Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time. Read at your own risk!
The Final Battle has begun!
During Once Upon a Time‘s musical hour, it was revealed that Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) had long ago wished upon a star to protect a then-unborn Emma (Jennifer Morrison), which ended up causing the entire kingdom to burst into song. It was the power of song, they thought, that would help defeat the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla).
However, the song was never meant for them; it was destined to eventually aid Emma in the Final Battle, to help her realize that she was not alone, and had never been, as the voices of her family were always inside her.
While that did help Emma temporarily defeat the Black Fairy (Jaime Murray) in the penultimate hour, the Final Battle still awaits. After Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) and Emma’s wedding, the Black Fairy unleashed a curse that was meant to separate Emma from her loved ones going into the Final Battle. Where have they actually gone? Goodwin and Josh Dallas sat down with press members following a recent screening of the musical episode to talk about the end of the season:
The curse has hit. What can you tease about what we’re going to see in the finale? JOSH DALLAS: The final battle. The final battle that we have been waiting for. It is going to be— what is it going to be? GINNIFER GOODWIN: Epic! DALLAS: Epic! It’s going to be a showdown of epic proportions. That is for sure.
Can you say where? DALLAS: Where? You mean where it happens? GOODWIN: Storybrooke. That’s where it is, geographically. Emotionally, they are all over the map. Main Street more specifically.
We’ve seen so many curses on this show. How does the Black Fairy finale curse compare? What was your reaction when you learned what it does? GOODWIN: The breaking of the curse involves something far more dramatic than anything that’s ever broken a curse before. If it were to break! I am not saying it breaks! We could all just be blown into oblivion, and that’s just it.
Emma just used the power of song to stop your evil villain. How can you top that in the finale? GOODWIN: It is top-able. What broke the very first season’s curse was the kiss, a very pure, unromantic true love expressed between mother and son. The love that it takes in the finale in order to do what has to be done to break the curse, I feel is categorically bigger.
Because the show hasn’t gotten a pick-up yet, if this is the series finale instead of the season finale, will fans be happy with how it ends? GOODWIN: I think so. DALLAS: I think most people will be. You can’t please everybody. I think that some people will be happy, and some people will be angry and upset. GOODWIN: I think they found a magical way to make it go either way. DALLAS: Yeah, they’ve honored these characters and this part of the story, this part of their journeys. I think each character gets something that the fans should be happy with, that each character deserves.
Once the Black Fairy curse hits, is everybody on the same page, or are forces dividing our heroes? Are people working together or are they split? DALLAS: I think everybody’s working together. GOODWIN: It’s together-y. That’s the scientific word. DALLAS: It’s the only way. It’s the only way to defeat it. And also what you saw in this episode was the gift of song that Emma got was her voice, having that song in her heart, she knows that she’s not alone. So I think that togetherness [is there] through the finale.
How much extra time did this musical episode require? DALLAS: We didn’t get any extra time. We still had the same amount of time that we have to shoot an episode, but there was just more work that we had to do on top of what we already were doing. GOODWIN: Starting during the episodes before—I was trying to remember what it was. It was that we were doing crazy Zootopia Oscars stuff at the same time. It was like there was something that was crazy with us flying back and forth, because we started working on the musical… DALLAS: I mean all that press I had to do for the frantic pig. Nightmare. [Laughs.] GOODWIN: As you should. They came to the house at Christmas, the guys, to like audition us, kind of, to test our ranges. DALLAS: Not audition, just to hear our range. GOODWIN: The composers needed to know. No one had ever heard us. I mean I had done a little bit of singing for animation. DALLAS: They didn’t ask us if we wanted to do a musical episode. They just assumed that we could sing. GOODWIN: Well no, wait, they did say, “You’re going to do a musical episode, how do you feel about it?” And I said, “If you put me in the background with jazz hands, I will serve the story very well.” But that’s not what happened. But yeah, they came to the house, and I remember because the kids kept interrupting, so we just were all singing together. Why didn’t the kids make the episode? DALLAS: I don’t know. GOODWIN: Should we be insulted? DALLAS: But they wrote the songs pretty quickly, but there was extra work to do while we were shooting the episode previous. GOODWIN: We would go to rehearsals for dance and song and everything, yeah, the episodes before.
