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KingOfHearts

S03.E09: Save Henry

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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.

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This is a big Idiot Plotting episode. They needed to have Pan switching bodies with Henry to come to Storybrooke, but they didn't try at all to make it plausible without making all the heroes look like idiots. They're barely escaping from an enemy with magical powers who can fly, and he desperately needs Henry's heart to maintain his power. But on a ship where Henry has two mothers, a father, two grandfathers, a grandmother, and a sort-of step-grandfather, and four people on the ship have extensive experience with Pan and three of them have magical powers, they leave Henry totally alone for no good reason. I would think most parents wouldn't have let that kid out of their sight for even a second until they were home and absolutely certain he was safe (which might have been for some time, given that Pan had realm-jumping abilities and agents in their world). All they needed to do was have some kind of diversionary attack, like some of the Lost Boys tried to mutiny and the adult staying with Henry in the captain's cabin ran onto the deck to help, and they'd have looked less stupid. But they left Henry alone (with Lost Boys on board) to just stand around on the deck and have conversations. Plus, Rumple got there in time to see all the glowy stuff going on, but he didn't think to even check to make sure everything was okay with Henry?

All the rivalry between Neal and Hook and their snarking about the state of the ship would have been a lot more meaningful if we'd been given any context. Were they good friends acting out of character because of their rivalry over Emma, or was this a continuation of the animosity when Bae accused Hook of destroying his family and Hook turned him over to Pan? It has a totally different meaning depending on which of these things was going on.

I want to shout "That's not how that works!" at Regina's speech at the Tree of No Regrets. The whole "I don't regret it because something good came out of it" thing is supposed to be about bad things that happened to you, not bad things you did. Emma could get away with saying something like that -- that she doesn't regret being a homeless pregnant teen because she got Henry. It's tacky for Regina to say she doesn't regret all the murders and evil because she got what she wanted. But the show treats it like a moment of triumph, and this is a character we're supposed to be sympathizing with?

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Oh great, more Regina flashbacks. Regina really never comes off like she wants a child, or has a real desire to be a mother to a child who needs a home, she just wants someone who will love her, and fill that massive hole where her heart used to be. And the adoption shown in this episode just seemed ridiculous. No home visit? No interviews? How much red tape could Rumple as Gold possibly cut? Reginas adopting a child, not applying for a learners permit!  And how did Henry end up on the East Coast anyway, if he was born in Arizona? And, this was supposed to be the 80s right? Were the 80s known for allowing gay couples to adopt babies so easily? And Regins being all "you dont know how I feel! You have everything!" to Emma is so freaking Regina. Emma lost everything, her family and the future they wanted for her, because of YOU. And, if I remember correctly, you could have had a family, but you choose petty bullshit instead. She had a chance to be a mother to little Snow, and she instead decided to pull away, and then ruin her life, because of pettiness. You could have found your soul mate, and you ran off. You had a loving parent, and you murdered him! And, dont forget, she regrets none of that, because she still got what she wanted. 

Seriously, that vine scene is a real motherfucker for the Regina Redemption Train. A big part of being redeemed is feeling remorse for your actions, and Regina doesent feel bad, because it all worked out for her. Screw those dead people and everyone whos lives were ruined, Regina still wins, baby! And the show tries to present it as badass, or touching, and its just creepy. Although,  at least, these flashbacks had her actually trying to improve her life by not killing people,and she was even kind of decent to the townsfolk, so thats pretty good for a Regina flashback. And Regina/Rumple snark is always great. "I`m sure you'll make a...mother of some sort..." And I thought the scene between Tink and Regina on the ship was actually pretty nice. In a vacuum anyway. 

The old body swap villain escape switcharoo. A classic!

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I’ve always hated how Snow had to make a speech telling everyone that Regina saved Henry when she was one of the ones most personally motivated to save Henry. If anyone on that pleasure cruise warranted a thank you speech it was Hook. He was there to help, not because he had any personal interest in Henry. Since he was a villain when they left it would have made sense to announce to the town folk that he’s on the hero side now.

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19 minutes ago, Shanna Marie said:

It's tacky for Regina to say she doesn't regret all the murders and evil because she got what she wanted. But the show treats it like a moment of triumph, and this is a character we're supposed to be sympathizing with?

