat or something?'” Ginnifer Goodwin, similarly, is shedding no tears over shedding Snow’s fuchsia sweater. “We were in springwear. In Vancouver. In the winter,” she marvels. Plus, she points out, “We did visit the castle and my things are still there!” But in all seriousness, Goodwin says there was a good reason why Snow, specifically, stuck with her J. Crew look. “The costume department is actually very unbelievable about fighting tooth-and-nail to keep us warm… but [Horowitz and Kitsis] thought it would be easier for the audience to follow where and when we were – especially with me, since I’m a character you’ve seen in all times and all worlds.”

5Once_FallFinale_CoraHookWHAT SORT OF WELCOME WILL HOOK AND CORA GET IN STORYBROOKE?
When I spoke to Colin O’Donoghue last week, he said that through episodes filmed to date, “Hook hasn’t had a huge interaction with many of the other characters” — possibly because he falls in with the wrong (meaning a righteous) crowd upon setting boot in the Maine burg. “It’s shocking and it’s exciting, and it’s not what you would expect,” Dallas says of Hook’s entrance into Storybrooke society. “He gets thrust into the group, as it were, quite violently!”

HOW DOES ONE SNEAK A VINTAGE PIRATE SHIP PAST THE COAST GUARD, ANYWAY?
Will Cora use fairy dust to transform Hook’s intimidating vessel into a mild-mannered shrimping boat? Will the captain pass himself off as a costumed tourist attraction? “People… don’t see the ship,” O’Donoghue teases. “He is with a very powerful person, after all!”

But wait, I got much more from my long weekend trip to Vancouver, where Once films. If you have other burning questions, leave ’em in comments and I’ll share answers throughout the hiatus. (Once returns in five weeks, on Jan. 6.)