Fans got an extra special surprise at the Once Upon A Time panel at New York Comic-Con Friday, at the Hammerstein Ballroom venue. Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz gifted the enthusiastic audience with an advanced screening of tonight’s episode, “The Other Shoe,” before coming out with star Jennifer Morrison (Emma).
Check out the review (spoilers!) and the Q & A below.
Once Upon A Time 6.3 “The Other Show” review: Regina (Lana Parilla) needs information from Hyde, because, “I crushed her heart and she’s still alive.” She’s bringing him her lasagna, but the evil queen got there first.
Hyde (Sam Witwer): “I told her a great deal. I’m sated. The price of information has gone up. Hard to stay one step ahead of yourself, isn’t it Regina?” I love him. I’m so glad he’s on the show.
Back at Granny’s, we see Cinderella again. Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) is babysitting her baby. Emma smiles. He’s so dreamy. He tells Cinderella that they are taking things slow.
Hook: “I’m still sleeping on a cot next to a pregnant woman who likes to snore.” Everything he says is great.
Cinderella’s origin story is the backdrop of the episode. We see the tale begin as we know it. They get the invite to the royal ball. Ella wants to go too, and pulls out a dress, but they destroy it. In this version, they burn her mother’s dress. As she sobs, Gus crawls out and gives her a magic key to the land of untold stories. Gold is the fairy godmother of this story. I love the machinations that keep getting revealed. Ella meets and dances with her prince… and meets Snow and Charming. Cute. The real story does not end the way everyone thinks it does. The glass slipper is left, and the stepmother threatens to destroy the other one unless Ella tells her where her stepsister went. She does but she shatters it anyway. Snow helped her and the prince get together.
Back in Storybrooke, Emma runs to Archie. She’s worried about her magic failing, and thinks Hook deserves a future (I agree).
Regina (Lana Parilla) tries to think how evil queen would – the cracks that are already there. “Zelena!” She confronts her. Zelena (Rebecca Mader) denies it, but Regina spies the rattle.
Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) wants to teach again, and a regular life – “Defeat and repeat.” I have wished for that too – just one happy day in between all of the fighting.
David (Josh Dallas) visits Gold (Robert Carlyle) with the coin to find out info on his dad. He makes a deal. The deal does not end up being too bad. David gives a tape to Belle (Emilie de Ravin). It is of Gold giving a good night poem to his unborn son. It is sweet. He helps her to realize that even bad fathers are needed by their sons.
Cinderella is going to find her stepsister. So Emma is going to find Ella with her shoe (sneaker this time). Ella catches up but it’s a trap. Her sister set her up. Her evil stepmother holds a gun, but Ella brought her love, the footman. In a rage, the stepmother runs her through. Emma has to save her, but gets the shakes really bad. It is with Henry and Hook’s encouraging words that she is able to heal Ella. That spurs Emma to ask Hook to move in with her. Finally!
They are in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. Yes!!!! David Anders!!! Television does not have enough David Anders in it. Snow wants the 2 crazy doctors to be science teachers. I want to go to that school.
David is studying the card about his father. Snow walks in.
David: “He was stabbed. He wasn’t drunk.”
Snow: “Don’t do this. Let it go.” David agrees to no vengeance. “I’m gonna burn this,” but of course he doesn’t. More secrets.
The Evil Queen frees Hyde and they walk off together. That is a match made in hell.
Q: Obviously some great news at the end of this episode. What was your reaction when you read this script and saw you were gonna move in together?
Morrison: It’s about time (audience cheers).
Q: And Emma’s had such a long journey. She’s the Savior and it’s been tough for her. How has that weighed down on her and affected her outlook in life?
Morrison: I think she’s not quite sure yet. That’s kinda what we’re exploring this season with Emma, almost the post traumatic stress of going from almost being a normal person, to having these life or death situations all the time, and never really having time to process it or figure out what that means, or have a normal day. So I think she’s unraveling a little bit, trying to figure out who she really is.
Q: Adam and Eddie, why do you seem to enjoy torturing this character so much
Morrison: Yeah. tell me.
Horowitz: Oh, I think she tortures herself.
Morrison: (laughing) Oh! Now it’s my fault!
Horowitz: The character’s taken on a life of her own!
Kitsis: Because life isn’t always easy and what I love most about Emma is her strength. No matter what happens, she keeps persevering. And so we keep giving her obstacles and she keeps beating them, so I think that’s kinda what we like.
