Welcome back, Oz-dwellers! We’ve reached penultimate episode territory with Emerald City this week! In “The Villain That’s Become,” new alliances are forged and some bluntly broken. Relationships evolve for the best…and worst. Of course, there’s loads of magical goodness peppered throughout the episode. Shall we take the plunge? Friendly reminder – West is very good at conjuring spoilers out of nothing. Tread with caution!
We open with the Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) waiting outside Langwidere’s castle in the city of Ev. He’s negotiating with her guards to allow him inside. “I demand an audience with the Queen, not the Captain of an army that’s never seen a fight!” the Wizard shouts. Sick burn! They refuse, citing their Queen’s lack of desire to consort with him. Our Wizard offers more gold than was originally promised as a bargaining chip. He also argues that his guns are being used against him. Sounds to me like someone needs a timeout to help deflate their ego.
Meanwhile, one of the guards goes inside to meet with Queen Ev (Stefanie Martini) and present the Wizard’s gold. She is all kinds of unimpressed. Langwidere tells her guard that not only does she possess his weaponry, she also has his gold. Ev will use the guns to fight the Beast Forever. “Let his kingdom be destroyed this time,” the Queen says. “And let us take any currency he needs to rebuild it.” I like Savage Queen Langwidere.
Later, we see Tip (Jordan Loughran) is leaning over a nearly dead West (Ana Ularu). She is pleading with the latter to stay in the Land of the Living. West feebly says she’s in too much pain in the real world, and wishes to go to the “other side” to see her sister. Tip reveals she did see East during her brief tenure on the “other side,” as well as her own parents. According to Tip, East has a message. “She wants you to get up off your sorry ass and help me,” Tip relays to West. Aww. I love playful sisterly banter. The pep talk from her East in the Great Beyond was enough encouragement for West. Her wrists close up, the blood reentering her body as if it never left.
Meanwhile, Queen Ev’s guards are in the throne room marveling at all the chests of gold. Suddenly, unexpected visitors spring out of said chests and overtake the castle. They belong to the Wizard, of course. We see him ascending toward the castle, now given full access.
Later, Dorothy (Adria Arjona) is riding to the farmhouse (you know, the one were she and Lucas…made vegetable stew) to presumably use as a rest stop. She enters the house alone and is given a warm, welcome greeting via Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) strangling her from behind. Welcome home, honey! He is on Operation Murder Dorothy (OMD, of course) ever since Glinda bestowed said task upon him in the previous episode. “Look at me, Lucas! At least look at me!” Dorothy shouts before she breaks free from his grip.
Then we see Tip and West in a forest. Our girl Ozma is having difficulty performing magic. West advises her to allow the magic to come to her as it’s something she has to feel. “You don’t summon magic. It comes through you,” West tells her. Tip closes her eyes. She starts to physically shift back into her boy form, much to West’s surprise. Magical gender-bending powers, or perhaps it’s who Tip really is?
Later, back in the farmhouse, Dorothy and Lucas are facing off. She continuously asks him why he’s attempting to kill her, while he simply wants her influence over him to end. “You can’t be part of me. Not anymore,” he says. Lucas tells Dorothy to close her eyes. She does as she’s bid. Just as Lucas moves in the for kill, Toto swoops to the rescue. While Toto and Lucas duke it out inside, Dorothy makes her exit outdoors. Lucas soon follows and he pins our Kansas Girl to the ground. After commencing a choke hold, Lucas pleads with her to prevent him from killing her. Instead, she slips a blade between his ribs and he passes out. She trusses him up as a scarecrow. I’m digging the full-circle thing we have here. “You got your wish. I never happened to you,” Dorothy states.
Meanwhile, after taking over Queen Ev’s castle, the Wizard enters Langwidere’s room unannounced. Very rude, if you ask me. He gives her advice on her appearance, how looking “presentable” when in the midst of negotiations is important. Then he proceeds to smack the mask off her face, which shatters. Langwidere, in utter horror, covers her face with her hands. “You make yourself presentable for your soldiers. And choose a new mask,” the Wizard demands. He exits, allowing Langwidere some time to prepare for their official meeting. Talk about that crazy patriarchy.
Then, Jack (Gerran Howell) visits Jane (Gina McKee). He beseeches her to help Langwidere escape the Wizard’s grasp and save Ev. “If the soldiers don’t turn over the guns he’s going to execute her,” Jack says. Jane is very reticent, and rightfully so. The Wizard definitely wronged her in more ways than one.
Later, we see West and Tip are still lingering in the forest. West believes people will not follow them if they see Princess Ozma is a boy. “You were born a girl, and if you don’t change yourself back no one will follow you and you won’t get your revenge,” she states. Tip protests, saying he is his true self.
Meanwhile, Dorothy rides into Ojo’s (Olafur Darri Olafsson) camp. Of course, several camp dwellers surround her, thinking her an “interloper.” She meets with Ojo, telling him she will release his wife Nahara from the Prison of the Abject. “I want Nahara free too, and I have the power to do it,” she says, referencing her ruby gauntlets. However, Dorothy also needs something from Nahara: she wants Ojo’s lady to raise the stone giants so they can launch an attack against the Wizard and Glinda. Stone giant dudes time!
Later, West reluctantly agrees to Tip staying as he truly is. “We’ll try your way…as a boy,” she says. Aww. Good on you, West, for trying to accept someone for who they are and who they want to be.
Meanwhile, Jane is escorted inside Castle Ev for a quick chat with the Wizard. He incessantly blows up on Jane for calling him “Frank.” “I’m the only one left who knows you’re a fraud,” Jane retorts. In typical Wizard fashion, he threatens Jane as well as Langwidere’s life. Seriously, this guy needs to go sit in a corner for a while.
