"Mother" is the twentieth episode of Season Four of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson, and directed by Ron Underwood. It is the eighty-sixth episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 3, 2015.
Emma returns to Storybrooke to reunite Lily with Maleficent while Regina and Robin Hood struggle to cope with the implications of Zelena's pregnancy. When Gold's health takes a turn for the worse, Isaac looks to a new ally for help procuring the magic ink he needs to re-write history. In a Fairy Tale Land flashback, Cora returns from Wonderland to beg Regina's forgiveness on the anniversary of Daniel's murder. Cora vows to help her daughter find true love, but Regina remains suspicious of her mother's intentions.
"Things Can Change"
Returning home from New York, Regina is welcomed by Henry, while David gets Zelena out of the yellow bug. Robin Hood is skeptical about Zelena's inability to use magic, but Regina assures him that the enchanted bracelet will keep her powerless. Near, Emma reunites with Hook, just as Maleficent informs that she is taking Lily to the diner. Before the two leave, Emma calls Lily aside and threatens to use magic against her if she ever does anything to David and Mary Margaret. Regina then sends Robin Hood to retrieve a forgetting potion from her office so that Roland's recollections of the fake Marian are erased. David prepares to take Zelena to the sheriff's station, but Regina decides to take her herself somewhere else. As they all part ways, Robin Hood once more remarks that things can still work out, to which Regina replies there are things about her that he doesn't know.
*: Beverley Elliott is not credited in the episode credits, but she appears in the background of a scene at Granny's Diner.
- The title card features Lily under her dragon form.
- It is Edward Kitsis who got the idea for the title of this episode.
- Emilie de Ravin was originally set to appear in the episode, but her scenes were cut. However, she is still present in an official promotional photo from this episode.
- The original opening scene was supposed to be the one with Regina and Robin Hood at the bar, but the editing room decided it was much more exciting to begin with the Evil Queen.
- Kylee Bush, who played the groom's bride, whose wedding the Evil Queen interrupted, is one of Michael Coleman's acting students.
- The bar where Regina and Robin are at the beginning of the episode is supposed to be the same bar where Emma and Neal were in "Manhattan". However, the real bar was not available for the shooting, so another bar has been faked to look like the original bar.
- The little exchange between Emma and Zelena in Neal's apartment in the beginning of the episode, was written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.
- Beverley Elliott's daughter Sally and her friend Freya were background performers during one of the diner scenes
- The scene with Isaac and Mr. Gold at Granny's Diner, was originally supposed to end with them walking out of the building, but it was changed into Gold teleporting them away instead.
- Originally, the scene where Emma and Regina are coming back with Zelena, Robin, Roland and Lily was set to happen at the town line, sort of "pre-dawn, misty, and everybody meeting up almost in slow-motion". Because of production issues, it had to be moved to daytime, to the center of Storybrooke.
- Originally, the scene between Regina and Isaac at the Heart Vault was set to happen in the backroom of Any Given Sundae. The original set had a big mirror in it, and when Regina teleported herself and Isaac to the ice cream store, she was going to tell him not to hide where there was a giant mirror, because Regina could see him through it. But the set was unavailable, so the scene was moved to the Heart Vault.
- For the scene where Cora comes to Regina with news about her "soulmate", the Valet was originally going to put papers in front of Regina to sign. Someone came up with the idea of him brushing her hair instead.
- The Evil Queen's date with the Sheriff of Nottingham was originally set out in the same meadow where Regina interrupted the wedding. Halfway through the date, the Sheriff would notice the rice that was spilled when Regina killed the groom, and say, "Is there rice in this grass?". However, they could not get that set, so the scene was moved to the apple tree instead.
- For her date with the Sheriff, Lana Parrilla wanted Regina to have a young Cora look and essence, with the way she moved and leaned, and styled her hair. She asked the hair stylist to make her look like Rose McGowan, who plays young Cora on the show.
- For the sequence where the Sheriff's fake lion tattoo comes to life and crawls under his shirt, the special effects were done with a tube taped along Wil Traval body, which went up his arm, around his neck and down the other arm. A crew member pulled an object on a string, to make his shirt ripple.
- A white swan flies across the horizon as Emma and Hook look out onto the bay.
