"A Pirate's Life" is the second episode of Season Seven of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Jane Espenson & Jerome Schwartz, and directed by Tara Nicole Weyr. It is the one hundred and thirty-fifth episode of the series overall, and premiered on October 13, 2017.
When Henry finds himself in trouble, he calls upon his Storybrooke family for help, and together they set off on a mission to find Cinderella. Along the way, Hook is confronted by an unexpected foe who threatens the group's success. In Hyperion Heights, Jacinda searches for a way to see Lucy with some unwelcome assistance from Henry, while Victoria Belfrey enlists the help of Gold and Weaver to push Henry out of the neighborhood.
Hook and Henry practice sword fighting aboard the Jolly Roger at the Storybrooke docks. While Henry initially wins, when he is distracted by Emma, Killian disarms him, after which he gets discouraged and walks away. Captain Hook and Emma discuss that Henry will likely leave him, and though Emma is worried, Hook shows her a bottle he will give Henry so that he can send messages for help if need be.
Years later, Henry rides a white horse through a forest, looking for Cinderella. He encounters Cinderella's stepmother and two castle guards. Before they take him prisoner, he manages to send a message for help through the bottle given to him by Captain Hook. Lady Tremaine wants to know where the glass slipper is, but Henry refuses to tell her where he has hid it.
In Hyperion Heights, Rogers confronts Henry about the novel he had written, as well as the illustration of a blonde woman. As the former leaves, Henry questions the officer about the location of where his family might be buried and Rogers tells him he will try to help.
Meanwhile, at Belfrey Towers, Jacinda Vidrio asks her stepsister, Ivy Belfrey about a ticket for Lucy's ballet recital. Unbeknownst to her, Victoria decided to turn the ballet recital into a charity event for disadvantaged children and the price for the tickets is just out of reach for Jacinda. The later confronts her stepmother, but Victoria declines her offer for a second chance.
In the New Enchanted Forest, Lady Tremaine orders her daughter Drizella to get the information out of him, but before she can torture him, Regina and Killian appear to save him - sans Emma. Killian tells Henry she is fighting tiny dragons, which we find out is a lie when Regina confronts him about it out of Henry's earshot.
Rogers' arrives at the station to find Weaver leaning against his car. The older man scolds the detective for being late before throwing his car keys at him and instructing him to get in. At Roni's, Jacinda and Sabine discuss possible job opportunities in order to raise enough cash to attend Lucy's ballet recital. During this, Henry walks in and apologizes for yesterdays events. He offers the woman money to attend the recital, but Jacinda declines and walks out of the bar. With Rogers promoted to detective as Weaver's partner, Victoria Belfrey wants them to get 'dirt' on Henry to get him out of Jacinda and Lucy's life.
Killian decides to go to the port to look for Cinderella there, where he is confronted by his alternate self from the Wish Realm, who bests him in a fight and goes to Lady Tremaine to be turned into a younger version of himself, so he can take Killian's place and have True Love with Emma. In exchange, he tries to convince Henry to come home. But when Emma appears and announces she is pregnant, alternate Killian feels guilty and goes back to get the primary Captain Hook from where he was left in a cart. Unfortunately primary Killian thinks that his alternate self has come to finish him off, and stabs alternate Captain Hook. When he discovers that his alternate self had come to make things right, he somehow summons Emma to save him. Meanwhile he learns that alternate Captain Hook is searching for his long-lost daughter who was trapped by a witch.
Jacinda is trying to attend Lucy's ballet recital, which Victoria Belfry has turned into a charity event with prohibitively expensive tickets. Jacinda tries to find extra work, and Henry has arranged a catering job that she can do at the ballet recital so that she can see Lucy perform.
Weaver and Rogers plan to frame Henry for stealing Victoria Belfry's bracelet at the event, but Rogers decides at the last minute not to frame Henry. He thinks he will lose his job for this but Weaver tells him that he likes Rogers' "moral core."
In Roni's bar later, Rogers tells Henry about a woman who helped him survive a gunshot wound until an ambulance could arrive, while he was searching for a missing girl. He thinks someone powerful must want that girl to not be found, and that powerful person might be Victoria Belfry. He invites Henry and Roni to help him bring her down.
In the past in the forest, alternate Captain Hook and Henry decide to team up to look for Cinderella and alternate Captain Hook's missing daughter. Regina also decides to stay with them. Emma and Killian go home through a portal.
Special Guest Star
- The title card features a swan.
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Instagram account on July 10, 2017.
