You keep bringing Mary and David — aka Snow White and Prince Charming — together only to have them break up again. Do you actually have a bigger plan for them?
Kitsis: The whole idea of the show is that Storybrooke is cursed. Their love is so strong it keeps pulling them together no matter how hard we try to keep them apart. Of course, the curse has to keep them apart. I love that the audience is mad that David cheated, but he’s married to Snow White [Laughs]. In Storybrooke, he has all this guilt of cheating on Kathryn (Anastasia Griffith), but the truth is, that’s the curse.
Horowitz: Is he cheating on Snow White by being with Kathryn? To us, there’s a level of complexity we’re trying to build with these relationships and making nothing easy for our characters.
The last we saw of Snow White in the fairytale world, she had erased her own memories. When will you pick up that story again?
Kitsis: [This Sunday’s episode] takes place right after the Huntsman released her, so before she’s attained all her banditry skills. In fact, there’s a scene you’ll see, where Red (Meghan Ory) teaches her how to track. Episode 16 [picks] up directly after the episode where she drank the poison.
What can you tell us about Kathryn’s disappearance?
Horowitz: It’s a mystery and it is one that is resolved this season.
Kitsis: That’s going to take us into the end run of the season.
Horowitz: David and Mary Margaret are really fighting a curse to be together and this is another element of that.
Kitsis: This will definitely test them… [Also], Kathryn’s disappearance is going to take up a lot of Emma’s (Jennifer Morrison) time and test her emotionally.
Will other characters start to wake up?
Kitsis: I would say I’d be pissed if something didn’t happen like that. It is a difficult thing. The curse is a strong curse. It can’t just be easy. I think we’re going to explore those questions definitely going forward.
In Sunday’s episode, we’ll see August (Eion Bailey) spark something within Red/Ruby. Is that his goal in Storybrooke?
Kitsis: It’s like what Henry (Jared Gilmore) said in Episode 2, “It’s magic, people don’t remember.” So when you say to Ruby, “How long have you worked at Granny’s?” She’s like, “Forever,” because she has no conception of time. Once [August] puts it in her head, “Well, why do you?” She’s like, “Why do I?”
Horowitz: It’s a snowball effect, which is to say that [when] Emma arrived in the pilot, the clock started ticking and things started to change. One of the changes is August arriving. There’s a lot of things that have changed in Storybrooke, and they’ve mushroomed out to things like Ruby at the start of [Sunday’s episode] and those affects will continue.
Will we finally learn what horrible thing Snow did to the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) by the end of the season?
Horowitz: Oh yeah.
Kitsis: That is its own episode, and that will be Episode 18. That is the episode where you’ll find out why the Evil Queen hates Snow White so much.
Might Regina ever change her mind about the curse?
Horowitz: I suppose anything is possible.
Kitsis: She enacted it in such an emotional place that she wasn’t thinking clearly. She came here and probably got a little bored. Now that Emma is here, it’s reawakened her passion of revenge and anger. She’s protecting her son. I don’t think she fully understands what she did. I don’t think she understands the repercussions and she’s beginning to lose sight of even why she did it.
Is there a way to undo the curse?
Horowitz: Every curse can be broken.
Kitsis: It’s just how.
Horowitz: And yes, that is something that will be explored.
What can you tell us about Regina’s mother, played by Barbara Hershey?
Kitsis: Evil is not born, it’s made. Her mother has a specific viewpoint about the world.
Horowitz: Hopefully, you’ll get a great insight into Regina and why she is the way she is.
Now that we’ve seen a gentler Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), is he maybe not as bad as we think?
Kitsis: He’s a complicated man. It depends where you line up with his interests. He has an agenda and it’s whether you’re in the way of that agenda or not. A lot of these characters have gray areas. There is some humanity in him.
Horowitz: There’s an exploration [in Episode 19] of more about him and his son and what happened there that may hopefully shed a little more light.
What can you tease about Belle’s (Emilie de Ravin) return?
Kitsis: She’s got a nice little scene in Episode 14. She’s sitting up there with the person who loves her [and] not realizing that. That would be someone I would not want to piss off. She’s going to be back more toward the end of the season.
Was having Belle end up in the psych ward a nod to crazy squirrel baby Claire of Lost?
Horowitz: I wouldn’t say so much a nod as we felt really confident Emilie could pull it off.
Kitsis: We had the idea early in the season to have Belle in the insane asylum, and then when we were talking about who would be the perfect Belle, because… Belle is a strong character, and so we’re like, “Oh, it’s Emilie.” Then we actually debated changing the ending because of the squirrel baby, and then we thought, “No, let’s surge. Squirrel baby again!”
Will we meet anymore villains?
Horowitz: In March 11th episide, we’ll learn who the Big Bad Wolf is. We want to leave the door open for exploring more and more classic villains as we go forward. But that’s one example of something coming up.
What can you tell us about Season 2?
Kitsis: We think we have some really unexpected and surprising characters that we would like to explore next year that I don’t even think people are thinking about.