Sunday, April 19, 2015

Once Upon a Time 4.19: "Sympathy for the De Vil"

“A person obsessed with vengeance is easy to manipulate. She thought I believed her happy ending was reconciling with her mother but I knew she was after something else. Your death.”
- Mr. Gold

Well gang, we are nearing the end of another season and I am excited to finally see what Cruella’s deal is (what makes her tick and all that). And based on the previews for this episode, we know there is going to be a badass showdown with Emma and Regina teaming up against the two-tone crazy lady. We begin in 1920s London (maybe the same world that the Darlings came from? It isn’t entirely clear) where a little girl is running through the woods trying to escape a pursuing Dalmatian. It turns out this is young Cruella and her mother is a horrid woman who locks her in a room in their mansion along with the dogs as a way of keeping control over her. Yeah, child abuse is not cool lady! Next we see Cruella she’s grown up considerably but her mother still won’t let her out and she’s furious that Cruella has stolen a radio. I did have to laugh however when the song playing on the radio was the Cruella theme from the original 101 Dalmatians movie. That was pretty funny. And before you know it, the Author, whose name is Isaac, shows up looking to interview Mama De Vil about her dog training. But she’s not interested and gets horribly offended when he starts prying into her three dead husbands. But it seems he might bond with Cruella when she catches his attention outside. Why do I get the feeling they are going to have a romance that goes horribly wrong? Well it starts out okay at first. Isaac manages to get Cruella out of the house and they head out to a jazz club and end up dancing the night away (Isaac actually taking Mama De Vil’s advice about living his life). But we do learn that she killed all three of her husbands. It seems Isaac is falling for Cruella and he shows her his magic pen and ink (even creating diamond necklace and earrings for her out of thing air). He gifts her with magic so she’ll always be safe and this empowers her to go confront her mother. She kisses a napkin and gives it to him as a promise that she’ll meet up with him later and they can run away together. But I’m guessing things aren’t going to go as planned. I sort of called it. Mama De Vil shows up and spins Isaac a tale of a troubled child who murdered her father and stepfathers. Isaac doesn’t want to believe it but he finds his pen missing and then Cruella uses her new magic to turn her mother’s dogs against her and kill her. Isaac shows up and after Cruella gets all creepy with her new puppy fur coat, he manages to keep her from killing him by writing something (and she clearly can’t pull the trigger). It seems at least for once we have a villain who just embraces the evil. Anyway, we also learn how her hair got so freaky. Right before Isaac managed to write the truth, Cruella grabbed his ink well and it splashed all over her head.

In Storybrooke, Maleficent has an angry encounter with Cruella over Lily. Cruella admits she left baby Lily to die in the woods because as she puts it, she’s a horrible person. Well you have that right, even if your mother was an abusive hag. Anyway, Cruella goads Mal into going full-on dragon and then uses her own powers to put Mal to sleep. Elsewhere in town Emma is still railing against her parents for keeping their secret until Regina shows up with news about faux Marian. But it seems the former Evil Queen has a plan. She’s going to use Gold’s own emotions to her advantage. She ends up paying Belle a visit and nabbing her heart and making Rumple come to Belle in the woods. Rumple spills the beans that soon he won’t be able to love and all of the possible goodness he once had will be gone. Which is why he’s trying to turn Emma dark and keeping the Author locked up. But now it seems Regina has freedom to head to New York to save Robin.

Cruella gets back to the Team Evil lair to find Isaac reading the Great Gatsby. It’s clear they have a history and she demands something back from him which he refuses to give. She tries using her feminine wiles but he’s not falling for that either. We do also learn that somehow Isaac made Cruella what she is (a tow-toned freak with mommy issues?) and he suggest she make herself scares before Rumple comes back because she clearly lied to the Dark One about knowing the Author. Very not good for her but very intriguing for me. And clearly the next logical thing for Cruella to do is kidnap Henry using poor Pongo. Yeah she’s not the brightest diamond in the jewelry store right now. Just as Regina is packing the car to head out to New York (and Emma gives her a gun just in case), they both get a video message from Henry to the effect of “kill the Author or Henry dies”. Like I said, she’s not a smart woman right now.

Rumple pops back to the lair and tells Isaac that he knows he and Cruella have been lying from the get go. Isaac kind of panics but Rumple says he needs Isaac alive so he can get what he wants. And apparently Cruella kidnapping Henry still plays into Rumple’s plans. I was honestly a little surprised Isaac didn’t point out the fact that Henry is Rumple’s grandson but I guess with only a tiny bit of good left in his heart, Rumple doesn’t really give a crap about family. While the baddies are plotting, the good guys are also formulating a game plan. Emma, Regina and Hook are going to scout the territory where Cruella is likely holding Henry while Snow and charming use a locator spell to try and pinpoint Isaac’s location. Can I just say, I get why Emma is mad but can we just move past this drama already?

It seems I’m not the only one ready for the Charming family drama to be over. Both Regina and Hook try to convince Emma to forgive her parents, pointing out that she forgave both of them their evil and misguided mistakes. She’s still railing against them though because she says they never claimed to be heroes and were honest about their pasts. They don’t really have time to bicker more because they hear Henry calling for help. While Cruella was hilariously preoccupied with Angry Birds (I laughed out loud several times), Henry breaks free of his restraints and takes off. Pongo notices and Cruella sends the pooch after our next gen hero. Thanks to a little magic by Rumple, Emma is the only one who catches up to Cruella and Henry. I have a feeling he’s hoping Emma will kill Cruella and go dark. That way, he still keeps the Author alive and he gets what he wants in the process (and I guess technically Henry isn’t hurt so there’s that).

Snow and Charming find Isaac and he reveals what he wrote about Cruella. I thought based on the flashback it was just him she couldn’t hurt but she can’t kill anyone. Unfortunately, they are too late and Emma sends Cruella off a cliff presumably to her death. Sure she saved Henry but she has this eerie look in her eye like she’s just gone dark. Well damn!

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