"Save Henry" is the 53rd episode of Once Upon a Time.
While Henry's life hangs in the balance, the race is on to stop Pan from gaining full magical powers from the heart of the truest believer. Meanwhile, in the Storybrooke of the past, Regina decides to fill a void in her life and, with Mr. Gold's help, sets out to adopt a baby.
Previously on Once Upon a Time...
Rumplestiltskin confronts his father. Pan states that Rumple gave up Baelfire for the power of the dagger and he gave up Rumple for youth. In a flashback, we see the latter happen. ("Think Lovely Thoughts") Wendy explains that Pan is dying and needs the heart of the truest believer. Henry willingly gives Pan his heart and then collapses. Wendy states that Henry will die. ("Think Lovely Thoughts") Regina tells Mr. Gold that him finding Henry wasn't an accident and asks where he got him, however, Gold acts dumb. ("The Thing You Love Most") Henry gives Emma some secret pages from his book. ("The Thing You Love Most") In flashbacks, Rumple reveals that the curse can be broken and that Emma is the key. Regina enacts the Dark Curse after being told by Rumple that she needs to sacrifice the heart of the thing she loves most. Regina lays a rose at her father's grave. ("The Thing You Love Most")
Regina comes to brag.
In a flashback, Grumpy rings a bell at the royal castle, announcing that the curse has arrived. As the curse arrives, Regina rides towards the castle in her carriage. Meanwhile, in the dungeon of the castle, Rumple leans towards the bars of his cell and impatiently yells that he's waiting. With a puff of smoke, the Evil Queen appears in front of him. He asks what took her so long, but she points out that he knows what did. He acts like he just realized it was the curse and then Regina walks closer to Rumple to gloat, reminding him that he'll forget everything. Rumple asks how "it" felt, and Regina, assuming he meant enacting the curse, states it felt like victory. Rumple explains that he meant killing the thing she loves most, but she tells him it was the price of the curse so how it felt doesn't matter. She tells Rumple that she finally won, but he points out that something's missing as she feels the need to gloat. Regina says she has everything she wants so nothing can stop her now. Rumple laughs and tells her that's not right as the child of Snow White and Prince Charming can still stop her and break the curse.
But ends up unsatisfied...
Regina shrugs this off and states getting rid of her baby made her to-do list, however, Rumple points out that even if she does this, there's still a hole in her heart and some day she'll come to him to fill it. Clearly not believing this, Regina tells him he overestimates his power of foresight. As she walks away, Rumple tells her she underestimates the price of what she's done. "You shall see you will come to me, there is more you need, oh!" Rumple sings in a jolly tune to the evil queen. An angry queen turns around and states his taunts will get him nowhere. She points out that he wants to make a deal but she won't make one. Rumple laughs and says he doesn't want to make a deal as he's already been promised a good life so asks what more he'd want. She supposes he'd want to be free of his cage and of the curse. "But why would I desire that, dearie? I'm exactly where I want to be" Rumple says softly. Regina gives him a confused look.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Pan gloats about his victory.
In Neverland, at Skull Rock, Henry lies on the floor with his eyes closed, not responding as Emma, Regina and Neal attempt to wake him up. As Pan lands on the ground, Emma angrily asks what he did to Henry, but the "boy" says it was all Henry as he offered his heart with his own free will. Emma draws her sword, stating she'll take it back, but when she lunges forward Pan suddenly vanishes, reappearing behind her. He grabs Pandora's Box from a rock. He tells Emma that he doesn't think she has it in her to kill him...just like Rumplestiltskin didn't. Emma and Neal question where Rumple is, so Pan explains that he's in the box he's holding. Regina is horrified to overhear this. Pan tells the group that unfortunately for them, Rumple can't hurt him any more...and neither can they. "Really?" Emma asks as she jumps forward, cutting his arm. She asks him how it felt, so he tells her it was like a tickle. Pan then uses his magic to fly away, evacuating Skull Rock. Once he's gone, Emma asks Regina how Henry is doing. She doesn't respond. Emma then rushes to Henry's aid as Regina promises her son that he'll be all right and they'll get him home.
Eleven Years Ago
Regina gets some advice from Archie.
