“Lions in Winter” begins as The Wizard’s Guard marches through Emerald City. Eamonn says that he should be going with The Wizard, whose rejoinder is that there is no one better than Eamonn to rule over Emerald City while The Wizard is gone. Eamonn fears there will be a battle, and The Wizard scoffs that science will triumph over magic without a battle.
West and Tip are still in the grassy meadow from the end of episode seven.
“You’ve been keeping secrets,” says West.
“I’ve been keeping a dagger,” says Tip. “For protection.”
“This belongs to the Princess Ozma, heir to the throne of Emerald City. Her father King Pastoria gave this to her on her name day…it’s sacred, as sacred as Ozma was herself…When The Wizard defeated The Beast Forever, he consolidated his power by slaughtering the King and Queen–and the Princess.”
“What’s that got to do with me?”, says Tip.
“If by some miracle she survived, she’d be exactly your age.”
“I’m not a princess!”
“You don’t know what you are.”
“I’m a boy!”
“You were turned into a boy,” says West. “Why else but to hide you, to protect you.”
“Everyone keeps telling me who I am. What I am. When do I get to decide?” asks Tip.
“You are the only child of Samuel and Catharine Pastoria. Your parents loved you and kept you safe til the day they died. Or, you’re an orphan with no past and no future, who was taken for no reason. You want to decide? Then decide,” says West, handing her King Pastoria’s kris.
“Who are you?”
Ozma takes back the dagger. “What kind of a name is Ozma?”
“It means leader of Oz.”
“We were born for greater things, you and I. We were born to fly.”
West seizes Ozma, and the two of them shoot into the sky like a falling star in reverse. It’s a sweet special effects shot, though some of the drama is undermined if the viewer realizes that they’ve plumb forgotten the little witch girl’s body that died in this field in episode 7, “They Came First,” and which will no doubt now be ripped to pieces by the wolves that escaped Dorothy’s ruby gauntlets. Considering that West is taking Ozma to a crypt, it would have made more sense if they took the girl’s body with them.
Cut to Glinda’s castle, where Dorothy paces her cell.
“There’s no way out. I’ve been looking for months,” says another prisoner, a pregnant woman late in her last trimester.
“How often do they check on you?”, asks Dorothy.
“Twice a day.”
“So they can get in here?”
“Yeah. Sometimes there. Sometimes here. Sometimes this wall. They have magic. I’m conspicuously mortal.” The woman pants as if she’s started her contractions.
“How far along are you?”
“And your crime?”, asks Dorothy.
“Falling in love. I broke my oath of celibacy to the high council. Hid it long enough that now she doesn’t know what to do with me. Others weren’t as lucky.”
“Glinda spared you because of your child.”
“Glinda only cares about her own. The child you brought with you. She’s a witch?”, asks the pregnant woman.
“Yes. She’s not staying either.”
“Given your crime, I doubt you’ll get a vote.”
“What crime is that?”, asks Dorothy.
“Kidnapping Glinda’s husband.”
At that moment, Glinda rests her head on Rowan’s lap. “I searched everywhere for you, Rowan. I thought I’d lost you but now…”
“Would I’d known,” says Rowan.
“You couldn’t have. The spell was designed to protect you. Once you were exposed, you’d have no memory of me. Perhaps the magic worked too well.”
“I’m here, aren’t I?”
“How long have you been traveling with this assassin?”, asks Glinda.
“Dorothy’s no assassin.”
“The Wizard sent her to kill me.”
“She saved my life, Glinda.”
“What did you do for her?”
“The same, when necessary,” says Rowan.
“And when necessity played no part?”
“Glinda? I can’t be responsible for my actions if I was not myself.”
Glinda stands up. “Then don’t come back until you are,” she says, and disrobes.
Dorothy’s back rests against the wall of her cell as she comiserates with the pregnant woman.
“Who’s your baby’s father?”
“Murdered by The Wizard.”
“The Wizard? Why?” asks Dorothy.
“As I betrayed Glinda, he betrayed The Wizard. People fear monsters. Attacks from the sea or sky., but what they should really fear is The Wizard of Oz. He’s the true Beast Forever.”
When Rowan enters the cell, Dorothy calls him Lucas.
