Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Emerald City, Season One, Episode Four: Science and Magic

I have to gush a little bit. I cannot remember the last time I stumbled upon a new show in our genre that I love as much as Emerald City.  A lot happened this week so let's dive right in shall we.  The story is still very much being told in a linear fashion; however, since the characters are largely separated, it means that the plot keeps shifting focus.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing because Dorothy is officially working my last nerve. 

Dorothy and Lucas are travelling towards Oz to see the Wizard.  The sexual tension between Dorothy and Lucas is still very high but just before they can kiss, Sylvie comes rushing out of the woods and attaches herself to Lucas's leg.  The girl is clearly familiar with him from somewhere. Dorothy tries to speak to Sylvie but the child does not respond.  Lucas wants to leave Sylvie behind and get moving but Dorothy is determined to return Sylvie to her family. Lucas points out out how stupid it is to rush forth into a village where the Wizard's men are but Dorothy refuses to stop to consider the danger. In fact, she cannot even be arsed to make a proper plan.

Once they get to the town, Dorothy asks everyone she sees about Sylvie, but no one knows who the little girl is.  Finally, a couple approaches and claims to be Sylvie's parents but a suspicious Dorothy demands to see where Sylvie lives.  The couple take her back to their place of abode and Dorothy's suspicions are further raised when the lodgings don't look like a child resides there.  Dorothy demands to see Sylvie's room but before she can push too much further, Lucas rushes in and whisks Dorothy away because the town is now crawling with the Wizard's men. Yes, he's actually saving her again. 

Dorothy is certain that the couple that she left Sylvie with are not her parents and so decides to return back to the town to free the child. It's Lucas who offers up some of his clothing so that Dorothy can wear a disguise. Dorothy manages to safely get to the house and when she enters, Dorothy finds that the two adults who claimed to be related to Sylvie have been turned to stone with their hands still grasping the child.  Dorothy approaches Sylvie and the child nods no while she calms down.  Once Sylvie is back to normal, Dorothy breaks the stone statues to free the child. So far so good.

Dorothy and Sylvie start to make their way out of town when the are stopped by Eammon, who recognises that Dorothy is the young woman he has been ordered to find. Eammon is just about to deliver Dorothy's death sentence when he notices that she is carrying Lucas's sword.  Eammon demands to know where the owner of the sword is and Dorothy claims not to know, even as Lucas is sneaking up on Eammon from behind. Eammon asks again about Lucas and this time when Dorothy denies knowing anything he slaps her across the face. At this point, Dorothy has had enough and she pulls her gun.
Dorothy fires a shot into the air to let Eammon know that things are about to get real but he just keeps marching towards her.  Dorothy's bravado takes a bit of a nose dive and she begs Eammon to stop. Lucas steps forward and picks up Sylvie and this is when Eammon recognises him. Eammon calls Lucas Lowen and begs him to stop, as Lucas retreats with the child. Now that it's clearly that Emamon isn't going to stop, Dorothy shoots Eammon in the chest and takes off after Lucas and Sylvie.

Finally, away from the village, they sit by a fire as Sylvie sleeps close by.  Lucas asks if there's magic where Dorothy comes from and she explains that there's science and magic.  Dorothy then pulls out her cell phone and hands an airbud to Lucas and tells him to listen, explaining that it's magic.  Dorothy plays, "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone, (which is one of my fave songs FYI) and this freaks Lucas out quite a it.  Dorothy tells him to simply relax and they listen to the song together. They discuss the fact that Eammon claimed to know who Lucas is and Lucas leans in and says that Eammon knew who he was but the man he is today, is the man he wants to be.  The two then share a kiss. Talk about a plumb job for Adria Arjona, cause Oliver Jackson-Cohen is hot as hell.

The next morning the two are cuddled together when they are awoken by a sound in the woods. Lucas tells Dorothy to make a run for it while he tries to escape with Sylvie.  Lucas doesn't get far before being confronted by Eammon.  Whoever Eammon paid to make his armor needs to be given a raise because he survived being shot at point blank range. Dorothy doesn't fare much better than Lucas because she is taken out by boomerang by none other than Ojo. Y'all knew we were going to see Ojo again right?

Last week, I preemptively said goodbye to Jack and it seems that I should have waited. Jack did indeed survive being thrown off the bridge with a little help of a new friend. When Jack awakes, Jane is working to put him back together and urges him not to worry.  When Jack is able to see his body again in a mirror on the ceiling, (yeah, it's not all kinky) he learns that many of his limbs have been exchanged for metal ones and that his heart has been replaced as well. Jane tells Jack that she's given him a heart that will not break and Jack is quick to inform her of just how wrong she is about that.


Jack is distraught and in absolutely disbelief that Tip just left him behind.  Clearly he doesn't remember that Tip is the reason why he's in this position.  Jack is reluctant at first to use his new limbs but Jane continues to encourage him.  As Jack struggles to walk around the room, Lady Ev enters and seems to take an interest in him, though she is unwilling to help him get back to his wheelchair.  Lady Ev seems to be at least part mechanical because while she is interacting with Jack, she changes faces, snarking about whether she should put on a pleasing and pretty one on.

