As Emma’s powers continue to spiral out of control during Sunday’s special two-hour outing of Once Upon a Time, she’ll turn to Rumplestiltskin for help in getting her powers under control—though Emma may be ready to get rid of her powers altogether.
“They’re thinking maybe it’s the best thing for her, to get rid of all of this burden that she seems to have that she carries the world on her shoulder,” Josh Dallas tells EW. “Maybe she can just be normal and she doesn’t have to be the savior.”
But being normal could come at a steep price. What Emma (Jennifer Morrison) may not realize is that Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlye) is far from redeemed after doing everything in his power to get his hands on the Sorcerer’s Hat—the same hat that sucks other magical beings into it.
Whatever happens between Emma and Rumple, the pair will share a deeper moment of understanding during a scene added on once the episode was expanded into two hours. “Emma sees herself as a villain because she feels like she’s made so many mistakes in her life and she’s always trying to redeem the mistakes that she’s made,” Morrison says. “Gold can only see her as a hero. The fact that he sees her as a hero in the way that he does is really impacting to her to hear him say that. Those words are really powerful to her.”
But losing her powers may not fit into the Snow Queen’s (Elizabeth Mitchell) plans for Emma. After losing the love of her own sisters, the Snow Queen seems out to adopt Elsa (Georgina Haig) and Emma as her own. “She just wants love,” Mitchell says. “It’s not like romantic love. I don’t think her head works that way. She’s too young really for that, inside her mind. She wants her two sisters. She wants that feeling of belonging again. She didn’t know that she had that love and when it was gone, she knew she had it.”
However, killing her own sister wasn’t quite the catalyst for the Snow Queen’s transformation into a villain after being hidden away from society at such a young age. “She was already on the road to crazy,” Mitchell says. “Without people to really guide her towards choices and having to hide and not being able to be the person she is, she just never came into her own.”
Without those skills, trying to break the sisterly bond between Anna (Elizabeth Lail) and Elsa in Arendelle of the past may prove more difficult, forcing the Snow Queen to take drastic measures to prove to Elsa that Anna had more nefarious plans for her. “Anna wants Elsa to be as special and as original and as true to herself as she is,” Lail says. “Because of Ingrid, Elsa’s perception could potentially get skewed to see it as though I am trying to take away her powers because I have this hat box and did not tell her the truth.”
But their bond may even be able to transcend what actions the Snow Queen takes. “The Snow Queen does herself a disservice, because once she starts trying to make Elsa distrust Anna, that’s exactly when Elsa starts distrusting the Snow Queen,” Haig hints.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.