The Librarians And
Eve Baird - Rebecca Romijn
Jake Stone - Christian Kane
Cassandra Cillian - Lindy Booth
Ezekial Jones - John Kim
Jenkins - John Larroquette
Flynn Carsen - Noah Wylie
Dulaque - Matt Frewer
OTHER PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS
The Lost Room
The Librarian is a remarkable individual who protects the world from the remnants of its magical past and this who would misuse that. When a Librarian dies, the Library itself sends out invitiations to likely candidates. Candidates are being killed all over the world and one remarkable anti-terrorist officer is given the job of looking after the Librarian whilst he rounds up three of the remaining candidates.
A mismatched team of specialists going out into the world to bring back the artefacts that are too dangerous to be left there, welcome to WAREHOUSE 13, except that this isn't that show after all. Showing on the same channel, THE LIBRARIANS is based on three TV movies that starred Noah Wylie as the exceptional Flynn Carsen and it is his performance at the centre of this opening episode that provides most of the fun. His character is flighty and just on the right side of completely mad. The script is witty and fast and gives him plenty of good one liners, whilst saving a few more for the more straight-faced centre of the show, Rebecca Romijn as Eve, the CTU specialist. Hers is a character who is so straight-laced that all the wonder of the magical world into which she has just been dropped ought to be placed into stark contrast, but it's hard to place the wonder of magic in stark contrast against a plank of plywood. Sadly, the cameo appearances from Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart (from the TV movies) place the rest of the main cast into stark relief as also being members of the plywood family. It is to be hoped that they perk up and become much more interesting and much more fun as the show progresses.
The plot involves a whole load of nonsense about a group of evildoers trying to find King Arthur's crown which will give them great power. The Librarians need all their skills first to stay alive and then to track down the last hiding place of the crown. It's all very watchable, thanks to Noah Wylie, but there are already big warning signs of trouble ahead.
Some of the effects are good, whilst others shall not be spoken of.Top
The Librarian and his team must break into Buckingham Palace to find Excalibur and keep it from reigniting all the ley lines and bringing magic back into the world. Not everyone, or everything, will survive.
After the runaround of last week's opener, this second part sets up the new format of the show. The Library is attacked and goes on the run through library space (or something like that), leaving the team without its resources, but with a small fraction of its knowledge in the shape of an annex run by the wonderfully chippy Jenkins, who would rather that they all just went away please.
It says something about a show when it is able to make you feel sad for a dying sword, but it also says something about a show when a sword displays a good deal more character than the main players manage to do. Noah Wylie is still by far the best thing in the show and it is worrying that he is not going to be around for most of it, though he does promise to drop by every now and then, just to punch up the fun factor.
Considering that the episode has action, betrayal, near death, death and the unleashing of magic, it really ought to have been a little more, well, magical itself. This was the opening story, though, so there is time for it to grow into its true nature. We hope.Top
A company is sacrificing interns to the Minotaur in order to ensure success and profits. The Librarians go in on their first mission, but soon find themselves lost in a maze that is as metaphorical as it is physical.
The set up for this story is all well and good, but it does highlight some issues that are going to have to be dealt with if THE LIBRARIANS is to continue to hold any attention. The first is that the main cast are dangerously devoid of charisma. Rebecca Romijn is the 'name', but she is failing to be anything nearly as interesting as she needs to be in order to centre the show on her. Surprisingly, Christian Kane (of ANGEL) is also without any of the depth or interest from that show. Lindy Booth is a one note character as Cassandra and John Kim is remarkably uncharismatic as the supposed rogue of the bunch. The only real fun is generated by John Larroquette as the wonderfully irritable Jenkins. When the most background member of the main cast is the most fun, then there is something seriously wrong with the writing and casting of a show.
The plot wanders around all over the place, mainly in the mistaken impression that activity is enough to make up for storyline. Sorry, guys, but it isn't. The fact that the Minotaur is seen only briefly, thereafter shapeshifting into human form, shows the budgetary limitations of the show. If we're not going to get decent monsters or effects, then the characters better get a lot more interesting, fast.Top
Someone has kidnapped Santa Claus and it's up the Librarians to rescue him and figure out his secret in order to save the world from destruction on Christmas Eve.
Wow, it's early in a show to be doing Christmas episodes, but casting of Bruce Campbell as Santa Clause is a masterstroke as he can deal with the amount of camp and whimsy on display without even breaking a sweat. The idea that Santa is a repository for all the good in the world, which he gives back on Christmas Eve, is a nice twist on the story of the man in red and makes up for the fact that the rest of the story is a bit flimsy, to say the very least.
Also, did we really need Eve as Scrooge and the fulfilment of all the wishes? Ezekial being affected by Santa's hat into becoming good and giving stuff away is especially cringe-inducing.
The spirit of goodwill requires to show tolerance to Christmas storylines and there is more than enough good humour and fun to be had for us to forgive the episode's shortcomings. Just.Top
Something has been stolen from the Dragons of the East by their blood enemies the Dragons of the West. If the two sides wake up to fight over this theft, the world will be annihilated. Leaving Ezekial and Jenkins to deal with a gathering of the supernatural clans, the returned Carsen Flynn takes the rest of the gang to recover the stolen item, but is all as it seems?
Noah Wylie is back for a flying visit, but he is a lot less fun here than in the series opener. That's perhaps because the same amount of effort hasn't been put into the plotting and the script as was the case at the show's double opening. Still, he makes up for the charisma vacuum of the rest of the cast as they run through a fairly basic plotline that is split into two in order to fill out the running time.
