Monday, January 5, 2015

The Librarians: And the Apple of Discord Review


You've got dragons.  You've got a Conclave of Mythical Beings.  You've got Noah Wyle returning as the original Librarian Flynn Carsen.  What's not to like about The Apple of Discord, which gives the cast a chance to play with their characters while giving us a great mix of comedy and fantasy with a hint of drama and even romance. 

There's a rash of earthquakes going about, but Jenkins (John Larroquette), Librarian in charge, knows better.  These are dragons awakening, and this is due to the theft of a mystic pearl.  The Eastern Dragons blame the Western Dragons, and this could lead to war.  It's similar to the East Coast/West Coast rap war, Jenkins explains, and the fact that someone as fussy and old-fashioned as Jenkins is fully aware and fluent in the war that killed both Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac stuns the Librarians in Training: art expert/cowboy Jake Stone (Christian Kane), professional thief Ezekiel Jones (John Kim), and math pixie Cassandra (Lindy Booth), as well as their Guardian, Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijin).  Into this comes Flynn, who is surprised they got the back door working again. 

It's now up to the Librarians to find the Pearl and return it to its proper dragons.  Unfortunately, Jones, who would be the best person for this job, cannot go with them.  Thanks to his idiocy, he is mistaken for the Intercessor, someone who must mediate a gathering of magical beings.  In his rush to get his pizza, Jones welcomes Mr. Drake (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), a dragon in a lawyer's suit (which doesn't surprise the L.I.T.).  The remaining Librarians must go to Rome, where Flynn suspects the pearl has been taken.

Finding the Pearl, oddly, is the easy part.  It's what happens once they find it that causes all the trouble.  Unbeknown to them, inside the Pearl is the Apple of Discord, the object that the goddess Eris tossed at the Wedding of Peleus and Thesis that caused a fight between Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera which instigated the Trojan War.  The Apple brings out the worst version of oneself to whoever holds it. 

Jake's worst version is willing to, in his words once the apple is no longer in his possession, "break someone's skull over misinterpreted landscapes".  A rather harmless act compared to Cassandra, whose use of math powers brings her close to wiping out Europe (and has her shed her genteel clothes for something more sexual and aggressive).  Similarly, the more mild Flynn becomes power-mad and aggressive.  Cassandra and Flynn are so violent that the Brotherhood's henchwoman Lamia (Leslie Ann-Brandt) becomes genuinely frightened by these formerly meek beings. 

Eventually, the Apple finds its way into the Conclave, where an unhinged Flynn starts becoming bossy to everyone, even Duloque (Matt Frewer), who is using the Conclave to end the Librarians' tenure.  Jenkins, despite his unwillingness, does his best to delay matters and try to stop Jones from making more mistakes, but Jones is simply too good at it.  Jenkins, however, uses Jones to steal the Apple from Flynn, and for once the apple doesn't affect someone.  Why?  In short, Jones is ALREADY the worst version of himself.  The Conclave ends with the motion to close the Library not passing, Drake quietly walks away when the subject of the Pearl's disappearance is brought up again, and we see that Jenkins and Duloque have a history.

The Apple of Discord has a great time playing against the roles of the regular cast, particularly with Booth who figuratively and literally gets to let her hair down and show a different side to Cassandra.  She is not the weak, meek, sweet girl, but a sultry siren bent on total destruction.   Seeing Wyle return as Flynn is both a plus and minus.  He certainly gets in on the fun (the highlight is when he says, "I'm not processing Papal possibilities while we peruse the perimeter looking for puzzles", a delightful turn of alliteration that is, given the episode, also logical).  However, it does take away slightly from the idea that the show works best with just the core group.  It's understandable that Wyle will make appearances now and then, and I for one welcome them.  I just wonder if Flynn will end up working as a deus ex machina whenever we need some way out. 

Was his appearance in The Apple of Discord necessary?  I'd say yes: Wyle lent a great bit of comedy in Flynn's befuddlement and power-mania.  He wasn't a big distraction, but him searching for the Library and popping in like this...not sold but not opposed either.   Wyle was fun as Flynn, mastering odd turns like the "Papal possibilities" and his general demeanor.  It was a welcome return, though again, not sure if it will work if done more and more.

Brandt had her moments too as Lamia, who herself is befuddled by how strong Cassandra and Flynn have grown.  If it had been Jake fighting her, she might have thought it reasonable: Jake is a brawler.  However, with Cassandra and Flynn being the least aggressive of the bunch, seeing a trained assassin brought down by these two is amusing.  Brandt's reaction to it all is even more amusing.  Kane is similarly amusing in how his aggression is channeled through his passion for art. 

I confess being a bit puzzled by all the Conclave talk, but it is nice to see The Librarians finding teams within the general team to work with.  Seeing Booth and Kane work together is a delight, and Kim and Larroquette make for a great double-act: Jones' cluelessness and Jenkins' shock and inability to control him lending more humor to it all.

Perhaps I was not wild about the Jones/Jenkins subplot or the Jenkins/Duloque backstory, but apart from that The Apple of Discord allows for the actors to change up their characters and gives us another breezy and fun Librarians story. 

Truly, this series is "For the Fairest"...      


Next Episode: And the Fables of Doom


  1. #EvilStone was awesome! Christian Kane scene wasnt nearly long enough for me but #EvilCassandra by Lindy Booth rocked as well!
    The conclave went on a little to much for me! Needed more flying dragons too but overall good episode! thanks!


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