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.”)
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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)