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Once Upon a Time – 4.19 “Lily” Review

Fate and free will are funny things, as Once Upon a Time dives deeper into Emma’s past.

Minnesota (1999)

Emma, after escaping Ingrid, is placed with the ‘perfect’ family who plan on taking her on her very first vacation. Things take a turn though when Emma’s friend Lily is found hiding in the family’s garage. Lily is invited to join the family for dinner where upon lying about how she and Emma knew each other, Emma discovers that Lily is a suspect in an armed robbery.  Emma is furious and scared to lose her new family and asks Lily to leave immediately. Lily begs Emma for help with just one more thing, which is to retrieve her necklace that had once belonged to her mother from the house she was squatting in with her boyfriend.

Later that night, Emma follows through with getting the necklace, but while this is happening Lily is stealing the money from Emma’s foster family’s vacation fund. Upon returning home, Emma is surprised to learn that they called her social worker, discovering the lies and had learned about Lily’s robbery.  After confronting Emma with the lies the foster parents express they unhappiness with her for not telling them and for allowing such a person into their home around their children; Emma grabs her bag and leaves the house alone. Later that night, Lily finds Emma at a bus stop, and claims that no matter what she does, everything goes wrong and then begs Emma to stay in her life, but a bitter Emma leaves, saying she is better off alone.

After Lily leaves Emma that night she ends up on a bus with The Apprentice, who begins to tell her the tale of her origin and the truth about her dragon mother.

Some Thoughts

  • How did young Lily find young Emma?
  • Also the casting for young actors playing their older counterparts is usually on point (see Abby Ross and Bailee Madison) but even ethnic issues aside young Lily and older Lily look NOTHING alike (but I’ll give you August and young Pinocchio was also a stretch)
  • And I have some serious issues with the Apprentice tracking down Lily and not Emma! I get that he was trying to help her and his guilt weighs heavy. But at the end of the day Lily knows that lying and keeping secrets is wrong and yet continues to do it. Also both girls were innocent in all this and at a disadvantage.
  • I hate that we never really get the meat of Emma’s history in her flashbacks they always seem too heavily tied to someone else.


Maleficent shows up at Granny’s and tells Emma about her daughter, who is alive and named Lily. She is now against Gold after what he did to set up Cruella’s demise and wants Emma to find Lily who she says was adopted in Minnesota, which prompts Emma to race off towards the library after she hears the name.

Emma immediately does some research and uncovers the truth that the woman, Lilith Page, is not only Maleficent’s daughter, but was once the childhood friend of Emma (which we already knew thanks to the star birthmark). Regina arrives and suggests  that the two travel to New York together, giving them the opportunity to help each other, with Regina hoping to warn Robin Hood about Zelena, while Emma hopes to find with Lily in order to redeem her parents. As they prepare to leave Storybrooke, Emma and Hook share a heartfelt moment where he tells her she has reasons to stay on the good path, reasons he didn’t have before her.

Mary Margaret and David visit Maleficent and ask for her forgiveness, but she responds that the real person they need to seek forgiveness is from her daughter, and that Mal herself will never forgive them. Meanwhile, with Emma and Regina out of town, Gold finds the opportunity to find Belle’s heart and enlists Will to retrieve it while he distracts Mal in the Mayor’s office.  Will brings Belle’s heart back to her at the shop where Gold then restores it explaining that hurting her is blackening his heart more and that he should have been making her happy during their marriage rather than deceiving her, and essentially gives Will his blessing with Belle.

Some Thoughts

  • Cruella got a funeral…Graham did not…let that sink in.
  • I’m still confused about the spell that was put on the girls
  • I’m also not sure how I feel about the Belle/Rumple/Will scene but I was delighted to see Gold be the bigger person and to see him put Belle first.

Road Trip

Turns out that before Emma arrived in Storybrooke, that she and Lily lived near each other (Lily was just outside of Boston) and Emma and Regina visit the last known address that Lily had. They’re informed that she died in a car crash and tells them that she was basically a shady person. Back on the road, Emma stops because of a wolf in the middle of the road (just like Emma’s first arrival in Storybrooke) and blows a tire. While the Bug gets repaired, Emma goes to get coffee for them and is surprised to discover that the waitress is Lily.

Emma confronts Lily, who tells Emma that she is married and has a daughter and that she doesn’t want Emma messing up her life. Only to walk over to the young girl getting off the school bus and ask her to pretend to be her daughter in exchange for a free week of burgers at the dinner. Emma steals her timecard and at Lily’s they find a wall filled with newspaper clippings and clues about Storybrooke; turns out that Lily knows everything about its existence, and is plotting revenge against Emma’s parents. Lily takes off in Emma’s car which has the scroll inside that will allow her to enter Storybrooke. Emma steals another vehicle and she and Regina race off after Lily. Emma outmaneuvers Lily who then threatens Emma by vowing to kill her parents and the two start to fight (and there is some ‘magic’ in the air much like when Emma had Henry). The fighting stops when Emma points a gun at Lily, who dares her to shoot.  Realizing that killing Lily would draw Emma deep into darkness, Regina tells her to lower the gun and that her parents need a hero not a murderer and Emma does.

Emma and Regina invite Lily to come with them and they race their way towards New York City to warn Robin Hood, as Regina has now learned that the leverage she has over Gold, is gone. As they reach the apartment, Regina tells Robin the truth about Zelena pretending to be Marian but Robin doesn’t believe her, until “Marian” shows up and eventually reveals to everyone by transforming herself back to Zelena, shocking Robin, who suddenly shocks Regina, Emma and Lily with another surprise: Zelena is having a baby……

Looking Forward/Final Thoughts

  • I get that they promised to bring Lily back for Mal, but does anyone else think bring someone with a murder board into Storybrooke where there is magic is a bad idea….
  • Emma’s magic has been known to ‘trigger’ in our world but what about Lily’s? By the looks of the promo she can turn into a dragon like her mother.
  • I do feel bad for Lily, but at the same time how hard is it really to not lie or steal?
  • Whose fingerprints are on Lily’s board?
  • I never thought I’d have to ask this but if the glamour Zelena is using changes your insides like it did with her heart…does that mean the baby will have Marian’s genes  or Zelena’s????
  • I liked the Regina and Emma scenes this episode the friendship seems much less one sided now but I can’t help but miss Hook and Emma scenes as well, I just love them together and I feel like they’ve really been pushed aside this arc. Which makes me sad considering last year’s finale with the two of them is one of my all time favorites.

‘Lily” was directed by Ralph Hemecker and written by Andrew Chambliss & Dana Horgan



Fate and free will are funny things, as Once Upon a Time dives deeper into Emma’s past. Minnesota (1999) Emma, after escaping Ingrid, is placed with the ‘perfect’ family who plan on taking her on her very first vacation. Things take a turn though when Emma’s friend Lily is found hiding in the family’s garage. …

Review Overview

Plot / Story Arc
Special Effects

User Rating: 4.9 ( 1 votes)

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