In Storybrooke, during the curse, Mayor Regina is in her office, doing some paperwork as Dr. Archie Hopper stands before her, stating she wanted to see him. She acknowledges that she did, rudely making no eye contact as she continues her work. Archie awkwardly sits down and states that if it's to do with Pongo's dog license then it should be up to date. The mayor assures him that it has nothing to do with his dog, but then she goes silent, causing Archie to ask if she's all right. She tells him she's okay, but Archie points out that she doesn't seem okay. Offended, Regina says she doesn't tolerate that sort of bluntness, adding that she's the mayor (almost accidentally saying "queen" in the process). Archie points out that he's a therapist and theorizes that's why she brought him to her. He asks Regina what's bothering her and what she's feeling. "Nothing" she says in a high tone, "I'm feeling nothing" she finishes in a much deeper tone. Archie points out that Regina seems to be a driven woman and sometimes that can leave a hole. Regina is horrified to hear this, as it sounds too familiar to what Rumplestiltskin told her. Archie continues to explain that she's feeling an emptiness, stating that there's more to life than work so that could be the reason she's feeling dissatisfied. Regina becomes enraged by this suggestion, insisting that she's not dissatisfied and she loves her life. Archie asks her what's the point when she has no one to share it with, angering the mayor even more. Archie asks if there was ever a time when she didn't feel this way, so Regina remembers when the little boy visited; Owen. Archie nods, explaining that a child can cause so much meaning to someone's life. Regina gets a sudden look of realization on her face.
Regina asks Mr. Gold for a baby.
A while later, at Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer shop, Mr. Gold stands at the counter when Regina enters, bluntly stating that she needs a child and she needs his help. Gold states that he's flattered but uninterested. Disgusted, Regina explains that she didn't mean in that way before telling him she spent all morning talking to adoption agencies but they have waiting lists over two years long. She then tells him that if anyone knows how to work the system and can get her a baby then it'll be him. Rumple asks if she means to adopt, so she tells him not to look so surprised. He explains that he isn't, causing some suspicion in Regina. He says he's sure she'll make "a mother of some sort", angering Regina, who asks if he can help her. Gold confirms that he can, but then asks her if she's sure this is something she is ready for. Regina tells him it's something she needs, but Gold points out that they may not be the same thing. He tells her he'll get her a child, pleasing Regina, who begins to walk out. However, she's stopped when he adds that if it'll help her remains to be seen. Gold explains that when you become a parent you must put your child first...no matter what. Regina simply stares at Mr. Gold.
Regina realizes that they can hurt Peter Pan.
Back in the present day, at Skull Rock, Regina casts a preservation spell over Henry's unconscious body, explaining that it'll keep him in his current state for a while longer, giving them a chance to get to Pan. Emma asks Neal if he has any idea where Pan went, since he used to be a Lost Boy. Stumped for ideas, Neal says he knows where he lived, but Regina points out that they all know that. She asks if he thinks Pan is stupid enough to go back before calling Neal useless. Emma tells Regina that's enough, but the queen tells Emma not to say what's enough as her son is dying. Emma points out that he's their son so she knows how she feels. Regina angrily states that she has no idea how she feels, pointing out that Emma has her parents, Neal and a pirate who pines for her. She tells Emma that she has everything, so she can't possibly know how she feels...since all she has is Henry, stating he is everything. Emma kneels down to Regina and tells her she's right about not knowing how she feels. She then asks her what they should do to save Henry. Regina simply says she doesn't know. Neal points out that Pan was powerful enough before, so now with Henry's heart, he's not sure that they can hurt him. With that, Regina notices something on Emma's sword; blood. She points it out and explains that she was able to make him bleed. "We can hurt him" she begins, "And if we can hurt him, we can kill him" she says with an evil smile, "And we will".
Regina wants to use force to get Pan's location.
On the main island of Neverland, Regina, Emma, Neal and the unconscious Henry have regrouped with everyone else and they've just explained what has happened. A worried Snow points out that if Gold is in a box then David can never leave the island. Charming points out that he's made peace with that and it doesn't matter, stating that all that matters now is Henry. He asks Regina how much time they have, so she explains that the preservation spell will wear off within an hour. Neal points out that if Pan is airborne then he could be anywhere, causing Hook to state they should start looking. With that, Regina storms towards the Lost Boys, who were sat waiting with Wendy, and she angrily demands to know where Pan is. She grabs Felix by his shirt while he mockingly tells her that Pan is gone and there's nothing she can do. He adds that Pan has already won - and he never fails. A furious Regina threatens that if he won't talk then she'll make him talk. As she raises her hand to cast a spell, she's grabbed by Emma, who asks her to wait. Regina says there's no time, but Emma explains that torture isn't there best move here. She tells Regina to look at the kids, stating they've been to hell and back. As Regina looks at the sad looking kids, Emma says they need to try something else. Regina points out that they don't respond to reason before asking what else she has to offer. Emma looks at Snow as she tells Regina "What every kid wants...a mother".
