Spending the Afternoon with ONCE UPON A TIME at PaleyFest

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On Sunday afternoon, the cast and creative team behind the ABC fairytale drama Once Upon a Time paid a return visit to PaleyFest to entertain the packed audience with an advanced screening of that night’s episode “The Queen is Dead” as well as a sneak peek at next week’s episode entitled “The Miller’s Daughter” that will feature guest star Rose McGowan (of Charmed fame) as the younger version of the Evil Queen’s mother Cora.

Taking the stage for the afternoon panel, which was moderated by Matt Mitovich, Editor-at-Large for TV Line, included cast members Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, Emilie De Ravin and Colin O’Donoghue as well as the creative team of Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

After watching that night’s episode, it became clear that Mary Margaret (Goodwin) is going to be making a move to the darker side in her goal to get even with Cora (Barbara Hershey) for all the pain and suffering she has caused; but at what price? And, David (Dallas) will, of course, be by her side, supporting her, but how far will he allow her to go in her revenge plan.

While Adam and Eddy as well as the cast were a bit mum on details about what to expect in the fight against Cora as well as with Regina (Parrilla), they were a little more willing to joke about the “crazy family tree” all centered around Henry (Jared Gilmore); and in sharing that its thanks to the writers that they get to explore this very dysfunctional family.

Several of the cast members did talk, albeit briefly, about their characters with Emilie sharing that she did not know about Belle losing her memory in the episode entitled “The Outsider”; and that we will get to see who Belle was in Storybrooke after they were transported there from the Enchanted Forest – a woman named Lacey who is going to be quite different from the Belle that we all know. Jennifer joked about the fact that she knew early on in season one that Henry’s father was actually Neil (aka Bay) [recurring guest Michael Raymond-James] and that filming her reaction to the reveal was not an easy undertaking. And, Colin joked that he just might have his ‘guy-liner’ – that has made his character Captain Hook such a hit with the viewers – tattooed on permanently (that certainly got a good round of laughter from the audience).

Adam and Eddy were then willing to reveal some secrets much to the pleasure of all the members of the audience, including:

• Episode 17 will be entitled “Welcome to Storybrooke” and will give a look at the first week in Storybrooke after the curse was enacted;
• Sheriff Graham aka The Huntsmen (season one series regular Jamie Dornan) will be back this season;
• Billy the mechanic (guest star Jarod Joseph) will be back (despite the fact he was killed last season);
• We will learn where the wooden Pinocchio that was seen running off to and what became of him; and,
• They shared that, despite recent reports, they have no intention of recasting Jefferson aka The Mad Hatter, played by fan favorite guest star Sebastian Stan, as they are both big fans of the actor, but since he is a very in-demand actor it won’t be easy to get him to appear in future episodes.

One of the biggest reveals of the night were the titles for the final two episodes of the season, that are obviously very Peter Pan- and Neverland-inspired. The titles are “Second Star to the Right” and “And Then Straight On Til Morning”.

Make sure to tune in to Once Upon a Time for its next new episode this coming Sunday, March 17 on ABC at 10/9c.

NOTE: All pictures are copyrighted to the Paley Center for Media and Kevin Parry.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Arrow, Grimm, The Blacklist, Teen Wolf, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash and The Fosters (among others). Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at