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This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance | Actress

September 27-October 3
The Dark Swan” | Once Upon A Time
Jennifer Morrison

No one wants to see their favorite character go dark (or at least we didn’t!), but we knew Jennifer Morrison would find a way to amaze us to a state of speechlessness. We write about Morrison’s outstanding performances a lot here over at MGcircles but we’re now exposed to a side of her we’ve yet to write about. Playing a villain is perhaps one of the most exhilarating roles for an actor because it allows the performer to completely change into someone else. It gives the performer a real challenge because surely most actors/actresses aren’t as dark and twisted as some of the villains on televisions. However, while playing the villain is exciting, it’s without a doubt the most difficult, for it’s so easy to overdo it. And once that happens, audience members who are paying close attention find themselves coming back to reality as opposed to losing themselves in a world of make believe.

If we could go from wanting to give Emma Swan a hug to fearing her in a span of one hour then you know Jennifer Morrison has truly outdone herself. We’ve seen Emma Swan in very vulnerable situations, but what we got to see in this week’s episode was a different kind of vulnerability — an internal war more difficult than anything she’s faced before. There’s confusion, disbelief, heartbreak, and persistence all within Emma in that scene and Morrison does an astounding job of showcasing each of those individually and threaded together. Her heart and mind are racing far too quickly for her to catch up and it’s a roller coaster of emotions no one would be able to handle. Morrison understands Emma extremely well and it’s always this understanding that allows her to deliver scenes in an organic matter. As Emma’s trying to fight through the darkness in the Enchanted Forest, through her body language, enervation, and expressiveness Morrison shows the audience just how difficult this process truly is. It’s ultimately what makes her spectacle at Granny’s diner so groundbreaking. Because we’re aware of how hard she clearly fought, the story of what happened to force her into darkness becomes much more riveting.

We’ve seen Morrison play an angry Emma, but the rage and disappointment is so different in the “Dark Swan”. She’s calm and collected revealing a kind of darkness that’s truly frightening. The bold disenchantment in her eyes followed by the mechanical resonance in her voice are delivered with the precise amount of enactment that make audiences question whether the savior can actually be saved. And it’s the drastic change that’s going to give Morrison plenty of opportunities to really play with the character’s struggle in a whole new light as she attempts to fight through the darkness in modern day Storybrooke as well.

In other words, we’ve had trouble describing Morrison’s perfect performances in the past and we’re certain she’s about to blow us out of the ball park this season. If we use “kdfajsdlkfjasdklfjasdkfjaskldfjakdfja wow” you guys will understand what we mean right? Sometimes you just can’t describe greatness.

I’d like to dedicate this post to a dear friend of mine who’s passed. Adriane was a beloved member of the Once Upon A Time fandom and a huge Emma Swan fan. I’m deeply saddened for numerous reasons and one of them, though silly, is the fact that she didn’t get to see the savior save herself. Here’s to knowing and believing that Emma Swan will find her way home again. Here’s to believing she’ll come back into the light and live happily ever after. 


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