On the winter premiere for Once Upon a Time, you are going to see Regina effectively in a strangers-in-a-strange-land situation that is both similar and different to Emma Swan during the show’s pilot. The difference is that Regina within the Wishworld is familiar with many of the other characters who are around. However, at the same time there are differences with all of them that come about from her not being there and the curse never happened. The new status of her great love Robin is one of them.
While Regina and Emma’s quest moving into the second half of the season will involve in part trying to get home, Lana Parrilla teases to Entertainment Weekly that she, at the same time, will be working to understand who this new Robin is and how he relates to the feelings that she had for her Robin:
“Regina’s dominated by her emotions most of the time, and seeing Robin really shook her up. She’s in a position where she has to figure out what she’s going to do with that relationship, and even though he’s not real, she has questions and she needs them answered. One of them is, ‘Was Robin better off without her?’ That’s her quest in the winter premiere. There’s still a part of her that is really hopeful.”