Warning: This post about Once Upon a Time contains spoilers.
One day after #CaptainSwan tied the knot in the much-anticipated OUAT musical episode, star Jennifer Morrison announced via instagram that she will not be returning to the show, should ABC renew it for Season 7. (ABC will announce their fall lineup at the network’s annual upfront presentation to advertisers on May 17.)
As a long-time Once Upon a Time fan, I think the news of Morrison’s exit means it’s time for this particular story-book to end. OUAT began with Morrison’s Emma Swan arriving in Storybrooke, learning to believe in fairy tales come to life, and learning her parents are Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Prince Charming (Josh Dallas). Over six seasons, she’s been at at the center of the show, with ties to every other character. And this past week, Emma got her “happily ever after” ending by marrying Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue).
Narratively, it makes sense to end after Emma’s looming “final battle” with the Black Fairy. Here’s how it could go down: She sacrifices her own life to save her family and friends from her dark curse. An epilogue shows Snow and Prince Charming returning to the Enchanted Forest to rule their kingdom, Regina (Lana Parrilla) and Henry enjoying life in Storybrooke, Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) reuniting and bonding with their son, and Hook sailing off for a new adventure.
But OUAT is still popular with fans, many of whom won’t want to see the show conclude. So, how would season 7 without Emma look like? A few ideas:
*The dark curse sends Emma away from the other characters, who all get stuck in a new, unfamiliar realm. Snow and Charming lead the others in finding their way back to Storybrooke.
*The curse resets the show to the beginning, as though Emma never arrived in Storybrooke. All of the characters return to their alter egos, and their memories are erased. The challenge is figuring out (again) who they really are.
*Emma defeats the Black Fairy, but while she, Hook, and Henry stay in Storybrooke, Snow, Charming, and Regina venture back to the Enchanted Forest to deal a new (yet-to-be-determined) threat.
Creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have said that two new characters are introduced in the finale as part of a “narrative reset,” and that the season 6 finale will make accommodations for any actors who may be leaving. But tell us what you think: Should OUAT’s season 6 be its Swan song? Take our poll:
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of OUAT for free on Yahoo View.