EMERALD CITY Review: “Beautiful Wickedness”

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, as I’ve said several times before, is beautifully shot.  The colors, locations, and costumes are grade A.  The acting has gotten better or I’ve just gotten used to the bad acting.  The writing makes a little more sense or I’ve just gotten used to being confused about some things.  The point:  the show has gotten better.

In Friday’s episode, The Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) is revealed as a legitimate con man.  We’re let into his backstory, which shows that he was a disgruntled “scientist”.  I put that in quotes because he was treated more like an apprentice.

He is present during a test of creating energy out of thin air.  The leader of this test is Dorothy’s biological mother, and she’s helped by 2 other scientists – one man and one woman.   The test goes awry.  A funnel cloud is created, and there seems to be no way to stop it.   Each scientist tries to manually shut it down, but they’re unsuccessful.  The man scientist is killed, and everyone else is transported to Oz through the funnel cloud.

west and lucas

They’re met by indigenous people who help them assimilate over time.  Turns out that Dorothy’s mom was pregnant with her, and she gave birth in Oz.  I knew it!  Dorothy is a child of Oz.  Shortly after Dorothy’s birth, her mom declares that they all need to return to their world.  Frank aka The Wizard refuses to leave.  He says Dorothy’s mom treated him like an idiot when they worked together.  He wants to stay in Oz where he can make a name for himself.  This not only confuses Dorothy’s mom, but it frightens her as well.

I believe that it frightens her because she could foresee him using science as a way to lord himself over others.  He clearly couldn’t demonstrate anything new and innovative in his world, so he will use something old in his world to dazzle people in Oz.  Sounds very “Book of Eli” to me.  This concept, although used many times over, will always be fascinating.  He attempts to dazzle a few children by creating fire in front of them.  An indigenous woman comes along, starts singing, and assembles rocks in the body of a little man with her voice.  She says softly, “magic.”

How can The Wizard compete with that? Now that Dorothy (Adriana Arjona) has returned to this world with a gun, he’s able to compete.  And that’s exactly what he wants to do.  So, not only is he a con man, he is a bad guy.  He shoots and kills one of his counselors to demonstrate how he will go to war with magic.  This particular counselor was someone that he dated.  She liked him, and he liked her.  How could he so mercilessly shoot her in the chest?  Because he is power hungry, and if he loses his position as the all great and powerful, it will prove once again that he’s not the genius he claimed to be when Dorothy’s mom confronted him long ago.

The Wizard is still keeping one secret from Dorothy: he was the one who killed her father.  It wasn’t on purpose, but because he was so greedy about wanting to take control over the test-gone-wrong, her dad died.  He tells Dorothy that he tried to save him. Nuh-uh.  Not true.  He better be careful with her. Dorothy is an extension of her mother – strong, fierce, and smart.  When she finds out, she will not come with roses and forgiveness.

lucas and dorothy

Not all secrets remain so.  West (Ana Ularu) has peeled back the magic on Lucas’ (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) memories.  Her weird sister Glinda (Joely Richardson) is responsible for clouding it.  Turns out that their mother is alive.  And the existence of young girl witches is proof.  Their mom is the only one who can create them.  West sees about a half dozen young girl witches being guarded by Lucas.  West feels betrayed and demands answers.  She thought her mom was dead!

We don’t get to see Glinda in this episode, but you better believe we will in the next episode.  These young witches are also believed to be future soldiers against The Wizard.  So, it is inevitable that they’re going to war: magic v. science.

Both Glinda and The Wizard are power hungry.  They each believe they are the best option for protecting Oz from future beasts that could destroy its people.  Let’s see how far they get before it all breaks out. The only one who can calm this storm is Dorothy, but is she willing to take on that role?

TB-TV-Grade-C-

Season 1, Episode 6 (S01E06)
Emerald City airs Friday at 9PM on NBC

Read all of our reviews of Emerald City here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @reneseford
Keep up with all of Jennifer’s reviews here.

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