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Neverland is a mysterious island filled with mysterious people who kidnap boys for mysterious reasons. The whole thing seems like a callback to another show you two used to work on.
HOROWITZ: Uh, I don’t know what you’re referring to.
KITSIS: It’s funny — I didn’t think of that.
HOROWITZ: We honestly hadn’t thought of that, really, until you brought it up.
KITSIS: Peter Pan is my favorite. I love the idea that all the Lost Boys were orphans, and that they wanted Wendy to be their mom. In episode 21, Wendy painted this great portrait of what Neverland is, but of course –
– it’s actually kind of bleak and sad.
KITSIS: Things are fun for a day, but you need your family. You need an anchor in your life. And so I think we’re seeing that Neverland is a very seductive place for children. But now that you say that, the subtext…
HOROWITZ: You can take the writers out of Lost.
KITSIS: But you can’t take the Lost out of the writers.
HOROWITZ: But we can promise you, no smoke monster in Neverland.

We’re not going to find Tinker Bell at the bottom of a hatch?
KITSIS: No, but Ben Linus might be there.

He’s kind of like a fairy tale villain.
KITSIS: He is! He’s the man behind the curtain.
HOROWITZ: Don’t forget, Ben Linus started as Henry Gale from Wizard of Oz.
KITSIS: We’re really not bringing in Benjamin Linus, because he has a very successful TV show [CBS's Person of Interest, starring ex-Lostie Michael Emerson]. Before people get excited — it’s a joke!

So now we’ve got the Neverland stuff, we’ve got Bae and Mulan in Fairy Land, we’ve still got Storybrooke — how do you plan to cross between worlds next season? Will episodes still include flashbacks?
HOROWITZ: At the end of season 2, we’ve placed our core group in a very difficult situation. Some of them are on the boat; some of them are behind in Storybrooke; some of them are in another land. So the question is, how do we best continue telling their stories? Sometimes that will require flashbacks; sometimes it won’t. We want to continue to expand the storytelling modality of the show, like we did in season 2, where we were able to do things like flash back to Emma for the first time, or see time during the curse.
KITSIS: We are not going to be doing episodes next season that have five different worlds in them. We definitely plan not to overly confuse or complicate the show. It’s about simplifying.

So after Regina’s selfless move in the finale, do you think she’s been redeemed, or at least gotten closer to redemption?
KITSIS: The metaphor we used in the [writers’] room was, she was an alcoholic and magic was her bottle. One of my favorite moments of the year is when she looks at Emma in the finale and says, “Everyone thinks I’m the evil queen. Let me die as Regina.” In that moment, that was her arc of the season. Now that they took Henry, now that she’s on this ship, the game has changed, because the goal is not self-betterment — the goal is to save her son.

And Rumpel is also fighting to save Henry, despite that prophecy saying Henry will be his undoing.
KITSIS: Rumpelstiltskin’s whole life, he’s always chosen power over love. He even did it in the finale — he tried to kill Henry in the opening. And then when he sees that boat coming, he knows what he has to do. He knows this is a one-way trip, but he knows it’s the only way to lighten his heart.
Source: Full Interview @ EW

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