Season 1, Episode 9 “The Villain That’s Become”
Written by Tracy Bellomo
Directed by Tarsem Singh
On last week’s episode of Emerald City, West (Ana Ularu) had Tip (Jordan Loughran) drink East’s (Florence Kasumba) spells because she thinks Tip is the long lost Princess Ozma. After Tip saw the deaths of the King and Queen of Pastoria (uncredited), he ended up dying. Dorothy (Adria Arjona) found out Lucas/Roan (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is actually married to Glinda (Joely Richardson), who then tried to force Dorothy into curing all of the witches that have been pushed too far with their magic. Dorothy ended up escaping and almost killing Glinda, but Lucas stopped her, so she left. Queen Ev (Stefanie Martini) made the Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) the guns he wanted, but ended up using them against him when he came to collect. We also found out that Eamonn (Mido Hamada) is the Lion who killed the King and Queen of Pastoria, and Tip came back from the dead when West tried to kill herself. For my full recap and review of last week’s episode, you can go here. This week’s recap and review are below.
We start out this week with the Wizard still in Ev trying to negotiate the gun exchange with the Queen’s Captain. Eventually, the guard agrees to let the gold in, but not the Wizard. The Queen decides to keep both the guns and the gold, which seems like a bold move, but she is still pretty mad at him for the death of not only her mother, but her father now, too. I guess she’s already called for war against the Wizard once, so this is just adding to that vengeance against him.
Tip, whom recently reanimated from the dead, gives West a pep talk that includes some emotion and some humor. He tells her he’s been to the other side, and begs her not to go there. After a funny little message Tip gives her from East, West heals herself and all is right again.
In true, manipulative Wizard fashion, we find out that he’s hidden assassins in the bottom of the chests of gold that are now in the Queen’s mansion. I thought it was pretty cool, myself. After they jump out and kill a guard, they end up finding the Queen’s bedroom, where she was apparently in bed, even though it seemed she had just examined the gold, and it was still light out.
She also sleeps in a mask, which just seems so uncomfortable, especially the one she chose due to how embellished it is. The plan works like a charm for the Wizard, though, because he smugly rides up the tram to her castle immediately after.
After Dorothy’s escape from Glinda’s, she makes it to the farmhouse where she, Lucas, and Sylvie (Rebeka Rea) stayed. I was surprised to see it upright, as I thought it would’ve been flipped, but I guess that may have been the turmoil and camera angle during the flipping that made me think the house was on its side. I guess Sylvie put it back in the same spot it was in after flipping it, too.
The inside is still in shambles, though. Of course, when Dorothy sits down and the camera shows a close-up of her without showing what’s behind her, I just assumed someone was in there waiting. I’ll admit I was surprised it was Roan, mostly because she left way before he did, so maybe Glinda teleported him there.
The trans issues that Tip has been going through finally come to a head in this episode. When he tries to force magic and is unsuccessful, West talks him through finding the magic inside, and he suddenly transforms himself back into a boy! West looks shocked he was able to do it, but Tip knows it’s just the magic showing who he truly is. I don’t recall Tip’s voice sounding distorted back in the beginning, before his original potion wore off and his body changed to female, but perhaps it’s just been awhile and I’ve forgotten what he sounded like back then. Also, why does transforming back into a boy cause his teeth to become yellow all of a sudden?
Jackson-Cohen did an excellent job portraying his emotions while talking to Dorothy after he tried to kill her. It was heartbreaking because she was never supposed to be there and thus they were never supposed to meet. It makes me curious, though, where he would be without her, and if he thought of that. Seeing as how he was up on a cross with a stab wound, I doubt he would’ve survived, but I guess that’s not important for him to note.
I will admit that I’m one of those people who would rather see the humans being injured in shows than the animals. That being said, I was terrified when Toto jumped through the window and attacked Roan. Not only did Roan have his dagger out, but you can also here thuds after Dorothy runs out of the house. Luckily, even when Roan comes out the side door covered in blood, Toto is still barking inside, and I assume they probably did that to alleviate animal lovers’ fears that Toto was hurt or dead at the time.
While Roan chases Dorothy through the field, he slips and falls in the mud, and it looked not entirely planned. It was such a tense scene when he begs her to stop him and she refuses because she doesn’t want him dead. It definitely evoked some emotions. When she stabs him in the side and he falls over, I thought he was actually dead, which would have been weird since it was the same injury he had previously that he survived.
