This week on Emerald City, the show dove much deeper into the unique and engrossing lives of the characters, and dazzled us with its stunning scenery. Emerald City redeemed itself from the premiere episode last week by setting a strong and gripping foundation for episodes to come.
Now that we have gotten past the straightforward and simple introduction to the world of Oz flagrantly portrayed last week, the show took a great step forward with its sensible pace and unpredictability. Unlike last week, nothing about this episode was conventional in regards to the classic story of The Wizard of Oz, which was a refreshing twist that added a great deal of enjoyment and surprise.
The episode begins with the continuous search to find Dorothy and kill her in order to prevent the “beast forever” from returning. Desperate to get back to Kansas, Dorothy heads toward a tornado formed around the the palace once belonging to the Witch of the East. It is then revealed that, after killing the witch, Dorothy now bears her powers. After attempting to enter the tornado in order to get back home, Dorothy makes a shocking discovery that her mother had once been to Oz. With this new information and her new-found abilities, Dorothy chooses to face The Wizard and heads off to Emerald City to uncover the many mysteries surrounding her and her mother’s past.
Back in Emerald City, it becomes clear that The Wizard is worried about what is to come. After seeking the advice of his council, it is evident that a new beast will be arriving when the two moons align. As The Wizard begins to lose control of the magic around him that he has fought so hard to destroy, we are starting to see that the the great and powerful Wizard of Oz may not be all he’s cracked up to be.
The episode also probes into the baffling case of Tip (Jordan Loughran) and her “bad blood.” Jack (Gerran Howell) and Tip head to the City of Ev in search of a way to “fix” Tip and turn her back into a he. Upon discovering that she has been a she all along and her guardian had been giving her a potion in order to make her male, Tip lashes out in anger a frustration, which leads to a shocking deed. Tip’s character development along with the cultural references regarding sexuality and gender identity leaves us wondering why Tip was forced to be something she’s not for what seems like no justifiable reason at all.
By and large, the character performances were strong and well-rendered. The chemistry between Dorothy and Lucas continues to be magnetic, and Tip’s performance showed a great deal of strength as well as potential. The only unpleasant part of this episode was the lackluster performance by The Wizard of Oz himself. Whether it be his empty emotion or his wooden acting, his portrayal of this great and powerful wizard is anything but great and powerful. His goofy manner will make you more uncomfortable than anything else. For such a significant role, he leaves a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, it seems that in episodes to come we will soon discover more truths about his past, which will hopefully open a new door of vulnerability and exposure to his character that has yet to be seen.
We now know that Dorothy’s mother has been to Oz before, but it is still unclear why. There are also many questions surrounding Tip’s past, as well as Jack’s misfortune at the end of the episode. “Mistress-New-Mistress” left us with an exciting ending as well as a surprising and fresh storyline that is slowly but surely beginning to evolve.
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9 PM EST on NBC.