“Um. Don’t call me that,” says Rowan.
“What should I call you?”
“My name is Rowan.”
“Is he married?”, asks Dorothy.
Rowan looks away.
“Do you have children?”, she presses him.
“Do you love her?”
“Stop!”, says Rowan.
“No matter what I call you, you’re still the same man,” Dorothy insists.
“How can I be?, ” says Rowan. “You have to convince Glinda that you mean her no harm.”
“That will be a lie.”
“Then I can’t help you.”
“That woman needs help!” says Dorothy, indicating the pregnant woman. She continues, “Look, I know you’re confused. I’ve been confused too, ever since I came to Oz. But then I found Oz.”
“Oh, Dorothy.” Rowan sighs.
“We found each other…do something.”
“Don’t you remember anything that happened between us?”, laments Dorothy.
“Of course I do! Glinda is my wife. I knew this was a mistake. I shouldn’t have come.” Rowan leaves Dorothy, and the cell magically seals while Dorothy calls “Lucas!” after him.
While Rowan is making love to Glinda, the witch of the North cries “Oh Rowan! I’ve missed you so,” but Rowan’s morose face over her shoulder looks like he’s being forced to do something unbearably sad. In fact, I would rank this sad face with some of the great sad faces of the screen, such as the shooting of Old Yeller, or the Tenth Doctor taking Donna Noble’s memories of him. That this epic sad face is paired with a sex scene comes off as extremely comical.
While walking with Sylvie through the castle, Glinda tells the girl, “We’re going to help you develop your skills to realize your potential as a witch. We tried protecting you, but your ears were tainted by their tongue. Once you’re with your own kind again it will be like you never left.”
“Where are Lucas and Dorothy?”, asks Sylvie.
Glinda takes her into a room filled with other witches. “Girls. We have a new guest. This is Leith. I’m sure you all remember her from your time with Mother South. Treat her well.” Glinda leaves Leith with the other girls, then addresses a red-haired witch: “The new prisoner…I want her gone.”
No sooner than it’s ordered, the red-haired witch power-walks to Dorothy’s cell, presumably prepared to murder, only to find Dorothy coaching the pregnant woman through labor.
“What are you doing to her?” shouts the girl.
“I need a doctor. Her baby’s breech.” The red-haired witch pulls Dorothy off the pregnant woman, pushes her against the wall, and clutches her throat.
Dorothy says, “We have a baby coming, so you can either kill me now or you can go and tell Glinda to bring her ass down here with some hot water and towels. Your choice.” The witch leaves.
Jack awakes to the sound of cart wheels. Two of Queen Ev’s servants have brought Jack breakfast in bed–Queen Langwidere’s bed, formerly the King of Ev’s bed.
“Good morning sir. Your breakfast.”
“Where’s the princess?”
“Forgive me, sir, but her Ladyship is now Queen.”
“Would you like us to draw you a bath?” asks one of the servants, oblivious to the moving gears on Jack’s chest.
“The Queen often enjoys a bath after her meals.”
Jack first raises his mechanical arm, then his eyebrow.
“Of course, sir, I do apologize.”
“Will the Queen be joining me?”
“Not in the bath, sir?”
“No. For breakfast.”
“Not likely, but if you’re not hungry, and don’t fancy a bath, then perhaps we could simply oil your odd parts.” The butler presents a brass oil can.
In a burst of light, West and Ozma teleport to the Witches’ sacred temple, and from there, they step into the temple’s secret crypt
“What are those?”, asks Ozma, looking at glass jars filled with a smoky liquid.
“Reliquaries. Where every fallen sorceress is remained.”
“Are those their ashes?”
“Their spells,” says West. “When a witch dies, we don’t preserve their bodies. We preserve their magic. This is all that is left of my sister, Mistress of the Eastern Wood, Most Merciful and Stern.”
“Did we come here to pray?”
“Witches don’t pray and wait for answers, we act….So, I want you to drink her…You want power don’t you? This is how you get it.”
“I’m not drinking a witch’s insides,” says Ozma.
“You want revenge. For your parents. You want to destroy The Wizard. Then taste my sister’s magic.”
“Will I be able to turn myself back into a boy?”
“If this works, you can turn yourself into a tomato for all I care,” says West.