Honestly I was starting to warm up to Regina up to this point. This speech here ended any sympathy I had for her and I stopped trying to even like her.

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1 hour ago, Shanna Marie said:

I want to shout "That's not how that works!" at Regina's speech at the Tree of No Regrets. The whole "I don't regret it because something good came out of it" thing is supposed to be about bad things that happened to you, not bad things you did. Emma could get away with saying something like that -- that she doesn't regret being a homeless pregnant teen because she got Henry. It's tacky for Regina to say she doesn't regret all the murders and evil because she got what she wanted. But the show treats it like a moment of triumph, and this is a character we're supposed to be sympathizing with?

She was basically telling two of her victims that she had zero regrets about everything she did to them.  But I guess the two hapless heroes should be kowtowing since without Regina's contributions to the team of having no morals, they would both be trapped forever in the tree.

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44 minutes ago, daxx said:

Honestly I was starting to warm up to Regina up to this point. This speech here ended any sympathy I had for her and I stopped trying to even like her.

That speech worried me. 3A had been so much better then S2 B with the fight and Snow able to hit Regina back in the first episode of the season and every basically treating her like they should. Emma realized Regina not wanting to find Tinkerbelle because she did something. And her magic backfired in the second episode.  I had hoped that she was lying to get the ropes untied but worried she wasn't. Because how could you possibly not have regret anything when you murdered so many people, cursed so many people especially when your supposedly "good" now or trying to be. I had hoped I was wrong but I was worried plus she only got Henry as unexpected result of her Cursing Henry's family. No curse she never would have gotten Henry in the first place. 

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4 hours ago, daxx said:

I’ve always hated how Snow had to make a speech telling everyone that Regina saved Henry when she was one of the ones most personally motivated to save Henry. If anyone on that pleasure cruise warranted a thank you speech it was Hook. He was there to help, not because he had any personal interest in Henry. Since he was a villain when they left it would have made sense to announce to the town folk that he’s on the hero side now.

So do I. Especially since she really only helped by showing what a psycho she is. "Regina told Pan she didn't regret anything she did because it got her Henry. None of the murders, stolen hearts or curses. She saved the day by that. Hook isn't a hero for giving us passage or helping us in Neverland or saving Charming's life. Emma isn't a hero all she did was light the candle that capture Pan's shadow and convince the Lost Boys to talk by bringing them back, Neal isn't a hero for telling us how to leave Neverland. "

Edited by andromeda331
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Another element from this episode I still don't like is Regina deciding to drink a potion in the past and deciding to keep the baby despite knowing the baby will be her downfall because she loooooooved him so much.  Give me a freak'in break.  I know we were all waiting for the Henry origin story but of course we got a Regina sob story.

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I was just thinking about the episode title "Save Henry".  

In the flashbacks, Regina actually saved Henry.  Otherwise, he would have been brought to Neverland and Peter Pan would have taken his heart and Emma would never have had the chance to be reunited with him.  I love how this show keeps giving and giving.

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4 hours ago, Camera One said:

Another element from this episode I still don't like is Regina deciding to drink a potion in the past and deciding to keep the baby despite knowing the baby will be her downfall because she loooooooved him so much. 

I see a lot of fans thinking this is so sacrificial and wonderful and whatnot, but I look at it differently. Regina didn't love Henry enough to be able to handle who he was. True unconditional love would have Regina keeping Henry without a magical aid. Why did she need a magic potion? Because she couldn't deal with the reality of who he was. Her whole little story to Henry was full of delusion. 

"Once upon a time, there was a Queen and she cast a glorious curse that gave her everything she wanted. Or so she thought. She despaired when she learned that revenge was not enough. She was lonely. And so she searched the land for a little boy to be her prince. (Laughs) And then, she found him. And though they lived happily, it was not ever after. There was still an evil out there lurking. The Queen was worried for her prince's safety. While she knew she could vanquish any threat to the boy, she also knew she couldn't raise him worrying."

