Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 9 – TV Review
The apocalyptically bad thing is that this episode is titled “Save Henry.”
And I was like “Can we not?”
And then Once Upon a Time was like “Okay, let’s not.”
God is real, people.
TL;DR Henry doesn’t actually get saved; Regina flashes back to angst about wanting a child in the first place; with the exception of Henry, everyone else is happily flying away from Neverland.
Well, Henry is, too. But not in the way he wanted.
So it turns out Henry didn’t die last episode. He was just very close to death. So Regina, Emma and Snow launch a mission to catch Pan and get Henry’s heart back. Emma promises the Lost Boys a way home, so they give out Pan’s location. Regina rips the heart back, and the ladies hurry back to the rest of the team on the ship. Regina puts Henry’s heart back in, and all is well. Baelfire also takes this opportunity to release Gold from Pandora’s Box, which Regina snagged from Pan, too. Pan, predictably, reappears to have another go at Henry’s heart. Unable to get in from the front due to a spell from Regina, he goes for the soul instead. Gold traps Pan inside Pandora’s box, and, using Shadow’s power, everyone flies away home. Except Pan soul swapped Henry and is now in Henry’s body. Tee hee. And in flashback, we follow Regina’s tale of getting Henry. After some pains as a new mother, she resolves to commit herself to Henry and be strong for him.
Wait, hold on. Is Once Upon a Time actually finally dedicating an episode to Regina being legitimately Henry’s mum?
Holy shit, progress does happen.
Why I hate this episode:
Save Henry? Ugh.
Emma has apparently forgotten that allowing Regina to use her magic for torture is the quickest, most effective way to deal with Lost Boys. She bars Regina from smacking Pan’s location out of them, and instead gets all maternal and promises them safe return home. The greatest insult is that it works.
The latent SJW in me yucks at the whole “Regina needs to have a child to feel whole” thing that plays out in the Storybrooke flashbacks. I understand that in context, this could simply be something about Regina’s character, and not a message push by the show. But then you’ve got Emma, who flips her entire life to try to get to know some 10 year old kid because her maternal instinct is just too strong. Progress doesn’t come from all angles, unfortunately.
Flashback Regina also massively overreacts about Henry’s constant crying. He’s a goddamn baby, bitch. She takes him to Dr Whale for testing, and is so obsessed with finding a medical solution to the problem that she has Sidney track down the biological mother. And once she finds out that the saviour is likely the mother, she even tries to return Henry to the adoption agency. It’s a baby, Regina. Calm the fuck down.
She has to give herself a potion that makes her forget all her worries just to get by as a new mother. I expect better from you.
Pan’s thinking tree has the same fondness for vine whipping that Alice does. It’s embarrassing.
Oh, and poor Henry can’t handle acting like Pan, now that his soul is inside him or whatever. Brace yourselves for an onslaught of tragic overacting.
But it’s not all bad:
But hey, at least Henry is actually trapped inside the body of the major villain, which is in turn trapped inside Pandora’s Box. I’ll take that as a victory.
And Once Upon a Time seriously positioning Regina as Henry’s, you know, mother? Finally. After all these years (and all my admonition). Watching her journey and trials as a mother is some bravery I never thought the show would express.
During the course of the flashbacks, Regina finds out that Henry is the saviour’s son, and she confronts Gold, accusing him of engineering the whole thing, even from before the curse was enacted (a flashback to the day of the curse shows as much). If I had the free time, I’d be interested in going back to watch the first season and seeing if Regina’s knowledge of these things is really reflected there, and isn’t just an ass-pull retcon.
Present day Regina is no slouch, either. She wrecks Pan’s shit in about 2 seconds flat. She then casts a spell on Henry to prevent any further heart ripping. And she uses her magic to disperse Shadow into Hook’s ship’s sail so they can fly home. What a trooper.
Baelfire and Gold are finally on good terms with each other. Would have been convenient earlier, no?
Best line of the episode goes to Gold, who praises Regina’s mothering skills: “You raised him well.” I’m loathe to say anything positive about Henry, but I like to believe that even Henry would be improved by Regina’s superiority.
Gold gets second best line, too, when flashback Regina goes to him to get herself a baby: “I’m flattered, but I’m not interested.” Gay. Has to be. Belle is a beard.
The other couple who were willing to adopt Henry when Regina almost returned him were Wendy’s brothers. Alright, calm down, incest shippers.
It seems everyone is leaving Neverland, including Wendy and Tinkerbell. Wendy gives Tinkerbell a little vial of pixie dust, even though Tinkerbell thinks it won’t work because she is no longer magical. Shortly after that, Tinkerbell and Regina make up, and the pixie dust starts to glow, showing that T-Pain might just get her powers back. Aww, cute.
Oh, and Henry looks like he’s in horrible pain when Pan is ripping at his soul. Dammit, Gold. Why did you have to interrupt?