Once Upon a Time (2011–2018)
7.3/10
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The Garden of Forking Paths 

Cinderella gains an unlikely ally; Jacinda attempts to stop Victoria from destroying Lucy's beloved community garden.

Director:

Ron Underwood

Writers:

Edward Kitsis (created by), Adam Horowitz (created by) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Lana Parrilla ... Regina Mills / Roni
Colin O'Donoghue ... Captain Killian 'Hook' Jones / Rogers
Andrew J. West ... Henry Mills
Dania Ramirez ... Jacinda Vidrio / Cinderella
Gabrielle Anwar ... Victoria Belfrey / Lady Tremaine
Alison Fernandez ... Lucy Vidrio
Robert Carlyle ... Detective Weaver / Rumplestiltskin
Emma Booth ... Mother Gothel / Eloise Gardener
Mekia Cox ... Sabine / Princess Tiana
Simon Arblaster ... Michael
Dalias Blake ... Palace Guard
Mike Carpenter ... Guard #2
Jaren Moore ... Construction Foreman
Richard Newman ... Jeremiah
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Storyline

Cinderella gains an unlikely ally; Jacinda attempts to stop Victoria from destroying Lucy's beloved community garden.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With this episode it showed that in episode 1 of this season, the princess that refused the appetizers saying" Ewww no, frog legs" was in fact Tiana from the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog. See more »

Goofs

Lucy makes a comment about The Seattle Underground, but in reality it's called Underground Seattle. See more »

Quotes

Jacinda Vidrio: You see, this garden isn't what it was supposed to be. I couldn't see that. But my Lucy did. She never stopped believing in it for a second. We're gonna show Victoria Belfrey that, when you truly believe in something... you can change things.
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User Reviews

 
Up the not so peaceful path
17 July 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Will admit to being rather underwhelmed by the previous two episodes of the seventh and final season. Didn't hate either of them mind, but considering how good 'Once Upon a Time' was at first and how much it improved it is sad that it started to become uneven during the second half of Season 5, run out of ideas and try to do too much. All of which the previous two episodes suffered from.

Unfortunately, although not quite as badly, "The Garden of Forking Paths" suffers from all of that as well. Am saying this with a heavy heart and with absolutely no malice whatsoever, have never reviewed anything with malice or intended bias (even when frustration and over-passion, and occasional defensiveness, kicks in) and have always tried to be fair and balanced. Hope this comes over here in this review. "The Garden of Forking Paths" is not a bad episode, nor is it a particularly great one with a mix of some good and some bad.

The good things will be started off with. The production values are still impressive, they are far from ugly, with a lot of colour without going overboard, and the atmosphere is still there. The photography may not be cinematic-worthy, but is still highly attractive. The music doesn't ever sound cheap or out-of-kilter, fitting well with the mood and never found myself questioning its placement. The main theme is still memorable.

Andrew J. West has settled really well as Henry, with plenty of charisma and emotion. Actually think he settled quicker than Jared Gilmore. Gabrielle Anwar continues to kill it as Victoria, the most interesting character here and a plausible and suitably menacing antagonist. Really liked Tiana and seeing more of her, her entrance was one of the episode's best moments. Lana Parrilla continues her streak as the most consistently good actor on 'Once Upon a Time', outshining another cast bright spot Robert Carlyle who from personal opinion was not well used in Season 7, she commands the screen so well.

Carlyle left me mixed here, which is a bit disappointing by Carlyle standards. He is great on the interpretation level, is fun to watch and makes much of his material, but there is far too little of him and Cockney accents are really not a strength of his.

Nobody else really stands out. Excepting in a bad way Dania Ramirez (again, there is a reason as to why she is the show's most widely panned actor), really do disagree that she improves here. Actually thinking that there is not much difference and it stayed that way somewhat throughout Season 7. Would forgive the fact that she is implausibly too old if everything else worked, sadly nothing about her work. Find her very irritating rather than charming, she never looks comfortable and there is no chemistry between her and any of the rest of the cast. Sincere apologies if this comes over as nasty, that's not the intent but personal feelings.

What also has failed to improve is the writing. That element was patchy to start with at the start of 'Once Upon a Time' but got significantly better quickly, before varying from the Underworld arc onwards. Here, there is no nuance or little wit here, instead it is a whole bathtub's worth of melodramatic soap and unintentional camp. There is nothing fresh about the romantic elements, which feel more like rehashed cliches, and the conflict is still feeling too underdeveloped and introduced too suddenly. Nothing really feels fresh, there is an unfocused feel as a result of trying to include too much, it manages to feel both rushed and dull (with the newer material making no impact) and instead of questions being answered more questions are raised, not what a season with the intent of refreshing a show should do. Nothing really comes together cohesively and feels like two or more episodes in one.

Summing up, didn't hate "The Garden of Forking Paths" but it could and should have been much better. 5/10


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