NBC’s new fantasy series Emerald City kicked off its 10 episode run on January 6, 2017 with back-to-back episodes. Emerald City takes the colorful characters created by L. Frank Baum in his Wizard of Oz books and transforms them as characters in an adult drama. Episodes one and two introduced the audience to a modern day Dorothy Gale, a nurse in Kansas who winds up in the Land of Oz after being swept up by a tornado. The new Toto is a police dog and Wizard of Oz‘s scarecrow is an attractive man Dorothy rescues from a certain death who becomes her traveling partner. The first episode also delivered witches, an interesting twist on flying monkeys, and The Wizard (played by Vincent D’Onofrio).
Episode three titled “Mistress-New-Mistress” and airing on January 13, 2017 begins with a gunshot startling Dorothy (Adria Arjona) and Toto, bringing them instantly awake. Toto runs off to the water’s edge where he finds Lucas (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), shirtless and holding Dorothy’s gun. They get right to the issue of Lucas’ background and Dorothy admits his acting on instinct to save her actually frightened her. Lucas is fine with that reaction and says they’ll both discover what’s inside of him soon enough. However, he believes she’s even more terrifying than him because she has a gun.
Dorothy and Lucas come across the Circus of Oz performers on the road (and are roared at by a lion). They hitch a ride in one of the wagons and Dorothy spots what looks like a massive tornado off in the distance. The circus people tell her it’s there because the Witch of the East (who was merciful and stern) is dead and she controlled the weather.
Tip (Jordan Loughran) is dealing with being free and waking up a girl. She doesn’t want to go home and Jack (Gerran Howell) assures her they’ll find more medicine and turn her back into a boy.
The circus is forced to stop on the road by the Wizard’s guard, led by Eamonn (Mido Hamada). Peeking out the window, Dorothy tells Lucas not to butcher anyone and Lucas insists they should leave. Dorothy wants to stay, believing the Wizard’s guards will take her to Emerald City. Lucas has no plans on going with her and leaves, running from the wagon as Eamonn approaches. Dorothy warns Toto not to leave and when he does, she follows him. Lucas grabs her and they hide as Eamonn enters the now-empty wagon. They overhear Eamonn say, “Find the girl. She must die.” That throws a wrench into Dorothy’s plans to seek out the Wizard since now she knows he wants her dead.
In the Emerald City, three women possessed by magic are performing a ritual on the massive frozen giant standing guard over the city. The townsfolk and the Wizard watch as they float in the air and then plunge to their deaths, hanging in the air mere feet above the ground as though there are ropes around their necks. Their deaths were part of a suicide ritual, explains Anna (Isabel Lucas).
Dorothy wonders why the Wizard is after her and this news seems to confirm Lucas’ opinion that she really is more dangerous than he is, even though they have no idea who he really is or where he came from. Dorothy decides to head to the Witch of the East’s castle thinking that since she landed in this world in a tornado, maybe she can escape in one.
Anna and Elizabeth (Roxy Sternberg) are concerned about the signs indicating the return of the Beast Forever and the Wizard wants to know who the women were who committed suicide and how they’re connected to the Beast’s possible return. Elizabeth shows the Wizard field patterns in the west that have appeared, just as they did before the Beast attacked in 1378. The Beast came as fire then, and it’s possible the Beast will return in eight days.
After Elizabeth leaves, Anna tells the Wizard she believes Elizabeth read the sign wrong and the field pattern has to do with the Witch of the East’s death, not the Beast. She says the field pattern means it’s going to snow, not that the Beast is returning. She also says the three dead women were from West’s brothel.
Dorothy and Lucas make it to the Witch of the East’s castle, and Lucas warns her she can’t control a tornado. Dorothy’s determined to return home to the mother she just met and if she dies trying, then at least she tried. A guard denies them entry and is about to battle Lucas when Dorothy raises her hands to stop them and gold jewelry appears around her fingers, hands, and wrists. Everyone looks surprised, and the guard tells her they are “the elements” – his mistress’ gauntlets. He asks if she’s his new mistress and Dorothy claims she is. Once she says yes, the guard kneels and the gauntlets disappear.
Tip and Jack arrive in the city, make their way through the busy streets, and grab a bite to eat. It’s all a bit overwhelming for Tip who’s been locked up her whole life and fed the same food day in and day out. She just wants the medicine and then to get out of the city. Jack heads out to find an herbalist while a waitress warns her about showing so much cleavage. She rushes to the bathroom and has a hard time choosing between the men’s room and the women’s room. Angry and confused, she picks the ladies room and tries to scrub away the gender switch while staring in the mirror.
The guard at the Witch of the East’s castle, who introduces himself as Sullivan, heard whispers of an acolyte and believes Dorothy is that person. Dorothy lies and says the Witch of the East thought it was best to keep her a secret. Sullivan asks about his old mistress’ death, addressing Dorothy as “Mistress-New-Mistress.” She tells him to just call her “Mistress” and asks to be taken to the tornado above the castle. Sullivan asks if she’s been properly trained to settle the elements, and Dorothy again lies and says she has.
