Photo from the episode "They Came First"

Greetings, inhabitants of Oz! This week’s Emerald City was all about relationships – we saw them deepen and we saw them break. Alliances were forged and severed. The entirety of Oz is on the precipice of war. “They Came First” turned the proverbial tides. Let’s get to it, shall we? Onward! Even though the Wizard has outlawed them, spoilers large and small still exist, so please exercise caution.

We open with the Wizard’s Guards on a manhunt, or more precisely, a witch hunt. They are pooling together all the small girls in Emerald City. Any one of them could potentially become a Glinda’s Girl, right? Eamonn (Mido Hamada) informs citizens it is under the guise of these girls needing treatment. “Go back to your homes. Shut the doors, or death will come to all of you,” he warns. Eamonn is later joined by the Wizard of Oz (Vincent D’Onofrio). “Every girl must be inspected,” the Wizard states. He adds that if Glinda’s witches are hiding in Emerald City and his people find out he will lose them. Somebody has a severe case of separation anxiety.

“And the fate of the High Council? What would you have me do with them?” Eamonn asks his superior. We see them surrounded by guards within the Wizard’s castle. “If anyone tries to leave, kill them,” the Wizard demands. Elizabeth (Roxy Sternberg), Head of the High Council, observes them from below. She locks eyes with Eamonn.

Meanwhile Dorothy (Adria Arjona), Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and Sylvie (Rebeka Rea) make a pit stop on their way North. Dorothy and Lucas chat while Sylvie plays. “Look at her, she’s so free,” Dorothy comments. “Though apparently you’re sworn to someone named Glinda,” she adds, referring to Lucas. When Lucas mentions the connection Dorothy has with the Wizard, she informs him the latter knew her parents. “He’s not as bad as you think,” she says. “Glinda thinks he’s worse,” Lucas counters. Uh oh. I sense a storm brewing on the horizon!

Later, Jack (Gerran Howell) and the now Queen of Ev (Stefanie Martini) journey home after a tumultuous stay in Emerald City. The Queen is lost in thought, no doubt crushed after losing her father. “I’m sorry for your loss,” Jack says quietly. “He wasn’t my loss. He was my father,” she snaps. “The more I see everything, the more I realize how hard it is for you,” Jack continues. “Everything you say is wrong. Everything about you is wrong,” the Queen sneers. Ouch. Right in Jack’s mechanical heart! After Jack laments about Tip hating him, the Queen erupts, thinking he’s vying for sympathy. “I’m a Queen and an orphan all at once,” she says. Okay guys, it’s not a competition. Both of your lives suck.

Suddenly, the Queen demands the carriage stop. “Leave me to feel sorry for myself,” she tells Jack. “I meant nothing but kindness,” he protests. “You missed,” she retorts. Jack is deposited in a muddy ditch alongside the road as the carriage speeds away. He is stuck in said muddy ditch, struggling to break free. We hear muffled screams reverberate around him. “Oh great, The Screaming Forest. Thanks!” Jack shouts.

Meanwhile, Lucas is fetching water as they rest before continuing their journey. He tells Dorothy they could make the farmhouse outside of Gillikin before nightfall. We hear wolves howling in the distance. Dorothy and Lucas spring into action, screaming Sylvie’s name. Sylvie, however, is oblivious to all around her. We see a pack of wolves closing in on her, galloping at a deadly pace. Dorothy spots the little girl and screams her name. The wolves are inches away when Dorothy lets out a final, gut-wrenching scream which activates her ruby gauntlets. Said gauntlets create an explosion which knocks the furry beasts backward. They collectively yip and scamper away. Dorothy’s mom powers, activate!

Later, our trio is once again en route to Glinda’s castle. “It’s cruel what they did to her, taking away her hearing. Why would the witches do that?” Dorothy asks Lucas, while Sylvie sits between them in silence. “Maybe to protect her,” Lucas muses. He also mentions that Dorothy is able to control her gauntlets now. “They’re becoming a part of you,” he adds. They finally reach the farmhouse Elizabeth was referring to in the previous episode. We see a scarecrow in the field. Any and all references to the source material makes me giddy.