It turns out he isn’t dead, and Dorothy ends up hoisting him up on a cross by way of a rope and tree, which stills seems pretty difficult to do in slippery mud and with a human tied to a crucifix, but maybe she works out (a lot). It was pretty awesome, though, how Roan had been asking for it to be like they’d never met, and they circle the story around in a way that leaves him in the exact same situation as if that were true. Unfortunately for Roan, he’s now stuck at a secluded farmhouse instead of a well-used path, so his hope doesn’t look high right now.
The Wizard, in his true evilness, ends up punching the Queen and breaking her mask. He also brings up her father, which is just rubbing salt in the wound, cause that’s how he is.
Jack runs over to Jane’s (Gina McKee) workshop and tells her what’s happened to the Queen. When she realizes that Frank/the Wizard is nearby and may harm the Queen, she looks shocked and scared and ends up running out of her workshop.
Tip and West actually get into it about him not looking like a girl now. I didn’t expect West to be hurtful about his transformation. Tip’s emotional argument about seeing a stranger staring back when he looked like a girl was so intense and powerful. I thought the show did a great job with the issue and with demonstrating what some people probably feel when they’re stuck in the wrong gender.
I do appreciate that West agrees to try and rally support without forcing Tip to change back to a girl, even though she thinks it’s a bad idea. It at least redeemed some of what she said to Tip previously.
Jane and Frank have a reunion when she goes to the castle to negotiate with him in order to save the Queen. He’s still bitter about how poorly she treated him in Kansas, and she obviously isn’t happy he condemned her to live in Oz because of his sabotage to their computers at the lab. Their threats to each other sting in the way they say them, and I loved when Frank yells that he is the Wizard of Oz!
Dorothy approaches Ojo (Olafur Darri Olafsson) for help in not only freeing Nahara, but also in raising the giants against the Wizard. I was actually surprised she was able to use the gauntlets to free the skinned man hanging in the tree. It turns out most of the witches imprisoned there were freed, and it’s sad to see that Nahara is among the witches left because she’s dying. It seems like Ojo can never catch a break!
West is the one who freed the other witches with the power inside Tip, and it turns out they don’t believe her that Ozma is alive since Tip is a boy. I absolutely loved when West said she was known as the Wicked Witch of the West in certain circles, and I was terrified she wasn’t going to make it through the episode once the other witches ganged up on her to charge her as a traitor.
I also love how the Queen ends up coming out to confront the Wizard with no mask on. I feel like it was such a powerful statement for her. I also loved her dress! I knew when Jack appeared with his own gun this would probably end badly for the Queen, especially because she had exposed her true face, but it was still a sad moment, especially for Jack, who is the one who shot her. I was also surprised to notice that she wasn’t actually bleeding from her gunshot wound (which is explained later, of course).
As mentioned before, I hate that Ojo just can’t catch a break. While he’s talking with Nahara about their children and grandchildren, the skinned man attacks him with a rock, and it just made me more mad that everything bad seems to happen to Ojo.
I was pretty excited when Tip saved West. When he throws out a wave of magic at the witches, West falls from where she’s being held by them. When we see Tip again, he’s transformed into the fierce looking Ozma in a beautiful gown. When Ozma shows the other witches what happened to the King and Queen, they end up believing West and Ozma and agreeing to honor them.
Jack has an existential crisis after taking the Queen to Jane’s to be fixed and she reveals the truth. It turns out it wasn’t just Langwidere’s mother who was killed by the Beast. Langwidere and her brothers were also killed. Jane rebuilt her as a robot to comfort her father, who survived the attack, and the masks were made to hide the fact that her face never aged!
Of course, Jack was also rebuilt, so he now has to deal with the idea that he may not be considered alive either. He decides he’s not alive, so it doesn’t matter if he’s killed, and grabs his axe to go get revenge on the Wizard for the Queen’s death.
The Queen’s guards march the Wizard out to be executed for killing the Queen, but just as they’re about to shoot him, the ground shakes around them. It turns out Nahara did agree to raise the giants for Dorothy. The Wizard looks pretty excited that they’re there, but I really don’t think he should be since Dorothy is the one leading them this time.
I’m both excited and sad for the finale next week. I’m very much hoping for a season 2, and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up for the end of season 1.
What are you looking forward to in the finale? Do you want a second season? Comment below to discuss!
Emerald City airs on Fridays at 9/8c on NBC. You can catch up on the previous episodes on the NBC app or website. And don’t forget to come back for the last recap and review of season 1 next week!