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REVIEW: Emerald City 1×05 “Everybody Lies”

So, the fourth episode of Emerald City certainly ended in dramatic fashion, and the show continues to up its game as the cast all begin to converge and cross paths. Dorothy was knocked out by a boomerang at the end of last episode by Munchkin chief Ojo, and Lucas and the mysterious little girl Sylvie were confronted by Eamonn, who turns out to possibly know Lucas’ true identity. Our story picks up not too long after as most of the cast actually reach the Emerald City.

Dorothy is who is dragged by Ojo to the home of West, who is understandably mad at her for murdering her sister East. West immediately asks if Dorothy “is a good witch or a bad witch”. The irony of using gags like this is obvious when the series does seem hellbent on distilling all of the classic elements of the franchise for more simpler tips of the hat. Meanwhile, Princess Langwidere rolls into Emerald City, accompanied by Jack, and her senile father, who is the king. Interestingly, he seems quite normal at first but gradually goes doolally as the episode goes on. There’s a funny gag when the carriage bounces, and Jack’s metal hand flies into Langwidere’s lap. Langwidere suspects the Wizard wants something from the King of Ev, though he just claims she is cynical.

Eamonn returns home, where we briefly meet his daughter, before he invites Lucas, Sylvie, and Toto in. Eamonn explains that Lucas’ real name is Roan, and he was the finest soldiers he ever knew. Lucas worries he slaughtered Eamonn’s men, but is informed that there was an insurgency of witchcraft and the dead soldiers were likely killed by magic users. Eamonn goes to leave so he can clear Lucas’ name, only to keel over from the injuries trigger-happy Dorothy laid on him in the last episode.

West decides to start interrogating the frightened Dorothy, Ojo having made a deal to bring her Dorothy in exchange for his wife being freed from the Prison of the Abject. However, the Wizard claimed the prison was “locked” since East was killed, so West’s promise is a little sketchy. West then summons Tip, who is now working as her servant and resident tea girl. I guess joining the witch to get magic didn’t really work out for Tip, though she does silently regard Dorothy. Dorothy attempts to do the usual cycle of denial, then pleads, and then even has a nerve to try and trick West into shooting herself like she did to East. It doesn’t work since she forgot to load the gun and gets tortured.

The Wizard hosts tea for the King of Ev, Langwidere, and his council, celebrating the Festival of the Beast, where everyone wears masks to reflect on the terror that the still-anonymous Beast of Forever brought them. The Wizard asks the King for help in stopping the Beast when it returns by building weapons, though Langwidere starts weaving discord at the dinner table by insulting and trolling everyone. She is becoming one of the best characters in this show. West speaks to Glinda who appears in a floating cloth, telling her about Dorothy. In true bitchy fashion, Glinda insults West and instructs her not to do anything til she arrives.

West then has a chat with Tip, who laments at her anger and pushing Jack off the balcony. West seems to find a kindred spirit with her, showing a brief moment of affection before it is gatecrashed by her servant Miranda, a clearly envious woman who is devoted to her mistress. Miranda pops in to check on Dorothy, who is trying to grab a piece of metal with her foot to break her shackles. Miranda empties a chamber pot down a raised hole in the floor, and immediately guesses Dorothy views that as a potential escape route. Yeah, it does seem a little silly to put Dorothy in a room she can so easily escape out of. And then Miranda deliberately steps on Dorothy’s toes. Ouch.

Sylvie wakes up Lucas and informs him that Dorothy is in the city. I only noticed on my second viewing that Eamonn has lions painted on his walls. That’s a nice little touch. West revisits Dorothy and interrogates her while forcing her into some uncomfortable levitating aerobics. West asks why East was on her way to speak with her, accusing Dorothy of being an assassin. They briefly discuss Dorothy’s mother, until East’s magic gloves materialise on her hands. West tries to yank them off but gets, what I can best describe as, magically electrocuted. The Wizard attempts to parley with the King of Ev, but is baffled when the old man requests that his dead dog is resurrected.

