ONCE UPON A TIME at Comic-Con: The Cast and Producers Tease Season 7

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ONCE UPON A TIME is getting a reboot for its upcoming seventh season and some fans might be curious about the show continuing with the departure of so many prominent characters, including Emma, Snow White, Prince Charming, Belle, Zelena and more.

Executive producer Eddie Kitsis says they had a plan for the original show that ran six seasons and they wanted characters to get their happy endings. Now it’s time for a new adventure. They don’t plan on erasing the last six years in any way, but they’d like for fans to come on a new journey with them. The producers hope that some of the departed characters will pop up throughout the next season.

ABC brought the first two scenes of the new season to Comic-Con and the first show us Henry (who has graduated from high school) departing from Storybrooke. He wants to keep telling his own story and he doesn’t think he can do that in this realm. Apparently Emma, Snow and Charming all agreed to let Henry go pursue his path as the Author and now he’s saying goodbye to Regina. He hops on a motorcycle (like August!) and then drives through a portal. It’s the only bean that he has so, as he points out, getting back to this realm will be “an adventure”. In the next scene we see the grown-up version of Henry driving the motorcycle through the woods where he comes across the new Cinderella and crashes into her carriage. He seems surprised to see her. We also saw another preview for season 7 and you can see it below.

As Kitsis later explained, Henry wants to go see other stories and the grown-up version of him falls in love with Cinderella in season 7. When he gets into trouble he calls on help from his family and Regina, Hook and Rumple are the ones who answer his call, which leads to the four characters going on an “epic journey”. Kitsis also said that they’re planning to do a prominent LGBTQ storyline “this year”.

We’re also going to see a new version of Alice in Wonderland and Tiana from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns for its seventh season on October 6 on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Season 6 Finale Review: The Swan Song

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It has been a little over 12 hours and I am still not sure what to feel.

ONCE UPON A TIME has been a part of my life for so long now, that it feels like I’ve just closed a chapter last night. I remember when we got the screener for the pilot in the summer of 2011 and I thought that it seemed like such a silly premise. A town full of fairytale characters who have all been cursed and don’t remember who they really are? Please. It felt like a kids show and I only watched it because I had to do a preview kind of thing about it.

But that pilot was actually good. I was so pleasantly surprised that, when the show premiered in September, I kept watching it and it just kept getting better and better. Emma Swan soon became one of my favorite characters ever and I learned so, so much from her. I admit that for the past three seasons or so I’ve had kind of a love/hate relationship with the show. It hadn’t been as amazing as it once was, but I was still around because this was Emma’s journey and I needed to see it through.

I know a lot of people say this is just fiction, but when it comes to fandom and a show you love and that you’ve dedicated so much time and effort and emotion to it, these characters almost feel like part of your family and you want them to be happy – just like you would want a friend to be happy.

So this is bitterweet. Was I happy about this finale? No. But I don’t think anything would have really made me happy. Letting go is something so hard to do and saying goodbye to a character that has been so strong and inspiring is… it’s hard. It’s really hard.

I felt like the resolution to the Black Fairy drama was rushed, but at the same time, I felt the episode kind of dragged at some points. And I understand why it was rushed, I really do. After all, when this was shot, they had no idea if the show would be picked up for a new season, so they needed to wrap up everyone’s storylines, which was hard to do for a show with so many characters.

The parallel with the first season was a little too on the nose at times, but at the same time it felt like we had come full circle. Henry’s struggle to make Emma believe was even harder than the first time around, because the Black Fairy’s curse put her in a mental institution, with memories that she had been there for the past two years for believing in Henry’s delusions about fairytales.

Meanwhile, everyone else was back in the Enchanted Forest, stuck there, with no way to go back home. But the more the Black Fairy – who was now the Mayor of Storybrooke – crushed Emma’s beliefs, the more the magic realms were destroyed. When Emma is completely hopeless and the Black Fairy convinces her to burn the story book, the Enchanted Forest nearly gets completely destroyed. And it’s sneaky Henry that makes her believe again, by giving her a new book, telling her story.

The final battle was not really supposed to be an actual physical fight, but a battle for Emma’s hope and beliefs. The second she stopped believing, everything went to hell. And it was Henry’s book that helped her overcome her fears and go back to Storybrooke to face whatever she needed to face. Henry – the poor kid – was ready to face the battle himself. After all, the Black Fairy still had Gideon’s heart and, even after her death, he still had the mission to kill the Savior.

