Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Librarians: And the Reunion of Evil Review


The Librarians is if nothing else, a show that proudly keeps to its own universe and mixes magic and mirth with action on a consistently high level.  And the Reunion of Evil keeps firmly within that tradition, where there is comedy, action, and character development that the show specializes in.

Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) and Jacob Stone (Christian Kane) are tasked to collect a crystal from a Swedish cave.  Easy-peasy, or so Cassandra and Jake think.  Someone followed them, someone who wants that crystal.  As Jake fights him off, Cassandra indulges her penchant for using magic to get things at easier (something that Jake is firmly against).  That use of magic causes the crystal to launch itself into Cassandra herself.

Meanwhile, back at the Library, the Guardian, Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), along with cantankerous caretaker Jenkins (John Larroquette) and the less-than-enthusiastic Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) grow concerned by Cillian and Stone not arriving back at what should have been a routine collection.  Jones appears not to care, but Eve is convinced he has more to him.  Over Jenkins' objection, she tasks Jones to take care of the egg of Nessie (aka the Loch Ness Monster) as they attempt to locate Stone and Cillian.

Eventually, Jake and Cassandra find themselves at a strange reunion where in order to stay at the hotel, they pass themselves off as "Finkelstein" and his sister.  Jake is enjoying the reunion: the guests are into boozing and brawling (two of his favorite activities).  Cassandra discovers that these people are not people...they are demons.  A little investigation uncovers the other attenders are frost giants who are there for a reunion to draw power...from that very crystal.

As Eve, Jenkins, and Jones work to get Jake and Cassandra back, eventually Cassandra convinces Jake of the dangers they face.  These dangers grow when the real Finkelstein shows up, but even among frost giants there is still tension (intended or not).  With Jones serving as nanny to Nessie's baby, they work to save the other Librarians.  After their rescue, Cassandra and Jake, who've never had the best relationship, understand each other: Jake isn't angry with her, but with her reliance on magic, and Cassandra sees that maybe magic isn't as good as she thinks it is.

And the Reunion of Evil is rich in character development without it being overt.  I point in particular to Kim's Ezekiel Jones.  While still remaining true to his main characteristic (a thorough self-centeredness that puts himself above others), we see that Eve sees something deeper in him.  He doesn't disappoint, as with subtlety Jones becomes more caring about a giant blue egg (almost a variation of his lost gargoyle Stumpy).  We see as the episode goes on Jones going from merely holding the egg to putting it in a blanket and ending with him wearing a baby Bjorn. 

The growing attachment/responsibility Jones has is there, but it's never so obvious as to draw attention to itself.  Instead, we see it grow.  Granted, it grows extremely quickly to where it becomes comical, but it does lend the episode a lightness that is one of The Librarians best qualities: zany without being silly.

We see the character development with Cassandra as well, someone who tends to trust magic to make things easier learning that magic, like fire, may be a good servant but a bad master.  Jake too learns that he may be too rigid and needs to trust those around him instead of constantly relying on himself and his knowledge to get out of things.  Even Jenkins perhaps can loosen up when it comes to seeing that people are more varied than he gives them credit for.

As this is the first Librarians episode without Flynn Carsen, And the Reunion of Evil shows that the show can function quite well on its own without him, making the issue of what Flynn's role will be all the more complicated.  Noah Wyle, Flynn himself, directed the episode, and while at times we can see the actor putting in directorial flashes (such as POV shot of Jones looking at Eve by opening and closing his shoes), the actors both regular and guest kept that balance of whimsy and action/adventure that made things delightful.

The episode certainly has a great mix of humor and danger, built primarily on the fact that Cassandra is aware of what's going on and Jake is similarly oblivious for most of it.  The humor also comes from the comical frost giants, from "Norman", who finds that everything is 'awesome' (wonder if he likes The Lego Movie) to the real Finkelstein, who is not menacing but kind of almost squirrely. Despite that, he is still as much a frost giant as any of them.

If there was a flaw, perhaps the way Cassandra and Jake escaped was a touch too neat for me, but that was made up for with seeing the truce break up, tying the beginning and ending well.

And the Reunion of Evil constantly played against our expectations as to where characters would go (and pairing the crabby Stone and Chipper Cassandra is always a nice treat, the interplay between Kane and Booth a delight).  We get good, strong comedy, fun action, and a real sense that the characters (and actors) know what kind of show The Librarians is: one that has lightness, with some danger, and a strong sense of self.


Next Episode: And the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

No comments:

Post a Comment

Views are always welcome, but I would ask that no vulgarity be used. Any posts that contain foul language or are bigoted in any way will not be posted.
Thank you.