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THE LIBRARIANS Live Happily Ever After

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Season 1, Episode 6: “And the Fables of Doom”

[photos: Scott Patrick Green/TNT]

What do a huntsman, a fairy princess, Prince Charming and a Rogue Jack have in common?  They are all Librarians, so shut your trap and pay attention — this story doesn’t follow your normal fairy tale formula! This week, we have a record number of tweets from some die-hard sci-fi fans and celebrities, including Rebecca Romijn, John Kim, and William Shatner.

This week, the Librarians unwittingly assume the roles of fairy tale characters when stories come to life as they are narrated from an ancient book.  The entire community of Bremen is gradually affected by trolls, wolves, climbing vines and other assorted storybook characters that not only derail the residents’ everyday life, but threaten to claim the lives of some.  They clearly had some fun making this episode, directed by Jonathan Frakes, and to date, it’s my favorite yet.

Spoilers_LibrariansAt the open, an overly aggressive truck driver tries to barrel his way through a work zone on a bridge, and his rig is picked up by a very large hand and dumped in the nearby river.  (If only the DOT had deterrents like that!)  As the wreckage is towed from the water the following day, our young Librarians and Colonel Baird appear through the nearest portal (this time, a public unisex toilet) to investigate.

Under the cover of performing a traffic flow study on “accident reports and statistical surveys on rural…stuff,” they discover a very large thumbprint on the window of the salvaged truck.  This is definitely more significant than a simple case of reckless driving, as the local official, Sheriff Hayer, claims.

Jenkins suspects a troll and tells the team to get a sample or a picture of it.  His only cryptic bit of advice is that “trolls are nothing but subdued in daylight.”  An annoyed Baird takes Ezekiel to find troll samples (eewww, I hope it’s not what I’m thinking), while Jacob and Cassandra go to investigate in town.

As Baird gives Ezekiel a “you need to change your attitude” talk, they come upon a rock formation that looks like a large humanoid form frozen in time.  Ezekiel has just commented about leaving if he gets bored, so Baird put him to work gathering samples from the boulder man — that should keep him from getting bored.

Meanwhile, as Jacob and Cassandra review surveillance footage of the bridge, they meet the Mayor, who is out jogging…in the buff.  The encounter is awkward, to say the least, since he believes that he is wearing a new jogging suit.  Unfortunately, no one else can see it, although he did have the decency to wear a sweat band.  The Sheriff confirms that this is not normal for the Mayor (whew!), and Cassandra is relieved to see him jog away.

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The Sheriff lists off some other “usual small-town problems,” which sound vaguely familiar to various stories of the Brothers Grimm (or perhaps Fractured Flickers) persuasion, and Jake and Cassandra begin to suspect the connection.  As the team reconvenes, screaming is heard from the street, followed by the appearance of a really big wolf wearing (you guessed it) a granny’s night cap.  Without a second thought, Jacob grabs a fireman’s axe from the nearby fire truck and send it flying with unexpected precision, killing the wolf.

Ezekiel: “Where’d you learn how to do that?”

Jacob: “Well, I just…um…I don’t know”

Now, they put all of the incidents together and discover that the fairy tales are coming to life and attacking people — in Baird’s words: “Someone has weaponized fairy tales.”  With that theory, Jenkins comes up with a list of 57 items, curses and paradoxes that could possibly cause fairy tales to come alive and attack.

By process of elimination, he crosses off most of the items, including the genie’s lamp. (Sorry, Shatner: you want logic? Hang out with a Vulcan.)  Where to start looking for the remaining items?  Autopsy, of course: Jenkins wants the team to retrieve the wolf’s body and bring it back for him to inspect.

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So, off they go to the local tavern, which is the only place in town that has a walk-in cooler big enough to house the animal’s body, which I’m pretty sure is in violation of a couple of health regulations.  As Baird and Cassandra distract the tavern owner, Jacob and Ezekiel get the wolf’s body and haul it out the back, stowing it in a pick-up truck that (lucky for them) has the keys in it, so Ezekiel claims that they can “hardly call it stealing.” They take it back to examine and as Jacob progresses to gut the animal, he discovers a young woman inside, dressed in red.  She is rescued, whole and alive from the wolf’s body.  Jenkins realizes now that the item they are looking for is the Libris Fabula — a storybook that will bring a story (any story) to life, but at a great cost.

As they ponder this last revelation, the local librarian (played by Rene Auberjonois) is reading an old storybook in the hospital to a sick young girl named Jamie.  He is just finishing the story of Red Riding Hood: the part where the huntsman cuts her out of the wolf’s body and she is whole and alive. [Queue the Twilight Zone music]

Cassandra, meanwhile, has noticed a couple of things.  One: Baird is having an amazing hair day, and two: all of the women in the town are staring at her with googly eyes.  They learn from Jenkins that this book is so powerful, even stories that aren’t in the book can be narrated into reality.  It can re-write history and sweep up entire nations in the fictional history it creates at the reader’s whim; in the wrong hands, it could be catastrophic.  The book’s only limit on what it can bring to life is the life (or lives) sacrificed for that purpose.  The people whose essence feeds the stories get progressively weaker until they eventually die.