Jane presents Jack to the court and for the first time, he officially meets Lady Ev.  Jack is shocked to learn that since he was saved using the realms resources that Lady Ev now owns hims. Jack is not pleased with this news and Jane explains that she had hoped that Jack would have wanted to leave with her but since Lady Ev has taken an interest in him, he will have to stay. Jane is then quick to make herself scarce. Things are not looking good for Jack, though I am glad he survived his fall. Given how Jack became the Tin Man, I think that this makes him the first disabled character of the series. It will be interesting to see what the writers do with him.

Finally, with Jack as the Tin Man, the only one of Dorothy's companions yet to make an appearance is the Cowardly Lion. Given what the writers have done with the Scarecrow and the Tin Man, he should should be an interesting character to meet.

Because Tip isn't aware that Jack has survived his fall, ze is racked with guilt and is thinking about committing suicide.  Tip is stopped from jumping from a bridge by a soldier and taken to an orphanage. Tip is not at all interested in staying there and is not pleased when Glinda makes it clear that the plan is to train Tip as an acolyte to serve the Wizard.  Glinda sees her offer as a kindness, particularly because it means that Tip will be allowed to keep her virginity.  West arrives with a different offer. Tip is quick to see that ze's being given a choice to be a nun or a whore and comments on the limited choices available to women.  As a boy, this is something Tip didn't really have to think about.  Perhaps to think about hir options, Tip finally consents to a bath, only to have it crashed by West, who disguises herself as a young girl. West offers Tip forgetfulness which given what happened to Jack should be an appealing offer.  When ze's done with hir bath, Tip accepts West's proposal much to the shock of Glinda. Once alone with West, Tip makes it clear that ze saw through West's disguise and explains that the reason ze chose West was not to be able to forget but because she wants to learn magic.

Speaking of magic, we of course have to discuss the Wizard, who as we know has outlawed magic. It seems that the town of Nimbo has been practicing magic against the Wizard's explicit wishes and so he retaliates by having parts of the town and its people burned.  He really is a nasty bastard.  When the soldiers find a portal in one of the buildings, the Wizard decides to investigate. Elizabeth thinks that she is a shoe-in for the ride along but is quickly informed by the Wizard that he is taking Anna instead.  It seems that despite the fact that Anna knows he is a fraud, the Wizard respects her talent and knowledge.

On the trip to Nimbo, the Wizard comes clean about his inability to wake the giants.  Anna is nonplussed because she believes that the giants wouldn't actually be able to kill the Beast Forever this time.  Anna is convinced that the Beast will come from the sky and will have a brain, a heart and be incredibly strong.  This clearly worries the Wizard but Anna points out that the fact that it has a heart is a good thing because it means that it can be killed. All of these leads me to believe that the Beast is actually going to be Dorothy, and Emerald City's representation of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion.

Unsurprisingly, when they arrive in Nimbo, they are not given a warm welcome. Jeremiah is super pissed because he believes the Wizard is responsible for the death of his wife. Jeremiah is adamant that there's no magic in Nimbo but the Wizard sends Anna to investigate the magical portal anyway. When Anna reaches out to touch the portal it explodes before disappearing and knocking Anna unconscious. Yeah, I think that Dorothy just lost a portal which could have taken her home.

The Wizard is distraught that Anna has been injured.  Jeremiah confesses his support of magic over science in a most righteous spiel.  Fortunately for the townspeople, Anna recovers from her injury. I truly believe that the Wizard would have brought even more hell down upon them if she had died. When the Wizard expresses to Anna the fear he felt while he worried about losing her, her response indicates that she views this as part of her job.

Jeremiah faces the people and in a stunning turn about announces to them that the should renounce magic just as the Wizard wants and instead privilege science. As it turns out, the Wizard has a soldier holding a knife to the throat of Jeremiah's pregnant daughter.

My biggest issue with Dorothy is that she's constantly the spunky agent. I don't think that we've seen her once think through any action. She just rushes forward and then Lucas cleans up her mess. The only reason Dorothy is still alive is plot armor at this point. I much prefer the thinking characters like West, Glinda and even Anna, who clearly think through their actions and responses.  Anna may have been naive about the Wizard at first, but her response to his concern was to clearly build a wall and set her boundaries.

Lucas running away from Eammon because he now loves Dorothy makes no sense to me at all.  Yeah, the chemistry between them is good but suddenly he's not concerned about who he is and if he has loved one? I'm hoping that Eammon will shed some light on who Lucas is and possibly explain why exactly Sylvie is so attached to him.  Could Sylvie possibly be Lucas's daughter? Speaking of Sylvie, it's clear that she has magical power. Does this mean that she's a witch?

Tips reaction to being told that ze can either be a nun or a whore this week is absolutely priceless. Ze is right that these are limited choices for women, even if they do provide some kind of power.  I like that Tip turned the choice on its head by choosing West for the explicit purpose of learning magic.  After everything Tip has been through ze is clearly aware that knowing magic will give her control. It's also worth noting that this is the first time that West has been rendered silent.

From the beginning it's not been a secret that the Wizard is a complex man. He cares for Anna yet he had her imprisoned.  He's not above burning down a town and killing people but he is also capable of what passes for love for him.  It would be easy to pass him off as an emperor who has no clothing but I think that there's a lot more going on here. I admit that I could be biased since I love the fuck out of Vincent  D'Onofrio.  I wonder just how much more they are going to humanise the Wizard in their attempt to add nuance to the role of despot?