Regina is told some good news.
Back in Storybrooke during the curse, Mr. Gold is inside his shop when Regina enters in a hurry, excitedly asking if he has news. Gold says that it appears fate is on her side as this morning he spoke to an adoption agency that placed a baby boy from Phoenix with a family nearby in Boston. A confused Regina asks if he's with a family then how can it be fate. Gold explains that at the last minute the adoption fell through, sneakily stating it happens, hinting he was involved. Smiling, Regina says the baby still needs a home. Gold confirms this and then repeats himself, stating that fate appears to be on her side and the baby is in Boston. He then hands Regina a brown envelope containing the necessary information and documentation she shall need. She smiles genuinely.
Regina is interviewed at the adoption agency.
A long while later, Regina is sat in the office of an adoption agency whilst an agent examines her application. Once he's finished, he tells Regina that he application seems too good to be true, pointing out that he's impressed by her references and the fact she's the mayor of a town named Storybrooke. She tells him it's her third time, and they were all unopposed. The agent says he's never heard of Storybrooke, so Regina explains that it's a hidden gem which is peaceful, perfect for children and it's almost like a fairytale. She tells the agent that he should come some time, but he explains that he doesn't get much time off during the year, and when he does he spends it with Sandals, which has an exclusive buffet. He continues by saying he's already gone over her rights and responsibilities, but tells her he'd like to go over one item in detail. He explains that this is a closed adoption so she'll never be able to contact the child's birth parents or get information on them.
Regina meets Henry.
Regina says she's simply concerned about her child's future, not his past. The adoption agent then congratulates Regina before asking if she's ready to meet her son. Regina joyfully says she is, so the adoption agent buzzes for his assistant to bring the baby in. Soon enough, a woman comes in carrying the baby boy. Regina falls in love the moment she sees him and tells him it was fate them meeting. She decides to name him Henry. The agent points out that you don't meet many Henrys nowadays, commenting that it's very old world. Regina explains that it was her father's name and he passed some time ago. The agent apologizes and says he hopes it was peaceful. The baby suddenly begins to cry and Regina gets a worried look on her face. The agent asks if she needs some help, but she instinctively tries to calm him down, saying she has it. With him now stopped crying, she picks him up and holds him close to her face, smiling at him and telling him they should go home.
Emma tries a more gentle approach to get Pan's location.
Back in Neverland, Henry remains unconscious as his father, Neal, sits beside him, worried. Meanwhile, Emma is with the Lost Boys. She assures them that they won't hurt them before telling them they're making a terrible mistake being loyal to Pan. She explains that for a long time she was an orphan and never thought she'd find her family, just like all of them. She continues to say that today she was reminded she's not alone and she has a lot of people that love her. She tells that Lost Boys that if that can happen to her then it can happen to them. Felix comments that Pan is the only family they need, but Emma explains that family doesn't do what he did - lying and convincing them to do terrible things. She adds that he lied to Henry and convinced him to give up his own heart. A young lost boy explains that it was to save the island, but Emma says it was to save himself. Felix tells the Lost Boys not to listen to Emma, assuring them that Pan cares about them. Emma insists he doesn't, but they do, adding that they can save them and take them home with them.
Emma promises the Lost Boys a home.
Emma says there's no reason to fear Pan any more, because until he absorbs the power from Henry's heart then he can be stopped. Snow timidly tells the Lost Boys that all they have to do is tell them where Pan is. An angry Felix stands, demanding they leave while Pan allows them to breathe, however, Hook sits him back down using his hook. Emma asks Felix where Pan is, but he simply says he's not telling. Thinking all hope is lost, Emma looks saddened for a moment...until the young Lost Boy asks if they can really take them home. Worried he'll betray Pan, Felix tells him to shut up. Emma ignores Felix and assures the young boy they can, causing him to reveal that he's at his Thinking Tree. A furious Felix roars with anger, demanding they stop. Another Lost Boy confirms that he's at his Thinking Tree, infuriating Felix even more. They explain that the tree is where he goes to be alone and it isn't far. Emma asks if they can tell her where it is, so the young boy confirms that he can...but only if she promises to take them with her. Emma leans close to the boys, and with genuine sympathy for them, assures them all that they're going to go home.
