Wicked Once Upon a Time Scoop: Rebecca Mader to Return as Zelena

Once Upon a Time Wicked Witch Returns

Something wicked (again) this way comes.

Rebecca Mader is back on set this week at ABC’s Once Upon a Time, to reprise her role as Zelena AKA the Wicked Witch of the West, TVLine has learned.

No details are available about Mader’s return, except that she will appear in flashbacks at some point during the second half of Season 4.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time resumes Season 4 on Sunday, March 1.

What do you think brings Zelena back for this flashback encore?

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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  1. thisismenow says:

    I’m glad she is returning. I loved her character.

  2. abz says:

    Yay! Loved her and her arc on the show. Always hoped she wouldn’t have been killed off as I kind of wish they would end the trend of neatly wrapping up the arcs with the villain dying in the end. It’d be nice to have seen something different for a change (especially with Ingrid). Still glad to see her in flashbacks though.

    • jj says:

      I assume the writers saw Ingrid’s end as being something different because she sacrificed herself and ‘redeemed’ herself unlike Zelena or Pan. But I agree, they wrap up these arcs too neatly

      • abz says:

        Oh yeah, not saying the ending didn’t work or anything just saying it’s become a trend that they have the opportunity to really deviate from especially given the fact that they have three villains this time around. Obviously the Queens of Darkness will be defeated somehow, but it’ll be really predictable and lame if all of them end up dying or killed off. Anyway, still looking forward to 4B. One month!! :)

      • Vari says:

        Pan wasnt even meant to be redeemable. He was out and out evil.
        Zelena was just coming to her senses as also being defeated until Rumple killed and covered it up like he does most things.
        Ingrid did atone but she will was causing trouble for them and still in cahoots with Rumple (both wanted to take SB down)

        • K says:

          Zelena wasn’t coming to her senses; she was defeated. Unlike Ingrid, she had no change of heart. And where do you get the idea that Rumple wanted “to take SB down”? He specifically told Hook that SB would be in no danger from him, unlike the rest of the world (SNORT).

          • zumpie says:

            Actually, it was made very clear Zelena, now stripped of power, did regret her actions and was coming to her senses (and defenseless when cowardly Rumple killed her). Likewise, he agreed to not harm SB AFTER Ingrid’s curse was lifted, it was Hook’s dying wish. Prior to that, he was quite excited for everyone to kill each other, even though he could’ve at least tried to help save them (and it was widely hinted, he could’ve) He merely planned on taking a memory wiped Belle and Henry away. Oh and hatted the fairies to ensure no protection spell could be created.

            He was NOT the good guy in any of this.

        • Gerry says:

          who is SB that you’re referring to?

  3. StephonJS says:

    YAY! I’m excited!

  4. brandydanforth81 says:


  5. Lisa says:

    Hmmmm, What do I think brings her back? She’s a great actress that did a bang up job? They finally decided that spinning her off into an Oz based show is a good idea, like I’ve suggested? Am I close?

    • Tom says:

      I would LOVE OUAT in Oz. Now that ABC has seen success with the concept that TPTB at OUAT created (ie a bridge show for the hiatus) with Agent Carter, I would love to see them do one-off seasons in different lands. Oz is the perfect place to start.

      • After the ratings disaster that was OUAT:Wonderland, I don’t see them trying it again

        • abz says:

          I think they should try it again. I remember an article here where the ABC boss took the blame for deviating from the original plan of having Wonderland bridging the gap between the half seasons of the main show and putting it on Thursday where it was up against so much already established competition. Maybe it’ll do better replacing OUAT on Sundays during the long break.

        • brandydanforth81 says:

          Paul Lee,head of ANC,said another spinoff was possible

      • abz says:

        They’ve already done a one-off season before with Wonderland. It was pretty good over the season. I do hope they do some more in the future in different lands.
        Oh and speaking of Wonderland, they really need to give some detail on the main show about what happened to Anastasia now that Will Scarlett is in Storybrooke.

