Emerald City: "No Place Like Home"

Hopefully if you’re reading this, then by now you’ve finished Season 1 of Emerald City. What did you think? I admit that there were some plot points that I was completely wrong about and some areas that threw me off-guard. Spoilers!!

For example, I was completely wrong (as it turned out) about Dorothy using the ruby gauntlets to get home. It does beg the question that what happened to them when she did get back to Kansas? I like that Jane is given a bigger role than she first appeared to have — she’s a great actress and if they do a season 2, I’d love to see more of her in it.

I was correct about Dorothy being separated from a loved one (although not Lucas) and right about them introducing (too late) the ‘Beast Forever’ who we never get a good look at. Canon-wise, I’m rather annoyed that they’ve turned the Nome King into an actual beast (maybe a winged monkey?) and not the spindly, white-bearded, red-faced angry king I know and love.

It was nice to see that West has a complete turnaround from opiate drunk to clear-headed advisor to the queen. I guess what troubles me about this season finale is that nothing is actually resolved. Is the Wizard dead? Where is the witches’ mother? Dorothy just got back and now she has to go back, again? What is the beast forever and what does he want? Why is Jane a prisoner? Is magic now free in Oz or just as much in danger as ever? What happened to Ozma in this scenario? Is Jack going to survive? What about Lady Ev? And whatever happened to Ojo in the Prison of the Abject?

At least we know that Toto is okay.

None of the deaths have any meaning in the big battle because we don’t know the witches, apart from Sylvie. Can Jack even be permanently killed, or just severely injured?

D’Onofrio’s Wizard is almost comically inept as a weak man who saw a second chance at greatness and did evil things to gain power, and yet still, when confronted by an angry Dorothy, trips in a battlefield. Pathetic. I really hope that he isn’t dead as he needs to come around to the full potential of the character.

If we make an assumption that the series WON’T get a second season, then it’s 10 episodes that leave too many strings untied. Overall, with the characters, there isn’t anyone I am especially fond of. Dorothy isn’t really a likable heroine and she makes really dumb choices; the Wizard is a bumbling, incompetent fraud; Glinda is a cold bitch; West is morally ambiguous; Lucas can’t make up his mind; Ozma has come into her own but I’m not really enamored of her, and Jack… Jack is a whiner.

I did like Toto. What does that say for a series that the most likable character has a non-speaking role?

With a day to reflect, it really bothers me the way that they call Dorothy back in the same episode. It would’ve been interesting if Karen Chapman had recovered from being attacked and Dorothy spent, at least a few episodes, trying to come to know the woman whom she thought was her biological mother all of this time.

emerald-cityIt’d be interesting to see if Dorothy’s experiences in Oz changed how she was in our world. In the book series, Dorothy always comes home to Kansas and her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em, and I think it’s fair to say that she’s changed by her experiences, which the musical film version accurately portrays. Other than a broody Dorothy for a scene or two, we don’t get any time to digest what has happened to her, post-adventure, and the writers aren’t allowing her a chance to struggle to find her way back there (if that’s even where she really wants to be).

Why couldn’t we have followed Dorothy’s attempts to try to connect with Karen, and find a way, from our side, back to Oz? Hospital scenes would probably be cheaper to film, would remove Dorothy from the direct conflict with The Beast Forever (what would she be honestly adding, anyway?) and if there was some struggle in Oz, or some reason that Dorothy was vital to returning to restore order, then a delayed reunion later in Season 2, with Lucas coming to fetch her — after we’ve seen his development and hopefully longing for Dorothy (and vice versa) — then, when he finally gets through the machine and finds Kansas, it would be that much sweeter.

As it was written (and I apologize if I’m offending people here) it feels more like the end of Back to the Future, so there’s a promise of further adventures, and no closure if there’s not. At least Back to the Future had likable characters!

If we make another assumption, that there WILL be a second season, I would really like to follow Eamonn (Mido Hamada). He is, by far, the most compelling character in Emerald City. I liked the poetic justice of Ozma’s punishment and the incorporation of the Cowardly Lion into the series, and I really just want to follow this character around and see his redemption.

Perhaps Emerald City, like Eamonn, deserves a second chance as well.


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