“No one’s ever done this before.”
“But, if something happens you can help, right?” West does not answer her, but Ozma takes the decanter of East’s spells. As a burial urn for witch spells, it looks like it’s probably the right size, but as a beverage container, it’s pretty intimidating–bigger than a 7 Eleven Big Gulp.
Ozma takes several drinks, then keels over, writhing, as she’s dragged through a memory from her infancy. The infant Ozma watches as King Pastoria is cut down, at The Wizard’s order, by a warrior wearing a Lion’s head mask. The Queen sobs, infant Ozma wails, and the Lion warrior slays the Queen, stoops, and picks up the infant.
“Tip,” says West, “Wake up.” She sobs, repeats the command, and when Ozma doesn’t wake, her scream echoes in the hidden crypt.
Jack emerges, dressed like a Lord, and the butler asks “Now, sir, would you like to take in the great lawn, perhaps, or take in a carriage ride? I’ll give you a moment to decide.”
“I’d prefer to see the Queen.”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible, sir. Her highness is very much occupied with the arrangements for her father’s funeral, the arrival of the armaments–guns in the modern vernacular–ordered by The Wizard, built by some of our finest craftspeople.”
“I’m sure the Queen can spare a moment.”
“Uh, you can’t go in there,” says the butler, but Jack barges in anyway.
“Langwidere!”, he shouts.
The Queen is inspecting the guns. “Jack! You cannot be in here!”
“I wasn’t trying to be…” he stammers.
“We have plans that must be our own.”
“Right. Guess I’ll just take a carriage ride, then.”
Leith is eating in the cafeteria with the other wizard girls when Rowan walks through. Leith holds her hands up to Rowan, thinking he is still Lucas, but he rejects the embrace and tells her to eat.
When Rowan walks away, and stands against the wall of the witches’ cafeteria, the other witch girls consider it to be open season on the new girl, and use magic to move her bowl away. Sylvie unleashes her magic on the bowl, but only succeeds in curdling the meal black.
Cut to the cell, where Dorothy is still assisting the other prisoner with her birth. Glinda walks in with the red-haired girl at her left side.
“We need a doctor,” says Dorothy.
“There are no doctors here,” says Glinda.
“Look, if her baby’s not turned around…”
“…mother and child may die,” finishes Glinda.
“Do you have anything for her pain? Alcohol, or opiate.”
“You have training in medicine.”
“Some, but I can’t do this by myself,” says Dorothy.
Glinda orders the red-haired witch to help Dorothy. While she’s never named in this episode, the cast sheet calls her Ryenne, so we’ll call her Ryenne from this point.
Ryenne’s eyes widen at the request, and she balks a little, but complies.
“What do you need her to do?”, asks Glinda.
“Get underneath her and arch her back.”
“Lift and arch her back,” Glinda orders, and after Ryenne complies, Glinda uses her magic to relieve the woman’s pain. Rowan arrives, having heard screaming, and when Dorothy asks for a knife, Rowan gives her one.
Dorothy uses the knife, presumably to give the pregnant woman an episiotomy, then tells the woman to push really hard, and the baby comes. Glinda and Rowan are both affected by the birth, but when Glinda sees the way Rowan looks at Dorothy she commands him to “leave us.”
In the crypt, West gives Ozma her last rites. “To all who would keep you. To all who would protect you. To all who would hold you dear. Forgive me.” She sets Ozma adrift in the waters of the crypt.
When Rowan enters Glinda’s room, she is picking petals off of a rose.
“I see winter hasn’t taken your roses.”
“Is that a metaphor?”, she asks.
“You won’t look at me.”
“What’s the point. You’re not even here.”
“I’m trying,” says Rowan.
“That’s what hurts. How did you feel when you witnessed that birth?”
“Because you knew it was something we could never share?”, asks Glinda.
“Because I was neither with you nor with her.”
“Two years ago, when you traded your old life for a new one with me, we promised to keep our secrets from the world, but never from each other.”
“Glinda, you can’t hold me accountable.”
“My spell didn’t make you a different man. It took your memory, not your heart.”
“Yes, yes, and when your spell lifted, all my old feelings returned. I do love you.”
“We can’t live like this.”