Granny gives Regina some advice.
In Storybrooke, during the curse, Regina is sat in Granny's Diner with newly adopted Henry, who is crying loudly. Granny approaches them and cheerfully asks who the bundle of joy is. Taking this the wrong way, Regina snaps and asks if she has a problem with him crying. Granny assures the mayor that she doesn't. Thinking the old woman has gone, Regina tends to the crying baby and attempts to soothe him and get him to be quiet. When she turns her head, she sees Granny still standing there. Annoyed, she asks what she wants, so Granny offers some advice; telling him a story as it soothes babies and gets them used to the parent's voice. She explains that it worked with Ruby - adding that her issues started later. Regina turns back to the crying Henry and tries to calm him down by saying it's okay. She picks him up and then begins a story by saying "Once upon a time". She's interrupted when Henry spits up on her shirt, grossing her out.
Dr. Whale insists that Henry is a healthy baby.
A baby Henry is next seen lying on a bed in the Storybrooke General Hospital as Dr. Whale tests his heartbeat, commenting that it's strong. He adds that his lungs are healthy, but a worried Regina lists other tests for him to do. Dr Whale assures the mayor that he's just a crying baby, so she sarcastically comments that she paid for this help. He corrects that her insurance did, but a frustrated Regina asks what she can do. He says to give him 10 CCs of maternal love, but she states nobody loves their child more than her so there must be something wrong with him. She demands Whale to help him. He supposes that he could get extra testing, but warns that with babies there are risks and its generally not worth it. Regina wonders what he means by "generally", so he explains that there could be something abnormal happening, but they'd need the birth mother to know. An insulted Regina asks if he thinks the woman who abandoned him can sooth him before stating she's his mother. Whale tells the mayor she misunderstood him before telling her that it could be genetic. A worried Regina tells the doctor it was a closed adoption and there's no way to contact the birth parents.
Regina is shocked when Mary Margaret stops Henry from crying.
A short while later, Regina is carrying Henry through the hospital as she's on the phone to Sidney Glass. She tells him to grab a pencil before explaining there's an adoption agency in Boston. However, before she can continue, she walks past Mary Margaret Blanchard, whom she hands a crying Henry over to so she can talk on the phone in peace. After moving to the side, she quietly tells Sidney that she needs the name of Henry's biological mother. Sidney points out that it's against the law, so she explains that why she asked him. She tells him he'll do whatever it takes and it needs to be done because there's something wrong with her son. Before she can tell Sidney he won't stop crying, she suddenly notices that Mary Margaret has soothed the baby. She tells Sidney to "just do it" before hanging up on him and approaching Mary Margaret, asking how she did that. She nervously asks the mayor what she means, so Regina asks how she stopped him from crying. Mary Margaret claims to have just held him, adding that he's so sweet. Regina takes her child back and he immediately starts crying again, upsetting her. Mary Margaret apologizes, asking if she did something. Regina tells her she didn't, stating it's her. She looks down sadly at the crying child as a guilty looking Mary Margaret stands behind her.
The group prepare to save Henry.
In Neverland, an unconscious Henry is laid on the ground as Wendy places a wet cloth onto his forehead. Meanwhile, Regina, who is talking to the Lost Boys, confirms with one of the boys if Pan is in the Pixie Woods. The boy explains that it's just north of them and it's where the pixie dust used to grow. Emma asks Hook if he knows where that is. He tells her he does, explaining that the whole area is deserted now and nobody but Pan has stepped foot into the woods for centuries. Neal comments that they should make history, but Emma orders him to wait here because when they get Henry's heart back they're going to need help on both ends. Charming asks what they need from him and Snow, so Neal says they're going to get the Lost Boys on the Jolly Roger and get ready to fly home. Hook comments that he hopes they have the Pegasus sail, but Neal explains they've got Pan's shadow so that will get them home. Neal then assures Emma that nothing will happen to Henry when she and Regina are away, but Snow interrupts, claiming that since she's trapped on Neverland for eternity she's going to spend her last moments with her daughter. "Okay, let's do it" Emma tells her mother before preparing to leave.