        • Katherine215 says:

          And it better not be anything bad, because they got their happy endings!! Though I’m thinking it probably is since Will looks so sad all the time. :(

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Shell back in flashbacks

  6. Vari says:

    Maybe everyone will find out NOW that Rumple KILLED her and he covered and it up like he always does so no one finds out like he has done all them time. Pretending he doesnt know anything – coward
    Selfish Rumple. i wonder what Regina will do.

    I guess she is only back for flashbacks

    • elsa says:

      I love Bex and Zelena was a great Character.
      She held Rumple as a Slave for a Year and is responcible for the death of his child…….no wonder that he killed her. I guess i would do the same

      • Vari says:

        I’m sure. But its not worth much if you have selfishly covered up is it? which he did. And Rumple has done mega crap to others and devastated an entire population so whatever he gets is deserving even now especially what he was going to do recently. Nearly killed Emma and didnt care, enslaved Hook and nearly killed him. Knew Anna, Elsa and Snow Queen but didnt let on to anyone he knew them whilst all of them were trying to save storybrooke. And well Belle, she was reduced to some sleeping form and also was planning to kidnap Henry from his mothers and also didnt give a care about the ppl and storybrooke – wasnt it what he wanted world domination and power from ppl and then just really killed them or stuff them in a hat.And then covered that up. Its what he has been doing all the way through

        • Tom says:

          Right. I don’t get why people always jump to Rumple’s defense when all he’s done is destroy the lives of everyone close to him in an effort to get people to love and respect him. His arc makes no sense and continues to make no sense. That and he has zero chemistry with Belle.

          • Vari says:

            I dont mind ppl liking Rumple as a character in narrative, but he isnt suppose to be liked imo as a character your watching and he destroys others but its some ppl who overlook his evil acts even just recently when it was shown and said he loves power – he wants it – doesnt give a crap about anyone (the only reason Belle counts because he does the act and then covers it by thinking Belle wont find out) Rumple hasnt STOPPED. I get it how he become dark one and who his dad was but that does justify his most acts of EVIL when he did evil things for selfish reasons because he could and power and is even is even made aware on the show – why he did and laughed about it his dark one disguise to control and manipulate everyone. I dont understand ppl going Poor Rumple and so on at times esp even now. Still hasnt learnt. He is a liabiltiy and dangerous to Storybrooke esp who he is bringing back – 3 new evil queens of darkness. Like Anna said – he uses ppl as weapons and love as a weapon.

          • Stormy says:

            Here’s my take on Rumple: He IS the show. Like him or not, without him the show collapses. He’s the one true actor’s actor in the cast. Generating love for a character who is despicable is no easy thing. As for chemistry with Belle, I lay that at Emilie’s feet. She has zero sex appeal or mystique and IMO isn’t even marginally attractive.

      • zumpie says:

        Yeah and Rumple manipulated the dark curse ruining all SB’s lives for decades (and essentially enslaving them) just to play daddy again. And murdered countless people for miniscule reasons. Ohhhh…and most recently was happy to let everyone kill each other.

        As for Bagel’s death, nope, that was his own stupidity. He was even told it was a trap, but he went right ahead. Additionally, Neal’s death was Rumple’s price to pay for casting the dark curse. That they both (yet again) made a super stupid choice isn’t really Zelena’s fault.

  7. Ginger Snap says:

    Love it!

  8. Andi says:

    And there goes my last shred of hope (granted there wasn’t much left) that 4b will be any good. The writers just make the same mistakes over and over agin, way too many characters and guest stars, too much focus on plot while the core cast and secondary characters suffer from lack of space and screentime and being written ooc to make the plot work.
    Zelena was a terrible character in all aspects, nevermind all the bad retconning they did to fit her into Rumple’s and Regina’s history, same as with young Cora. This show deserved the 1.7 ratings for the finale.

    • Larry says:

      Speak for yourself she’s more or less a fan favorite. Plus besides cruella, and whoever Patrick Fischer will play, 4b seems to be the return of many long lost characters , and recurring guest stars that had a good history with the main characters. That and spuds more like returning to the main cast really.

      Besides zelena is important to rumple past, after all he was her slave, and part of the reason he changed so much

      • Andi says:

        Cora and Peter Pan are fan favorites, Zelena is not. Rebecca Mader is popular with fans because she interacts a lot with the fanbase on Twitter and at cons.

