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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 to Isaac Heller

"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.[2]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

Deleted Scenes

These scenes are included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fourth Season.

"Good Boy"

In the Storybrooke forest, Cruella forces Henry out of the car. Henry says that his moms will come after her if she hurts him, but Cruella says that he isn't the one she intends to hurt. While Pongo growls at him, Cruella forces Henry to hand over his mobile phone so she can send his mothers a message.[3]

"The Lonely Author"

In Mr. Gold's cabin, Isaac and Mr. Gold are spying on David, Hook and Mary Margaret (who are sitting at the table in the Blanchard loft) through a crystal ball. Gold says that in order to get what he wants, he's going to pit a hero against a villain. He shows Isaac two magical conch shells left behind by Ursula, which he intends to use. Isaac is nervous that the heroes might find him, but Gold says that if they do, he expects Isaac to tell them everything, because the success of Gold's plan, and Isaac's life, depends on it.



Guest Starring





Production Notes

  • ABANDONED IDEAS: In an early version of the script, Cruella and her mother were both part of a dog psychic team.[7]
  • 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.[7]
  • REAL WORLD FACTS: Murray's Club was a real night club on Beak Street, London, which opened in 1913 and closed in 1975.[10]
    • Fittingly enough, the in-universe name of the song that Cruella hears on the radio is "The Toast of Beak Street".
  • Although the episode was written by David H. Goodman and Jerome Schwartz, young Cruella using trumpet flowers as a murder weapon was Dana Horgan's idea.[7]
  • REAL WORLD FACTS: Madeline does not specify which type of trumpet flowers Cruella used to poison her father, but one possibility is the angel's trumpet, which have several different species and all have fatal effects if ingested.[11]
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: 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,[12] like when she tells Emma to leave town in "Pilot", and when she is talking to Sidney by the apple tree in "The Thing You Love Most".

Events Chronology

Episode Connections


Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

  • After she captures Henry and has him tied up, Cruella plays Angry Birds on his phone.

Props Notes

  • The dust jacket for Isaac's edition of The Great Gatsby[15] is a prop designed by concept artist Neil Westlake.[18] The cover uses the same font as Scribner's 1953 edition of the novel[19] and features a billboard with a pair of spectacled eyes. A dominant symbol in The Great Gatsby is a billboard which advertises the services of an optometrist by the name of Dr. T.J. Eckelburg and depicts a pair of eyes wearing glasses.
  • PAUSE AND READ: The book blurb[15] is directly copied from the blurb for Scribner's 1953 edition.[20] It reads:

Here is a novel, glamorous, ironical, compassionate –
a marvelous fusion into unity of the curious incon-
gruities of the life of the period – which reveals a hero
like no other – one who could live at no other time
and in no other place. But he will live as a character,
we surmise, as long as the memory of any reader lasts.

It is the story of this Jay Gatsby who came so myste-
riously to West Egg, of his sumptuous entertain-
ments, and of his love for Daisy Buchanan – a story that
ranges from pure lyrical beauty to sheer brutal
realism, and is infused with a sense of the strangeness of
human circumstance in a heedless universe.
It is a magical, living book, blended of irony, romance
and mysticism.

  • The interior of the book is a real edition of the novel published by Vintage Books in 2012: The introduction, which Isaac is reading when Cruella drops by,[17] has the exact same design, layout and content.[21]
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: When Cruella leaves the club, as she puts the napkin in Isaac's inside pocket, the box where Isaac keeps the quill is open.[22] A few seconds later, when he is holding the napkin in his hands, the box is closed.[23] This is the moment where Cruella steals Isaac's quill. This little detail was added by director Romeo Tirone and was not in the script.[7]

Set Dressing

  • HIDDEN DETAILS: The room where Cruella is locked up is filled with her mother's dog statuettes and dog show trophies.[28]
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: A dictionary from University of Oxford in 1920s England is lying on a table in adult Cruella's room in her homeworld.[29]
    • The titles of the magazines lying around inside the room are Photopage,[29] Filmgoer[30] and Modern Pictures.[31]
  • HIDDEN DETAILS: 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.[32]
  • PAUSE AND READ: 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.[33]

Costume Notes

Filming Locations

  • Cruella's attic was a set built on a sound stage.[7] The rest of the house was filmed on location,[7] at the Casa Mia mansion in Vancouver. The mansion was built for a local business man in 1932 and features Spanish architecture.[43]
  • The Casa Mia mansion has also doubled as locations for other productions:

