Even after Emerald City finished their 10-episode season on Friday, it’s unclear whether NBC will bring the show back for another season. A second season was never locked down because of low ratings and the show brought about mixed feelings for most viewers. The visuals were fantastic but the story was sometimes strange, and there were a lot of questions that seemed to be hovering and never answered. (or were they hoping to address them in the following seasons?)
But there was one thing that they accomplished that was definitely appropriate in our current political climate, and that was to show how tyrants with power move.
The Wizard of Oz was a scam artist. He was a man that had no magic or experience and managed to manipulate his way to a place of power. In today’s world, many can relate.
Well, if you watch the full season, you will notice a lot of similarities that will make you think twice about what you see and hear in the news today. The funny thing is that, although The Wizard was the main antagonist, he wasn’t the only example of power gone wrong in the series. Other characters made questionable decisions in the name of power. The Wizard, however, was the scariest one of them all.
Here’s how the Wizard of Oz relates to present day political shenanigans in a terrifying way:
Frank (The Wizard of Oz) pretended to have powerful connections to influence the people of Oz. It looked like a lot of credit was given to him by rumor. There were a lot of alternative facts that contributed to his greatness.
One of the things that the show didn’t get much credit for was the Oz and Wizard dynamic. Critics claimed they couldn’t see why the people of Oz didn’t retaliate against the wizard (since there is power in numbers), but they fail to realize that people become conditioned to following orders when they fear for their lives.
And they didn’t have to show how this mind control happened, because, after so many years, rumor took care of any rebellion that could have formed. Frank pretended that he was their only defense from the Beast forever. And with the entire Oz army under his control, he was able to use fear to get people to do what he wanted. They may have never seen him do anything miraculous, but they all seen him wipe people out with a command.
So clearly, the way to remain in power is to create an image that will make you a warrior to be feared and a savior. Invoke fear so that they fear the consequences of going against you and make yourself the only sanctuary so that they think that you are the only place to turn to for help.
Also, remove any threats that could potentially take you down from your seat of power. The wizard banishes magic, and no one sees anything wrong with this? Well, he didn’t just take away the use of power; he backed his actions with reasoning. He manipulated the people of Oz into thinking he was removing it for their benefit. Not unlike all of those necessary executive orders that have been hastily signed in our present day government. Because when you make it look like your helping someone out, more then likely they won’t question your motives.
The wizard was also smart enough to get rid of anything that could have been a threat to him, and he employed the rest (Eammon the Lion).
But his most significant accomplishment was to master having followers that followed him blindly. A feat that I can only assume came from fear alone. Having an army that followed his every order allowed him never to be wrong. And if you don’t see the connection here, check your Twitter for the blinded followers.
And now that you see how the Wizard could have smoothly transitioned into our current government, here’s how the season finale, No place like home, wrapped up Dorothy’s story:
Dorothy, the Wizard, and his army prepare to meet with Glinda and her army of young witches. Glinda sends a tornado of locusts, which Dorothy freezes while standing in its eye, giving Glinda an opportunity to talk to her. Glinda’s not too convincing. I think she should have been more helpful about explaining why helping the wizard wasn’t a good idea. Scolding doesn’t work much in this situation, and Glinda comes off more as menacing than anything else.
Sylvie helps Glinda by destroying the stone giant. Dorothy retaliates by having the other stone giant back at Oz force its sword into the witches temple. The destruction of the temple temporarily weakens Glinda and removes the locust tornado, exposing the young witches and Glinda to the wizard’s army. The Wizard orders his men to kill them, and his men shoot all of the young girls. There’s not even a moment to think about what they are about to do. No one contemplates that these witches are just little girls. The Wizard doesn’t have a care in the world for anything other than his own behind. Luckily, only a witch can kill a witch, so the girls survive.
Dorothy saves the wizard because she needs to get home and they end up at the machine that can take her back to Kansas. The premise is that the machine can create a tornado that will transport Dorothy back home. There’s no clicking of the heels here followed by reciting “there’s no place like home.”
The wizard, who is missing his wig and looks like a disheveled mess, comes undone as Dorothy tries to set up the machine to send him home first. He pleads to stay in Oz because he is no one Earth. It’s amazing how pathetic the Wizard is when he realizes he would be a regular person back on Earth.
Dorothy didn’t even know whether to believe his claim that her mother isn’t Karen. He claims her mother is Jane. In his desperation to stop her from sending him back, he tries to sabotage the machine.
Jane ends up shooting and killing the Wizard. And although they have a mother/daughter moment, Jane sends Dorothy back to Kansas by herself. Why doesn’t Jane stay with her daughter or return to Kansas with her? Your guess is as good as mine. None of those questions are ever explained.
Dorothy returns to Kansas in the aftermath of the tornado. Karen has survived and is in the hospital. Dorothy was barely in Kansas long enough for brunch with Aunt Em, when Lucas and Toto show up to take Dorothy back on Jane’s orders. The beast forever has Jane as a prisoner, and only Dorothy can help them.
If you’re confused at how it all came to this, the endings for the other characters left as many questions as Dorothy’s, if not more.
- Jack tries to kill the wizard on his own but is stopped. He gets viciously chopped up by the wizard’s men on the battlefield and somehow survives.
Tip leaves her true self behind to rule as Queen Ozma. She takes over Oz with some benevolence and puts on the Emerald crowd. They bring her Eammon, the man who killed her parents, and she ends up having to decide what type of justice she will bring down as queen. Instead of killing him, as West suggests, Tip erases the memories of Eammon’s family and casts him out of Oz. I think Queen Ozma will be a benevolent queen that is intent on being fair and not ruling with a vengeance.
- Glinda’s not happy about the new reigning Queen of Oz. She want’s magic to rule on it’s own. I’m assuming she would rather be at the head of the monarchy, instead of taking orders from someone else.
- And the red man—the gross skinned-alive man who was in that ditch with Nahara—finds skin hanging from one of the tree branches and puts it on. He then climbs out of his prison and sprouts massive bat-like wings. This seems to be the Beast forever. He flies over Oz, and everyone can see his wings against the sky.
What do you think about Emerald City’s Oz and its political moves? Do you want them to bring back Emerald City for another season?
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