ouat**

PRE-FINALE: The cold-blooded killing of Cruella, coupled with her riff with the ‘rents, make for an ever-unseemly Savior. “The reverberations of Emma’s dark action become the driving force for what happens in the next two episodes followed by the two-hour finale,” says co-creator Adam Horowitz. “Emma has crossed a line.” In the April 26 episode, “Lily,” Emma reconnects with her child- hood friend (played by Agnes Bruckner), who viewers know is Maleficent’s “lost” daughter. That reunion, however, “is not all deathly conflict,” Horowitz notes. “There are moments of warmth, and there are moments of bonding.” “And there’s a lot of emotion,” adds Eddy Kitsis. “It’s a real story of friendship.” Also ahead: We’ll get a clearer picture of what the Author can and cannot do (and who can or can’t make him do it), while Barbara Hershey’s encore as Cora sets the stage for learning more about Regina’s past as well as “her present relationship with Robin,”  Kitsis says.

SEASON FINALE (MAY 10): Among Season 4B’s ongoing agendas, “We make good on what Regina was after, in the sense that she wanted to find the Author and have him rewrite endings,” Kitsis shares. But compared to recent finales, “Nobody is coming out of an urn and freezing people,” quips Horowitz. Says Kitsis: “Usually we’re like, ‘Hey, we’re going to a new land,’ but this is much more in the vein of when Gold looked up [at the end of Season 1] and said, 'Magic is coming,’ where a condition on the show changed as opposed to the characters changing.“ 

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