- This episode could be named after:
- The expression "A Pirate's Life" has already been used on the show:
- When Hook welcomes Baelfire aboard the Jolly Roger, he tells him: "It's a pirate's life for you". ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")
- When Hook is reunited with Emma in New York, he says, "I had a life to get back to. A pirate's life." ("New York City Serenade")
- When Hook prepares to take back his ship from Black Beard, he says, "Women come and go, Mr. Smee, but a pirate's life... it's forever". ("The Jolly Roger")
- When Hook sings "Revenge Is Gonna Be Mine" to Snow White and Prince Charming, one of his lyrics is "A pirate's life is one to love". ("The Song in Your Heart")
- The press release for the episode mistakenly says "Victoria Belfrey enlists the help of Gold and Weaver". However, it is not possible as Weaver is Mr. Gold's cursed persona, so they can't both exist in Seattle at the same time.
- It was supposed to say "Victoria Belfrey enlists the help of Rogers and Weaver" as confirmed by the episode.
- During the filming of this episode, Robert Carlyle decided to change the accent of Weaver to make him more different from Mr. Gold. After that, he had to re-record all of Weaver's scenes from "Hyperion Heights" via automated dialogue replacement.
- Lucy's ballet scenes were filmed on Alison Fernandez's birthday. The cast and crew celebrated her birthday on set.
- A segment where Henry says that Emma is bad at goodbyes was deleted from the episode.
- According to Andrew J. West, Colin O'Donoghue made fun of him during the scene where Henry throws Cinderella's "note" into the fire because he kept missing every time.
- The establishing shot of the Hyperion Heights Community Center is stock footage of the Central Waterfront in Seattle from the website Getty Images.
- The Seattle events take place in October 2017, the day after "Hyperion Heights", and before "The Garden of Forking Paths". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The Storybrooke flashbacks take place after "Beauty" and "Is This Henry Mills?, and before "Hyperion Heights".
- The New Enchanted Forest flashbacks take place after "Hyperion Heights" and before "The Garden of Forking Paths".
- Lady Tremaine framed Cinderella for the Prince's murder in "Hyperion Heights".
- Cinderella left Henry the glass slipper in "Hyperion Heights".
- Rogers saw the illustration of Emma in Henry's book during "Hyperion Heights".
- Henry wants to find the cemetery where his family is buried. In "Hyperion Heights", he went to the cemetery where he believed they were at, only to find there was no existing cemetery there.
- Jacinda previously quit her job during "Hyperion Heights" and regained it in the same episode.
- Regina last saw Henry in "Hyperion Heights" when he left Storybrooke.
- Rogers was promoted to Detective and became Weaver's partner in "Hyperion Heights".
- Henry helped Victoria to find Jacinda and Lucy in "Hyperion Heights".
- Flowers started growing again in the Community Gardens in "Hyperion Heights".
- Emma met Hook from the Wish Realm in "Tougher Than the Rest".
- More of Wish Realm Hook and what happened to him when the Dark Curse was not cast is seen in "Eloise Gardener".
- Lady Tremaine first used the Fairy Godmother's wand in "Hyperion Heights" to kill the Fairy Godmother, and she uses it again in "The Garden of Forking Paths" to enchant Cinderella's hand with the ability to rip out a heart.
- The origin of the Swan Keychain was made known in "Tallahassee".
- Archie began officiating wedding ceremonies in "There's No Place Like Home" with the wedding of Belle and Mr. Gold and also officiated the wedding of Emma and Hook in "The Song in Your Heart".
- The identity of Wish Realm Hook's daughter and how she became trapped in a prison by Gothel is revealed in "Eloise Gardener".
- How Wish Hook's heart was poisoned is revealed in "Knightfall". His heart is eventually cured in "Leaving Storybrooke".
- Wish Realm Hook finds his daughter in "Pretty in Blue". The white knight chess piece is returned to him in the same episode.
- Henry eventually locates his family's burial sites in Hyperion Heights' cemetery in "The Garden of Forking Paths".
- Henry, Roni, and Rogers continue their investigation into Victoria in "The Garden of Forking Paths".
- Rogers eventually finds Eloise in "Eloise Gardener".
- Emma has given birth to her child by the time of "Leaving Storybrooke".
- Jacinda mentions Someday My Prince Will Come from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Henry.
- Wish Hook used to play chess with his daughter, who is later revealed to have grown up in Rapunzel's tower. In the movie Tangled, Rapunzel played chess to pass the time.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features Cinderella, the Evil Stepmother, and one of the Wicked Stepsisters from the Cinderella fairytale, along with Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story.
- Wish Realm Hook used to play chess with his daughter, a character who is later revealed to be Alice from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Chess is an important theme in Lewis Carroll's sequel Through the Looking-Glass.
- Weaver finds the Nancy Drew book The Secret of the Golden Pavilion in Henry's apartment.
- The following titles can be seen on Henry's bookshelf:
- A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag
- Blessed Among Women by Arnold Michael (a bishop who founded the Madonna Ministry)
- The Structure of Freedom by Christian Bay
- A book about the Boer War
- Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil
- Seawitch by Alistair MacLean
- H.M.S. Fidelity by Marcel Jullian
- A Deal Undone by Andrew Cohen
- Wild Boy by Jill Dawson
- Samaritan by Richard Price
- The Other Side of Love by Jacqueline Briskin
- Contemplating Adultery: The Secret Life of a Victorian Woman by Lotte and Joseph Hamburger (the latter was a Professor Emeritus of Political and Social Science at the Yale University)
- The music playing at Lucy's ballet recital is the overture to an operatic adaption of "Cinderella" called La Cenerentola, composed by Gioachino Rossini.
- When Hook takes out the message in a bottle, among the items glimpsed inside the chest are his rum bottle from previous seasons, his spyglass from the Season Three episode "The Jolly Roger", the conch shell that he used to contact Emma with in the Season Six episode "A Wondrous Place", and an ornate wooden box where he kept some of his items in "A Wondrous Place".
- All items could be seen among the possessions which Emma packed up in "A Wondrous Place".
- The bed in Cinderella's room is the same prop used for John Darling's bed in the Darling house in the Season Two episode "Second Star to the Right".
- According to a prop photograph from an online auction, the fake note from Cinderella reads:
The pirate who will bring you this note has
informed that you've been looking for
me. Worse, he tells me that you've me [sic] of
my glass shoes, and have taken it as a
sign of affection. It pains me to tell you
that you've misunderstood. Please call off
your pursuit and know that I'm well and
require no rescuing.
I wish you well in your future adventures.Cinderella.
- The label on the bottle of beer that Jacinda buys for Henry says Aschenputtel, which is the German name for her New Enchanted Forest counterpart, Cinderella.
- The flowers in Victoria Belfrey's office are hyacinths, the same as Cinderella's lucky flower.
- A mushroom ornament sitting on Henry's shelf is the same prop that was sitting on the shelf in Archie's office in previous seasons.
- The tree decorations at Lucy's ballet studio are a reference to her homeworld, the New Enchanted Forest.
- While on the Jolly Roger, Emma is wearing a Rachel Comey Laurel Top (no longer available). She wears the same garment in the Season Six episode "The Black Fairy".
- When visiting the New Enchanted Forest, Emma is wearing a Veda Jayne Suede Jacket  (no longer available). She wears the same garment in the Season Six episodes "The Song in Your Heart" and "The Final Battle Part 2".
- Ivy is wearing a Miu Miu Printed Button Front Shirt (no longer available).
- Jacinda is wearing a Maje 'Bianca' hummingbird-embroidered bomber jacket (no longer available). She continues to wear the jacket in "The Garden of Forking Paths" and "Pretty in Blue".
- Regina is wearing a Kooples Leather Trim Prince of Wales Plaid Jacket (no longer available). She wears the jacket again in "Is This Henry Mills?".
- Roni is wearing a Mackage Painted Florica Jacket. She continues to wear the jacket in "Wake Up Call", "Pretty in Blue", "Secret Garden", "A Taste of the Heights" "Knightfall", "The Guardian" and "Is This Henry Mills?".
- Victoria is wearing a Rag & Bone Eliza dress.
- Burnaby's Central Park doubles as the New Enchanted Forest for the scene where Henry is being pursued by Lady Tremaine's men and the scenes with Emma, Hook, Regina, Henry and Wish Realm Hook outside the cottage in the woods.
- The Victorian Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia doubles as the exterior of Henry's apartment building.
- The interior scenes at Lucy's ballet studio were filmed at the premises of the Vancouver Rowing Club in Vancouver's Stanley Park.
- The street scene with Rogers and Weaver at the end of the episode was filmed on Columbia Street in New Westminster.
|French||"Double Vie"||"Double Life"|
|Italian||"Una vita da pirata"||"A Pirate's Life"|
|Portuguese||"Vida de Pirata"||"Pirate Life"|