The first half of Once Upon a Time Season 2 came to a dramatic close with Season 2, Episode 9: “Queen of Hearts.” With everyone (including the biggest baddies yet) back in Storybrooke, the pieces are set for a dramatic showdown when OUAT returns this winter.
What can we expect from the second half of the season? We've gathered all of the juiciest spoilers and hints about what comes next right here.
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Regina's redemption? So, is Regina (Lana Parrilla) really on the path to redemption? Lana Parilla told TV Fanatic that in some ways Regina is relieved to have a reason not to use magic anymore, because it "has left a really bad taste in her mouth." On the other hand, Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) warned that she's not sure if Emma and Regina will be able to stop feuding over Henry (Jared Gilmore), and in the preview of 2013 we see Regina use magic against Emma, saying, "You will not keep my son from me." So it looks like the road to redemption, if she is still on it, is not smooth.
Regina accused of murder: Really not smooth. In the first episode back from the break, Season 2, Episode 10: “The Cricket Game,” Regina's accused of murdering a beloved fairytale character. But who did she "kill," and did she really do it? Emma doesn't think so...
Emma and Hook: Everyone wants to know if Emma and Hook's (Colin O’Donoghue) obvious sexual tension will eventually develop into something more than snarky enmity. So far, the cast has been evasive about whether or not they'll have a relationship, but Colin O'Donoghue did suggest Emma and Hook are "kindred spirits," and Meghan Ory (Ruby/Red) hinted that she thinks "we're going to see some romantic inklings between Emma and Hook for sure."
Hook's entrance into Storybrooke: One thing we do know is that, as Josh Dallas (David Nolan/Prince Charming) told TVLine, Hook's entrance into Storybrooke is "exciting and ... not what you would expect." We also know from set photos that Hook will have a run-in with Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin), and in Season 2, Episode 11: “The Outsider” Belle will run into him on her own.
Something big for Rumbelle: Emilie de Ravin told TV Fanatic that "something big is coming up" for Belle and Rumple, noting that while Gold wants "love over magic ... the magic has been a part of him for God knows how long.” The synopsis for Episode 12 hints that the couple runs into romantic trouble, and Robert Carlyle teases good stuff coming up for his character, saying "you actually will feel sorry for Gold." Plus, it sounds like Season 2, Episode 11: “The Outsider” is pretty Belle-centric!
Baelfire: Speaking of Rumple, we can certainly expect to hear more about his missing son. In the preview for the season Gold actually tells Emma that he's looking for his son, and the showrunners told TV Guide Bae will return this season.
Neal: And on the topic of important people from the past, will we be seeing Henry's dad again? You betcha — and in New York!
What about the Charmings? While we're pretty positive Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Charming will have their happy ending, Josh Dallas warns TVLine that "there are some things happening that the Charming family has to deal with," so their family reunion probably won't be smooth sailing. He has also hinted that Charming might want to return to Fairytale Land, instead of staying in Storybrooke forever, and we know they go looking for a bigger house. Interesting. However, it looks like for now Charming might stick with helping out as Sheriff.
Coming up for Archie... Raphael Sbarge (Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket) told us that we can expect to see more direct interaction between Archie and Henry, which has been missing this season. He also hinted that we might get a look at Archie's love life, and promised we'll see more Jiminy Cricket in flashbacks. The first episode after the break, Season 2, Episode 10, is called "The Cricket Game," which suggests that Archie/Jiminy is heavily involved.
A Whale-centric episode: We'll meet Dr. Whale's (David Anders) brother and father in Season 2, Episode 12: “In the Name of the Brother,” which is Whale-centric.
New characters: There are a ton of other new characters slated for the rest of the season. A mysterious stranger who people don't recognize will come to town and it sounds like he causes a big moral dilemma; and there are also guest roles for characters Helena, Arlo, Katerina, a young girl, Seer, Edith.
Returning characters: The Giant will definitely be back; there will be a ton more Hook because he's now a series regular; we'll see at least one of Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Aurora/Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Bolger) soon after the show returns; we'll see Smee; Cinderella might return; we're not sure about August; and there are hints that we'll see Prince Philip (Julian Morris) again.
Read more OUAT spoilers here.
Once Upon a Time Season 2 returns on Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Source: TV Fanatic, TVLine, TV Guide, @AdamHorowitzLA
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.