Following Robin Hood’s sacrifice, you’d think the residents of Storybrooke would have reason to worry that Regina (Lana Parrilla) may turn back to the dark side, but the two-hour Once Upon a Time finale will prove to be more of an internal struggle for the former Evil Queen.
As Regina struggles with her own inner demons, Henry (Jared Gilmore) aims to destroy all magic in order to thwart Gold (Robert Carlyle) in his plans involving the Olympian Crystal. That sets Regina and Emma (Jennifer Morrison) on a mission to track down their son, leading to what Parrilla teases is an honest and vulnerable moment in which Regina opens up to the Savior. But other threats lie ahead as some of the heroes land in a deranged new land. What’s in store for the finale? EW caught up with Parrilla to get the scoop:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In the wake of Robin Hood’s death, should we be worried Regina may go evil again?
LANA PARRILLA: I don’t know if we should be worried. I don’t know if it’s anything to be worried about. It’s going to take more than the loss of a boyfriend for Regina to regress. It’s going to take more than just his death to cross back over to the dark side. However, we do know that she has been so conflicted over the years with these evil tendencies and impulses. That internal struggle will continue and definitely be poked at because of his death. But we’ll see how she deals with that especially in the two-hour finale. We talk about it.
What was your reaction to the Robin Hood death?
I was sad because I adore Sean. I really love the storyline between Regina and Robin. However, I understand that this is a story we’re telling. Tragedy takes place in storytelling. We need to look at this as an opportunity to tell more stories, and to push Regina to places that we haven’t seen her before, and take her to places that we haven’t seen before. That’s all part of Regina’s journey is her evolution. This is just another extension of that.
In the finale, Henry plans to destroy all magic. What can you tease of what the heroes are dealing with?
Henry’s got this wild idea that he needs to destroy magic, so he goes on this mission with his girlfriend Violet to do so. For Gold, that’s the worst thing that could ever happen in his eyes, because he’s such a power junkie and a magic junkie that he’s going to do everything to stop Henry. That, of course, sends Regina and Emma on the hunt to find all of them and try to stop Gold from harming Henry, and also try to stop Henry from destroying magic.
Even though that may sound like a good idea [to destroy magic], overall for these heroes and villains, I just can’t imagine these worlds without magic. How would they be able to get from realm to realm? Even though Henry has the best of intention, he’s lacking the benefits of magic and what magic can actually do for all of them. Magic isn’t all evil. Unfortunately for Henry, that’s all he’s experienced for the most part. Magic has killed so many and he just wants to put an end to all of this.
ABC released some photos from Emma and Regina, who is holding some sort of paper. What’s going on in that scene?
There’s a lot going on in that scene. That’s Neal’s apartment, otherwise known as Robin and Marian/Zelena’s apartment. They go back there because they’re looking for Henry. Whilst there, they find other items that can lead them to Henry. It’s also a nice moment between these two women where Regina takes the opportunity to share some fears and concerns that she’s never been able to voice before. She opens up in a way that we’ve never seen. Emma’s her best friend. It’s a moment between these two women where Regina takes the opportunity to share some deep fears and thoughts. We’ve never really seen her have this confessional, I guess you would call it. It’s quite moving, it’s quite honest and vulnerable. She’s holding a piece of paper. I don’t want to tell you what that is, but you’ll see what that is. It’s the catalyst that opens the door for Regina to share all these feelings with Emma.
So she doesn’t blame Emma then for Robin’s death given they made enemies of Hades by going to the Underworld to save Hook?
No. That’s not at all what’s happening.
Elsewhere, Zelena, Snow, David, and Hook end up in this deranged new world that they may need to be rescued from. What can you tease on that front?
Back in Storybrooke, they get sucked through this portal. They actually end up in a world that we haven’t seen. They encounter these new characters that we haven’t met before, one being a meek patient in a mental institution and the other being his deranged, overbearing warden. You’ll end up seeing them moving forward into season 6.
A big theory is those two people are Dracula and Renfield. Can you say anything to that effect?
No, I can’t say anything to that effect.
How do you think Regina’s relationship has now changed with Zelena?
Ultimately, Regina has been waiting for Zelena to come around and soften a bit. All along, Regina is not really threatened by Zelena. She never has been. Zelena has been more of a pain in her butt, just making things more complicated than they need to be. In Regina’s eyes, Zelena has been a broken record over the years. It’s like, “Stop blaming me for our mother’s decisions. This has nothing to do with me. Stop punishing me for it, too.” Regina is actually excited to have this new relationship with Zelena. She feels a bit relieved. They now have something different to talk about. Knowing that they both loved each other at one point really strengthens the bond between them. For Regina, we talk about this happy ending. She’s made amends and she’s reconciled with her parents and her sister. I think she’s really grateful to have a blood relative in her life.
So does Regina have hope of getting a happy ending? You seem to be insinuating she has that right now.
I guess everyone can define what a happy ending is differently. Regina said it once before, “My happy ending is finally feeling at peace in the world.” Really, it’s feeling at peace with herself. Is she there yet? No, because she has this internal conflict where she’s constantly being teased and toyed with this darkness inside of her and doesn’t know what to do with it. As far as having a family, that all contributes to this happy ending. Having loved ones and being loved is a part of Regina’s happiness. It’s also what sustains her and encourages her to keep making the right decisions. I just want to be careful that a happy ending isn’t defined by a partner, and being with a partner. It’s much more complicated than that. It really starts with self. That’s what Regina’s really trying to achieve, is finding that love within herself and that peace within herself where she can forgive herself for the things that she’s done in her life. I think that ultimately will be her happy ending.
The two-hour Once Upon a Time finale kicks off Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.