The conclave of the clans ought to have been the more interesting strand, but since everyone was wearing human shapes (including the dragons) it proves to drag a lot and John Kim really hasn't got the charisma to headline even a story within an episode. The excellent John Larroquette does his best as the irritable Jenkins, but the character is being watered and demystified with each episode, which is a shame, since he was one of the incidental pleasures that we kept coming back for.
As for the other strand, well the show uses altered personalities for the second episode in a row, this time making everyone into the worst version of themselves. Cassandra is the stand out, since her version of herself plans to wipe out much of Europe using only a single power station.
This is an unexceptional episode that doesn't move things forward a lot, though it does have a few good moments. Good moments, though, are not enough.Top
The Librarians have to deal with a town where fairy tales are coming to life and they themselves are being turned into characters.
For the third story in a row, the librarians find their personalities being altered. Is there really no other theme that the writers can come up with? Admittedly, there is some fun in seeing Cassandra as a babe magnet and Eve turning into a useless princess, but for the second week running the gag is that Ezekial remains himself, despite the the magic turning everyone else into heroes. All of this would have worked much better if we had been given more time to get to know the characters as they really are before being presented with them as other people.
There's lots of running, taking the place of plot development since the plot is paper-thin at best. Villains and victims both are underdeveloped meaning that there's nobody whose fate is in the balance beyond the Librarians themselves. The banter and wit is also pretty muted.
There are signs that the show is already struggling for ideas and that is not good so early in the season.Top
The Librarians attend a science fair where the experiments are taking a most definite turn for the magical. Who, though, is behind it and what does it have to do with mobile phones?
The mythos of the show is deepened just a little bit when Morgan Le Fey turns up and announces that the world is about to end and she just wants to get as far away from the resulting mess as she can. This will no doubt inform the rest of the season, being the plot arc running through the individual 'artefact of the week' stories.
This is Lindy Booth's episode as her character connects and identifies with the kids fighting so very hard to gain the scholarship that will cement their future. Why, exactly, we need this kind of obvious backstory to define her remains one the weaknesses of the show. Everything about the characters has to be explained in tiny little detail.
The plot isn't strong and there is one single setting, though that doesn't harm the episode at all, quite frankly. Not every episode has to be a globe-trotting epic. The finale combines magic and science in a pleasing enough fashion and time is passed harmlessly enough.Top
Looking to seal some loose ley lines in Slovakia, the Librarians happen upon a travelling haunted house that has been killing people for decades. This is their chance to end its reign of terror, or die trying.
This episode is a marked change in tone from the earlier ones. There have been hints of violence and darkness before (we're talking about you, The Librarians and the Fables of Doom), but this makes an effort to be a whole lot darker and creepier than anything that the show has tackled before. Even the subject matter, a killer house, is darker and it opens up with a wild-eyed girl covered in blood.
For the second episode in a row, Lindy Booth's Cassandra is the centre of attention as she rails against being given all the uninteresting jobs and being sidelined and suddenly finds that its up to her to save the day in a way can't be sorted out by her super maths skills. This is about her being a hero and as brave as she is good at maths.
Fortunately, there are quips enough and banter to go with the scares and they don't undermine the general creepiness. Admittedly, that creepiness is built on so many obvious horror tropes that they almost bring a groan of recognition. There's the cabin in the woods, the creepy interior, the baby pram, the doll house, the instantly recognisable murder weapon, the shadowy ghost figure... and on and on. Even so, this is a major step up for the show and suggests that there might actually be some depth beneath that frothy, fizzy and altogether insubstantial surface.Top
A small town is hiding a big secret. People are disappearing and it has something to do with the weird gas lamps all over the place. Then Eve goes missing and it's up to the Librarians to figure out what's going on to get her back.
After the darkness and scares of last week's offering, THE LIBRARIANS returns to the light, bright and breezy style that has characterised the run to this point. The plot is light enough that a sneeze could blow it away, but the plots have never been what this show is about. The 'leader trapped in another dimension' has been done so many times before that it's hardly worth listing where and when. Nikolas Tesla's name is taken in vain to justify the whole thing and, for once, the outcome is not as successful as it might have been, something that can be seen coming a mile away, but which causes a lurch in momentum and direction even so.
Christian Kane gets to take centre stage as Jake finds a kindred spirit and falls for a woman that you just know he's not going to get in the long run. It's too early in the show to be bringing in long-term love interests. Even though the whole plot is structured around giving his character a little definition, its philosophy is so simple and the message so ineptly rammed home that it fails to give the man any more depth at all.
There's still some banter, but it's not as fizzy and sharp as it has been, but THE LIBRARIANS is the science fiction equivalent of easy listening music. Switch your brain off and you can go along for the ride in untroubled relaxation.Top
A plan to bring back the Library goes wrong and Eve Baird finds herself being tossed between various alternate timelines as the whole of history unravels.
THE LIBRARIANS falls back on the 'alternate versions of the characters' plotlines that it has already used, but when the result is as much fun as this season finale, we can forgive that. The season goes out with a bang, weaving (ahem) together a delightful tapestry of adventure, wit, charm and fun into the best episode since the opening double header. Sure, the elements are familiar, but they are staged with such vigour and humour that you can't help but be won over by it.
There are revelations about about Jenkins and Dulaque that are fun and the appearance of a story arc when none had been obvious is terrific. The alternative worlds in which Carsen Flynn is just a professor and Jake is a swashbuckling hero, Ezekial is fighting against a world full of ghost-zombies and Cassandra has become the ultimate witch in the battle against the dragons are all quite fun as well. The pace is fast, the dialogue is witty and delivered at a pace that stops anyone from thinking too much about it.
This just might be the episode where THE LIBRARIANS comes of age. Certainly, if it does return we will be looking out for it.Top
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