Emerald City is an American fantasy television series developed for NBC by Matthew Arnold and Josh Friedman, and based on the Oz book series written by L. Frank Baum, set in the fictional Land of Oz. Directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Adria Arjona, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu and Vincent D’Onofrio, Emerald City received a 10-episode order by NBC in April 2015, which premiered on January 6, 2017, with a two-episode debut, and concluded on March 3, 2017.
–Spoilers below the cut–
✅ Emerald City 1×01 – The Beast Forever
Dorothy Gale, a 20-year old Kansas nurse, wants to renew her relationship with her biological mother Karen, who gave her up for adoption. During a storm, Dorothy goes to Karen’s trailer, finding a corpse inside and her mother lying injured in a storm shelter. Dorothy is confronted by a police officer but she ducks into his squad car, the twister transporting it and a police dog to the Land of Oz, Dorothy running over the Wicked Witch of the East. Taken to a tribal village led by Ojo, Dorothy is warned the witch’s death will make her a target for the Wizard and other witches like Glinda and West. Dorothy travels to the Emerald City with Toto, meeting an amnesiac, crucified man she names Lucas. The two are confronted by the resurrected East, but Dorothy fools her into shooting herself in the head using a police gun. The Wizard dispatches his soldier Eamonn to find Dorothy.
✅ Emerald City 1×02 – Prison of the Abject
Glinda and West prepare to store East’s soul and spells within their sacred temple, sealed up by the Wizard as per his ban on magic. The Wizard opens up the ceremony to the public, the ritual terrifying them and changing their once respected view on the witches. Eamonn and a band of soldiers track Dorothy, but when one of his subordinates tries to murder him so they can go home, Eamonn kills him off-screen. Lucas falls ill, Dorothy taking him to the witch Mombi for help. Mombi points out a sword Lucas carries belongs to one of the Wizard’s soldiers, who persecute magic practitioners. Dorothy discovers Mombi’s ward Tip is imprisoned but Mombi claims it is for his own good since he is ill. Mombi poisons Lucas, but Dorothy heals him. She frees Tip with help from his friend Jack, both boys fleeing into the night. Mombi tries to murder Dorothy, but Lucas stabs her with the sword before beating her to death, though it is implied she survived. The next day, Jack discovers Tip has transformed into a girl.
✅ Emerald City 1×03 – Mistress – New – Mistress
Dorothy, Lucas, and Toto travel for the Emerald City but discover the Wizard’s orders to kill Dorothy. They go to East’s castle, where Dorothy hopes to use a tornado to go back home. She poses as East’s successor and is asked to use her magic gloves to stop the out-of-control weather. Dorothy is sucked into the tornado, and returns with her mother Karen’s clothes, realising she was in Oz. East’s castle is destroyed by the tornado as the three escape. Meanwhile in Oz, three witches publicly commit suicide and the Wizard asks Anna to investigate. She realizes that he lacks magic and is prompty imprisoned. Tip and Jack travel to the Land of Ev to gain more medicine, but a chemist explains the medicine was suppressing Tip’s true gender. Jack forcefully kisses Tip, and she angrily pushes him off a balcony to his death.
✅ Emerald City 1×04 – Science and Magic
Dorothy and Lucas encounter a mute girl whilst travelling through a forest. Dorothy takes her into the nearby village, but discovers Eamonn and his soldiers patrolling it. The girl is taken away but Dorothy finds her captors have been turned to stone. Eamonn confronts Dorothy, recognising Lucas’ sword, knowing his identity. Dorothy and Lucas escape, kissing in the woods, but next day, Lucas is found by Eamonn and Dorothy is knocked out by Ojo. The Wizard and Anna find a magic portal in the village of Nimbo, but it disappears. The Wizard blackmails the village elder into embracing the way of science. Tip contemplates suicide after apparently murdering Jack, but is taken to Glinda’s household, given the choice to join Glinda’s nuns or West’s prostitutes; Tip chooses West after she promises to teach Tip how to use magic. Jack is saved by a surgeon named Jane, and given a new mechanical body. He has trouble adjusting to his new condition, and meets the eccentric Princess Langwidere, to whom Jane has already sold him as a servant.
✅ Emerald City 1×05 – Everybody Lies
Desperately seeking revenge for the death of her sister, West tracks down Dorothy and uses enchanted interrogation techniques to get the information she needs. The Wizard seeks the aid of the Kingdom of Ev to build a weapons arsenal to help him defeat the Beast Forever. Meanwhile, an old acquaintance may hold the key to Lucas recovering his lost memories
✅ Emerald City 1×06 – Beautiful Wickedness
Dorothy’s (Adria Arjona) confrontation with the Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) brings her closer to discovering the truth about her past. Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) goes to great lengths to recover his memory, even if it means allying with West (Ana Ularu). The Wizard enacts his plan with Langwidere (guest star Stefanie Martini) to prepare for the battle to come.
✅ Emerald City 1×07 – They Came First
The Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) launches an assault on a village as his power is threatened and he enlists West (Ana Ularu) to help. Dorothy (Adria Arjona) and Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) fight to keep Silvie (guest star Rebeka Rea) safe as they journey north to seek Glinda’s (Joely Richardson) assistance. After suffering a great loss, Langwidere (guest star Stefanie Martini) grapples with her new authority as her relationship with Jack (Gerran Howell) continues to become complicated. Mido Hamada and Jordan Loughran also stars.
✅ Emerald City 1×08 – Lions in Winter
When Dorothy (Adria Arjona) and Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) arrive at Glinda’s (Joely Richardson) castle she reclaims something for which she has been searching. The Wizard (Vincent D’Onofrio) heads to the Kingdom of Ev to build his weapons arsenal. Meanwhile, West (Ana Ularu) uses some dangerous magic to help Tip (Jordan Loughran) reconnect with her past. In the Kingdom of Ev, Jack (Gerran Howell) struggles to find his place in Langwidere’s (guest star Stefanie Martini) life.
✅ Emerald City 1×09 – The Villain That’s Become
As the Wizard and his army arrives in the Kingdom of Ev, an intense negotiation may lead to a standoff with Langwidere. Dorothy and Lucas find themselves on opposite sides as Dorothy defeats Lucas and leaves him for dead up on a cross as she found him. Meanwhile, Jack makes a decision that might have deadly consequences he didn’t suspect. Elsewhere, Tip transforms again and she and West solidify their bond as they free dozens of battle-tried witches. Dorothy uses magic to mount a battle of her own against the Wizard. A surprise is in store for all.
✅ Emerald City 1×10 – No Place Like Home
Ozma and West overtake the Emerald City. Ozma is crowned queen She demands that the man in the lion mask step forward. Eammon surrenders himself and states he killed Ozma’s parents to please the Wizard, but couldn’t kill Ozma, because she reminded him of his daughter and he submits himself to any punishment. Ozma pronounces a sentence upon him and also forces him to wander Oz in the skin of a beast. Meanwhile Jack and Jane make their way to the Wizard’s camp to kill him. The Wizard states that if he is killed then Jane will never see her daughter again. Glinda and her army attack the Wizard. Dorothy and Glinda face off. Dorothy tries to reason with her, by stating she has a Stone Giant on her side. Glinda summons Silvie and Silvie uses her power to destroy the Stone Giant. The Wizard’s men use guns to shoot witches, but the weapons turn out to be useless, as only a witch can kill another witch. Dorothy returns home and starts to believe that everything that happened was a dream. Then Lucas appears and tells her that she’s needed back in Oz to help fight the Beast Forever, who has returned.
SERIES VERDICT: ★★★★
S2?: On May 5, 2017, NBC canceled the series after one season. [tvline.com]