Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 1 Hook
Photo: Courtesy of ABC

You know fairy tales are deeper, darker and more dramatic than those childhood books, and that’s why if you’re here, you’re counting down the minutes until Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 1.

 

The new season, which marks a drastic turn for the ABC fantasy series, kicks off tonight. But if you’re a long-time fan who hasn’t heard the latest buzz about the beautiful Jennifer Morrison and the show, you have some catching up to do to be prepared for tonight’s premiere.

 

What can I expect from Once Upon a Time season 7?

Brace yourselves if you’ve bonded with the Emma Swan character, because Jennifer Morrison is returning for Once Upon a Time season 7, but will not be the focus of the season. In fact, she’ll be absent. The new season is introducing a whole host of new characters in what can be seen as a soft reboot.

 

The turn marks a shift in priorities for Morrison, who opened up to Deadline about moving away from the series and the opportunities she’s been forced to turn down during her tenure on the fantasy show. “I spent six years year on House, a year on How I Met Your Mother and spent 6 years on Once Upon a Time, and collectively that’s 13 years of network schedule, which is an amazing and incredible gift but it’s a grueling schedule,” she explained.

 

Once Upon a Time Season 7 Episode 1 New Character

“I’ve been transitioning into doing more directing, I’ve had some opportunities that I’ve passed up along the years in order to fulfill these network schedules, and I really had to weigh where I was in my life,” Morrison continued. So where is she in her life now? “I’m just at an age and a time in my life where I want to be home, I want to be with my family and my friends, to have a chance to have a personal life for a while,” she explained. But those missed opportunities are a driver, too. Morrison added that she also “wanted to be available to do other creative things” beyond her network schedule.

But the leave felt natural for her — and for the show. She told Deadline that she felt like the show was in the perfect place to pick up with new character, which allowed some creativity. And, mostly importantly for her, “It felt like time for me to come home.”

So how much of Emma Swan can you expect? Don’t hold your breath for more than one episode, in which her appearance will be mostly to tie up loose threads and help transition to the new story line (sounds a lot like it's going to be in Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 1). Morrison has been quite clear about this, saying, “I only negotiated for one episode, and that’s all I can promise at this point.”

So, what time does Once Upon a Time season 7 episode 1 start?

The first episode of the newest season of the ABC drama comes onto your small screens tonight, Friday, October 6 at 8:00 p.m. EST.