Once Upon a Time Review: Not Quite Ever After

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As heroes, villains and a pirate all worked together to "Save Henry," it looked as though Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 9 would finally give fans a happy ending.

But not so fast…

Regina Is Distraught

Heading back to Storybrooke's past, we were able to learn how Regina came to be Henry's mom. I'd always wondered what drove the Evil Queen to make such a leap.  It turned out that even after successfully leveling a curse on her kingdom and gaining revenge on those she hated, Rumpelstiltskin was right. She still had an empty space in her heart. 

The problem, if you care to call it such, was that Regina was capable of love and having felt it once, she couldn't be satisfied without it. 

That led her to look to adopt a baby and being the impatient sort she wasn't thrilled with the idea of a waitlist. So that led her to Mr. Gold. 

I really felt for Regina those first few days with baby Henry. As a parent, it's the worst feeling in the world when you feel as though you can't take care of your child. As Henry continued to cry, nothing else she'd ever accomplished mattered. Regina felt like a failure as a mom. 

Nothing was more heartwarming than seeing her face light up as baby Henry finally cooed in her arms. 

It didn't take Regina long to figure out Mr. Gold's game. He'd gifted her with the grandson of Snow White and Prince Charming which meant the baby's biological mother was the one person who could destroy her curse. 

That knowledge nearly broke her resolve and sent her back to the adoption agency to return the child. Thankfully her heart won out and she kept Henry for good. It was a nice touch to see that Peter Pan had been searching for the boy even then. 

Despite all of Regina's many flaws, she was even willing to put herself under an ancient potion so that she could forget her worries and be a good mother to her boy, even if that left her more vulnterable to the curse being broken. Never underestimate the power of love.

Fast forward to present day Neverland...

Although everyone fought to get Henry back, Regina pointed out that she had the most to lose. Emma had her parents, Neal, and a pining pirate all there for her. It may be of her own making but the only love Regina has in her life is Henry. 

So when it came to taking down Peter Pan, I knew there was nothing she wouldn't do.  And the expression on her face was one of bloodlust as she told Emma in this Once Upon a Time quote...

He can bleed. We can hurt him and if we can hurt him we can kill him.


By the time Pan had the ladies tied to the tree that fed off of their regret, I could see where this was going. Emma would always regret giving up Henry. Snow would always regret sending baby Emma away. 

But Regina…not so much regret there.

I did cast a curse that devastated an entire population. I have tortured and murdered. I've done some terrible things. I should be overflowing with regret but I'm not. Because it got me my son.


Then she walked out of the trap, tore Pan's heart out of his chest, picked up Pandora's box and she was ready to go save her son. 

I don't think I've ever loved the Evil Queen more.

Even back on the ship Regina went into mother mode with ease. Her son was ill and she took care of him, even going so far as to cast a protection spell so his heart couldn't be taken again.  Too bad that spell didn't include his shadow. 

There was that moment where Pan struggled with Henry where I knew something had passed between them but I couldn't tell what. The reveal that Peter Pan had swapped bodies with the boy was still a complete shock.

I didn't think it was possible. A hero, a villain, pirates. That we could all be untied but we were because of the most important piece of the puzzle. A leader.


But will Emma be able to lead this motley crew once they get back to Storybrooke? And how much damage will Pan do before the truth is revealed?

Will you be happy to see them all out of Neverland when Once Upon a Time returns?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (93 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


I am not a fan of the body switch thing. But I did like the scene where Mary Margaret was able to calm Henry down, maybe cause she is a mom just doesn't know it.


I missed something. Two things, actually:
How did Charming's situation with being stuck on the island get resolved? There was no mention of it, and yet there he is on the ship headed out of Neverland.
Second, it must have been in last week's ep, but I did not catch how Rump became trapped in the box.
If you can fill in these blanks for me, thanks a million!

@ Suzanne

Gold has an elixet in his shop in Storybrooke that can cure Charming so they took enough of the water to get home. Pan switched the boxes and Trapped Gold in the real one.

Aja bird

Thank you for reviewing this so well. At another site, that reviewer doesn't do such a great job. So I appreciate the job you do.

