Once Upon a Time recap: 'The Garden of Forking Paths'
Mama Regina serving up some wisdom and cocktails
God, I know I spoke against it first episode, but I’m loving this bike now.
Cinderella is out there doing the Lord’s work looking for Henry, when she’s taken off guard by, well, a guard. It looks like she’s about to be done in when someone comes to her rescue: Tiana. And in real life, they’re friends. Actually, more than friends! They’re roommates. And in the real world, Jacinda and Tabine are roommates, sorting through how to do deal with Lucy’s new living situation with Victoria. And elsewhere in the real world, Rogers/Hook, Roni, and Henry come together to discuss how to deal with Roni’s potentially being sold.
But back to Cinderella’s world! Tiana introduces herself as the leader of the Resistance to overthrow Cinderella’s evil stepmother, but Cinderella isn’t interested… that is, until Tiana explains that the Prince didn’t singularly kill her father. Her stepmother helped as well, and she’s doing the same BS in this world that she is in the real world: taking houses. So they team up and hop on Henry’s motorcycle, but not before Cinderella leaves a glass slipper behind.
In the real world, Jacinda is dropping off a letter for Lucy in the real world, but it doesn’t seem that she’s going to get it because Victoria shows up with her men to start construction on her condos. Classic Victoria (even though, you know, we barely know her). They’re going to fill the space and fast, no matter how many of those symbolic flowers take root. So Jacinda goes to Roni’s for support because Roni literally can solve ANYTHING. She says that must be what the payout for the building commission is for. So they decide to beat her at her old game with the oldest trick in the book, BUILDING CODES. Roni finds one that allows for them to petition because we live in political times. Hilarious little throwback when she says, “I’m a real Queen.” LOL, OKAY, REGINA.
Back in Cinderella’s world, Tiana has brought her to a village where she’s reunited with Henry. He brings her shoe and introduces her to his mother, Regina and Captain Hook. You know, I love a good reboot, but I’m so excited to see old characters started to trickle through. So Regina and Hook have joined the resistance, and man is there no time like, um, whatever timeline they’re on. But on the real timeline, the team isn’t quite so bound. Henry is literally me, working on writing at a bar, when Lucy shows up to announce how pumped she is that people are fighting. And how this big fight is good news because there’s something good below the gardens… they just have to get to it before Victoria does. Right as Henry is about to criticize her storytelling, a backhoe hits an open well. And with that Lucy decides to hop in and Henry follows.
Anyway, Rogers meets up with Michael Griffith so he can ask him some questions about our girl Vicky. He finds the money that Victoria gave him as a bribe and takes him into the station. And while that happens, Lucy and Henry explore this new place underground. Henry is convinced it’s the Seattle Underground, but Lucy isn’t having it, so she asks about that graveyard where Henry’s wife and daughter are buried, but he admits they weren’t there, but he’s not ready to admit that Lucy is right. But as they continue to explore, it doesn’t seem there’s anything to find. But Lucy finally finds a piece of glass she believes belongs to her mother’s glass slipper, and this could be what proves everything!
In Cinderella’s world, the new Resistance form a plan together and take a night to get ready. Hook starts getting cozy with Tiana, and aren’t you a little upset about that? Like, Emma is barely out of the opening credits, and he’s like, “Hey girl, what’s your sign?” But in the night, Jacinda slips away and makes her way to her Stepmother’s house to talk about this coffin situation. She tells Jacinda to look inside, and inside is Anastasia who is preserved with one breath. And to bring her back, Stepmother is asking Cinderella to go and kill Henry and bring his heart because an innocent is needed to bring back Ana. And if she doesn’t, everyone in the Resistance will pay the price.
In the real world, Victoria shows up to find Jacinda is making some serious headway with that petition and Vicky wants to call this war off. If she drops the petition, Jacinda can have her own condo and give Lucy a beautiful life. All she has to do is burn them. So Jacinda obliges right as Lucy walks up, and man is Lucy upset. She doesn’t want to be together anymore. At the police station, Michael and Weaver shake hands and it rubs Rogers the wrong way. But Weaver explains that he did it because when Vicky makes a dirty call to Michael, he’s made an agreement that Michael will make a call to him. We’ll see how that shakes out.
Back in Cinderella world, she returns to camp where apparently EVERYONE is a heavy sleeper. She is getting ready to steal Henry’s heart, but she can’t because she’s a good person. So instead, she goes over to kill Jeremiah the cobbler. But right as she’s about to, Regina shows up and says, “You don’t want to do that.” So that’s when Cinderella explains that Tremaine wants Henry. Regina takes her power away anyway because Regina has ASCENDED. And she’s equally good as Roni. She explains to Jacinda that she’s gotta decide hard and fast what she’s willing to give up because the Vickys of the world will take everything. And that sends Jacinda back into the street to get all those people who wanted to save the community garden to sign the petition again. Lucy is shook.
But in Cinderella’s world, we get the backstory on Anastasia. She’s Cinderella’s step-sister who died when she was 14. She blamed Cinderella’s father, but in reality, it was Cinderella’s fault, and man has she taken it hard. But Regina’s advice is that she has to start by forgiving herself because don’t we all deserve to just forgive… us? It’s inspiring. So Cinderella comes back to the crew and decides to only be called Ella moving forward and announces that they can’t just storm Tremaine’s place because it’s a trap. In essence, the team is stronger than ever, but there’s still a lot of room to make up.
Post-petition-signing-pop-up-veggie-planting, Henry and Jacinda and Lucy take a walk together. As Henry decides to take off, Lucy stops him and gives him that piece of glass slipper because Jacinda doesn’t need it. She’s becoming who she needs to be. Henry, however, still has a ways to go. After all, it’s the Prince who keeps the slipper, and when he needs to, he’ll eventually come around. With that, Henry walks home, which must be a ways away because it gets dark outside. He heads to the cemetery with the piece of glass slipper, and in that moment, he finds Abigail and Lauren Mills, and it’s a dark moment, team. Because just as he was finding a sense of hope, it appears it is taken away again.
But of course, where there’s a grave, there’s a story. Victoria intercepts a large box from someone and heads down into a bunker. Down there, she reveals that she’s dug up Anastasia, or at least Anastasia’s coffin. And this mysterious woman who Vicky has sought out for help has decided that Vicky is on her own. She insists that this woman is her prisoner, but the woman disagrees because they’re both prisoners in their own way. She says she may destroy Jacinda and get Anastasia back, but even if she does, she’ll have to deal with her. We’ll see who this woman is, but man, does she look like a total crazy face.
So there you have it. The episode was fine. A builder episode, if you will, but I think before we can really double down on this New Adventures of Old Once Upon a Time, we need some more background. Even more Regina. And the name and background of that crazy woman.