This season of Once Upon a Time has been all about Frozen. For good or ill, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and many other characters from the hit Disney animated film were grafted into the OUAT story, which has centered around Elsa’s accidental transportation to Storybrooke, the search for her missing sister Anna, and the appearance of the mysterious Snow Queen. (For more thoughts on both the good and the ill, check out 4YE’s Once Upon a Time podcast here.) As the Frozen plot builds to a climax in its eleven episode run (or twelve episodes if we count the two hour special on Nov. 16th), the burning question for many Oncers concerns the focus of the second half of season four: who will the villains be?
If the latest casting news is any indication, season 4b will have its fair share of villains, both old and new. Kristen Bauer van Straten was confirmed to be reprising her role as Maleficent in the latter half of the season, and it looks like Victoria Smurfit will be joining her in the ranks of OUAT‘s Rogue’s Gallery. Of course, the exact details of her role are unknown. EW’s statement concerning the role called it “iconic” and recurring. Smurfit’s character will be teased in the upcoming mid-season finale. It smells like a new villain reveal to me…
Kristen Bauer van Straten’s involvement in the next half of the season has naturally led to the assumption that she would be playing the next big baddie of the show, but what if she is only one of the villains to stir the Storybrooke pot? There are several iconic villains that have not been touched on yet. Cruella De Vil has yet to appear (Wouldn’t that be a strange villain? Someone hide Pongo!), Ursula has never yet appeared in the flesh, and there’s always the mysterious Black Fairy that has been mentioned but never satisfactorily explained.
There is also the possibility that Smurfit may be coming in as a non-villain. Given Maleficent’s involvement in the story and the “iconic” nature of the role, could Smurfit perhaps be playing Aurora’s mother, whose antagonistic relationship with Maleficent was only briefly mentioned in the season two premiere? Aurora’s comment about the bad blood between Maleficent and her mother always made me wonder whether it was her mother who was the original Sleeping Beauty…
As always, only time will tell. And since we’re dealing with Once Upon a Time, we can be sure of a few unpredictable twists along the way.
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC.
Smurfit has indeed been cast as Cruella De Vil! The actress tweeted the following from her account:
super excited about playing Cruella for such an iconic show as @OnceABC
— victoria smurfit (@VictoriaSmurfit) November 5, 2014
The tweet was then deleted; maybe Smurfit made an accidental reveal? Either way, the deletion wasn’t quick enough for the media, who quickly seized on the news.
So lock up your puppies, Oncers, because if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will! Cruella is heading for Storybrooke.