Sixxx 6

I loved OUAT, but the Peter Pan stroy can stop now. I mean the body switch was a complete shock but it can die now. One thing OUAT has a tendancy of doing is overplaying stories. First Cora, then the two people who kidnapped Henry, now Pan/Neverland. It was good while it lastest but it could have ended last night. There are still stories to be done, Emma and Regina as mothers, Hook and Neal vie for Emma. I mean it was a great episode and shocked ending but I am hoping it doesn't last the whole season because it will get old really fast.


I am so over Peter Pan.

@ Grimmfan#10

I'm sorry, but they have really stretched this Neverland storyline way too far. It just plods along with a lot of padding, stretching half hour plotlines to fill an hour slot.


I HATE PAN! Last season, it was a mother (Cora) who was the Big Bad. This season, it's a father. While I don't mind season-long arcs, that island was getting claustrophobic & monotonous. I'm glad they're all going back to Storybrooke because being in our world now means many more options for defeating Pan, among them a lot more angry mothers (who he seems to underestimate) and the tendency for little boys to want to grow up. Here's hoping we see that annoying little smirk wiped off his face very soon. Maybe he'll start to age before he can get back to Wonderland.

Drea xoxo

URGHHHH LET THE PAN ARC DIE!!!!! LET US DEAL WITH THE TRIANGLE AND TWO MOTHERS ARC!!! I personally feel that the pan arc has ruined this season! it's been dragged out for far too long! and yes unfortunately the henry character is now going to be more annoying!!! happy that bae and rumple are on good terms! that was the only benefit of the episode


I finally gave in and started watching OUAT. Boy I loved it. Until Neverland. Don't get me wrong the interaction between Hook and Emma, or Snow and Emma OR Regina and Emma was amazing, but seriously, Pan switching bodies with Henry, disgusting and disappointed ! All I wanted was for this arc to end, but nope, Henry will still be annoying (yes I agree with some viewers that this kid has become more and more annoying ). I loved the episode's flashbacks, how Regina got to adopt Henry, but I found the way she defeated Pan to bee too easy. She doesn't regret her actions, no doubt about that, but still it felt a bit rushed. I also agree that, taking the potion to forget her thirst for revenge so she could only focus on loving her son was just beautiful. I wonder, now that Henry "has been saved (yeah right !), will Regina and Robin cross paths ?
Pan being Rumpel's father was a total shocker, I'm glad he's back though and the same way he realized Pan was on the ship, he probably will realize that he got the wrong boy. Now, the Lost Boys, what is going to happen to them, because I think Snow has enough on her hands with the dwarfs already (loool).
BTW, Where the hell is Red !!! I miss her !

@ Emy

The actress who played Red now stars in NBC's DRACULA w/Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. So, we won't be seeing her unless her new series is cancelled, or the part is recast.

Spindae 2o
@ KansasGuest

Noup she isn't. She is starring in the upcoming Cbs show Intelligence. The girl in dracula is the Huntress actress from Arrow, Jessica Something. But the creators of OUAT said cause of the short season of Intelligence there is a possibilit Red will appear in some episodes.

@ Spindae 2.0

Yeah I read that she was going to be in Intelligence. But I still want her back !!


Regina was awesome! Even more than usual. When she walked out of the trap, tore Pan's heart out of his chest, picked up Pandora's box... great, great, great! But I'm annoyed Pan is now in Henry's body. Seriously, the last seconds of the episode - the actor just can't do it. No surprise Felix thought it to be Henry, because it was a very, very bad portrayal of Pan.

Spindae 2o

A really excellent episode, Even though I'm tired of the Neverland storyline, Lana killed it like never before.
The flashbacks were over the top. Mary Margaret being terrified while talking to Regina was really funny. The way the connection between Regina and Henry was formed was great.
the fight against Pan was quiet underwhelming. I expect him make up when they come back to Storybrooke. But the way Regina stepped up was making it worth. I would've just wished they let it happen a bit slower let Regina's words have more impact.
I loved that devious side of Jared as he went Pan. And I quite believe the upcoming Chris Gorham's character could be an adult Henry or Pan. Would fit it.

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Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Now there's a hole in your heart and someday you will come to me to fill it.


Well it looks like getting rid of a baby just made my to-do list.

The Evil Queen