A question that has been asked by many Once Upon a Time fans since the show started has been how Regina adopted and Henry. One had always expected that it couldn’t have been easy for either Henry or Regina at the beginning, but the way that the writers did it was more compelling and emotional than one could have imagined. What this flashback provided was continuing adding more layers to Regina as a character which has been a major factor of these two latest seasons.
Lana Parrilla has been one of the strongest forces since the show’s very first episode and the writers have succeeded throughout all these seasons to make this evil queen one of the show’s most compelling and complex characters. She is a tragic character and seeing that she almost got heartbroken when Henry wouldn’t stop crying was a powerful moment. While every actor in this episode gave strong performances as always, Parrilla did stand out a bit more and that is a combination of brilliant writing as well as acting.
Whenever there is a flashback episode, it gives the fans a chance to see some familiar faces such as Archie (Raphael Sbarge), Dr. Whale (David Anders), Granny (Beverley Elliott) and even the voice of Sidney (Giancarlo Esposito). It’s still sad that Meghan Ory’s Ruby hasn’t been able to appear once this season since she is shooting her new show Intelligence which will start in 2014 on CBS. It was even intriguing to see that the Darlings brothers almost got their hands on Henry. At this point, this is the best flashback story they have featured so far in season three.
Just like the previous episode, this one had a twist as well and it wasn’t a surprise because everything comes with a price in the Once universe. It would have been a huge letdown had they just concluded Pan’s arc in this episode by letting the main characters get away safely. The idea of having Pan and Henry switching bodies with each other was brilliant, especially for Jared S. Gilmore.
The young actor has continued to grow season by season and it’s going to fantastic to see Gilmore’s darker acting chops which will most certainly be great. At the same time, it will be interesting to see Robbie Kay interpretation of Gilmore’s Henry because this will be the first time this season when he will actually get to play a character, which is not evil.
It will be fascinating to see what “Evil Henry” will be doing once they get back to Storybrooke. It will definitely bring this story arc up to the next level and one wonders whether this will be wrapped up once the show enters its hiatus. It would definitely be interesting if they decide to continue it in the second half of the season.
The only nitpick about this episode was sadly Emma, at least at the beginning of the episode. While it’s hard to describe how, it was bothering that Emma was so calm in the first scene where her son was almost dead. Was she just in shock or did she feel that she shouldn’t panic? Whatever the reason was, it was distracting because while she was in her mode, Regina was the one who was freaking out. This is not to slam Jennifer Morrison because just like Parrilla, she is one of driving forces of the show as well. But that part of the episode just didn’t feel right and it felt very out of character for her, especially due to the fact that she is Henry’s biological mother. Other than that, she was shining throughout the episode as well, especially in the scene when she was trying to get close to the Lost Boys and learn where to find Pan.
Overall, “Save Henry” had very few flaws and was another impressive episode in what been a strong season. With only two episodes left before the hiatus, it will be intriguing to see how the show will end their first part of season 3 with Henry trapped in Pan’s body while Pan is up to no good in Henry’s body.
Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights, 8/7c on ABC.
[Photo via Jack Rowand /ABC]