Once Upon a Time Bosses Tease Secret Finale Scene, Tackle 'End Date' Topic

Once Upon a Time Season 4 Finale Spoiler

Almost a year to the day that Once Upon a Time surpised viewers with a parting glimpse of Queen Elsa, the ABC series this Sunday will uncork another top-secret season-ending scene.

But unlike a year ago, this filmed-in-secrecy twist won’t introduce any familiar fairy tale face but a different kind of surprise element, one that will have repercussions for Season 5.

“There is a top-secret scene that I’m shocked hasn’t got out — but there’s still time!” Once co-creator Eddy Kitsis tells TVLine with a knowing laugh. “We’ll absolutely be setting up what Season 5 will be, but unlike last year where it was, ‘Hey, it’s Frozen,’ or the year before which was, ‘Hey, we’re going to Neverland,’ this one will be much more like Season 1 in that it’s a condition of the show that changes and has ramifications for everyone.”

Adds co-creator Adam Horowitz: “If we zigged in the past, we’re hoping to zag this time.”

Whatever the hush-hush moment looks like, it will cap a two-hour finale that, as revealed in promos and photos, illustrates the role-reversing history rewrite that a dying Rumplestiltskin is dictating to The Author, Isaac, for the new storybook Heroes & Villains. Though Regina no longer requires the scribe’s services to secure her own happy ending, Kitsis says, “We feel we owe it to the audience to show what happens whan the Author does start to write, and what he can do.”

Speaking of authors, the Once bosses are in no rush to write toward a predetermined end date, as the ABC drama they previously called home, Lost, famously did, announcing three years in advance that its story would end after Season 6.

“I don’t think we want to set out a particular end date for this show,” Horowitz said when TVLine bandied about the possibly predetermining a finish line. (First things first, ABC has yet to announce 2015-16 TV season pick-ups for any of its scripted series.)  “I mean, we have in our mind how we would like to wrap up the stories of these characters. But without having the specifics of exactly how we get there, it’s really not possible to [set a series finale date]. It’s more about building everything towards what we think would be a satisfying conclusion.”

“We know kind of where we want to end the show,” adds Kitsis. “It’s really a matter of how long, how many more years that will take.”

That said, Kitsis notes, “We would much rather to go out on our terms than be gently kicked out the door!”

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.

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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62 Comments
  1. Nate says:

    Please, this show is starting to ramble and keep making up stupid loopholes to build the plot. An end date would really help.

  2. Meghan says:

    Are they really teasing the “super secret scene” that was going around on tumblr about a month ago? there’s been behind the scenes pictures for ages. Nothing has been kept “under wraps”. but whatever they have to tell themselves, I guess.

    • Kelley says:

      I really hope that’s not what they’re talking about–I think someone even tweeted about it to Adam. They know full well that that scene is out there, and there were absolutely no measures taken to prevent that from happening, so…

    • LC says:

      I’m almost positive that that scene can’t be the one they’re referring to, because they must know footage of it has been going around. I mean, they’ve got an open set, and that one was filmed outdoors.

    • Nic says:

      I actually think, that is the scene, i mean the same happened last year with the regular character death, when announced, everyone according to set reports said Neal, people tweeted Adam a lot, he denied and after 315 both him and Eddie came to say they were happy no one knew who was dying, that was a shock and surprise, when people knew since 2 months ago who was the character.

      • Kellen says:

        But they literally filmed it out on the public streets and released promo pics for it, which they normally don’t do for big scenes. They also have an indoor Storybrooke street set that they could’ve used OR they could’ve easily filmed it in a different location – like in a forest setting. So idk.

        • Meghan says:

          They didn’t release those pictures. They’ve been released by fans who have been there to witness it. I’m almost certain they weren’t supposed to take those pictures, but looks like no one stopped them anyway.

          • Buttercup says:

            The show released some promo pictures from that scene, including pictures of Robin yelling, Robin holding Regina, Charming holding Snow, and Killian looking upset. Of course, the Emma pics were all posted by people at the filming.

