Emerald City Season 1 Episode 1 Review: The Beast Forever

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That was quite a trip, wasn't it?

Almost everyone knows the story of Dorothy and her trip to Oz. It's been done so many times, it makes you wonder how it could be told any differently. Then comes along a show like Emerald City.

I don't know about anyone else, but I was completely mesmerized. Emerald City Season 1 Episode 1 and Emerald City Season 1 Episode 2 was a wonderful introduction to a darker and much more interesting version of Oz. 

Follow the Yellow Brick Road - Emerald City Season 1 Episode 1

I know I shouldn't be since it's so early in the game, and I know she's wicked, but I'm already a die-hard fan of West. 

There's just something about her that is incredibly captivating. Wicked or not, she's my favorite witch so far. 

And I'm sure you're probably wondering why I'm not talking about Dorothy, but it's coming. Have some patience. We'll get to that badass in a moment.

For now, back to the witches. The Wizard has outlawed magic, so West runs a brothel to keep herself occupied. You'd think having access to sex 24/7 would be a happy thing, but she doesn't seem very happy.

Her soul seems crushed, and it makes me wonder how much rage is going to be released when she's finally free from her bonds. I don't like that The Wizard seems to have more power over her than he does Glinda.

Could The Wizard be more afraid of West? After all, she is supposed to be wicked. But she showed a lot more emotion than her sister when East died. She actually went out to the streets and screamed in agony. Icy Glinda did nothing.

A Witch Upset - Emerald City Season 1 Episode 1

Glinda (the good witch of the North) is a stuck-up bitch. She's in cahoots with The Wizard, but it's all an act. She's up to something, and I don't think it's very good.

She doesn't seem to like West very much either, but she was pretty thrilled when West captured East's magic and vomited it up in the jar. Can Glinda do the same with her cardinal opposite?

There's no doubt that Mombi, Tip's mom, was a witch. Whether she was a cardinal witch remains to be seen. But the woman's not dead despite the fact that Lucas did quite a number on her. 

Is it possible that Mombi is the Witch of the South, because we seem to be missing a direction: East, West, and North, but no south? If she's the South witch, does that mean she's a good witch like Glinda's supposed to be? 

Enchanted Entrance - Emerald City Season 1 Episode 2

But if she's supposed to be good, why was she keeping a child captive? Why was she keeping Tip a boy when she was really a girl? It's an intriguing storyline, isn't it?

I know that Mombi and Tip are both characters from other volumes of Baum's books, but I haven't read the books, so I'm just speculating on the what-ifs. But what if Tip is a child of one of the witches? Maybe West's?

I'm loving how the show is delving into aspects of Oz with which many of us aren't familiar. It really adds to the intrigue of it all.

And I love how the show has turned Dorothy from a goody-goody into a downright badass.

Follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. The Wizard is there. Tell your apologies to him.

Ojo

Not only did Dorothy survive a bit of water torture, but the look on her face when she grabbed Lucas' sword and went to save Tip was downright scary. 

But perhaps the best show of badassery had to be the way she killed the Wicked Witch of the East. The girl has some strong survival skills, and she wasn't about to become another prisoner in East's horrific prison.

How she was even able to think clearly while in that kind of pain is beyond me.

But then again, she was able to think clearly as a tornado was bearing down on her. She wasn't stupefied by the magnificence of it at all. 

The Tornado - Emerald City

She jumped right into the police car and off she went for an unexpected ride of a lifetime.

Did anyone else notice the birthmark on her hand? We saw it twice, once when her mother dropped her off at Aunt Em's house, and again when she reunited with her birth mother in the storm shelter.

It seemed to be in the shape of a tornado, and considering it appeared she was born in a storm, I'm wondering if she has some connection to The Wizard.

In Oz, nothing good ever comes from the skies. So, when it does, we try to send it back in pieces.

The Wicked Witch of the East

The only part of the story I didn't understand was why there was a dead cop in Karen's trailer, and why Karen herself was injured. What exactly happened and why? And why was Karen tracking this storm so closely? There's something deeper going on here.

I did think it was sort of goofy that Dorothy decided to go talk to Karen when it was obvious there was a serious storm brewing. She lives in Kansas, so she should know better.

But maybe she went because she knew Karen lived in a trailer and wanted to get her to safety, but Karen already knew the dangers of trailer-living in tornado land just for the fact she had an underground shelter. 

A lot of it seemed rather convenient, but it didn't make it any less intriguing. I still couldn't pull my eyes from the screen. 

And how about Toto? A badass Dorothy should have a badass German Shepard tagging along.

One of my favorite parts was Ojo "naming" Toto. It was the most adorable thing.

Ojo: Your Toto looks hungry.
Dorothy: My Toto?
Ojo: Toto is "dog" in our language.

Even though Ojo voted to have Dorothy killed, it didn't make him any less likeable. After West, he's probably my favorite. He sort of reminds me of Hagrid from Harry Potter. And he was funny.

Ojo - Emerald City Season 1 Episode 1

We got to meet the Scarecrow aka Lucas and the Tin Man aka Eamonn early on. We're just waiting to meet the Lion, though Eamonn made a nice reference when he chopped up that guy who was going to kill him. I guess he really does need a little heart. 

I'm not really sure how I feel about a Dorothy and Lucas romance. We know it's heading that way because not only were they awfully flirty with each other, but I think there was a kiss in the preview that followed the premiere. 

The Wizard has some serious issues. He's a big man with an even bigger ego, it seems, but deep down he's afraid. I'm really curious to find out how he was able to outlaw magic. He's just a man, right? How did he overcome the witches?

So, what did he do to convince the people of Oz that he's this guy with power enough to protect them from the Beast? And who built those warriors?

This and That:

  • There was a really nice nod to the 1939 film in the kitchen scene between Aunt Em and Dorothy. There was a Tinman something (maybe a coffeepot) next to the sink, a rainbow suncatcher in the window, a lion on the windowsill, and a scarecrow in the yard visible from the window.
  • West ran out in a green dress when she learned The Wicked Witch of the East died.
  • The kids from Munchkin land greeting Dorothy when she landed was cute. Little Munchkins.
  • The little old lady in the hospital wanting red nail polish might have been a reference to the ruby slippers.
  • The flying monkey drones and the drone projector were cool. I liked seeing the car that might've looked like a house falling out of the sky.

What did you think? Will you be returning with Dorothy to Oz? Hit the comments below and share your thoughts!

The Beast Forever Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (40 Votes)

Lisa Babick is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Emerald City Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Do you really want to know what I wish for? I wish there was more.

Dorothy

Aunt Em: Dorothy, she's your mother.
Dorothy: You're my mother.