Q: And along those lines, Snow had a great line towards the end, “Defeat, and repeat.” What are the challenges of doing this after all this time? It can’t all bad news but it can’t all be good news.
Horowitz: That’s one of the themes we started exploring in this episode, and continue to explore this season which is this idea of, “What is normal?” So if we are always fighting bad guys and we’re doing all this stuff, these characters also need to find a way to have normal lives. And that is one of the challenges. We want to explore them as people, and they are people, even though some of them are fairies and dragons and stuff.
Q: We mentioned the relationship between Emma and Hook (audience screams)… he seems to be pretty popular in this room. So what can you tease us about that, obviously this is a great step for them, but it probably won’t be smooth sailing for them, I’m guessing?
Kitsis: I think the thing we love about Hook and Emma is that we are trying to show a real relationship. And we know she is keeping something from him, a secret. What we’d like to explore with the two of them is how they deal with the real life stuff in a real way. They fight the fantastical together, but the little relationship stuff we continue to see it play out a little bit.
Horowitz: It’s like anything with this show, a happy ending isn’t an endpoint. It’s a continuing process. I think as Emma and Hook reach levels and new milestones, we’ll see that there’s new challenges along the way.
Morrison: Yeah. Something that I’ve really enjoyed about what they’ve done with Hook and Emma, in general, is that a lot of times on television you have two characters that come together, they try to find ways to keep them apart all the time. And on this show they’ve actually let them be together, and now they’re exploring the intracacies of it, and the nuances of it. Now, eventually, them living in the same house – what does that mean? The daily ins and outs of things… how does Henry fit into that? Emma has a secret, what does Hook do about it when he finds out? Even though we are dealing with fairy tale characters on a metaphorical level, it starts to feel more connected to real life, and the stuff that we all have to deal with. It’s been fun.
Morrison reflected on the strong relationships between women on the show. “There are 3 strong women fighting for each other and building each other up. That makes me proud to be a part of the show.” She said she is inspired by these women and “Eddie and Adam write them this way.”
– Jekyll and Hyde origin story
– Aladdin and Jasmine
– More Captain Hook (always a good thing)
– People from untold stories and origin stories and growth from everyone.
Q: You were so amazing as the Dark Swan last season. Rumplestiltskin is still the boss, but you gave him run for his money. So how did playing the evil version of Emma Swan impact how you think your character is now? How has it educated her growth and evolution
Morrison: That was really critical for her development because when you have someone who’s compelled to do the right thing all the time, at least at the level which Emma is, there’s something limiting about that in terms of your own self-discovery. And so for her to be shoved into this circumstance where she didn’t have the same limits and boundaries, and she explored the darker parts of herself. SHe’s almost exercised things in herself, and I think she learned a lot about herself, and was very humbled by it. I think when you are dealing with the things that she dealt with as the Dark Swan, facing the darkness within herself. Making decisions that were bad decisions, and having to pay the price for that, and the repercussions of that. I think she has a different kind of respect, when she’s dealing with Regina or Gold, or when she’s dealing with someone who’s struggling with the darkness in a different way than she ever understood before, because now she knows what that means in a tangible way. I think she’s more of a humble hero because of it.
Q: How do you feel about your character growth from season 1 until now?
Morrison: I get to play a character who’s truly evolving and changing, and that’s so rare on television. So often you’re serving a purpose over and over again. It’s been a wonderful challenge to keep going as Emma. She started off so closed off and so hurt. Kind of barricaded. And I don’t think she ever had hope that she was gonna love or have a family. She had ideas of it or fantasies of it, it just never seemed like it could be a reality for her. And once it became a possibility, then there was the fear of how much pain could come in if he opened herself up to that, and there was that whole journey. And then she became evil for a while. I think that right now what you’re seeing is a woman who for 6 years has really grown and changed. She’s been really open to grow, and to become a stronger, better version of herself. She still makes mistakes. She still has to pay the repercussions for those mistakes. She gets back up, and now instead of doing it by herself, she has her family at her side and she has Hook by her side, and she has friends. I look at it as how important it is to keep the people that you love close, and the people that you trust and care about, and know that we do all make mistakes, and how important it is to see past that, and really lean into the love.
Q: Will we see more of the cloaked figure and the oracle?
Morrison: Keep watching.
The creators then said that we will have more answers about the oracle and the cloaked figure by the holidays.
Once Upon A Time airs Sunday nights at 8pm ET on ABC.