International Titles



  1. Sunday Final Ratings: 'Once Upon a Time', 'Secrets & Lies', & 'A.D.: The Bible Continues' Adjusted Up; 'ACM Awards', & 'American Odyssey' Adjusted Down. TV by the Numbers (April 21, 2015). “Once Upon A Time (...) 5.12”
  2. 2.0 2.1 LISTINGS: ONCE UPON A TIME. The Futon Critic. “Air Date: Sunday, April 19, 2015. Time Slot: 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST on ABC. Episode Title: (#418) "Sympathy for the De Vil"”
  3. Once Upon A Time - Cena deletada da 4ª Temporada - Cruella & Henry (Legendado). Dailymotion (August 25, 2015).
  4. File:418Title.png
  5. TwitterLogo.svg @AdamHorowitzLA (Adam Horowitz) on Twitter (February 8, 2015). "Here's another #OnceUponATime #titlespoiler -- 3 weeks to go! Hope to see ya March 1!" (screenshot)
  6. Mitovich, Matt Webb (April 8, 2015). Once Upon a Time Bosses Tease Emma's Darkness and Cruella's Happy Ending, Answer a Burning Q. TVLine. “TVLINE | "Sympathy for the De Vil" (airing April 19) has to be among your, what, Top 3 episode titles? KITSIS | The [writers] room knows that we're very big Rolling Stones fans, so they actually came out with this pitch and it got a big yes from us. It’s a favorite.”
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 David H. Goodman and Jerome Schwartz on the Season Four Blu-ray Audio Commentary for "Sympathy for the De Vil"
  8. File:121WhiteRabbit.png
  9. FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Once Upon A Time February 11, 2015 (February 11, 2015).  "Once Upon a Time set photos from New Westminster, BC (Regina's house) taken on February 11, 2015.(archive copy)
    FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. IMG_0566 (February 11, 2015).  (archive copy)
  10. Murray's Night Club. Jazz Age Club. Retrieved on September 23, 2018. “Murray's Night Club in Beak Street, London was opened in late 1913 by Jack Mays, an American and Ernest A. Cordell, an Englishman. (...) One presumes that Murray’s Club endured and was the same Murray's that flourished under Percival Murray and his son David through the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s finally closing its doors in 1975.”
  11. Petruzzello, Melissa (January 8, 2019). Angel's trumpet. Encyclopædia Britannica. “All parts of angel's trumpets are considered poisonous and contain the alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Ingestion of the plants can cause disturbing hallucinations, paralysis, tachycardia, and memory loss and can be fatal.”
  12. Once Upon A Time. Disney Digital Studio Services. Retrieved on February 6, 2019. “Continuously surrounded by crows in fairy tale land, sound designers introduced the evil queen's trademark pet more subtly in Storybrooke, editing in a crow ambience track whenever Regina is around. While faint to the audience, the crew of Once Upon A Time is very keen on the crow sound. "Every time we hear it on the stage," Fleming jokes, "we like to say 'you've been crowed.'"”
  13. GRAPHIC DESIGN. Keith Lau. Retrieved on December 6, 2021. “Cigarette Packaging Design | OUAT | Client: ABC Studios | Duties: Design and Illustration” (Illustration no. 24) (File:418ConceptArt4.jpg)
  14. File:418MadelineSighs.png
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 File:418BotherStudying.png
  16. 'Once Upon A Time' Producers Preview Cruella, What's Next For Rumple & More. Access (February 27, 2015). “"We just thought when we re imagined Cruella, we kind of wanted her to be Zelda Fitzgerald," Kitsis said, referring to the author and wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald ("The Great Gatsby"). "We wanted her to be more jazz age than '50s England."”
  17. 17.0 17.1 File:418TheGreats.png
  18. File:418ConceptArt1.png
  19. THE GREAT GATSBY By F. SCOTT FITZGERALD (nice) Hardcover – 1953. Amazon. Retrieved on August 28, 2018. (Photograph)
  20. Boats Against the Current: The Great Gatsby. Running In My Head (September 27, 2013). “From the Back Cover: Here is a novel, glamorous, ironical, compassionate (...). ~ 1953 Scribner Edition
  21. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Vintage Books, London, 2012, p. VII. Facsimile by Google Books.
  22. File:418NapkinInsidePocket.png
  23. File:418KissMarkNapkin.png
  24. File:418SewingMachine.png
  25. Jocabed – Singer 27 Sphinx (May 6, 2014). Archived from the original on January 15, 2016.

