Tonight on ABC their fantastical series Once Upon A Time returns with an all new Sunday April 19, season 4 episode 19, called, “Sympathy for the De Vil” and we have your weekly recap below. On tonight’s episode, a young Cruella is confined to an attic by her mom, who uses Dalmatians to frighten her. Meanwhile, in present-day Storybrooke, Regina [Lana Parrilla] gains the upper hand with Gold [Robert Carlyle] and prepares to save Robin, but her attention shifts when Cruella abducts Henry. [Jared S. Gilmore]
On the last episode, Emma was still reeling after learning the truth of her parents’ history with Maleficent, but she had to focus on finding the Author, who was running loose in Storybrooke, before Gold did. When Gold’s quest for his happy ending grew more urgent, he blackmailed Regina into helping him. In a Fairy Tale Land flashback, Robin Hood learned what it meant to be an honorable thief when he accepted a proposition by Rumpelstiltskin to travel to Oz to steal a valuable magic elixir from the Wicked Witch. Did you watch the last episode? If you missed it, we have a full and detailed recap right here for you.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “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.”
Tonight’s season 4 episode 19 looks like it is going to be as magical as ever so make sure that you tune in to our live coverage of Once Upon A Time at 8:00 PM EST!
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Tonight’s #OnceUponATime focuses on Cruella’s back story and it’s pretty compelling. We see a young girl running through the forest. She’s being chased by a Dalmation. She hops a log and runs on but then there’s another in front of her. They growl at her viciously. It’s little Cru! Her mother pulls up in her car and tells the dogs to heel. They obey. She tells Cruella to come back home but her daughter says no and says they’re going to make some changes now that her father is gone.
She takes Cru home and locks her up in an attic all alone. She asks her mother if she’s going to lock her up like a dog and she tells Cruella that’s how it will be until she learns to behave. Now, we see Cruella tearing around Storybrooke in her sports car until Maleficent steps out in the road and she’s forced to stop. Mal wants to know about her daughter Lily. She says she knows she lied about her daughter Lily not surviving the journey to this world.
Cru admits she dropped the child off in the woods and left her to die. Mal says her death is imminent and will be painful. Mal morphs into her dragon self and Cruella breathes green smoke at her. The dragon obeys Cruella’s animal magic. She tells her to lie down and take a nap and the dragon does as it’s told. Cru says that now the author is here, she’s going to get her happy ending.
Emma grills her parents about info on the author and doesn’t believe them because they’ve lied to her so much. She says what they did to Mal’s child was not okay. Emma says she would never harm a defenseless person. Regina shows up and says it’s a bad day. She tells them that Robin Hood needs rescued from a fake Marian who is actually Zelena. They are stunned.
Regina says her sister is in league with Gold and has been masquerading as Marian from the get-go. Regina goes to see Belle to talk about Gold. Regina says Gold wants her to work with him and Belle asks how can she help. The author, Isaac, is brought to the cottage in the woods and is nervous. Isaac says the quill he has is worthless without ink and Gold says he’ll have some soon.
Gold says once he turns the savior dark, everything will align. He says his associates will be back soon and Isaac says he can’t wait to meet them. Gold says something came up and tells Isaac to wait and he puffs away in smoke. Belle summoned him at the well and Gold shows up to meet her. She asks if he remembers what he said when they exchanged their vows about her chasing the darkness out.
Belle asks why he’s there and he pulls out his heart. He shows it to her – it’s mostly blackened and he says all the dark deeds have taken their toll. He shows her there’s just one spot of light left and says soon he will lose any ability to love and any goodness in him will be gone forever. He says only the author can reverse this process and says that’s why he’s back. He puts his black heart back in his chest.
Belle says she understands and says she worries that she threw out the chipped teacup too soon. He kisses her and she allows it. He’s in tears and then Belle says that Will is a better kisser. He’s stunned. Belle calls him pathetic and says he’s like a dog begging for scraps and he asks why she’s saying this. She has Belle’s heart in her hand and is controlling her. She tells Belle to go home and forget it.
