The Wizard may not be as great and powerful as he lets on

By Kelli Bamforth
January 13, 2017 at 10:00 PM EST
David Lukacs/NBC
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Waking up to the sound of a gunshot is a rather alarming way to start the day, especially when you’re stuck in some strange land and armored guards are on their way to kill you. Granted, Dorothy doesn’t know that last bit yet, but she will — and soon.

Anyway, tonight’s Emerald City opens as the aforementioned gunshot jolts a sleeping Dorothy and Toto back to consciousness. Lucas, who’s maybe a psychotic murderer, is nowhere to be found, which is definitely cause for concern for anyone who enjoys having a pulse. Dorothy, though, follows her canine/K9 (see what I did there?) down to the beach, where they find Lucas playing around with the weapon that ended Mistress East in last week’s premiere. (Guns are not toys, Scarecrow.)

Lucas seems cognizant of the fact that he totally freaked out Dorothy by not just killing Mombi, but by continuing to beat her long after she no longer posed a threat to our heroine. He confesses he acted on instinct but says there’s nothing more terrifying than Dorothy and the gun. Lucas gives it back to her anyway, she returns the sword, and the lovers-to-be resume their journey to Emerald City.

They take refuge in a circus wagon headed in the same direction — did anyone else giggle at the sight of a real-and-not-cowardly lion? — but the caravan is soon stopped by Eamonn and the other guards. Lucas, probably using that murder-y instinct of his, thinks they should split, but Dorothy wants to be taken to the Wizard; she wants him to help her get home. Luckily, Lucas grabs her when she exits the wagon to follow Toto. They hide in the brush and hear Eamonn issue an order: “Find the girl. She must die.” Dorothy’s all, “Why me?” Lucas puts two and two together and tells Dorothy it’s the Wizard who wants her dead. How will she get home now?

Speaking of the Wizard, dude is pissed. He’s in the center of town, screaming at his councilwomen, demanding they explain why there are three girls atop the knee of one of his stone giants. How did they get there? They’re possessed by magic. What are they doing? They’re performing a ritual… “for suicide.” At that moment, the girls — who were floating precipitously in midair — start falling, only to be stopped roughly 10 feet above the ground by what seems to be an invisible rope. Their necks snap and the townspeople start fleeing. So much for outlawing magic, eh?

Though the Wizard wants answers, Elizabeth (one of his councilwomen) starts warning him about The Beast Forever. She apparently analyzed some field patterns and predicted the Beast’s return in roughly eight days via a hailstorm of fire. (Yeah, we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore. An ice storm? Sure. But fire has never fallen from the Kansas sky. Trust me, I live in Kansas City.) Anna, however, insists Elizabeth is wrong and returns his attention to the three women who committed magical suicide: They hail from Mistress West’s brothel.

Meanwhile, Lucas and Dorothy have arrived at Mistress East’s castle, over which a tornadic cyclone extends from the sky. As Dorothy puts it, “I came here in a tornado; maybe I can leave in one.” If only it were that simple.

They come across the despondent but ready-to-kill Sullivan, who served as keeper of the house and thinks they’ve come to loot and steal from his former “most merciful and stern” mistress. But upon seeing the bejeweled gauntlets randomly appear on Dorothy’s hands, he thinks she might be his new mistress. Not wanting to die and all, Dorothy asserts that she is, indeed, East’s replacement and has come to “settle the weather” before it devours the castle whole. Before she does, though, she has to complete the rituals of purification — in other words, bathe and change clothes.

We turn back to the Wizard, who’s paying an unhappy visit to West and yelling something like, “Magic in Emerald City? How dare you?!” For her part, West claims she had nothing to do with those three girls committing magical suicide, though the Wizard says Anna will be the judge of that. That’s when West reveals Anna’s mom once worked for her at the brothel; she sent Anna away in hopes she would have a better life, only for her to return to the very place she wanted to protect her from. “I bet under that robe you’re just as succulent as she was,” West says. “And she was succulent. I tasted her myself… So did he.” Cavorting with sex workers? Not very wizard-like, huh?

