Last night Once Upon a Time, the show that’s ostensibly about fairy tales’ reconciling their myths with a darker, more nuanced reality, had its musical episode, and Lana Parilla’s Evil Queen stole the show. This morning we learned that if Once Upon a Time returns for a seventh season, main star Jennifer Morrison won’t be joining it—meaning Parilla will no longer need to steal the show, as it will basically be hers.
Per a note on her Facebook Page, Morrison has made the decision not to renew her contract and return next year, though she is open to coming in for a single episode to put her character’s story to rest:
When Once Upon a Time started, Jennifer Morrison’s Emma Swan was a compelling lead. She felt like a cool heroine in the vein of Buffy or Xena, a true successor to the badass women leads genre shows have had in short supply for the last decade and a half. Unfortunately, things rapidly fell apart. Emma was relegated to being a love interest in her own show (something Supergirl’s struggled with recently) while it shifted from being modern adaptations of fairy tales to Disney characters like Anna from Frozen would team up with Prince Charming from Snow White to battle the warlord Little Bo Peep. (I promise you this was infinitely less interesting than it sounds.)
Morrison’s exit marks the third such exit for season six. Earlier this year, according to SpoilerTV, her fictional parents Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas told fans they were not planning to return for the show’s next season either.