"Save Henry" is the ninth episode of Season Three of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Christine Boylan & Daniel T. Thomsen, and directed by Andy Goddard. It is the fifty-third episode of the series overall, and premiered on December 1, 2013.
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 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.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, as the curse makes its way to the Royal Castle, the Evil Queen heads to Rumplestiltskin's cell to inform him that she cast the curse. He asks her how it felt, and she replied by saying it felt like victory. He follows up by asking how it felt to kill her father. She says it doesn't matter how it felt, but he reminds her that all the curse will accomplish is a void that cannot be filled.
In present-day Neverland, Emma, Regina, and Neal try to wake up Henry, as Peter Pan lands back on Skull Rock. Emma asks what he did to Henry, but he professes that it was Henry himself who gave him his heart. Emma pulls out her sword and goes after him, but he quickly reappears behind her and grabs Pandora's Box, saying that if Rumplestiltskin didn't have the guts to hurt him, neither do the heroes. As Peter Pan leaves, Regina promises Henry that she will save him.
Eleven years ago in Storybrooke, Regina is filling out paperwork when Archie comes into her house. He asks if everything is okay, and Regina says "yes". Archie, however, knows she's lying and asks again. When Regina says she doesn't feel anything, Archie asks if there ever was a time when she did feel something. She responds by saying she felt happy when Owen visited. He then tells her a child can provide meaning to one's life.
Regina immediately goes to Mr. Gold for help. She mentions that adoption agencies have a two-year waiting list, but she thinks he can help. He agrees to help, but he warns her that she must put her child first, no matter what.
Back in Neverland, Regina casts a preservation spell on Henry to keep him alive, while they find Pan. Emma suggests they go to where Pan lives, but Regina says the plan is idiotic. When Emma tells her to calm down, Regina explains that her son is dying and no one knows how she feels, so she wants to find Henry without wasting time. Neal explains that Pan is too powerful, but Regina points out that Emma has blood on her sword, meaning she nicked him. Regina professes that if he can bleed, then they can take him out.
Emma, Regina, and Neal meet up with the group and everyone makes a plan to get the Lost Boys to tell them where Pan is. Regina suggests torture, but Emma thinks giving them want every kid wants, a mother, is the best way.
Back in Storybrooke eleven years ago, Mr. Gold tells Regina that an adoption agency is looking to give a baby boy a home, and Regina will be able to adopt him.
When Regina travels to the adoption agency, the adoption agent tells her that her application is very good, and he brings the baby boy in. When she meets him, Regina names him Henry after her father.
In Neverland, Emma tries to persuade the Lost Boys into helping her find Pan. She tells them that if they help, she will take them home. Everyone agrees to this except Felix. Emma manages to get them to tell her that Pan is at his thinking tree.
Regina takes baby Henry to Granny's Diner, where he starts to cry. Granny comes up to Regina and tells her to tell him a bedtime story, because it'll get the baby used to her voice. Regina picks him up to cradle him and he spits up on her. Regina takes Henry to the hospital, where Dr. Whale gives him an exam. He assures her that there is nothing wrong with him, but if she wanted to make sure, she would have to find information on Henry's birthmother. Regina calls Sidney, handing Henry to Mary Margaret so that she can speak to him on the phone. She just finishes telling Sindey to get the records whatever way he can, when she turns and see that Henry is no longer crying while Mary Margaret is holding him. She rushes over and takes him from her, only for Henry to start crying again.
Emma and her allies make a plan to find Pan at his thinking tree and bring Henry his heart. Neal suggests that they should get the Lost Boys on the Jolly Roger and prepare it for flight, while Emma, Regina, and Mary Margaret get back Henry's heart.
Regina goes home and is trying to work when Henry starts crying again. She picks him up and begs him to give her a chance, when he stops crying. Sidney then calls and faxes Emma's information to her and she is shocked. Regina goes directly to Mr. Gold, asking him if Henry's birthmother is important. He doesn't know what she is talking about, but she gets increasingly angry and decides to give Henry back.
