Friday, October 27, 2017

Once Upon A Time 7x03 Recap: “The Garden of Forking Paths” (Same Old, Same Old) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“The Garden of Forking Paths”
October 20, 2017

Well, it’s a lot of repeating the past once again (pun intended) on this week’s Once Upon A Time. Whether you like the “new take” this season is taking or not, can we all agree that the show needs to figure out whether it is following a new story or just fully committing to being an exact repeat of the first season? The show seems to be teetering on a thin line and trying to play both sides, which doesn’t sit well with me. Personally, I’m getting tired of seeing the same thing over and over again with no surprises or solid twists, which is the biggest difference between seasons one and seven.


One of the reasons why this season isn’t as magical as the rest of the series is the overly consuming plot holes. Every episode seems to trip over the last, and the constant shifting of timelines isn’t helping. A prime example is how the beginning of this episode takes place before the second episode of the season. However, it isn’t immediately clear that time has been backtracked. Little things like this make it more difficult for viewers to follow along and keep track of what is happening in the new stories.

Another funny plot hole in this episode is the rather rapid change of appearance of Regina and Hook in the unnamed fairytale realm. When they appeared in the realm after being summoned by Henry’s magic bottle, Regina and Hook were in their typical Storybrooke street clothes. Somehow, within a few hours of being in this new realm, they have managed to find eerily similar outfits to the ones they wore when they lived in the Enchanted Forest. Regina even magically found the time to have her hair all done up and dyed several colors! Now, I understand that this is more than likely to make it easier for the audience to differentiate between realms, like in the past, but it’s simply not realistic for this to have taken place. Instead of clever, it comes off as silly.


I could go on and on about the multiple issues and holes throughout the first three episodes, but then this article would be way too long. So, for everyone’s sake, let’s move on to a guessing game. The end scene of the third episode shows Lady Tremaine/Belfrey in her secret Seattle lair with a chained up female character, who isn’t named by Belfrey. I’m assuming that this character is the shady Alice who made a brief and wacky appearance in the season premiere, but there’s no real way to confirm that. Maybe this is just a random character who they forgot to properly introduce.

While watching the scene play out, I really didn’t know what to think because I simply didn’t know what was going on. Is this a mystery witch? If so, who is she and what role is she going to play? Also, why wasn’t she given a name in that five-minute-or-so scene? If this was Alice, then we have some bigger plot hole issues with not much time passing and her entire appearance changing.


There was one giant positive aspect of this episode, and it is definitely worth mentioning that the show is at least trying to move slightly forward. While most of what is occurring is an exact copy of the first season, we at least know why Lady Tremaine is so nasty. Cinderella had a hand in Tremaine’s daughter’s death many years ago, much like the reason why Regina used to hate Snow White. Tremaine’s main objective is to fuse her very dead daughter with either Henry or Lucy’s heart.

While this is pretty extreme, especially when one candidate for death is her innocent step-granddaughter, it is good to know that Tremaine at least has a motive for her wickedness. Up until now, Tremaine was just another evil character with zero backstory. This attempt to make things interesting at least gives the show somewhere to grow in the Seattle timeline. I don’t doubt that most of the season will mimic the first season, but maybe we will get some more original moments to keep things afloat for a bit.


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