Seriously. She despaired when ruining everyone's lives wasn't enough. Nope, she was lonely. So after killing a guy and orphaning his son for not wanting what she was offering, she decided she needed an infant to love her and quell her loneliness. But wait, the boy's mother, whom she also orphaned, is a lurking evil and she can't deal with that, so she needs to use magic to fix her problems.  This is not a sympathetic figure to me. This is someone who needs psychological help. I have so much trouble with this whole thing.

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This is another Regina episode where the episode more or less works if you ignore just how terrible she's established to have been. A complex villain is one thing. A psychotic mass murderer who, as recently as about a week ago, was planning to kill everyone in a town who wasn't her and her son in order to avoid having to share him with the members of his biological family - whose lives she ruined on the flimsiest of pretexts -- is another.

If Regina's crimes had been proportionately less, then the tree of regrets moment isn't that bad. Being what they are, the idea that this is a triumphant moment is ludicrous. But beyond that, the flashback only works if you forget that Regina turned out to be a terrible mother to Henry. However they want to retcon it, Regina, on top of gaslighting Henry ,was a shitty enough mother that her ten year old - otherwise a child who seems naturally loving -- has no problem seeing her as nothing more than an enemy. She willingly hurts him to score points against Emma, often seems to leave him alone, and is never shown making any kind of authentic connection with him. It is fine if the show wanted to walk back the strong implication that early S1 Regina didn't love Henry and start the complicated work of building a relationship between them, but you don't get to write heartwarming episodes about how Regina adopted Henry. The child she would go on to emotionally abuse. And who she adopted illegally. And whom she was only in a position to adopt at all because she had ruined the lives of his bio-family, leaving Emma to a life where she wound up as a pregnant, homeless, incarcerated teenager.

In a vacuum, Regina drinking the memory potion was a good moment, and I even believe she might have done it. The problem is with the whole premise of expecting us to view the story of how Regina - a genocidal despot responsible for destroying so many other families, including the Charmings-- adopted Henry as a sweet origin story.

Oh, and Regina's pity-party statement to Emma about how she has her parents, a pirate, and "that person" while Regina just as Henry is disgusting. No, you evil witch. Emma has two peers who may indeed love her, but will never meaningfully be her parents because you forced them to send her away as a newborn to save her life, damning her to a loveless childhood spent partially on the streets. "That person" abandoned her to deliver his child while in prison, leading to her wrenching choice to give Henry up for adoption. He was engaged to another woman less than a week ago - at which point love interest number two was still a villain. Since breaking the curse, Emma hasn't exactly had an easy time of it, either. So, at best, after a miserable 28 years, Emma now has a chance of developing loving relationships with several people around her - but, of course, no chance to bring back the years with most of them stolen from her by Regina.

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7 hours ago, companionenvy said:

This is another Regina episode where the episode more or less works if you ignore just how terrible she's established to have been. A complex villain is one thing. A psychotic mass murderer who, as recently as about a week ago, was planning to kill everyone in a town who wasn't her and her son in order to avoid having to share him with the members of his biological family - whose lives she ruined on the flimsiest of pretexts -- is another.

If Regina's crimes had been proportionately less, then the tree of regrets moment isn't that bad. Being what they are, the idea that this is a triumphant moment is ludicrous. But beyond that, the flashback only works if you forget that Regina turned out to be a terrible mother to Henry. However they want to retcon it, Regina, on top of gaslighting Henry ,was a shitty enough mother that her ten year old - otherwise a child who seems naturally loving -- has no problem seeing her as nothing more than an enemy. She willingly hurts him to score points against Emma, often seems to leave him alone, and is never shown making any kind of authentic connection with him. It is fine if the show wanted to walk back the strong implication that early S1 Regina didn't love Henry and start the complicated work of building a relationship between them, but you don't get to write heartwarming episodes about how Regina adopted Henry. The child she would go on to emotionally abuse. And who she adopted illegally. And whom she was only in a position to adopt at all because she had ruined the lives of his bio-family, leaving Emma to a life where she wound up as a pregnant, homeless, incarcerated teenager.

In a vacuum, Regina drinking the memory potion was a good moment, and I even believe she might have done it. The problem is with the whole premise of expecting us to view the story of how Regina - a genocidal despot responsible for destroying so many other families, including the Charmings-- adopted Henry as a sweet origin story.