But Emma shows up at the last second and takes Henry’s place – just in time for her family to return to Storybrooke. When Rumple killed the Black Fairy, the curse was broken and everything went back to normal. But Gideon still had his mission, so he went after Emma anyway. They fight for a little while, but then Emma makes the ultimate sacrifice and lets him kill her.

While that battle was happening, Rumple and Belle went after Gideon’s heart. He does find it, but when he is about to command his son to stop, his Enchanted Forest, scaled self shows up, taunting him that he should just put the heart down and let the Savior die. That way, he would be all powerful because darkness would win. But Rumple was stronger and tried to stop Gideon, anyway, at the exact same moment that he ran Emma through with his sword.

Whatever happened next is anyone’s guess, but the power released there seemed to obliterate Gideon as well. Emma died, but Henry manage to bring her back with a true love’s kiss, just like she did back in season 1, when finally allowed herself to believe.

So we had a happy ending for everyone. The Charmings lived happily ever after, so did the Evil Queen back in the Enchanted Forest. Regina is now the beloved Mayor of Storybrooke, Rumple and Belle got baby Gideon back and Emma and Hook finally got to live happy, normal lives. It was a bit rushed, it was so incredibly cliché, but you know what? I’m glad they lived happily ever after. I’m glad to have met these characters and I am so so happy I got to go along for the ride for six years.

If there was something I learned from this show is that you can’t ever give up on hope and that love is the most powerful magic of all. Those two lessons alone made for a great six years and so many incredible stories. But something that Emma said in one of the first few episodes back in season 1 was probably the biggest lesson for me:

“People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, “No, this is who I am”. You want people to look at you differently? Make them! You want to change things, you’re gonna have to go out there and change them yourself, because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.”

This episode aired in 2011 and this quote has stuck with me ever since. So Emma, thank you. This came at a time that I needed to hear it and it has definitely helped me turn my life around.

I know ONCE UPON A TIME has been renewed and it will be a complete reboot, but this is the end of the road for me. I’ll still watch it, but the journey ended for me when they gave Emma Swan her happy ending. And I’m okay with that. I have no idea how they are going incorporate Regina, Rumple and Hook in a storyline that happens in the future – this time with Henry’s daughter – but I wish them well and that the next season is successful.

But so help me God, if they break up Captain Swan, I will riot.

ONCE UPON A TIME is set to return in the Fall on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME: Rebecca Mader to Depart Series

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There’s been a lot of news lately about ONCE UPON A TIME. First, Jennifer Morrison announced that she would be departing the show at the end of the season 6 finale and then ABC announced that it was renewing the show for a seventh season. But everything points to the show getting a series “reset” for season 7. We know that Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold) and Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook) will all be returning and two new characters will appear in the season 6 finale and carry on to season 7. But now Rebecca Mader (Zelena) has also announced that she will be departing the show.

To my Darling Pretties, First of all I would like to start by congratulating Adam, Eddie, Lana, Bobby and Colin on the pick up of Once Upon A Time! I am truly happy for you all and most importantly for the fans that will get to keep tuning in each week to see where they will take us. A lot of you have been asking if I will be joining everyone in Season 7, so I wanted to let you know personally that unfortunately I am not. This wasn't my choice but a creative decision of the shows that I totally respect and understand. The most important thing is that you all know how much you mean to me. I am told frequently both online and in person that by being a part of such a special show I have in some way changed someone's life. This is hugely meaningful to me. I am here to let you know that I am the one who has been changed. Not just by playing such a well written multi-dimensional character but by the fandom itself. I have heard your stories, your pain, your struggles, your achievements and I have truly felt you. I have learned. I have grown. I am a better person because of you, the fans and everyone that blessed me with this opportunity to play such an iconic role. Congrats all and thank you! I look forward to the next. I invite you to come with me on this journey. I am forever changed. And I'm wicked. And Wicked Always Wins. Forever yours, Bex ?

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ONCE UPON A TIME Renewed for Season 7

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ABC has renewed ONCE UPON A TIME for a seventh season — although, there’s a bit of a twist. Recently star Jennifer Morrison announced that she would be concluding her run on the show as of the season 6 finale, which is set to air as a two-part finale on May 14. There’s also been rumors for a while now that Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) and Josh Dallas (Charming) might also be departing the show. Other departures will likely only be clear after the season finale.

