On Once Upon a Time this week, the "Mother" of dragons had her hands full with her newly-found daughter, who was out to destroy the Charmings.
Emma had to decide if it was time to forgive and Regina held Zelena’s fate in her hand…or at least the Author’s quill on Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 21.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Mary Kate Venedam, Robin Harry and Amanda Steinmetz are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to decide Maleficent and Lily’s future in Storybrooke, Zelena’s motherly potential and who should be next in line to realize their own happy ending...
Which are you looking forward to more: The heroes being villains or the villains being heroes?
Gareth: Wow. The finale looks a blast. The promo was epic. I'm interested in seeing where Emma fits into all this. She looked completely insane. Does she remember both realities? Have memories of both worlds pushed her over the edge into madness? It's also going to be fun seeing Snow as the Evil Queen and Regina taking Snow's place. I wonder if Robin will catch Regina in a net, mirroring how Charming and Snow met?
Stacy: Emma looks completely crazy, but I'm curious to see Gold as a knight, so I'll go with the villains as the heroes.
Mary Kate: Probably the heroes as villains because Snow looks awesome in Regina's traditional Evil Queen costume.
Robin: I actually most intrigued by what they'll do with the people who happen to be both (or neither). It's easy to write a completely flipped story for people like Emma and Gold whose roles as heroes and villains have clearly been defined. I'm more interested to see what happens with people like Regina, Hook and the Charmings, people who have had to crawl their way through redemption.
Amanda: Definitely the heroes as villains. The finale looks like it'll be fun, which is good because this second half of the season as been pretty lackluster for me.
Do you think Maleficent and Lily should be permanent residents of Storybrooke or have they served their purpose?
Gareth: I have really enjoyed the story arc with Lily and Maleficent overall. I hope we see more of them next season. It would be nice to see their relationship develop further. I also think Emma needs somebody like Lily in her life right now.
Stacy: I'm not opposed to the idea of them sticking around, but at the same time I don't feel that they're necessary. The show has enough characters fighting for story lines as it is.
Mary Kate: No, I think they've served their purpose. Her and Emma couldn't have the friendship they once had with all of the baggage. I think it's better if she and Maleficent kept away and did their own thing.
Robin: I'm torn. There really are so many characters on the show that they aren't all treated justly, but I really do love Maleficent and Lily so far. I'd be okay if they stuck around.
Amanda: I like them enough that I wouldn't mind them staying. However, there are already way too many characters on the show being underserved.
If this baby is born, is there any chance Zelena will turn out to be a good mother?
Gareth: Yes. I think Zelena's story may turn out to be a mirror of Regina's. I think it is possible the child will bring love into her life, which may change Zelena profoundly. I really hope we get to see Zelena and Regina's relationship explored further. Once is at its best when it focuses on these core character and the relationships with others rather than external plot events.
Stacy: I don't like Zelena and personally I don't really want her around long enough to find out. I would have been perfectly fine with the author writing her out.
Mary Kate: She is way too self-involved for her to care about anyone else. Unfortunately, the only reason that baby exists is out of a vendetta against Regina.
Robin: Zelena would probably turn green when the baby is born and gets more attention than she does. She doesn't care about the baby now and that likely won't change.
Amanda: I agree with Stacy! I don't want her around. Regina should have just had the Author write her out when she had the chance.
Do you believe Regina has found the key to her own happy ending and if so, who else do you want to see do so as well?
Gareth: I am really glad that Regina finally realized that happiness has always been within herself, she merely needed to choose a different path. As for other characters, Emma really needs a break! She’s had four seasons of betrayal, loss and heartbreak! Sadly, I don't think Emma will get her happy ending until the final episode. While the show still has life, Emma will suffer!
Stacy: It's nice that for once the show isn't trying to imply this idea that she can't have a happy ending without a man. It does seem like Regina has been standing in the way of her own happiness, and now that she's realized that, she can finally achieve it. I want to see Belle move on and be happy on her own, without Rumple. I would be really disappointed if she took him back.
Mary Kate: I think so. Regina really did make herself miserable all those years. I'm sure Regina would be happy if it was just her and Henry living happily in Storybrooke, but she fell in love with Robin and he and Roland are an addition to that overall happiness she has searched for.
Robin: I think she has, and it's about darn time. I'm happy she's realized she's free to make herself happy. I would like Belle to realize the same thing.
Amanda: Regina has always been the one who stood in the way of her own happiness, so it's a little annoying how oblivious she was to that fact. I want Emma to be happy, but she's got a long road ahead of her before that happens.
Was there anything in “Mother” that disappointed you?
Gareth: Not really. It was a pretty solid episode and set up the season finale perfectly. I can't wait to see what goes down next week. I have a very strong feeling we are in for a monumental shake up! I think the episode is going to be a game changer.
Stacy: It's hard to complain about a Regina-centric episode, because she's easily my favorite, but I really just want this whole Zelena story to go away.
Mary Kate: I felt the overall Lily/Maleficent arc felt too rushed and was resolved way too quickly. I thought the battle would be connected to what happened in the season finale. So once Lily returned to human form it felt odd that that story just ended.
Robin: I was hoping to see a little bit more dragon-bonding between Maleficent and Lily.
Amanda: Everything having to do with Zelena.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Gareth: ”I thought you were a scary dragon bitch”.
Stacy: I think I have to go with the Author's Once Upon a Time quote...
The Author: Of all the characters I've written for you really do get screwed over the most.
Regina: I'm well aware.
Mary Kate: As heartbreaking as it was, I did enjoy the scene between Robin and Regina in the bar. I'm just a big fan of whenever they're together. Also, I liked when Emma finally forgave Snow. It was way overdue, but I'm glad they had their moment. Plus, it was funny to see Hook and Charming share that corny glance.
Robin: I have two. First is seeing an actual conversation and shared moment between Hook and Emma, and I love that he's one of her voices of reason. The other is Maleficent seeing Lily as a dragon and saying, "She looks like me!!" I thought that was hilarious.
Amanda: Maleficent saying "she looks like me" when Lily turned into a dragon.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.