EMERALD CITY -- "They Came First" Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ana Ularu as West, Jordan Loughran as Tip -- (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)
ReviewsTelevision & Film

EMERALD CITY and the Episode of Love and Betrayal

Season 1, Episode 7 “They Came First”
Written by Tracy Bellomo
Directed by Tarsem Singh

[Header image courtesy of David Lukacs/NBC]

On last week’s episode of Emerald City, we got a lot of backstory on some of our favorite characters! It turns out the Wizard, aka Frank (Vincent D’Onofrio), worked at a vortex lab with Karen (Gina Bellman) and Jane (Gina McKee), and he accidentally killed Dorothy’s (Adria Arjona) dad when he sabotaged the machine to get to Oz. Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) was smuggling young witches to Glinda (Joely Richardson) when he was caught by some guards and ended up taking a potion to block his memories. West (Ana Ularu) found out South may still be alive and that Glinda is planning a revolt against the Wizard with the new witches. And after Lady Ev’s (Stefanie Martini) father is killed, the Wizard shoots Anna (Isabel Lucas) to demonstrate the power of the weapon he wants her to make for his fight against the Beast. You can find my full recap and review of last week here. This week’s is below!

We start out this week in Emerald City with Eamonn (Mido Hamada) and his guards pulling all the girls out of their houses and rounding them up to make sure they’re not witches. Everyone really seems to be losing their grip in this episode, the Wizard most of all. My favorite quote, though, was when the Wizard tells Eamonn, “People don’t revolt when they’re scared; they revolt when they’re angry.” Not only is this a nice piece of foreshadowing for the later parts of the episode, and I’m sure the show, it’s also a pretty true sentiment in real life, as well.

Our first scene with Dorothy, Lucas, Sylvie (Rebeka Rea), and Toto shows them stopping in a lovely field to stretch and gather water. I love that you can tell Dorothy is struggling to decide whether or not to tell Lucas why the guards aren’t following them, and which side she’s on. Ever since he found out he worked for Glinda, he’s been pretty set on her side. Dorothy seems to have chosen the Wizard’s side, since he has his own vortex machine that can get her home.

Lady Ev is still dealing with the death of her father as she and Jack (Gerran Howell) ride back to Ev so she can become queen. Jack is still reeling after his reunion with Tip (Jordan Loughran), so of course he says the wrong thing the Lady Ev, and she kicks him out of the carriage. When he steps off the side of the road, he lands in some water, which you just know won’t be good for his metal parts. It turns out she dropped him off in the Screaming Forest, which would be a nightmare to be in, but is actually kind of hauntingly beautiful on screen to me.

Water + metal = rust (David Lukacs/NBC)

When Toto starts barking and Dorothy and Lucas hear howling, they all take off running to find Sylvie, who can’t hear any of this because of the shells in her ears. A surprisingly large group of wolves close in on her, and Dorothy summons up witchy power out of sheer need to protect her. The gauntlets that I still love appear and she sends a shockwave out, knocking over all of the animals. I loved the effect of the magic! The shockwave was awesome, even if the wolves’ falling over wasn’t entirely believable.

One part I was a little confused about was when Dorothy said it was cruel the witches took Sylvie’s hearing. Maybe I just misunderstood what she meant, but Sylvie’s hearing is actually too strong, as she hears everything loudly when the shells are taken out. Maybe she meant it was cruel they decided to block her hearing instead of training her on how to focus it. This would be the only thing that makes sense to me since Dorothy tries to help her hone her hearing once they arrive to the farmhouse by focusing on one specific bird, which seems to work.

Just going for a nice, family drive after almost being eaten by wolves. (David Lukacs/NBC)

West has certainly looked better, as we see her sweaty and sickly on the floor of her brothel in this episode. It appears she’s remembering the last time the Beast attacked, as she sees several girls floating in a giant, green wave. I loved when Tip stood up to the guard after the Wizard arrived! The guard was seriously creepy, but Tip didn’t even flinch before pulling out a dagger and sticking it in the guy’s face! The knife did disappear quickly between jumping off the wall and walking through the doorway, but that’s minor.

