'Once Upon a Time' writer teases the season finale and Rumpelstiltskin's investigation into The Stranger

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rumpelstiltskin-the-return.jpg "Once Upon a Time" is back Sunday, April 22 with "The Return," the latest Rumpelstiltskin-centric episode. Writer Jane Espenson tells Zap2it it's a very emotional episode, both in Storybrooke and in Fairytale Land.

"[Rumpel] is trying to figure out who August is in Storybrooke, at the same time we see him back in Fairytale Land dealing with his son, who is not happy with how his father's changing. It's a really emotional episode on both sides," says Espenson.

"He has a theory [about August] and it's going to shake him a bit. You actually see him go to Archie in this episode," she continues. "This is an episode where we dig pretty deep. He's curious about August for the same reason we're all curious about August - everybody loves a mystery."

Speaking of theories, a popular one out there on the internet is that August is Pinocchio. Which Espenson says is a solid theory.

"I've seen that theory, it's a pretty interesting one. You can certainly point to clues that might lead you that way ... I think it's a good theory. I know why people have that theory. That doesn't mean I'm confirming it," she laughs.

But Rumpelstiltskin isn't the only storyline "The Return" focuses on. Sheriff Swan and Regina are set to have another run-in - and we're wondering if it's an epic showdown or just another brick building to the epic showdown.

"What a good question! It is an epic showdown that is a prequel to an even epic-er showdown that happens in the season finale," teases Espenson. "This is not the last time these ladies are going to go nose-to-nose. There is a showdown coming up in the season finale, along with a hell of a lot of other stuff, that's gonna blow your eyelashes right off."

Oooh, the season finale. We can hardly wait to see what the "Once Upon a Time" team has in store, which Espenson will not disappoint even a little.

"Every question you've had will either be answered or turned into a question that's so much bigger. It's incredibly satisfying. This is one of the best finales on TV I think I've seen," Espenson says.


"Once Upon a Time" airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Photo/Video credit: ABC