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'Once Upon a Time' Bosses Tease Midseason Return: Magic, Romance and an Unlucky Loss

"Death's a big deal," executive producer Edward Kitsis said of the fairy-tale drama's midseason return.

Once Upon A Time Cricket Game O'Donoghue Hershey - H 2013
ABC/JACK ROWAND
"Once Upon a Time"

With the return of Once Upon a Time just a few days away, executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis promise that the residents in Storybrooke are about to see some drastic changes.

The midseason finale left off with Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) back in town after some substantial time away in fairy tale land after a dramatic fight with Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) and Cora (Barbara Hershey). What they don't know is Hook and Cora are in Storybrooke too -- and the havoc they wreak begins this Sunday in the midseason premiere.

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Horowitz and Kitsis teased what viewers should be expecting in its return as well as the second half of season two.

[Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.]

Another One Bites the Dust?: It's been teased that one of Storybrooke's own might bite the dust in Sunday's "The Cricket Game," and the aftermath won't be easy to deal with. "Death's a big deal," said Kitsis, who joked that he still gets death threats for killing off Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan) in season one. Question is: Will the death stick?

An Intimate Snow and Charming Reunion: The theme for the remaining season two episodes is family, but how do the recently reunited couple celebrate their reunion? In a rather embarrasing way -- at least for Emma and Henry (Jared Gilmore). "It's fun to see them together again," Kitsis said of Snow and Charming. "They're figuring out their new role being together, being in Storybrooke and being Emma's parents." With memories of their fairy-tale lives back in full force, Kitsis added that "going forward" they'll question what "being a family" means and find themselves asking, "What do we want now?"

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Rumpelstiltskin/Gold and Hook's Confrontation Is Coming: Captain Hook's journey to get revenge on Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) has been a long one, but viewers won't have to wait much longer. Producers teased that the anticipated face-off happens "very soon" after the return, and as expected, it won't be pretty.

Romance, Romance, Romance: The pairing of Emma and Hook has gotten Once viewers talking, and Hook might not represent the ideal person for Emma to be engaged with. "I think that in all life, there are the people who are right for you and there are the people who are wrong for you, and then there are the people you just choose," Kitsis said, before adding later, "I don't know if she would stare at [Hook] and think he'd be a great father for Henry but he might be fun in Vegas." Also, expect more obstacles and challenges to come Belle's (Emilie De Ravin) and Rumpelstiltskin's way.

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Mystery of Henry's Father: Producers are toying with Henry and his biological father Neal Cassidy (Michael Raymond-James) sharing a scene at some point this season. Plus, the contents of the box Neal opened in an earlier episode will be revealed.

Mysterious Guest Stars: Although he was coy in revealing info about Ethan Embry's "mysterious stranger" character, Horowitz shared that Embry will make his debut "soon." (Not a spoiler: Horowitz also called his turn "great" and a name will come.) It was revealed Wednesday on Twitter by star Josh Dallas that Downton Abbey's Lesley Nicol would drop by. The only nugget the producers would offer? Her character has ties to Snow and her family, which will be explored in episode 15. There also might be an August (Eion Bailey) return.

Other Destinations?: A promo revealed as much, but producers confirmed that "the idea of leaving Storybrooke" is explored.

Check back after the return episode for teases on the aftermath. Once Upon a Time is back at 8 p.m. Jan. 6 on ABC.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com
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