The producers of Once Upon a Time revealed their priorities for who will be given more storylines in season 3.
Speaking to TVLine in a Thursday report, series co-creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz explained that the six characters on the boat to Neverland will be the primary focus of the first few episodes.
"One of the things about Season 3 is we've really tried to focus on the core characters, including the six people on that boat and Neal (Michael Raymond-James)," Kitsis explained.
Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), Regina (Lana Parrilla), David (Josh Dallas), Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) and Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) were last seen in the season 2 finale traveling by boat to Neverland to try to save Henry (Jared S. Gilmore).
The show will continue with the storyline involving Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Aurora (Sarah Bolger) revived Prince Phillip (Julian Morris) back to health after his soul was sucked out by the Wraith. However, this won't be addressed for a while on-screen.
"We'll hint at it, but we probably aren't going to show that [back]story for a while," Kitsis said. "We do eventually want to get to that [Phillip/wraith] story, but we're coming out of the gate with the people on that boat."
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The co-creators also revealed that Ariel (JoAnna Garcia), who viewers will be introduced to in season 3, might have a connection with Regina. In episode 12 of season 1, Regina made a reference to knowing a mermaid, which has not been addressed since. Horowitz said that they might flash back to an encounter between them in the upcoming season.
It was confirmed that there will be a one-hour recap special before the season 3 premiere. The special, titled Once Upon a Time: Journey to Neverland, will recap the show's first two seasons. It will air on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
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Season 3 of Once Upon a Time premieres on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Watch the promo for season 3 here: