- Hook: "Look, he's grown into a fine young lad, and he is lucky to have a mother like you."
Emma: "He's lucky to have a pirate like you."
- —Hook to Emma
"A Pirate's Life" is the second episode of the seventh season of ABC's Once Upon a Time and the one-hundredth and thirty-fifth episode of the series overall. It aired on October 13, 2017. It was written by Jane Espenson & Jerome Schwartz and directed by Tara Nicole Weyr.
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 Rogers and Weaver to push Henry out of the neighborhood.
A Swan is featured in the background.
In the characters' past
Years earlier, Hook is training Henry in how to defend himself during a practice with swords, but when Emma congratulated him Hook catches Henry off guard, and Henry cools off feeling that he won't be appreciated. Emma and Hook believes that Henry will make a name for himself in the future. As the two kissed, Hook shows Emma a magic bottle that can act as a signal to call anyone in distress and he throws it in the ocean.
The Magical Forest
Years later, Henry is chased by Lady Tremaine and her guards, who now wants to pin the prince's murder on him. When she does catch up with Henry and demand the whereabouts of Cinderella and the glass slipper, Henry used the bottle to summon Emma, Regina, and Hook, but is soon taken prisoner and is later tied to a bed in the palace. 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 asked Hook about where "Emma" was, and Regina scorned Hook about lying to Henry about why Emma didn't come.
Regina helped Henry out by using a locator spell, but discovers that her magic doesn't work in this realm. Hook, however, can smell saltwater and suspected 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 in this realm he's still looking for his Emma. The drunken Hook then knocks out his lookalike and draws his blood, as he made a deal with Lady Tremaine to help her find Henry. Using the Fairy Godmother's wand, Tremaine transformed the drunken Hook into an exact lookalike of the Enchanted Forest character.
Meanwhile, at 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 her's isn't great. The wish realm Hook soon joins them and suggest they all return to Storybrooke and gives Henry a forged note from Cinderella, but when the faux Hook went 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 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 stabbed himself. When the real Hook asked why, the faux Hook told him that wanted to find his daughter, who he believed is a prisoner. He hoped that Emma would help him. When Emma arrives, the real Hook ask Emma to save his lookalike, but Emma's magic doesn't work in this realm either, so she convinced the faux Hook to use his beliefs, and it works as Emma watches him heal himself and gives him a light kiss.
As Henry gives Emma and the real Hook congratulations on their future, he convinced the faux Hook to stay and help find his daughter and even convinces Regina to stay in order to find her happy endings.
Henry meets up with Rogers (the Wish Realm Hook in this cursed world), 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, Sabine helps Jacinda 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 her rescue. He wants to do what is right and figure out what is going on in this neighborhood.
Later on at Roni's, Jacinda forgave 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 joined Henry and Roni for drinks, each with one thing in common: to find a way to take down Victoria Belfrey.
- The reason the Wish Realm version of Hook was used for this season is because the writers felt it wasn't right to separate Emma and Hook.
- Regina mentions that Emma hasn't needed to act as the Savior for some time, as Storybrooke is peaceful. Additionally, she mentions Archie Hopper has lost most of his business as a therapist and has instead been spending most of his time as a minister for marriages.
- In the Magical Forest, magic is tricky for outsiders; quite possibly because there are already different versions of themselves (and therefore their stories) in this realm.
- Lady Tremaine mentions that Wish Hook and herself have a past where he did something terrible to her. Possibly, due to the events of "Eloise Gardener" he mistook her for the witch who separated him from his daughter; the witch had previously used Lady Tremaine's likeness to trick him.