Breaking news: Once Upon a Time‘s Emma Swan is Alice in Wonderland — or at least she will feel like she is as Season 2 opens with the Storybrooke residents newly aware of their true identities, and just as Mr. Gold aka Rumplestiltskin has brought magic to town.
“The world is upside-down for Emma,” Jennifer Morrison shared on the red carpet at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, where Once was nominated for Visual Effects, Costumes and Prosthetic Make-up. “Not that she is Alice in Wonderland, but in a sense she [has] gone down the rabbit hole. Up is down, down is up, left is right…. Her whole world is shaken up, and she’s sort of a new being.”
Of course, many fans of the ABC series — which was last season’s highest-rated freshman drama — want to skim over such mind-benders and focus on the sure-to-be-awww-some reunion between Snow, the Prince and their long-lost daughter. But that family get-together, Morrison cautions with a laugh, is “complicated,” for a number of reasons. (As Once cocreator Adam Horowitz says in our Fall Preview Q&A, “After experiencing the initial joy of finding her parents, Emma struggles as she learns how to be parented.”)
Besides, Emma is still focused on the youngest member of the Charming clan, young Henry, whose life she saved in the season finale with a peck filled with love. With Regina outed as the Evil Queen and magic ostensibly within her grasp, “[Emma] has to find a way protect her son and her relationships with her family, and figure out how to move forward without being so [emotionally] guarded.”
Speaking of emotions: Somewhere amidst all the mayhem, might Emma in Season 2 find time for romance? Morrison “can’t say” if Jamie Dornan will or will not be back as the Huntsman/Sheriff Graham, but asserts, “There’s definitely romance coming” for the former bail bondswoman.
But is magic coming for her, as well as for everyone else? “It’s going to be a long process of discovery,” the actress hints. “In trying to keep everyone safe and trying to figure out what [magic returning] means for the world, you’re going to start to discover the sorts of things that she’s capable of — and she’s going to discover that, too.”
Once Upon a Time Season 2 premieres Sunday, Sept. 30. (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)