EMERALD CITY Review: “Science and Magic”

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, in its 3rd episode, continues to struggle with doing way too much.  Dorothy (Adria Arjona) is back-handed and hit by a wooden weapon in Friday’s episode.  I don’t think my feminism is set up for that yet.

Let me explain: the drama is at cloud level in this show.  It’s hard to understand why that is, but every scene has to be more intense than the previous.  I think both genders should get a good back-hand or weapon-smack when they deserve it.  But Dorothy is captured by the Wizard’s guards, and when she talks back to him, boom! She’s back-handed.  Really?  I just don’t think a foxy mouth is reason enough to do that to anyone. It makes no sense.

Then, she’s running away from danger and boom! She’s hit in the back of the head by some vintage weapon. What’s the deal here?

Besides overdoing it on violence in this show, some questions are nearing answers.

EMERALD CITY -- "Science and Magic" Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Adria Arjona as Dorothy, Rebeka Rea as Sylive -- (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)

Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) might really be some man named Noah (I think that’s the name Mr. Back-Hand shouts out).  We know that Lucas carries a distinct sword, a clue that he was a part of the Wizard’s army.  It’s also made clearer that every person to serve receives a unique sword, making it easy for Mr. Back-Hand to know that sword belongs only to Noah aka Lucas.  I wonder what happened to Noah to make him forget who he was.  He is beginning to grow on me now that he and Dorothy shared a kiss right before danger approaches.

Let’s discuss the darkness of this episode.  About 95% of it is disturbing.  Friday is the perfect night for it to air, but I’d give it an after-Jimmy Fallon spot.  It’s that creepy and weird.

Remember the guy Tip (Jordan Loughran) pushed over a ledge?  Well, that was Jack (Gerran Howell). And now Jack is the Tin-Man. I thought he died, but he didn’t. Some lady finds him and replaces all of his destroyed body parts with tin (wtf?).  The only flesh he has is his head, right shoulder and right arm.  Oh! And like part of his chest, too.  His heart is gone, and it’s been replaced with ticking tin.  How that works, I have no idea, but OK.  When he sees himself, he screams.  So did I.  This is weird af.  We don’t know who this lady is, where she came from, how she’s related to the story or anything.  Like, NBC, give us some backstory and let us know how all these pieces fit.

As soon as Jack gets comfortable with his new body, he’s scooped up by some random Princess, who wears elaborate masks.  She now “owns” him (huh?).

Jack doesn’t understand what is hapenning, and neither do I, so let’s move on to Tip.

Tip really was a boy! I get this part now. He was locked in his “mother’s” home as a way to “protect” him. Apparently, when he steps outside, he transforms into a girl.  It remains to be seen why this happens and how this could be advantageous for her.  This must be some type of magic that she doesn’t yet understand.

West (Ana Ularu), one of the witches, tries to convince Tip to become a prostitute. This idea is so lame and weird because Tip can’t be more than 12, but I assume it’s just so that West can lord herself over Tip.  She probably wants control over whatever power lies within her.  Tip tells her that she’s interested in West’s magic.  This could be the beginning of us seeing how she fits into this magic world.

EMERALD CITY -- "Science and Magic" Episode 104 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jordan Loughran as Tip, Joely Rochardson as Glinda -- (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)

Magic has been good to Oz, but as of late, it’s been destructive.  A movement is brewing to eradicate magic and replace it with science.  Now, this is interesting.  Finally, a merging of Dorothy’s world and Oz.

Dorothy mentions that science, in her world, is the magic that rules.  She pulls out a phone, places ear plugs in Lucas’ ears and plays Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  Technology is the god in her world.  This concept of rule is intriguing because it seems as if a people need a lord or a partner.  Something or someone to guide and protect.  I never thought of science as doing that for people, but I guess it could. I check in with technology every morning (Instagram) and I say goodnight to it as well.  Is it like praying in the morning? Sounds far-fetched, but it’s caught my attention.

If “Emerald City” is able to successfully insert this concept, then this could be what saves the show.

TB-TV-Grade-D+

Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)
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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