This Sunday's "Once Upon a Time" (Feb 10. at 8 p.m. EST on ABC) not only offers an unconventional spin on the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk (hint: Jack is played by a woman -- "Smallville's" Cassidy Freeman) and the return of Jorge Garcia's Giant, it also promises a little more backstory for the heroic Prince Charming (Josh Dallas).
Charming spent the first half of the season trying to reunite with his wife Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and daughter Emma (Jennifer Morrison), so this week's episode, titled "Tiny," offers a welcome chance for the world's most attractive grandfather to get back in on the action.
HuffPost TV caught up with Dallas via phone to learn more about Charming's "violent" encounter with Garcia's Giant, whether there's still trouble ahead for him and Snow, and what he hopes to see in our fairytale couple's future. Spoilers ahead.
This episode sounds like a big one for you -- no pun intended -- so what can we can expect from "Tiny"?
[Laughs.] Yes ... once again, it’s a big, epic "Once Upon a Time" episode, with some pretty big characters in it this time. We’re going to revisit Anton, our Giant played by Jorge Garcia, and of course, we know that Cora is back in Storybrooke and, Cora being Cora, [she] has found an ingenious way of transporting a giant on a pirate ship.
And upon David meeting and seeing this giant, he is immediately thrust into a very violent greeting from Anton and it is a case of mistaken identity. David has no idea what [Anton's] beef is with him and Anton proceeds to unleash his vengeance, not only on David, but the entire town of Storybrooke. So we have this predicament where David is trying to figure out what’s going on and trying to figure out why Anton's after him and he’s got a pretty good idea who might know. So he goes and finds out and then it’s up to David and the Storybrooke crew to convince Anton that David is not who he thinks he is and that this is not a bad place for Anton, and not all humans are going to hurt him and this could actually be a safe place for him in the end.
We have that section going on in the episode and we also go back into Fairytale Land, but we go back into Fairytale Land past. Now, we’ve already seen Fairytale Land present, which is not a very hospitable place anymore. So, we’re going back into Fairytale Land past where we see Anton and his brothers in Giant Land and Anton is feeling like [he doesn't belong] in his own world. He feels kind of like a fish out of water and decides, against his brothers' wishes, to come down into the world, and he leaves them to see if he can find his identity, in a way, and find a place where he belongs. And he meets up with up some humans who appear to be something on the outside, and their intentions aren’t wholly noble towards Anton, and this could be the crux of the whole grudge that he’s holding.
Could this case of mistaken identity have anything to do with Charming's twin brother, James?
It very well could. [Laughs.]
Will the episode offer us any new insight into Charming's backstory, or James' backstory, as the case may be?
Well, I think you’ll learn a little more and I think you’ll get a little flavor. In this episode, you will definitely discover what Charming's real name is. You will find that one out, which is both surprising and obvious at the same time. So, that’s a fun little thing ... In Storybrooke, there’s a great scene at the end of the episode, which, I don’t want to give too much away, but that offers a real sense of hope for David and Mary Margaret, and for the whole town of Storybrooke in the sense of "maybe there really is a way to get back home," and I think that’s something that David really wants and is really searching for.
I think he really wants to go back home. He really wants to get his family back. He wants his kingdom back and ... you know David, he is a hero. He is a leader and having that curse always takes his attention away from his hopes and goals and he puts those aside so he can help other people throughout the season, and he is called upon to do that. That’s just part of that’s what makes him, him -- that’s what makes Charming, Charming. So I think, particularly towards in the end of the episode, there is something that happens, but there’s a real sense of hope within him, which is really nice.
As you mentioned, he's been focused on the idea of returning to Fairytale Land ever since Mary Margaret got back, whereas she's seen what a mess it is and isn't particularly eager to go back there. Will those differing goals continue to be a source of friction between them?
Absolutely. I think he, of course, is the eternal optimist: "We can rebuild this. We can rebuild our life where it began and where it belongs," in his mind. And Mary Margaret has a point that this might be where they belong right now, and I don’t know if he’s too convinced about that or if she’s convinced about going back. So I think that is yet to be resolved and worked out between them.
They're back together, they know who they are now and they’re in this world where all kinds of things are happening, and like I said, they’re the heroes, so they’re called upon to always help their fellow man or ... fairytalian. [Laughs.] They always have to put their lives on hold for a little bit. So I think they’re still trying to figure that out and throughout the season, there’s going to be many more twists and turns to that relationship, and how they’re working their lives out and how they’re moving forward with where they are now.
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the show is that Snow and Charming missed out on so much time with Emma -- they missed out on being parents altogether, basically. Do you think that the thought of having another child at some point has crossed their minds; is that something you think they'd be interested in?
Oh, I would hope so. I mean, that’s not something that we’ve discussed with Eddy [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz], but in my mind, I would hope that they would want to, like you said, have that experience and I feel that that’d be a really beautiful thing. I think it would be something that the characters would really deserve to have. But again, who knows what would happen if they did?
Will we see any more of King George in either world in any of the episodes coming up?
Well, in this episode I think -- I haven’t seen the final cut -- I think you’ll see a little appearance from him.
How much of a threat is Ethan Embry's character to everyone in Storybrooke, now that we know he saw more than he was letting on when he crashed into Hook?
The character is certainly a mystery and I think everyone in town is trying to figure out who this guy is. Of course, in this episode, he’s going to be grilling Belle about what she saw that night about the car accident and what he saw. So he obviously has some sort of agenda. What that is, we’re just going to have to keep tuning in to find out ...
"Once Upon a Time" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
What do you think Charming's real name is? Would you like to see him and Snow with another child? Weigh in below!