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Once Upon a Time “Sympathy for De Vil” 

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

Young Cruella, unlike almost every other storybook character we’ve met, was not born innocent. Every other villain had some traumatic event that put them on the path towards evil. Cruella appears to be Evil itself. Her own mother confesses that she was off from a very young age, and that she was responsible for the murder of her own father.

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

So why doesn’t The Author sense this about Cruella? As a storyteller himself surely he should be able to see the threads beneath the surface? But apparently Cruella’s charms are in full force and she expertly plays on his lack of practical experience. The Author tells her about his magic quill awfully quickly, and perhaps she thinks she could make it work as well. He writes her into diamonds, for which I’m sure she’ll always be grateful, and also writes her into her magical ability, which is a relief to finally have explained. When she leaves him she snatches his quill, but inexplicably leaves the ink behind. Which begs the question – where does the magic lie? Are the quill and ink two separate sources of magic? It would appear so.

When The Author sees her true nature and knows he needs to save himself, he writes away her ability to take a life. She doesn’t seem to understand how Authorship works, since she spends much of her time trying to get him killed. Rumple himself says that with The Author’s death the mantle passes to someone else. This makes me wonder if The Author is able to undo his own words. Could he change Cruella back to the way she once was, or is she stuck forever now that the words have been written? August told us before that there have been many Authors, and that this one may not be the one who wrote about the characters of Storybrooke. Perhaps it requires a new hand to change what was written?

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

Filling Emma’s heart with darkness is a major stepping stone for Rumple to get what he wants. The chessboard is set with Henry in danger (allegedly) and with Emma on the rampage in full maternal protection mode. We’ve already learned that Snow and Charming have sacrificed Maleficent’s child to ensure that Emma grows up good, so why isn’t that sacrifice powerful enough to stop her from killing Cruella? There’s a question here of free will. Is Emma free to choose the dark path, or did her parents remove that choice before she was born? I had expected any darkness that ended up in Emma’s heart would have to be reclaimed from Lilith, the vessel that received it. Perhaps we will finally learn the true endgame next week, when Lily and Emma are brought together again.

Moment of Goodness

The Author’s ink is clearly something special. When Cruella spills it on herself it acts like an animation tool, turning her into the over-the-top villain we have seen in other versions of her story. Not only her hair, but her eyes are permanently inked black. Shall we place wagers on where Rumplestiltskin will find an ink source for his new happy endings? My bet is he spins those blackened strands back to golden locks by siphoning out the ink.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.

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  1. MByerly

    According to current psychology theory, some are born without a conscience and some are created. Giving a child the name “Cruella” certainly doesn’t help things.

    Sociopaths can’t be cured. That’s one reason the writing of characters like Regina annoys me. She’s written as a sociopath, then she isn’t one as the whim hits the writers. An opposite example is Hook who has a conscience even though he has done bad and selfish things.

    Emma being “evil” after killing someone she thinks is going to kill her son makes no moral or social sense. Cruella has a gun to Henry’s head at the edge of a cliff, and she’s says she’s going to pull the trigger. That’s justifiable homicide.

    Sure, Emma will feel guilty when she learns the truth about Cruella’s inability to kill, but she shouldn’t consider herself evil.

    Once, again, annoying writers.

    Cruella steals the pen, not to write her own story, but because it is the Storyteller’s most precious things. That’s her favorite thing to do–destroy what others love.

    1. FictionAddictn

      You make some great points, MByerly. I tend not to get annoyed by choices the writers make, because often they circle back around later and show things from a different point of view. Then suddenly their choices make sense. I would hate to be the person responsible for keeping the canon straight on this show! LOL

      Good point about the pen, too. I am impatient to learn more about it, and was hoping Cruella had some interesting purpose for it. Ah well, time will tell.

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