Later, Dorothy and Ojo arrive at the Prison of the Abject. “I’m not just gonna free Nahara. I’m gonna free all of them,” Dorothy says passionately. She got the power! Upon descending a stone staircase to the base of an old tree she notices that quite a few people are missing. A man living within said old tree with flayed skin (ew) informs Dorothy that someone else took the able-bodied witches while leaving the sick and dying. Uh oh! What if Nahara was one of the missing witches? What if she was left behind and dying?
Meanwhile, West has amassed a giant army for Tip, comprised solely of the witches she released from the Prison of the Abject. “Your army of witches! Your army of magic. Dressed and ready for war!” West proclaims. Time for some awesome female witch action!
Back in the Prison of the Abject, Ojo discovers Nahara (Mia Mountain) is lying in the mud, almost unrecognizable. She is trapped by said mud and clearly on her last legs. Dorothy introduces herself and encourages Nahara to raise the stone giants to retaliate against not only the Wizard, but Glinda as well. “I need you to raise the eternal warriors for me,” she says. Dorothy also reveals that when she inevitably heads home to Kansas, she will take ol’ Frank with her. Magic in Oz will be able to roam free again. This idea instills a fire in Nahara that even the brink of death can’t extinguish.
Later, in the forest, Tip questions whether her witch army will follow her. West says she will simply force them. “In certain circles I was known as the Wicked Witch of the West,” she adds cheekily. West bestows a pep talk to the witch army that gives Braveheart a run for its money. She tells them Princess Ozma (aka Tip) has returned and needs their help to take down the Wizard, who wants to suppress witches. A witch steps forward, clearly the leader of the group. She says she does not believe Tip is Ozma, since the princess was a girl. Tip flaunts his dagger, but unfortunately that is not enough to sway the witches. Instead they turn on West, believing her to be a traitor who “sold herself” to the Wizard and basically threw them under the bus. They stitch West’s mouth shut and levitate her body.
Meanwhile, back in Ev, Langwidere is escorted by the Wizard to meet her guards and tell them to stand down. She strolls out of her chambers completely mask-free, much to the shock of everyone around her. Once the two are situated on a balcony overlooking Ev’s armed guards, the Wizard raises a gun to Langwidere’s head. “The first tragic and unnecessary death will be your Queen’s if you don’t lower your weapons!” he shouts. We see Jack on a balcony adjacent to the two ruling figures with a weapon of his own, courtesy of Jane. He points his gun directly at the Wizard.
Unfortunately, the Wizard spots Jack and just as our Tin Man pulls the trigger he uses Langwidere’s body as a shield. The loosed bullet hits Langwidere in the head, killing her instantly. Chaos immediately ensues, with the Wizard attempting to evade Ev’s guards. Fortunately, they capture him. Jack is utterly heartbroken.
Later, we see Nahara agreeing to Dorothy’s request. Her only stipulation is that Dorothy and Ojo find a way to save the flayed man named Roquat (Julian Bleach). “He was here before any of us,” Nahara explains. Suddenly, Roquat strikes Ojo in the head with a heavy object, knocking him unconscious. I’m not sure they should free him after behaving like that.
Meanwhile, a distraught Jack brings Langwidere to see Jane and pleads for the scientist’s help. Jane seems reticent, thinking she is beyond help. “Do for her what you did for me,” Jack implores. “You were alive when we found you,” she replies.
Back in the forest, Tip sees West is in pain and leaps into action. He realizes in order to put an end to her torture he must prove himself to the witches. Tip transforms into the Ozma they are familiar with to save West from certain death. Then, Tip implants memories of her parents dying by the hands of the Wizard (and Eamonn) into the witches. She tells them to release West and follow her as they stand up to their true oppressor, the Wizard of Oz. “Help your sister to her feet,” Tip demands. Now fully convinced of Tip’s identity, they bring West back to solid ground but keep her mouth stitched.
Meanwhile, Jane reveals to Jack a snippet of Langwidere’s backstory. When the Wizard rose to power he shed a lot of blood in the process, including the Queen’s (Princess at the time). Jane brought Langwidere back to life, but she’s vastly more mechanical than human. Her father, King Ev, asked Jane to construct a plethora of masks for Langwidere so people wouldn’t notice she wasn’t aging. And you all thought she had a mask fetish! “You didn’t kill her, Jack, because she was already dead,” Jane says. While the hope of bringing a loved one back to life is normally encouraging, Jack has an unexpected reaction. He feels he was tricked into thinking Langwidere was “alive,” and questions how much of himself is human. Jane tells him he’s more human than his lover. Jack, in his rage, grabs an axe and threatens to kill the Wizard, once and for all.
Later, we see the Wizard standing on the edge of a cliff, blindfolded. Ev’s guards surround him with rifles at the ready as he desperately pleads for his life. They have sentenced him to death for contributing to their Queen’s unfortunate demise. Suddenly the ground shakes, sending the citizens of Ev in a frantic frenzy. A stone giant plods its way toward the Wizard, who looks positively relieved at the sight of it. Nahara held up her end of the bargain. Dorothy walks in front of the giant, leading the way into a battle she might not survive. She is, by all definitions of the word, a badass.
Talk about crazy penultimate shenanigans! Will Jane successfully bring Langwidere back with no complications? What happened to Ojo and did Roquat escape? How long has he been the sigil of House Bolton? Will Ozma (Tip) finally reveal herself to the Wizard? How long will Lucas hang like a scarecrow until some passerby takes him down? Only one more episode left this season, folks! You can read my previous episodic recaps right here on Geek Girl Authority.
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.