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Emerald City - No Place Like Home - Review

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I have such mixed feelings about the finale of Emerald City. I'm simultaneously satisfied and disappointed. Now more than ever I wish we had more episodes, as "No Place Like Home" introduced many intriguing new dynamics in Oz, as well as a formidable foe in the Beast Forever. Should the show not get renewed, "No Place Like Home" will serve as a bittersweet ending, though one that is sure to leave viewers with a sense of anticlimax. The cliffhanger left me wanting more, to know more about an Oz without a wizard. I wonder if Emerald City would be able to maintain the interest in that story for another ten episodes. It almost feels like the show is cheating by not give some closure to the current story, to dangle what comes next in front of viewers in hopes that a renewal will let them finish the story.

Jumping right into it, I honestly didn't feel tension in the first half of "No Place Like Home". Tip, or rather Ozma now, returning to the throne didn't carry the sense of weight I thought it would. There was no climax in their return, save for the final confrontation between Glinda, Ozma, and West. There I felt that the alliance is under some strain, that there was potential for Glinda to continue working for her own interests while serving the new ruler, but the viewers don't know that for sure. I did enjoy the justice Ozma delt to Eamonn; it felt like the right action someone with Ozma'z life experiences would take and it was a far crueler act than what Eamonn did. Also, we finally have our Cowardly Lion, though this would have more of an impact if Eamonn and his actions were featured more. His story, it seems, was thrown in at the last minute to satisfy viewers like me who have been hunting for those Wizard of Oz connections.

Jane being Dorothy mother was just unsatisfying. It felt as if it was a twist for the sake of having a twist. Again, if Jane had been featured more or if there had been more hints at her and Dorothy's true connection, there would have been a greater emotional impact. It also negates what little of the relationship we saw between Karen Chapman and Dorothy. Once more, Emerald City threw this in as a hook for a new season and I feel a bit short changed that this relationship wasn't introduced until well into the finale.

I will say, visually this was the most interesting episode of Emerald City since the two hour pilot. Seeing the Beast Forever make his way to the Emerald City, flying over the broken Tin Man, the wandering Cowardly Lion, and the empty shell that is the Scarecrow before arriving at the gates of the titular city while Ozma looked on flanked by a good witch and a bad witch was one of the things that stuck in my mind the most after viewing "No Place Like Home". We were being set up for the real story to begin and were seeing the players in the next chapter showcased as a new threat literally loomed. Also, Dorothy freezing the flood of locusts and standing in the eye of that storm while the sunlight streamed down was simply beautiful, as well as how Glinda materialized before her. Even the rush of debris from the crumbling stone giant created a haunting fog that suited the battle between the wizard's guard and the witched well. I wish Emerald City had more visual moments like these, this felt like high fantasy instead of just fantastic looking locales.

Emerald City took great lengths to portray the Wizard of Oz as a man with many faults. The Wizard was a small man who tried to make something of himself by quashing magic, the one thing that made the Land of Oz what it was and this is something that hasn't been explored before. And now that he's gone magic of both the good and evil variety can battle for supremacy. The Wizard's story had nowhere to go after this season, so I don't mind he was killed off, though it would have been interesting to see him banished back to a mundane life in our world. This season of Emerald City was a prelude to the real story these writers want to tell. It was particularly obvious that seeds were being planted for further adventures.

Again, as of the writing of the review, the fate of Emerald City has not been announced. Part of me wishes that Dorothy had remained in Oz and it was discovered that she was the Beast Forever. I feel that the sudden introduction of the Beast as a new foe came at a short notice, though the horrific imagery surrounding him, particularly the moment he put his skin back on like a suit, lends some real gravity to how nasty and unwelcome this villain will be. I suppose these Emerald City episodes were about Dorothy's, and by proxy the viewers, growing to learn and care about Oz. There were just to many loose threads for my taste. I want to know what will become of Jack, the Land of Ev, the conflict between West and Glinda, and Ozma's rule. As I said before, I'm conflicted. I want to know what's next but I don't know if I want another season of Emerald City. Time will tell if we will see more of Dorothy in Oz, but for now I can say that the adventures she had, though at times frustrating for this viewer, did bring a new perspective to a well known tale.

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