“I’m going to check the house to make sure it’s safe,” Lucas tells the girls. While they wait for the green light, Dorothy persuades Sylvie to partake in a game from the former’s childhood. Called “Somewhere,” the game is akin to “I Spy.” “Somewhere in the meadow there is a scarecrow,” Dorothy says. Sylvie immediately points out the scarecrow lurking in the field before them. Again, another subtle reference to the Wizard of Oz, which I dig. Dorothy goes out on a limb and attempts to remove Sylvie’s hearing blocks in her ears. Sylvie is frightened at the prospect of hearing everything, but trusts that Dorothy will protect her. She soothes the little girl by telling her to focus on the music of a dove sitting atop the scarecrow. We hear the abrasive noises decrease in volume and Sylvie relaxes.

Later, Lucas summons Dorothy to the front porch of the farmhouse. “Something wrong with the house?” Dorothy asks him. “I don’t want you to get hurt,” Lucas confesses. He had been observing the girls bond. “Sylvie, you’re gonna have to give her up,” he adds.

Meanwhile, back in Emerald City, we see West (Ana Ularu) is having a nightmare regarding a giant tidal wave – the form of The Beast Forever of the past. We see dead bodies shifting in the ebb and flow of the wave.

Photo from the episode "They Came First"

“I need to see your Mistress,” the Wizard says to Tip (Jordan Loughran). “My Mistress isn’t well,” Tip informs him. One of the Wizard’s Guards hoists her up and out of the way. The Wizard, now roadblock free, barges in to West’s bedchamber. The guard that moved Tip aside begins to creepily hit on her. Tip rightfully gives him attitude. “Give me a whore with an attitude…” he sneers. “I’m not that kind of girl,” Tip replies, slipping the tip (teehee) of her dagger beneath his chin when he starts touching her. Get it, girl! Tell Mr. Hits-On-Girls-Way-Younger-Than-You to get lost!

Tip enters West’s room to find her Mistress slouched on the floor by her bed, lost in the nightmare from before. She immediately helps her sit up. “I’ve quarantined all the girls in the city of age. I need you to come and single out the witches among them,” the Wizard says. West is unresponsive, too submerged in her dream. “Give the Wizard an answer,” Tip says, finally getting her Mistress to sit up. “I won’t help you kill them,” West answers defiantly. The Wizard reminds her that Glinda has killed witches, sending them to die against The Beast Forever. He also mentions that Glinda hid West’s mother from her, Mother South. This guy is a master manipulator. “She built an army of witches on secrets and lies,” he adds. West makes the Wizard promise the girls will be put in her care. He gives his word.

Meanwhile we see our trio playing house in a, well, house. Dorothy is making a stew with Sylvie, while Lucas is getting his required brooding time in by staring broodily out a window. “You’re right about Sylvie. I don’t want to give her up,” Dorothy confesses to Lucas. He reminds her Sylvie belongs to Glinda. “Who gets to decide that for anyone?” Dorothy questions. Amen, sister! “It’s the way the world works,” Lucas says, accepting the status quo. “What if we decide to keep her from Glinda, to protect her?” Dorothy asks. “I thought we were on the same side here,” Lucas comments. Dorothy then asks Lucas if he wants Sylvie fighting in a war that could kill her, which promptly smashes his argument.

Later, we see West visiting the quarantined potential witches. She moves between them in quiet observation. “None of them are witches,” she concludes. We see the Wizard’s face fall.

Photo from the episode "They Came First"

Meanwhile, the Wizard’s Guards are continuing to yank young girls from their homes in the name of their superior. We see one of the girls break free, but soon the guards are on her tail. She constantly evades them in their pursuit. When they finally spot the little girl, she begins to levitate. They brandish their swords in an attempt to cut her down. However, our girl pulls an Elphaba and floats freely. She lets out a screech which triggers an explosion, the entire building engulfed in flames.

Later, Jack is trudging through The Screaming Forest, ready to contribute his own screams to the cacophony surrounding him. We see his mechanical body is malfunctioning due to being submerged in mud. His leg joints are beginning to rust. “Help!” he screams, with only the forest to answer him.

