Slight spoilers may be talked about below, so please be sure to watch the latest episode before reading on!
We’re three episodes into the season and “The Garden Of Forking Paths” was a strangely fast episode for Once Upon A Time standards. It didn’t have that slow burn feel that the series is known for and instead opted to show what Cinderella was up to in Another Realm after she got separated from Henry back at the end of the “Hyperion Heights” opener. Which lead to her running into Tiana — from The Princess And The Frog — and her band of resistance fighters. Strangely enough though, Henry, Hook and Regina all managed to catch up to Cinderella a few scenes later offering to help her and Tiana in their cause.
Back in Hyperion Heights, Hook, Regina and Henry started to work on their plan to figure out what Victoria is really up too and Jacinda started a petition to keep Lucy’s Community Garden away from Victoria’s demolition crew.
While the action scenes were back in Another Realm, the real focus of the episode was on Jacinda, Lucy and Henry in the real world. It seems that the writers are doubling all of their efforts on making the new cast click with viewers and so far — outside a few forced lines by Jacinda — it’s working! Also with the way the episode progressed, I don’t think the curse will last all season and may end in a few episodes with Victoria revealed as not the big bad that we once thought a few Fridays ago, and just a pawn to that mysterious character in chains?
In the end, while, “The Garden Of Forking Paths” covered lots of ground and progress the plot significantly, it at times felt too rushed in pacing with characters making bad choices just to move on to the next scene in the episode. The consequences of their actions didn’t hold enough weight due to how fast everything was moving.
However, next week episode will be a Rumple and Alice Halloween themed episode that will also explain what happened to Belle. And any Once fan knows, Rumple centric episodes are usually some of the best episodes in the series. Robert Caryle is that good!