Once Upon a Time @ PaleyFest: Scoop on Dark Snow, Storybrooke's First Days and the Finale

OnceOnce Upon a Time executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and several cast members took the stage at PaleyFest 2013 on Sunday to talk about Snow’s dark turn, a visit to Storybrooke in 1983, the Season 2 finale (yes, already!) and much more.

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The panel kicked off with Ginnifer Goodwin dropping some scoop about Snow’s journey from white to something much murkier following the events of tonight’s big episode and next week’s even more powerful outing.

“What she is going through is going to shake her self-identity, her self-definition,” previewed Goodwin. “If she’s not the Snow White she can read about it in story books, then she doesn’t know who she is. That opens a lot up for her. She can get in touch with a more evolved way of protecting herself and her family.”

As Snow attempts to guard her loves ones, her rivalry with Regina will “get pretty intense,” teased Lana Parrilla. “We’re definitely going to see a different side to Mary Margaret, and I think we’ve earned it.”

But just how dark can Snow go, especially given that the character is owned by the family-friendly Disney? Kitsis assured fans that after next Sunday’s episode, viewers will see that “they’re pretty much letting us do what we want.”

And how will Charming deal with his wife’s new path? “It concerns him a great deal because someone that he loves with all of his heart is hurting,” said Josh Dallas. However, David “knows better than anyone that people can mess up [and] have darker sides to them. … He’s going to be there for her no matter what.”

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Other topics touched on during the PaleyFest Q&A:

TRAVELING THE LANDS | The show will visit a new realm this season, during which viewers will get hints about a significant resident of said land. That character, however, won’t make his or her debut until Season 3, previewed Kitsis. Meanwhile, David will want to get back to his home. “As much as David likes electricity, he misses his sword and his castle and his horse,” said the EP. “He wants to rebuild his land. That is something a lot of people will get on board for.”

WELCOME TO STORYBROOKE | “We’re going to see the first week of the curse,” said Kitsis of the March 17 episode. “We’re going to see the Huntsman. We’re going to get more insight into what it was like that first week in 1983 and what it was like for the Evil Queen to win.” In the hour, viewers will also glimpse why Regina went to adopt Henry. So why air such a pivotal flashback so early in the show’s run? “When you see the episode, that answer becomes very clear,” replied Horowitz.

THE END IS NEAR | This season’s two-part finale will be titled “Second Star to the Right” and “ And Straight On ‘Til Morning.”

FATHER, SON, GRANDSON | Rumpel and Bae’s relationship may be in a sad state of affairs right now, but “there’s a little gamechanger” in Episode 22, hinted Robert Carlyle. As for the seer’s warning about Henry and what the Dark One will do with that information, “The question is: Has [Rumpel] learned anything [from his past mistakes]?” said Kitsis. “What chance does his grandson have?”

NO MADNESS | Addressing recent reports that the Mad Hatter may be recast and spun off into his own show, Kitsis insisted that “we have no plans to recast anyone.” However, Jefferson’s portrayer Sebastian Stan “is a very busy man,” he added. “I don’t know when he will be making his way toward us.”

TEAM EVIL | “Regina the Evil Queen is going to make a comeback, but in a different way,” teased Parrilla. As for the dastardly Captain Hook, “you will see him pop back into the season in a fun way,” revealed Kitsis. But will the foe find romance with Emma, setting up a triangle with Neal? “It could happen,” is all Horowitz would say.

LACEY RACY | An upcoming Belle episode will reveal the character’s cursed persona. “Lacey’s very interesting,” Emilie De Ravin teased cryptically, while Kitsis added, “She’s the opposite of Belle. Things are going to get a lot more interesting for Mr. Gold.” But will Belle ever regain her memories of her true identity? “Have hope and faith and we’ll see what happens,” offered up Kitsis.

AND EVEN MORE SCOOP | Also on tap for this season: The reveal of where August ran off to and what he’s been doing (just don’t expect answers this year about how he knew Neal was actually Bae); more of Hook and Bae’s backstories; and possibly some romance for Regina. “Everything that motivates her is love,” explained Kitsis. “She has a huge capacity for love. She’s just got a strange way of going about getting it.” Added Parrilla with a smile: “She’s holding out for the right one.”

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