Nonetheless, the show is going on with Lana Parrilla (Regina), Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold) and Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook). It also appears that a time jump will accompany the show into a seventh season, along with newcomers Andrew J. West and Alison Fernandez.

Renewal and cancellation news for ABC and other network shows is coming in fast over the last few days, so read our consolidated list for the latest updates.

ONCE UPON A TIME: Jennifer Morrison to Exit Series At the End of Season 6

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Emma Swan is departing Storybrooke, ONCE UPON A TIME fans. The series is approaching the end of its six year contracts with its stars and hasn’t yet been renewed for a seventh season. There has been some talk that if the show were renewed it would have to change as several of the stars might want to depart.

Today Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) confirmed that she will be departing the series after season 6, although she is open to returning for one episode in season 7 if the show is renewed. She took to her Instagram to explain her decision:

“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. I am absolutely blown away by the passion and commitment of the Oncer fans. I am so honored to have been a central part of such a special show.”

“I will be forever grateful to Adam, Eddy, and ABC for giving me the gift of playing Emma Swan.
As I move on to other creative endeavors, I will continue to attend the fan conventions whenever my professional schedule allows. I always look forward meeting the fans.”

“If ABC Network does in fact order a season 7, I have agreed to appear in one episode, and I will most certainly continue to watch ONCE UPON A TIME. The creativity of the show runners has always inspired me, and I cannot wait to see the ways that they continue to develop and reinvent the show.”

ONCE UPON A TIME airs Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME: 5 Things You Need To Know About the Musical Episode

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The most anticipated event in the history of ONCE UPON A TIME is finally upon us. Emma Swan and Captain Hook are getting married and no Black Fairy or curse are going to get in the way of our favorite OTP’s happy ending. The TV Addict has already watched the iconic episode and we have a lot to talk about, Oncers!

I’ll be the first to admit that when I first heard they were doing a musical, I was completely, 100% against it. Musical episodes can only go two ways – they are either absolutely fantastic or absolutely dreadful. The problem with ONCE UPON A TIME tackling such an epic event was that they decided to do a musical in the same episode that the most beloved ship on the show is getting married.

It had everything to go wrong. Everything. 

But you know what? It worked. It really, really worked. I felt like I was watching a Disney live action super production and it absolutely paid off. The songs are great and super catchy and the cast sounds pretty good. And the best part is, it’s not a standalone – it ties in to the storyline really nicely and ends on a jaw dropping cliffhanger.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the five things you need to know about “The Song in Your Heart”.

  1. One of the things that I was absolutely scared of was that we had no idea if the cast of ONCE UPON A TIME could even sing. With the exception of Colin O’Donoghue, who was once part of a band, no one had a musical background as far as I knew. But they actually have really nice singing voices. We won’t count Colin because we already knew he could sing, but everyone in the cast is pretty good. The songs played to their strengths and – of course – some were better than others, but everything worked out. Special shout out to Josh Dallas, who has an incredible voice. Where have you been hiding those pipes, Mr. Dallas? You should share that voice of yours with the world more often.
  2. Every character has a solo, with the exception of Rumple, Belle and Henry.
  3. Regina’s solo is badass and definitely fits the Evil Queen perfectly. I really, really enjoyed her performance and it looked like Lana Parrilla was having a blast. There is one scene, however, that is very reminiscent of a riff off – Pitch Perfect style – between the Evil Queen and the Charmings. I thought it was awesome and absolutely hilarious.
  4. Emma’s solo is incredible. Jennifer Morrison’s performance is so raw and real and emotional. You’ll love it. It’s fantastic!
  5. And last, but definitely not least, the wedding does happen, Captain Swan shippers, and it’s absolutely amazing. It’ll make you cry and smile so big, especially with the final song. It’s so Disney and so sweet and I just loved the whole thing.

Check out two sneak peeks below. ONCE UPON A TIME airs tonight (May 7) at 8/7c on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Sneak Peek: Hook Sings in the Musical Episode

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ONCE UPON A TIME is getting a musical episode! In the next episode, titled “The Song In Your Heart”, we’re back in the Enchanted Forrest via flashbacks, where Snow and Charming have made a special wish that their daughter Emma will be protected. Unfortunately, the result of this wish is that the whole kingdom spontaneously bursts into choreographed song and dance, which makes the Evil Queen very grumpy.

In a sneak peek from the episode we see Snow and Charming trying to buy passage to the Evil Queen’s castle in order to save their daughter. But Hook isn’t interested in the money or jewels that the royals offer him — he’s just interested in revenge.

