In both the Fairy Tale World and Hyperion Heights, Henry, Cinderella, Tiana, Regina, and Alt-Killian join forces to take down Lady Tremaine. Full recap of Once Upon a Time “The Garden of Forking Paths” (first aired Friday, October 20 at 8pm ET|PT on ABC).
“The Garden of Forking Paths” takes us back to the Fairy Tale realm, this time from Cinderella’s perspective. She is riding Henry’s motorcycle and arrives at the agreed-upon spot to take his portal. While she’s waiting, Cinderella is attacked by two palace guards who has tracked her down. She’s able to fight one off, and before the second guard can grab her, someone strikes him in the head. It’s Princess Tiana! She was also at the ball that night and on a secret mission herself. Tiana is the leader of the local resistance movement to fight against the royal family and Lady Tremaine. Tiana knows that Cinderella didn’t kill the Prince, but Cinderella is still resentful. Where was the resistance when Lady Tremaine killed Cinderella’s father and forced her into servitude? Tiana assures Cinderella that there’s still a chance for them–why not join their cause? CInderella agrees to go the camp with Tiana. As they ride away on the motorcycle, Cinderella drops a glass slipper in the grass, “It’s for a friend so he knows to find me.”
At the camp, Tiana gets Cinderella some clothes and new shoes (courtesy of Jeremiah, a former cobbler and one of the truest believers in the resistance). Cinderella is eager to take the fight to her step-mother, but Tiana has some bad news. It looks like Lady Tremaine has been fortifying her manor with dark magic. Henry arrives with Regina and Alt-Killian, offering their services to the fight. They pull out a map to start making plans and decide to split up into two groups, one led by Tiana and the other by Cinderella. Henry volunteers to be in Cinderella’s group and Alt-Killian volunteers to be in Tiana’s. (YAS honey! Please to be giving me a ship name now!)
That night, while everyone is resting, Cinderella sneaks out of camp and goes to Lady Tremaine. She finds Lady Tremaine with a coffin, one that holds her other daughter, Anastasia. It seems that Lady Tremaine believes Cinderella to be responsible for Anastasia’s death somehow. In the coffin, Anastasia is still preserved. She can be revived if Lady Tremaine can give her a pure heart, Henry’s heart! If Cinderella wants to save her friends in the resistance, she must bring Lady Tremaine Henry’s heart.
Cinderella returns to camp, but can’t bring herself to take Henry’s heart. Instead, she decides to take Jeremiah. His belief in the resistance should be pure enough to meet Lady Tremaine’s needs. However, Regina stops Cinderella. Cinderella confesses that Lady Tremaine needs Henry’s heart. Wouldn’t this one sacrifice be OK? Regina says no, taking Jeremiah’s life won’t be worth it.
The next morning Jacinda plans to leave the group, but Regina stops her again. Cinderella confesses everything about Anastasia and Lady Tremaine needing a heart. But Regina calls it as she sees it, Cinderella punishing herself. But if she really wants to stop Lady Tremaine, Cinderella has to first forgive herself. Ella comes back to the camp is ready to join the fight. She also wants to talk to Henry about some things…
In Hyperion Heights, Jacinda arrives at the apartment she shares with her roommate (Tiana). Since Victoria is keeping Jacinda and Lucy apart, they’ve been writing each other secret letters and leaving them at the community garden. Being apart from Lucy is really taking a toll on Jacinda. Tiana leaves for work, but encourages Jacinda that she’ll get Lucy back.
Jacinda goes to the garden to leave a letter for Lucy, but is interrupted by Victoria and construction workers. Lucy won’t be getting that letter and Victoria plans to demolish the garden to build condos. Jacinda tries to appeal to Victoria, for Lucy’s sake, but there’s no convincing her step-mother.
Meanwhile, Henry meets Roni and Rogers at the bar. He even brings bearclaws to share. Roni has some news to share. Last night she had a customer that works for the building commission. He got pretty drunk and shared that he was going to make real money from doing a favor for Victoria. This guy was planning on meeting Victoria that day. Rogers decides he’s going to chase down the lead and find this commissioner at Hyperion Plaza. Henry will focus on doing research for evidence of any bribes and other bad dealings Victoria has been involved in. Henry isn’t too excited about being side-lined, but Roni reminds him about baby steps.