      • buttercupscarlett95 says:

        I don’t think Adam has denied anything about the leaked scene from the 4B finale, though, like they did with Neal. He’s just kind of ignored the comments on Twitter. But they have to be joking if they are talking about that scene in the interview, because they know it’s been all over the internet for weeks. My understanding is that they filmed in studio for a few days after the outdoor scene, so I hope we have a surprise coming that hasn’t already been spoiled.

    • Sarah S. says:

      It’s called one and mirrors.

  3. Meghan says:

    I didn’t want to spoil it for anyone, but that’s what I’ve been thinking. Those pictures (and even a video) have been around the internet for weeks.

    • Kelly says:

      Well that scene wasn’t filmed in secrecy so hopefully there will be something that was that we know nothing about.

      • Meghan says:

        Someone else’s comment asking specifically if it’s that scene got deleted pretty quickly. There could be another scene, I guess, but still makes you wonder why that comment was deleted.

        • Zelda says:

          My guess would be it got deleted because it’s unfair to those who don’t want to get spoiled beyond reason. Not everyone who reads interviews and spoilery articles on sites like TVLine also wants to be spoiled for things the writers and actors don’t want to give away yet. The OUAT fandom also has an unfortunate habit of taking everything coming from someone who watched some otu of context shooting in Vancouver for gospel truth.

        • Meghan says:

          Aww, it’s much appreciated. While I don’t mind spoilers too much, I wouldn’t want to spoil the big moments for others.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Just keeping the Comments section free of any rudely blabbed spoilers of any nature, as I always have. #TVLineCares

      • aurat22 says:

        I agree! I think it’s very possible that there is a scene we don’t know about. We have no idea that the pictures fans were able to take on set were of the last scene for sure. There could be a twist that coming that changes what we think we see going on there.

  4. Luis says:

    Everyone gets written into the real world, with no magic?

  5. Eric7740 says:

    Although I know there maybe several more stories to tell for these characters….Ratings are a huge indicator that fans are tiring. I would really hope that this series go out on roar rather than a wimper. Having said that, I hope that ABC will announce final seasons for OUAT and Greys next week at the upfronts. I’m a huge fan of both shows, but I truly feel its time for them to wrap up!

    • no way i want once upon a time stay on the air :(

      • Eric7740 says:

        I do too tanya, don’t get me wrong. I love the show, but ratings are dwindling by the episode, and I want this amazing series to go out the way it came in with amazing numbers!!! I don’t want people saying, “the show should’ve ended years ago” or “that show should’ve ended while it was still good/relevant”

        • Lily says:

          Agreed…. OUaT needs to go out with a bang, and the story should not be dragged out.

        • Ophir94 says:

          OUAT has really good ratings. They are not so high like before, but that’s not only the case with OUAT, it’s about every show on this hour. OUAT’s ratings are not so good like before, but still it’s the most watching show on this day and hour. There’s no way this show won’t have at least 6 seasons.

          • Sarah S. says:

            The writers have a mantra for the press, and will never admit to poor judgment. Anything and everything will be spun to their advantage to save face, and appease network executives. It’s that way in any corporate environment, same as with politicians. Even if they exasperate their viewers into cancelation, it’ll be spun to their advantage. Get used to it. They are beholden to writers unions, and don’t give a flying crap about their fans. If they did, many fandom’s (is CS) wouldn’t be questioning their ongoing support for a show which fails to recognize and reciprocate their appreciation.

          • Lily says:

            @Sarah S.
            At the end of the day, OUaT is their show. Eddy and Adam do not have to appease fans. Most shows fall apart when the writers start giving into the fans’ every desire.

  6. Lysh says:

    As obsessed as I am, I think having an end date would be nice. How long can they keep all the actors around? I’d give it another year or two.
    The fandom knows about something…and I’m wondering if that’s the thing they’re talking about. I’m super intrigued if it hasn’t leaked out yet.

  7. Lns says:

    Emma becomes dark one by force. That’s what I think will be and season 5 opening with Emma separated from the gang and Hook. And them all esp Hook trying to find her etc

  8. kris says:

    How but that last scene reveals that the second half of this season never happened because dam*, it was bad.

    And can they please stop bringing on new people; I want more of the characters we fell in love with.