- The scenes where Regina takes out her anger on her mother for setting her up with the wrong soulmate, was originally written as one, single, long sequence. It was edited into several scenes in post-production.
- The scene where Regina decides to spare Zelena's life, was originally filmed with Robin staying in the hallway outside her cell listening. Regina then went out to him after finishing her story about Cora. It was changed to Robin entering the cell during their conversation.
- The Enchanted Forest events take place after Snow White's banishment from the Royal Castle in "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", after Robin Hood begins stealing from the rich and giving to the poor in "Heart of Gold", and before Maid Marian is cured of her ailment in "Lacey". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Land Without Magic events take place after "Lily". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Daniel's grave was first seen in "An Apple Red as Blood".
- Daniel was killed in "The Stable Boy".
- Cora was banished to Wonderland in "We Are Both".
- Isaac, who is from New York City, is not impressed with the bagels at Granny's Diner. New York City is often considered to have the best bagels in the world. Neither was Henry, who also used to live in New York, and he commented on this in "The Tower".
- Cora talks about how Tinker Bell helped Regina find her soulmate; something that was explored in "Quite a Common Fairy".
- Zelena's cell at the psychiatric ward is the same as the one Belle lived in during Skin Deep" and "A Land Without Magic". In "The Savior", Mr. Hyde is imprisoned in the same cell.
- The tavern that Cora visits is the same tavern that Robin Hood used to own in "Heart of Gold".
- The Sheriff of Nottingham describes Maid Marian as "sickly". Marian's sickness was cured in "Lacey".
- Infertility potions first appeared in "Lady of the Lake".
- The location where Lily transforms back into a human and reconciles with her mother is the same location where Emma had a date with August in "What Happened to Frederick" (note that the Storybrooke Wishing Well appears by this tree in this episode; in later episodes, the well appears in a different location), and where Merida is sparring with Mr. Gold in "Dreamcatcher".
- The Evil Queen tells her subjects that "next time there is a wedding, book the church".
- Lily says that Snow White and Prince Charming sent her through the portal in her eggshell, "like baby Moses in his basket"; a reference to the Biblical story of the birth of Moses, from the Book of Exodus.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features the Evil Queen from the Snow White fairytale, the Miller's daughter from the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale, the Sheriff of Nottingham from the Robin Hood ballad, and Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story.
- This episode features Nurse Ratched from the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The man sweeping the floor at the psychiatric ward looks like Chief Bromden from the 1975 movie of the same name.
- Lily angrily tells her mother that she "doesn't need grooming advice from Annie Hall". This is a reference to the 1977 romantic comedy of the same name, where the titular character wears an outfit similar to Maleficent.
- Interestingly, the movie contains an animation scene in which Annie is portrayed as the evil queen in the "Snow White" fairytale.
- According to Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, this film inspired them to write.
- When Jane Espenson wrote the episode, she "went back and forth between Annie Hall and Marlene Dietrich. Kids love Marlene Dietrich references."
- When Emma and the others arrive in Storybrooke, in the first shot of the scene, on the left side of the screen, there is a sign that says "Steveston Museum and Visitor Centre".
- When everyone arrives in Storybrooke, the license plate on a car parked outside the diner is 40F5TH, which is the same as Regina's in "Fruit of the Poisonous Tree", Jim's in "What Happened to Frederick", a car next to August's motorcycle in "The Return" and Archie's license plate in "We Are Both".
- Regina is wearing a Short Leather Jacket with a Python Style Embossed Collar from The Kooples. (no longer available). She was also wearing it in the previous episode, "Lily", but in that episode, it was covered by her coat. She continues to wear it in "Operation Mongoose Part 1" and "Operation Mongoose Part 2", and the Season Five episodes "The Dark Swan", "The Bear and the Bow" and "Birth".
- Mary Margaret is wearing a DL2 by Dawn Levy Hannah Belted Alpaca Coat (no longer available). She continues to wear it in "Operation Mongoose Part 1" and "Operation Mongoose Part 2".
- The doublet worn by the Sheriff of Nottingham is the same garment worn by Lancelot on Guinevere's birthday in "The Broken Kingdom".
|French||"Des Héros et des Méchants"||"Heroes and Villains"|
|German||"Solange es Mütter gibt"||"As long as there are Mothers"|