Will We Find “Sympathy For The De Vil” On Once Upon A Time?

Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC
Credit: Jack Rowand/ABC

“At first you think Cruella is the devil…” Ah how I love that song. It’s a classic and a perfect way to introduce the episode all about the woman in the very furry coat. Is Cruella a “vampire bat, an inhuman beast”? Should she be “locked up and never released”? Are we going to truly find some “Sympathy for the De Vil”? Read on and decide.

The devil in the details: Flashback. Cruella’s mom used her well-trained Dalmatians to control her daughter and keep her locked in the attic. Years later, The Author, then posing as newspaper reporter Isaac, visits to interview Ms. De Vil about being a dog trainer but is summarily thrown out. That’s when Cruella seizes her chance to escape by offering her story to him instead. They sneak out to a speakeasy and dance their night away to a jazzy version of Cruella’s theme song. It’s so wonderful Isaac shows her his magical quill and uses it to give Cruella her animal whisperer power. They plan to run off together after Cruella confronts her mother, but it’s Isaac who gets that pleasure. Ms. De Vil tells him Cruella murdered her father and step-fathers, but he doesn’t believe her. However, when he visits Cruella that night, he finds she’s killed her and skinned the dogs for a fashionable coat. Why is she this way? Because she likes being evil. When she pulls a gun on Isaac, he writes a note that stops her from killing him though we don’t know what it says.

Rumbelle returns?: To my delight, Regina doesn’t waste any time telling her fellow heroes what she’s learned about Robin and Zelena. She’s going to New York to rescue her beloved and has a plan to handle Gold: Belle. Also to my delight, the librarian offers to help reign in her ex when Regina asks. So she calls Rumple to her and gets him talking and even showing off his very blackened heart. He’s about to lose any ability to love, he says, because of all his evil deeds. The Author is the only one able to reverse the process. Belle appears sympathetic and kisses him, but then Regina saunters out with Belle’s heart in her hand. She threatens to crush Rumple’s heart if he warns Zelena about her impending trip to New York.

Plan B is dog assisted kidnapping: Checking in with our remaining queens, Maleficent wants to know why Cruella didn’t know Lily was alive. Simple. “I’m a really terrible person and I left her in the woods to die,” Cruella says. Obviously Mama Mal is pissed off and transforms into a dragon to kill the fur queen, but unfortunately Cruella’s animal whisperer powers work on the beast. Thus she’s able to return to their cabin of evil undisturbed and reunite with Isaac and first threaten and then attempt to seduce him into restoring “what he took from her.” Neither works. So instead she uses Pongo to kidnap Henry then sends a video message to his moms telling them to either kill Isaac or Henry will die.

A mother’s love: Using a crystal ball, Rumple learned the connection between Isaac and Cruella and he wants to keep using it to his advantage. So when Emma, Regina, and Hook are tromping through the forest in search of Henry, Rumple splits them up. Emma alone confronts Cruella, who is holding Henry at gunpoint. As their stand off plays out, the Charmings learn the note Isaac wrote all those years ago says Cruella can’t ever kill anyone, meaning Henry is in no danger. Only Emma doesn’t know that. Which is why when the opportunity presents itself she blasts Cruella over a cliff, killing her but rescuing the boy and presumably getting one step closer to darkness.

Fairy Dust

  • How did Cruella and Ursula stay young all these years? Using the magic of Lily’s dragon egg. Obviously.
  • Sentences that sound like they’re important but really say nothing: “Once her heart is darkened, everything I need will fall into place.”
  • How big is Storybrooke that Henry needs to take a bus from school? Didn’t we see him walking to school in season one?
  • I can’t stress enough how pleased I was Regina didn’t take Belle’s heart by force. It shows such excellent character development for them both and reminds us why Rumple continues to be a villain despite his past good moments. He can’t ever think of asking someone for help without making them do it against their will.
  • “A person obsessed with vengeance is easy to manipulate,” Rumple says. How long before this comes back to ironically bite him?
  • Emma’s mistake at the end of this episode is also meant to make her more sympathetic to her parents’ error with Lily yes? Because if that whining could end, I’d appreciate it. See below.
  • I don’t ship Swan Queen but they do have some pretty perfect banter.
    Regina: “You’re acting like a petulant child. Your parents did a bad thing. They apologized. Now get over it.”
    Emma: “Forgive me if I don’t take advice from the woman who held a grudge for half of her life because a 10-year-old spilled a secret.”
  • Dear Ms. De Vil, you named her Cruella. What did you expect?!
  • I’m sorry, so is Cruella after Isaac because he took away her ability to murder people?
Stephanie Coats