“We won’t have to. War is upon us. A thousand soldiers left Emerald City yesterday. Your life or death will depend on which side you choose.”
From here the scene cuts to a shot of The Wizard’s impressive army of extras, with its spinning steampunk flags.
Jane putters around her workshop when Jack arrives, dressed to the nines. “”Tis I, Jack of Ev,” he says, smiling.
“Well, you’re certainly a surprise.”
“Certainly something. I’m living a life fit for a King courtesy of the Queen.”
“You’re with Langwidere? But what about Tip?”, asks Jane.
“Tip? We were just friends. Now I don’t know what we are. With Langwidere it’s so simple. She owns me…Are you going on a trip?”, he asks.
“Closing up shop. My position here has been terminated.”
“What? On whose authority?”
“What? No, she knows you saved me, salvaged me.”
Jane says, “I’m not certain you were on the forefront of her mind when it happened. She asked me to make her weapons. I refused, so she fired me.”
“A line I refused to cross.”
“Even so, she can’t release you. I won’t let it happen,” says Jack.
“Dear Jack. When we met, you were afraid you’d lost your heart. Not possible.”
Glinda and Ryenne escort Dorothy through the hall. Dorothy tells Glinda to kill her and be done with it, and Glinda says Dorothy is the assassin, and an ironic one, considering she just delivered a baby.
Dorothy asks for Sylvie, which draws a blank from Glinda until Dorothy reminds that’s her name for Leith. Dorothy continues that Glinda can’t seriously mean to make Leith a soldier, to which Glinda responds that it depends on how well Leith takes to her training. On that note, Glinda brings Dorothy into the quarters for the witches that can’t master their own abilities. There are witches levitating asleep, chanting meaninglessly, catatonic, standing listlessly.
“What’s happened to them?”, asks Dorothy.
Pushed beyond their limits, I’m afraid. A tragic consequence of our quest for survival….Like every young woman, a witch cannot harness her powers until she comes of age. What we asked of these girls was simply beyond their capacity. But Dorothy. Perhaps you can help them?…The Wizard must have believed you have some capability, or he wouldn’t have put you on me. You’ve saved others. Save them…All if necessary. I’ve watched your Wizard dazzle the masses with science. If it were up to him, every witch in Oz would have gone the way of extinction. But unlike those who traded their own for his favor, I’ve always seen through his lie. Science is not magic, we are. We are the magic, and the magic is Oz. And you will find a way to save these girls, or you will not save yourself.
Glinda seals Dorothy in the room with the witches.
Cut to the witches’ cafeteria, which is darker and candlelit. And when the other witches attempt their magical bullying, Leith uses her own powers to pull her bowl back. Then, not satisfied, Leith enspells every witches’ bowl to move towards her, and the witches laugh and applaud by banging on the table.
West arrives to find Glinda trimming her her tree.
“Good evening, sister,” remarks Glinda. “Pleasant flight.”
“Yes, yes, with the moon so close, the illumination…
“…that is not good news. But when you appear, there seldom is.”
“I’ve come to give you a gift. Very special gift. Me,” says West.
“What poison is running through your veins?”
“None. I’m as clear as I’ve ever been, and I want you to know that I forgive you.”
“You forgive me?”, asks Glinda.
“For hiding my own mother from me.”
“I couldn’t trust you.”
“I know I’ve been dishonorable, shameful, but now I need her. I need my mother,” begs West.
“And if I told you where she was, you wouldn’y run and tell The Wizard, would you.”
“No, I swear, I stand before you anew, clean, ready to redeem myself, ready to serve you and my mother.”
Glinda says, “When you were a little girl, Mother South favored you. Of all of our sisters, you were the one destined to take your place. Did you know that she saw you as her heir, not me, not East, you.”
“Where is she?”
“In a place safe from all those who would do her harm, including you.”
“Please,” says West.
“You have snuffed out all the light in you. You’re just a void,” says Glinda. West weeps.
Langwidere at last arrives in her royal suite and says “Oh Jack! Thank goodness you’re still awake. Today has been the most relentless day. I know I’m the Queen, but still, is everyone really that crippled?” When there is a long, awkward, pause, she adds “I, I didn’t mean…”
“What did you mean?”
