Once Upon A Time: “Sympathy for the De Vil” (S4Ep19)

Though this episode had two pretty good twists, they came so late in that it was about as out of left field and convenient as the re-introduction of Zelena last episode.

We start this episode with more back story for a character we don’t really care about.

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So Cruella (Victoria Smurft) is being chased by her mom and her dogs. She then takes little Cruella and locks her in a room and says she isn’t allowed to leave. I know it ended up not being true, but I was already annoyed and stayed annoyed through most of this episode that the show was humanizing the hell out of another villain. The twist that Cruella was really the villain of her own sympathetic back story was good, but it came so late into the episode I was bored and annoyed for too long.

Back in Storybrooke, Maleficent (Kristen van Bauer Straten) stops Cruella on the road and demands information about her daughter. Cruella said she and Ursula left her in the woods after they fell through the portal with her. Maleficent turns into a dragon to make Cruella pay for that but she can control animals and makes her take a nap.

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Over in the world’s smallest apartment, Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is still angry at her parents for lying to her since the start of the season. Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) is tell Emma to lay off. She isn’t having it and doesn’t calm down until Regina (Lana Parrilla) arrives and tells her about the Marian/Zelena reveal and that she is working with Rumple (Robert Carlyle). Regina says she has to go to New York to help Robin Hood, but needs to know what Rumple’s plan is first.

She enlists Belle’s (Emilie de Ravin) help. She apparently agreed for Regina to take her heart and control her or maybe they were faking that and that was just another heart from Regina’s vault. Either way, Belle met Rumple and asks what his plan is. He tells her his heart is almost fully dark and when it is he will loss the ability to love. His happy ending is to stop it. Belle calls him pathetic. I hope that was really Belle. Regina walks out from the trees, holding a heart and tell Rumple he isn’t going to call Zelena to warn her that she is going to New York or she will kill Belle. Rumple says she is bluffing. She asks if he wants to test that.

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The Author is still hanging out in Rumple’s cabin. He is worried about what Rumple plans to do with him and the multiple people who are trying to get him. He is most worried that Cruella is going to kill him. Rumple says he isn’t going to let that happen because he needs him to write him his happy ending, after he turns the Savior dark.

The Author, who Cruella calls Issac, is roped into her back story. He comes around Cruella’s house in 1920s London, which is its own realm apparently, as a newspaper reporter looking for a good story. He starts asking her mom about her ability to train dogs so well and her three dead husbands. She gets pissed and kicks him out. Cruella, from her tower, tells him she has a story for him. She helps her escape and they take his car to a jazz club.

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Regina is about to leave for New York. Emma is trying to convince her to let her come with her and it seems she has been for a while. Regina says one of them has to stay behind to find the Author. Emma says New York is different than Storybrooke and Zelena is dangerous and Regina won’t have magic. Regina tells her not to worry. Emma gives her her gun to make herself feel better. Regina thanks her and asks if she is mad at her for not telling her about her parent’s lies. Emma says she was trying to protect her and Henry (Jared Gilmore) and she can forgive that.

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And that wasn’t the end of the SwanQueen because they then both get a video message from Henry, which he starts with “Mom, Mom.” Cruella kidnapped him by enchanting Pongo and using him to lure Henry into a trap. She says they have to kill the Author or she will kill Henry. They both go into super angry protect mom mode. Though they could probably have handled this situation themselves with the amount of magic between them, they go to consult the idiot duo (Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin) and Hook.

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Over in Cruella’s back story, she tells the Author all the horrible things her mother has done to her. He tells her he is a magical writer and he gives her magic. Wow, the show actually explained how she has magic. Did they actually listen to the fans for once? Cruella says she is going to go home to tell her mother she is leaving and then go realm jumping with the Author.

While he is waiting at his hotel, the Author is visited by Cruella’s mother who tells him Cruella is actually the evil one and she locked her up because she started killing as a child. The Author doesn’t believe this but then sees his magic pen is gone. Cruella’s mother gets home and Cruella has her own dogs kill her. That was a good twist and I was surprised, but it came too late into the episode. The Author goes to Cruella to try to stop her after she killed her mother. He writes the paper he showed Rumple to explain why she hates him so much and she can’t kill him.

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Back in Storybrooke, Rumple asks the Author what he wrote about Cruella that makes he want to kill him so badly. To drag out this incredibly convenient twist, he shows him the paper he wrote it on instead of saying it.

Meanwhile, Emma, Regina and Hook are out in the woods looking for Henry and Cruella. Emma sent her parents after the Author because she said she needed to be with people she trusted. Regina tells Emma she is acting like a child for staying mad at her parents for so long. Emma shots back that doesn’t mean much coming from someone who held a grudge for so long about a 12-year-old not keeping a secret. Regina says she was a terrible person and did terrible things but Emma forgave her and the same goes for Hook. Emma says she could forgive them because they never pretended to be good people, while her parents pretend they were the greatest of heroes while they are really horrible people who are terrible at parenting.

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But, that is broken up by  them hearing Henry calling for help. He escaped Cruella and is running through the woods, with a enchanted Pongo chasing him. They can’t pin done where the noise is coming from and split up. Cruella was using magic to throw the noise. Snowing finds the Author in the cabin. They want to know why Cruella is working with Rumple. He said he was just trying to protect the world from Cruella and he didn’t mean for anything to happen to their daughter. They are confused. He shows them the paper, which Charming reads. Cruella is unable to kill anyone. Snow realizes she is defenseless. Regina said earlier she would kill Cruella and they know Emma would too if Henry was in enough danger. They go running into the woods.

Turn out Henry is in the right amount of danger. Cruella catches up to him and has her gun to him. Emma then arrives. She doesn’t know that Cruella can’t kill anyone. Cruella says she is bluffing and isn’t going to kill her. But, it’s Henry’s safety. Emma magics her off the cliff and into the rock bed below. Snowing and Regina arrive just a little too late.

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I know I have been saying since the story line was introduced that Emma going dark was not something that would ever logically make sense. And the show seemed to acknowledge that by having it happen in a loop hole that was out of Emma’s control. Also, how is this supposed to turn her totally dark? Cruella may have been defenseless but that doesn’t mean she was a hero. She couldn’t but she was still trying to kill Henry. I’m not really seeing how this is any different than Snow killing Cora. That only put a dark spot on Snow’s heart. It didn’t turn the entire thing dark. And Snow is clearly a worse person than Emma is, especially after this whole baby stealing thing. Oh right I’m trying to use logic, something this show doesn’t have.

 

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