Monday, May 8, 2017

Jennifer Morrison Bids Farewell to Once Upon A Time

Jennifer Morrison leaving Once Upon A Time
Photo Credit: ABC / Once Upon A Time
It's hard to imagine a show without its lead character but that's exactly what ONCERs have to face. After a long-awaited musical episode leading to Emma Swan and Captain Hook's wedding, actress Jennifer Morrison confirmed the worst: she's not returning to Once Upon A Time after season six.

The actress shared the announcement on her official instagram.
As I reached the end of my 6 year contract on ONCE UPON A TIME, I was faced with a significant decision. ABC, Eddy Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz very generously invited me to continue as a series regular. After very careful consideration, I have decided that creatively and personally, it is time for me to move on. Emma Swan is one my favorite characters that I have ever played. My 6 years on ONCE UPON A TIME has changed my life in the most beautiful ways.
This news comes after a turbulent season for the series. Unlike other shows on the ABC network which were given an official renewal or axe in early March, Once Upon A Time struggled to save itself,. Ratings continued to drop, leaving Storybrooke fans to wonder if the show had any magic left in it keep going. Morrison's announcement comes after an official renewal for a seventh season.

Now, I'm not even the most devout fan, but sometimes I wondered if it would've been good for the series to quit while it's ahead. Too many creative issues couldn't have fixed the past and mistakes continued to linger in every new episode. I often go back to season one and feel like there was so much potential left on the cutting room floor. Most of the time, it was the cast that kept me interested more so than the writing or worldbuilding. It remained one of the most optimistic and hopeful shows on tv. As the yellow brick road has come to an end, Morrison exiting the show isn't all that surprising.

Morrison has promised that she will be be back for at least one more episode of the show, so that at least guarantees the start of season seven to handle Swan's departure or explain her whereabouts. Her exit puts the rest of the cast in a bit of a pickle and leaves us to wonder about fan favorites. Actor Robert Carlyle, who played Rumpelstiltskin, was the second most outspoken star to say he was hesitant to sign on again. Word has it that the rest of the cast such as Lana Parilla, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Josh Dallas haven't renewed either. Colin O’Donoghue's contract, who plays Swan's husband Captain Hook, still has another year left.

Show creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have been toiling with the idea of a reboot, taking the show in another direction with a new narrative. In what could be the series finale airing Sunday, May 14th, the two-hour final battle between Emma Swan and the Black Fairy comes to a head.

Swan's arc on the show is still something to be cherished. She was a lost girl who grew into a powerful woman deciding her fate alongside a loving family and believing in happy beginnings. But what will Once Upon A Time be without Emma Swan? I hate to say it, but a probably a whole new show, and one that fans will struggle to get on board with.

What do you think of Jennifer Morrison's exit?
Has Once Upon A Time's ship finally sailed?

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