A long time ago in another realm…
A little girl is chased through the forest by dogs. A car pulls up and a well dressed woman steps out. The woman tells little Cruella that it is time to go home. Cruella returns home with her mother. With the passing of her father, Cruella’s mother will now force her to live in the attic and not be seen.
Years later Cruella has now grown into a striking fair haired young woman. Her mother hears Cruella listening to music and accuses her of sneaking out and stealing records. The dogs bark as they have a visitor. Cruella’s mother goes to see who it is. It is the Author. He tells Mother that he is there to do a story on her and her remarkable dog training skills. He notices portraits of three men and asks the woman about the deaths of her husbands. Mother grabs his note pad and throws him out telling him to go make his own stories instead of bothering others about theirs.
The Author hears a noise. A young woman speaks to him from her attic window. She promises him a grand story if he can help her escape. Cruella waits and hears a noise at her window. She is delighted to see a key. She sneaks out asking him how he got the key up there. He dodges her question by responding he has his ways. She wants to go to a noisy nightclub.
The Author takes Cruella to a nightclub where flappers dance and everyone sips on martinis. She tells him she has been locked in the attic for years because she knows her mother’s secret. She tells him that her mother killed her father. The Author is taken with Cruella who convinces him to dance with her.
Hours later almost everyone has gone home. The Author now tells Cruella a secret of his own. He explains that his pen is magical and so is its ink which must never spill. He tells her he travels through realms and scribes stories but can also change them. To prove himself he writes jewels to appear on Cruella. She is excited. He also gives her magic so she can protect herself. They devise a plan to run away together but first Cruella wants to face her mother.
The Author is at his hotel room. He hears a knock at the door but it is not his lovely Cruella. Instead he is greeted by Mother and her two Dalmatians. She warns him that it is Cruella who is the killer and tells him to be careful as she killed her own father with poisonous flowers as well as her mother’s other husbands. She leaves. He does not believe it until he realizes Cruella has stolen his magical pen.
Cruella finds her mother in the hotel. She uses magic to turn the dogs on her and orders them to kill her. Cruella returns to her attic where she sews herself a coat made with Dalmatian fur. The Author finds her there. He is horrified when she tells him that because of him she had to kill her own mother. He spots his pen and grabs it. They struggle and his ink spills on her. He writes something on a piece of paper. Cruella’s appearance changes and her blonde hair is now black and white. She pulls a gun on him but it will not fire. He shows her what he has written and leaves her.
Cruella speeds along in her car. She stops when Maleficent blocks the road. Mal demands to know why Cruella lied and told her that Lily was dead. Cruella coldly tells her that once they landed in the new world she left Lily in a forest to die. Mal promises Cruella that her death will go on for days. She transforms into a dragon but Cruella uses magic to subdue her.
I go to the Charmings and tell them about Robin and Zelena. I also let them know about Gold. I want to go to New York. I get an idea.
I visit Belle and tell her about Gold and Zelena. She agrees to help me.
Gold takes the Author to the cabin. He will not yet give him his pen. Gold explains that the story must end where the savior’s heart turns dark. The Author is interested in Cruella’s belongings. Gold suddenly leaves.
Gold goes to the well to find Belle summoning him. He tries to apologize but she tells him she just wants to know what he is doing. He shows her his heart. It is almost completely blackened. He explains that only the Author can save him. Gold is teary as his estranged wife kisses him. He is then shocked when she cruelly tells him that Will is a better kisser. This is my cue to enter the picture. I approach him carrying a heart and tell him it belongs to Belle. I instruct her to leave. Gold is furious. I explain that I am going to New York. If he warns Zelena I vow to crush Belle’s heart.
Cruella enters the cabin to find the Author reading ‘The Great Gatsby.’ She tells him that she wants back what he has taken from her. The Author is not afraid of her. He then reminds her that she has lied to Rumpelstiltskin by omitting they know each other.
Henry sees Pongo and wonders why he is acting so strange. He follows the dog who is under the influence of Cruella. She forces Henry into the car.
Emma reminds me that in New York I will not have magic. She tells me if I won’t take her then I should take her gun. We get a video message alert. We see that Cruella has Henry. She threatens to kill him if we do not kill the Author.
Gold returns to the cabin. He lets the Author know he knows all about him knowing Cruella. He demands to know why Cruella wants him dead. He shows Gold a piece of paper. Whatever is says makes Gold chuckle.
David recognizes a trail marker in the video. Emma instructs Gold and Mary to find the Author while we look for Henry with Hook. While in the forest both Hook and I tell Emma we believe she should forgive her parents. She will not budge.
Henry manages to free himself and run. Pongo chases after him. We hear his cries for help but cannot find him. There are conchs simulating him so we don’t know what direction to head in. Gold is in the forest watching us.
Emma finds them. Cruella has recaptured Henry and holds a gun to his head.
Mary and David find the Author. He tells them that Gold wants to darken Emma’s heart. He also shows them the paper where he wrote that Cruella can’t actually kill. They realize that Henry is not in danger.
Mary and David are too late. Emma kills Cruella using her magic to send her over a cliff. The look on Emma’s face shows that her heart is darkening.