So far, Season 6 of Once Upon A Time has shown viewers the positives and negatives to being the Savior of Storybrooke. Premiering May 7, the Once Upon A Time musical episode will feature a singing spell, Emma's upcoming wedding to Hook, and the worry over Emma's visions of her own death. And, Jennifer Morrison will really be singing as Emma in OUAT.
Having Emma, played by Jennifer Morrison, be preoccupied with this looming future makes for an interesting angle in a musical episode entitled "The Song in Your Heart." Emma is nearing the happy ending she deserves, but as the Savior, it isn't part of her job description. When asked about the decision to create a musical episode around Emma's wedding, despite the possible tragedy on its way, creator Adam Horowitz said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, "It felt like the right place. Hopefully, when you see how the device works within the episode and how it relates to Emma and her character journey, it all seems to make sense that it would lead up to this. It worked on both a plot and character level, and it allowed us the fun of actually doing a musical episode."
Fans were first treated to Emma Swan's Disney princess skills in Season 6's episode, "Wish You Were Here," when Regina finds Emma in the Wish Realm. As Emma picked flowers in the forest, she hums a little tune.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jennifer Morrison said of the musical episode:
"We’re all so excited about it. It’s one of those things we’ve all thought about. Most of us have musical theater backgrounds or have had singing in our lives, or music in our lives, in some way. We’ve joked about it, thought about it. We’re all just listening to each other songs now trying to work out how the songs fit together and what the storyline is.”
While Morrison may have a musical theater background, her work on stage focuses more on plays rather than musicals. In 2010 she was Kate Keller in The Miracle Worker and she is currently on stage in The End of Longing as Stephanie. In the OUAT musical episode, Morrison will get to showcase her vocal talent through a character she is most known for: Emma Swan.
In an interview with TVLine, Jennifer Morrison said, "A lot of the song that we shot yesterday [Morrison’s solo, titled “Emma’s Theme”] is about Emma getting to that place in her life, which I think kind of marks the final transformation from ugly duckling to swan. She overcomes the last of her fears and baggage, and realizes that this song has been within her, her whole life, and it holds a power that she didn’t realize."
Jennifer Morrison had an opportunity to explore this juxtaposition of personal power and song where she played the Abbess in the direct-to-video release of Albion the Enchanted Stallion. The film is a fairy tale about a young woman who realizes she has the power to save her people — sound familiar?
The pressure of being a hero to the greater good isn't anything new to fairy tales, but what's different in the OUAT mythos is Emma trying to juggle being a Savior, taking care of her family, and finding true love.
Add these responsibilities to her vision of her own death, it seems the musical episode plays an important role in Emma seeking out her happy ending. The happily ever after of "Captain Swan" lies in the harmonic balance of Once Upon A Time.