Regina makes a shocking discovery.
Back during the curse, Regina is in her manor when a baby Henry starts crying again. The desperate mayor tries to plead with the baby, offering anything if he just tells her what he wants. She picks the baby up and rocks him gently, begging him for a chance. With that, she notices that he's stopped crying. A delighted Regina cradles him and thanks him as she smiles. With that, her mobile rings so she answers it, asking Sidney what he found. He explains that the agency was a dead end, but he managed to work his magic with the Health Department. He tells Regina that he found out all about the mother, explaining he's faxing her the information now. She heads over to her fax machine and takes out a file that's been sent over. As she reads it a look of shock comes across her face and she utters "No..." with disbelief.
Regina tries to get the truth out of Mr. Gold.
A while later, Regina bursts into Mr. Gold Pawnbroker & Antiquities Dealer, holding Henry in a baby carrier. She snarls at Mr. Gold, insisting he "knew". The shopkeeper wonders what he knew, so she explains the mother of the child he found for her was found in the woods outside of Storybrooke eighteen years ago. He comments that it's a startling coincidence, angering Regina, who reiterates that it was eighteen years ago. He tells the mayor he fails to see the significance of that as his memory isn't what it used to be. She angrily explains that Henry's mother was found on a very significant day outside of Storybrooke as a baby. She tries to say it was the day the town was created, but doesn't want to in case Gold is clueless. "This town what?" he asks. Regina asks Gold if the mother is important, so he supposes she is, since she gave birth to her son. A clearly distressed Regina accuses Gold of making all of this happen, "Because the mother...she's..." Regina adds, stuttering. Gold asks what this mother that she seems to fear so much is, so she asks if he really knows nothing of what she's talking about. He points out that her being upset is clear, but Regina believes she's seeing through him. She reminds him that he told her she'd come to him with a hole in her heart and he wants "this" to end. She realizes that he wants to destroy everything she's built by bringing the mother back to town. Gold simply mocks Regina, pointing out the circles under her eyes and the tremble in her voice, adding that motherhood has done that to her. Regina tells him to play dumb all he likes before warning him he should know who he's up against by now, claiming she sacrificed everything to build this life. She tells him nothing will tear her away from her revenge, explaining Henry goes back to Boston tomorrow. She storms out of the shop, carrying the child.
It's a trap!
Back in the present, in Neverland, Regina, Emma and Snow are trekking through the jungle until they eventually come to a clearing. Noticing Pandora's Box sitting on a rock, Regina stops the group and tells them to look. They cautiously approach it, and when nothing happens, Snow steps forward to grab it. Regina warns her to be careful as Pan wouldn't have just left it for no reason. Snow tells her old foe that it's David's only way home and without Gold they're stuck here. She goes to grab the box, but a vine from a tree behind them wraps around her and ties her up. Emma and Regina are soon grabbed too and the three women find themselves tied to a tree. "Are you still at it?" Pan taunts them as he appears from behind the tree, adding them Peter Pan never fails. He explains that he didn't expect them to find him, but supposes since they're mothers, they're quite tenacious about their offspring, "Believe it or not, I understand that" he adds. He then tells them that if they're hoping to see Henry again, there's only one place they'll be reunited...and that's in death. An angry Regina tries to reach forward for Pan, but she can't break through the vines.
Regina decides to keep Henry.
Back during the curse, Regina enters the adoption agency office carrying Henry before placing him on the adoption agent's desk and listing his bedtimes, nap times and feeding. The agent assures Regina that the baby will be fine, she tells him she is just sad it couldn't work out as circumstances were unforeseen. He tells Regina that not every child is the right fit for a parent and sometimes putting the child first means having the strength to give them up. An uncomfortable Regina questions where Henry will go next, so the agent explains there's already a new family lined up. She looks down at the baby and a look of sadness grows in her face. Noticing this, the agent offers her a moment before leaving the room. Once alone, a sad Regina crouches over Henry as she tells him he deserves better than her. As the baby looks up at the mayor with a comforting face, she tells him he's truly the only one in all the realms that believes in her. Henry smiles at Regina before she picks him up and holds him in her eyes. She nods, knowing what she must do. The agent then returns and offers to hold the baby so they can get the last signature, but Regina tells him it won't be necessary as he's her son. She then puts him back in his carrier and claims the best thing for him is a mother who will never let go of him...ever again.
