I can’t say the finale of Emerald City was much anticipated, but I was still interested in seeing how this bold (and very inconsistent) NBC fantasy-drama wrapped up its first season. A lot happened but unfortunately, very few questions were answered, which makes the finale that much more disappointing.
The story of Ozma (Tip) and West has been by far the most compelling story of season one. I have really enjoyed watching the way they have grown closer and their relationship has developed. Out of all the characters, these two are the most alike in that they are both lost and misunderstood. I never thought I would become attached to a pair of characters in Emerald City like I have with Ozma and West.
After rising to power last week, Ozma led a group of witches into Emerald City to claim what was rightfully hers. Upon arrival, she was faced with a difficult decision, how was she going to punish Eamonn, the killer of her parents? She could have easily just killed him, but ultimately, she chose the much crueler path. She decided to erase any memories his family had of him, leaving him all alone. It was an interesting conclusion to her story but it felt incomplete because we still don’t know what kind of ruler Ozma will be. She’s been given all these responsibilities with very little insight into how she’ll handle them. Will she lead by fear or respect? Also, I thought to bring Eamonn out in a lion’s head was a cheesy and uncreative way of introducing the “Cowardly Lion”.
If there was one improvement Emerald City had in its finale, it’s the story of Dorothy. She has been by far the most underdeveloped character this season so it was nice to finally see her have a clear path and motivation. This week showed how little Dorothy knew about this world and its powers. When Glinda arrived with her army of witches, Dorothy’s stone giants were immediately destroyed. This caused the Wizard to shoot Sylvie. Dorothy, who obviously still felt like a mother to her, was visibly distraught. I never thought I would see the day that Dorothy would show some genuine emotion and garner sympathy.
Dorothy was fed up with the world of Oz and forced the Wizard to startup the machine that could send her home. In a final effort to create shock, the Wizard announced to Dorothy that Karen Chapman wasn’t her mother, Jane (the scientist) was. To be honest, I didn’t find this very compelling because the show did such a poor job of developing Dorothy as a character. This might have been a surprise if we actually cared about her, but instead it just created more unnecessary questions.
In the end, Jane showed up, shot the Wizard, then sent Dorothy back to Kansas by herself. It was strange how nonchalant everyone was about what had happened once Dorothy arrived back in Kansas. Did Auntie Em even notice she was gone? I know she’s old, but come on! The season the ends with Lucas and Toto showing up in Kansas to get Dorothy to come back to Oz because apparently, Jane had been captured and locked up. Again, this seemed like just another way of creating unnecessary suspense.
We don’t know if Emerald City will have a second season which makes the cliffhanger of a season that much more disappointing. The creators seem overly confident that there will be a second season because of all the questions they left us with. I’m certainly not. It was an interesting end to an interesting and inconsistent season. Ultimately, though, I would have like to see more closure from a show that isn’t guaranteed to come back next year.