        • Kara says:

          Imagine if Horowitz and Kitsis spent time plotting character arcs for the main cast instead of bending over backwards to create a plot situation which would allow the incorporation of more Zelena. I’m pretty sure we saw every possible whiny lament that could come out of that wicked waste of time.

      • Cat7 says:

        Dude, you speak for yourself. Most of the fandom try to actively ignore the Titanic sized plot holes that entire arc created (So Snow’s dad was going to originally marry Cora, but thats never spoken of again? He makes no recognition of her at all?; Snow White is suddenly “pure of heart despite having a large black spot which was literally defined as being “impure of heart” previously?; etc.)

        That is the worst arc, the worst character and the absolute WORST actress (seriously she made bad dialogue WORSE by over-the-top, horrible acting). This really makes me sad for 4B. 4A had ended so well too.

        Don’t take people’s silence as agreement.

        • Kirstylou92 says:

          Bitter much?

        • Katherine215 says:

          So should everyone comment here to say she was a favorite of theirs? Ok. She was a favorite of mine.

        • meresger says:

          Are you defending the fandom by saying they ignore massive plotholes? hat makes it sound like you are unintentionally insulting the intelligence of the fandom. Not that they don’t deserve it if the apologists are dumbing themselves down to excuse bad writing. How good a show is, IMO, is inversely proportional to the size of its plotholes. If you have so many that are so big that even people who will excuse everything think they are Titantic sized, that means the show is not very good anymore. At this point, fans are either watching for bad CGI action and sexytime with the terribly-written ships they love just for sex appeal or they are hate watching to see how many recycled plot points and plot holes the writers will use after saying they won’t use them. It’ll probably be all of them, no matter what Adam and Eddy say to the contrary. Three and a half seasons in, and they are consistent only with their broken promises to not rehash the same storylines. (Zelena was the absolute worst character. She was like a three year old throwing a tantrum for 10 episodes. The character was just an excuse to have time travel to retcon Snowing’s wonderful meeting and turn the show into Once Upon A Captain Swan Terrible Princess Bride Knock-Off while the casting was clearly just an excuse to use another Lost actor, not someone who was believable as Cora’s daughter. I assume the flashbacks will Rumple’s slave time or nightmares or some crap that will be more torturous to viewers than Rumple.)

          • abz says:

            Don’t you get tired of trying to bring this show down post after post?
            Really? The only possible reasons you can think of as to why people continue to watch are hate watching, bad CGI action, and sexy ships?
            Since you, meresger, have declared it to be bad writing, everyone else who still enjoys the show must obviously be dumbing themselves down. You really need to get over yourself.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I have no idea what this could mean but it’s the best news about Once I’ve heard in a long time. I would have preferred for them to find a way to bring her to the present so they could explore the relationship between Regina and Zelena so I hope they’ll at least get a scene together. If it has to be a fairy tale flashback my wish would be to have Barbara back as Cora but I won’t hold my breath.

  10. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    As long as she appears in flashbacks……I never really liked the character anyways.

  11. I hate Zelena so much, ugh I hate this nes.. UNLESS it has to do with Gold and Rumbelle. Maybe Gold breaks down to Belle about what happened? In a way, I guess I’m glad to see her back VERY temporarily. Her fate has to be addressed- people, BELLE, have to find out what happened. This, then, IMO, should lead to a Rumbelle discussion where Gold admits he killed her, where he says he never promised not to, and where he honestly tells Belle that he was devastated that she even asked him to promse not to go after her AFTER she killed his son and abused/imprisoned him. If it happens this way, I’d be thrilled! If it’s for anything other than to do with this…then URGH

    • Vari says:

      Well if he ever chooses Belle – let me know lol over his power, magic and amongst other things he plans to do.
      Rumple has killed many ppl and so on also and that cruelly. didnt really give a crap about anyone did he as usual.

  12. mikevaandering97 says:

    I’m a fan of the show, but I don’t like the 11-episode thingy anymore. Much of the same.

  13. Toni says:

    I hate Zelena. Ugh. I’m glad it’s only flashbacks. (I don’t mind Rebecca though. Just, fyi.)