Dorothy emerges from the purification room clad in a gorgeous red dress with a crown upon her head. “Can we just settle this weather?” she asks, presumably ready to get on with it and return home already. And at first, it looks like she might pull it off; along with Lucas and Sullivan, I watch slack-jawed as Dorothy literally walks on water to get to a platform directly underneath the cyclone. The ribbons of her dress start billowing behind her, she raises her arms… and POOF! The twister disappears. And so does Dorothy.

NEXT: K. Chapman was here

When we see Dorothy again, she’s standing on another platform in the middle of a stream surrounded by snowy woods. There are various items strewn around, including a bed, but it’s a white lab coat floating straight to Dorothy that grabs her attention, especially when she sees it belongs to a K. Chapman, which happens to be her mother’s name. Though viewers could assume Dorothy’s mom had been to Oz at some point — the timing of when she dropped off Dorothy at Aunt Em’s and the last time The Beast Forever ravaged Oz has to be more than a coincidence — this is the first sign Dorothy’s gotten. Needless to say, when she appears back at the castle, she’s got some questions for Sullivan.

He explains that those objects, including the white coat Dorothy brought back with her, belonged to “interlopers” who never should have been in Oz. What’s more, the Wizard himself brought this particular interloper — a.k.a. Dorothy’s mom — to Mistress East for a one-way ticket home. Silly Dorothy says K. Chapman is her mom, blowing her cover as New Mistress and putting Sullivan on the defensive. Once again, Lucas saves her from certain death, and the trio (including Toto) escape the castle just before it crumbles to the ground.

It’s Dorothy’s turn to be despondent. “My mom was in Oz,” she tells Lucas. “My answers were here, and now they’re gone because of me.”

A look of steely resolve quickly comes over her face, and she gets up and starts walking away. “Where are you going? Dorothy?” Lucas calls after her. “To see the Wizard,” she says. And there you have it.

While Anna was busy interviewing West’s other, ahem, employees, the Wizard and West were having quite the heart-to-heart, one which makes me sincerely hope we see more of West in upcoming episodes. She tells him:

“I am a cardinal witch. The last of her kind. I have powers you can’t even fathom, and I own a run-down brothel because I hate magic even more than you. I’m glad you banned it. I’m glad not to use it. Magic was a drug even worse than the poppy. Lot of good it did us against The Beast Forever… all those powerful witches drowned by the Beast and me, useless to stop it. Where’s the magic in that?”

Later, once Anna has completed her investigation at West’s brothel, she tells the Wizard the girls who leaped to their deaths weren’t imbued with magic by West, but by The Beast Forever itself. Elizabeth may have been wrong about the timing and the form said Beast would take, but it’s indeed on its way. “The Beast Forever will come when the two moons become one,” Anna says.

Anna’s obviously a smart girl, but she pulls a dumb move when she first accuses the Wizard of having lost control of his stone giants before then doubting he ever controlled the giants at all. She thinks their power is locked up in the Prison of the Abject, which is why the Wizard wants it open. Though she swears not to tell anyone, even Glinda, the Wizard approaches her menacingly. I half-thought he would throw her off the balcony, but instead, he has her locked up.

Nope, it’s not Anna who takes a dive from a high place — it’s Jack. Following last week’s premiere-ending scene in which Tip woke up in a female body, the two friends traveled to the City of Ev in search of a herbalist who could make more of Tip’s medicine and hopefully return Tip to his former body. Turns out the medicine is a magical black elixir — one that disturbed Tip’s true nature, which is that of a girl.

Needless to say, Tip is reeling from this information. When Jack finds Tip sitting on a balcony high atop the city square, Tip starts to unravel. For his part, Jack isn’t sure how to respond — he reveals he stole Mombi’s jewel-crusted knife and says they can sell it and stay together. Then he kisses his friend, who understandably freaks out and pushes him away. Tip pushed a bit too hard, though — Jack falls roughly 100 feet to the ground below, and the screen cuts to black.

After a relatively slow two-hour premiere, I’m glad the action picked up a bit this week, even if we’re left with more questions than answers. What did you think of Emerald City‘s third outing? Hit the comments!

Episode Recaps

NBC's gritty drama directed by Tarsem Singh portrays Oz as a dark place Dorothy must survive.
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seasons
  • 1
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  • 01/06/17
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  • In Season
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