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Once Upon a Time: Lily

"This is the real world, Regina. There are no heroes and villains – just real people with real problems."

‘Lily,’ one of this season’s strongest episodes to date, threw a couple of interesting ideas around, the most important of which is that every move and decision that these characters have made is down to “fate.” The character of Lily herself is almost an embodiment of that concept, and her introduction here brought with it a lot of exciting prospects.

While Emma’s life before Storybrooke was all due to bad luck, Maleficent, who had her free will stripped away, made her life the suckfest that it is herself. When Snow and Charming made their deal they forced Lily into a life of bad choices, choices that weren’t even hers to make. That makes Lily herself quite a fascinating character. If this idea is fleshed out properly, it will be interesting to see how she ended up coping with her cruel existence. Did she find a way to work around it?

Lily and Emma being linked is also something I’d like to see explored. They were intrinsically bonded by what happened to them at birth, so does that mean that Lily is as powerful as Emma? She is the daughter of an incredibly powerful sorceress. She may not be the saviour, but Maleficent’s blood ought to count for something. Hopefully we’ll see that play out in some way.

The best part about Emma and Regina’s road trip to find Lily was getting to experience the great chemistry that they share. They’ve always been the strongest pairing that Once has to offer – Snow and Charming pale in comparison – and I’m glad that fact is being recognised by the writers. Emma’s dark turn these past few weeks gives her and Regina a lot more to bond over. Will Regina be the one to stop the saviour becoming a villain?

Though most of this episode revolved around Emma and Lily, things look like they’re heading in a more Regina-focused direction next week. I’m not sure what to make of yet another Zelena-related bombshell. Now that she’s carrying Robin’s baby she has more of a reason to stick around and ruin Regina’s life. As much as I love Regina and want to see her happy, why would I not want to see the Wicked Witch hang around for as long as possible?


Will is still being used as a plot device, which is a little disappointing, but I’m really hoping for his time to come so we can experience how fun he was during OUaT in Wonderland.

Rumple had his most honest scene so far this season. Did Belle believe him?

Who's excited for Lily and Maleficent to meet?

There was a lot to like about this episode. It had great character beats, intriguing mythology and a couple of fun twists. ‘Lily’ may have all the makings of a placeholder episode, but it used its time so well that it was still a great installment in its own right.

4.5 out of 5 crazy Zelena babies

Originally posted at PandaTV.


  1. Every episode that makes such good use of the Regina/Emma dynamic is always a favorite of mine. I know the powers that be would never dare go into a romantic relationship with them, even if it would be entirely more interesting than the romances they've got going now - don't get me wrong, I love Hook as a character, but his thing with Emma I find boring... and the Robin thing is basically a soap opera by now. Whatever the case, from a platonic point of view, the story of The Savior and The Queen and their dual roles as mothers of Henry is by far the most interesting dynamic the show has, so this episode was a delight.

    I also loved the character of Lily, and how they presented a girl who just wants something to go right in the flashbacks, and later on a bitter grown up in the present, who has clearly been burnt by fate. (I was surprised by the white-wash of the actress, though; why didn't they cast a Latina for adult!Lily?).

    Ocassionally, this show is spot on.

  2. Excellent review. Sometimes loyalty to this show pays off.


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