  14. Dominique says:

    i MUCH rather would’ve had Pan return. Robbie Kay is a gem and they didn’t give him enough. The Wicked Witch was terrible.


      • Leisa says:

        No, not the only person to agree. Let us just say that I much preferred Pan over Wicked Witch. I felt I might pull out my hair if she said “wicked” one more time. Loved Ingrid. Eluzabeth Mitchell brought such an elegance to her.

    • On the contrary. According to Robbie, he enjoyed portraying as Pan. He was a very good.. villian. But personally I prefer is it came back as an untrusted semi hero. Peter Pan’s character was very stragetic, not to mention kind of cute, mischievious, and he knows how to play on a good game. It would be very interesting and intriguing to see what reactions we would get. I get how Zelena is Regina’s sister and all, but Peter Pan is Henry’s great grandfather. I mean, he wouldn’t be so bad if he just.. didn’t want to hurt so terribly. Plus I’m pretty sure the fandom would love it, and I mean love it I myself is a part of the OUAT Fandom and pandom. But overall I would prefer Pan over the Wicked Witch. all of you be pretty cool if they both came back, preferably together or separate but either way I want them to make appearances at least in flashbacks like in a Curious Thing. (brief flashback of Peter Pan and Henry jumping off with the pixie dust) Robbie Kay portrayed pan pretty well, for a young persona of Malcom. personally I think, and it was a phenomenon in my opinion, to watch and see. Honestly there goes again, but I absolutely adore Robbie magnificent glorious performance. Overall! Peter Pan is by far and yet my most favorite villain on once upon a time portrayed so far in season 3 and below and far to come.

  15. Zack says:

    I liked rumple until he went dark and got rid of some of my fave characters the fairies all because they would and could destroy him if they got the chance, wish they could bring back the huntsman and baelfire

    • Vari says:

      Both dead.
      Baelfire was a plot device. Didnt do anything. MRJ was so wrong for the role. Glad he is gone.

      • Katie says:

        Disagree. MRJ was perfect and Bae was a gem. I’ve always believed they’ll bring him back though. He’s Gold’s true happy ending.

        • abz says:

          Young Bae was a gem but I disagree and don’t think MRJ was perfect. I think he was completely miscast in the part and most of his performance seemed lazy and phoned in as if he wasn’t all that into the role in the first place..

          • Leisa says:

            Loved the young actor who played Bae. I just never connected the young Bae with the adult Bae. I could never accept how the young Bae who was such a moral center against his father became a thuggy thief. Bae was a hero who sacrificed himself to save the Darlings, but becomes a convenience store petty thief.

      • meresger says:

        MRJ was not bad in the role. He was great in Tallahassee and Manhattan, but badly written when they decided he was to be reduced to background plot device so CS could happen. OUAT has a very bizarre family message now in which all fathers but Charming are evil, drunk, abusive, adulterers, massive cowards, dead, or all of the above. I mean, come on, even Charming’s dad turned out to be an alcoholic jerk who abandoned his kid? That was completely unnecessary! And now Neal is dead, but Henry doesn’t seem to even care that he had a father and none of the characters seem to care that Rumple lost his son and was enslaved for a year. It’s like the writers are using the show to work through their personal issues that translate to fathers being useless/wishy-washy/uncaring, which is really troubling!

        • abz says:

          These characters aren’t exactly modern. Some fathers are exactly how the show has depicted them and many aren’t. They were part of kingdoms with royals and kings and princes and princesses and had many older ideals and lived in an enchanted forest. I don’t find it a stretch that Charming’s father was a drunk or Rumple being a coward, or Pan (Rumple’s father) being a deadbeat too. And it’s not like they’ve only shown this with fathers. Cora was a horrible mother to Regina and so was Regina to Henry at the beginning of the show.
          Also with regards to characters caring about Rumple losing his son, I think they do care and they’ve shown it to Emma and maybe Rumple (off screen?), but Rumple isn’t always the easiest person to feel sympathy for. So while they grieved for Neal because they knew him via Emma, Rumple is still a man in their lives who’s made their lives so much harder both past and present whether they are aware or not. If I knew, I’d feel bad he lost his son, but I probably wouldn’t completely go out of my way to care for him after all the terrible things he’s done and continues to do.

