EMERALD CITY was an ambitious feat. Remixing the classic “The Wizard of Oz” would be for anyone. “The Wiz” did it well. But this version was not without its challenges. The acting, the storylines, and my ability to care were all lacking. The season finale gave us better acting and clearer storylines, but I still came away not giving a damb about any of the characters.
First – Dorothy. Adria Arjona does her best with this character. She is a small-town Kansas girl transported to Oz through a magical tornado. She kicks up a lot of dust when she kills East, the Wicked Witch of the East, and inadvertently takes her powers. Throughout her journey in Oz, she is feared by all those who hear her story. She ends up being the Queen Bee when she commands an army of one – The Iron Giant. It is big, fierce, and powerful. With one step, the ground shakes and men heel. However, she is met by Glinda, the Witch in White who is not only emboldened by survival but also heartbreak. Her husband Roan/Lucas is in love with Dorothy, and there’s nothing sadder and angrier than a woman who has lost her man to another woman. Beware!
With an army of young witches, Glinda is dead-set on destroying Dorothy and The Wizard. Dorothy, because her man loves her. And the Wizard, because he’s a jackass. He is obsessed with power. And he goes so far as to shoot Sylvie, a young witch, to protect it. What kind of a person does this? As I’ve written before, he is scared to live in the real world as a mediocre White man. What’s interesting is that he could have a good life as such. Look at the President of the United States. Mediocre af.
But even the Wizard didn’t imagine a mediocre White man becoming the President of the United States, so he took his butt to Oz; conned everybody; and gained their most powerful position. Oh, the parallels. In his desperation, he tries to kill Dorothy. Out of the woodwork comes Jane, Jack’s puppet-master. She shoots him. He seems to be dead, but one can never know until next season.
Turns out Jane is Dorothy’s real mother. What in all the world? This is a twist that I didn’t see coming, not because it was a surprise. It’s because nothing in the prior episodes led to that conclusion. Like, wtf? Who is that Chapman lady then and why did the Wizard go into such an elaborate lie about her being Dorothy’s mom?
Something else that doesn’t make sense is Jane’s intentions. First of all, I’m still kinda doubting that she is her real mother. She contradicts herself in the finale, and here’s how. Jane sends Dorothy back to Kansas because she wants to “protect” her from what’s coming. When Dorothy is sent back, Roan shows up. He says that her mother sent him to return her to Oz because the Beast Forever has her imprisoned. Huh? Which one is it, Jane?
Of course Dorothy will return because she’s under the impression that her real mother is in a deep dark grimy prison. Along this same line, how did Roan get released from that scarecrow pole? Ooohhh….I got it! Could Roan have been sent by Glinda? That would make sense considering Glinda has unfinished business with her. I love that Dorothy isn’t easily persuaded by Roan. Her love for him is on the fence. Why wouldn’t it be? He tried to kill her.
Her love for Sylvie is a different story. Throughout it all, she has tried to protect her, something I’m sure her real mother can relate to. Sylvie is Dorothy’s Achilles heel, and I appreciate that twist because usually a man is the only one who could do that to a woman. What has become of Sylvie now that the Beast Forever is ruling Oz? And will Dorothy actually return? (duh, yes)
One more hole I have to point out. Her aunt hasn’t noticed a German Shepard and a grown man in her front yard? She’s just chillin’ on her porch drinking tea with some mysteriously dirty hands. When Season 2 returns, I hope the aunt is included in all this drama. She can’t be this dim.
Overall, “Emerald City” was a disappointment. This episode and the previous one were the strongest, but this shouldn’t go past a season 1. The only standout performances come from the production design and special effects. All were stunning. I am looking forward to them winning some awards in those categories at the EMMYs. Other than that, bah humbug.
Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9PM on NBC
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.
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Jennifer Ford | Contributor