'Once Upon a Time' season 4B is finally here!

ABC’s Once Upon a Time returns tonight for the second half of its fourth season. It will be a two hour special that will air at 7 p.m. EST rather than it’s normal 8 p.m.

Season 4A finished on a rather dark note. After being banished from Storybrooke by his one true love, Rumple seeks the assistance of villains from his past. Like Regina, he wants to find the author of the storybook so that he can have his happy ending as well. He tried to take it for himself when he used the sorcerer’s hat to cleave himself from the control of the dagger while keeping his powers, but things didn’t go quite as planned. Instead of reveling in the death of Hook and running off to a happily ever after with his wife, Belle, and his grandson, Henry, he is thwarted by none other than his wife.

The midseason finale showed Rumple arriving at the aquarium in New York and proposing a partnership with Ursula, who in our world appears to be a normal aquarist. He tells her about his desire to find the “author” and explains that they must make two more stops on the way, presumably to recruit Maleficent and Cruella de Vil.

Here are the tidbits about actors and sneak peeks that TheCelebrityCafe.com has been able to scrounge up. We also have a video recap of the season thus far, if you want to catch up before 7 p.m.

Image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFGoff.com

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Returning support actors/characters

Barbara Hershey will be reprising her role as Cora, Regina’s rather evil mother.

Rebecca Mader will also appear in flashback form, as our favorite wicked witch, Zelena.

Image via Twitter from Adam Horowitz

Christie Laing & Raphael Alejandro will be returning as the wife and son of Robin Hood, portrayed by Sean Maguire. Although, this time they aren’t in Storybrooke (as shown in the pin below), they’re in New York.

Eion Bailey is August/Pinocchio. Rumor is, he’ll be back. One fan theory: he’s the author of the storybook! But, as this pin from years ago asks, we’re still wondering if he and Geppetto will get their happy ending. I mean, isn’t he still a kid all over again. Maybe we’ll only see Bailey in flashbacks….

And, of course we’ll see Kristin Bauer van Straten, Victoria Smurfit, & Merrin Dungey back as Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, and Ursula, respectively.

Image via Twitter from Adam Horowitz

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New actors/new characters

Agnes Bruckner will play a non-disclosed role in at least three episodes in season 4B, according to Examiner. It is also speculated that she will play a misguided and scheming trouble maker by the name of Autumn. However, according to this tweet prediction, she may actually be playing the adult version of Lily, the friend Emma made as a runaway.

Image via Twitter from Agnes Bruckner

Here’s a clip of Emma and Lily as kids:

Patrick Fischler, best known as Jimmy Barrett on Mad Men, will play a peddler that exists both in the Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. I wonder what he’s peddling, and how Rumple will influence him.

The cat, as they say, is out of the proverbial bag. So excited!! #OUAT #OnceUponATime #SiliconValley

A photo posted by Patrick Fischler (@pfischler) on

Image via Instagram from Patrick Fischler

Sebastian Roché has been cast as King Stefan, Aurora’s father. For those of you who are relatively new to the show, Aurora, better known as Sleeping Beauty, played a pivotal role in getting Emma and Snow back to Storybrooke in season 2. Her relationship with Maleficent, however, was never truly addresses. I suppose that we’ll get to see some of that now.

Image via Twitter from Sebastian Roché

Ernie Hudson will portray Ursula’s father, who just so happens to be Poseidon, God of the sea!

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Sneak peeks

How exactly did the “Queens of Darkness” meet? Why, Rumpelstiltskin of course! Although, in this sneak peek from tonight’s midseason premiere, I’m not sure why he’s telling them that it’s time for villains to get their happy endings when it appears that is what they told him when they held Belle for ransom.

From Darkness on the Edge of Town:

From Heroes and Villains:

What about Emma and Hook? Will Emma turn to the dark side? What does that even mean?

How will Regina handle life without Robin? Will she turn evil again, or has she dropped the “E” word for good?

Will Belle forgive Rumple, or is the script title for episode 4x13 “Unforgiven” about him?

See you tonight for the beginnings to these answers, or perhaps just more questions!

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Carissa Shuman

Carissa is a writer, editor, and artist with a love for science and science fiction.

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