Once Upon A Time: “Lily” (S4Ep20)

There has been a lot of SwanQueen this half season, but this might be the best Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina (Lana Parrilla) episode ever. And aside from all the subtext their story line was actually good, interesting and had me actually worried about Emma turning dark for a moment. J-Mo and Lana are the greatest assets this show has and ever so often when it remembers that it makes fantastic episodes.

We start in the Enchanted Forest whenever with the Sorcerer’s Apprentice running to tell the Sorcerer about what the idiot duo (Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin) did to Maleficent’s (Kristen Bauer van Straten) child. Still no clues to the Sorcerer’s identity — please be Henry — because he is just a floating CGI blob. He tells his apprentice the Savior and Maleficent’s child’s futures are linked and they were destined to find each other and mess up each others lives.

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The Author and Rumple (Robert Carlyle) are hanging out at Cruella’s funeral. The Author is concerned that Rumple is just letting the Savior and the Evil Queen leave. The show pretty much just throws away the weight of the last episode by having Rumple say killing Cruella was just a step on Emma turning dark, she still has a way to go. He thinks her road trip with Regina will fully turn her. Also, Regina took Belle’s (Emilie de Ravin) heart.

The Charmings, Regina and Hook (Colin O’donoghue) are meeting at Granny’s to try to figure out what to do about Emma possibly turning dark. Maleficent walks in and says Rumple betrayed her too and she wants Emma to help her find her daughter. All she knows about her is that she was adopted by a family in Minnesota and named Lilith.

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Emma was already pissed at her parents and this does not make it any better. She goes to the sheriff station and looks through some microfilm and finds Lily’s adoption record, maybe? How is there microfilm of that in Maine? Forget logic, let’s get to the SwanQueen. Regina followed Emma and pretty much appears behind her and realizes this Lily must be the friend she told her about once. Emma says she has to find her. Regina agrees and says they should make a road trip out of it because she has to go to New York to save Robin (Sean Maguire) from Marian/Zelena. She also admits she hasn’t spent much time outside Storybrooke and maybe she needs Emma’s help. They are so lovey and flirty in this scene, on top of calling each other Emma and Regina the whole time, it is insane.

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We then flashback to Young Emma (Abby Ross) getting ready to go on a camping trip with her new seemingly prefect foster family. She goes to the garage and finds Lily (Nicole Munioz) hiding in there. She says she ran away from her family and got in trouble with her boyfriend. She says Emma is her only friend, but Emma is still mad about all her lying. But, she ignores that and acts like they are best friends with her foster dad finds them together. Lily lies about how they meet and she is invited to dinner.

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Back in the present, Emma and Regina arrive at the address Emma was able to find for Lily. It is five years old but they don’t have any other leads. It is only 30 miles from where Emma lived in Boston five years ago, which she finds a bit creepy. Regina says maybe it was just fate. Once they arrive at the rather shitty apartment, a neighbor says Lily hasn’t lived there in a while because she died in a car accident or something a few years ago. He calls her a weirdo and a low life and Emma isn’t having it.

She slams the guy against the wall and almost beats his ass. Regina jumps in and is able to stop her by saying he isn’t worth it.

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As they are driving away, Emma assures Regina it is not her going dark. She is just grieving a friend. Regina is adorably concerned but says she believes her. Then Emma almost hits a direwolf in the middle of the road. She swerves out of the way, but pops a tire in the process. Emma has a deja vu moment of the time this happened in season one, which was the reason she stayed in Storybrooke. Regina jokes that is must be fate and fate for them to have to go to the crappy gas station and diner. Regina tells Emma to get coffee and she will get them a new tire.

With Regina’s heavy handed dialogue, it was pretty easy to guess that Adult Lily was going to be in the diner. She was and Emma is quickly able to recognize her. She goes to talk to Adult Lily (Agnes Bruckner, who is not even slightly Hispanic. How are you this bad at diversity, OUAT?). She tries to apologize and tell her she can explain why her life has been so terrible. We also learned that Lily had to run from Young Emma after she found out she was a suspect in an armed robbery. Lily told her her life was filled with darkness all the time but it went away when she was with Young Emma. Because yeah no homo, OUAT. Young Emma tries to help her but Lily ends up robbing her foster parents and getting Emma kicked out. Adult Lily tells Emma her life is fine, she has a husband, a daughter and hasn’t thought about Emma for years.

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But, that is all a lie. Lily somehow knows about everything and is planning in enact revenge on Snowing, according to the cork board Emma and Regina find in her trailer. Lily steals Emma’s car, which has the magic scrolls that Regina needs to get in and out of Storybrooke in it. Emma breaks the window of Lily’s car and she and Regina go chasing after Lily.

Regina is freaking out a bit, both from the crazy driving and about Emma. Regina tells her she can’t just run Lily off the road. Emma then asks what she is planning to do to Zelena (Rebecca Mader) once they get to New York. Regina tells Emma she is and never was a villain. Emma ends up stopping the car chase. Lily tries to run but Emma stops her.

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The two of them get into a fight for a bit. Regina is nervously standing on the sidelines as Emma is getting more and more angry. One punch Lily lands on Emma’s face also causes thunder and the bug’s headlights to break. Emma then pulls a gun on Lily. Lily tells her to do it. Her life is nothing but shit and it is Emma’s parents’ fault so she might as well end if before it goes any further.

Regina pleads with Emma, telling her it isn’t worth it, she can’t cross this line and she will loss everyone, including Henry (Jared Gilmore). And Regina knows how hard it is to travel that road of redemption. Emma keeps the gun pointed at Lily just long enough for me to think that she might actually shot her, but she lowers it.

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Emma and Lily decide they are even with the horrible shit they have done to each other. Emma still wants to reunite her with her mother. Regina gets a call from someone and realizes she lost her leverage over Rumple and they have to go to New York to find Robin. Lily agrees to come with them.

They arrive at Neal/Robin’s apartment. Marian/Zelena isn’t there. Regina tries to explain to Robin that his wife is really her crazy sister. Thankfully, Robin freaks out and finds this information insane, which is refreshing after everyone just accepted it without question last episode.

Marian/Zelena then arrives. Regina yells at her. Robin yells at Regina for yelling at her. And then in another true example of how Zelena is a terrible villain, she just changes from Marian into Zelena in front of everyone. Why didn’t she stay as Marian? Robin wasn’t even believing Regina anyway. Robin then drops the bomb that he can’t go back to Storybrooke with Regina because Marian/Zelena is pregnant. That would have kept him there even more if he still thought Marian was actually Marian. WTF, Zelena?




There was a B plot in this episode, but it mostly seemed pointless. Little-to-no-purpose Rumple and why-is-he-even-here Will (Michael Socha) work together to steal Belle’s heart from Maleficent. If there was a reason for this story line, it was that Belle might still be in love with Rumple.

So, except for Zelena’s stupidity and the throwaway Rumbelle story line, I really liked this episode.


One Comment on “Once Upon A Time: “Lily” (S4Ep20)”

  1. Kris Smith says:

    Here’s a thought: We don’t know who Lily’s father is. When Regina goes to visit Maleficent to get the curse back, Maleficent tells her to find something else to love and indicates the black unicorn. As far as I can tell, Emma was conceived on Snow & Charming’s wedding night, which is when Regina goes on her visit. Lily was conceived just a short while before that. Could the black unicorn be Lily’s father. Could Lily’s parents be a dragon and a unicorn?


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