Saturday, February 04, 2017

Emerald City: "Beautiful Wickedness"

Okay, it took long enough, but we're getting somewhere at last! So, the sixth* episode, "Beautiful Wickedness":

  • We start off with a very interesting flashback to 1996 Topeka, Kansas, and some sort of experiment at a nuclear power plant. Frank (our Wizard, but clean-shaven here) is a technician who's not taken terribly seriously by the other scientists. The experiment goes wrong, one of the scientists (Javier) dies, and the rest are transported to Oz, where they ally themselves with the reluctant Munchkins. A few months later, Karen gives birth to Javier's daughter, Jane finds a witch willing to send them home, but Frank shocks them all by deciding to stay. And yes, that baby is Dorothy. (So at least the Wizard isn't her father, which I know a lot of people predicted after last week's episode.)
  • In the present, the Wizard realizes that he's been fighting Dorothy all along, so he changes his attitude towards her and brings her into his confidence (or at least appears to). Through the course of the episode, however, he manages to get the gun from here, which he hopes Langwidere can mass produce to defeat the Beast Forever.
  • One way the Wizard earns Dorothy's trust is by letting her see Lucas, only for West to then come in and try to bring back his memory. It turns out, of course, that they're there, only shielded by magic. West can't break the spell, as it turns out to be Glinda who hid them, but West can work around it. She discovers that the last thing Lucas remembers is protecting a wagonful of young witches. Since this should be impossible, West concludes that her mother, Mother South, is still alive (as she is the only one who can make new witches), and that Glinda must be hiding that information from West. Naturally, West tells the Wizard, and tells the Wizard that Glinda must therefore be working against him.
  • Langwidere, meanwhile, must deal with her father, who is continuing to regress. The king of Ev thinks the family dog is still around barking for him, depite the dog having died years earlier. The king eventually wanders off and thinks Toto is the dog—and is then turned to stone. (Hmm, since Toto was protecting the young girl Dorothy and Lucas picked up a few episodes back, and the last time anyone turned to stone they had kidnapped that girl—)
  • Finally, they don't have a lot to do in this episode, but Tip and Jack have an awkward reunion, with Jack blaming Tip for killing him and showing her what he has become.
The new "Emerald City" has an intriguing discussion going over at Reddit, and someone there pointed out that we saw Jane earlier in the series, as the surgeon that turned Jack into a cyborg. So there's one other little storyline to deal with, but it makes sense. It seems Karen and Dorothy were the only ones who made it out of Oz, and then, as the Wizard put it, Oz pulled Dorothy back. And still no lion. Four more episodes to go, and I hope this adaptation has at least one improvement on another event this has been compared to, Tin Man: A more satisfying conclusion.

*Yes, I know, this is the fifth showing. But as the two-hour premiere was actually two episodes edited together, this is, technically, the sixth episode of the storyline. I say this only because I know someone is going to bring the issue up if I don't.

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