“One short day, in the Emerald City…” Seriously, it’s taken me this long to quote Wicked? Although, to be honest, this episode is really the longest day in the history of mankind. Loads of action, betrayal, magic and treachery. “Beautiful Wickedness” has proven to be a turning point in the saga that is Emerald City. Alliances are forged and allegiances are broken. Curious for more? Let’s get to digging, then! Spoilers abound, Emeraldites.
We open with a flashback: Topeka, Kansas, 1996. A shot of a sign reading “Vortex Research Laboratory.” Our great and powerful Wizard of Oz (Vincent D’Onofrio) climbs out of his car with his trusty tape player. Well, he’s Frank in this version of reality. He heads inside, ready for work. Frank tries to speak with his boss, who is preoccupied on the phone talking about “green efficient energy.” He goes into a room filled with cameras. “Morning, Frank,” we her a familiar voice say. It’s Dorothy’s mom, Karen Chapman (Gina Bellman)! She is followed by Frank’s boss, Dr. Andrews (Gina McKee). “Morning, Dr. Chapman,” Frank quietly replies. He helps her slip into her lab coat. Another doctor joins them, named Roberto. Our esteemed doctors are attempting to “create energy out of thin air” with a vortex chamber. “Are you taking notes, Frank?” Dr. Andrews asks him. “Always,” Frank responds.
Suddenly, the vortex begins to spin uncontrollably. Dr. Andrews and co. try to shut it down via computers, but everything is locked. The vortex ultimately shifts to a full-blown tornado. “Let me help. Maybe I can get on the computer. I’m sure I could help,” Frank pleads. Roberto stalks into the fray and attempts to shut it down manually. He is knocked unconscious. Dr. Andrews, Karen and Frank rush to his aid, but are too late. He is dead. Frank notices the glass containing the vortex cracks and shatters, enveloping all around it.
Meanwhile, back in present day Oz, Dorothy (Adria Arjona) has more questions for our Wizard. “Answer me. How do you know my name?”she asks the Wizard, gun still trained directly on him.”I’ve known you since the day you were born, here in Oz,” he replies. “You’ve been trying to kill me since I got here,” Dorothy states. The Wizard counters that Dorothy is also trying to kill him, hence the gun. “Your mother wouldn’t approve. I loved your mother very much,” he says forlornly. He adds that she loved him as well.
While this is happening, we see Eamonn (Mido Hamada) interrogate a chained Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Our Scarecrow is also shirtless (of course). “Why did you kill my men?” Eamonn asks him. “I told you, the memory of it is lost to me,” Lucas replies cuttingly. “And you think torture will see it returned?” the Wizard’s Head Guard inquires. “I believe it is what I deserve,” Lucas says. Eamonn goes on to admit he has committed sins in the past, and his form of punishment was remembering. Lucas will be submitted to the same fate. Anna (Isabel Lucas) enters with a steampunk device (we’re appealing to all the Steampunk fans here) complete with binoculars that she fits over Lucas’ head. This allows him to see what he’s really done.
Meanwhile, Dorothy and the Wizard continue their Q&A session. “What else can you tell me about my mother?” Dorothy asks him. The Wizard counters her question by asking her to give him the gun. Dorothy settles on giving him one bullet, as a symbol of “trust.” Suddenly, Eamonn interrupts their conversation, sword raised at the ready in Dorothy’s direction. “Stay back, she’s no threat!” the Wizard shouts. “I have a hole in my shoulder that says otherwise,” Eamonn replies. Dorothy notices Lucas is nowhere to be found. She inquires Eamonn of Lucas’ whereabouts. Once she discovers Lucas is being held for interrogation, she demands to see him. “You wanna earn my trust? You need to let me see him,” Dorothy says to the Wizard.
Later, Dorothy finds Lucas chained and clearly exhausted from the interrogating.”I thought I’d never see you again,” she says gratefully to him. Dorothy then reveals her need for Lucas to lie to the Wizard. “I need you to tell him you remember something, anything. If not, they’re going to kill you,” she warns him. “Dorothy, I need to know the truth,” Lucas replies. He adds that they can break the magic that prevents him from knowing himself. On that note, our favorite Cardinal Witch makes her appearance – West (Ana Ularu). “Nobody told me it would be a threesome,” she coos.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth (Roxy Sternberg) and the Wizard are discussing Dorothy. Our Head of the High Council protests Dorothy’s presence, saying that she is the first sign of the impending arrival of the Beast Forever. She also expresses a desire to “read her.” “No one in the High Council is allowed to touch her,” the Wizard declares. He then adds that while Lucas is a problem, Ev refusing to build their weapons is also a problem, etc. Dorothy is not on that list. Elizabeth, realizing defeat, leaves him alone. When the Wizard spots Anna, he tells her he wants her to take Elizabeth’s place as Head of the High Council. Somebody’s getting the boot! “If that’s what you wish,” Anna meekly replies.