Emma, Regina, and Mary Margret find Pan's thinking tree and Pandora's Box. As Mary Margret tries to grab it, she, Emma, and Regina are tied up to the tree. Pan comes out of the shadows and tells them that they will be reunited with Henry, but only in death.
Regina goes back to the agency to give Henry back, and the agent tells her that she's doing the right thing. The agent says that sometimes putting the child first means having the strength to give him up. Regina asks what's going to happen to Henry, and the agent tells her that they have another family lined up to take him already. The adoption agent goes to get the last of the paperwork, telling her that he'll give them a moment alone so she can say her goodbyes. While he's out of the room, Henry smiles at Regina and she picks him up. She tearfully tells him he deserves better than her. She says that he's truly the only one in all the realms who believes in her. When the adoption agent comes back with the paperwork he asks if she wants him to hold Henry while she signs the paperwork.
Regina puts Henry back in his car seat and tells the agent that there's no need, because he's her son. She's going to keep him, and she knows he needs a mother who's going to do everything in her power to be there for him and never let him go. After Regina leaves with Henry, the agent tells two men that the mother changed her mind, and the baby is no longer available. He starts to say that he can put them back on the waiting list, but they turn and rush away, showing them be John and Michael Darling. Michael states that Pan won't be pleased, and John says that's why they don't give up until they get that child.
Peter Pan explains that the tree Emma, Mary Margret, and Regina are tied to attacks the regret in one's souls. He explains that the reason it does is because it's where he abandoned his son. They are all shocked to find out Pan has a son and want to know what happened to him. Pan tells them he's fine because he has his son right there with him, trapped in Pandora's Box. The women are shocked that he is Rumpelstiltskin's father. Pan tells them they will not escape because each of them has actions that they regret. He says that Emma regrets giving up Henry and how many times she's let Henry down. Mary Margret tells him that's enough and he states that he only wants her to stop because she regrets abandoning Emma for 28 years.
Regina asks Pan if he's about done, and he says those are her last words because of all the regrets she has. Regina tells him that despite everything she's done, she regrets none of it; not casting the curse, killing and torturing people, or any of the other terrible actions she's perpetrated. When she says she regrets none of it, to Pan's surprise she breaks out of the vines. She steps up to Pan and says that all of her actions led to her getting a son. Regina thrusts her hand into Pan's chest and pulls out Henry's heart and he falls to his hands and knees. Pan weakly struggles to reach Pandora's Box, but Regina picks it up before he can grab it. She turns to Mary Margaret and Emma and says, "Now, let's go save Henry."
They rush back to the ship with Henry's heart, where Hook is putting the Lost Boys onboard. Regina tells Henry to hold on, then puts hit heart back in his chest. After a few moments, Henry wakes up and apologizes. He says he was just trying to be a hero. David says he has plenty of time to become one in the future. Hook suggests that Henry gets some rest in the captain's quarters.
Regina invites Archie again and discusses her child with him. He thinks it is amazing that she found someone to love, but Regina is worried that Emma may come to take Henry back someday. Archie tells her to live in the present, but Regina is too scared that she won't be happy if she keeps dreading the future. Regina brings Henry into her vault and tells him a story as she makes a potion. She tells Henry that she's making an ancient forgetting potion so she can enjoy being with Henry and they can live happily ever after.
Regina tucks Henry in bed and put a protection spell on his heart, so no one can take it ever again. As soon as she walks out, Pan appears behind Henry with a knife. He tells Henry he's sorry it had to come to this. Back on the top of the ship, Neal releases Mr. Gold from the Pandora's Box and they share a hug, fully reconciled. Just after the families hug, Gold turns suddenly alarmed. Down below, Pan tells Henry that he wanted his heart, but his mother took it away from Pan and left him for dead. Pan tries to remove Henry's heart again, only to get and electric shock and pushed back because of Regina's spell. Pan begins to try to rip out Henry's shadow, but Gold appears behind him and states that blood magic works both ways. Just as Gold activates Pandoras Box to pull Pan in, Henry and Pan's eyes both shine with light. Pan gets a shocked look on his face and screams out just as he is pulled into Pandora's Box. Regina comes rushing down, but Henry says that he's okay. Gold states that Henry's a strong boy and is fine now.
