‘Once Upon A Time’ Celebrates 100th With A Dark Family Reunion

Once Upon a Time left off with “Swan Song” as it headed into a mid season break, and when it returns with “Souls of the Departed,” the series will again explore uncharted territory. This time, however, that will involve celebrating Once Upon a Time‘s 100th episode, a happy milestone to be sure. The episode itself will explore themes of family and true love, but tainted by the darkness of the underworld.

Once Upon A Time‘s Emma Swan Leads Her Family Into The Breach, Once More

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As far as fictional characters go, Emma Swan’s evolution on Once Upon a Time has been tremendous. Starting off as a cynical, pragmatic woman of limited means, Jennifer Morrison’s character has come to accept that she lives in a magical world and, just as that becomes her reality, she becomes consumed by darkness. Of course, this wouldn’t be Once Upon a Time without just a hint of irony, so, just as Swan is cured of the Dark One’s curse, she finds she must return to the underworld to rescue her true love.

“Well, now that Emma has been through that Dark Swan experience, she’s sort of in a more vulnerable and open place than she’s ever been in her life,” the Once Upon a Time actress dished. “She’s determined to save Hook and, obviously, desperate to save Hook because the stakes are very high at this point. He’s actually in the Underworld, which is not a great situation.”

It sounds like true love may conquer all, except that there’s a slight snag in Emma’s plans. Her entire family is determined to go with her and help in the rescue of Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), and while Emma does accept their offer, she feels that they’ll be more of a hindrance than a help. Ms. Morrison says her Once Upon a Time character will be struggling with guilt over letting the Charming clan tag along, because deep down she knows that probably wasn’t the best thing for them.

O’Donoghue, who plays Morrison’s Once Upon a Time love interest, says the entire second half of the season deals with this group braving the underworld to find him. Meanwhile, his Hook character is suffering intensely, after having sacrificed himself for the greater good.

Jennifer Morrison Reflects On 100 Episodes

100 episodes is alot of screen time. Just ask the woman responsible for bringing Emma Swan to life. One of the things most interesting about Once Upon a Time‘s journey over the past five years is the change in the dynamic between Morrison’s character and Regina, played by Lana Parrilla. Jennifer says she never expected them to become such good friends, but she did expect some kind of meeting of the minds for Henry’s sake.

The Once Upon a Time actress says it’s great to see two strong women become real friends in a television show, especially after having endured so much conflict.

“And so, for them to have worked through that and now see eye to eye, and both really want the best for Henry, and actually be true friends who have each other’s backs and understand each other… I think it’s been a really fun friendship to explore.”

Ms. Morrison says she’s most looking forward to exploring the underworld for fans of the series, because there will be so many familiar Once Upon a Time faces. She says the journey will allow them to revisit past Once Upon a Time story arcs and bring back some old favorites.

Speaking of bringing souls back, Jennifer says her Once Upon a Time character will not be returning to Storybrooke without Hook. She’s very determined.

“I mean, I think there’s no limits as to where she’s willing to go at this point,” Ms. Morrison said. “She’s gone through so much to get to a place in her life where she’s strong enough and vulnerable enough to love without walls up, which I think is a really brave thing.”

Once Upon a Time returns with the remainder of Season 5 on Sunday, March 6 on ABC.

[Image by ABC]