Cruella de Vil morphed from cartoon character to a truly evil villain right before our eyes in Once Upon a Time Season 4 Episode 19.
Where does she rank now amongst the Queens of Darkness?
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Mary Kate Venedam, Allison Nichols and Paul Dailly are joined by Gareth from Once Upon a Fan to debate Cruella’s new ranking amongst villains, Emma’s grudge against her parents and their favorite scenes from "Sympathy for the de Vil."
Where do you now rank Cruella de Vil compared to the rest of the Queens of Darkness?
Gareth: Cruella is a curious oddity as far as Once Upon A Time villains go. She seems to break the mold of "evil isn't born, it's made". She's by far the darkest villain they've had on the show and leaves the others out in the cold. Her happy ending was to regain the ability to kill people? That's pretty warped.
Stacy: She does have an awesome back story, and it's nice to see that not all of the villains have some good buried somewhere inside them. She does have the best back story, but I'm not sure if that puts her ahead of Maleficent for me. I still love Kristin Bauer van Straten.
Mary Kate: She was definitely my favorite. The pure sass she had was brilliant. Her backstory was interesting, proving evil can be born. It was actually a nice twist compared to most of the villains of the show.
Allison: I loved that she was just evil. We had a classic set up of a young, damaged girl who had one moment put her on the course of evil. Then, it turned out she has just always been evil. I was on the fence whenever she first appeared on the show, but this episode sold me.
Paul: She was my favorite, so I'm sad to see her go. Two of the "Queens of Darkness" are gone with 3 episodes remaining. I'm guessing Emma is taking her place.
Cruella said that Emma wouldn’t kill her because she’s a hero. Do you agree with that logic?
Gareth: No. I think any of us has the capacity to kill under the right circumstances. Cruella had a gun pointed at Henry's head! How many mothers would have done the same? She protected her own and Cruella seriously underestimated her.
Stacy: Absolutely not. I think Emma killing her was the heroic thing to do. She had a gun to Henry's head and Emma had no way of knowing she wasn't capable of using it. Not only is she his mother, but she's also the sheriff. I don't see how killing Cruella to save an innocent life is going to turn her dark. She did what she had to do.
Mary Kate: I mean, Emma is a hero, but as Emma said she's a mother and all she wanted was to make sure Henry was safe even if she didn't know Cruella couldn't hurt him. Even Snow killed Cora, not because she was a hero, but because she was a mother who was trying to protect her family and the town. What makes them heroes, in that sense, is that they probably thought about repercussions more than a villain would.
Allison: I mean would Emma kill Cruella randomly and for fun? No. Would she kill Cruella to protect her son? Yes. She thought she was protecting the life of an innocent who was in serious harm's way.
Paul: Cruella miscalculated a mother and Emma's main instinct would have been to save Henry. She should never have doubted her. I get that heroes are meant to be good, but she should know that even heroes do some sucky things. Does she not know what Snow and Charming did to Maleficent's child?
Is Emma right to still be angry with her parents or should she listen to Regina and just get over it?
Gareth: I understood more why Emma was so angry after hearing her explanation last night. As she said, Rumple and Regina have never tried to hide the bad they have done and who they are. Snow and Charming, on the other hand, have been pretty smug over the course of the series in their "Hero" status. It's about time they were brought down a few notches.
Stacy: She has the right to be angry, but eventually she's going to have to forgive them. If she holds onto her anger for too long, it will consume her. Regina can attest to that.
Mary Kate: Regina was totally right. Emma is acting like the teenager her parents never raised. Sure, she has a right to be pissed, but to hold this deep of a grudge for something Snow and Charming have dealt with her whole life and have obviously made a great attempt to make up for, is childish. Emma needs to take a step back and realize what she's doing.
Allison: I loved that Emma called Regina out on her own grudge holding. I think Emma needs to stop running away from this, and actually have an honest conversation with her parents. She just does not want to see them or deal with what they have done. Once Emma really faces it, then she will be able to move on.
Paul: She should listen to Regina, build a bridge and get over it. It's understandable that she is annoyed with them, but they've bent over backwards to keep her safe.
Was there anything in this episode that disappointed you?
Gareth: Absolutely nothing. Best episode of the season and probably an entry in my Top Ten favorite episodes. Oh yes, it was that good.
Stacy: I was almost disappointed when I thought Belle was going to forgive Rumple. Thank goodness that wasn't real. I do not want to see her go back to him.
Mary Kate: I felt like the beginning of the episode was slow, especially Cruella's story. It picked up the crazier she got, but I spent a lot of the episode waiting for something to happen. Also, the continuing lack of major characters for more than 2 scenes. How is Will Scarlet a series regular?
Allison: I didn't like Cruella's death. It was anti-climatic. Somehow Mary Margaret and Charming find Emma before Regina and Killian did, which didn't make sense.
Paul: Pongo going evil. That dog is my favorite TV dog, so it was a bit upsetting that he was under Cruella's spell. Also, Cruella dying. Not amused.
What was your favorite scene from this episode?
Gareth: The confrontation between Cruella and the Author at the end. It was just so chilling. Victoria Smurfit was outstanding in the role.
Stacy: Definitely Emma's response to Regina about letting her anger with her parents go. Emma's line about not taking advice from someone who held a grudge against a ten year old who spilled a secret was hilarious.
Mary Kate: I liked the scene in the woods with Hook, Emma, and Regina. I'm glad someone finally tried to knock some sense into Emma about her anger towards Snowing. It's ironic who it was coming from, but it was much needed. If Hook and Regina are the ones telling Emma to cool it down on the grudge, you know it's bad. They are the King and Queen of it, Hook's grudge lasted centuries and Regina held one against a 10-year-old.
Allison: I loved when we found out the twist that what Cruella loved more than anything was killing. It was a great reveal.
Paul: Favorite scene was the writer speaking to Cruella for the first time. He saved her in true fairy tale fashion.
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.