Later, the Wizard and Eamonn are having their bonding time. “Dorothy’s reunion with the soldier, did that reveal anything new?” the Wizard asks Eamonn. “What sway does she have over you?” Eamonn inquires his boss. You’ll find out soon enough!
Back in Lucas’ cell, we see the tension growing rapidly between Dorothy and West. “You left before I was finished with you. I had such grand plans for us,” West says, feigning hurt. “You can’t hurt me. I’m protected by the Wizard,” Dorothy responds. Use that Wizardly immunity, girl! We find out that Lucas’s memories are protected by magic, and of course the Wizard despises magic. West plans to dispel of the magic protecting Lucas, which will cause him quite a bit of pain. Lucas is on board with this, while Dorothy puts her foot down. After a bit of coaxing she relents, saying “This is what you want.” “Let’s see what lowly witch has cast a spell on you,” West says.
After some digging around West hits a road block. She comes to a conclusion. “That’s Glinda’s magic!” she shouts. “What secrets is she hiding behind those pretty eyes of yours?” she asks, lost in thought.
Later, Tip (Jordan Loughran) is off making West tea. Jack (Gerran Howell) and Lady Ev (Stefanie Martini) waltz on by her. Tip finally lays eyes upon her best friend for the first time since the accident. “I can’t believe it’s really you,” she says in awe. Jack is rightfully sore over Tip, you know, pushing him off a balcony to his death. That tends to rub people the wrong way. “Why didn’t you help me?” has asks her. “I thought I killed you,” she answers. No excuse, Tip! Tip tries desperately to mend their friendship, while Jack counters that nothing can be fixed. Always the pessimist, that one.
Meanwhile, Lady Ev inserts herself in the conversation by inquiring of Tip’s identity. “She’s no one,” is Jack’s reply. “Are you a no one, girl? You don’t look like a no one,” Ev says. She realizes that Tip is the one who killed him. “Did you tell her what you are now?” she asks Jack. Ev demands he show Tip. He reluctantly pulls open his shirt to reveal his very metal body. It’s our Tin Man! Tip is positively aghast at this sight. “The old Jack may have been your friend, but the new one is mine,” Lady Ev says, dropping the mic as Jack trails behind her like a lost puppy.
Later, back in Lucas’ cell, we discover that Glinda’s spell is cardinal magic – it can’t be broken. Now, if West had a conduit to slip through the magic she could also “work around it.” Someone close to him. Lucas starts to vigorously protest, but Dorothy volunteers to be the conduit. If the attachment between the two love birds isn’t strong enough they will both lose their minds. “Either way works for me,” West says nonchalantly. Dorothy heartily accepts, because when you’re a protagonist it is your responsibility to say “yes” to everything. Keeps life interesting.
Meanwhile, the Wizard shows Lady Ev the bullet Dorothy gave him. “With your infrastructure, you could produce thousands of these,” he tells her. Our Great and Powerful Wizard strikes a deal – Ev can take half to fortify their defenses and he will take half to defeat the Beast Forever. Sounds fair, right? Ev asks where these were twenty years ago when her mother was being swallowed alive by the Beast Forever. He responds that this time the beast is comprised of flesh and blood – therefore, it is easier to kill. “Where’s Randall? Have you seen him?” Poor King Ev (David Calder) appears, disoriented. “The dog is dead, father, he died when I was a child,” Lady Ev quietly reminds him. She goes to help her father find his dog. “Bring me the gun and we’ll talk,” she tells the Wizard.
Later, we see West is in the throes of her spell to break Glinda’s magic. We’re in a flashback. A Wizard’s guard stops Lucas on the yellow brick road. He asks to see the contents in the wagon Lucas is driving. We see several small girls in the cargo area, eyes the color of pitch, bodies humming. One of them is Sylvie (Rebeka Rea). “I suggest you let me pass,” Lucas says to the guard. Said guard throws out a threat, which springs everyone into action. The girls in the wagon use magic to cause pain in the other guards, making it easier for Lucas to slaughter them. We see the guard from last week’s episode stab Lucas in the side. “Don’t kill him, let’s string him up,” another guard says. Lucas shouts for the girls to run. He swallows a pill hidden inside the ring on his finger and passes out.
