Fall TV Preview
Once Upon a Time Season 6 Spoilers

Once Upon a Time Season 6 Preview: Multiple Saviors, a 'Delicious'-ly Evil Plan, Rumple's 'Bumpy' Ride and More

Having recently explored Camelot and no less than Hell, the heroes of ABC’s Once Upon a Time will spend Season 6 “back home” in Storybrooke — where they just got some uninvited (and perhaps restless) guests.

With the season premiere arriving Sunday at 8/7c, TVLine spoke with series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis about telling Aladdin’s and other “untold “stories, Emma the Savior’s discovery, the Evil Queen’s “delicious” attack plan and so much more. (Yes, excerpts of the following have previously appeared on TVLine.)

TVLINE | First off, what is the theme for Season 6?
EDDY KITSIS | I think that this year, the theme is really about the duality of ourselves.
ADAM HOROWITZ | What we really want to explore is who we are, and what are the conflicting things within ourselves that make us who we are. With the Evil Queen being split, it’s taken to a literal level, as we see the two halves of Regina go at each other. But with each and every one of our characters, we want to have that theme hit in a way where we say, “OK, who are these people? What are the conflicting parts of themselves?” And that goes to one of the cores of the show, which is good and evil and “happy endings” aren’t what they seem in these fairy tales. All of our villains have good in them. And all of our heroes have villainous tendencies in them. We wanted do in a season where we’re back in Storybrooke and take that as an opportunity to dig into each one of our characters and explore what makes them tick. Can you correct these mistakes inside of you, or are they a part of you? Can you really take evil out of you? Or is it more complicated than that?

TVLINE | For your purposes, what is an Untold Story?
KITSIS | It is a story that has yet to play out. You’re going to see that a lot of people went to the Land of Untold Stories because they wanted to literally push “pause,” like they were watching their own life in TiVo. And whereas when the Dark Curse paused you, you had no choice, these are people who chose it for different reasons — out of fear, out of not wanting to face something. We want to explore the idea of: Does the story continue on, or does it have that ending point?
HOROWITZ | In Season 1, much of it was about these stories we knew that ended in a certain way, and what happened after. This is a slight tweak on that idea, which is: What happens to some of these stories if they don’t quite finish the way we thought they did, and were suspended midstream? What would make characters want to suspend their stories? ONCE UPON A TIMEAnd what would happen once they restarted? What you will see is that as their paused stories begin again, that has implications for them and for our Storybrooke characters.

TVLINE | Why is lording over Storybrooke so important to Mr. Hyde (played by Smallville‘s Sam Witwer)?
KITSIS | It is the place where he can have his story play out. When we get into his backstory, you’ll realize that some people may be in the Land of Untold Stories in a way where they’re “trapped.” So, similar to the way Hook wanted to get to the Land Without Magic, so he could kill Gold, you’ll realize Hyde wants to get to Storybrooke so that his story can play out.

TVLINE | If I’m anyone else from the Land of Untold Stories, what do I gain from the move to Storybrooke? Or might I be upset about it?
HOROWITZ | Well, it might be a gain, and it might be a loss — it depends on the character.
KITSIS | There are some who will definitely need Emma and the heroes’ help, and there are some who will be looking to darker forces.

TVLINE | Do the heroes view them as interlopers? Is this an immigration issue?
KITSIS | [Laughs] What you will be seeing is our heroes wanting to help. We see Emma really back in the position where she’s a Savior trying to help people find their happiness. Last year, we got into the Dark One mythology, and this year you’re going to see the Savior mythology — as we saw at Comic-Con [in the first teaser], she wasn’t the first one. Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz) is one, as well. It’s really Emma and the Yellow Bug riding around Storybrooke helping people, which is what we wanted to come back to this year.

TVLINE | Is Emma a bit disenfranchised by this “other Savior” reveal, or does she find it interesting?
HOROWITZ | Her reaction runs the gamut of a few things, some of which we don’t want to spoil. But there are positives and negatives with learning that she wasn’t the only one, and she’ll have to deal with both.

TVLINE | Where are we entering the Aladdin story, in the scheme of what we already know about it?
HOROWITZ | It’s a tricky question to answer. Given the nature of our show with flashbacks and different timelines, we may be entering it at multiple points. Where we see [the story at] in the premiere episode is a very different point from where we enter it later in the season.