John and Michael are left empty handed.
A short while later, after Regina has left the adoption agency with Henry, deciding to keep him as her own, the adoption agent approaches the family that was intending to adopt Henry after Regina gave him up. He sadly explains that there was a "hiccup" and the mother decided to keep the baby, so they'll have to go back on the waiting list; he apologizes for the situation. "We...lost him?" a disappointed man asks, causing the agent to confirm that they did. He goes on to offer putting them back on the list, but before he can finish the two men, revealed to be John Darling and Michael Darling, walk away. Michael tells his brother that Pan will not be pleased, so John tells him this is why they don't give up, stating they will get the child.
Pan starts spilling the T.
Back in the present, Pan taunts Regina, Emma and Snow, who are still tied to the tree, asking if they're having trouble moving. He explains that it's no surprise given where they are, telling them it's their regret that holds them back. Emma asks what he's talking about so he tells them the tree is the site of a very important event for him; where he abandoned up his boy. A shocked Regina asks if he has a son, so Pan tells her he's older than he looks. Emma says that if he has a child he must regret losing him too, but Pan proudly says he doesn't. He picks up Pandora's Box and explains he's got his son "all boxed up" so he doesn't lose him again. A confused Regina asks if Rumple is his son, so Pan confirms he is. A bewildered Snow questions how it's possible because he's younger than Rumple, but Pan points out the age difference between her and Emma. Regina calls Pan a fraud, stating his magic has weakened and he can't even hurt them, let alone Rumple. Pan says she's right, but goes on to explain the tree will protect him until his power is restored and then he'll get to have some "fun", hinting the death of everyone.
Regina is victorious.
The three women attempt to break from the vines, but they only tighten, causing Emma to suppose another way. Pan tells her she won't get to him as the tree attacks the regret inside anyone that comes near it, claiming Emma has plenty. She tells him she regrets not taking a better shot at him while she had the chance, but he states that all, explaining that with Henry's heart he can feel all the times she let him down. Snow demands he leave her daughter alone, so he does just that, moving onto her. He states that Emma had no chance at being a good mother after the example Snow set, abandoning her for twenty eight years. "Are you finished?" Regina scoffs, causing him to move on to her and say she has the most to regret of all. "Yeah, there's one problem with that. I did cast a curse that devastated an entire population, I have tortured and murdered, I've done some terrible things. I should be overflowing with regret, but, I'm not..." she tells him before breaking the vines off with ease, releasing all the women, "Because it got me my son" she finishes before plunging her hand into the chest of a shocked Pan, ripping out Henry's heart. Once removed, a weak Pan drops to the floor and tries to reach for Pandora's Box, however, Regina grabs that too. "Now...let's go save Henry" she says, holding the two objects with a triumphant smile.
Henry is saved.
Aboard the Jolly Roger a tied up Felix is placed onto the ship among with the other Lost Boys as everyone prepares for their trip home. After having retrieved her son's heart, Emma gets on the ship and asks for Henry. Neal points him out and she rushes over to him with Regina. Regina tells her son to hold on before placing his heart back into his chest. After a moment of everyone watching him tentatively, they notice he isn't waking up. Emma and Regina grow concerned, but they become relieved when he suddenly wakens. The two mothers, Snow, Charming, Hook and Neal all smile with relief and then the latter two give the young boy a hug. Henry apologizes, explaining he wanted to save magic and be a hero, but they assure him it's fine and now it's time to rest. Hook welcomes Henry to his ship and offers him the captain's quarters to rest in. Regina smiles at her son and tells him she'll tuck him in.
Archie tells Regina to stop worrying about the future.
Back during the curse in Storybrooke, Regina is watching over a peaceful baby Henry as Archie tells her he's so pleased with the way everything turned out, confessing to being concerned. Regina tells him she has a fear that his birth mother will wake up one day full of regret and take him back. Archie asks if it was a closed adoption, meaning they're both perfectly anonymous to each other. The mayor expresses fear over something bigger than the laws at play; fate and destiny. Archie points out that she has made her own destiny, but she tells him there's someone out there who can destroy it. The doctors tells the mayor that if she keeps worrying about the future she'll never enjoy the present. He points out that child has brought her love and tells her to revel in that and in being a mother. Regina looks down at her son and smiles.
Regina makes an honorable sacrifice.