    Singer Sewing Machine Sphinx Memphis Decal #12. singersewinginfo.co.uk. Retrieved on February 6, 2019.
  26. File:511Rumple.png
  27. File:518LetThatHappen.png
  28. File:418LockMeUpHere.png
  29. 29.0 29.1 File:418AndNow.png
  30. File:418BrandNewSong.png
  31. File:418BeakStreet.png
  32. File:418ComeHereBoy.png
  33. File:418APen.png
  34. File:418CarStops.png
  35. Alexander Wang Nadja Pointed Wedge Boot. ShopStyle. Retrieved on February 6, 2019.
  36. File:418ThatsNotYou.png
  37. Once Upon a Time: season 4 episode 19 Mary Margaret's printed sweater. shopyourtv. Retrieved on February 6, 2019. (Note that the source erroneously claims that the sweater is worn in the nineteenth episode of Season Four.)
  38. File:418Regina.png
  39. Derek Lam 10 Crosby Kaley Wedge Booties. Shopbop. Retrieved on February 6, 2019.
  40. File:422EmmaToTheRescue.png
  41. File:503Promo14.jpg
  42. ‘Once Upon A Time’ Q&A: Victoria Smurfit Previews Cruella’s Origin Story. Access (April 18, 2015). “I got to wear this stunning, stunning flapper dress – it was actually the dress they wore in 'The Artist.'”
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Casa Mia – SOLD. Pricey Pads (March 1, 2011). “The Mansion was built in 1932 for George Reifel, the businessman who opened the Commodore Ballroom. Later in the 1940's, Reifel had Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie play shows for him at this home which features a full stage with back room on the lower level. (...) Built in 1932, this residence celebrated the splendor and charm of Spanish architecture.” (Image of the outside of Casa Mia) (Image of the basement of Casa Mia)
    Image of the De Vil mansion: File:418TheWholeThing.png
    Image of Murray's Club: File:418Restaurant.png
  44. TwitterLogo.svg @PFischler (Patrick Fischler) on Twitter (April 20, 2015). "The speakeasy was in the basement of the house we shot the other scenes in." (screenshot)
  45. Photo of McCallum Residence. MovieMaps. Retrieved on October 4, 2021. “Location: Casa Mia. As Seen In: Psychpilot episode.”
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 46.4 46.5 46.6 46.7 46.8 Movies Filmed at Casa Mia. MovieMaps. Retrieved on September 24, 2018.
  47. SPN Filming Locations: Season Five (Episodes 1-11). SPN_LOCATIONS, LiveJournal. Retrieved on October 4, 2021. “5.10 Abandon All Hope... (...) [Crowley's Digs]: Casa Mia, 1920 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC”
  48. Screenshot from Supernatural: "Abandon All Hope..."
  49. SPN Filming Locations: Season Six (Episodes 1 - 7). SPN_LOCATIONS, LiveJournal. Retrieved on October 28, 2018. “6.03 The Third Man (...) [Balthazar's House]: (Back of) Casa Mia, 1920 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC”
  50. Screenshot from Arrow: "Corto Maltese"
  51. Photo of Rojas Estate. MovieMaps. Retrieved on October 4, 2021. “Location: Casa Mia. As Seen In: Supergirl episode 5x06 "Confidence Women"”
  52. Photo of Columbia Terrace Vineyards. MovieMaps. “Location: Casa Mia. As Seen In: John Doe episode 1x04 "Past Imperfect"”
  53. Photo of Dunlear Foundation. MovieMaps. Retrieved on October 4, 2021. “Location: Casa Mia. As Seen In: Lucifer episode 1x11 "St. Lucifer"”
  54. Screenshot from iZombie: "Blue Bloody"
  55. The Huffington Post B.C. (March 13, 2014). Fifty Shades Of Grey' Movie House Could Become Seniors Care Home. HuffPost. “The owners of Casa Mia at 1920 S.W. Marine Drive have applied to rezone the property, but the plan has been met with major neighbourhood opposition. (...) Most recently, it was used as interiors for the Grey mansion in "Fifty Shades Of Grey," which finished shooting in the city last month.”
  56. Schmidt, Mackenzie (February 7, 2017). Where to See the Locations in 'Fifty Shades Darker'. People. “Two of the stately historic homes along Vancouver's Marine Drive came together to make up the entire Grey mansion. Both Casa Mia and Rio Vista—two famous heritage houses in the city—can be seen in shots from Christian's family birthday party and the beginning shots of the elaborate masquerade gala.”
  57. FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Fan Photos February 5, 2015 (February 5, 2015).  "Once Upon a Time fan photos from Central Park, Burnaby, BC taken on February 5, 2015.(archive copy)
    FlickrIconTemplate.png Lawrence Andreutti. Fan Photos February 3, 2015 (February 3, 2015).  "Once Upon a Time fan photos from Central Park, Burnaby, BC taken on February 3, 2015.(archive copy)
  58. TwitterLogo.svg @WhatsFilming (What's Filming) on Twitter (February 11, 2016). "#OnceUponATime is at Central Park in Burnaby today. Saw Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas and Victoria Smurfit on set." (screenshot)