Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 20 – TV Review
No, seriously, Emma. What are you waiting for? The chance to be cool doesn’t come along often on Once Upon a Time.
TL;DR Emma and Regina track down Lily, who is, predictably, evil; they also go to rescue Robin from Zelena, but she got pregnant; Gold steals Belle her heart back; flashbacks take us to 1999 Emma and Lily and how they had a second falling out.
There is considerable… fallout.
So now that Cruella is dead for real (aww), it’s time for the gang to get back to business. Which means a gal pal road trip for Regina and Emma. They track down Lily, who it turns out is totally clued in on everything fairy tale and is out to get murderous, justifiable revenge on Snow and David for ruining her life. Emma considers straight-up executing Lily, but doesn’t. Lily tags along as the trio races to Robin, where Zelena reveals not only herself, but the bun she’s got in her rapist oven. Meanwhile in Storybrooke, Gold enlists Will to help him steal back Belle’s heart, which Maleficent is guarding. They do, and Gold gives it back to Belle, and encourages her to stay with Will. Because Gold’s heart is almost dead or whatever. Meanwhile, Snow and David make feeble attempts to apologise to Maleficent now that they know her baby didn’t die from what they did to it. And the flashbacks show how Lily ruined a good thing Emma had going with a WASPish foster family, because Lily is the literal embodiment of badness and chaos, you know? Emma fucked her off for good, and then the Apprentice met Lily on a bus and told her the tale of her true ancestry.
The silly old fool with his guilt over the spell. Just palm it off on Snow and David. Everybody else is.
I must admit that it was refreshing to spend a little time away from the rigid Storybrooke/Enchanted Forest plot split for once. The present plot takes place mainly outside of Storybrooke, as does the flashback.
Although, apparently our world has turned Robin’s brain to mush.
Why I hate this episode:
Robin not only learns that Zelena has killed his wife, but that she’s been duping him and everyone he knows for months, and that she’s raped him through deception (likely more than once), and that she’s pregnancy entrapped him. And yet he refuses to go with Regina back to Storybrooke because “mah baby.” Dude, just walk out on that bitch. Actually, no. Make sure to get in a nice, hard gut punch first. Maybe let Regina put a couple of elbows into it, too. Just to be sure.
I mean, seriously. What is this? The ending of Gone Girl? At least Amy Elliott-Dunne had the decency to use frozen sperm and not put on a disguise to bang a belly bun out of her husband.
Cruella is literally dead and buried, as we see Gold and the Author putting her in the ground this episode. What a waste.
Lily is a little one-dimensional. I’m hoping that some more screen time will make me give a shit about her. I was really hoping Emma would have pulled the trigger, though.
Regina helps talk Emma out of executing Lily by using her own life as an example. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Regina is fabulous, has completely redeemed herself, and is only a few short plot contrivances away from getting her man, baby. Emma should have pulled the trigger and walked in Regina’s impeccably dressed footsteps.
Young Emma’s foster parents are painfully clichéd. Of course they’re perfectly rich and white. Of course they believe any reason to distrust Emma. And of course they have to include a moment where they care more about their biological children than Emma. Jesus.
Young Emma gets mad at Lily for lying about how she and Emma met. Bitch, did you want her to tell them how you bonded over shoplifting?
Gold’s capitulation to Will is out-of-character. If it isn’t a step in a longer scheme, I’ll be disappointed.
Oh, and the reason Emma and Regina find Lily is because fate causes them to almost crash their car and get a flat tyre. So they go to a nearby service station to get the mechanics to change the tyre, and Emma runs into Lily, who is a waitress at the adjoined cafe. But does Emma not have a spare tyre in her car? And if she doesn’t, do neither her nor Regina know how to change a fucking tyre themselves? Holy shit. Regina I could understand, but isn’t Emma supposed to be this hyper capable, badass bounty hunter bitch? And she can’t, or simply won’t, change a tyre? What the fuck? Give me witch sisters and dragons and fairies, but this is a step too far for the willing suspension of disbelief.
But it’s not all bad:
On the other hand, I can add it to my catalogue of Things Emma Is Terrible At And Help Validate My Hatred For Her. “Being a sheriff” is at the top of the list, naturally.
Emma does get a couple of points this episode when she shows flashes of the dark path she’s now on. In an earlier scene, Lily’s former landlord tells Emma and Regina how Lily apparently died in a car crash, but nobody misses her because she was a jerk. Emma’s response is to violently assault him. Regina is like woah.
And of course, she does almost execute Lily. If only she could have taken that same practical approach with Zelena.
Zelena may be near Amy Elliott-Dunne levels of literally Satan-esque evil, but she pulls that shit off. Even though it ruins her ruse, she happily dispels her disguise to reveal herself to Robin when the girls come knocking. Because she knows that Robin is fucktarded enough to stay for the rape baby. Nicely done, Hitler.
Snow and David are relieved when Maleficent tells the group about Lily’s survival (Maleficent offers to help them take down Gold if Emma will retrieve Lily). They go to apologise to Maleficent about that whole “we tried to kill your baby and at the very least cursed her to a life without her mother and full of evil” thing. Maleficent is, as you’d expect, unimpressed. Which makes Snow and David sad. Which makes me happy.
A quick flashback to Enchanted Forest times at the start of the episode shows the Apprentice meeting with the Sorcerer (who is just a swirl of magic smoke. I was kind of hoping it’d be in the shape of Mickey Mouse, but Disney didn’t have the balls) to tell him about the Author making him hurt Maleficent’s child. The Sorcerer confirms that the spell is indeed irreversible. Not that it will deter our heroes. But wouldn’t it be great if Snow and David couldn’t find a way to redeem themselves? I’d appreciate it.
Oh, and best line of the episode goes to Regina when Robin says he can’t leave Zelena: “What?” Pretty much.