Regina tells Gold she’ll crush Belle’s heart in a moment and then tells him she’s going to New York and says if he warns Zelena, he won’t be the only one who loses a heart. Gold is terrified. Cruella shows up to the cabin and asks Isaac if he ever thought he’d see her again. She tells him to give her back what he took but he says he can’t. She threatens him and he says she doesn’t have enough power to hurt him.
Cru says he’s right and then she tries to seduce him into helping. She says he’ll pay for making her what she is. Isaac says he sees an interesting story developing and says Rumple doesn’t know they know each other which means she lied to Rumple. Isaac tells her to leave before he gets back. Cru says to enjoy the upper hand for now and says she’ll find another way to skin him.
We see teenage Cruella listening to the radio when her mother comes in and threatens her. She begs to leave the house then her mother hears dogs barking and goes to the door. It’s Isaac. He says he’s a reporter and says he collects interesting stories. He says he heard she’s the best dog trainer in London and asks to speak to her briefly. She lets him in and he asks about her talent that’s like magic.
She says it’s not magic, but hard work. Isaac says he wants stories with a bit more pizazz. He looks at the portraits on her walls and she says they’re husbands and he’s surprised to see three. He asks if she’s widowed or divorced. She calls him callous and tosses his notebook into the yard and kicks him out after they argue about love. Cruella whispers to him from her attic tower and says she has a great story.
She tells him if he wants to hear it, he has to get her out. Now, Henry runs into Pongo on the sidewalk. The dog runs off and Henry follows. This allows Cruella to sneak up on Henry and tells him to get into the car. Teen Cruella sits in her room when she hears a knock at her window. She runs to see and it’s Isaac – he’s tossed her up a key. She sneaks out and goes to meet him. The dog is out cold.
She asks how he got the key and the dog to sleep and he says he has his ways. She asks him to take her somewhere loud – he’s got the de Vil looking car and takes her to a jazz club in town. It looks like 1920s London. Isaac asks why her mother locked her up and she says her mom doesn’t want her to tell her secret. Cruella says her mother poisoned her father and says she also killed hubby two and three.
Isaac takes notes and eats it up. Cru wants him to dance with her but he says he writes and doesn’t dance. She insists and he loves it. Emma comes to see Regina and says she’s worried she’s walking into a trap. Regina says she can handle it but Emma is worried about her not having magic. She insists that Regina takes her gun. She asks if she’s mad at her for keeping her parents secret about Maleficent.
Regina and Emma get a video message from Cruella who says she kidnapped Henry and says they have to kill the author or Henry will have a very unhappy ending. Regina looks murderous.
Gold comes back and tells Isaac they don’t have a lot of time now that he and Cruella have been reunited. He says he knows about the lie and Isaac begs him not to hurt him. He says he didn’t think it was relevant but Gold says Cru wants him dead so bad, he kidnapped the savior’s son. He says he watched Cru give the savior the morbid choice of Isaac or Henry dying. Gold says he needs him alive.
Gold says Cru is easy to manipulate and wants to know why she wants Isaac dead. He gives him a slip of paper and says to read it. Gold looks it over and smirks. Back in the past, Cru and Isaac slow dance as the club closes down. She says she wishes this would never end and thanks him for an unforgettable night. He says he can make it more memorable and shows her his quill.
He says it’s a special pen and says he doesn’t collect stories for a newspaper. He says he travels across realms of storytelling. Cru is stunned. He says this place exists out of town and asks what year it is. She can’t answer and he says there is no time there and says story realms can be happy or evil, but exist out of time. He tells her his pen and ink are powerful and says he can change people’s stories.
Cru asks if he’s serious and he says he can prove it. He writes and a diamond necklace appears on her neck. She says it’s a trick and he magics her some magic earrings. He says if the ink spills, it could be tragic. He says he can take them to someplace where her mother and dogs can’t find him. He offers to give her magic to keep her safe. He writes that she can control any animal she desires.