    • LC says:

      They specifically stated in another interview that they’re not introducing any new characters! :)

    • Michelle says:

      Wouldn’t that be wonderful if they had someone just wake up and realize all of the stuff in 4B was a dream? That’s really the only reasonable explanation for some of the incredible retconning (like Snowing’s “dark secret”).

    • abz says:

      There are still so many fairy tale/Disney characters that I hope the show tackles (e.g., Hercules/Hades, Aladdin/Jasmine, Pocahontas, etc.) and many I’d love to see return like Mulan or Ruby. So I can’t wait to see what new characters they bring on next season.

      • brenda says:

        I agree, we need to see more Mulan especially. Ruby too, though I know the actress is busy on another show

  9. Lisa says:

    The Frozen arc is what turned me off from the show. It smacked of the writers not knowing what to do, so they decided to ride the coattails of a popular Disney movie.

    • Boiler says:

      Would guess Disney had something to do with them doing it. Too bad it turned you off as I thought it was good

    • abz says:

      I actually loved and didn’t hate it as much as other people did. I loved the Ingrid character (Elizabeth Mitchell was great) and Elsa/Anna, plus the arc gave some much needed background on Emma.

  10. Kammy says:

    Umm Yeah the deleted comment was rude because if the comment was true than that’s a huge spoiler that will ruin the finale for many people reading this article.

  11. Seiko says:

    Elsa showing up was way better than the failure to develop Malificient and the awful Ursula, as well as the terribly dragged on Pan arc of the past. Frozen/Snow Queen arc rocked. I wish we could get another one of those with Brave or Aladdin/40 Thieves/Arabian Nights.

  12. Mel says:

    I love Emma in her costume

    • Lily says:

      The wardrobe department needs to put Jennifer Morrison in fairytale clothes more often, as she looks spectacular in them.

  13. aj Lucassen says:

    Let me guess.. Storybrook becomes visible to everybody in the world. Not only that but people in the world knows that it is filled with fairy tale characters and want to visit. I always thought that was going to be the season 2 final, maybe it will be the season 4.

    • Lily says:

      That technically already happened when Emma broke the curse, and Gold brought magic to Storybrooke, in the S1 finale.

  14. Mary says:

    All I want is for Anastasia to come on to the show, and explain why Will is here. Come on already!!!!!!

  15. Sarah S. says:

    Well, I hope the writers realize the key to the door they don’t want to be kicked out of (as noted in the interview), is held by Mr. and Ms. T.V. viewer.

  16. JIm J. says:

    Considering how “The Simpsons”, which starts around the same time as “Once Upon a Time” (Sundays @ 7pm), has already been renewed through 2017, “Once Upon a Time” is just another program that I hope doesn’t end before that evil “The Simpsons” does. I would imagine “Once Upon a Time” having at least eight seasons before the end.

  17. Ladada says:

    Is Robin still having a rape baby with his wife’s murderer’s sister, his wife’s other murderer??

  18. Television Watcher says:

    Reblogged this on The Television Watcher.

  19. Sam I Am says:

    I just want them to bring Bae back. I will forgive them for the entire season if they do that. And the whole argument about not being able to bring people back from the dead is crap. They brought Rumple, Maleficent, and Zelena back to life and no one questioned it. They can do that for Baelfire too.

  20. courtney says:

    I love this show. I really want a release date for season five because I didn think the dark one could go back to being hisself..

  21. Diana says:

    We think that this show should go on for a long time. We do not know who Emma’s character is in the Fairy Tale world yet.

  22. betsyclarke says:

    My daughter and I love the show, we were introduced to it on Netflix, we are from the UK by the way, we have watched 4 seasons in 2 months and we have found it intriguing and enthralling, and also the continuity of the storylines is great, some of English soaps or dramas don’t have this. So ABC have produced a wonderful and original production. I thought how could they think of anymore storylines, but then the writers must have more scope than anyone ever imagined. So let us just enjoy and be hypnotised by the magic, because it is more appealing than reality sometimes!!

  23. Becky Coyle says:

    Love this show! I schedule my Sunday around it!