Once Upon a Time fans will be seeing double this fall.
In a bid to put the Evil Queen behind her once and for all, Regina (Lana Parrilla) used Jekyll’s (Hank Harris) serum in the finale to extricate her evil side before ripping out the Evil Queen’s heart. But in a surprise twist, the Evil Queen reanimated and basically fired the first shot in the upcoming war.
Suffice it to say, the Evil Queen is very formidable — especially considering she’s not hampered down by the side of Regina that shows empathy or the ability to love. No, this Evil Queen is ready to fulfill what the season 1 version of the character set out to do.
“The two roles are obviously going to be very separate in the sense that we saw a snippet of an Evil Queen who looked at what Regina has become and is very disappointed,” executive producer Edward Kitsis tells EW. “If she’s unleashed, she would show Regina what ripping away everyone’s happy ending truly looks like.”
The real question is what this separation means for Regina. Not only does it appear the Evil Queen was unable to be killed, making things difficult, but also there’s the question of how different the new Regina will be without the ruthlessness that previously lived inside her. “There’s a lot of questions to be asked about what it means when you separate parts of yourself and can you really separate these parts of yourself?” executive producer Adam Horowitz says.
“That’s why we did the Jekyll and Hyde [Sam Witwer] story, which was, can you really eliminate the darkness inside you?” Kitsis adds. “Is that really the best way? Those are the things we’re really looking forward to exploring this season.”
As EW previously reported, the new season will also take on a new format, no longer splitting the action into two half-seasons, but rather over one season-long arc. That means the storylines involving the impending war, Hyde taking over Storybrooke, and the rise of the Evil Queen won’t necessarily fall the way viewers expect. “It’s not like this Evil Queen arc will be all done by December,” Horowitz says. “It might be done by week 2, or by week 22.”
“As always with this show,” Kitsis adds, “once the audience gets onto what we’re doing, we have to change it.”
Once Upon a Time will return this fall on ABC.