"Sympathy for the De Vil" is the eighteenth episode of Season Four of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Jerome Schwartz, and directed by Romeo Tirone. It is the eighty-fourth episode of the series overall, and premiered on April 19, 2015.
In fictional 1920s England, viewers meet a young Cruella, whose oppressive mother uses her Dalmatians to terrorize her daughter. Cruella is confined to her mother's attic until a mysterious stranger arrives and empowers her to challenge her captor. In Storybrooke, Regina gains leverage to keep Gold from interfering with her plan to rescue Robin, but her trip to New York takes the backseat when she and Emma learn that Cruella has kidnapped Henry.
"The Lonely Author"
- The title card features dalmatians running through the woods.
- The title of this episode was announced by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on February 8, 2015.
- The episode name is a reference to the The Rolling Stones' song "Sympathy for the Devil". Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are fans of the band.
- Paige's bike was on set during the filming of this episode, but it didn't actually appear when it aired.
- In an early version of the script, Cruella and her mother were both part of a dog psychic team.
- Milli Wilkinson, who plays young Cruella, also plays Alice's daughter in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland series finale "And They Lived...".
- A digital facial replacement was used for Pongo's angry face. The dog was not actually snarling. The growls on Madeline's dalmatians were also digital.
- Murray's Club was a real night club on Beak Street, London, which opened in 1913, and closed in 1975.
- Fittingly enough, the in-universe name of the song that Cruella hears on the radio is "The Toast of Beak Street".
- When Cruella leaves the club, as she puts the napkin in Isaac's inside pocket, the box where Isaac keeps the quill, is open. A few seconds later, when he is holding the napkin in his hands, the box is closed. This is the moment where Cruella steals Isaac's quill. This little detail was added by the director, and was not in the script.
- Madeline states Cruella used trumpet flowers to poison her own father to death. She does not specify which type of trumpet flowers, but one possibility is the angel's trumpet, also commonly known as a trumpet flower, that have several different species and all have fatal effects if ingested.
- After Emma kills Cruella, the sound of crows can be heard in the final shot of Emma. This is a subtle hint that Emma is sliding into darkness. Crow sounds were often edited in by the sound designers for Regina's Storybrooke scenes during Season One. (Two examples are when she tells Emma to leave town in "Pilot", and when she is talking to Sidney in "The Thing You Love Most").
- The 1920s England flashbacks occur some time before "Darkness on the Edge of Town".
- The Storybrooke events take place after "Heart of Gold" and before "Lily". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- Cruella, Ursula and Lily arrived in the Land Without Magic in "Best Laid Plans".
- Maleficent learnt the truth about her daughter's fate in "Best Laid Plans".
- Emma learnt her parents's secret in "Best Laid Plans".
- Isaac allied himself with Mr. Gold in "Heart of Gold".
- Regina discovers Zelena is posing as Marian in "Heart of Gold".
- Belle married Mr. Gold in "There's No Place Like Home".
- Belle banished Mr. Gold in "Heroes and Villains".
- Belle regains her heart in "Lily".
- Regina finds and warns Robin Hood in "Lily".
- The song that Cruella hears on the radio is a jazz instrumental version of "Cruella De Vil", from the 1961 Disney animated movie One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
- Madeline's car is similar in design and color to Cruella's car in 1961 Disney animated movie One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode is a rendition of the Hundred and One Dalmatians story, with Cruella De Vil and Pongo. Also featured is Captain Hook from the Peter Pan story.
- Isaac calls Cruella's life "a classic Cinderella story".
- Isaac comments on the Mr. Gold's Cabin, saying that it makes him feel like "Hemingway, or maybe Thoreau"; a reference to the American authors Ernest Hemingway and Henry David Thoreau.
- While he is captive in Mr. Gold's cabin, Isaac reads F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
- According to writers David H. Goodman and Jerome Schwartz, the novel is a nod to the fictional time age in Cruella's world, a jazz age 1920s world.
- The Once Upon a Time version of Cruella De Vil is inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife.
- The introduction in Isaac's edition of the novel, mentions the New York-based Elevator Repair Service theater ensemble and their play Gatz, which is based on the novel. It also mentions movie director Baz Luhrmann and his film adaption of the novel.
- Isaac's edition is a prop created for the show and not a real edition; the dust jacket was designed by concept artist Neil Westlake.
- After she captures Henry and has him tied up, Cruella plays Angry Birds on his phone.
- Cruella's sewing machine is an antique Singer Model 27 with sphinx decals.
- The room where Cruella is locked up is filled with her mother's dog statuettes and dog show trophies.
- A dictionary from University of Oxford in 1920s England is lying on a table in adult Cruella's room in her homeworld.
- As Henry is in the alley with Pongo, the peeled-off paint on the container next to him forms a star pattern around a vertical silhouette of a running dog.
- When Isaac shows Cruella the Author's pen, the upside-down piece of paper on the table contains Isaac's notes about a man called Jonas, and someone called Jilton. The latter traveled through some landscape, and was known for having a connection to the first convoy that traveled to some deep jungles.
- Maleficent is wearing a pair of Nadja High Heel Wedge Boots from Alexander Wang.
- Mary Margaret is wearing a Tory Burch Carmine Crochet Collared Sweater (no longer available).
- Belle is wearing a pair of Derek Lam 10 Crosby Kaley Wedge Booties (no longer available). They are seen more clearly when she wears them again in "Operation Mongoose Part 2". Belle can also be seen wearing them in a promo picture for the Season Five episode "Siege Perilous", but they do not show in the actual episode.
- The dress Cruella is wearing at the jazz club is from the famous 2011 movie The Artist.
- Cruella's attic was a set built on a soundstage. The rest of the house, was filmed on location, at the Casa Mia mansion in Vancouver.
- Burnaby's Central Park doubles as the Storybrooke Wilderness Park for the scenes where Emma, Regina and Hook are searching for Henry, and the scene with Henry and Cruella.
|Finnish||"Pieni piruparka"||"Poor Little Devil"|
|French||"La Veuve Noire"||"The Black Widow"|
|German||"Cruellas Geschichte"||"Cruella's Story"|
|Italian||"In bianco e nero"||"Black and White"|
|Polish||"Współczucie dla de Vil"||"Compassion for the de Vil"|
|Portuguese||"O lado mau"||"The evil side"|
|Spanish||"Simpatía por los De Vil"||"Sympathy for the De Vil"|