Oh, and Regina's pity-party statement to Emma about how she has her parents, a pirate, and "that person" while Regina just as Henry is disgusting. No, you evil witch. Emma has two peers who may indeed love her, but will never meaningfully be her parents because you forced them to send her away as a newborn to save her life, damning her to a loveless childhood spent partially on the streets. "That person" abandoned her to deliver his child while in prison, leading to her wrenching choice to give Henry up for adoption. He was engaged to another woman less than a week ago - at which point love interest number two was still a villain. Since breaking the curse, Emma hasn't exactly had an easy time of it, either. So, at best, after a miserable 28 years, Emma now has a chance of developing loving relationships with several people around her - but, of course, no chance to bring back the years with most of them stolen from her by Regina.

Very well said!

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13 hours ago, companionenvy said:

Oh, and Regina's pity-party statement to Emma about how she has her parents, a pirate, and "that person" while Regina just as Henry is disgusting.

I forgot about this fun statement. I did love Regina's classification of Neal as "this person".  First off, she says Emma has everything and couldn't possibly understand how Regina feels, which is a ridiculous statement. Emma spent almost her entire life with no one, not even a Henry, so I'm pretty sure she knows exactly how it feels. Kudos to Emma for simply agreeing and quietly shutting Regina's freak out down.

The other issue with this little outburst is that Regina is demonstrating an understanding that she values those things that Emma has, which makes her no regrets speech a bit of a problem. Regina murdered her loving father and tried to kill her mother twice, but she doesn't regret it, except that she obviously does because she doesn't have the love and support they offered (at least from her father). She walked away from her True Love because of her fear and need for revenge, but she doesn't regret it, except again she does because it means she doesn't have a thief that pines for her. She doesn't have a "person" either, largely because she murders anyone who could possibly offer her something like that. There's an awful lot of things that she envies for her to not regret anything simply because it got her one thing she wants. This is especially true now that that one thing is potentially going to be lost to her. In fact, the only reason Regina is able to even get this close to rescuing Henry is because Emma has all of these people who are willing to aid in the cause. Regina is alone.

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11 minutes ago, KAOS Agent said:

I forgot about this fun statement. I did love Regina's classification of Neal as "this person".  First off, she says Emma has everything and couldn't possibly understand how Regina feels, which is a ridiculous statement. Emma spent almost her entire life with no one, not even a Henry, so I'm pretty sure she knows exactly how it feels. Kudos to Emma for simply agreeing and quietly shutting Regina's freak out down.

What's funny is that it's exactly something Regina would say. Her victim complex knows no end. I'm sure the writers thought of Neal as nothing but "that person" at this point.

Spoiler

They didn't know what to do with him, so they killed him in 3B. I guess it's easier to whitewash dead character than it is to deal with the consequences of their past.

 

6 hours ago, andromeda331 said:

This is another Regina episode where the episode more or less works if you ignore just how terrible she's established to have been.

It was around this time that A&E started writing Regina as two separate characters. One of them was the Evil Queen who murdered someone for daring to breathe in her kingdom's domain, and another was the "stern but loving" sort-of-bitchy mother who just wanted to make a clean slate for herself. It's as if Redeemed!Regina and the Evil Queen were two separate characters, but one was far more interesting than the other. 

Spoiler

They literally made her two separate people in S6. Shows you where they were coming from.

Edited by KingOfHearts
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14 minutes ago, KingOfHearts said:

It was around this time that A&E started writing Regina as two separate characters. One of them was the Evil Queen who murdered someone for daring to breathe in her kingdom's domain, and another was the "stern but loving" sort-of-bitchy mother who just wanted to make a clean slate for herself. It's as if Redeemed!Regina and the Evil Queen were two separate characters, but one was far more interesting than the other. 

It's interesting to see the beginnings of these tendencies in the latter half of 3A which would come to dominate the show later on.  Every time they revisit the era of Cursed Storybrooke, they go to some morally questionable places.  This episode felt like a continuation of "Welcome to Storybrooke".  If you watched that episode and this episode back-to-back.

Spoiler

Though, really, the Season 6 episode with Snowing "waking up" would have pre-dated this episode.  

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