After that action-packed flashback, we see West is crushed. “It can’t be,” she says, in shock. Meanwhile, Eamonn and the Wizard are mid-bro bonding time. Our Wizard tells the Head Guard he needs the gun. “You could have just taken it from the girl,” Eamonn says. Wizard counters that he could have killed Eamonn when he took Emerald City from their King. However, Eamonn is more valuable alive and as an ally. Much the same can be said of Dorothy.
“The Mother Witch lives! And she’s breeding witches for Glinda!” West shouts, hastily walking toward the two. “She hid my own mother from me,” she adds. Only Mother South has the ability to create new witches. “What good would new witches be?” the Wizard asks. “She’s going to use them against you!” West replies. Since the Wizard imprisoned/killed all witches, Glinda and her ilk will take Emerald City back. “They’re gonna take Oz from you with the very elements you outlawed,” West tells him. She’s very convincing. I think West could have a future in politics. “I let her (Glinda) in. She put spies under my roof. The High Council, they all betrayed me,” the Wizard states angrily. West offers her good and services (not that, you weirdos). She will return Lucas and the High Council to Glinda “in pieces.” Eamonn will find Sylvie.
Meanwhile, Lucas and Dorothy talk about Lucas’ past.”I killed men taking those girls to Nimbo. You don’t think me a monster?” Lucas asks Dorothy. “You were protecting those girls and you risked your life for them,” she replies, ever the supportive girlfriend. Elizabeth crashes their party. “The tunnel in Nimbo would have brought them to Glinda,” she interjects, releasing Lucas from his bonds. “You were sworn to her, as am I,” she continues. “You worked for Glinda?” Dorothy asks in awe. Elizabeth tells them there is a wagon in the loading dock that will take Lucas North to Calcidon. Glinda supposedly ordered Elizabeth to free him. After shooting down Lucas’ desire to find Sylvie, Dorothy offers to do so instead. “You’re on the Wizard’s side of this,” Elizabeth snarls. “I’m not on anybody’s side,” Dorothy replies. “War is coming to Oz,” the Head of the High Council says ominously.
Later, Dorothy runs into Eamonn outside the castle. “It’s late to be wandering,” he tells her. In spite of his hatred toward her, he offers to take Dorothy to Sylvie.
Meanwhile, the Wizard watches his High Council from above. Not creepy at all. FLASHBACK TIME! We see Frank, Karen and Dr. Andrews when they first arrive in Oz. They are immediately surrounded by the tribe of that land – Ojo’s people. “We mean you no harm or disrespect,” Dr. Andrews tells them calmly. “I am the leader of these people,” she adds. Sure enough, the tribe settles down and quietly accepts them. Wizard is jaunted back to reality, still observing his High Council at work.
Later, we see Eamonn reunite Dorothy with Sylvie. Toto is there as well! I was worried about him, since dogs are more important than people. Sylvie is fast asleep. “Why are you helping me?” Dorothy asks Eamonn warily. “Not you,” is the Head Guard’s terse reply. “I’ll bring her safely to Glinda’s,” Dorothy promises. “If you can get past my guards,” Eamonn replies ominously.
After Eamonn’s ominous (and slightly threatening) warning, Dorothy and Sylvie arrive at the loading dock where the wagon is. They see it is surrounded by a throng of people. Dorothy vows to get help and tells Sylvie to wait for her there. “Keep her safe, Toto,” she says, and suddenly I’m less worried about the child’s safety.
Later, Lady Ev pitches a fit because Jack returns sans King Ev. “Jack, I asked you to find my father, yet I don’t see my father,” she says, voice dripping with snark. “He’s gone,” Jack tells her.
Meanwhile, Dorothy finds the Wizard alone in his chambers. “I need your help,” she confesses to him. “And I need yours,” he replies candidly. “Are you my father?” she asks him boldly. Insert Star Wars reference here. Before getting a straight answer, we are catapulted into another flashback. Frank is holding baby Dorothy with Karen nearby. They are cozily situated in a hut proffered by Ojo’s tribe. Dr. Andrews returns from some unknown journey. “Was she really a witch?” he asks the good doctor. “Most Merciful and Stern of the Eastern Wood,” she replies almost giddily. IT’S EAST! “Can she help us?” Karen asks her. Dr. Andrews explains the ripple effect they caused when they crashed into Oz. The only solution is if they leave. “She’s going to send us home,” she tells them.
