Once Upon A Time's heroes and villains aren't so clearly defined anymore. As the Evil Queen, Regina once cursed the entire kingdom. Hook was an untrustworthy pirate who enjoyed causing mischief. These days, both have renounced their wicked ways and side with the good guys.
Meanwhile, it was recently revealed two of the noblest of them all, Snow and Charming (played by the dashing Josh Dallas) caused Maleficent to lose her child in order to prevent baby Emma from growing up with darkness in her heart. Now, that dastardly deed has come back to haunt them.
Ahead of Sunday night's episode, "Sympathy for the De Vil," Dallas spoke to Spinoff Online about Prince Charming's bad choices, making amends with Maleficent, the return of the Wicked Witch of the West and the mysterious Author. In addition, Dallas hinted at the season finale and next year's big threat.
Spinoff Online: In the past, Regina and Hook have flipped from being villains to heroes. How fine is the line between good and evil?
Josh Dallas: Oh, I think it's really fine, particularly on "Once Upon A Time." No one on our show is 100 percent good or 100 percent evil. As we're seeing now, Snow and Charming did something in their past. Although it was born out of good intentions, it was something so heinous and so wicked. Now, the question is, "Even if you are a hero, can you ever really come back from doing something like that and redeem yourself? Can you ever be a hero again?" We'll have to see. They are going to beg for forgiveness. They are going to try to make it up to Maleficent for what they did. And, also to Emma. She's pissed at them.
Charming and Snow were responsible for Maleficent losing her baby. Considering what they've sacrificed to save Emma time and time again, do they understand Maleficent's willingness to do anything to reunite with her child?
Yeah, I think they absolutely do. When they were making the deal of eradicating any potential darkness from Emma before she was born, they thought they were sending that darkness into a dragon, but it was actually a human being. A baby. They were kind of duped in a way, but they still went through with it. They didn't stop it. They didn’t do everything they could at that time to stop it. They made a decision. A very bad decision. They are obviously trying to protect Emma from knowing that, or they were protecting her, but she now knows. She's not happy because Charming and Snow are her beacon of truth and light and have always talked about doing the right thing.
That definitely wasn't the right thing to do. Me, being a new parent now, it's not that I justify what they did, but I can understand it in a way. As a parent, you want to do what's best for your kid. Sometimes you don't always know what the right answer is. You are going to do what you think is best.
Obviously, Charming doesn't want Emma to turn bad, but has he learned from his mistakes? How far will he go to ensure her safety?
I think he will go as far as he can, but by doing the right thing this time. Whether he's successful at that, I don't know. You are going to see that in the rest of the season because Emma is on quite a journey.
In the upcoming episode, "Sympathy for the De Vil," Regina reveals that the Wicked Witch/Zelena is alive and has been posing as Marian. What does the gang do with that piece of information?
Well, it's shocking first of all. It's super-shocking and another thing the Charmings are going to have to deal with. In Storybrooke, it's never quiet or easy.
What else can you tease about that episode and Charming's role in it?
In Sunday night's episode, we're going to get a lot of Cruella de Vil's backstory and her relationship with someone in particular. We'll also see Snow and Charming go to Maleficent and say, "We will do whatever it is, we will do whatever it takes, to make amends for what we did to you and your daughter." You're going to see the beginnings of that.
Charming is arguably the noblest of all the Once Upon A Time characters. To coin an X-Men phrase, what would cause him to go all Dark Phoenix, if at all?
If something happened to Snow. Even though Snow would never want him to go that way, and he would probably realize it at some point and go back, but I think he would probably spin out and go full-on Darth Vader. It would be great to see.
Can you address the theories that the black spot on Snow's heart might come into play?
It's definitely something we'll probably explore later on. Snow and Charming now share a heart. They each have half a heart between them. I don’t know who got the black spot. Maybe he's got the black spot or maybe it was split right in half. It's definitely something that has to come up at some point.
How much is there still to learn about the Author?
There's a lot to learn about him and we will see that in the coming episodes. We'll see his role, how it plays out and what his motivations turn out to be.
So far, only the villains have mentioned writing their own happy endings. Would Charming change things if given the chance?
He would change some things. He definitely wouldn't want Emma to grow up the way she had, without her parents around. She's had a lot of turmoil in her life because of that, even though they did save her from being cursed. There have been a lot of repercussions of growing up on her own. That's something he would love to change, but, also, that stuff has made her who she is. Emma is strong, fiercely intelligent and noble in many ways. I think Charming is proud of her in a lot of ways. We saw Charming and Snow almost have their happy ending in the first season, before the curse came. I just don't know if he's the kind of guy who wants to really change history all that much.
Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis have crafted a two-hour season finale. What can viewers expect from "Operation Mongoose?"
We have the Trio of Darkness still in town to deal with. We have the Author to deal with. We have Zelena, who has now come to town, to deal with. And we have the potential of Emma going dark that we have to deal with. There's a lot going down in Storybrooke.
The fight between good and evil is always epic and that's no exception in this season finale. This finale may be more of an internal struggle between good and evil than it is an outer thing.
The series has a nice habit of teasing the next big bad. Will that be the case here, too?
Yes, absolutely. It's a big reveal. The new big baddie is going to be really bad. It's the unimaginable. It's the worst thing that could possibly happen. It's going to be tough for everybody. It's going to be distressing for fans.
Once Upon A Time airs Sundays on ABC.