Interview by Gareth Hughes - @GHughes1803
OUAF Editor Gareth Hughes caught up with writing legend Jane Expenson to discuss this Sunday's pivotal episode, "The Miller's Daughter". It's a fantastic hour of TV that promises to rip your heart out with several game changing moments that will set the course of season two's final run of episodes.
Read on as Jane discusses Rumple's origin story, a new understanding of Cora and the build up to a big season two finale!
The Millers Daughter is being hyped as a big episode since it delves into Cora's backstory. What can you tease about the episode?
I can say that Rumple has moments with at least three separate characters that will put a lump in your throat. So... three lumps.
Do you expect viewers to gain a new understanding of Cora by the end of the episode. Will they be more or less sympathetic towards her?
Oh, I hope they will be more sympathetic. The more you learn about someone, that's generally how it goes.
How does Rumple fit into this tale and is it fair to say this will be OUAT's take on elements within the original fairy tale of Rumplestiltskin
The title of the episode, at least this time, is not a mislead. This is, in fact, our version of the traditional "Miller's Daughter" story, which is Rumple's signature story.
The seer's prophecy about a small child being Rumple's "undoing" has got all the fans on edge! Will we see elements of that plot play out this year?
Regina's had quite a journey this season as well. What can you tease about future developments for our Evil Queen?
It's been a great year for Regina, and there is going to be a new little glimpse of her backstory in this episode, too.
What was the most difficult scene to write for Millers Daughter? Were elements of the story arc locked down pretty tight, or was there enough room for the plot to take some unplanned turns before arriving at the final script?
The elements of every episode are very much locked into place by the whole staff working together, and by our leaders Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, before the individual writer starts writing the scenes. But there's always room for creativity within those bounds. The hardest scene to write was probably the scene with the most action in it. Action can be really fun to write, but I was having so much fun with the talking scenes, I didn't want to let people stop to fight!
It seems like yesterday that season two premiered and now we are racing towards the finish line. What can you tell us about the direction the show will take as we head towards the season two finale?
I thought the season one finale was amazing and we are barreling toward a season two finale that has that same wonderful sense of satisfaction and culmination. And I'm thrilled that there are some surprises coming up that I haven't seen anyone guess yet!
Even though it hasn't been confirmed yet, do you all have an idea over potential story-arcs in season three? Are you confident of a renewal at this stage?
I think we can feel very confident that there will a season three. Eddy and Adam have some ideas for season three— and I bet they've got more that they haven't even told us yet.
Fans can get very emotional over characters and plots within the show. How do you deal with some of the criticism and negativity that sometimes occurs on twitter? Or do you take these reactions as a sign that the storyline is having the desired effect due to the emotions it is generating with fans?
Oh, absolutely, all the passion means that we are doing something very right! The audience is very engaged. The only time I get frustrated is when fans express violent anger about something that they're sure is going to happen – but that I know isn't going to happen, that has never even been considered. I can't tell them they're frustrated over a non-event, because that would be a spoiler. It's a very odd position to be in. I want the fans to be transported and entertained; I don't want them to feel that fandom carries with it the responsibility of keeping the writers from doing any particular thing. I want fandom to be a joy, not a job.
Talking of emotion, can you give any hope to the hundreds of RumBelle fans who write in each week. Will true love prevail or can we expect a roller coaster ride?
Those are not mutually exclusive situations.
Is there a storyline or character on Once that you haven't had an opportunity to write for that you would like to have a crack at in future?
I've been very lucky and have been able to write for almost everyone. But Amy Acker's character Nova is a fave of mine!. And Emma Caulfield as the Gingerbread witch! I know Amy and Emma from earlier in my career and have great respect for both of them.
Is there any Once character in particular that you feel a special connection to when you write for that character?
I adore Rumple. And of course our trio of amazing women: Snow, Emma and Regina, are all amazing. And the first script I wrote centered on Archie, so I love him. And Belle and Ruby and David and Dr. Whale... I don't seem to be able to pick one.
How does Once differ from other shows you have worked on. What makes it so special?
A lot of things – the humor and the kind of intricate structuring and the effects are all great. But I think there's something really special in a show in which almost every character has a name and reputation that arrives before they do, because of the fairy tales. That gives this show something really different and ties it to the narratives of our childhood. That's powerful.
Tell us the latest on Husbands. What's happening with it at the moment?
Brad Bell and I are confident that there will be more Husbands produced! We are figuring out how and when exactly this will happen. We are also looking forward to the imminent release of the Husbands comic book hard-cover collection from Dark Horse. You can order it right now on Amazon. We have a lot of upcoming convention and bookstore appearances where we will be signing copies of the book and chatting with the fans! We also have won a couple of awards already this season and are very excited to see that the interest in the show seems to keep growing and growing – the views on line haven't slowed down at all! A good place to see it is at http://www.youtube.com/user/GoCheeksGo
"The Miller's Daughter" airs at 8/7 Central this Sunday on ABC.