Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Emerald City, Season One, Episode Three: Mistress - New - Mistress

I've long thought that waking up to an alarm clock is the worst way to greet the day but this week Dorothy awoke to a gunshot and I have to admit that just might be worse than an alarm.  The first thing she notices is that Lucas is missing. Yeah, given his past and the gunshot, that sounds like cause for concern to me.  Dorothy follows Toto to the beach where she finds Lucas reflecting on the weapon. Lucas is well aware of how scary he is, particularly given the case of overkill as it concerns Mombi.  He may not have his memory but he knows enough to recognise that he's not a man to be played with.  Lucas expresses concern about just how lethal Dorothy's weapon is and points out that if he kills someone with his sword, he has to work for it.  Dorothy demands her gun back and after a slight hesitation Lucas complies.  I thought that this was a great commentary about just how lethal guns are.  No matter Lucas's skills, if armed only with a sword, if Dorothy points her weapon and shoots, there's nothing he can do in his own defense.

They decide to continue on with their journey and hitch a ride with a circus.  They don't get to travel for long because the caravan is stopped by the Wizard's guards.  Unsure of exactly where he stands at this point, Lucas wisely decides that it's time to jet.  Dorothy chooses to stay because she wants to see the Wizard so that she can return home.  Lucas hops out of the caravan and Toto quickly follows. So much for the loyalty of dogs I suppose.  Dorothy steps outside to grab Toto, and is instead grabbed by Lucas and dragged into the bushes.  They listen is as Eammon gives the order for Dorothy to be found and killed. Well that's one for Lucas.

Things aren't looking good for the Wizard because things are quickly spiraling out of control. Three young women are up on a roof doing a ritual.  It turns out that it's ritual suicide. The girls begin to float in the air and then spiral to the ground stopping about 2 meters from the ground with their necks snapped. The witnesses take this as their cue to make themselves scarce.  

After seeing this, an enraged Wizard, who has banned magic in Oz wants answers. Elizabeth immediately starts talking about The Beast Forever and warns of its return in eight days by a hailstorm of fire. That would sure make for one hell of a dramatic entrance.  Anna pulls the Wizard aside and says that the dead women are the responsibility of West because they committed magical suicide.

Lucas and Dorothy arrive at the castle of the witch of the east, which sports a cyclone on the top.  Dorothy reasons that since she arrived in Oz on a tornado that she can leave on one as well. Lucas urges caution but Dorothy little miss spunky agent refuses to even pause for a moment. The first roadblock they come across is Sullivan, who is guarding the door.  It seems that even though the witch of the east is dead, he's determined to stay loyal.  He accuses Dorothy and Lucas of being thieves, there to plunder but when he sees that Dorothy is wearing the golden hand jewelry, he assumes that Dorothy must be his new mistress. Dorothy is happy to go with this and even agrees to fix the weather. Sullivan escorts them into the castle and shows Dorothy a room where she can purify herself (read: wash off the dust and change clothing) before the ceremony.

Having learned that the public suicide is the responsibility of West, the Wizard decides to pay her a little visit. The Wizard is still in a rage about the suicides and is doubly pissed that magic happened in his realm; however, West remains nonplussed by his rage. West turns her attention to Anna, and informs Anna that her mother sent her away from Emerald City to have a better life than she did.  Clearly, Anna's mother was a sex worker because West goes on about how succulent she was.  This also means that West just might be a lesbian.  West also doesn't shy away from informing the Wizard that he slept with Anna's mother as well and suggests that the Wizard might want to taste Anna.

Now that she is washed and dressed in a gorgeous and I do mean gorgeous red dress, Dorothy is ready to fake it till she makes it with a ceremony to fix the weather.  At first, everything looks good when she manages to walk on water.  That's quite a feat.  The ribbons of Dorothy's dress begin to move with the wind and she raises her arm in the air and disappears. When we see Dorothy, she's still on the platform but no longer in the castle.  On the ground is snow along with some detritus. Dorothy spies a lab coat with her mothers name on it and grabs it.

