When things get tough, the tough get going – all the way out of town, apparently. After knocking Cruella down a peg, Emma and Regina hit the road to get out from under Gold’s thumb in search of Emma’s former bestie, Lily. Surprise, surprise. I’ll admit, I do like me some Savior and Evil Queen together and I’d be happy just watching them drive around having adventures, Supernatural-style.
Alas, my duty here demands that I review the episode you did watch rather than the one you wished you watch. Believe it or not, Lily gives me more answers than I thought I wanted to know – I just wish it had given them a whole lot earlier.
Regina talking Emma off a ledge are always some of the best parts of Once Upon a Time and it’s no different for Lily. She obviously has experience in overcoming her Evil Queen schtick, and literally no one else can ever push – err, turn off Emma’s buttons the same way. Lana Parrilla can infuse Regina’s words with the weight the character demands every time and made them stick.
Of course, the girls’ road trip provided a wealth of flashbacks to our Lily and Emma teen soap that we haven’t seen in a season. I’ll be honest, though. It’s hard to put up with either of them, much less in the teen angst package. I get it: she got dealt a crappy card in life (it’s always the parents, isn’t it?) but I can’ stay I’m moved. As important as she’s been, it’d disappointing that the writing do her no service in fleshing her out.
Once Upon a Time’s a series with a sort of short-term memory when it comes to picking up on its plots and I can’t help but relate to Lily on the burden of making up for lost time. What we did see of The Apprentice here made for some interesting present-to-past connections, though. And maybe just how imaginative Regina was with making fairytale purgatories in the first place.
There’s always a nauseating level of disbelief that fairytale noobs seem to have with Storybrooke the first time around. Thank goodness they cut to the chase here with Lily, at least. The gal’s been around some magic, needless to say, and for once I appreciate the show moving its exposition along for a change. After all, hasn’t everyone in the world seen Disney flicks already?
For all the angst between them, I have a harder time buying Emma and Lily’s issues coming to a physical head despite the flashbacks’ context. It shouldn’t have triggered anything, much less bringing a gun to a fistfight. Tie her up? Sure. Threaten to kill her? Nope. Even with all the recent discussions about Emma going dark, it was too extreme too quickly. She acted like a moody, angst-ridden teenager — which makes sense to some degree because the last time she saw Lily was as a teen but not enough to justify her going crazy.
On the topic of belief, what the heck was up with Robin? He’s not unfamiliar with the inherent craziness that accompanies legends and myths and he loves and trusts Regina. Why wouldn’t he believe her about Zelena being Marian? A level of denial makes sense but not outright disbelief, not when the news came from Regina. Then there was the pregnancy twist. Come on. I swear, this had better be a trick, because Robin’s “is she, or isn’t she?” drama’s all rather eye-roll worthy.
I’m not sure what’s going on between Rumplestiltskin and Belle. He was kind to her – more specifically, kind to her and Will – and didn’t seem to want anything in return. While I’m all for having a main series antagonist again, there’s still something (or someone) that ought to keep Rumple in check. The gestures don’t have to be grand, only enough to show he still has a weak spot for Belle and it was definitely accomplished here.
Once Upon a Time still feels like it’s digging up age-old dirt and making do. Though far from timely, Lily gave us another interesting addition to the show’s growing line of disgruntled kids. Regina serving as Emma’s life coach kept the primary plot afloat, but overall, Emma’s falling too far too fast for reasons that only seem to be thanks to a pending season finale. Until then, I’m interested to see what comes of Maleficent’s long-lost progeny and just how Robin and Regina pick up the pieces, sans one Wicked Witch of the West. Three’s a crowd, eh, Zelina?