This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the second part of “Tin Man” on the SciFi Channel.
I don’t know about any of you, but Tuesday is going to be a long day waiting for tonight’s finale of “Tin Man.” I have to say, I’m quite intrigued by this story.
I am totally engrossed in the story of this “Wizard of Oz” reimagining, even if I’m still not very impressed with the deer-in-the-headlights performance of Zooey Deschanel. Everything from Kathleen Robertson’s Azkedellia to Neal McDonough’s Cain … you find yourself almost to the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next, and the writers didn’t disappoint.
In the second part of this three-part miniseries, we had a chance to take a big look into the past, on what happened to Azkedellia and D.G. (Deschanel) as children … and the twist was impressive. Where we thought Azkedellia was just a brat child who became more bratty and more powerful as the so-called Wicked Witch of the West, it was discovered that the real Azkedellia was a sweet young girl who became corrupted (and possessed) by an evil witch, which opens the door to Azkedellia being eligible for rescue (where’s that hot water?)
At the same time, we are seeing our characters twist and turn in ways we didn’t think possible. While I felt that Mystic Man (Richard Dreyfuss) was not going to make it through the miniseries, I was a bit surprised to see that he didn’t make it through the second part, becoming a victim of Azkedellia’s soul-sucking ability. And while Cain should be dead after falling so far down to the ice after suffering a gunshot wound (we feel your sympathy Zero), it definitely was good to see McDonough back, since he does seem to be the heart of all this (yes, pun intended).
Azkedellia is obsessed with the upcoming eclipses and finding this mysterious emerald that her mother worked so hard to hide. Now, as we enter the third and final part of this adventure, we will find out if good will actually triumph in this one. I’m sure it will, but who knows what other surprises are in store for us tonight.
The writing has been excellent. I know some others have complained about some of the dialogue, and I do agree that D.G. was not written well, but we have to remember that D.G. is not being acted well either, so the lines may have been better (or at least would be perceived as better) if their delivery was a bit stronger.
We are getting a lot of twists and turns, which is something I like a lot, and it’s great watching a familiar story, but not knowing what’s going to happen next. I’m also smiling for every reference we’re getting in from the classic film. In a way, that should be a bit tacky, but it’s cleverly done. The end of the first part, among other lines, had “There’s no place like the O.Z.,” while the second part had a great way of reintroducing “lions, tigers and bears, oh my!”
What Didn’t Work
I’m a bit worried that if SciFi does move forward with a series, we’re going to have to live with “The O.Z.” and “D.G.” and whatever other MTV-esque type take that is thrown at us. I know, this is the same complaint that I had in the first part, but that should show how few problems I found in the second part.
I wasn’t a big fan of Raw (Raoul Trujillo), but seeing him in the recycled Mongo prison cells from “Flash Gordon” and how he was used in the second part, I no longer feel he’s a wasted character. In fact, I’m intrigued by him — and this is coming from someone who always hated the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 version of “Wizard of Oz.”
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Tin Man” airs its third part Tuesday on SciFi Channel. It was written by Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle, based on the book by L. Frank Baum. It was directed by Nick Willing. It stars Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, Neal McDonough, Richard Dreyfuss, and Kathleen Robertson.
Michael Hinman is the founder and site coordinator of Airlock Alpha, writing out of Tampa, Fla. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.