"Tales From The Underworld: A Knight With Cruella" is a canon Season Five bonus feature for ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written and directed by Jane Espenson. It premiered on August 16, 2016, and was released on the fifth DVD/Blu-ray set.
Set in the Underworld and featuring Cruella and an all-new ONCE character portrayed by a special, surprise actor (James Marsters). Cruella has been left behind in the Underworld at the end of the season, and we didn’t exactly learn her fate... until now.
Cruella De Vil wakes up in a bar of the Underworld. Seeing the bartender behind the counter, she begins throwing peanuts at him to get his attention. Once he turns around, he notes that he thought he kicked her out the night before, prompting her to ask what time it is. He informs her that it is 11:00 AM. She orders a mimosa and questions him on who he was before he died and he tells her that he was Sir Mordred, one of the Knights of the Round Table who served King Arthur. Cruella complains about the hierarchy present everywhere, including in the Underworld now that Arthur is in charge while she is left as a lush at the local bar.
When Mordred doesn't disagree with her assessment of herself, she orders him to lie promptly as it's all she asks of him. Mordred changes the subject, noting that he also dislikes having Arthur in charge of the Underworld. Cruella becomes momentarily distracted by how soft his skin is, requesting that she be allowed to skin him and turn him into a coat, though Mordred refuses. Disappointed, she requests a whiskey, only to learn that there is none left. She over-dramatically wonders how she is supposed to carry on under these conditions, so Mordred suggests that they try to usurp Arthur's throne, adding that he tried it while he was alive. Cruella asks how that worked out and he responds that Arthur killed him, which is why he's in the Underworld. Cruella decides that this is not a good plan and tells him to come up with something else. Mordred suggests that they try to redeem themselves and go to Mount Olympus but Cruella disagrees, as she cannot see herself doing the right thing and solving crimes any more than she can see herself petting puppies with their skins still on. Mordred notes that, with her heinousness, Cruella makes the rest of the villains in the Underworld look good by comparison and suggests that she stay in the Underworld. Cruella misunderstands, seeing herself as the darkness that makes goodness possible and therefore the true hero of the story. Mordred follows her previous request and promptly agrees with her. Cruella once again asks for champagne and this time Mordred agrees, though he still refuses to let her skin him.
Suddenly remembering how her conversation with Mordred started, Cruella asks where she is and what she's doing there. Mordred informs her that she was celebrating fifty years since Arthur took over the Underworld. She wishes Mordred a happy anniversary but he walks away before she can clink their glasses together, leaving her to drink alone.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This bonus features Cruella De Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians story, and Mordred from the Arthurian Legend.
- The Underworld from Greek Mythology is featured.
- King Arthur and the Round Table from the Arthurian Legend are mentioned.
- When Cruella asks for a glass of whiskey, Mordred holds up an empty bottle of MacCutcheon Scotch Whiskey. This was a fictional brand on Lost.
- A medieval helmet is sitting on a table in Mordred's Bar, while a decorative sword hanger is hanging on the wall; a reference to Mordred's previous life as a member of the Knights of the Round Table.
- The whiskey bottle on the table keeps turning around in different camera angles, without anyone touching it.