“I’m not leaving,” Frank states. “We all have to leave, that’s the deal,” Dr. Andrews tells him. Frank confesses that he brought them to this world. He purposefully messed with the vortex chamber back in Kansas. Frank takes credit for discovering Oz. “Roberto, what about him? You killed him, Frank!” Karen shouts angrily.
Now, we’re back in the present with Dorothy and the Wizard Formerly Known as Frank (terrific stage name). “His name was Roberto,” the Wizard says of her real father. “He was a smart man, a kind man. He died in the accident that brought us here,” he admits. “I don’t trust you,” Dorothy says point blank. She goes on to say he’s lying to everyone. “I could say the same about you. We do what we need to survive,” he says, dispensing some wizardly wisdom. He then asks about Sylvie’s whereabouts. “If you let her go back to the North, she will be safe and so will you,” Dorothy responds in a thinly veiled threat. Our Wizard has a proposition for Dorothy.
We see Dorothy and the Wizard enter a chamber of some kind. “What is this?” Dorothy asks. “All the power in Emerald City is generated underneath us,” he tells her. A large funnel-like device takes center stage. “I was brought to Oz in a vortex chamber. This one here can send you home,” the Wizard says. He vows to send her home, but of course there’s a catch. Dorothy was born in Oz and Oz brought her back to save them all. “I’m no savior,” she says, which is something only a savior would say. In short, the Wizard wants her to kill Glinda. “I’m not going to kill someone just so I can go home,” Dorothy tells him. “Are you sure?”
Later, we hear a chorus of screams from outside the Wizard’s castle. King Ev has been turned to stone. Only one being in Emerald City is capable of such a thing: Sylvie. Meanwhile, Lucas meets Dorothy in an alley with Sylvie in tow. “I should never have left you alone. I’m so sorry,” Dorothy tells the little girl. Parenting 101 in fantasy shows, Dorothy. Never leave the magical kid alone! Lucas locks them up in the wagon. “You’re not going with them,” Elizabeth says to Dorothy. “I’m not leaving without her,” Lucas retorts. And thankfully, he leaves with her.
After their departure, we see Anna and Elizabeth having a conversation about what Glinda did. “She chose to fight back,” Elizabeth tells her. She goes on to say Anna was solely there to get closer to the Wizard, to learn his secrets. Then, there would be no need for a Wizard.
Meanwhile, Eamonn and the Wizard are walking and talking. “They’re all working against me,” the Wizard of Oz says, voice dripping with paranoia. Eamonn informs him that the wagon will move without being stopped and nobody will follow them on their journey to the North. The Head Guard also voices his concerns regarding the Wizard’s misplaced trust in Dorothy. “Yet she trusts me more,” the Wizard replies, showing Eamonn the gun Dorothy gave him. “Glinda’s always been cold as stone, now she’ll be dead like one,” he adds maliciously.
With that, we are thrown into another flashback. Frank is surrounded by Ojo’s tribe as he shows them products from his world – the tape player being a crowd favorite. He explains the concept of electricity and science. “I’m a scientist,” he tells them. Ojo’s wife (Mia Mountain) is intrigued by his presentation. She sings a song in a foreign tongue, one which makes the rocks form a stone being that dances to the melody of her song. “Magic,” she says to Frank. Uh, one of the original Transformers, anyone?
Later, back in Emerald City, we see Lady Ev and Jack making their leave rather hastily. “I wish to leave this place forever,” she passionately tells the Wizard as he approaches. Ev promises to return to Emerald City with soldiers to turn the city “red with blood.” Somebody has a thirst for vengeance! “Your call for vengeance is just. But we are not your enemy. It is Glinda who claimed your father,” the Wizard replies. He plans to give Ev the gun. “It is strong enough to kill a witch,” he adds. “Strong enough to kill the Beast Forever. A demonstration.” Instantly, the Wizard shoots Anna in the chest. A flurry of people swarm her, but she is already dead. “Make these guns and we take them to war. A war on magic, for the very soul of Oz,” the Wizard pitches, like a magical car salesman.
Holy guacamole, Batman! That ending! That everything! I wholeheartedly believe this was the best Emerald City episode to date. A true game changer. Everything was propelled forward at breakneck speed. I hope we stay at this pace for the remainder of the season. Anyone catch that Dr. Andrews is the same Jane that patched up Jack? Will our trio make it to Glinda? Can Dorothy actually kill another witch? Is Mother South really alive? Will Lady Ev form an alliance with the Wizard, or smite him down? Where is the Cowardly Lion? Let’s keep watching, folks! See you next week!
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.
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