TVLINE | How might Regina assist Emma on her latest Savior mission?
KITSIS | In Season 1, we had Emma trying to help the citizens of the town find happiness while fighting the Evil Queen. Now she’s got Regina on her side to help her.

TVLINE | Is it safe ONCE UPON A TIMEto say that Emma and Hook’s relationship may go untested for a bit, after the trip to Hell and all?
KITSIS | We are definitely going to be moving their relationship forward, but no relationship is a fairy tale. So if people are expecting no drama, we hope that they will enjoy what we are showing. But they’re going to be working together as a unit.
HOROWITZ | We pick up pretty directly from where we left them at the end of last season, where for the first time Emma was professing her love without the duress of a life-or-death situation. Of course, life-or-death situations come pretty quickly on our show, so that will change, but I think that was an important step for her and it is something the two of them will deal with and explore further. Does that mean there won’t be challenges? No, there are plenty of challenges ahead, as with every relationship. But they have made a certain amount of progress since last season.

TVLINE | Is the purely Evil Queen’s plan going to be subtle, will it be stealthy?
KITSIS | It’s going to be delicious. She is going to attack them with style and with grace you would expect from the Evil Queen.

TVLINE | Was Regina’s magic weakened at all, by splitting off her evil half?
HOROWITZ | The question of what this split has done to her magic is addressed very quickly. She’s dealing with many different ramifications to the split, and what it does to her magic is one of them.

TVLINE | It’s my understandingOnce Upon a Time Season 5 Finale Ratings that the Evil Queen set in motion some sort of “fail safe” back in the day, that may sneak up and bite the Charmings on the butt…?
HOROWITZ | There are things from the past that she set in motion. Absolutely. There is in fact a very specific thing from the past that she set in motion that comes back into play in the present.

TVLINE | Something about a long-believed truth being called into question?
HOROWITZ | Yes, in the first couple of episodes that happens.
KITSIS | This is an Evil Queen who has all of Regina’s memories, and now that she has been unleashed, she’s got a whole new set of plans to destroy their lives.

TVLINE | To be clear, ONCE UPON A TIMERumple’s challenge is to break Belle’s sleeping spell, not to get her out of Pandora’s Box.
HOROWITZ | Yes. Getting her out of the box isn’t the issue, because he put her in the box. It’s the sleeping spell she’s under. That is his focus in the premiere.

TVLINE | You’re introducing Morpheus in that storyline. Does he have some sort of skin in the game, whether Rumple rescues Belle or not?
KITSIS | He sure does, but you will have to see the premiere to understand what that is. I would say, though, that he is highly motivated and emotionally involved.

TVLINE | Will Robert Carlyle’s off-season haircut be explained?
HOROWITZ | Absolutely And the answer isn’t that he went to do Trainspotting 2.

TVLINE | “Rumbelle” fans want to know if they will see any warm, fuzzy parents-to-be moments.
KITSIS | We’re always rooting for them to get them, but we’ll just have wait and see what happens. But I could tell you the ride there is pretty bumpy.
HOROWITZ | They certainly do spend some time, though, reminiscing, and discussing what it’s going to mean when their child is born.

TVLINE | What will Zelena be up to? At Comic-Con, Rebecca Mader teased some sort of “falling out” between the sisters.
KITSIS | Well, she feels torn between two sisters. She’s always wanted one, but…
HOROWITZ | Now she’s got two!

TVLINE | All told, would you say you’re almost doing a Case of the Week format, with the Untold Stories characters?
KITSIS | We did want to go back to the Season 1 modality of “heroes helping someone with a problem,” so there will be larger arcs with each character, but they’re going to be character arcs. And we’re going to have kind of a mix between the mythological, serialized episodes and ones that are kind of like Season 1 with Cinderella, where there was a beginning, middle and end to it.
HOROWITZ | And when we do that sort of Case of the Week story, it’s always thru the prism of our main characters. When we met Cinderella, it was really about Emma and how she came to be the person she is. It’s about finding these reflections on our main characters. Sometimes it’s a case where there’s a connection between them, like in the upcoming Hook/Nemo story, and sometimes there are stories where it’s more of a character reflection thing between one of our main characters and one of these other characters. But the goal is to have fun with these stories and at the same time dig a little deeper into our heroes.

