‘Once Upon A Time’ Spoilers: Why Is Pinocchio Returning, And Is Rumplestiltskin Completely Evil Now?

Once Upon a Time got rid of the Frozen characters during the midseason finale, so now the show can focus on some familiar faces that fans haven’t seen awhile.

According to TV Line, one character set to pop up again is August/Pinocchio. The last time Once Upon a Time viewers saw him, he sacrificed his life trying to save Storybrooke from Tamara and Greg from the “Home Office.” As a reward for his bravery, he was brought back from the dead by the Blue Fairy. However, he reverted back to his 7-year-old self and retained no memories of his experiences as an adult. Pinocchio hasn’t been seen on Once Upon a Time since.

Because adult actor Eion Bailey is returning to play August, the character will most likely appear in flashbacks. However, it’s possible that the Once Upon a Time writers have dreamed up some wacky way to bring back adult August — he once added pages to Henry’s storybook, so he might come in handy during Regina’s quest to learn more about how the book works and who its author is.

Eion Bailey will appear in multiple episodes, starting with Episode 14. Its title, “Enter the Dragon,” may offer a big clue as to what it’s about. During season 2 of Once Upon a Time, August encountered a mysterious magical healer in Hong Kong named The Dragon. Tamara killed the man, but perhaps he’ll also pop up in flashback form. Viewers might learn that he has a connection to the Author or the Sorcerer whose mansion mysteriously appeared in Storybrooke. Disney’s Mulan lived in China, so she could play a part in The Dragon’s story.

It’s also possible that “Enter the Dragon” simply refers to the return of Maleficent — she can turn into a dragon, after all. Entertainment Weekly reports that the villain’s backstory will be explored in the episode, and viewers will learn how the dark fairy and Regina first met back in the Enchanted Forest.

Entertainment Outlook posted behind-the-scene set photos from Once Upon a Time that appear to show Maleficent being all buddy-buddy with Regina in Storybrooke, and the dark fairy is actually wearing modern clothes. Maybe that dragon beneath the library wasn’t actually Maleficent, and the dark fairy has been free this whole time. If this is the case, it’s possible that she was helping August alter the book.

Speaking of Maleficent and the Queens of Darkness, showrunner Edward Kitsis revealed that Once Upon a Time fans will get to see their backstory in the midseason premiere, “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” It will reveal how the Queens met, and it looks like viewers will be treated to even more of their history in the near future. According to TV Line, Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson has been cast as Ursula’s father, see god Poseidon. He’ll appear in Episode 15, which also marks the return of JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Ariel.

The Inquisitr previously reported that fans have not seen the last of Robin Hood, so Regina might manage to get her happy ending. Rumplestiltskin also could be redeemed, even though he tried to trap Emma inside the Sorcerer’s hat, almost killed Hook, and seemed perfectly fine with the idea of everyone in Storybrooke tearing each other apart. Rumple has done some horrible things to free himself from the Dark One’s dagger, but according to Edward Kitsis, the crocodile’s heart hasn’t been completely blackened by a thirst for power.

“When he was on his honeymoon and he saw the hat and a chance to free himself, he wasn’t doing it for the power—he was doing it so he wouldn’t have to have the fear every day. Rumple didn’t come to this world with Bae because he was frightened to be in a land without magic. We realize he doesn’t want to be anyone’s prisoner. His real mistake was not being honest with [Belle] and telling her what he was doing. He didn’t do it for villainous reasons, he did it so he wouldn’t have to be a prisoner again and it just got out of control.”

Perhaps Rumplestiltskin isn’t teaming up with the Queens of Darkness to destroy Storybrooke — maybe he’s simply using them to get through the town’s barrier. Once he’s back, he just might try to redeem himself.

Once Upon a Time fans will get to find out which villains are truly evil when the show returns on March 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.