Before she can actually approach the tornado, Sullivan insists she be purified and go through the Ceremony of Elements. Sullivan stops Lucas from following Dorothy into his mistress’ chambers, telling him his place is in the servant’s quarters and demanding he surrender his sword. Dorothy convinces Lucas to give up his sword and after Sullivan walks away, Lucas reminds her that if she can’t control the elements, Sullivan will kill her and without his sword he can’t stop him. Dorothy is convinced the tornado will take her away and doesn’t want to hear anything Lucas has to say.
The Wizard confronts West (Ana Ularu) about the dead women, calling their suicides a tragedy. The Wizard’s upset that magic was performed in his city and West denies being involved. The Wizard reveals he’s going to have his councilwomen determine what happened, and West surprises Anna by telling her her mom worked in her whorehouse before Anna was born. She gave up Anna because she wanted a better life for her. Anna storms off, upset, while West tells the Wizard not to worry. He’s not Anna’s father although he did “taste” her mother.
Sullivan and Lucas wait outside Dorothy’s door as inside she washes up and dresses to settle the weather. She emerges, looking stunning in a red gown. Lucas is tongue-tied but Sullivan tells her she looks like the “Mistress of the Eastern Wood, Most Merciful and Stern.” Dorothy doesn’t care about the compliments and just wants to get on with settling the weather.
Sullivan leads her to a room at the base of the tornado. She looks overwhelmed and confused, and Sullivan demands to know why she doesn’t use the elements. She closes her eyes and steps onto what looks like a small lake. The gauntlets appear on her hands as she walks across the water to the base of the tornado. Her dress swirls around her and she reaches up to touch the tornado. As she does, it disappears – and so does Dorothy!
In Emerald City, the Wizard confesses to Anna that his name is actually Frank Morgan. He also reveals that before coming to Emerald City, he didn’t have any powers. He studied, worked hard, and wanted to be noticed. He’s called the Wizard of Oz because he demanded it, explaining this as a way to get Anna to understand her past does not define her. Anna asks what her mother looked like and the Wizard admits he doesn’t remember.
Jack and Tip visit the herbalist and ask for more of her medicine. She explains she’s got bad blood, but admits she has no idea what was in the medicine. The herbalist says he’ll try to figure it out.
Dorothy has ended up back in her own time, in the snow, on a small platform (the one from the castle) in a stream. A uniform with her mother’s name floats up and there are random items scattered about in the trees and on the stream’s bank.
Anna visits the whorehouse and asks about the women who jumped. She’s told the three who jumped worked with the old men who couldn’t get erections.
West reminds the Wizard she’s a cardinal witch and has incredible powers. She runs a brothel only because she hates magic. “Magic was a drug even worse than the poppy,” says West. She’s still mourning the loss of all the powerful witches drowned by the Beast when she couldn’t stop it.
The herbalist takes Tip aside and tells her he can’t make the medicine and no one will ever make it for her again. It’s a black elixir that disturbs her “true nature,” and it’s illegal. She truly is a girl and only the medicine was making her believe she was a boy. She was actually born a girl.
Anna tells the Wizard the Beast will come when the two moons become one, and this time the Beast will take a worse form than fire. Anna goes on to say this Beast knows the Wizard and will exploit his greatest fears and use all his weaknesses against him. She thinks he’s lost control of his giants, but he claims not to believe her since she predicted snow during the sun season. Anna says she thinks the Wizard never controlled the giants after all but assures him she will tell no one his secret.
Anna is locked in a room as the result of her honesty.
Dorothy reappears at the castle and Sullivan’s upset she didn’t settle the weather. She’s clutching her mother’s jacket and wants to know how it got there, and Sullivan tells her she went to the wrong place. Sullivan says the jacket belonged to the “interloper,” a person who did not belong in Oz. The Wizard brought the interloper here himself to send her back. When Dorothy claims to know her, Sullivan demands to know where she saw this person. Dorothy admits she’s her mother and Sullivan tells her she’s not the mistress after all. He declares her an interloper and draws his sword. Lucas attacks but he’s unarmed and Sullivan places his sword to his throat. Sullivan’s prepared to kill Lucas, but then Dorothy confesses that his mistress killed herself. It wasn’t a peaceful death and there is no acolyte to settle the weather. It’s over. She begs Sullivan not to hurt Lucas and he drops his sword. Dorothy, Lucas, and Toto race from the castle as it falls apart around them. They look back as the tornado sucks pieces of it into the sky and then vanishes.
Dorothy admits she is more dangerous and she can’t believe her mother was in Oz. Lucas thinks the Wizard will have the answers but Dorothy reminds him the Wizard wants her dead. After some gentle prodding, Dorothy changes her mind and they’re off to see the Wizard.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth tells the Wizard the Beast is coming back as fire. Only the army of stone – the Wizard’s warriors – can stop it. The High Council wants him to animate his stone giants immediately. Just then, it begins snowing.
Locked in her cell, Anna watches as the snow drifts in the window.
Eamonn has arrived at the Witch of the East’s castle and finds a pill bottle left behind by Dorothy.
Jack chases down Tip who is having a difficult time coming to terms with being a girl. Jack tells her she’s still Tip but she refuses to believe him when he says it’s going to be okay. Jack unveils a treasure he stole, telling her they can sell its emeralds and stay together. He leans in to kiss her and Tip pushes him away, screaming at him that this isn’t her. She pushes him and he falls over the railing, landing a few floors down in a pool of blood. The final scene shows what appears to be Jack, dead, with blood spreading out around his still body.