When Dorothy returns to the castle, the tornado is still raging and she's got some questions for Sullivan about the lab coat. Sullivan explains that the jacket belongs to an interloper that the Wizard brought there for a trip home.  This means that Dorothy's mother was in Oz at some point. Could she possibly be The Beast Forever? When Dorothy reveals that the coat belongs to her mother, Sullivan realises that Dorothy is an interloper and not in fact his new Mistress. Lucas comes to the rescue of Dorothy and the two manage to escape just before the castle crashes to the ground. Once outside, Dorothy determines that the only way she is going to get answers is if she speaks to the Wizard herself.

The Wizard has been busy chatting with West, who reveals that she hates magic.  It seems that West hasn't gotten over the fact that for all of her powers she was unable to stop The Beast Forever. She's happy that the Wizard banned magic and actually compares it to opium.

With her investigation done, Anna decides to have a chat with the Wizard. It seems that Anna has figured out that the magic which resulted in the suicide didn't come from West but from The Beast Forever. Anna warns that the beast will arrive when the two moons become one. Anna then takes it one step to far when she reveals her belief that the Wizard doesn't control the stone giants and that this is why the Wizard is so desperate to get his hands on the Prison of the Abject. The Wizard moves towards her and I thought that he was going to kill her but instead he locks her up.

Finally, let's talk about Jack and Tip, who is having a horrible time adjusting to life as a young woman.  Jack keeps checking Tip out on the sly, seeing his friend in a very different light.  The two make it to an apothecary in the hopes of getting him to make more medicine, only to discover that the potion simply hid the truth because Tip was born female. As you might imagine Tip does not take this news well and runs away.

When Jack finds Tip later, ze is sitting on a balcony despondently. Jack promises that the two of them can always be together and as proof of this, he pulls out a dagger he stole from Mombi with the intention that they sell the jewels buried in the dagger. When that doesn't bring Tip any comfort, Jack leans in and kisses hir which causes an enraged Tip to push Jack away. Unfortunately for Jack, Tip pushes him so hard he falls off the balcony to his death.

I still very much read Tip as a trans* character. Ze may have been born female but having lived hir life as a boy, the body ze has now feels alien to hir.  Ze despises hir own face.  I like that they aren't skipping over the torment of this.  Tip doesn't know who ze is now and it's clear that ze wants to go back to being male.  It will be interesting to see how Tip chooses to identify going forward because it's clear that hir body does not match how ze perceives hirself. As we know, biology isn't destiny and certainly in a magical world, changes to one's body are easy to accomplish, as we have already witnessed.

Since we are the topic of GLBT characters, we have to discuss West. This week's revelation is that West had sex with Anna's mother which makes West at the very least bisexual.  Thus far, I don't recall West being sexual with any male.  This means Emerald City has not one but two LGBT characters. It's also clear that West is suffering from PTSD and has survivor's guilt.  She feels powerless because she couldn't stop the beast but I imagine that might change once she realises that the Wizard didn't do as much as he is allowing people to believe. This week we learned that he simply bullied his way into power.

The other thing I like is that thus far Emerald City has made a point of discussing just how dangerous guns are. East would be alive had she been familiar with a gun. We already know that many die each year from mishandling a gun.  Then we have Lucas, who makes it clear that this weapon is terrifying. Lucas himself is clearly lethal but no match for this weapon.  If I am reading this correctly, there's a strong anti-gun message running through the show which I for one heartily approve of.

As for Dorothy, she seems to have the sense of a concussed penguin. Who decides to just ride a tornado? Yeah that's how she arrived in Oz but with no magic to protect her it's a fools errand. Lucas is going to get tired of pulling her ass out of the fire.  Spunk Agents as protagonists aren't interesting because it takes plot amour to keep them alive.