‘Once Upon a Time’: It’s Regina vs. Peter Pan, and Pan never fails

Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin, left) and Evil Queen/Mayor Regina (Lana Parrilla) in "Once Upon a Time."

In this “Save Henry” episode of “Once Upon a Time,” we wrap up our stay in Neverland, but not before getting all the details about how Evil Queen Regina adopted Henry. And just because we’re leaving Storybrooke doesn’t mean the end for Peter Pan.

Back to where it all started. In the Enchanted Forest past, the Evil Queen and Rumpelstiltskin chat as the curse that will place them all in Storybrooke envelops the land. She seems to want to gloat to Rumpel about the fact that she has cast this spell, remaking the world as she sees fit. He wonders why she would come back to tell him, and also reveals that even if this succeeds, she still has a “hole in her heart” and will come back to him to help her fill it. Rumpel’s sing-songy “You shall see, you will come to me ...” was eerily foretelling.

In present-day Neverland, Pan gloats over the fact that Henry gave his heart of his own free will, making Pan immortal. Emma nicks Pan with her blade. He says it doesn’t hurt and flies away. Regina notices that he bled on the blade, so they can kill him until the heart has totally become his own.

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In Storybrooke, Regina is visited by Dr. Hopper, who notices that she seems to lack something that could make her happy. They surmise that a child could be the thing that Regina desires most, but adoption is not a quick process, even for an evil queen. Regina goes to Mr. Gold for help in adopting a child. Of course, Gold is able to find one; a child whose adoption fell through. Regina travels to Boston with impeccable credentials for adoption. She names him Henry.

In order to find Pan in Neverland, Emma appeals to the Lost Boys’ sense of family; their desire to go back to their parents or at least to leave Neverland. Being a lost girl (no relation to the Syfy show) herself, she knows what will work. It works better than Regina’s desired torture route, and they find that Pan is most likely in his thinking tree. Teams of heroes split -- Regina, Emma and Snow go after Pan as the others prepare to leave the island on Hook’s ship -- and a showdown approaches.

In Storybrooke past, Granny advises Regina to read Henry a story to help stop his crying. She doesn’t know why Henry is crying, and being a protective new mom, takes him to Dr. Whale. Dr. Whale says he’s just crying and it’s normal, which is not good enough for Regina. But in order to do a proper diagnosis, she’d have to have access to Henry’s biological parents. She doesn’t, but she’ll try to find them anyway. She does figure out, though, that it’s really not a medical problem. She just hasn’t bonded with him yet. A wholly regular problem, with a magical solution? No, not this time. She finds that all she needs is love. Even after discovering that Henry is Snow White’s grandchild, and even after taking him back to Boston to return him, the cute kid wins her over and a mother is born.

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Long live the queen!! So back in Neverland, Pan thought he’d captured Regina, Emma and Snow with his “tree of regret.” The three mothers may question the choices they’ve made and what paths they set their children on. Not so fast, Petey. Regina doesn’t regret what she’s done -- torture, murder, cursing an entire realm to make her life more bearable, etc. -- because it brought her Henry. She easily breaks free and grabs Henry’s heart right from Pan’s chest! Regina is just awesome. Anyway, they return Henry’s heart to his chest and Neal, with Regina’s help, somehow uses Pan’s captured shadow as sails on Hook’s ship to make it fly them back to Storybrooke. Yeah, that will take some more explaining (to me), so let’s just go with it.

Back to past Storybrooke... Upon her return, and in order to raise Henry properly without the fear of Emma coming back into their lives, Regina actually made herself forget that Emma was even out there. An act of true love, actually, though no one was around to see it.

Still protecting Henry in Neverland, Regina casts a spell so that no one will ever be able to take his heart again. Of course, right after she leaves, Pan appears and tries to do just that but gets zapped. He can’t take the heart, but maybe he can nab Henry’s shadow. Rumpelstiltskin, newly released from Pandora’s Box and reunited with Neal, appears and puts Pan in the box instead. Sadly, not before Pan has had a chance to switch bodies with Henry, unbeknown to anyone on board the Jolly Roger. So Henry is the one who ends up in Pan’s body in Pandora’s Box. Pan does reveal his switcheroo to his most loyal underling Lost Boy Felix, though. Shenanigans will occur.

We have no idea how long Pan will stay in Henry’s body once they get back to Storybrooke, but he’s bound to cause some trouble. #PanNeverFails, indeed.


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