This Week’s Most Noteworthy Performance by an Actress

March 9 – 14
Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time)

Just when you think it isn’t possible to love Emma Swan any more than you already do, this week’s episode and Morrison’s noteworthy performance increase the adoration and respect even more. In a single episode, a matter of three days, the life as she knows it is completely turned upside down and altered, but in the midst of it all she remains the courageously selfless woman she’s always been. Emma Swan is layered; she’s audacious and afraid, a savior and a lost girl, and essentially a human being who’s at the end of the day searching for the happiness that will ground her heart at home. This year with Henry has allowed Emma to love more openly – having her son, a job, and a man she loves, though temporary and based on lies, have helped her move past some of the issues that have always haunted her. Though there are evidently wounds that still ache, her heart’s more open. When Hook was telling Emma to trust her gut, and she recalled that it’s what Henry always says, she allows herself to listen to the voice screaming to be heard. She chooses to believe because just as Henry always did, this man’s relentless faith in her is motivating. Ultimately, because this last year has inspired her to take chances, when she taps into the emptiness that’s been in her heart, she trusts herself more easily. It was exceptionally wonderful to watch Morrison bring Emma’s juxtaposed emotions to life masterfully during scenes where she was both persistent and afraid – frazzled and content. It was especially uplifting to watch her put the red leather jacket on again because the expression Morrison wore in that scene said a great deal about where Emma Swan stands now. She was simultaneously able to depict a relentless woman who will always fight for those she loves, and someone who’s afraid of the unknown that lies ahead. An actress always needs to be commended for the moments they speak most loudly with their eyes. Despite being abandoned by those she loved and the fact that being an orphan for 28 years has made it so displaying affection is difficult, there’s a great amount of wonder, fear, and hope in her expression when Charming opens the door. Since she now remembers knowing her parents, she wants them to remember her as well – she wants the family’s love that was cut far too short by both curses. Morrison portrayed these three emotions remarkably, and the most beautiful part was the fact that the smile in her eyes displayed the utmost sense of contentment. From this moment on, whatever they face, at least they’re not alone, they have family. And that’s also why this is also categorized in this week’s most exquisite moment as well because it set the rest of the season in motion perfectly. Emma Swan is now fighting to save the town again, but this time she’ll have more help than ever – she has her parents, Hook (the man whose made her happiness his priority), Henry when he regains his memories, Regina, and the rest of the residents who’ve always remained loyal. From the moment they arrived back to Storybrooke, the viewers were reminded of the show’s notable message of home being where loves ones are.

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