The fates of Emma “The Savior” Swan and Lily “The Anti-Savior” Page were forever entwined and always shall be, the Sorcerer made clear at the outset of this Sunday’s Once Upon a Time.
With that flashback to an apologetic Apprentice out of the way, we find Emma at the diner declaring to loved ones her determination to go after Gold, who manipulated Cruella’s demise at the Savior’s hand. Emma gets no support from her audience, who fear her descent into darkness, but finds a champion in Maleficent — in trade for the onetime bounty hunter tracking down her daughter Lilith. All Mal knows is that her baby wound up in Minnesota aka the same state where Emma first met Lily. No sooner does that light bulb go off, Emma is at the library working the microfiche like a boss, quickly finding a 30-year-old, out-of-state baptism announcement for wee Lilith, who thankfully posed with her star birthmark showing. Entering, Regina notes, “Ain’t fate a bitch?” Likening the Evil Queen’s adoption of the Savior’s son to Emma’s own small world, Regina suggests they “make today the day we both beat fate” by teaming to find Lily and save Robin from Zelena/”Marian.” Underscoring the Sorcerer’s words, Emma discovers that Lily’s last known address is Lowell, Mass., a mere half-hour outside Boston where Emma spent her own adulthood!
Their first stop is a flop house where some guy reports that Lily died in a car crash — news that gets him a near-pummeling from the increasingly hair-trigger Emma. Back in the Bug, Emma denies she’s going bad, contenting that she merely feels guilt for her darkness being assigned to li’l Lily. A wolf in the road stops the Bug in its tracks and leads Emma and Regina to a nearby diner, where Emma discovers Lily working as a waitress who thankfully shows her star birthmark as she pours coffee. Lily doesn’t at first recognize Emma (why, was Young Miss Swan played by a Latina?), but once the connection is made, she shrugs off the suggestion that her lifelong problems are Emma’s fault, and then lies that she has a daughter and husband. Emma’s BS detector pings, but just as she and Regina find in Lily’s trailer home proof that she knows everything about her origin, Storybrooke and the Charmings who effed up her fate, the waitress is speeding off in their Bug. Emma in turn steals a sweet Chevelle, and she and Regina are in hot pursuit.
Eventually Emma cuts off Lily and the gals get into it roadside, trading punches and shoves and threats until Emma has her old BFF at gunpoint. Lily taunts Emma to pull the trigger, warning that if she is let go, she will punish her parents. Regina in turn cautions the Savior, “If you cross this line, the journey back isn’t easy.” Emma offers Lily not a bullet to the bean but help up off the ground, saying she won’t push her away this time — as she did years ago in flashback, when Lily shattered Emma’s idyllic teen life by stealing her adoptive fam’s vacation fund.
Next stop: New York, where Regina joyfully reunites with Robin and warns him that Marian is not who she says she is. “Marian” at first plays dumb, but then chooses to gloat by returning to Zelena form — after which, Robin rebuffs Regina’s request to leave, because he “can’t.” Because Zelena is pregnant.
Elsewhere in the episode:
* The Charmings apologize to Maleficent for the whole damning your dragon baby egg and lobbing it into a portal thing, but Mal warns: It’s Lily you should be afraid of. Because, “If I won’t forgive you, why would she?”
* Rumple recruits his rival, the thief Will Scarlett, to steal Belle’s heart from Regina’s office. Once the pumper has been procured, Rumple returns it to Belle, saying that it’s now Will’s job to protect it: “I’ve proven unworthy.”
* At the close of the Lily/Emma flashbacks, we learn that a strange old guy with an unruly beard (aka the Sorcerer’s Apprentice) approached young Lily on a bus and clued her in in her fantastical origin (as well as that of the heirloom necklace her newborn self apparently had with her while gestating inside the egg?). “The deck has been stacked against you,” the strange old guy with the unruly beard on the bus informs the young girl. “I owe you the truth.”
What did you think of the episode “Lily”?