Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Friday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!
Once Upon a Time not only revealed the identity of Hook’s daughter, but doubled down in the spoiler department by also unmasking her mother during the first of Friday’s two episodes.
As many fans had already suspected even before their first game of chess, Alice (Rose Reynolds) is indeed Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) daughter. The show had previously teased she was locked away in a tower, and now we know why. On a quest to gain access to the non-magical world, Hook had come across Rapunzel’s (Meegan Warner) tower. But after a night of passion with Rapunzel, Hook then discovered that the woman is actually Tangled villain Mother Gothel (Emma Booth) — the witch locked in Belfrey towers back in Hyperion Heights whom Rogers thinks is Eloise Gardener! — who was just using Hook to birth a child that would then take her place in the tower, that child being Alice. Twist!
“I thought it was an interesting way of bringing the character somewhere new,” O’Donoghue tells EW of finding out Alice would be Hook’s daughter. “I’ve just had a baby girl and it really resonated with me.”
However, it’s a twist that Reynolds didn’t know from the beginning. “First time I met Colin was in the stairwell of the offices at Bridge Studios,” the actress says. “It was after the read through of episode 1, I introduced myself and he said, ‘Oh, Alice, right? You know what they’ve got planned for you, don’t you?’ I said, ‘No.’ And then he smiled, nodded and walked off! And so then at dinner I was sat next to Adam [Horowitz] and said, ‘So, Colin, nice guy, he said something might be coming up for Alice?’ And Adam told me they intended for her to be Hook’s daughter and I was super excited, [but] mad at C.”
“With regard to finding out who my Mum was, I found this out much later,” Reynolds continues. “Maybe episode 6. I’d been ragging on Colin since I found out he was my dad, because I love him and it’s fun, and one time I joked that, ‘I must have got my good looks from my mum!’ And he replied, ‘You know who your mum is though, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And he did the nod, smile, walk away thing again! So I went back to the scripts and reread them for clues and there was a line about Alice being locked in a tower and I knew Emma’s character was doing a lot of that with Rapunzel, so I went back to Colin and said, ‘It’s the Witch!!’ to which he said, ‘Nope.’ And then walked off again! So not only did Colin deny giving me any parental guidance, when I got anything right, he lied about it to my face!”
All jokes aside, Both O’Donoghue and Reynolds are looking forward to their characters catching up to the audience and discovering the truth about their relationship. “It’s something we haven’t touched on yet,” O’Donoghue says. “I’m excited to read that episode, if and when we get it.”
Many fans suspected this might be the outcome after the duo’s Hyperion Heights counterparts Rogers and Tilly sat down to play chess — a game this version of Hook previously revealed to Emma (Jennifer Morrison) that he secretly played with his daughter while she was being held captive by an evil witch. “Tilly and Rogers introduced themselves over chess,” Reynolds says. “Chess has a major part to play in their father-daughter relationship or lack thereof, and Tilly comes to rely on those moments. The game connects them. I don’t know how Tilly will react when she comes to understand that Rogers is actually her father, but on some level, I think she already knows.”
The question remains when the two will discover the truth, which will likely go hand in hand with Hook finding out that Eloise Gardner is actually Mother Gothel, who’s been working alongside Drizella (Adelaide Kane) for as yet unknown reasons. “Well, we will just have to wait and see [how Hook reacts],” O’Donoghue says. “He obviously is angry!”
Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.