Once Upon A Time has been on the air for six seasons, and in that time it has thrown the savior into one intense battle after another; now she's finally about to get the rest she so rightly deserves. Before that, however, in the upcoming season finale, Emma will face her worst fears as she goes head to head with The Black Fairy.
We know from Morrison herself that even though she'll no longer be featured as a series regular, she has agreed to return as Emma Swan in at least one episode of the potential season 7.
With that season becoming more and more likely every day, what do the showrunners have in store for the series' reboot future? And who is this mysterious new character being played by #TheWalkingDead alum, Andrew J. West?
The Show Has A Future Without Emma
Though negotiations went south with #JenniferMorrison, there are still ongoing talks with both Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle to reprise their roles as Regina Mills/The Evil Queen and Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin. Rumor has it that both are near locked in to return.
It also appears that Captain Hook's Colin O'Donohue is in talks to return as well, though I'm not sure how well that's going to work out now that Emma has bid her farewell.
Morrison isn't the only cast member confirmed to be departing. Ginnifer Goodwin and her husband, Josh Dallas, have also said they won't be renewing their contracts at the end of season 6, but both are open to guest starring in future episodes. So, even though the show is losing some key players, it's good to know not all have yet given up hope on the series that's been their home away from home for the past 6 years.
Who Is This Newcomer To Storybrooke?
Andrew J. West was hired for a mystery role that will be introduced in the two-part season 6 finale. He will apparently have a much larger role to play if the show is picked up for another season. But who is this guy? Is he another fairy tale character come to life? Someone entirely new? Or is he what most fans have come to believe, a returning original series character made anew?
The most common theory is that he's playing an adult version of Henry Mills, played by #JaredGilmore for the past 6 years. Now, this theory isn't without any merit. Looking at pictures of the 2 actors side by side, it's not hard to see the similarities between them.
What Does This Mean For The Reboot?
Show creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz said if the show does come back in the fall, it will come back as a total reboot. This doesn't mean the past 6 seasons have meant absolutely nothing; it only means the show will not continue with the current format and stories in Storybrooke and beyond. The showrunners confirmed that this is the end for what's already in place, but also opens the door for more stories to be told, even with the original cast members.
But the showrunners haven't exactly been clear on what they meant by reboot. Some fans have speculated that #AndrewJWest's rumored casting as a grown-up Henry Mills will mean a significant time jump at the end of season 6. This wouldn't totally be out of the realm of possibility, considering how many times the show has played with time travel and alternate realities in the past.
We have to remember that this is all still a bit premature. The show has yet to receive the green light for another season, though it does look highly promising at this point. Though the series has seen drops in the ratings, it's still ranked as ABC's fifth most popular show and it gives #Disney opportunities to reintroduce beloved characters in new and exciting ways. At a time when new shows become less and less certain to stick, I'm willing to bet the network isn't yet ready to let this one slip through their fingertips.