EMERALD CITY has improved. It started off as an F series, and it’s now a solid B-. The set design and special effects continue to dazzle, and everything else has almost caught up to the impressiveness of that.
Let’s start off with Tip. Tip drank Witch East’s magic to discover her family lineage. She finds out that her parents were killed by a man in a lion mask as the Wizard looked on. She vows to strike him dead upon sight, something she can do because she harnesses the power of not only the East Witch but her birthright as royalty. She is the reality of Asma, the daughter of a former royal. And with West’s help, she is realizing that more and more. She may be the future of Oz, if only she can be happy with a chosen gender identity.
The first time we Tip, he is presented as a boy. When he leaves his homemade prison, he transforms into a girl. Tip prefers being a boy because that’s who he’s used to seeing most of his life in prison. But once free, he is a girl. What’s interesting about this conflict is that neither Tip nor I can figure out which s/he should be. Tip is rendered useless as boy by many witches he tries to court to help fight The Wizard. But as a girl, they surrender to her wishes.
What an interesting twist on how we view gender! Traditionally, boys are favored as they are assumed to be more powerful. Here, being a girl for Tip is the most advantageous. It’s unfortunate that Tip hates being that gender. And I mean, she hates it with a passion. But understanding her role as the heir of an unclaimed throne, she wears female-hood to help those around her, namely West.
West finds herself in a compromising, magical position with other witches as she tries to explain that Tip (as a boy) is Asma. One witch closes her mouth shut and declares her a liar and a traitor. At this point, Tip’s magic kicks in and she not only transforms into a girl, but she allows the other witches to see through her eyes as an infant as her parents are murdered by the lion-masked man while The Wizard looks on. The witches believe her. They are not poised for battle.
The Wizard continues his quest to wipe out anyone who would challenge his authority over Oz. He is truly despicable. He’s got this walk now that only nasty people have. And he wears pinky rings, which have always rubbed me the wrong way. Queen Languadine is in his control, and he threatens to kill her if her men do not back down. She ends up being shot but not by The Wizard. Silly Jack pops her in the forehead! He’s completely off as he “aims” at The Wizard. He’s devastated, and this ignites the Queen’s men to chase The Wizard and his men through the castle to their ultimate capture.
Poor Jack. He has killed the woman he thinks he loves. Jane shows him that she, too, is similar to him. She removes the Queen’s face to reveal that it’s a combination of human muscle and tick-tock pieces. Jack is all screwed up when he sees this. He thought he was in love with a human being. Instead, it’s some cog manufactured by Jane, a cog that can be repaired. Jack has been broken-hearted by two women now: First, Tip and now this robot Queen. Can he catch a love break?
Lucas/Roan is so distraught by the love he has for Dorothy that he tries to kill her. One of my favorite parts is when Toto uses his canine skills to stop him. This is the first time we get to see what that police dog is made of. Dorothy stabs Lucas/Roan, as commanded by him, and she erects him as a scarecrow in some random field. Now, this, I did not understand. What did the scarecrow need in “The Wizard of Oz”? A brain or a heart? One Google search later: a brain. Hmmm…Yes, Lucas/Roan needs a brain, but he also needs a heart. He may think he has one, but Glinda has hijacked it. This man is in love with Dorothy, and he doesn’t know how to deal with it. It’s destroying him. I hope he is not dead. It may take awhile for him to get down, but I am rooting for him and Dorothy. Glinda is a witch. How can you marry someone that you know has the ability to manipulate you?
Conclusion: I’m finally into this story. It’s getting good, and I care a lot about them. Let’s see what happens next.
Season 1, Episode 9 (S01E09)
Emerald City airs Friday 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