“Only that I’ve been waiting all day to be with you.”
“How could you be so heartless to Jane?”, asks Jack.
“Please Jack, no more politics.”
“That woman gave her life to you, to your father, all her waking hours.”
“She said no to me,” says Langwidere.
“So what? You can’t just enjoy people when it suits you. You can’t use them up and toss them aside.”
“People serve a purpose, for business and for pleasure.”
“No! We don’t all exist for your benefit,” says Jack.
“You exist because Jane was paid to rebuild you by me. The fact that I’ve developed feelings for you does not make you any less my property.”
“Oh, so the only way you can love something is to own it?”
“How else do you know it’s yours?”, asks Langwidere.
“How can you think that way?”
“It’s true. I can prove it.”
“Then prove it,” says Jack.
“You’re free. I release my hold on you. Will you leave me like everyone else?” asks Langwidere.
Dorothy does her best to tend to the witch girls, but their supernatural disabilities are too much for her to bear.
Rowan carries in another witch, saying “she simply pushed herself too hard.”
“No, you pushed them too hard.”
“Glinda thought you could help them,” Rowan says.
“Is that what you’re going to do to Sylvie?…Look, I’ve lost you, and I accept that, but not Sylvie.” The gauntlets appear on Dorothy’s hands, and finding herself able to open Glinda’s magical doors, she leaves the room, and closes Rowan in with the witch girls.
Dorothy stalks through the castle, and enters Glinda’s bedroom. (The viewer may think at this point that Dorothy has had uncommon luck getting the drop on Oz’s world leaders in their own living quarters.) When she gestures with the ruby gauntlets, bedsheets shroud, then entangle Glinda, and yank her up into the air, with a length of the sheet serving as a noose to choke the life out of her. As Glinda struggles and screams, Rowan runs in and begs Dorothy to stop or she’ll have to kill him first. Glinda drops to the bed and the sheets slide off, revealing that she is more angry than frightented, and when they both watch the distraught Dorothy flee, Glinda yells “why aren’t you going after her? Rowan!”
Dorothy wanders the castle, with Ryenne on her trail, enters the witches’ sleeping quarters, and says to Leith, “Sylvie, we have to go! Come on, we need to go now.” But Leith stands shoulder to shoulder with the witches as they fall into formation.
When Dorothy insists, the other girls close ranks in front of Leith, and Dorothy flees.
Glinda and Rowan haven’t budged from their seats on the witch’s bed. “The man I loved would have gutted her, would have torn her up to protect me.”
“Then bring that man back, Glinda!”
“Only you can do that. I lifted my spell.”
“Your spell was worthless! It’s hers that I can’t break! I’ve tried, for you, for us, and I can’t just. Please, just use whatever magic you have. Just rip it, rip it out of me, please.”
Glinda unsheathes his knife and brandishes it in front of his face. “You must do that.”
“Take my life?” he asks.
“Hers. Take her life, and you will be free. Do it, or I will!”
Dorothy rides away, Toto yapping at her horse’s hooves.
Jack leaves Langwidere’s quarters, whether for good or for the moment we don’t know, and as he’s walking on the balcony, Ev’s troops take positions on the walls. The Wizard of Oz and his guards have arrived at the gates of Ev.
“On behalf of Queen Langwidere,” shouts their captain, “the Kingdom of Ev welcomes you, Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz.”
“Are my weapons at the ready?”, shouts The Wizard.
“Quite. Guards!” shouts the officer, and the other soldiers point the rifles at The Wizard and his guards.
“You’re joking,” says The Wizard.
In Emerald City, Eamonn tells his family that war is coming, then opens a chest to reveal the lion’s mask, indicating that he is the one who murdered Ozma’s parents, the rightful King and Queen of Oz.
West returns to the witch’s temple babbling and intoxicated, where she stumbles around for a while, then sits on the floor and slits her wrists with magic. She mutters that there is nothing to be scared of and that magic will protect her, and it isn’t clear if this is her talking to herself, or a drunken recollection of the way that she fortified young witches with magic and then sent them to die in battle against The Beast Forever (episode 7).
As West’s blood runs into the engravings in the floor, Ozma walks over to her, dripping water from the crypt.
“It worked,” says Ozma.