If you need your memory jogged about the ongoing plight of Once Upon a Time's fairy-tale menagerie, you're not alone. When the series returns after its hiatus, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and her son, Henry (Jared Gilmore), are enjoying an uncharacteristically tranquil existence in present-day New York City — with zero recollection of their magical past or of the unlucky inhabitants of Storybrooke. We met up with Morrison at Manhattan's Osteria Morini to ply her with pasta and wine for a peek at the secretive next chapter.
TV Guide Magazine: Emma has always been the show's hero. Has she switched to full-on domestic mode now?
Morrison: She's a little softer around the edges. She's been raising Henry for a year in New York, making breakfast for him and playing video games — the real things people do — not fighting off giants and witches. But obviously that can't last forever for the sake of our storytelling.
TV Guide Magazine: Speaking of that: How will she and Henry reconnect with the others?
Morrison: Emma will be shaken out of her memory loss sooner than Henry — she gets pulled out of that and needs to go find her family. We'll spend a lot of the second half of the season trying to track down who caused the new curse and why.
TV Guide Magazine: Sounds like the handiwork of the Wicked Witch of the West (played by Lost's Rebecca Mader).
Morrison: She's possibly the most terrifying villain we've ever had because her desires and intentions are very unclear. The show has begun to feel eerie, in a great way. I read the scripts and go, "Oh, God, what's coming next?"
TV Guide Magazine: So, what is next for Emma's love triangle with Neal (Michael Raymond-James) and Hook (Colin O'Donoghue)?
Morrison: It's been on pause — time has stood still, and Emma has met someone else in New York whom she's very serious with. She's looking at him as a great father figure for Henry, and as far as Emma is aware, he is a good guy — but there's more to him than what's on the surface.
TV Guide Magazine: Who would you like to see her end up with?
Morrison: Obviously, Emma has a connection to Neal — she spent an incredible time in her life with him. And Hook has proven himself to be someone who's helping and has truly changed. But from an acting perspective, I have really strong feelings about not judging my characters' choices — in any role that I take on. If I were playing a serial killer, I would have to figure out a way to love that person and [discover] what motivated her. No one walks around trying to be terrible!
TV Guide Magazine: Leather jackets have become Emma's unofficial uniform — have you gotten into that look yourself?
Morrison: I have absolutely gotten out of leather because of her. Back in Season 1, we wanted to establish an image of Emma where you know it's her instantly. The jackets are hard, so we always add a wardrobe piece that's feminine and soft. But I cannot, in my real life, wear a colored leather jacket ever again. Not going to happen!
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday, March 9 at 8/7c on ABC.
For scoop on your favorite returning shows including Mad Men, Game of Thrones and 24: Live Another Day, pick up this week's Spring Preview issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday, Feb. 27!