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A Pirate's Life
Season 7, Episode 2
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Airdate October 13, 2017
Written by Jane Espenson
Jerome Schwartz
Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr
Episode Guide
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Hyperion Heights
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The Garden of Forking Paths

A Pirate's Life is the second episode of the seventh season and the 135th episode overall of the American fantasy-drama series Once Upon a Time. Written by Jane Espenson & Jerome Schwartz, and directed by Tara Nicole Weyr, it premiered on ABC in the United States on October 13, 2017.

In the episode, Henry summons Regina, Hook and Emma to help him find Cinderella, but Lady Tremaine is determined to stop him by enlisting a doppelgänger in order to infiltrate them, while in the present day Victoria enlists Rogers and Weaver to find a way to push Henry out of the neighborhood and keep Jacinda from seeing Lucy during a recital.

View the A Pirate's Life Gallery.

Plot

Opening sequence

A Swan is featured in the background.

In the characters' past

Storybrooke

Years earlier, Hook is training Henry to defend himself with swords. When Emma congratulates him Hook catches Henry off guard, and Henry goes to cool off feeling that he won't be appreciated. Emma and Hook believe that Henry will make a name for himself in the future. After the two kiss, Hook shows Emma a magic bottle that can act as a signal to call anyone in distress and he throws it in the ocean.

New Enchanted Forest

Years later, Henry is chased by Lady Tremaine and her guards, who want to pin the prince's murder on him. When she does catch up with Henry, Lady Tremaine demands the whereabouts of Cinderella and the glass slipper. Henry refuses and uses the bottle to summon Emma, Regina, and Hook, but he is soon taken prisoner and is later tied to a bed in the palace. Lady Tremaine gives Drizella orders to torture Henry for information on where he hid the slipper by using her dagger to threaten him, only to be interrupted by Hook and Regina, who show up to stop the guard and Drizella respectively. While Henry is happy to see Regina, he asks Hook where Emma is. Regina gives a scorned look to Hook for lying to Henry about why Emma didn't come.

Regina tries to help Henry out by using a locator spell. However, she discovers that her magic doesn't work in this realm. Hook, however, can smell saltwater and suspects that pirates are not far, and it may lead them to Cinderella. At a tavern, Hook is met by a very drunken individual who happens to be the wish realm version of Killian Jones. The unrecognizable Hook tells his lookalike about how their stories differ, except that in this realm he's still looking for his Emma. The drunken Hook then knocks out his lookalike and draws his blood, as he had made a deal with Lady Tremaine to help her find Henry. Using the Fairy Godmother's wand, Lady Tremaine transformed the drunken Hook into an exact lookalike of the Enchanted Forest character.

Meanwhile, in a cabin, Regina is cooking a meal for Henry, who is asking her questions about what was happening in Storybrooke but she avoids them as she lamented that hers isn't great. The wish realm Hook soon joins them and suggests they all return to Storybrooke. He gives Henry a forged note from Cinderella, but when the faux Hook goes after Henry to console him, Emma arrives out of a portal and is ready to tell Henry the news that she's pregnant. This suddenly makes the faux Hook extremely upset and he runs off into the woods and back to the tavern, just in time for real Hook to attack him. The faux Hook then takes out a dagger and is stabbed by the real Hook. When the real Hook asks why, the faux Hook tells him that he wanted to find his daughter, who he believed is a prisoner. He hoped that Emma would help him. When Emma arrives, the real Hook asks Emma to save his lookalike, but Emma's magic doesn't work in this realm either, so she convinces the faux Hook to use his belief. This works, as Emma's magic briefly returns, allowing her to heal the faux Hook.

As Henry congratulates Emma and the real Hook on their future, he convinces the faux Hook to stay and offers to help him find his daughter. Regina decides to stay in order to find her happy ending.

In Seattle

Henry meets up with Rogers, who wants to ask him about the blonde woman in the book. Henry says that it's a person he made up named “Emma Swan” and then the conversation turned to Jacinda and Lucy. Speaking about the mother and daughter, Victoria is making sure that Jacinda won't see Lucy at a ballet recital by using a tactic to hike the prices up so Jacinda can't afford it. Henry later on tries to help Jacinda by asking for forgiveness but to no avail as Jacinda returns to work. Meanwhile, Victoria asks Weaver and Rogers to get rid of a problem, being Henry. When Weaver visits Roni's, he doesn't get anywhere with Roni but as she see Weaver leave Roni warns Rogers to be careful about Weaver.

Hours later, Jacinda's roommate helps her land a job at the recital's catering event, where she discovers Henry working there as a bartender. She then hugs Lucy before her performance. Over at Henry's apartment, Rogers and Weaver are looking for anything that could make Henry vulnerable, which leads them to Lucy. As the two leave, Rogers noticed the Swan keychain on the doorknob. The two then come up with an idea to place Victoria's bracelet in Henry's pocket and Weaver wants Rogers to plant it on Henry. However. when Henry emptied his pockets, the only thing that Henry saw was the Swan Necklace. Outside the venue, Weaver stops Rogers from hiding Victoria's bracelet. Rogers tells Weaver that he doesn't want to separate a father from his child, and Weaver commended Rogers for doing the right thing. Rogers then revealed that a long time ago he was shot and a woman who fit Emma's description came to his rescue. He wants to do what is right and figure out what is going on in this neighborhood.

