'Once Upon a Time' Bosses on Glinda's New Spin, Hook's New Foe and Intro to Oz

Executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz preview Emma and Henry's new Manhattan life, the impending battle between the Wicked Witch and the Evil Queen and flashbacks to the year that was.
Jack Rowand/ABC
"Once Upon a Time"

[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]

With less than three weeks to go, the countdown for Once Upon a Time's return has begun.

With Storybrooke gone and the fairy-tale characters back in their rightful land, what's in store for Emma and company now that a year has passed? Though many of the questions posed in the winter finale will start to get answered in the March 9 return (and beyond), executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz offered some hints on what's to come for the second half of the third season.

Q&A: 'Once Upon a Time' EPs on Emma's Brief Bliss, Looming Danger and 'Wicked' Villain

A sweet life in Manhattan: Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Henry (Jared Gilmore) have settled into their lives in the Big Apple rather comfortably, but Hook's (Colin O'Donoghue) sudden re-entry into their lives -- though they aren't aware of the past history -- puts a wrench in their plans. Covert Affairs' Christopher Gorham plays an integral part in Emma and Henry's story and serves as a catalyst of sorts. (Fun fact: Gorham, Kitsis and Horowitz worked together on The WB's Popular.)

Wicked Witch's vengeance against Evil Queen: The second half of the season focuses on the battle between Wicked and Evil, but the Wicked Witch (Rebecca Mader) makes her introduction March 9. "The vengeance that she wants to enact is exactly what we're going to get into in the next episodes," Horowitz hints. "When we learn more about the Wicked Witch and her backstory and what happened, we'll understand that what she has against Regina (Lana Parrilla) is a global problem and an internal problem," Kitsis says. "Those two are definitely going to get into it." The backstory of the Wicked Witch, whose name is Zelena, will be "doled out over a few" episodes and "a driving force as an antagonist," Horowitz adds. In fact, episode 16, titled "It's Not Easy Being Green," will be a Zelena-centric hour.

STORY: 'Once Upon a Time' Casts Glinda the Good Witch

Flashbacks to the year that was: Viewers should expect questions about what happened in the one-year time lapse to get answered, though patience is a virtue. "What we were excited about for this second half is we're flashing back to the year that was, so that every episode we're unloading this mystery of what happened, who cursed us and who is this crazy green woman?" Kitsis says.

A new spin on Glinda: While Glinda (Sunny Mabrey) will be introduced in the "latter half of this run of episodes," Kitsis insists that "she's still Glinda the Good Witch, in the sense that she's positive and she has a lot of spirit to her." But "the mythology of the four witches, we created our own," he adds. Horowitz adds that their version of Glinda still has elements of "pure goodness, but she's a character who has gone through a lot more."

Hook goes up against another foe: In an upcoming episode, Hook will meet yet another nemesis, this time in Blackbeard (Charles Mesure). "He is a pirate through and through, and he and Captain Hook do not have a love for each other, and the only thing two pirates will fight over -- even more than a woman -- would be a ship," Kitsis hints.

Welcome to Oz: "It's a place you will see and we'll spend a little bit of time there, but it's not an 'everybody gets on a ship and goes there' kind of thing," Horowitz says. Time will be spent in Oz, however, for at least an episode or two. Plus, expect a nod to the Yellow Brick Road and "some iconic friends."

The last of Peter Pan? The way Kitsis and Horowitz made it seem, there may be a chance viewers will see Peter Pan later on down the line. "I wouldn't say for good," Kitsis says, "but this season, yes."

Wonderland crossovers in Storybrooke? After Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) made the jump to Once Upon a Time in Wonderland for a crossover, does this mean some Wonderland folks could make their way to the mothership? "The two stories take place in different timelines," Kitsis says, but Horowitz was slightly more open to the possibility: "We love the characters in that show obviously and would certainly be open to it down the line." He adds: "We've planned out both shows to end in certain ways this year, so there's no immediate plans to have those worlds mesh up, but they exist in the same universe."

Once Upon a Time returns March 9 on ABC.

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