Only one episode remains before the "Once Upon a Time" Season 2 finale, and creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz teased what to expect from the final two hours of the season on Monday morning.
The co-creators screened the first two acts of the penultimate episode, "Second Star to the Right," for a small group of reporters and answered some burning questions as well.
Here's what The Huffington Post learned during our conversation with Kitsis and Horowitz. Warning: Light spoilers ahead!
New Faces and Old Friends
As the first 10 minutes of "Second Star to the Right" can attest, the final two episodes of Season 2 will feature a number of characters from "Peter Pan," including Wendy Darling. And since Bae/Neal (Michael Raymond-James) has a heretofore unexplained tie to Neverland that somehow relates to Hook (Colin O'Donoghue), the "Once Upon A Time" season finale will apparently be "very Hook centric" in terms of its flashbacks, while also giving Bae "more background as a character."
Kitsis promised that "what happens with [Bae] and Wendy and the Darling family is the emotional touchstone of what these last two hours are," but fans will also see the return of Mulan (Jamie Chung), Aurora (Sarah Bolger) and Philip (Julian Morris) before the season is out.
Still, the creators pointed out, since they like to add new twists to old stories, even familiar characters from Peter Pan's world will have a "OUAT" flavor. For example, "The shadow is probably not the lovely cuddly shadow we remember. The way we look at Peter Pan and the way we look at Neverland will be a completely different take," Kitsis said.
A New Initiative?
Tamara (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Greg (Ethan Embry) are definitely up to no good, having kidnapped Regina and found a way of deactivating her magic in "The Evil Queen," and the producers promise we'll learn a lot more about the duo before the credits roll on the season finale. "You will find out who the home office is, you will find out what they want, but you won't know why," Kitsis revealed. "Since we've all been trained with Initiatives and secret organizations, we are hoping to lead you down a different path."
Horowitz added, "They're here for a mission, and whether or not they succeed in that mission will be in the finale ... more about them and their background and their motivations will be revealed, and it will all be tied into the end run of the next episode and a half." We'll also find out what happened to Greg's missing father in "Second Star to the Right."
The producers promised a "very honest conversation" between Rumple (Robert Carlyle) and Belle/Lacey (Emilie de Ravin) in "Second Star to the Right," which will also play into the prophecy about Henry (Jared Gilmore) somehow being his grandfather's undoing. "Right now he's ... clearly on a bender with Lacey, he's clearly abandoned his son. Our characters like to repeat their own mistakes because I think we as humans constantly repeat our own mistakes," Kitsis pointed out. "The villains this year are all trying to go on the straight and narrow and none of them can seem to get off the bottle, and so ... I would hate to find out, if [Lacey] heard about this prophecy, what she thinks about letting a little child stand in the way."
Heart of Darkness
Snow's (Ginnifer Goodwin) darkening heart will be a "huge part in the finale," Horowitz said. "It's really starting to motivate her and push her. There's a lot of feelings of guilt for what she's done and she sees a tough road ahead of her, which is, 'How do I heal this dark heart?'"
Love is in the Air
Despite all the doom and gloom of a magical trigger that could potentially wipe Storybrooke off the map, the showrunners promised that there would still be developments on the romantic front. "You see Emma [Jennifer Morrison] really suppressing her feelings. It's obvious she still holds a torch for Neal; it's obvious that he still has feelings for her," Kitsis said. "She's so scarred. It's hard for her to open up her heart ... I'd like to explore that and I think next year we'd love to explore what happens when other people find love -- we see it with Rumple, but I think love is pretty much what the franchise of the show is. Everyone's in search of it but they pick really stupid ways to get to it."
Horowitz agreed, "Before the end of the season, you'll see more of the Rumple and Belle/Lacey relationship, so love plays a big part in the rest of the season. Whether they'll be happy and together is another question ..."
The show will also "explore the magic inside" Emma in the final two installments, Kitsis previewed. "I think there's a part of Emma that is still reeling from all this. I don't think she cares for it -- ['The Evil Queen'] was the first time she starts to question it ... She's really embraced being a mother this year, and she's really coming to grips with it ... In the finale, it's going to set up for her next year to say I have a new purpose and maybe it's time I commit either one way or the other."
For more scoop on this Sunday's "OUAT," check out our interview with Michael Raymond-James.
What are your predictions for the final two episodes of the season? Who do you think Greg and Tamara are working for and how do you think Bae ties into Neverland? Weigh in in the comments!
"Once Upon a Time" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.