Regina, Emma, and Neal trap the Shadow on the sail by launching it out of a cannon. The ship begins to fly, and everyone plans to get back to Storybook soon. Everyone reunites with and thanks one another. Henry comes back to the top of the ship and talks to Felix. Felix is mad at him at first, but Henry suddenly starts talking like Pan, letting Felix know that he swapped bodies with his grandson. When Felix discovers he is not Henry, and in fact Pan, he begins to smile. Pan professes that since no one knows he switched bodies with Henry, he and Felix can defeat the heroes.
*: Only in archive footage
- The title card features Pan's Shadow.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on October 18, 2013.
- REUSED FOOTAGE: The establishing shot of Boston is stock footage from the Season One episode "The Stranger".
- REUSED FOOTAGE: An establishing shot of Granny's Diner is stock footage from the Season One episode "The Thing You Love Most". The same shot is reused for the Season Four episode "Lily". It is also used for Underbrooke in the Season Five episode "Ruby Slippers", but with a different color hue. In the latter, Storybrooke's clock tower has been digitally replaced by the Underbrooke library's broken version.
- OBSERVATIONS: According to Regina, the Boston adoption agency is called Boston Angels Adoption, and is located on Dartmouth Street.
- Pixie Woods shares its name with a fairytale themed amusement park in Stockton, California. The Jolly Roger and several characters from the Peter Pan story can be seen in the lagoon there.
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks occur immediately after the last scene of "The Thing You Love Most" and concurrently with those seen in "Pilot", "The Stranger" and "Queen of Hearts"". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Storybrooke flashbacks occur three weeks after "The Heart of the Truest Believer" (according to "Pilot") and 8 years before "Firebird".
- The Neverland events occur after "Think Lovely Thoughts" and before "Mother's Little Helper". (For more details, see the Neverland timeline)
- Rumplestiltskin mentions that casting the Dark Curse has left a hole in Regina's heart, something that Maleficent warned her about in "The Thing You Love Most". Mr. Gold makes the same comment in "Welcome to Storybrooke".
- Regina mentions her time with Owen Flynn in "Welcome to Storybrooke".
- Regina's adoption of Henry was first described in "Pilot".
- This episode reveals the story of how Mr. Gold "procured" Henry for Regina, which was previously alluded to in "The Thing You Love Most" and "Lacey".
- Ruby's so-called "problems", which Granny is referring to, were explored in "Pilot", "Red-Handed" and "Welcome to Storybrooke".
- This is not the only time Sidney uses his investigative skills to uncover hidden information for Regina; he also does this in "The Thing You Love Most" and "Desperate Souls".
- Regina makes a reference to Emma being found as a baby in "The Stranger". This episode reveals Emma was found outside of Storybrooke.
- While talking to the Lost Boys, Emma refers to herself as a "lost girl". Pan did the same in "Lost Girl".
- Regina refers to Mr. Gold as an imp, just like she did in "A Land Without Magic" and "Ariel".
- Regina says to Henry, "Oh, I know that look. That's five hours of Space Paranoids and too much pizza". Regina gave Henry the Space Paranoids game in "What Happened to Frederick".
- Henry is released from Pandora's Box in "The New Neverland".
- Henry's and Pan's bodies are switched back in "Going Home".
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Peter Pan story, focusing on the appearance of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, and the adventures in Neverland.
- Also featured are Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, the shadow, Wendy Darling, John Darling and Michael Darling from the same story.
