Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Librarians: And the Loom of Fate Review


"Seems we just got started and before you know it/Comes the time we have to say, 'So Long'..."

The lyrics to The Carol Burnett Show came to me after watching And the Loom of Fate because they fit so well.  It seems that The Librarians premiered not that long ago and now, it's over.  And the Loom of Fate gave us a very interesting 'what if?' scenario that gave the main cast a chance to show different range to them as actors and left us with an interesting suggestion that next season (and I think TNT would be bonkers not to renew a show that has been a hit critically and especially with families when family-friendly fare is so rare) we may have specific Librarian-centered stories.

Colonel Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn) finds herself bleeding, and then we slip into what appears to be her memories.  The Guardian and the Librarians, Jake Stone (Christian Kane), Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth), and Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) are fighting mummies in ancient Egypt as they work to find an object the Main Librarian, Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), has sent them to find.  Flynn is back, telling them that he might have found a way to bring the Library back.  Once they come together, a doorway to another dimension can be opened that can bring the Library back.  Fortunately for Flynn and the others, all the objects that have been recovered, working in tandem, can be used to bring the Library back.

Only one hiccup, when the door opens, it's Duloque (Matt Frewer) appears at the Annex, with his loyal henchwoman, Lamia (Leslie Anne-Brandt).  He will now take over, and all he needs is human blood.  As he stands over Flynn, Duloque stabs Lamia, shocking everyone.  With his blood sacrifice, he races through the door, with Flynn and Eve giving chase.  They find themselves at The River of Time, with the Loom of Fate on its bank.  Before they can stop him, Duloque cuts the loom at a particular point, right before Camelot fell. 

At this point, all heck breaks loose.  Eve finds herself in an alternate world, where Flynn Carsen was never The Librarian.  Instead, Flynn was what he was prior to his first Librarians adventure: highly intelligent but a bit of a bumbler, insecure, and unsteady.  He also does not believe in magic and is puzzled as to what Eve is doing here. 

Eve quickly figures out that she has slipped into another world, and soon she and Flynn are world-hopping, finding a different main Librarian at every stop.  In the first world, Jacob Stone is THE Librarian, all kick-ass with a bit of romance going on between him and Eve, who was his Guardian.  Operate word 'was', as he tells Eve that she was killed ten years ago.  Stone, while competent, was not able to get the math right...because that isn't his specialty.  Flynn, however, was able, and thus save the day.

Flynn and Eve bounce again, this time to the world of Team Jones, where Ezekiel is THE Librarian.  For good or bad, this Jones tells Eve he didn't see her as a lover.  For good or bad, he saw her as a mother!  Eve is also unhappy to learn that...ten years ago in this world, she died too.  Jones is able to handle all sorts of technology, but was unable to remove a zombie-like effect after his team fixed the haunted house....because he is a tech/security expert, not history.  Flynn was able fix the situation and they bounce to a third world.

By now you should know who managed to be THE Librarian in this world.  Cassandra lives up to her name, as she has become something of a sorceress and protégé of Morgan LeFay, a Witch Librarian.   Cassandra can summon the spirits through her math skills but cannot save the world...because she has no help in controlling her powers.  Cassandra realizes why the Flynn/Eve team is floating through various timelines: Duloque in his eagerness to restore Camelot has cut the Loom of Fate but not reweaved it, thus leaving a gap in time.  She tells them that the Loom has to be mended to restore all things, but it must come from material close to the Loom's original creation.  The thread from the Labyrinth is good enough, but it only exists in the Flynn-centered world.  Using her magic, Cassandra summons the other alternate Librarians and they manage to get to Eve's world.  Instructing them to go to right before Duloque cut the thread, Flynn realizes that if they do, these alternate Librarians will cease to exist.  They however, agree to sacrifice themselves.

They find themselves back to that moment, and just as they are about to find success, Duloque manages to stab Eve.  While Flynn is restored to THE Librarian, he finds he's no match for the sword of Duloque, who is really Sir Lancelot Du Loc (Jerry O'Connell).  There is only one who can, and it's JENKINS!  We get confirmation of what we thought: Jenkins is really Sir Galahad!  He makes quick defeat of Du Loc but Eve is still dying.  Flynn will not let her die, but there is hope.  With the Library restored, he rushes to find the Elixir that restores her to life.  Jenkins gives each Librarian in Training a mini version of the Clippings Book to allow them to seek out their own missions.  Cassandra opens hers to find a mission in Lima.  As it so happens, Jones knows an excellent place to get coffee in Lima, and Stone's always wanted to go to Machu Picchu.  For their part, Eve and Flynn decide to take the door to other dimensions, for an adventure of their own.

I Want This Suit!

And the Loom of Fate ties a lot up (no pun intended).  It brings in all the other objects that the various Librarians have brought together and use them for one purpose, almost as if it were fate... Granted, we get strong indication that all this was basically pre-planned, but it is I think handled extremely well.  I don't think any Librarians fan imagined that the various objects found would somehow find their way back to being part of the season finale.

