Emilie de Ravin will return for at least one episode during Once Upon a Time‘s seventh season, EW has learned exclusively.
The actress, who first joined the ABC fairy tale drama in season 1 as Belle of Beauty and the Beast fame, exited OUAT as a series regular alongside five other actors at the close of season 6. However, when EW sat down with executive producers Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, and David H. Goodman to conduct the first edition of The Hot Seat for season 7, the trio confirmed that de Ravin would return in episode 4 to provide an update on Belle.
At the close of the season, Belle and the other residents of Storybrooke seemed to get their happy endings. However, in a flash-forward to the future, Henry’s (Andrew J. West) daughter Lucy (Alison Fernandez) said his family needed his help, leaving fans worried about the fates of their favorite characters — especially since many of them would not return in full capacity. That was particularly prevalent with Belle since de Ravin would not be returning full-time, while Robert Carlyle would be continuing as Rumple.
Since the announcement, Emilie has filmed her return which features a flashback to her and Rumpelstiltskin’s son’s first birthday.