As “Once Upon A Time” gears up for its final episodes, executive producers Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are planning to focus on what built the show from the beginning: strong relationships and a familiar setting.
“It would depress me if we didn’t return to Storybrooke, so yes, we’ll return there,” Kitsis said at a screening for the midseason premiere Tuesday. “We’re hopeful to see familiar faces for the end.”
Saying that there is an “open invitation” for previous cast members to come back for the finale, Kitsis also noted that some returns are already planned.
“Epiosde 20 is a Regina-Henry flashback, but Henry is played by Jared [Gilmore],” Kitsis said. “He was 10 years old when he started [the show]. He grew up on the show. We’re really excited to have him back.”
Horowitz added that they consider Henry “the heart and soul of the show” and therefore have a “fun adventure” planned for him.
However, the seventh season of ABC’s fairytale drama introduced some new characters and relationships, as well, and they, too, have to feature heavily into the show’s remaining episodes.
“The whole second half [of the season] explores the Alice-Robin relationship,” Kitsis revealed. “You’ll see them be cursed but pulled together in Hyperion Heights.”
There will be a Zelena-centric directed by Lana Parrilla coming up, as well, Kitsis teased. Additionally, Gothel (Emma Booth) is trying to create a coven, and there is “someone out there killing witches.” Both producers warned that more characters will meet their demise before the end of the show.
However, for Kitsis and Horowitz, crafting the end of the show is “less about tying up every loose end” and more about the feeling,” said Horowitz.
And while Kitsis acknowledged that the show could have wrapped up with the sixth season, considering staples from the beginning of the show’s run like Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) departed, he and Horowitz are grateful to have a chance to say a proper goodbye.
“It’s about celebrating what we loved about ‘Once.’ We all took a really long car trip together. For us, it’s about saying goodbye to the show and what we loved about the show: the magic, the swashbuckling, the romance,” Kitsis said.
“Once Upon a Time” airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on ABC.