Later on at Roni's, Jacinda forgives Henry, saying that she blames her mood on Lucy's claims that she is Cinderella, but tells Henry that one day her prince will come. Afterwards, Rogers joins Henry and Roni for drinks, each with one thing in common: to find a way to take down Victoria Belfrey.

Production

  • The scenes featuring the New Enchanted Forest was shot at Burnaby, British Columbia's Central Park.
  • The Vancouver Rowing Club in Vancouver's Stanley Park doubled for the scenes where Lucy's recital was taking place.
  • The street scene with Rogers and Weaver at the end of the episode was filmed on Columbia Street in New Westminster, British Columbia
  • It was the first episode to credit Jennifer Morrison as a special guest star.

Casting

  • This episode was the intended final appearance for Jennifer Morrison, who decided to leave the series at the conclusion of the sixth season. Morrison agreed to return for one final episode in order to give fans a final chance to see what happened to Emma and to give her character a proper closure. In March 2018 it was revealed Morrison would reprise the role for the series finale.
  • The episode revealed a twist in Colin O'Donoghue's character, which revealed that the Killian Jones that was cursed as Rogers in Hyperion Heights was not the one from Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest. O'Donoghue knew about the surprise twist when production began as he kept hinting that there was a reason why they wanted to make sure that Emma and Hook had a happy ending.

Trivia

  • When Jennifer Morrison decided to leave the show after 6 seasons, she agreed to return for one episode in season 7. This is that episode. Her last filming day was July 19, 2017.
  • The ballet music at the recital for Cinderella's daughter Lucy is actually the overture to Rossini's opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella).
Episodes
Season 1
PilotThe Thing You Love MostSnow FallsThe Price of GoldThat Still Small VoiceThe ShepherdThe Heart Is a Lonely HunterDesperate SoulsTrue North7:15 A.M.Fruit of the Poisonous TreeSkin DeepWhat Happened to FrederickDreamyRed-HandedHeart of DarknessHat TrickThe Stable BoyThe ReturnThe StrangerAn Apple Red as BloodA Land Without Magic
Season 2
BrokenWe Are BothLady of the LakeThe CrocodileThe DoctorTallahasseeChild of the MoonInto the DeepQueen of HeartsThe Cricket GameThe OutsiderIn the Name of the BrotherTinyManhattanThe Queen Is DeadThe Miller's DaughterWelcome to StorybrookeSelfless, Brave and TrueLaceyThe Evil QueenSecond Star to the RightAnd Straight On 'til Morning
Season 3
The Heart of the Truest BelieverLost GirlQuite a Common FairyNasty HabitsGood FormAriel (Episode)Dark HollowThink Lovely ThoughtsSave HenryThe New NeverlandGoing HomeNew York City SerenadeWitch HuntThe TowerQuiet MindsIt's Not Easy Being GreenThe Jolly RogerBleeding ThroughA Curious ThingKansasSnow DriftsThere's No Place Like Home
Season 4
A Tale of Two SistersWhite OutRocky RoadThe ApprenticeBreaking GlassFamily BusinessThe Snow QueenSmash the MirrorFallShattered SightHeroes and VillainsDarkness on the Edge of TownUnforgivenEnter the DragonPoor Unfortunate SoulBest Laid PlansHeart of GoldSympathy for the De VilLilyMotherOperation Mongoose
Season 5
The Dark SwanThe PriceSiege PerilousThe Broken KingdomDreamcatcherThe Bear and the BowNimueBirthThe Bear KingBroken HeartSwan SongSouls of the DepartedLabor of LoveDevil's DueThe Brothers JonesOur DecayHer Handsome HeroRuby SlippersSistersFirebirdLast RitesOnly YouAn Untold Story
Season 6
The SaviorA Bitter DraughtThe Other ShoeStrange CaseStreet RatsDark WatersHeartlessI'll Be Your MirrorChangelingsWish You Were HereTougher Than the RestMurder Most FoulIll-Boding PatternsPage 23A Wondrous PlaceMother's Little HelperAwakeWhere Bluebirds FlyThe Black FairyThe Song in Your HeartThe Final Battle
Season 7
Hyperion HeightsA Pirate's LifeThe Garden of Forking PathsBeautyGreenbacksWake Up CallEloise GardenerPretty in BlueOne Little TearThe Eighth WitchSecret GardenA Taste of the HeightsKnightfallThe Girl in the TowerSisterhoodBreadcrumbsChosenThe GuardianFlower ChildIs This Henry Mills?HomecomingLeaving Storybrooke
Wonderland
Down the Rabbit HoleTrust MeForget Me NotThe SerpentHeart of StoneWho's AliceBad BloodHomeNothing to FearDirty Little SecretsHeart of the MatterTo Catch a ThiefAnd They Lived...