Glinda’s not a good witch, Tip’s a princess, Eamonn’s the lion, and Dorothy is somewhat irrelevant. Though it has been a week of revelations on Emerald City, with only two episodes left, the show has dragged us down a deep hole leaving us no time left to climb out.
Not only do we find out that Lucas/Roan is Glinda’s lover, but we then find out that the two are married. We are just as shocked as Dorothy, and poor Roan now has to deal with two women who are furious with him but in love him at the same time. Throughout the series, Dorothy and Lucas’s relationship has always been a strong element of the show. With the addition of Glinda as Roan’s past love after she retrieves his memory, the awkward moments between the two does little to diminish the powerful connection he and Dorothy have.
As the episode progresses, we are supposed to believe that Roan is having this constant internal battle between his two loves, but who are we kidding. The lack of establishing he and Glinda’s bombshell of a relationship destroys any sense of mystery as to who he will choose. A supposedly climactic part of the episode is when Glinda commands Roan to kill Dorothy so he will be free to love her and her alone is anything but climactic. As hard as he tries to look conflicted, we all know he won’t be able to kill Dorothy.
Speaking of awkward relationships, Queen Ev continues to confuse us as she toys with Jack and his emotions. One moment she is giving Jack the royal treatment, and the next she is scolding him like a little servant boy. She keeps claiming that she is the way she is because she has never known any other way, and Jack keeps buying into it. Though the couple has shared some cute moments, these bits of significance are overshadowed by awkwardness and confusion. Queen Ev may be a badass ruler, but she is a terrible girlfriend.
Finally, after learning that the Queen fired his good friend and rescuer, Jane, Jack calls Queen Ev out. She must finally be listening to him, because she releases him as her property and tells him he can leave her if he wants. Jack makes the smart choice and bolts, but I have a feeling their unconvincing relationship is not over.
The only duo of any importance this week was West and Tip. After West discovers Tip with a dagger that once belonged to the King of Oz, Tip starts to put the pieces together. In order to further discover the truth about her past, West has her drink her sister’s magic in order to gain her powers. After drinking the creepy liquid remains, Tip has a flashback and learns that when the Wizard took over Oz, he ordered Eamonn, who happened to be wearing a lion’s head mask (very clever), to kill her parents. Tip was somehow able to escape, which is why she was kept hidden for so many years.
After the flashback, Tip seems to stop breathing and West believes that she has killed her. Lost without her better half, West pleads with Glinda to forgive her and let her join her cause. Glinda refuses and claims she is beyond redemption. West starts to lose it and slits her own wrists. As she dramatically bleeds out, Tip comes out of nowhere and very plainly says, “It worked.” Tip has now become the main heroine of the show and is one of the only strong elements this episode possessed.
I have tried very hard to avoid Game of Thrones comparisons and give Emerald City the benefit of the doubt, but it has become impossible to ignore the unmissable similarities. Whether it be the brothels, the poppies, or the fight for the rightful heir to to thrown, it seems that this show has taken more from Game of Thrones than it has from Frank Baum’s original tale. That being said, there are still elements of the show that peak one’s interest. The common themes and goals are relatable and intriguing at times, but it primarily serves as a shallow, PG version of its older brother.
Being eight episodes in, I was hoping to have more a a vested interest in the show and its characters. Instead, I’m left wanting Emerald City to simply get to the point. The best element of “Lions in Winter” was Tip’s plot twist. Dorothy took a backseat this week, which made room for Tip as she carries the show to its end. The future of Emerald City, both the show and the city itself, is all in Tip’s hands.
Emerald City airs Fridays at 9 PM EST on NBC