  16. Quen says:

    This is fantastic news! I loved her as Zelena and always thought they killed her off way too quickly. Too bad she’s only in flashbacks. But all around, with all the news coming in, 4B sounds fantastic and I’m already three times as excited for the show’s return and new episodes as I was during 4a. Sorry, really wasn’t a fan of that half-season.

  17. Luis says:

    Loved her – wish they would resurrect her!

  18. Dave says:

    I really hope that in The last season they will be able to take back All the villans for the ultimate battle

  19. Keli says:

    Urg please no. Zelena was an obnoxious, shrill, useless character who’s whole arc failed on every front. Skipping the episode she will be back in.

  20. Shuichi says:


  21. Shuichi says:

    I want Pan back..he was great and Robbie Kay is a great actor..plus they left a lot out of Pan’s story..like his child hood..evil isn’t born but made…how Hook worked for Pan?..why Felix was so layal?..to much unsaid writers…please bring Pan back and explain more…its not fair… lol. Plus Pan drew people in..he was entrancing and alluring evil though he was bad..just love him and in the original Peter Pan..Pan was a little devil.. so please bring Pan back… :)

  22. Sheila says:


  23. christine says:

    Am I the only one who has noticed that in the first season of once upon a time Emma killed Maleficent. I’m wondering how they would have brought her back.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      It will be explained.

    • abz says:

      Regina placed a curse on Maleficent that prevents her from dying and preserves her in whatever physical form she’s in at the time. That’s why even after Emma slayed her dragon form, she was still alive in Zombie (wraith?) form. As to how she managed to return back to her human form, like Matt said, that will be explained. I think maybe it could possibly have to with when Regina undid Pan’s curse and created the new curse during last season.

    • Leisa says:

      Wasn’t Malificent down under the library when Regina and Hook were down there towards the end of season 2? What should be interesting is how she and the other two Q of D got out of Storybrooke. Malificent, alive in some form, would have been sent ack to EF when Regia broke Pan’s curse. Now how the three villainesses got to our world shoukd be interesting.

  24. Bryan Jeung says:

    If Zelena is returning this season, I really hope they bring back Peter Pan. Both of them were really great villains and it’d be cool if they met and formed some sort of evil duo. Maybe they’ll even bring back Cora, and then that’d be a really good villain team of Cora, Zelena, and Pan. In any case, its nice to see the Wicked Witch back, there seems to be a recurring theme of witches in Once Upon A Time, Regina was the first introduced, but later they had Maleficent, Cora, Zelena, Ingrid, Cruella, Ursula, and technically Elsa.

  25. Stephanie says:

    Really? Guess the only who won’t get screen time this season will be the original cast…. unbelievable.

  26. Lily says:

    Bring back Robin Hood!!

  27. Daniel Joneikies says:

    Brilliant and Wicked :-) Of course she can return either in flashbacks or in another storyline again, it can be easily done, and I didn’t think she had enough or an arc to begin with. Just scratched the surface with her character. Just don’t bring back that awful actor who played her ‘father’. Really was a slug to the show’s high calibre.

  28. Kevin Simba says:

    i hope she will be a regular, totally loved her acting

  29. Dread Nox says:

    “Something wicked this way comes”? Ain’t this a reference to the Payday 2 OST Song which has the same name?

  30. Jared says:

    I’m so glad Wicked Is Coming!

  31. Sarah says:

    Ugh. I wish Once would quit jumping sharks for a change. I thought we’d get more character and story development among the cast this season. I want more substance to the Captain Swan relationship. I want to see Snow and David enjoy the adventure of a baby in the house. I want to see more development for Regina and Robin. I want more original, unrecycled story telling for Gold and Belle. Instead, this show gets trashed by hoopla focused on gimmicks, rather than substance. It’s really starting to get on my nerves.

  32. OUAT Fan #1 says:

    And what really happened to Glinda? She just kind off disappeared. We never saw her in Storybrooke during Snow’s/Zelena’s curse or anything. Maybe we will find out something there too, even though it may not be this season since Adam and Eddy said that there would be more flashbacks of the missing year, and that it “may not be this season”.