A while later, over at the graveyard in Regina's family mausoleum, Regina holding Henry as she stands beside her father's casket. She gently places her hand atop the coffin and she thanks him, referring to the fact that Henry is now in her life. She places Henry into his carrier and then she proceeds to open the secret passage to below the mausoleum. A short while later, down below, Regina is telling Henry a "story" about a queen who cast a curse that gave her everything she wanted...or so she thought. She tells of how the queen despaired when she learned revenge was not enough because she was lonely. She then tells her son that she searched the lands for a little boy to be her prince and she found him, and although they lived happily, it was not ever after. She turns to a bunch of magical ingredients behind her and she begins mixing them as she explains an evil was still lurking. She says the queen was worried for her prince's safety, but while she knew she could vanquish any threat to the boy, she also knew she could never raise him worrying. She says she needed to put her own troubles aside and put her child first, so she made an ancient potion of forgetting. With that, Henry begins crying so Regina comforts him by assuring him the queen wouldn't forget her child, just her worries, troubles and fears. After adding the final ingredient to the potion, she tells her son it'd allow the queen and the prince to live happily ever after. Regina takes a drink of the potion and suddenly her worries are wiped clean. Henry begins crying so Regina cheerfully turns and says "hello" to him before picking him up and asking what they should do today.
Quick, someone save Henry!
Back in the present, below the decks of the Jolly Roger, a weak Henry is resting in bed as Regina sits beside him. "Oh I know that look, that's five hours of Space Paranoids and too much pizza" she teases him. Henry comments that pizza's good, making Regina smile. She then without warning raises her hand over his chest and a magic glow emits from her as she casts a spell. When she's done, he tells her it stung and asks what it was for. She explains that she cast a spell so nobody can ever take his heart ever again. Henry holds Regina's heart and he thanks her, causing her to smile before kissing his forehead. She assures her "little prince" that they'll be home soon and then she leaves him alone to rest. Once she's gone, Henry sits up in his bed to get comfy. However, once he lays back down he's shocked to see Peter Pan appear before him. The evil boy draws a knife and apologizes to Henry that it had to come to this.
Rumple is saved by Neal.
On the top deck of the Jolly Roger, Neal activates Pandora's Box, causing it to emit a red powder. The red powder then sets and Rumplestiltskin appears out of it, freed. Snow, Charming and Emma watch in awe as Neal embraces in a happy hug with his father. Rumple asks where Henry is, so Neal assures him that he's safe. Rumple tells his son he was never going to hurt the boy, so Neal tells him he knows before asking why he didn't reveal Pan is his father. The Dark One explains that it was because he didn't want Neal to think he was as bad of a father as Pan was, because they're both the same for abandoning their sons. Neal tells him they're not the same as he came back for him; the two men hug again. After witnessing this, Emma turns to her parents, stating Rumple is back, which means Charming can be cured and they can go home as a family. The three embrace in a hug. Suddenly, Rumple senses something is wrong, causing Neal to ask what's wrong.
Pan is apparently defeated again
Below the decks, a scared Henry asks Pan what he's doing. As he holds a knife at the child, he claims he wanted his heart but his mother took it away from him and left him for dead. He reaches his hand towards Henry's chest in an attempt to pull out his heart, but a barrier blocks him. A frustrated Pan says that's clever, and instead reaches for Henry's back. He starts ripping out the child's shadow, but he's stopped when Rumple appears behind him and tells him blood magic works both ways. He opens up Pandora's Box and Pan begins to get sucked into it. However, before he is fully taken by it, he casts a spell that causes both his and Henry's eyes to glow. After it's done, a worried look suddenly comes across Pan's face. However, before he can say anything, he's sucked into Pandora's Box. Regina suddenly arrives and rushes to Henry's side. The boy assures her he's fine, so Rumple comments that he's a strong boy, adding that she raised him well. This comment touches Regina.
The Jolly Roger heads home.
