Memories From the Set

Once Upon a Time's Patrick Fischler Teases Topsy-Turvy Finale, Reflects on Lost, Mad Men and Other Roles

Patrick Fischler across his TV career has been slugged by the very best of them, including Mad Men‘s Don Draper and Lost‘s Sawyer. And this Sunday on Once Upon a Time‘s Season 4 finale, Isaac Heller aka The Author will again be on the receiving end of a punch — though his portrayer won’t reveal from whom.

But based on what’s to come, there’s surely good reason!

The ABC drama’s two-hour season ender (airing Sunday at 8/7c) picks up with the Author putting the final touches on Heroes & Villains, the new storybook a dying Rumplestiltskin has “commissioned.” And though the newly spun stories steer familiar characters such as Snow White, Prince Charming, the Evil Queen and even Emma onto strange new paths, Isaac is at long last back in his element.

“He gets his version of… I want to say ‘revenge,’ but that’s not exactly what it is. But he gets what he’s always wanted,” Fischler says. “The first couple of scenes are his backstory and how he became the Author, and then we are shown the kind of chaos he created by rewriting the book with Rumple.”

That sets up an incredible journey for, among others, young Henry, in the name of righting rewritten wrongs, culminating in a twist that promises a new set of circumstances for Season 5 (which ABC ordered earlier this week). Says Fischler, “Even with everything that has been shown [in photos and promos], you still don’t know what the end of the season is, and it’s pretty great. It sets up next year rather well.”

Fischler is no stranger to game-changing finales, having been a part of (and suffered a memorable death, impaled by electromagnetically levitated rebar) during “The Incident” aka the explosive Season 5 finale of Lost, one of the myriad series he has popped up on over the years.

“The biggest thing for me is to go onto shows that I’m a fan of,” he says. “Like, all of a sudden I go into this world and there’s Sawyer and Kate on a beach, and I’m putting on my jumpsuit. I remember looking in the mirror that first time and being like, ‘I can’t believe I’m in the Dharma Initiative!'”

In the slideshow below, Fischler revisits his appearances on ABC’s crazy island drama as well as Mad Men, a CSI that got some fur flying, Southland, the one that started it all — Nash Bridges — and more.