After tucking little Sylvie into bed, Dorothy joins Lucas in the kitchen. “I have first watch,” Lucas brusquely informs her. Dorothy reminds him he’s been their acting security guard all day. Then it’s confession time – Dorothy admits the Wizard’s Guards aren’t tailing them because the Wizard purposefully let them go. “He wants to help me,” she says. “So you lied to me?” Lucas asks. “If you fight for Glinda we’re not on the same side,” Dorothy counters. Lucas swoops in with a pickup line that would only work in Oz – Dorothy is the only person he fight for. They promptly engage in a makeout session, which is only rational when in the same room as Lucas.

Later, the Wizard, Eamonn, West and Tip are at the scene of the explosion. Eamonn informs the Wizard no one made it out and two of them were of the Wizard’s Guards. The little girl they were attempting to catch also did not survive. “She’s gone,” the Wizard tells West. “Not if she’s a witch,” West replies, waiting for a sign of life. She promptly walks into the flame-ridden building, procuring the small girl everyone thought dead. “Stay by my side and all will be fine,” she whispers to the girl in a foreign tongue. “She’s a witch!” the Wizard proclaims. Eamonn shoos the growing crowd away and ushers a carriage to ensnare the girl.

“I have to protect my people,” the Wizard tells West. “By locking her up like an animal?” West asks, bewildered. The Wizard and his guards chase after them. West casts a spell that creates a sinkhole which the girl falls into. The girl sets herself on fire. West immediately creates a shield to counteract her flame burst. “You said you’d help me!” the girl screams at West. Our Great and Powerful Ruler of Oz whisks West and co. away from the girl. ‘You promised to protect her!” West accuses the Wizard. He tells West her hands are tied, as are his.

Later, we see the tidal wave once more, enveloping all who stand in its path. West launches into a monologue about leaving her witch sisters behind and sending them out to fight in a fatal battle. “And now, I’ve betrayed another,” West says forlornly.

Meanwhile, poor Jack is rusting in the middle of a screeching forest. We see a horse trot toward him. It’s Queen Ev, laughing amid the screams. “I knew you couldn’t be so mean to leave me here,” Jack boasts. “But I am,” the Queen admits. She is definitely my favorite. Blunt and fierce is she. Queen Ev procures an oil can which she proceeds to use on his rusting bits. Jack is reluctant at first. “I could leave your  screams to the forest and the things that go bump in it,” she tells him candidly. “Alright, do it,” Jack relents. She, uh, oils him up. This entire scene reeks of sexual innuendo, so frankly it’s a little difficult to write about it without going there. Anyway, she continues to oil his rusty legs and everything below the waist. Jack gets a little too into it.

Later, Queen Ev finishes her lubing (I’m sorry) and Jack walks around to test things out. “Everything working properly then,” the Queen asks quite cheekily.

Speaking of cheeky things, Dorothy and Lucas wake up the next morning after a romping night before. Dorothy wishes to continue living in this state of perpetual bliss. “I’ve never been this happy,” she confesses. “We could if we stayed. Screw the witches and damn The Beast,” Lucas replies. “I’m going home,” Dorothy says. “Someday,” Lucas adds. “No, soon,” Dorothy amends. She tells him if she’s able to convince Glinda not to go to war with the Wizard he would take her home. “You made a deal with him?” Lucas asks. “A deal that saved us both,” she reminds him. Lucas feels a sting of betrayal, asking how Dorothy could allow Sylvie or him to love her.

Dorothy presses on and leaves to face Glinda. She says she will kill the Cardinal Witch if reasoning fails. Lucas tries to diagnose Dorothy’s “erratic” behavior by saying she’s scared of losing him and Sylvie, of them abandoning her as her mother did. “I have to go back. I’m sorry. They (her aunt/uncle) came first,” Dorothy says. She attempts to open the door, but realizes it’s locked. The farmhouse begins to tumble as if in a ferocious vortex, causing the upright humans to fall violently about the unstable house.

When they locate Sylvie the house grows still, back in its normal upright state. She is vibrating with a quiet energy, her eyes black as pitch. “She’s the one doing this. She’s stopping me from leaving,” Dorothy says. “Maybe there’s a way we can all three stay together. Would you like to come to Kansas with me?” Dorothy asks the little girl. Sylvie stops shaking and smiles ever so slightly. “Somewhere,” she replies. “It’s not running away if you come too,” Dorothy tells the crestfallen Lucas.

