11:00am PT by Alyse Whitney
'Once Upon a Time': Who Will Die in Season 5's Penultimate Episode?
One of Storybrooke’s residents may not make it out of season five alive.
In the preview for Once Upon a Time’s season-five penultimate episode, it appears that everyone is gathered at a funeral in the aftermath of Hades’ takeover, and co-creator Eddy Kitsis warns The Hollywood Reporter that “everyone should be frightened.”
Though he will not confirm if there’s a death in the episode, Kitsis says it is “very emotional” and “may break a few hearts.”
When THR grilled showrunners Kitsis and Adam Horowitz about the potential death, Horowitz promised that “we’ll know where we’re standing with living and dying characters” by the end of the episode, but it may not be the biggest death the show has seen — hypothetically. However, he says, it is an “impactful, important piece of the storytelling going forward.”
Kitsis adds that Sunday's episode will also be “the finale to the Hades arc,” while the May 16 two-hour season-five ender will “really set up next season.” Headed into the finale, says Horowitz, “emotions will run the gamut. Everyone will be affected by whatever happens, and it will set people on different paths for the finale.”
Below, THR analyzes who has the biggest chance of dying in the penultimate season-five episode.
Emma is seen crying in the preview, but it remains to be seen if that’s because of a reconnection with Hook or if she just had someone else important taken away from her.
“Hook may be in the Underworld, but that doesn't mean he can't watch over Emma and maybe help her out,” teases Kitsis. This emotional distraction could make her vulnerable to sneak attacks from Hades or make her more willing to step into the cross fire to save her friends and family.
“Emotionally, she is reeling,” says Kitsis. “She certainly had a hard time falling in love, and to be honest, all her ex-boyfriends died on her. She feels some guilt and pain for bringing everyone to Hades, and she feels lost because she couldn’t save the person she loves.”
Hades (Greg Germann)
Hades is wielding a powerful weapon: an Olympian crystal. “This is magic unlike we’ve seen before because it comes from the gods, not a spell or a cauldron,” notes Kitsis.
Even though this could give him the upper hand, if Regina and Rumplestiltskin combine their powers — Kitsis claims that although they are "reformed," they are still the “ultimate villains” of the show — the ex-Lord of the Underworld could meet his demise. But there likely will be a huge battle first that will end in bloodshed.
“With no heart, he was quite vicious, and I think we'll find, with a heart, he can be equally as cold,” teases Kitsis. “I think he's going to be brutal in a way that we haven't seen a lot of our villains be.”
Zelena (Rebecca Mader)
Even though Zelena is in the dark at first about Hades’ intentions, it won’t be long before she has to make a tough choice. And if she ends up choosing wrong, she could wind up dead, which would explain why Regina looks so distraught in the promo.
“Zelena is going to have to make a choice between the man she loves — a chance at something she never thought she would have — versus the chance of something she also never thought she'd have: a sister and a friend,” says Kitsis.
Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Robin (Sean Maguire)
Regina and Robin are in the frontlines to face off against Zelena and Hades directly, and it seems like Robin is in the most danger, since he doesn't possess any powers of his own. The easiest route to break Regina’s heart and distract her would be to kill Robin.
“We're really going to get into Regina's head and find out really how she feels about everything in a way we never have before,” Kitsis says of the character's final season-five arc.
Horowitz says that she’ll “have her ups and downs” in the final three episodes, but Kitsis adds that “we can hope for happiness for Regina — she’s certainly striving for it.”
Henry (Jared Gilmore)
A powerful Author who has connections to both Regina and Emma is an easy target for Hades. “As Henry is becoming a teenager and he's got all that power, I'd watch out,” warns Horowitz. Kitsis adds that Henry “goes rogue” in the finale, so it sounds like he’ll survive the penultimate battle.
Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas)
It’s going to be a case of deja vu for the newly reunited family, who could be taking down Hades together or addressing a new threat in Storybrooke.
“Snow and Charming are going to find themselves in an old situation in a new place,” says Kitsis.
“The Charmings have a town and a family to protect,” adds Horowitz. “Regina is taking the lead in some ways because it’s her sister, but they’re fighting for Storybrooke, too.”
Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin)
One person who won’t be affected in this finale is Belle, who will be in a sleeping curse until next season so the actress could go on maternity leave. But Kitsis notes she still will play a “pivotal role.”
Even though it would be great to see Regina and Rumple team up, Kitsis says Rumple will “be doing what he does best: looking out for himself.”
Now that Hades doesn’t have a contract for Rumple’s baby, his focus may shift to taking down Regina, Emma and the Charmings, but there is always the chance that he’ll want to wipe out all of Storybrooke — including Belle and Rumple.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.