Jenkins and Cassandra check the hospital records for unexplained patterns of illness.  Baird and Jacob go off to look for the ancient book at the local library and Ezekiel, continuing his lucky streak, lands a jackpot of coins from the vending machine and follows a rather odd, large rolling coin down the corridors, up the stairs, and into Jamie’s room.  She and Ezekiel hit it off as friends, and he realizes that she is the one getting sick from the book.  He leaves to go get the rest of the team, leaving his lucky coin with Jamie and promising to return.

At the local library, Jacob and Baird learn that a large donation of old and rare books recently arrived from the estate of a famous collector, and are now being carefully guarded under lock and key by the local librarian, whom we saw reading the old book to Jamie in the hospital earlier.  He refuses to give them access to the book, so they decide that they must steal it.  The whole team meets in the tavern to form their plan, but they are interrupted by Sheriff Hayer, a.k.a. Jamie’s dad, who is now the big, bad wolf from the three little pigs.  The Sheriff threatens to huff and puff, etc., so the team makes a quick exit, only to find the entire town under the book’s spell.  Many are turning into storybook characters, and there is a very large, woody vine rapidly blocking their exit from town.

As the Sheriff and his wolf pack (the local football team) give chase, Ezekiel runs back to the hospital to find the old librarian reading to Jamie, who is now even sicker.  The librarian is surprisingly strong, having absorbed Jamie’s life force, and is determined to narrate the team’s demise.  (Two episodes in a row with evil librarians?  This is looking like an epidemic.)

The townspeople take cover in the library (where else?), and Baird calls Jones and explains that he is the only one that the story works for, rather than against:  he is the Jack, the rogue, who survives by sheer luck, and the only one who can end this.  As Baird, Jacob and Prince Charming — I mean Cassandra — fight off the wolf pack, Ezekiel manages to take out the old librarian with a very lucky toss of the lucky coin in Jamie’s room.  Alas, he is no story teller, so he wakes Jamie, who manages to change the story before it’s too late.

In Jamie’s new ending,  Jacob becomes a huntsman robot, who targets the Sheriff and knocks him out cold (Jacob: “Yeah, I can live with this”), Baird becomes a ninja princess and starts kicking some wolf butt (Baird: “It’s about time!”), and the Prince becomes Merlin (Jamie: “and you can’t kill Merlin; he’s magic”).  Together they chase the wolves away, the head wolf is sentenced to eat green hospital Jell-O forever, and the evil librarian is sucked into the book, which Jamie then slams shut.

As they all come to their senses, the town has no memory of the recent events, which are passed off as hallucinations caused by swamp gas; a likely story concocted by Jacob before the team walks off into the sunset, leaving a healthy Jamie and her dad watching them go.

Jamie: “Dad, who are those people?”

Dad: “They’re Librarians, honey”

Jamie: “Librarians?”

Dad: “Wow, now that I say that out loud, it doesn’t make any sense at all.”

The Library Annex is now the proud owner of the collection of rare books, including the Libris Fabula, which now contains a lot of empty pages and an illustration of the town librarian, trapped by the magic within.

There were some really fun bits in this episode with abrupt character and costume changes.  My favorite transition was Baird.  Throughout the episode, she progressively becomes a princess: her hair gets longer, her shoe keeps falling off, she suddenly is wearing high heels and a princess corset, she breaks into song, lets loose a distinctively princess-y giggle, makes flirty eyes at Cassandra/Prince Charming, and she fights like…well…dare I say it: like a girl.

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Jacob continued doing more and more huntsman things, and at one point, a leather gauntlet appears on his arm, hatchet appears in his hand, he starts tracking storms with his nose, and an owl appears on his arm.

Cassandra adopts the Prince Charming role without blinking an eye, getting the people of the town to follow her to safety with the flair of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor (or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator; take your pick).

Again, as with last week, magic didn’t touch Ezekiel; I sense a trend, here.

Ezekiel: “When a magic spell turns everyone into heroes of legend, who did it turn me into?  Me!”

Baird: “Yep, I’m going to go punch something.”

In this episode, we also learn that although Jacob likes Cassandra and trusts her mathematical instincts, he still does not trust her intentions.  He’s okay with things the way they are, but she is clearly bothered by his lack of trust in her and even asks Baird for advice about it.  As the episode closes, we see Cassandra alone in the Annex.  She opens her hand and reveals a little orb of magic light leftover from when she cast a spell as Merlin in Jamie’s story ending.  She smiles happily to herself and leaves the room with the light still in her hand.

Next week, we look forward to a special night of The Librarians, with two new episodes, back-to-back, featuring a cursed competition, and haunted house, and a chance to save the world…twice!

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2 thoughts on “THE LIBRARIANS Live Happily Ever After

  • Great episode! Well I say that about them all! LOL each and every one of them has been such great fun! Christian Kane brings his magic to them all too.. Will be watching and wanting more! Hope it gets many seasons!

    Reply
  • As usual, I loved this episode of The Librarians. The twists on the tales were unique and entertaining and each cast member had his/her time in the sun. Finally Christian Kane got to show some skills with the axe and fighting. My grandson now calls him Power Ranger Librarian. The show always has something for everyone.

    Reply

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