Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
1 user 3 critic
Emma realizes Maleficent's daughter is her former childhood friend Lily and leaves Storybrooke with Regina to find her, as well as to rescue Robin from Zelena.


Ralph Hemecker


Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ginnifer Goodwin ... Mary Margaret Blanchard
Jennifer Morrison ... Emma Swan
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills
Josh Dallas ... David Nolan
Emilie de Ravin ... Belle French
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones
Jared Gilmore ... Henry Mills (as Jared S. Gilmore)
Michael Socha ... Will Scarlet
Robert Carlyle ... Mr. Gold
Kristin Bauer van Straten ... Maleficent
Agnes Bruckner ... Lily Page
Patrick Fischler ... Isaac Heller
Christie Laing ... Marian
Rebecca Mader ... Zelena
Sean Maguire ... Robin Hood


Emma and Regina set out to find Maleficent's daughter; Lily. Emma tries to fight the darkness that is seeping into her heart, but she is in a fragile state and can explode at any moment. In a flashback from Emma's past we see her happy in a new foster home, but her happiness is short lived when her old friend Lily shows up. What will happen when they are reunited as adults? Will Emma gain a friend or an enemy? When Regina shows up to rescue Robin Hood from her wicked sister, she couldn't be more thrilled to find him safe, but when the truth is revealed, will he want to be saved? Written by g-wass30

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 April 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the flashback, when Lily, Emma, and her foster family are eating take out. The bucket of chicken has the Mr. Clucks chicken logo on it. Mr. Clucks Is the restaurant that Hurley buys with his lotto money in 'Lost' See more »


When Emma pulls her gun on Lily you can hear the sound of the gun cocking(pulling the hammer back). When you look at the gun the hammer is uncocked. See more »


Regina Mills: [In Lowell, Massachusetts] Why did I go through the trouble of creating Storybrooke when I could have cursed everyone to live here?
See more »

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User Reviews

Nature and nurture
10 June 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

When 'Once Upon a Time' first started it was highly addictive and made the most of a truly great and creative premise. Really loved the idea of turning familiar fairy tales on their heads and putting own interpretations on them and the show early on clearly had clearly had a ball. Watched it without fail every time it came on and it was often a highlight of the week. Which was why it was sad when it ran out of ideas and lost its magic in the later seasons.

Season 4 had a lot to live up after Season 3 being as impressive as it was. At this early stage of the season, one can see a lot of promise, some may argue that it is capitalising on 'Frozen's' success but there is much more to the season than that. This promise was apparent from the get go, with a great season opener in "A Tale of Two Sisters". As far as the previous Season 4 episodes go, they were all decent to brilliant with the only small dip being "Family Business" and the best being the "Smash the Mirror" two parter and "Best Laid Plans".

"Lily" for me is a very good episode if a slight disappointment compared to some of the previous episodes. Other episodes do a better job advancing the story telling, though it sets up what's to follow quite well and the Author's role has advanced. Likewise with character development, apart from Emma and Lily.

Not an awful lot wrong with "Lily" actually. It does lack the emotional investment and complexity of other episodes though.

Belle (apart from her heartfelt chemistry with Gold) is a fairly bland character and Emma showing somewhat of a darker side feels a bit too sudden and with not enough build up.

On the other hand, Emma and Regina carry the bulk of the episode and show once again show that they work so well together and is much more than standard good versus evil territory. Gold as always is interesting and great fun to watch.

Chemistry between Emma and Lily has intensity and heart, as does Lily's back-story and the ending is still quite a shock, still throwing in another unforeseen revelation despite knowing Marian's true identity well before Robin does from being shown before in "Heart of Gold".

All the acting is strong, with particularly great performances from Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle and Lana Parrilla. Rebecca Mader is on point as Zelena, as is Sean Maguire, while Agnes Bruckner fares credibly as Lily.

Furthermore, "Lily" is a very handsomely mounted episode visually, the settings and costumes are both colourful and atmospheric, not too dark or garish and never cookie cutter. It is photographed beautifully too. The music is haunting, ethereal and cleverly used with a memorable theme tune.

Writing has the right balance of humour, pathos, mystery and intrigue, or corn or cheesiness here. This aspect has come on such a long way since when 'Once Upon a Time' first started, much more complexity and nuance.

In summary, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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