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Once Upon A Time 3×09 “Save Henry” Recap

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By Jessica Lee

Can Team Neverland save Henry?

On the day the curse was cast, the Evil Queen pays Rumplestiltskin a visit. She’s come to gloat, and even though he manipulated her and got what he wanted, he can’t help but rub it in her face that she is alone. If you remember, in order to enact the curse Regina had to acquire the heart of the thing she loved most – her father.

“I took my life back. I had to. I won.”

The Dark One corrupted Regina to the point where she justifies her actions no matter how awful they are. Rumple then shoots down Regina’s victory by sharing the tidbit of information on the Savior. The Savior will break the curse. According to Rumple, Regina will come to him again soon to fill the hole in her heart. She isn’t buying his gift of foresight. The Evil Queen guesses he’s saying these things to her because he wants to run from the curse. She offers a deal, but-

“Why would I do that? I’m exactly where I want to be.”

If you remember, Henry ripped out his heart and shoved it into Pan’s chest. He was under the assumption that by doing so he would be a hero and save magic. All the poor kid got for his action was a limp body on the ground.

Emma, Nealfire, and Regina are over him shaking his body. Pan’s come back to Skull Rock to gloat. (Sidenote: our villains are full of themselves this episode.) He brags about how he’s trapped Rumple in Pandora’s Box. Emma slices his arm, and the boy who can once again fly leaves Skull Rock.

In Storybrooke 11 years ago, Regina has called Archie to her home to discuss her feelings. She’s of course being abrasive, but eventually opens up and says that she feels nothing. He uses his curse therapist skills to deduct there’s a hole in her heart. She loves her life, but what’s the point of  Storybrooke if there’s nobody with her to share it? The only time she ever felt happy was when Owen -the Greg Mendel of the past- was in town. Archie thinks a child is a great idea.

“I need a child, Gold. I need your help.”
“Well I’m flattered, but I’m not interested.”

Regina seeks out everyone’s favorite pawn shop owner because he can get stuff done. The adoption agencies she’s called all have waiting lists of over two years, and that just won’t do. She wants a baby now.

The two go back and forth with one another. Gold pretends he’s cursed even though he actually has his memories. He continuously drops hints that he remembers their exchange in the dungeon the day the curse was enacted. He was right, she would come to him to fill that hole in her heart.

In Neverland, Regina casts a preservation spell on Henry. Nealfire and Emma go back and forth about what he knows about Pan since he was a lost boy. Emma tries to comfort Regina because she knows how she feels. She doesn’t.

“You have no idea what I feel. You have your parents. You have this… person. A pirate who pines for you. You have everything, and you claim to know how I feel? You have everything. All I have is Henry, and I am not about to lose him because he is everything.”

Emma hands over the reins of leader to Regina. She spots blood on the sword from when Emma nicked Pan. If he can bleed they can hurt him, and if they can hurt him they can kill him.

Snow is upset that Rumple is in a box. They can’t save Charming without the Dark One which means she’s stuck in Neverland. Honestly Snow needs to calm down, her grandson will be dead in an hour because the preservation spell that kept Regina’s ex-fiancé Daniel preserved for decades will only work an hour on Henry.

Regina ambushes Felix and demands he tells her where Pan is. She’s about to rip his heart out when Emma stops her. Apparently Regina chiding Emma at Skull Rock about how she does not understand how she feels has given Emma an idea.

In the past, Mr. Gold has found a baby from Phoenix whose adoption has fallen through. The child is now at an adoption agency in Boston. In season two, Regina and Cora explained to Hook that since they were not victims of the curse they could cross the town line. That is why it makes perfect sense that in the next scene Regina is in Boston at the adoption agency going over her very fake credentials. Even better, the adoption man is simply fawning over Regina’s life. This adoption is a closed adoption.

They go over how she can never know anything about the birth parents. Regina is cool with that. Then they bring in baby Henry. She holds him for the first time, and is all smiles. It’s a beautiful moment.