We also get a fascinating revelation involving Jenkins.  Once Morgana (who I'm hoping and expecting to make a return appearance in the Second Season, which hopefully will be announced soon) referred to Jenkins as 'Galeas', we knew that he had a deeper mystery.  We also knew that, if one did a quick search, what his identity really was.  We also got this through the name Duloque, which frankly was a bit more obvious.   I'm not too surprised we had this unmasking, but it is nice to have it confirmed: Jenkins, the stuffy, cantankerous Librarian, is really the legendary Sir Galahad, who had the strength of ten because his heart is pure.

As a side note, Jenkins could be the Galahad of tradition, someone who thinks on a different level and who seeks the Ultimate Magic Object: The Holy Grail itself.  Will we ever have this most mystical and venerated of objects appear on The Librarians?  That remains to be seen.  Larroquette is still for me one of my favorite Librarian actors: he is wonderful in the comic moments as the somewhat crabby, fussy Jenkins who'd rather not leave the Annex for any reason, but he also surprises when he has to duel Du Loc, whom I thought was Sir Galahad's father. 

It was surprising to see O'Connell (who just happens to be Romijn's husband) pop up, and his appearance as the younger Du Loc was far too quick, which is a shame because I think it would have made things more interesting if O'Connell had had a bit more to do. 

We also had some simply great moments with Romijn and Wyle as they jumped from world to world.  Wyle's Flynn Carsen I imagine was in the original Librarian movies to be a little bit humorous, and in And the Loom of Fate we see Wyle can be extremely funny in his bumbling manner.  Romijn too does well, expressing her frustration that in every world, Eve dies.  They make a great comic pair, especially in the Jones sequence where she doesn't want to admit that she can be old enough to be Jones' mother, with Flynn obliviously telling her she could. 

Another simply hilarious moment was when they entered the first Alternate World and terrorists told them to 'turn around'.  Following orders, they opposite directions.  This bit of physical comedy was handled straight, making it more hilarious. 

Another highlight to And the Loom of Fate was that we did see that each Librarian in Training showed that they work much better as a team than as individuals.  This not only gives us a chance to see what the world would be like with them working alone but a chance for each of the actors to have their particular moment.  Kane was excellent as the action lead who can think, Kim showed excellent range as the somewhat more responsible Jones, and Booth was quietly elegant as the Sorceress.  "Quiet, I'm doing math," she tells all of them in a gentle voice.  Her quiet command of the situation was equally a highlight.

I'm glad to see The Librarians open the door to potentially having some episodes centered around a specific Librarian.  I'm not opposed to it, but I think the show works so well because each character compliments the other and as a team...everything is awesome (sorry, couldn't resist). 

Sadly, I'm knocking two points from And the Loom of Fate for two reasons.  One, I thought the Du Loc situation wrapped up a little too fast (and does leave us wandering whether our favorite Arthurian bad guy will come back...hopefully with Mordred).  Two, I wanted more of the duel with Jenkins.  I wanted a full-on sword fight and didn't get it.

Granted, those are a bit silly, but like the show itself, I have self-awareness that all this is meant to be fun, funny, and a shameless lark.  Standout performances by John Larroquette and Noah Wyle, continued excellent teamwork from Kane, Booth, Kim, and Romijn, a few wild twists and turns, some great scenarios make And the Loom of Fate an excellent season-ending story. 



The Complete First Season


  1. Not enough of #JacobStone/ #ChristianKane in this one for me he seemed to get pushed to the back burner of this episode. As a big fan of his .. it made the episode less enjoyable to me but overall a great episode >. #LibrariansS2 is the word i am waiting on too! thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for reading!

      It is hard at times to give everyone equal time, but I thought in his scenes Kane was wonderful as the action lead. Still, I think we were asked to see what it would be like w/just ONE Librarian and underscore how good they are as a team.

  2. I really enjoy your intelligent commentary. You get to the important points without mentioning every minor point. I have to agree the rapid pace and dearth of sword- fighting were a downfall. And yes, John Larroquette is a master. My complaint is my usual- too much Cassandra (and what were those expressions all about?) and not enough of the delightful Christian Kane. He was wonderful when he was all Indiana-jonesis

    1. You must tell me how much my mother paid you to say I have "intelligent commentary"! J/K.

      We may have future Librarian episodes where we get a specific-Librarian centered story, but they've worked so well as a team I'd like that to be the exception rather than the rule.

  3. I really loved how the writers and actors did the finale. It was great to see how each of the Librarians would have been on their own. It seems that this episode was appropriately named as it was great see some of the loose threads from the season get tied up. (sorry, couldn't resist. chuckle). I love the cast and am hoping beyond hope that there is a season two.

    1. Though nothing as of this moment I'd be amazed if there wasn't a season two. The show is simply too great to leave the fans hanging.

      Don't worry about puns. I'm not above using some myself.


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