Rogers stops by the police station to print off some information about the building commissioner, Michael Griffith. As he’s leaving, Weaver tries to get him to do some work. Rogers says that he’s already working on something, a parking ticket appeal. Rogers leaves “for court”, but it’s clear Weaver is suspicious. Rogers waits at Hyperion Plaza and watches as Griffith meets Victoria, who hands him a thick envelope. Weaver hides in the shadows and sees it all.
Rogers confronts Griffith at a restaurant where he’s having lunch and tries to get information about what else Victoria is planning. Griffith even tries to bribe Rogers with some of the money Victoria gave him. Instead, Rogers arrests Griffith. Unfortunately, by the time Rogers returns to the station, Weaver has let Griffith go free, as a favor, and with the promise to get in touch when Victoria calls. Essentially, Weaver has taken the case away from Rogers.
Jacinda goes to Roni and asks for help brainstorming about how to save the community garden. Both Roni and Henry realize that the payout to the building commissioner was for the permits to begin demolishing the garden. Roni suggests that Jacinda start a petition to have garden names essential to the public. This will stop the demolition.
Later on, Lucy comes to Roni’s to meet Henry. She’s heard about her mother’s petition and is happy to share the news. It means that Jacinda’s insticts to fight about her step-mother are awakening. Henry tries to talk down Lucy’s excitement; Henry is only here to help save the garden. But Lucy let’s him in on a secret. Victoria isn’t trying to build condos–there’s something valuable buried under the garden. Construction work is getting started at the gardens, but that doesn’t stop Lucy from jumping into a hole to explore… just as Henry did with Archie and the Storybrooke mines to find Snow White’s coffin. Grown-up Henry follows right after Lucy.
Lucy is convinced that there’s something magical buried there. She also uses the opportunity to push Henry. Lucy is really his daughter and Jacinda is Cinderella and the love of his life. The fact that Henry tried to go to the cemetary where his family was buried, but couldn’t find anything should be a big clue that this is all the curse. Why isn’t Henry willing to believe? After searching around, they haven’t had any luck finding anything… until Lucy finds a piece of glass, which she believes it’s a piece of Cinderella’s glass slipper. If Lucy can show this to her mother, then Jacinda might remember who she really is.
Elsewhere, Jacinda is having a lot of luck with people signing her petition. Victoria confronts her and offers a deal. If Jacinda will destroy the petition, Victoria will allow her to have Lucy again and even give her one of the condos. Jacinda hesitates a little, but not really. She sets those petitions on fire and Lucy sees everything. She’s disappointed that her mother wouldn’t stand up to Victoria to do the right thing, like a hero. But Jacinda says she isn’t a hero; she’s only a mom willing to do anything to be with Lucy. Lucy runs away.
Jacinda commiserates with Roni at the bar, and Roni says that there’s still a chance to stand up to Victoria…
…Henry meets Lucy as she’s walking to the garden and they see Jacinda has organized her neighbors to sign the petition again. “When you truly believe in something, you can change things.” So they sign the petition and start planting even more. Jacinda, Lucy, and Henry share an ice cream and then part ways. Lucy decides to give Henry a parting gift–the shard from Cinderella’s shoe. Since Jacinda is starting to remember her fight, Henry needs the reminder more.
But that night, as Henry’s walking, he finds a cemetary and his family is inside of it–his daughter is buried there, Abigail Mills. *CRIES*
However, this is all a set-up from Victoria, right???!!! She travels to a warehouse of some sort and she has with her Anastasia’s coffin. She has brought it to meet a young woman who has been locked away. It’s Rapunzel! Apparently, Rapunzel is essential to restoring Anastasia, and Rapunzel might not be that willing to help. Who is the actual prisoner here? (*SIDENOTE* I saw some great speculation in twitter that Rapuzel is actually Alt-Killian’s daughter! This is one backstory I realllllllllly need to see!)
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) October 21, 2017
In next week’s episode, “Beauty” (written by Dana Horgan and Leah Fong, directed by Mick Garris), it’s time to talk about Rumple’s backstory, what happened to Belle, and how in the world he’s in Hyperion Heights with Alice.
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) October 21, 2017
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8p/7c on ABC.