The Wizard speaks with Langwidere, realising she is ruling the kingdom in her father’s stead. Langwidere refuses to help him, pointing out when the Beast of Forever came, he did not use his powers to save her kingdom, though the Wizard brushes it off as a tragedy. He asks Langwidere what she wants, and she venomously replies that she wants the Emerald City to be destroyed. Wow, not the best way to keep a fragile relationship up and running, lady. Dorothy tries to break out, but is interrupted by Tip, who reveals who she is, but she refuses to help Dorothy escape due to what has happened to her (though Dorothy does point out the hypocrisy, since Tip wanted out).

Lucas leads Sylvie through the city in search of Dorothy, wearing a festival mask to hide his face, though apparently it isn’t enough to draw attention from the soldiers on patrol. Another woman gets chucked into the cell, and it turns out to be Dorothy’s mother Karen…or it is actually West in disguise, but that totally wouldn’t be obvious. Dorothy and Karen have a heart-to-heart, but, surprise, surprise, it actually does turn out to be West. She uses the disguise to look into Dorothy’s memories, discovering East was suspicious of Glinda’s intentions.

Langwidere wants to drag Jack down to the festival, but he wants nothing to do with her. In a surprise move, Langwidere refers to him as her friend, though she doesn’t really understand what a friend is, asking Jack to go with her to the festival. Aw, that’s sweet of her. Tip has a change of heart and decides to bust Dorothy out, handing her the key to the privy box, but Miranda leaps in to catch them in the act. West and Glinda arrive moments later, finding Miranda tied up and Dorothy gone. Tip enters, feigning ignorance, while Miranda pleads her own innocence. Unconvinced, West drops Miranda down the privy to a rather unfortunate pooey death. Dorothy escapes through the sewer, witnessing Miranda’s humiliating exit.

The Wizard speaks with Eamonn about Dorothy and is shocked when the surgeon presents him with a bullet. He shows it to Anna, claiming it will kill the Beast of Forever. Lucas and Sylvie are cornered by several soldiers, but Lucas goes back into crazy mode and kills all of them save one. He realises what he has done and surrenders himself to the lone survivor, telling Sylvie to go back to Eamonn’s house and wait for Dorothy. The surviving soldier explains that Lucas was passing by Nimbo with a wagon, but refused to open it for inspection, leading to a fight and his crucifying.

Langwidere and Jack wander through the festival, Jack asking about her need to wear a mask, but she comments that she will reveal her secret when they are true friends. They are later cornered by a bunch of drunken idiots, who want to get frisky with the princess, but Jack kisses their asses with his new Tin Man body. Langwidere is so thrilled that she kisses him, asking if they can be “something else”. Well, that escalated quickly.

Ojo returns to West for his wife but learns she lied to him, though she does seem pretty upset about it. Dorothy dons a fox mask and sneaks through the festival, discovering she can just waltz right into the palace without a single guard in sight. Venturing into the Wizard’s chambers, she discovers a walkman playing Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” (a nice nod to the urban legend that The Wizard of Oz plays in perfect synch with “Dark of the Moon”). She stops the music, and the Wizard pops up from around a corner. The Wizard is surprised by her earthly knowledge, and when she asks about her mother, he drops the bombshell – Dorothy is from Oz!

Admittedly, that was a little predictable ever since the first episode, but it gets things moving along now. The plot has been meandering as of late, but at least all of the characters are going places now. I feel that the romantic relationships are being thrown in for the sake of it, though there is a strange cuteness to the new Langwidere/Jack pairing, and they, along with Tip, remain the most interesting characters in the show. Unfortunately, Dorothy, Lucas, and Eamonn remain the dullest members of the cast and their stories aren’t that interesting. Come on, the trio are supposed to be heroes, and all they are doing is trying to outdo each other in how quietly they can whisper their dialogue. I care more about Toto then I do then these three.

Final Score: C

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About the author

Mark Russell