Look, I'm flustered, because my oldest son, who has had his license for about a month and a half, got into an accident about a half hour before this episode aired. It wasn't his fault (in fact, three witnesses and the police citation blame the other driver), but I'm still trying not to puke out my heart, okay? While he's all mad about the car (which is probably totaled), I'm so glad about my boy (who is totally fine). My point is, thinking isn't my thing. So yeah, Regina and Emma are worried about their boy, but I have my boy and he's all good, if mad. Whatever, Show.
And yet in the distant past, Regina adopts Henry, and then is ready to give him back, because he cries, like babies do. I don't even get this. But then she keeps him. Regardless, we don't get the deep backstory we're looking for. Since we already know she can leave town, she does, and goes to Boston, and that's what it's all about. No August. Minimal Gold. Okay, so there are some Lost Boys, but only as also rans.
Now, on Neverland, things are much more tense. Regina preserves Henry's heartless body with a short-acting spell. Emma decides she (and Snow and Regina) need to act motherly to enlist the Lost Boys' help. While Felix is defiant, younger weaker Lost Boys admit Pan is in his Thinking Tree, which is when this became an episode of Blue Clues.
Regina, Emma, and Snow go off on recon. They find the Pandora's box that contains Gold, but before they can grab it, vines magic up, and grab our fair ladies. Pan appears and mocks them and their motherhood. The only place they'll be reunited with their fair boy is in death. There's back and forth in which Pan eventually admits to the ladies that he's Rumpy's father. He tries to play the women along this vein, but Regina is all, I've done a bunch of shit I should regret, and yet I regret nothing.
Once Regina asserts herself, the ladies' bonds are broken. While Emma and Snow are still dealing, Regina stretches out her hand and plucks out Henry's heart, or Pan's, or someone's. Pan falls to the ground. Regina stoops to pick up Pandora's Box. "Now, let's go save Henry." Commercial.
Aboard the Jolly Roger, Regina inserts a heart back into Henry's chest, and he wakes saying all the right things, but while it all feels right to our characters, none of it feels right to me.
Above deck, Nealfire releases Rumpy from Pandora's box, and there are fatherhood discussions, but they'll keep to the full recap.
Below deck Pan appears, and tries to magic out Henry's heart, but gets shocked for his efforts. Pan digs in with both hands and grabs the boy's shadow. Rumpy tries to magically intervene, but the eye flash is all we need. While Pan grabs at Henry's essence, Rumpy sucks someone's essence into Pandora's box. That said, I don't think he wins.
Regina rushes down below, calling for Henry, all the while. He tells her it is okay. But he's lying, because he's not him. He is Pan in Henry's form. Rumpy's lies back him up.
On deck, the crew rushes to leave Neverland. Nealfire readies his coconut not-a-map. There's fire kindling, and what not. As Neal releases Pan's shadow, Regina unleashes her magic. It grabs onto the Shadow. The Jolly Roger sets sail and flies off into the night, past Skull Rock and into the heavens.
Once the ship is sailing through the skies, Wendy and Tink have a moment. The next moment though, is Henry's. But the big thing is, Henry isn't Henry. He's Peter Pan in Henry's body. And I'm so confused, I think I need to sleep.
I'll be back with the recap, ASAP. In the meantime, please grade the episode up top, and then join us on the boards, where we are not even sure who we are.
Previously, on Once Upon A Time, on Skull Rock, Pan tells Rumpelstiltskin, "You traded Baelfire for the power of the dagger," and immediately tweaks my inner pedant. At first, Rumpy got the damned dagger to protect Baelfire. He was then too cowardly to jump into a portal with Baelfire. At the time, it seemed that was largely because he was afraid to live without magic. Now, however, we understand why he was afraid to enter a portal (with or without magic), as should you, Pancake. I don't want to cover the rest of these Previouslies, so I'm not. Oh shoot, now the Previouslies get interesting again, so I'll resume. Season 1 Regina asks Mr. Gold, "Your finding Henry wasn't an accident, was it?" Gold says, "Whatever do you mean?" Regina: "Where did you get him?" Via voice-over, twee Rumpy reminds us all curses can be broken. Season 1 Henry, who barely comes up to Emma's chest, hands her the secret pages he ripped from his Once Upon A Time book. While we focus on the illustration of a wounded Charming about to place baby Emma in the magical wardrobe, twee Rumpy voices-over, again: "Their child is the key." Over shots of Regina enacting the Dark Curse, he adds, "Great power requires great sacrifice." Rumpy reaches through the bars of his enchanted prison cell and holds Regina by the throat. She asks him what sacrifice will suffice. He says, "The heart of the thing you love most." Regina lays a rose at the Enchanted Forest gravestone of the father she loved so much she had to kill him. We roll our eyes at Regina and fade to black.