As huge Disney fans, what does it mean to you to have a duet written just for you that’s now part of the Disney universe? DALLAS: I mean it’s huge. I think it’s huge for us. And what we particularly loved about our number, that it felt, out of all the numbers in the show, that it was most Disney-esque feeling. GOODWIN: In our humble opinion. DALLAS: But don’t you think? GOODWIN: No yeah, for sure. For sure.
Are you glad that you guys got to sing them as your fairy tale characters, and really own the campiness of it all? GOODWIN: We needed to be able to lean in, and I didn’t know that would be possible without singing songs that were lifted from historic Disney animated features. I mean, these composers are brilliant, and I felt that being in fairytale land meant that because we could be a bit more stylized, yeah, we could really dig our elbows in in a different way than if we’d been— I don’t know how we would have done that in Storybrooke. Mary Margaret would have been like, “Don’t– listen– don’t–…” DALLAS: The canvas of the fairy tale land of it all really lends itself to a musical landscape, so we were lucky.
Did you end this episode going, “Why haven’t we been doing this the whole time?” Or did you end it like, “Oh I see why we haven’t been doing this.” GOODWIN: I’m glad it’s isolated because I think it makes it more special. And I think it lends itself to the finale-ness of the season. DALLAS: We are different from, say, Galavant or whatever. We’re different in terms of how we approach the material. It’s definitely better that it was a one-off. I think it just made it more special and more of an event. GOODWIN: I don’t know that we could have stretched out this particular story line in terms of why the characters start singing. It’s so specific. I don’t know how long we could have kept that going realistically.
The most dramatic moment in this episode was Charming’s entrance. DALLAS: Thank you! GOODWIN: Agreed!
How many takes did you do? And how did you, Ginnifer, keep a straight face? DALLAS: She never kept a straight face. GOODWIN: It wasn’t that it wasn’t straight. There was a choice I made through most takes which was: I … DALLAS: …wasn’t going to look at me. GOODWIN: No! What?! You were there! My first choice was that when he comes in, I get a little hot under the collar from his singing. And I feel you can see me kind of blurry in one of the angles going, “Ohhhhh…,” and they didn’t feel that that worked for the story line of the actual song, so I was asked to keep on the track of: “Why are we singing?” “Oh yes, I walked off the balcony last night and made this wish.” I did a hundred takes of “Oh, my! Who knew?” DALLAS: I didn’t even know! He was so self-involved with his own voice. He just loved the way he sounded. GOODWIN: You can see me blurry like doing this [feigns being hot] in the background in a couple of takes from one angle. DALLAS: Yeah, that was a good moment. GOODWIN: He practiced that a lot at home.
Do you still keep it with you? Do you use that to make a dramatic entrance? DALLAS: Whenever possible. GOODWIN: We have played the song. Our eldest, we’ve played the song for. DALLAS: He loves it. GOODWIN: He loves it. He hasn’t seen it. He’s never really seen us do anything. DALLAS: Although he does start laughing every time our voices come on. GOODWIN: He think it’s funny. Today I was watching a rough cut of this episode, and I was like, “Do you want to see Mommy and Daddy?” We’ve never let him see us on TV on purpose. Sometimes we’ve been flipping through something where, “That’s Mommy and Daddy!” And he has dolls of us, which I know is probably unusual. But I was like, I’m going to share this with Oliver, and this is going to be the moment where he saw Mommy and Daddy on screen. So I’m like, “Come here and take a look at this. Who is this?” And he’s like, “Mommy and Daddy. Can we watch Cars now?”
If this is the last episode, how do you feel about where your characters end up? Do you feel like you have closure on the characters? GOODWIN: Oh yeah. DALLAS: Yeah, if it’s the last episode, I would be satisfied. GOODWIN: I really feel that what they’ve done, because we don’t know, it’s kind of shocking how well they created something open-ended that could be seen as [the end]. I mean, in classic Once Upon A Time style, there is a twist. The twist means that it could go either way, and it serves all of the characters very well.
How about for Emma though? Since the musical is her happy beginning, how do you think it might end for her character? GOODWIN: Because she’s half of the Final Battle, she’s involved in the epic decision that may or may not break the curse. I don’t think that the scenarios could have been flipped. I don’t think that the wedding as the final episode of the season would have been as satisfying as what is to come for Emma. It’s a really good story line.
Are you guys aware of any plans for Season 7? Do you see where the story could go if you get the pick-up? GOODWIN: Oh, for sure. They definitely have great ideas about what could happen should we go on, and I’m just kind of assuming it’s going to go on. Like forever.
Once Upon a Time‘s two-hour finale airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.