Back in Neverland, Emma is giving a rousing speech to several tied up Lost Boys. She offers them a family and a chance to go back with them to her land. She has a lot of people who love her, and if that can happen to her than it can happen to them too. Felix is unconvinced. (Sidenote: his loyalty and belief to Peter Pan is unwavering. I hope they eventually show why. There’s gotta be more to this story.)

Two of the Lost Boys tell the group that Pan is at his thinking tree. In the last episode, this is the tree where he abandoned his son; it’s also the tree where the pixie dust used to grow. Felix is raging that they’d give up Pan to Team Neverland.

In the Storybrooke of the past, Regina is trying to soothe a very fussy baby Henry at Granny’s. Granny gives Regina some advice to calm him down and suggests that she tries telling him a story. Hey, it worked with Ruby. Regina is a new mother and desperate to make her son happy so she picks Henry up, and then he pukes on her.

She takes him to see Dr. Whale thinking that something might be wrong with Henry because he never stops crying. Now what is normal for a baby is new to a first time mother. It is terrifying to not know why your child is crying. She wants to know if there is something they can do because she’s worried. Dr. Whale suggests looking up Henry’s genealogy, but the closed adoption makes that impossible.

Regina doesn’t really abide by the law. She hands the crying baby Henry to Mary Margaret, and calls Sidney Glass. She asks that he break the law for her and find out about Henry’s birth parents. He’ll do anything for her. While on the phone, baby Henry stops crying in Mary Margaret’s arms. Regina is confused because when she holds Henry he starts to cry. Now she thinks the problem isn’t with Henry. There must be something wrong with her. Poor Regina.

In Neverland, everyone is working together to figure out their next move. Hook’s going to lead Regina, Emma, and Snow to Pan’s thinking tree. Nealfire, Charming, and Tink are going to round up the Lost Boys and take them to the Jolly Roger. Hook and Nealfire are still butting heads with one another. Nealfire makes a snide remark about Hook’s ship being able to hold up, and the pirate retorts that as long as his shadow can fly his ship “she” will.

Baby Henry is crying while Regina is trying to work. She’s upset, and pleads with the baby to give her a chance as she scoops him into her arms. He does, because the tears stop and Regina is elated she looks happier than I’ve ever seen her on this show. As she’s soaking up the moment, Sidney calls her and faxes over the information he found on Henry’s birth mother. Mr. Gold is in for an earful.

She’s mad. Apparently Henry’s birth mother was found outside of Storybrooke on the same day that- she hesitates to bring up the curse because Regina’s unsure if he remembers it or not. What a coincidence, he says.

Regina and him go back and forth a few minutes while Mr. Gold pretends he has no idea what Regina is talking about. She isn’t sure if she believes him, but she believes that he set her up to fail by acquiring Henry for her. He wants the curse to end, she’s sure of it.

“Play dumb all you want you little imp. You should know who you’re dealing with by now. I sacrificed everything to build this life, and nothing will tear me from my revenge! Henry goes back to Boston tomorrow!”

Snow thinks its a good idea to reach for Pandora’s Box when they arrive at Pan’s thinking tree. Regina warns her it’s not a good idea, but she does it anyway. Of course Regina was right, and the tree traps them. Pan comes out to gloat.

“Peter Pan never fails.”

He lets them know they only place they’ll be reunited with Henry is in death.

Back in the past, Regina is returning Henry to the adoption agency. She’s visibly struggling with giving him back. There is already another family lined up to adopt him. As the adoption man leaves to give her a few minutes, Regina realizes that she can’t do this.

“You truly are the only one in all the realms who believes in me.”

She picks him up. Henry’s not going anywhere but home with her. She tells the adoption man the best thing for Henry is to have a mother who will never let him go ever again. The other family who wants to adopt Henry is the Darling Brothers. Woah! Turns out they’ve been after Henry from the beginning. Did Pan orchestrate Nealfire meeting Emma?

