Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Librarians: And the Horns of a Dilemma Review


Now that we've gotten past our formal introductions to the characters, we can dive right into our story.  The Horns of a Dilemma plays fast with our leads as they get through another important aspect of a television series: having the team bond.  Both the tough military leader and her group of disparate smart but still adrift charges learn to trust each other and themselves.

Colonel Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn) is determined to train the Librarians into being able to go out into the field.  They however, keep failing to meet her standards by reacting how they would to any situation: art expert/cowboy Jake Stone (Christian Kane) goes for the confusing brute force and fails, master thief Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) goes for flight and fails, and math expert Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) clumsily hides and fails.  The Librarians, though, are itching to go into the field, and the Clipbook brings a case: a group of interns at Golden Axe, a conglomerate, have disappeared.  The interns have no connection to each other save Golden Axe, and they want to investigate.  Despite Baird's misgivings, they force the issue and Official Librarian Jenkins (John Larroquette) uses 'the back door' (a portal) to go to Boston, the location of Golden Axe.

The company CEO Miss Willis (Tricia Helfer) and her aide Franklin (Sean McGrath) are shocked, SHOCKED that interns are disappearing.  They have no problem having this odd group investigate, and the group does what Eve doesn't want to do: split up.   The librarians go to 'human resources' while Eve looks for the center of the company.   Eve finds a treasure trove of art, which Jake through cell phone photos finds are Minoan, earlier than they should be.  In the room there is also a large ball of yarn.

Human Resources is hard to find, almost labyrinth-like.  The Librarians are surprised to find a collection of human skulls at 'human resources'.  Soon they find that they are in THE Labyrinth of myth, and where there is a Labyrinth, there is a Minotaur.  Jenkins is able to get them out of danger, but they have to go back into the Labyrinth to stop Willis, Franklin, and the Minotaur from continuing their slaughter.  This involves having to steal the ball of yarn Theseus used.  They have to both split up (Eve and Jake to fight the Minotaur, Cassandra and Jones to steal the ball) to stop the villains and permanently seal the Labyrinth from being used.

What The Horns of a Dilemma does right and which pleases me greatly as a viewer is it allows each of the characters to have their moment.  There's the somewhat-fussy but cooperate Jenkins, who may not be thrilled to be with this group but also understands danger is part of a Librarian's job and they can't be permanently protected until Eve sees them as 'ready'.  Rominj's Eve also grows as a character, accepting that the Librarians are not soldiers but, to use Jake's words, partners.

The three Librarians also show that each of them needs the other's skills: Jake's knowledge, Cassandra's mathematical abilities, and Jones' dexterity to get the job done.  Without them cooperating, they wouldn't have achieved their joint goal, and both the Librarians and The Librarians accept that each character is important.  The Horns of a Dilemma also works through how the characters grow so quickly.

Kane's Stone sees that he does has to fight smarter, not harder.
Kim's Jones sees that loyalty to a team makes one stronger, not weaker.
Booth's Cassandra sees that she has to trust and rise to courage.

Each of them is growing in both their characters and in likeability.  Each of them also gave really pleasant and enjoyable performances.

What ultimately I enjoyed about both The Horns of a Dilemma and The Librarians is that it is good light entertainment, a show where magic is accepted as real and where our heroes start not just working together but also trusting and liking each other.  We can see the team gelling and it makes one excited to see how well they handle things as the series continues. 

Magic, we are told, has three parts: Power to change reality, Focus to direct change, and Effect that changes the real world.  The Librarians has a pleasant, fun style with likeable leads that is both fully aware and which is exciting and entertaining.      


Next Episode: And Santa's Midnight Run

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