- Emma intends to offer the Lost Boys "What every kid wants. A mother." This is a reference to the Peter Pan novel, where Pan and the Lost Boys want Wendy to be their mother and she becomes a mother figure to them.
- At the end of the episode, the Jolly Roger is used to fly everyone home to Storybrooke, a reference to the Peter Pan story, where the titular character uses the ship to fly the Darling family back to London. Similarly, the Lost Boys come with Emma and the others; in the Peter Pan story, Wendy brings all of them back to London with her.
- This episode features the evil queen from the "Snow White" fairytale, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale, and the ugly duckling from the fairytale of the same name.
- 🍎 APPLES: When Regina is with baby Henry in the kitchen, a bowl of red apples is sitting on the kitchen counter in the corner. Later, when she is talking to Archie, a bowl of red apples is sitting on a table in the background of her living room. Later, another bowl can be glimpsed in her kitchen.
- The start of the present day events take place on Skull Rock, which is based on Marooner's Rock from the Peter Pan story: In the story, Captain Hook and his pirates bring Tiger Lily to Marooners' Rock (renamed Skull Rock for the Disney film) and leave her there to drown in the rising tides.
- One of the Lost Boys says that Pan goes to his thinking tree when he wants to be alone. In the Peter Pan story, Pan and the Lost Boys live in an underground home accessed by sliding down hollowed tree trunks, with each boy having their own tree.
- In the scene where an angry Regina confronts Mr. Gold in the pawnshop, she refers to Mr. Gold as a "little imp", referencing the original "Rumpelstiltskin" fairytale.
- The figurine set in Mr. Gold's pawnshop represents a famed king of the Qin Dynasty of Ancient China whose name, Qin Shi Huang, literally means "First Emperor of Qin". He is identifiable as the figurine wearing a headdress and clothing with a dragon pattern. Surrounding him are the Terracotta Army, which represent the life-size sculptures of the same name that were historically buried with him as funerary art. The kneeling style of the warriors are iconic poses of some of the actual sculptures.
- The Adoption Agent mentions Sandals, a chain of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
- Issues of the magazines Oh&S (Occupational Healthy & Safety Magazine) and Today's Parent are sitting on a shelf at the hospital.
- Hook's line to Emma, "As you wish, m'lady", is a reference to the movie The Princess Bride where Wesley the Dread Pirate Roberts says, "As you wish" to Princess Buttercup, which actually means "I love you". Colin O'Donoghue's portrayal is inspired by this character.
- BRAND INFO: Henry's bed cot in Neverland has an Emmie Spets pillowcase and an Emelina Knopp quilt cover from IKEA (both are no longer available).
- ARTWORKS: The framed picture outside Regina's kitchen is an alternate version of Rosa indica Fragrans. Rosier des Indes odorant., by the famous nineteenth century Belgian painter and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté. The original version was published in the first volume of his work Les Roses (The Roses) from 1817 (link to page). Rosa indica is a synonym for Rosa chinensis, more commonly known as China rose.
- BRAND INFO: In the Storybrooke flashback, Regina wears a Fabrizio Riva Gold Milky Diamond Circle Pendant Necklace.
- BRAND INFO: Regina's coat in the 2001 flashbacks is a Long Double Breasted Wool Coat from Smythe (no longer available). Her grey cardigan is a Lurex Insert Cardigan by By Malene Birger (also no longer available).
|Finnish||"Henryn pelastus"||"Henry's Rescue"|
|French||"Peter Pan n'Échoue Jamais"||"Peter Pan Never Fails"|
|German||"Rettet Henry"||"Save Henry"|
|Hungarian||"Mentsük meg Henryt!"||"Save Henry!"|
|Italian||"Salviamo Henry"||"Save Henry"|
|Polish||"Na ratunek Henry'emu"||"To Henry's rescue"|
|Portuguese||"Salvar Henry"||"To save Henry"|
|Spanish||"Salvar a Henry"||"Save Henry"|