Photo from the episode "They Came First"

Meanwhile, Queen Ev and Jack are nestled safely in the sturdy walls of Castle Ev. They make their way to her father’s suite, which she now inherited. “When I was younger I used to play with my father’s crown – fit it on my head. But it was just a game. It’s not what I wanted,” the Queen confesses tearfully to Jack. He turns to leave, but Ev pleads him to stay. She begins taking off her mask, saying her father was the only one to see her as she truly was. “You don’t have to do that. I do see you,” Jack tells her suavely. As per usual, them’s kissing words. They commence a smooch session. Wow, all the men of Oz are killing it in the romance department tonight. Ev begins peeling off her clothes.

Later, back in Emerald City, we see the Wizard addressing his people. He confesses he lied about their daughters and returns them to their families. “I thought that I could control magic, but magic cannot be controlled,” he continues. Instead, he now has a new mission – to extinguish magic.

Earlier, we see the women of the High Council gagged and in chains, being led to the pit where the young witch was detained. “It was only me. I alone was Glinda’s spy,” Elizabeth pleads to the Wizard. The guards circle them around the sinkhole. “The rest are innocent. Anna loved you,” she adds, hoping this will convince the Wizard to release the rest of the Council. Unfortunately, the High Council is dragged into the pit via pulley system, where a fire erupts that immediately consumes them all.

“Witches are The Beast Forever,” the Wizard proclaims to his people, which causes the crowd to react in equal parts fear and anger. Tip is in the crowd. She goes to the sinkhole and is shocked to see the charred remains of the former High Council.

Later, we see West and Tip in a field with the young witch, who is convulsing in pain. “You were too young. The Wizard exhausted your magic,” West says by way of eulogy. “I break my vow, to ease your suffering. Forgive me,” she adds, placing a hand over the girl’s mouth. The Cardinal Witch takes her life essence, releasing it into the wild. Afterward, she notices’s Tip’s dagger. “Where’d you get that from?” she asks. “It’s mine. I took it from the place where I grew up,” Tip replies. West informs her said dagger used to belong to Princess Ozma.

Meanwhile, the trio finally arrives at Glinda’s castle. Dorothy tells Lucas she wants to use the gauntlets against Glinda, if need be. They go inside the elaborate and starkly white castle. The gang is perplexed to see the door behind them disappear. One of Glinda’s young witches appears before them. “We’ve come to see The Witch of the North, sent by Elizabeth of the Wizard’s High Council,” Dorothy announces diplomatically. “Glinda knows me,” Lucas adds for good measure. The witch makes for Dorothy, claiming she doesn’t belong here. Lucas pulls his blade in defense of his lady. “That won’t be necessary,” North (Joely Richardson) says quietly. “Rowan,” she adds in shock, but still managing to stay as stoic as humanly possible.

 

“Young lady, I’m grateful for what you’ve done. You’ve returned two very important people to me,” North expresses to Dorothy. “There are many questions to be sure, but let me begin to offer answers,” she adds cryptically. North kisses Lucas, which he engages in with gusto. “Glinda,” Lucas says in response, which triggers another quick kiss from him. He seemingly remembers everything now. “Lucas,” Dorothy says, her heart ripped in two. “That’s not my name,” Lucas answers. Glinda’s girls surround them. “I return to my fight against the Wizard,” Lucas tells North. He informs the Cardinal Witch that while Dorothy helped him in Nimbo, she was sent by the Wizard to kill Glinda. “I’m sorry, Dorothy, but they came first,” he tells our heroine coldly.

Crazy madness, Emeraldites! While this episode was peppered with couples getting it on (which everyone can enjoy), we also saw the plot propel forward by light years for Lucas. So is he no longer The Scarecrow if he remembers everything? I also adored the subtle references to Emerald City‘s source material, and the Salem Witch Trials feeling of this episode. Will Dorothy make it out of there alive? Can the Wizard really extinguish magic? When will we meet Mother South? Will East rise from the grave and tag team with West to take down North? Keep watching, my friends!

Emerald City airs Fridays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.