In Neverland, Pan drops the bomb that Rumplestiltskin is his son. The face Emma gives at this moment is priceless. I can only imagine how she sees her family tree. Henry’s great-grandfather is Peter Pan. Moving on-

Pan goes on this tangent about regret. Emma regrets abandoning Henry. Snow warns him to leave her alone, so Pan makes sure to rub it in her face she’s an awful example of a mother for abandoning Emma on the side of a road. Then he turns his focus to Regina. She’s the Evil Queen she should have the most regret of all….She doesn’t. She doesn’t regret anything because it got her Henry. She rips through those vines and snatches Henry’s heart from Pan’s chest. She also makes sure to grab Pandora’s Box.

“Now, let’s go save Henry.”

On the Jolly Roger, Regina puts Henry’s heart back into his body. It takes a few seconds, but Henry is alive and breathing and embracing both his mothers.

“I’m sorry I wanted to save magic.”

He wanted to be a hero. Hook offers the Captain’s Quarters as a place for the young lad to rest. Everyone is so happy. They won, right?

In the past, Regina is meeting with Archie once again. She’s terrified about Henry’s birth mother coming to Storybrooke full of regret and taking Henry away from her. He gives her some of the best advice I’ve heard on this show.

“This child has brought something to you. Revel in that. Revel in being a mother.”

She takes Henry to her mausoleum and tells him a story. As she’s telling him how revenge was not enough to satisfy the Evil Queen, she is concocting a potion. This potion will make her forget all her fears and worries so that she can enjoy being a mother. She wants her happily ever after, and with Henry, Regina truly believes she’s found it.

In the Captain’s Quarters, Regina is bonding with her son. She casts a spell over his heart so that nobody can ever take it away from him again. The two share a heart warming moment. For some reason, Regina leaves. Pan pops up on the Jolly Roger holding a knife. He apologizes to Henry.

Up on deck, Nealfire releases his father from Pandora’s Box. Nealfire believes in his father again. He asks why he didn’t tell him that Pan was his father. Rumple was afraid. He didn’t want to face the truth that they were the same in it that they both abandoned their sons.

“You’re not the same. You came back for me.”

Rumple’s hair starts fluttering in the wind. He can sense his daddy on the ship. Pan tries to rip out Henry’s heart, but it doesn’t work. He then starts to rip off Henry’s shadow. As he does it, Rumple appears with Pandora’s Box. Pan is a clever kid, and he switches bodies with Henry. Both their eyes flash. You can see the exact moment the swap occurs because as Pan’s body is being sucked into Pandora’s Box he looks utterly horrified.

On the deck, Nealfire holds the coconut with Pan’s shadow trapped inside over a cannon. They light the cannon and the shadow flies into the air. Regina uses her magic to adhere the shadow to the sail; it becomes black. The ship can now fly.

“Let’s get the hell out of Neverland.” Emma says.
“As you wish, milady.” Hook replies.

I like that “as you wish” has become a reoccurring phrase between Hook and Emma. It rings similar to Charming’s “I will always find you” that he says to Snow.

Wendy, who for some reason has pixie dust, hands it over to Tinkerbell. Wendy Darling sure did know a lot about Peter Pan’s plan. She has Nealfire’s trust. Now she has pixie dust… I’m hoping I’m just over reading this.

Henry, who is actually Pan… (let’s call him Panry) comes up on deck wanting fresh air. Nealfire promises Henry will always have a dad. Tink goes to congratulate Regina on saving her son. As she does the pixie dust glows. Seems she still has some magic.

Panry brings a bowl of food to Felix who is sulking. He’s still on Pan’s side.

“Peter Pan never fails. He can’t be stopped. Even when they think he’s defeated. When they think they’ve won, he finds a way.”

Felix is a little slow to realize what’s happened but once it clicks he’s elated. Panry smiles.

“Now, let’s play.”

Till Next Time.

Grade: B