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'Once Upon a Time': Your Burning Questions Answered

Where does season 1 go from here?
Now that the series has received a full- season pickup, Horowitz and Kitsis have started to map out what they'd like the endgame for this year to be. Explains Kitsis, ''I would say that a lot of the questions that people are asking — Why does the Queen hate Snow White so much? How did Rumpelstiltskin become Rumpelstiltskin? — those are questions we intend to answer this season.''

Have you started planning season 2 yet?
''We have some rough ideas for season 2, but we've only aired three episodes, so there's still plenty of time to crash and burn,'' says Kitsis. ''We're really focused on the season we have and making that great. A lot of shows are like, 'Oh, we have to have five seasons planned right away,' [but] a lot of things you think of in season 1, by the time you get to season 3 they're no longer exciting or relevant. We want to be able to have a road map so the show is not rudderless, but at the same time have the creative freedom to push the show in different directions.''

What other characters are we going to see in Storybrooke?
So far the writers on Once have used characters from ABC's parent company, Disney, and classic fairy-tale characters in the public domain to avoid dealing with outside rights, permissions, and fees. Kitsis points to Peter Pan, a personal favorite, as a character who won't be popping up in Storybrooke anytime soon: ''Unfortunately Peter Pan is not public domain, so that is a rights issue that has to be worked out. We're hoping that someday we can, because it would be such a shame to not be able to have Captain Hook or Peter Pan on the show.''

One character that is in the works? Ariel from The Little Mermaid — though they're still figuring out how they'll introduce her into the narrative. ''We actually have a really exciting idea for it, and it's just a matter of whether we can get to it this year or next,'' says Kitsis. Jokes Horowitz, ''Mermaids have the toughest agents.''

Are we going to meet Henry's father?
In the pilot, Emma assures Regina that Henry's father isn't in the picture. But that might not be the case for long. ''Henry's father is a very important part of the puzzle,'' says Horowitz, who hints, ''It's also entirely possible that we may meet him and not know we met him.'' Viewers should also keep an eye on handsome Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan), who Horowitz says is ''pivotal'' to the story.

Will the residents of Storybrooke ever find their happily-ever-after?
Since the series hinges on the curse, it's hard not to question what will happen once it's lifted and the characters are able to return to the fairy-tale world. ''The idea, of course, is for everybody to find their happiness or their hope,'' says Kitsis, but he cautions that the happiness the characters find may not necessarily lead them back to the fairy-tale world. ''One of the questions we explore on the show is, What is a happy ending? What does that mean?'' explains Horowitz. ''We started the show with what we felt was one of the most iconic happy endings, which was Prince Charming waking up Snow White. We then showed you that what you thought was a happy ending actually was the beginning of something much more.''

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Originally posted Nov 18, 2011 Published in issue #1182 Nov 25, 2011 Order article reprints