She gets a sensation and says it’s working. He begs her to run away with him but Cru says she wants to confront her mother first and asks to meet him at the hotel. She makes him promise he won’t run off with anyone else and he says she can take her car to be sure and hands her his car keys. She kisses a napkin to leave her lipstick mark and tucks it in his pocket and leaves.
David recognizes where Henry is being held from the video footage. Regina wants to go skin the woman. Killian says he can head up the rescue mission and they wonder where the author is. Mary and David have a flask the author owned and say they can run a locator spell. They all agree what they have to do and Emma heads out, but is still mad at her parents.
Regina, Emma and Killian head into the woods and Regina tells Emma to get over the grudge against her parents. Emma says Killian and Regina don’t get it because they acknowledged their dark sides while her parents pretended to be paragons of virtue. Regina says Mary has been trying to make up for this for a long time but Emma won’t hear it and only wants to focus on Henry.
Cru plays Angry Birds while Henry pockets a piece of glass. He goes running and Cru sics Pongo on him. Cruella’s mom shows up at Isaac’s hotel with growling dogs. She asks where her daughter is and what she’s done. Her mom comes in and says he should have run for Cru when she had the chance. He says Cru told him the truth that she murdered her husbands.
Her mother says Cruella did all of that and he should have known a tall tale when he heard one. He says the angel he danced with is not a killer. Her mother says Cru was always troubled but they hoped she would grow out of it. She says she found her husband dead from a heart attack and says Cruella smiled after he died. Then she says she saw poisonous flowers in her room and knew the truth.
Isaac doesn’t believe her and asks why she didn’t go to the authorities. She say she was hoping to fix her but says she also poisoned her next two husbands as well. Isaac threatens to call the police and her mother says to just be careful because Cruella takes what you care about and destroys it. She leaves. Then Isaac sees that Cru took his magic pen.
Cru’s mom comes home and finds her daughter there. Her mom sics the dogs on her and Cru says that won’t work anymore and magics them into obedience. She glares murderously at her mother who asks what she did to them. She tells the dogs to kill her mother and they attack. Now, Henry runs through the woods and Pongo chases barking. Henry calls for help and his moms and Killian hear him.
Problem is, they hear him in different directions. Regina finds a conch shell and so does Killian – that’s where the voice was coming from. Gold watches them in the woods. Henry races and comes to the edge of a cliff. Cru catches up and pulls a gun on him. Then Emma is there and Cru holds him over the cliff and says if she comes closer, Henry will die. Emma glares at her.
In the pats, we see Isaac finds Cru in her attic lair sewing. He asks where her mother is and she says thanks to him, her mother is dead and says she’ll treasure the memory of her mom’s dogs tearing her to shreds. He panics and she says not to fear the dogs and says they’re with mother now and puts on the coat she sewed – it’s lovely and spotty. Isaac says he thought she cared for him and asks why.
Cru says since she was a little girl, she’s loved the darkness and thought it was fun. He goes running for his pen and dips it into the ink. She grabs for the bottle and the ink splashes in her face. Her hair is half black and so are her brows. She pulls her gun and tells him to stop writing. She tries to shoot him but can’t. She asks what he’s done and he says he learned a lesson from her. He says he took what she loved and took it and then walks out.
Mary and David find the author at the cabin and tell him he’s safe and he can trust them but Isaac says he can’t trust them knowing what they would do to save their daughter. He talks about Cru and says the savior will turn dark. David lets him go and Isaac hands them a slip of paper. He says it’s a truth that he wrote. It says that Cru can no longer take away the life of another and says Henry isn’t in danger.
Mary says Cru is defenseless but they realize Emma doesn’t know that and they run off to stop it. Cru tells Emma she failed by not killing the author. Emma tells her to put the gun down. Emma conjures some magic and Cru says she’s bluffing. Cru says heroes don’t kill but Emma blasts Cru off the cliff with her magic and she screams as she falls. Her parents show up then and see it’s too late. Emma looks down and sees Cru’s broken body and her eyes look dead inside.
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