  33. selenaa g says:

    I think that meffinadc be zelena back

  34. Guest says:

    Oh gosh another bad guy to take up more time from our core characters. Shouldn’t the writers at this point start saying “staring big bad #1” “staring big bad#2” ect. And “guest staring Jennifer Morrison” “guest staring Gennifer Goodwin” ect. Sorry for the venting guys but i am so sick and tired of these supporting characters become the main vocal point while the core cast has become the supporting characters. I miss season 1 and 2 :( great cohesive story lines with villians that made sense and were not introduced so abruptly.

  35. Cara says:

    Zelena wasn’t killed, she left herself. In one of the flash backs it was told that only Dorothy could kill/defeat her. I think we will see more of Oz in the future, this story isn’t finished yet.

  36. Rich Abey says:

    Oh goody! I could certainly do with more of Zelena’s delicious over-the-top villainary, especially after that dreary first half of season 4.

  37. andrea pelletier says:

    ok so when I read the title I was a little confused but now that I know it is flashbacks im good lol glad to see her back again though :D

  38. Ingrid Marroquin says:

    The Wicked Witch of the West is a classic villain in children’s literature, and of course on the big screen, and now Broadway, so it’s smart to bring her back as part of the storyline again. That character is essential to the villain as an anti-hero who’s ready to destroy all good in the world. I’m sure the writers will keep her wicked, as always!

  39. Cristal says:

    Probably because she is related to Regina…

  40. Secret says:

    She was amazing but she was in season 3. Not 4. And she might be in flashbacks in season 5 which is what we are on now. Just sayin.

  41. Jking says:

    It like she has 9 lives ! Well 8 lives left right ?

  42. Vivaldi says:

    Serie… you are dead to me… you just died… after seeing Zelena return… all I am thinking to myself is – “Are you high?!” She was the most clichéd and annoying character you ever created… I hated her since her first appearance. The only good thing about her is the actress… and I hope she will appear in a better role than this… because this is one of the worst characters I have ever seen. And you bring her back? Seriously – You are dead to me.

  43. alguém says:

    Seriously, Zelena is the best !!!!!!
    Without this say about Rumple, Pan, Cora or even Regina.
    Good That a in the first season Regina was the best, no doubt, but it was VERY baba egg Henry, then she lost the “majesty”.
     Cora, the manipulative, she was a good TBM character, but she died too soon, he gave so much to talk about the villain, she did great things in Storybrooke, but if she had been, it would be one of the best.
      Pan, he was also manipulative, but not caught my attention, it was strong but how can he lose so foolishly? Not to mention that he acted like an idiot kid, but was older than Rumple.
      Rumple, this was really a character that caused this series, he’s in almost every story, he trained Zelena and Regina, he had a flight with Cora, Pan was his father, had everything to arrazar, but he always loved more power q anything and when he lost, he seemed a frightened kitten when beautiful took his dagger and drove him out of town, he was begging for mercy and blah blah blah.Enfim, in the beginning he was a great villain, even funny but I must admit the cowardice won, and made q dropped the mask of invincible revealing a true coward.
      Now Zelena, okay q it is pressed down, and makes tantrum about it but it proved very powerful, giving a humiliating show the heroes and Regina, and making Rumple his slave. She was very smart to pass for Marian, but she is the best Villain Series.

  44. Kristi says:

    Aw man! I REALLY don’t like Zelena. I was seriously ecstatic when I thought her character wouldn’t be back. Darn it!

  45. Susan Quetta says:

    I really hate the recycling of what is essentially the same plot. Regina, Cora, Ingrid, Zelena, Pan, Rumple. Big super villain comes in and seems in control and about to ruin everything but then is foiled at the last minute by something really easy… But not! So bored with this. With Cruella (who has magic? What?), Malificent and Ursula it was even three super villains working together and that wasn’t enough. They return to Zelena at the same time and in the same season return to CORA? Why not just admit they have no more ideas and end this show? The first season had such interesting characters and an actual storyline and now it’s just boring and repetitive.