I can’t think of a show other than Emerald City where through half a season there a nearly a dozen minor characters more interesting than the main character. I’ve said it before, it’s too difficult to get invested in Dorothy’s underdeveloped and directionless story. Other than getting home, what is her motivation? Is getting home even a motivation for her anymore because she hasn’t really made any attempts at it in a few weeks. But, just because the main character lacks any redeeming qualities, doesn’t mean Emerald City hasn’t been a pleasant surprise.
This episode delved into past of one of Emerald City’s most mysterious characters, the Wizard. As it turns out, the Wizard’s real name is Frank and before coming to OZ he was an underachieving scientist in Topeka, Kansas. While in Kansas he worked at a nuclear power plant with Dorothy’s mother Karen and father Roberto, as well as with Jane, the “doctor” who revived Jack. Frank’s lack of respect amongst his colleagues led him to sabotage an experiment and unintentionally create the first tornado to OZ. While the others tried to find a way back home, Frank was content with OZ because the people there were interested in his scientific knowledge (which included making electricity out of a lead pencil) and decided to make the magical land home. He knew his knowledge of science could give him power and make him king which ultimately explains his hatred of magic.
To be honest, I had no idea where the Wizard’s story was headed. His surprising background was an interesting turn of events and something a lot more creative than I originally expected. While I wasn’t originally that interested in the Wizard, the reveal of his shocking background has sucked me into his story. This week also showed how much Frank craves power. With Glinda threatening his grip on OZ, Frank takes a bullet from Dorothy and petitions Lady Ev to help him produce thousands of them and the guns to go along with them. He even goes as far as to demonstrate the power of a gun by shooting Anna. It’s clear that a war between Frank and his science and Glinda and the beast is on the horizon and it will be interesting to see who wins out.
This week also saw Tip and Jack meet for the first time since Jack’s near fatal fall. As expected, however, their relationship is a bit estranged as Jack feels embarrassed by his current state and Tip obviously feels responsible (although I don’t think Jack knows it’s Tips fault). I hope these two can find a way to work things out because they have some of the best chemistry on the show. Either way, though, I have a feeling both will have a bigger role in the weeks to come.
Of course, Dorothy was a part of this episode too, well sort of. This week she continued to wander OZ looking for something, however, I don’t even think she knows what. The Wizard obviously can’t help her get back to Kansas and all she has done since arriving in OZ is create enemies. Even Lucas and Sylvie haven’t given her any guidance or direction. For the supposed main character, Dorothy has really been upstaged by almost everyone else.
However, even with a dud as the main character, Emerald City continues to overachieve. This week offered a compelling backstory to a character that was beginning to lose value and paved the way for an interesting run the rest of the season. There is obviously a major conflict brewing, but how it all plays out remains to be seen.