Don’t miss the musical episode of ONCE UPON A TIME on May 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME Sneak Peek: Taking a Trip Through the Black Fairy’s Past

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Rumple and Emma travel to the Dream Realm in this week’s ONCE UPON A TIME. As it’s the only place they can be free from the Black Fairy, the pair head there to help save Gideon. But Rumple discovers that he’s in his own dream, not in his son’s, and he finds himself in the house where he was born. All of this leads to flashbacks of Rumple’s early days as a baby. It’s through these flashbacks that we learn that Rumple’s mother, Fiona, learns from his fairy godmother that his destiny is prophesized. Once she learns about his terrible future she does everything in her power to keep it from happening. Ultimately, Fiona will have to make a decision that will change the course of both their lives.

In the present we see Rumple struggling to change his son’s future as well. But when the Black Fairy gets her hands on the Blue Fairy, is all hope for our heroes lost?

Don’t miss an all new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME tonight (April 30) at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME 6.18 Recap: The One About Redemption

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Even though I kind of always had a love/hate relationship with ONCE UPON A TIME (mostly love, I promise!), one thing that this show has always done right has been character development. Almost seven seasons in, the show has its faults, but this has always been one of its very important strengths and, after all this time, they are still delivering brilliantly in my book.

Last night’s “Where Blue Birds Fly” was an amazing example on how you have a character go full circle and find redemption. When I saw the promo last week and realized it was a Zelena episode, I thought it was just going to be a filler until the big musical everyone has been talking about. But I stand corrected. Following the trend of the past three episodes, they delivered another very strong hour about a character that has been mostly in the backburner this season, had a bit of humor and family time with Snow White playing Motherzilla of the bride and even managed to move the plot along.

If that’s not an episode that hits all the right marks and passes with flying colors, I don’t know what is.

During the flashbacks we saw that Zelena always chose magic over anything else, thinking it made her powerful and feared, and that that was all she needed out of life. It turns out she was once friends with the guy who would become the Tin Man and she ended up being the reason he became one, ultimately. The heart he needed in order to be a normal mal again needed to be powered with magic and Zelena was not willing to part with hers, even to save an old friend’s life. Major kudos to the bonus of finding our how the Cowardly Lion came to be, though. That was such a special touch and left me smiling like an idiot afterwards.

Back in Storybrooke, the Black Fairy tries to recruit Zelena and, in order to do so, shows up in her house and takes baby Robin in her arms. Now, you don’t mess with mama bear Zelena, and she refuses the evil fairy’s offer and decides then and there that she will take on the villain all by herself, because she is way more powerful than both Regina and Emma. Of course her plan backfires and she and Regina – who went to the dwaves’ mines after her crazy sister – end up trapped and fall straight into what had been the Black Fairy’s plan all along. She needed Zelena to use her magic to turn all the fairy crystals in the mine black, so that she would be able to use it as a powerful weapon against the Savior.

And Zelena, in her deluded mind that she just had to be better than everyone else, plays right into her hand, giving her the ultimate power. Regina is obviously furious with her and tells her she should just take the black crystal, pack her bags and go back to Oz, because she just made everything worse for everyone here. We could actually see Zelena’s heart breaking in that moment and how Regina’s harsh words cut her deep.

But here is where this show excels in character development – Zelena goes back home with Robin and she is determined to just leave this godforsaken town once and for all, but somewhere along the way, she realizes she has the tool to fix everything, if only she could let go of her pride and her magic. So she does exactly that and, to everyone’s surprise, saves the day.

So now that we got a powerless Zelena in Storybrooke, what does that mean for the character? I sure as hell hope it doesn’t mean she’s expendable now, especially with contracts still up in the air and major changes planned for season 7. As much as she has been neglected this year, I still find Rebecca Mader’s Zelena completely delightful and I don’t want her going anywhere any time soon.

Elsewhere in Storybrooke, we had Snow going full on Motherzilla of the bride. She even interrupted a much needed – and anticipated – sexy times scene for Hook and Emma in a delightful parallel to that early OUAT moment when Emma walked in on her parents. And was that just me, or was that scene the longest Captain Swan love scene in the history of this show? My shipper heart was screaming in joy and I admit I had heart eyes the entire time I was watching them. Haven’t you heard, my babies are getting married!

