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Now, let's go save Henry.

Regina Mills

"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.[2]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

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 quick disasters 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 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 when she didn't feel nothing. 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 to go 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 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 expect 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, but when she does, he spits on her. To this, 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 then asks Sidney to find the records illegally.

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 cradles him in her arms and 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 get 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, but she is sad it didn't work out. When the adoption agent goes to make final preparations for the new family, Regina changes her mind and decides to keep him.

Peter Pan explains that the tree Emma, Mary Margret, and Regina are tied to attacks the regret in one's souls. He also states it's where he abandoned his son, who is now trapped in Pandora's Box. The women are shocked that he is related to Mr. Gold (and, by extension, Neal and Henry). Pan tells them they will not escape because each of them has actions that they regret. He tells Emma that she regrets giving up Henry and Mary Margret regrets giving up Emma, but when he says Regina should regret casting the curse and murdering thousands, she says she doesn't because it got her a son. As soon as she says this, the vines holding them to the tree break and Regina takes back Henry's heart and Pandora's Box.

Emma rushes back to the ship with Henry's heart, where Hook is putting the Lost Boys on board. She puts Henry's heart back in his chest, and he wakes up after a few seconds. 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. She goes into her vault to make a forgetting potion so she can enjoy being with Henry.

Regina tucks Henry in bed and put a protection spell on his heart, so no one can take it ever again. Back on the second floor of the ship, Neal releases Mr. Gold from the Pandora's Box and they share a hug, fully reconciled. Quickly, Mr. Gold realizes his grandson is in trouble and gets to him just in time, as his desperate father is trying to rip his shadow out. Luckily, Mr. Gold is able to trap him in Pandora's Box, but Pan switches bodies with his grandson, who ends up trapped instead.

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 when he 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.



Guest Starring



*: Only in archive footage



Production Notes

Event Chronology

Episode Connections


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.[12] Later, when she is talking to Archie, a bowl of red apples is sitting on a table in the background of her living room.[13] Later, another bowl can be glimpsed in her kitchen.[14]
  • 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.

Popular Culture

Props Notes

  • BRAND INFO: Henry's bed cot in Neverland[19] has an Emmie Spets pillowcase[20] and an Emelina Knopp quilt cover[21] from IKEA (both are no longer available).

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

  • BRAND INFO: Regina's coat in the 2001 flashbacks[28] is a Long Double Breasted Wool Coat from Smythe[29] (no longer available). Her grey cardigan[30] is a Lurex Insert Cardigan by By Malene Birger[31] (also no longer available).

Filming Locations

International Titles



  1. Sunday Final Ratings: ‘The Amazing Race’ & ‘The Mentalist’ Adjusted Up. TV by the Numbers (October 4, 2013). “Once Upon a Time (...) 6.64”
  2. 2.0 2.1 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, December 01, 2013. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#309) "Save Henry".”
  3. File:309Title.png
  4. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (October 18, 2013). "Hey it's been awhile..." (screenshot)
  5. File:309Boston.png
  6. File:120Boston.png
  7. File:309WhoIsThis.png
  8. File:102Storybrooke.png
  9. File:419ImGoingAfterGold.png
  10. File:518Underbrooke.png
  11. Burns, James (June 15, 2013). FROLIC IN PIXIE WOODS. LIVING IN 209. Archived from the original on August 19, 2017.
  12. File:309Sidney.png
  13. File:309Fate.png
  14. File:309Kiss.png
  15. File:309YouHaveNews.png
  16. File:309BostonAngels.png
  17. TwitterLogo.svg @KitMoxie (Christine Boylan) on Twitter (December 2, 2013). "But of course! “@citygal: @KitMoxie Was the "as you wish, m'lady" purposefully scripted?" (screenshot)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Leanne Aguilera and Lauren Piester (October 25, 2013). Once Upon a Time: Colin O’Donoghue Teases Sunday's Steamy "Hook" Up, the Future of CaptainSwan and More!. E! News. “What happens just after the kiss, of course, is that Emma claims it was a "one-time thing," and rattles off some instructions, to which Hook responds, adorably, "As you wish." Movie fans will remember that in the classic movie The Princess Bride, those three words actually mean "I love you." Now that had to be intentional, right? "Remember I've said that part of my inspiration for Captain Hook was the Dread Pirate Roberts, so it's a nice little tie-in to that," says O'Donoghue. "People can read into it whatever they want to read into it, if you know what I mean."”
  19. File:309InABox.png
  20. IKEA EMMIE SPETS - Quilt cover and 2 pillowcases, white - 150x200/50x80 cm. Amazon UK.
  21. EMELINA KNOPP. IKEA Japan. Archived from the original on August 24, 2018. Retrieved on August 24, 2018.
  22. File:309No.png
  23. Rosa indica. The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Retrieved on August 25, 2018. “Rosa indica is a synonym for Rosa chinensis, which was not introduced to Europe until 1800”
  24. File:107INeedToThink.png
  25. File:212CoraSearching.png
  26. File:309NeedsAHome.png
  27. Fabrizio Riva Women's Natural Milky Diamond & White Gold Disc Pendant Necklace. Lyst. Retrieved on August 24, 2018.
  28. File:309BostonAngels.png
  29. Long Double Breasted Wool Coat. Nordstrom. Retrieved on August 24, 2018.
  30. File:309HenrysBirthmother.png
  32. File:720WouldYouMind.png
  33. InstagramIcon.png vfxsup (Craig Clarke). June 17, 2017. "back in the day.... we created a forest inside of a sound stage." (archive copy)