We see more of the Wizard’s manipulative side. As I mentioned, he really seems to be losing his collected façade in this episode. He uses Glinda’s betrayals and secrets to talk West into helping him find witches, and when he promises to protect them, you just know he’s lying. I guess because West was in a vulnerable place while thinking about her part in the death of her sister witches she didn’t see through his manipulation.

She shows up to the castle to examine the girls, and is wearing another beautiful gown by Trisha Biggar. When she tells the Wizard that he’d know when he found a witch, it’s obvious that the next girl they show running away from the guards will be one. When she floats in the air then blows them up, that assumption is confirmed, as well.

Seriously, every dress just keeps being as beautiful as the last! (David Lukacs/NBC)

Lucas has been worried that he and Dorothy aren’t on the same side. His worry has me worried that their relationship is going to break down if they do choose different sides, and I really like them together. Dorothy finally decides to come clean to him about why the guards aren’t following them, but Lucas reacts perfectly sweetly and tells her she’s the only one he fights for. I didn’t catch any meaning behind that other than a further development in their relationship, but looking back after the end of the episode made me realize there was some subtle foreshadowing that she may not continue to be the one he fights for.

Getting to the good stuff! (David Lukacs/NBC)

I love how awesome West is as a witch. She’s less snarky than when we first met her at the beginning of the series, but she’s still my favorite character, and probably always will be. All of the characters are constantly changing, though, as they have really well-written arcs to each of them, so I really appreciate the writing of the show!

West knows the young witch wasn’t killed in the explosion, so she goes into the fire herself and brings her out. That’s when the Wizard drops his act for West and immediately calls for a caged cart to lock the girl up in.

I’m not really sure why West ended up dropping the girl into a hole when she ran away. At first, West was protecting her from the Wizard as they backed away from him, so maybe she was trying to protect the girl from the guards by covering her in a magic encased hole. Maybe she was protecting the villagers from the girl’s magical outburst, which she couldn’t control. Maybe she was planning on getting her out of the hole and bringing her into her protection, but the villagers freaked out, and they had to leave her. I’m not completely sure on what happened. She did say she wanted to go back for the girl, but the Wizard said her hands were tied as much as his, so she couldn’t. I think most likely the last guess is correct, as West’s plan the whole time was to take the girl in and help her.

How do I love West? Let me count the ways. (David Lukacs/NBC)

Jack, who is now rusted and frozen in the middle of the Screaming Forest, gets saved by Lady Ev when she rides back in on horseback by herself. It made me curious where her guards were, but I guess she sent them away. She brings out some grease to help lubricate his frozen metal, and things that I didn’t think were allowed on TV happen. I always appreciate a show that pushes boundaries, though.

Then she lubricates his lower half… (David Lukacs/NBC)

Lucas and Dorothy wake up post hook-up and Dorothy also admits she made a deal with the Wizard, which surprises Lucas. Apparently if Dorothy can talk Glinda out of going to war, he’ll send Dorothy home to Kansas. It seems like a reasonable deal to me. I’m not sure why I felt so heartbroken when Lucas accused her of letting both Sylvie and himself love her when she knew she’d be leaving. I just felt the anguish of the character, and it made me appreciate Jackson-Cohen even more!

Dorothy is poised to leave to confront Glinda herself, and Lucas gets psychological on her, figuring that she’s running away before they can leave her like her mother did. When Dorothy tells him she has to leave because they came first, it made me not like Dorothy. It just seemed like such a mean thing to say to the man she just spent the night with and passionately kissed in the last episode.

When she tries to leave, though, the door ends up being locked and the whole house flips over. After it’s done, she and Lucas both rush to Sylvie. I’ll admit, I was more worried about Toto, but I’m an animal lover. They find Sylvie with black eyes, shaking, and Dorothy automatically knows it was she who flipped the house. Another confession: my instinct was not that she had caused it, but that she was afraid because of the flipping house. I guess I was wrong. Dorothy and Lucas suggest they all three could go home to Kansas together in order to calm her down, and I was pretty excited about that prospect!

