"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.
These scenes are included on Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fourth Season.
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.
"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.
- 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 from the Season One episode "An Apple Red as Blood" was on set during the filming of the scene where Cruella kidnaps Henry by Regina's house, 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".
- 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.
- 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, 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".
- 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, dalmatians and Pongo.
- Isaac calls Cruella's life "a classic "Cinderella" story".
- The Author's ink transforms Cruella's hair black and white. The novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, notes that Cruella drank ink as a child.
- 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 2013 film adaption of the novel.
- After she captures Henry and has him tied up, Cruella plays Angry Birds on his phone.
- The dust jacket for Isaac's edition of The Great Gatsby is a prop designed by concept artist Neil Westlake. The cover uses the same font as Scribner's 1953 edition of the novel 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.
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
- 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 director Romeo Tirone and was not in the script.
- 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 (no longer available).
- 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 comedy-drama film The Artist.
- Cruella's attic was a set built on a sound stage. The rest of the house was filmed on location, at the Casa Mia mansion in Vancouver. The mansion was built for a local business man in 1932 and features Spanish architecture.
- The Casa Mia mansion features a full stage at the lower level, where Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie would play shows for the house's owner. The Murray's Club scenes were filmed in the basement of the mansion.
- The Casa Mia mansion has also doubled as locations for other productions:
- The McCallum house and Gus' apartment in the pilot episode of Psych (an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest star Pascale Hutton).
- Crowley's house in the Supernatural episode "Abandon All Hope..." and Balthazar's house in the Supernatural episode "The Third Man" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest star Sebastian Roché).
- Malcolm Merlyn's Corto Maltese mansion in the Arrow episodes "Sara" and "Corto Maltese" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest star David Cubitt).
- As Andrea Rojas' estate and London home, and the governor's mansion, in the Supergirl episode "Confidence Women" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time co-star Andrea Brooks).
- As the first victim's house in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Hell No, Dolly!".
- The Columbia Terrace Vineyards in the John Doe episode "Past Imperfect" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time in Wonderland guest stars Ben Cotton and Rekha Sharma).
- The location of the Dunlear Foundation in the Lucifer episode "St. Lucifer" (a show which stars Once Upon a Time actor Tom Ellis).
- The home of Sandy Brinks in the iZombie episode "Blue Bloody" (a show which stars Once Upon a Time guest stars Rose McIver and David Anders and an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest star Dan Payne).
- Hector's office and Diego's house in the 2014 comedy-drama film Hector and the Search for Happiness (a movie which features Once Upon a Time guest stars Christopher Gauthier, Gabrielle Rose and Jakob Davies).
- The location of the Kappa Tau Kappa sorority house and Jenna Gordonson's home in the Charmed episode "Kappa Spirit" (an episode which features Once Upon a Time guest star Abby Ross). The mansion is also featured as the Demon Overlord's mansion in the Charmed episodes "Past is Present" and "The Rules of Engagement", and as Abigael Jameson-Caine's home in the Charmed "The Rules of Engagement".
- The home of the Grey family in the 2015 erotic romantic drama film Fifty Shades of Grey and its 2017 sequel Fifty Shades Darker (which feature Once Upon a Time starring cast member Jamie Dornan).
- As the Beleview senior citizen's home in the 2020 teen romantic comedy film To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (a movie which features Once Upon a Time co-stars Anna Cathcart, Nia Cummins (who plays the Uniformed Police in the Season Seven episode "One Little Tear") and Jasmine Lukuku (who plays the Produce Vendor in the Season Seven episode "The Girl in the Tower").
- Burnaby's Central Park doubles as the Storybrooke forest 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"|