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Recap / Once Upon A Time S 4 E 19 Lily

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Season 4, Episode 19:

Lily

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Emma’s potential for darkness is looming over everyone, but when Emma realizes Maleficent's daughter Lily is in fact her closest friend from her foster care days, she resolves to find Lily and reunite her with her mother. Regina joins forces with Emma and together they set out to track down Lily and to warn Robin about Zelena. However, neither of them is prepared for the harsh realities they’ll encounter in the outside world. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, Gold faces a crisis involving Belle. In a foster care flashback, things are looking up for young Emma with her new family until Lily’s appearance threatens to destabilize everything.

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Tropes:

  • Anti-Christ: Lily considers herself "The Anti-Savior"; Emma tells her not to call herself that.
  • The Baby Trap: Zelena pulls this on Robin, rather than trying to continue a charade as Marian she knows can't be sustained.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At first we think Gold is going to do something horrible to Will, then we find out he just wants him to break into Regina's office to steal back Belle's heart.
  • Chase Scene: Emma's VW didn't have a chance.
  • Consummate Liar: Lily. Enforced, however, by the nature of the curse/darkness within her.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Emma's ability to find people is brought up by Maleficent, and her ability to tell when people are lying returns.
    • Also, the wolf that drove her off the road when she tried to leave Storybrooke back in Season 1 appears again.
  • Death Glare: Emma gives quite an example to Gold and the Author from afar when they are at Cruella's funeral.
  • Diabolus ex Machina:
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    • In-universe, this is Lily's life in a nutshell. Something will always happen to screw with her.
    • A straighter example would be Zelena's pregnancy with Robin's child, which prevents him from leaving her and keeps Regina from her happy ending. It was foreshadowed in "Heart of Gold" when she mentioned having "a meatloaf in the oven".
  • Enemy Mine: Maleficent teams up with Emma and Regina to stop Gold in exchange for them finding her daughter. However, it's heavily implied that she plans to kill the Charmings once Emma reunites her with Lily. Thankfully for them, the next episode subverts this as when her daughter arrives she changes her mind and by the end of the episode is no longer one of the Big Bads.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Maleficent has abandoned Gold after Cruella's death and throws her lot in with Emma and Regina so Emma can find her daughter. But Gold being Gold, this actually works out in his favor.
  • Genre Savvy: Gold knows that Emma seeking Lily out will actually help his plan and advance Emma's darkness rather than derailing it. Some of this is because of his own knowledge (the Author and Maleficent telling him what the Charmings did, any scrying he may have done of Lily) but it seems more generally him being aware that the past (whether what the Charmings did or Emma) has a way of catching up with you in stories and that being heroic is never that simple.
  • Hypocrite: Emma thinks Regina is being this in warning her not to go off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge ("Excuse me, Your Majesty") but it's actually that Regina knows from experience the danger signs of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, and thus legitimately worried.
  • Internal Reveal: To go with Regina telling everyone last episode, in this one Robin gets to find out Marian's real identity.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Gold tells Belle that he should've been focused on making Belle happy when they were married and if being with Will makes her happy then he'll respect that.
  • Karma Houdini: In-Universe, Maleficent and Lily overlook the part the Author played in their separation and instead focus their hate on the Charmings.
  • Kick the Dog: Gold tells Will he's not as close to Belle as he thinks since he didn't notice that her heart had been swiped.
    • Pet the Dog: But by the end he entrusted Will with protecting Belle's heart because he felt unworthy.
  • Lonely Funeral: For Cruella, with only Gold and the Author in attendance (and a plain wooden coffin). One might have expected at least Maleficent to be there. Then again, Cruella did admit to leaving her daughter to die in the woods right before her death, or she just didn't want to be near Gold and the Author.
  • MacGuffin: Lily's moon necklace, which she sent Emma for to give her the time to rob her foster parents. Although based on what the Apprentice said, it might just have more meaning...
  • Manipulative Bastard: Gold appeals to Will's feelings for Belle (and reveals she doesn't have her heart) in order to get him to help him. He then proceeds to distract Maleficent by talking with her about Emma and Lily so that Will can steal the heart.
  • Meaningful Name: Lily, the OUAT equivalent of a Made of Evil Tyke Bomb, has the given name of Lilith.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, Emma killing Lily in cold blood (even to protect her parents and the rest of Storybrooke) would be the line she dare not cross, since Cruella's death was accidental/arranged by Gold. Luckily Regina keeps her from doing so.
  • Morality Chain:
    • Regina manages to be this to Emma.
    • Hook also speaks of this as to how she can stay on the right path (and what is keeping him on his).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Apprentice decided to seek out Lily and tell her everything because he felt she had a right to know why her life sucked. Unfortunately it led to Lily developing a homicidal obsession with Emma and her parents.