Back on the top deck, everyone on the Jolly Roger is now ready to go home. Snow lines up all the Lost Boys, preparing them for the journey as Neal holds the coconut containing the Shadow over a cannon. After asking if Regina is ready, Emma lights the cannon. Just before it fires, Neal opens the coconut, sending the shadow flying into the air from the blast. Regina then uses a powerful green magic to hold the shadow before merging it with the sail, turning it black. Emma asks if she thinks it'll fly, so Regina explains it has no choice. The savior tells them to get the hell out of Neverland, so Hook obeys and prepares to sail the ship. The Jolly Roger begins sailing through the ocean, and then as it passes Skull Rock, it lifts off into the air, sailing through the clouds. As they fly, Charming turns to his daughter and reminds her of what she said when they first arrived on the island; that they'd need to work together. He confesses that he didn't think a hero, villain and pirate could be united, but they were because of the most important piece of the puzzle, a leader. Emma seems uncomfortable with being seen as the leader, so tells him she's just glad they were able to get Henry home. As Snow feeds the Lost Boys, she looks over to her husband and daughter and smiles.
Wendy gives Tink a gift.
Meanwhile, Wendy is stood on her own, watching the clouds down below her. Tinker Bell approaches her from behind and tells her it must be better than being in a cage. The young girl asks if they're really free, so Tinker Bell confirms they are, assuring her she'll soon see her brothers. She tells the fairy she has something for her, something she could never use, but perhaps she can. As she passes a small vial to Tink, she explains that it's Pixie Dust from the last flower on the tree tops. Tink sadly explains that she can't make it work as she has no magic since losing her wings. Wendy tells her she'll figure it out, "I believe in you, Tink" she smiles at her, causing the fairy to smile back.
Neal makes a promise to Henry.
At the back of the ship, Henry emerges from the lower decks, catching the attention of his father, who asks if he should be resting, however the boy doesn't respond. He offers Henry some food if he's feeling up for it, but the young boy explains he's feeling better now and the fresh air is probably good for him. Neal then tells his son that he knows they haven't had much chance to be a family, but he wants him to know he has a dad now and forever. He promises Henry he'll never leave him before the two embrace a hug.
Tink discovers she still has magic.
Meanwhile, Tinker Bell approaches Regina, telling her she's happy she got her son back, commenting that it seems the Evil Queen was able to love someone after all. "Yes it seems" Regina smiles before telling Tink it seems that she was right. The fairy tells the queen she knew she still had some good in her. After saying this, a magical sound emits from somewhere. Regina tells Tink she apparently has some magic left in her, pointing out the glowing Pixie dust in her hand. However, the glowing doesn't last long. A puzzled Tink asks what happened, so Regina tells her for a moment she must have believed.
Peter Pan never fails.
A short while later, Henry walks across the deck and picks up a plate of food, sitting next to Felix and offering it to him. The Lost Boy tells him to go away as he's not hungry. Henry explains he came to thank Felix, so the Lost Boy states that no matter what the other traitors do, he's on Pan's side, "And Pan..." he begins to say being cut off by Henry, who finishes the sentence with "never fails". Felix is confused, so Henry, in a sinister tone, repeats that Pan never fails and he can't be stopped, even when they think he's defeated. Felix asks him if he thinks he's safe, so he assures him that he is, because during their struggle his fate was sealed. He explains that the one in trouble is Henry. "But you're Henry" Felix comments, causing "Henry" to explain that he isn't any more. Felix gets a grin on his face, realizing they switched bodies. "Henry" holds out the food once more, and this time Felix takes it, thanking Pan. "Now...let's play" Henry tells his friend.
- The title card of this episode features the Shadow soaring in the sky and flying over the direction of the screen.
- Although credited, Emilie de Ravin (Belle French/Belle) is absent from this episode.
- The title of this episode is derived from the popular hashtag (#SaveHenry) that preceded the premiere of the season.
- The title of this episode was revealed by executive producer/co-creator Adam Horowitz, via his Twitter account, on October 18, 2013.
- This episode marks the 5th writing credit with the series for both Christine Boylan and Daniel T. Thomsen, and their 2nd shared said credit.
The episode's ratings matched the previous outing, scoring a 1.9/5 among 18-49s with 6.60 million viewers tuning in, tying it as the lowest rated episode in the series so far.
- Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly gave the episode positive feedback, saying "On this post-Turkey Day weekend, let's all give thanks to "Save Henry" for finally getting us off the dark, dreary island of Never Land, tying up the first half of season 3 with a magical little bow... and then, in true Once fashion, reminding us once more that happy endings are never as uncomplicated as they seem." In regard to the episode's cliffhanger, she said "I'm so glad that thanks to this last-minute switcheroo, the awesome Robbie Kay's Once arc hasn't yet drawn to a close."
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.