Jack and Lady Ev make it back to her castle after he got his legs working properly again. We almost get a glimpse of what’s behind Lady Ev’s mysterious masks, but in a show of frustrating kindness, Jack tells her she doesn’t have to take off her mask for him. It was sweet and all, but I really am curious. Does that make me a bad person? Anyways, they also hook-up, so I guess this is the episode of love.

But after the forest scene, can you really blame them? (David Lukacs/NBC)

The Wizard, in his manipulative glory, tells his people that his council made the ultimate sacrifice trying to apprehend the young witch. While talking, we get a flash to what really happened, and his evilness is on full display. He went from the subdued and self-doubting Frank to the sadistic Wizard in two episodes, but it really showcases just how much he’s changed since coming to Oz.

He has all of his councilwomen tied up and chained by the hole where the witch is still being held. We didn’t get any mention of Anna’s fate in this episode until now. Elizabeth (Roxy Sternberg) tells the Wizard that Anna loved him. Because she used past tense, I assume that must mean Anna did, indeed, die after he shot her at the end of the last episode.

In order to take care of both the spies from Glinda and the fear he wanted to instill in his people, he orders the councilwomen to be pulled into the pit, and the witch explodes in fire, killing all of them. He tells his people that magic must be extinguished and that witches are actually the Beast Forever. Tip, not believing him, goes to the pit and sees the witch unconscious at the bottom, surrounded by the bodies of the other women.

Don’t mind the Wizard. He’s just calling for every witch to be killed. (David Lukacs/NBC)

West ends up taking the witch out to a field and releasing her of her pain. Apparently if a witch uses up all of her power, it can essentially kill her. In a beautiful and heartbreaking ritual, West takes the rest of the girl’s power and releases it into the wind, killing her. When she turns back to Tip, she sees the dagger Tip has, and it appears some fans’ guesses that Tip is Princess Ozma may actually be correct. I haven’t read the books, so I don’t know anything about that character, but it seems it may be true. The lion head on the dagger makes me think King Pastoria may be the cowardly lion, as well.

For the big cliffhanger ending of tonight’s episode, we end up at Glinda’s tower. Lucas, Dorothy, and Sylvie go in so they can talk to Glinda, and of course Glinda recognizes Lucas as Roan. My jealousy flared a little when she went up to him and kissed him, and then my anger replaced it when, after a look of realization swept his face, he more passionately kissed her back. The way he looks back at Dorothy while asking for leniency for her conveyed so much. I felt betrayal, anger, disbelief, the whole gamut. And when he uses Dorothy’s own words against her, citing that Glinda and the witches came first, I was shocked!

Uh… Lucas? (David Lukacs/NBC)

I’m so interested to see what comes from the Roan/Lucas transition. I feel like Glinda may have actually put him under a spell instead of releasing his memories, but in all honesty, we just don’t know much about his character, so he could be kind of evil. I’m also interested to see how Tip’s story pans out, and what happens between Jack and Queen Ev.

What are you looking forward to in the last three episodes of this first season? Comment below and let me know!


Emerald City airs on Fridays at 9/8c on NBC. You can watch all of the previous episodes on the NBC app or website. And don’t forget to check back here each week for a new recap and review!

Kayce Taylor

Kayce Taylor nurtured a healthy love of video games from an early age. Growing up in small-town Missouri offered plenty of free time to play the likes of Kirby, Mario (of all varieties), 007, and more. Though she was raised in a Star Wars family, her husband showed her the undeniable power of Star Trek, and she's been a fan of both ever since. If she were only allowed to watch one show for the rest of her life, she would pick The Office without hesitation. She recently began exploring photography, and even more recently went to her first comicon. She loves sci-fi/fantasy and dreams of going to Hogwarts and/or meeting a Shadowhunter.

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