Want more scoop on Once, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

VIDEO: Once Cast on Season 6’s ‘Pure Evil’ Queen,
Charming’s Big Surprise and Belle’s ‘New Perspective’

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18 Comments
  1. Jennifer Rea says:

    Thanks for the question about Emma and Regina. Can’t wait to see them working as a team! I’m also really interested to see them delve into Emma’s psychology this season. It’s long overdue.

  2. Bob says:

    Sounds great if you’re a Hook stan and not if you like anyone else really.

    • Val says:

      Sounds great to be overall since i love Emma, Emma/Hook, Charming Family, getting into savior mythlogy and untold stories this season. Pretty much every season is fine with me.

  3. Jean Rowley says:

    Great questions as always Matt!

  4. Katie says:

    I’m excited for what’s in store for Emma and Hook – both together and separately. The idea of looking within at the duality that exists in all of us is really intriguing to me. Thanks for a great interview!

  5. Jason says:

    The way Rumble has treated Belle I still do not understand why anyone would want to see her with him at this point. its unhealthy and toxic. I don’t get shippers sometimes

    • Kay says:

      I agree. I was fully on board for their relationship back in season one, and even the beginning of season two. I thought it was sweet and romantic and that he finally had a reason to rethink his ways. But now? No way. I’m all for her finding someone better.

    • hellotohangup says:

      Agree completely, Rumbelle and CS are extremely unhealthy relationships.

  6. iHeart says:

    man I am going to miss the two arcs per season format

  7. plebcinema says:

    Am looking forward to the season even though i’m pretty dubious about this split queen thing… looking forward to Emma’s story though.

  8. Val says:

    Thanks Matt. As always and every season look forward Emma’s journey, and its good to see we getting into Savior mythology. And Aladdin/Jasmine/Jafar and how they fits in. Look forward to Emma/Hook. Charming family moments. I hope to see some bonding scenes of Emma and her two True Loves – Henry and Hook. And always up for any Emma/Henry scenes.

    • Nicky Aiuto says:

      What about her parents and brother Neal, aren’t they her TL as well? And for the record, Henry is Emma’s one TL because he earened tl kiss, not Hook.

  9. abz says:

    I’m a little nervous about the the new format for this season. While season one was good, I didn’t care for many of the case-of-the-week style episodes like Grumpy’s backstory, or how Archie became Jiminy Cricket. Even the Cinderella episode. They were a bit boring to me at times. It’s gonna be a little weird after three seasons of the split season format, but let’s see how this goes.

  10. Still not really feeling the split queen thing or anything with Rumbelle but I am looking forward to the rest of the stories this seasons especially anything with Emma and Hook, the Charming family and the Aladdin characters that was one of my top fave Disney movies growing up, also looking forward to seeing what all stories we’ll bring in via Land of Untold Stories aside from the ones we already know of.

  11. Nicky Aiuto says:

    I am only going to enjoy seeing alot more focus on Snowing this time as promised (I hope). After all, it is the year of Snowing. And judging by some of the BTS photos, they showed alot more focus on the Charmings than the others. So far 3 episodes that focus on Snow. Such as “A Bitter Draught”, “The Other Shoe”, & “Heartless”.

    I will enjoy seeing Snow and Jasmine together as was spoiled in a BTS photo.

    I will enjoy the Charming Family moments, the history of Charming’s family (especially his father).

    And it looks like we are going to see the story of what really happened to Charming’s father and what or who is responsible for his death. It is possible that Hook was the one, because after all it was already that his relationship with Charming would be affected by something terrible.

    I am going to enjoy seeing how the Evil Queen will focus on Snow as her main target and that maybe (I hope) Emma will do some focus on trying to save her mother.

    And since it was somehow predicted that one of the nine current series regulars will exit the ABC series by February sweeps (probably before the winter finale), I would like to see who it is. And it sounds exactly like what had happened to Graham.

  12. Nicky Aiuto says:

    I forgot. I will also enjoy seeing Rumple and Belle’s new baby this season. It was somehow spoiled that it will be a boy.

  13. Luli says:

    Never saw the appeal of Rumbelle, they are a terrible couple. Belle should move on.