Once Upon A Time has been off of the air for what has felt like forever, but the show is finally returning to the schedule in March and is promising some intriguing action for fans. Namely, the ABC drama will be exploring yet another fairytale/Disney property and will be heading into the Underworld. This should give the series the opportunity to bring back some well-liked but very dead characters, and it looks like Once Upon A Time won’t disappoint on that front. Coming back in 2016 will be none other than Neal Cassidy, played by Michael Raymond James.

once upon a time

News broke recently that Michael Raymond James literally snuck all the way to Vancouver and filmed an appearance for the upcoming midseason return of the drama. Although TV Line got ahold of the casting news despite the secrecy, Once Upon A Time isn’t totally being clear regarding how Neal Cassidy will come back into the fold.

The obvious assumption is the aforementioned Underworld plotline. We already know that Emma is going to brave the Underworld in order to bring her lover Hook back from the dead. While there, she’ll have ample time to meet up with people who have perished on the show. Plus co-creator Edward Kitsis has even basically said that’s where this plotline is going in a recent interview. Here's what he has had to say:
I think that it would be very disappointing for her to go down there and not have somebody talk about Neal.

That somebody comment is pretty interesting, although it certainly doesn’t clarify exactly what will be happening. So, all we have to go on is the fact that Neal has been dead on the series for a while (although he did appear in a flashback sequence back in Season 3) and that we're assuming he made his way to the Underworld when he passed. We also know that the stint should be a one-off. While Hook may end up making his way back into the regular realm, Michael Raymond James. is definitely only going to return for a guest stint. The actor currently has a gig on NBC’s series Game of Silence, which is set to hit the schedule this spring. So, if you are a Neal shipper, be sure to catch the episode to support the fallen character

In addition to Neal and the Underworld, Once Upon A Time has signed on actress Teri Reeves to play an older Dorothy Gale in the latter half of the season. She's not expected until Episode 16, but expect an older version of the popular character.

You can catch new episodes of Once Upon A Time starting on Sunday, March 6 at 8 p.m. ET. In addition, you can check out what else is coming to TV this spring with our midseason TV premiere schedule.

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