„Some people struggle not to be drawn in to the darkness. But ever since I was a little girl, I've said... "Why not splash in and have fun?“
With Cruella De Vil, fabulously portrayed by Victoria Smurfit, ABC’s Once Upon A Time has introduced us to yet another Disney character, but with a devilish twist! Back in season four Cruella, as a slightly psychopathic chic diva with a thing for Gin, made her entrance as the Queens of Darkness took over Storybrooke - lesbihonest, this is still one of the best and most entertaining storylines of the show to this point!
Cruella is different from all the other characters in so many ways. First of all, she is evil just for the sake of it. While everyone else around her claims to have a reason for being the way they are - evil isn’t born, it’s made - she is evil simply because she feels like it. Cruella is sassy and bold and always slightly maniac.
We get to see her for the very first time in Heroes & Villains (4x12), making quite an entrance by trying to steal from the Dark One alongside of Maleficent and Ursula, completing the trio infernale or, as Rumple called them, the Queens of Darkness.
Looking only slightly lunatic but nevertheless fashionable in her glamorous 1920s attire, Cruella certainly doesn’t take shit from anyone. Especially not the Dark One.
„Shall I get you a stool so you can look into my eyes when you threaten me?“
In Darkness on the Edge of Town (4x13) we jump back in time and find out how these lovely ladies came to know each other and, of course, Rumple set the whole thing up by generously inviting them all to the Forbidden Fortress - Maleficent wasn’t too impressed though.
Neither was Cruella with that „ghastly place“, bringing along her pet dogs. The way she revels in making them comply is pretty creepy; it’s her Power of Persuasion. Of course they were brought together for the simple purpose of obtaining the Dark Curse for the Dark One, he wouldn’t just have a little get together for a nice chat over a cuppa tea. Or gin, for that matter.
It turns out Cruella had been doing rather well in a land without magic, living in a Grand Mansion and such - until it was all taken away. Well, except for her fur coat and the car. God bless her hideous driving skills which actually fit her rather destructive personality. She doesn’t just seem downright evil she's also pretty irresponsible and rude. That’s what I love about her, that’s what makes it fun to watch. Someone who stands out; she doesn’t try to fit in. Cruella is evil and she loves it and so do we!
How come evil is so glamorous most of the time? Don't get me wrong, I'm not whitewashing the whole being evil thing but it is pretty alluring to be honest. Vice is sexy and with Cruella - and that's due to Victoria Smurfit's terrific interpretation of said character - it is also hilarious.
From the young disturbed girl who killed her father, and her following two step-fathers, to the girl who is freed from her prison by Isaac with whom she certainly has a great time, keeping the truth to herself.
Talking about evil always looking so Goddamn fabulous! Appearances are deceiving and although the author, that's Isaac, takes away her ability to kill he alters her storyline a little, giving her the power to control animals. Our dear Cruella uses her newly-acquired powers to have her mother killed and eaten by her own dogs... how charming. Not.
The fact that she herself can no longer take a person's life doesn't keep her from teaming up with the infamous Queens of Darkness, stealing a Dark Curse and leaving a baby in the woods to die because she's "a horrible person, dahling". Eventually her glorious shenanigans lead to only one thing: she's thrown off a cliff by Emma at the end of season 4 but only to make a rather triumphant return as Mayor of the Underworld in the next season.
Now comes the fun part. She's everything your parents tell you not to be. And you ask why we love her so much? Well maybe because the whole hero-being-good thing gets boring after a while. She drinks too much, she flirts boldly - don't tell me you didn't laugh about her shamelessly hitting on "Sheriff chizzled-chin" and his evil-half - she's a reckless driver, she punches people right in the face and she doesn't give a damn!
Didn't Freud once say that we are born to be bad but held back by society? Well, Cruella certainly doesn't let anyone hold her back. In the end our dear Cruella is quite happy with the idea of ruling the Underworld with her new bestie, the Blind Witch, once Hades is able to leave.
But seriously dahlings... Once Upon A Time has made a habit out of bringing people back from the dead. How about we bring the fun ones back? I really miss the sass and that glorious accent. And I'd love to see Victoria Smurfit around again!
So, where the hell is that Queens of Darkness spin off? This is such a great opportunity they really shouldn't miss out on, especially not after letting Maleficent just disappear in town... we know she's still around somewhere!
And just one more thing I noticed while re-watching Once Upon A Time's best storyline - yes, talking about the Queens of Darkness here! Did you ever notice that Cruella is the only one who actually calls Maleficent "Mal"? She does so a few times after reviving her from the ashes in 4x14. It seems oddly intimate. I wonder what this is about...
You can watch it on Netflix. Once Upon A Time will be back in March 2017 with an all-new episode on Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.