So Snow interrupts sexy times and recruits everyone to go check out wedding venues. Even though they are on the verge of the Final Battle, she thinks a wedding is exactly what they need to decompress and have fun and take their minds off of impending doom – at least for a little while. No one wants to do it and David is so not in the mood to do this, when they need to be thinking about a way to help his daughter defeat the Black Fairy in the Final Battle. It takes most of the episode and a lot of hilarious scenes, but Emma and David finally make her see that having a wedding now isn’t going to change anything, and that they shouldn’t rush into anything just because they might die soon.

This episode was just so solid and very reminiscent of old school ONCE UPON A TIME, that it was a joy to watch. After a mostly just okay first half of the season, they have really found their footing again and are doing an amazing job.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns next Sunday, April 30, at 8/7C on ABC.

ONCE UPON A TIME 6.15 Review: A Jewel Of A City

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Last night’s ONCE UPON A TIME turned out to be everything I’ve always wanted to see in this show, but never knew I wanted it until I got it. Regina, Snow and Emma having a girls night out was by far one of the most entertaining sub plots in a while, and drunk Snow White is my new favorite Snow.

But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Emma thinks Hook left Storybrooke out of his own free will and is devastated by it, even is she’s trying to be strong and not show any emotion. Regina decides that what Emma needs is a distraction from her heartache and that a girls night on the town is an excellent option, so she tells David to go back to sleep so that Snow can join them. And that right there is character development at its very best, because who would have ever thought that the Evil Queen, Snow White and her daughter, the Savior, would ever go out for drinks together? If you watch the show from the very beginning you can definitely appreciate how far they have come.

I just love when a show knows how to treat their characters and do right by their stories. Even though I loved the fact that Hook, Ariel, Jasmine and Aladdin were teaming up – and we’ll talk about that in a second – the girls were really my favorite part of the episode, even if it ended up on a sour note. Emma ends up talking to the bartender and opening up about her feelings and how Hook broke her heart, and he gets her to shed a few tears. It turns out, though, that the cute bartender was actually pain-in-the-ass Gideon and it looks like the Savior’s tears are pretty powerful stuff, so now he’s making Emma help him defeat the Black Fairy, while he is holding her tears hostage.

I guess it’s a step up from trying to out right murder her at least.

Elsewhere, Hook is stuck in Nemo’s submarine and Gideon sent them through a portal back to the Enchanted Forest. Now they’re stuck in their old realm with no way of getting back home, unless they find a kraken and get some of its blood. A kraken, it seems, is very, very difficult to find and when Killian finally finds one, it’s trying to eat Jasmine and Alladin. He obviously opts to save them and is furious that they’ve cost him the only kraken that he had encountered.

Long story short, Jasmine and Aladdin board the submarine, but some sort of explosion happens and they start taking in water, so they have to abandon ship. Nemo and Killian’s little brother, Liam, take off and Jasmine, Aladdin and Killian go on a search for Jaffar. Killian is convinced that if the guy is powerful enough to make an entire city disappear, then he can definitely help him get back to Storybrooke. They use Nemo’s device to find Jaffar and it leads them to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

It turns out that it’s Ariel’s home and that Jaffar has been stuck in an urn there for ages. As we discover through flashbacks, Ariel and Jasmine go way back and became fast friends when Ariel was searching for Eric in Agrabah. Anyway, they think that Jaffar must be a genie if he’s stuck in a lamp, so they decide to let him out and use the three wishes. But obviously, things are not that easy and the sorcerer was merely trapped inside, and puts everyone to sleep the moment he is out, just so he can confront Jasmine alone.

The princess is terrified of him, but she faces her fears and, ultimately, defeats him. Before that, however, she demands that he tells her where Agrabah is and he laughs at her and tells her it’s been in her hands all along, inside the engagement ring her father wanted her to wear.

So Jaffar is defeated, Jasmine finally gives in to Aladdin and true love and they free Agrabah. Now Hook is still stuck in another realm, but Ariel has a handy communication device in a shell. Killian decides to give it a shot, saying that he has one just like it back in Storybrooke. He pours his heart out and tells Emma that he would never leave her by choice and how much he loves her and she thankfully hears everything.

However, Gideon – being the little jerk that he is – has cut her side of the shell, so she can hear Killian, but he can’t hear her or know that she knows he’s trapped in another realm. Sigh.

I really, really despise Gideon.

A new episode of ONCE UPON A TIME airs next Sunday, April 9, at 8/7c on ABC.