  • Not So Different:
    • Emma and Lily, in terms of how their lives went vs. how they could have (same background, and whether one was good or evil/had a happy life or one of suffering was enforced by a spell). Described by Lily as "Savior vs. Anti-Savior."
    • Emma and Regina. Continually lampshaded by the latter to try and steer Emma off her dark course. Emma at first also tries to play this card by pointing out what she would do to protect her family is no different than what Regina would do to Zelena to protect Robin...but aside from the fact Regina's quite right about it being different (she isn't the Savior, so taking such actions only threatens her own heroism and happiness, not everyone else's), the fact Emma is saying being more like Regina is a good thing is cause for alarm. Even Regina's "Really, Swan?" look says as much.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Lily now has a necklace made from the shell of the egg she hatched in.
  • Pet the Dog: The Author is genuinely upset over Cruella's death.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Lily urges Emma to shoot her, pointing out that she'll only destroy everyone in Storybrooke and arguing that her life isn't worth saving. After a lot of thought (and urging from Regina), Emma puts her gun down, letting Lily live.
  • Power Incontinence: When Emma is raging at Lily, her magic goes briefly out of control, busting the car headlights. The sky also quickly becomes overcast, which could just be Empathic Weather and fortuitous drama, but then again...
  • Punny Name: Lily's fake name at work is Starla. She has a birthmark shaped like a star.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Lily blasts Emma for abandoning her, and how it was because of her that her life was ruined, just to keep her "perfect" and heroic. By proxy, she also gives one to Snow and Charming for having done what they did, though she still attacks Emma for this too—somewhat irrationally, since as Emma herself says she had nothing to do with their decision, but Lily also goes on to point out she was still defending them from her despite what they did.
  • The Reveal:
    • Lily knows who and what she is (and why), and wants revenge on the Charmings...and it's because the Apprentice sought her out and told her.
    • Zelena, thanks to her disguise as Marian, is now pregnant with Robin Hood's baby.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Maleficent tells the Charmings that they shouldn't be afraid of her; her daughter is the one who has the real score to settle with them.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Lily has one with a String Theory of conspiracies about Emma. Interestingly, instead of it leading to Alone with the Psycho or her trying to kill Emma and Regina, it was just a distraction to let her steal Emma's car.
  • Sadistic Choice: Emma is presented with one: Kill Lily and protect her family and friends, but darken her heart, or let Lily live and risk the lives of everyone in Storybrooke. She ultimately goes with option two, believing she can help Lily.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Although not actually related, Emma and Lily are played as this in a number of ways: blonde vs. brunette, saving/protecting lives vs. ruining them, light vs. darkness, able to detect lies vs. constantly telling them. Interestingly, Lily claims that when they are together the Diabolus ex Machina of her life is pushed away and things get better/more balanced, implying that only by combining their light and dark can either reach a state of normalcy.
  • There Are No Coincidences:
    • At least not in the case of Emma and Lily—as the Sorcerer himself says, the two of them are bound together forever (thanks to both the nature of the spell and the former's darkness being placed in the latter) and thus will keep being drawn together. Lampshaded by both Regina (referencing her having adopted the son of the Savior) and Emma.
    • It is subverted towards the end, since while Emma and Lily's first meeting and the one shown in the flashback happened on their own, it seems very clear that Lily and Emma living near each other as adults is due to the Apprentice's information.
  • This Is Reality: Emma tries to pull this to explain how she isn't falling into darkness, just dealing with a world where life sucks and you have to sometimes take less-than-ideal actions to protect yourself and those you love. Regina isn't buying it.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: In a chilling moment when David and Mary Margaret speak to Maleficent, desperate to atone. (And based on what Lily later says to Emma, her mother was right.)
    Maleficent: I'm not the one you should be apologizing to...You think that will possibly be enough? If I can't forgive you...what makes you think she will?
  • Trauma Conga Line: Since she met Emma, Lily's life included the following - being kicked out of her adoptive home, falling in with a drug addict boyfriend, becoming an accomplice to a robbery, discovering she was from another world and separated from her mother because of a mistake someone else made, having to hide under a fake name...and there's still a lot of years we don't know about.
  • The Voice: After being The Ghost for the better part of a season, The Sorcerer makes his first appearance, but his true form remains unknown, as he communicates with his Apprentice through a swirling ball of energy and only his voice is heard.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Regina speculates that Emma and Lily are destined to always find each other, no matter how far apart they get. The fact that Lily essentially lived right in Emma's backyard for years without either one knowing it supports this idea, as does the fact that Emma's car blows a tire within spitting distance of the diner where Lily now works.
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