Friday, February 24, 2017

The Librarians: And the Complete Third Season Review


And with that, Season Three of The Librarians ends.  The Librarians has built up a strong fanbase, a great achievement given that most fans are, I figure, not well-familiar with The Librarian TV movies that spawned a whole franchise.  As I look over the ten episodes that have passed our way, I can say that The Librarians has become one of my favorite shows, one that is perfect family viewing, one that is fun, humorous, witty, and above everything else does not take itself too seriously.

What is interesting about Season Three is that each character got essentially an episode where he/she was the focus without it diminishing the others.  For example, And the Eternal Question was Cassandra-focused, And the Curse of Cindy featured a great deal of Ezekiel Jones, and Jacob Stone had a great deal to do in And the Fatal Separation.  Each wasn't about them per se, but instead it centered around an aspect of them (Cassandra's tumor, Jones' heart, Stone's struggle with magic).

As such, it allowed Lindy Booth, John Kim, and Christian Kane a chance to show their strengths as actors, and each rose to the occasion. They were aided by strong scripts, but they brought their genuine abilities to the forefront.  They kept true to their characters: Cassandra's peppiness, Jones' self-centeredness, Stone's stoicism, but we also got deeper into their characters.  We saw Cassandra's great fears, which weren't around losing her life, but surviving and losing her abilities.  With Jones, we saw a little crack into the idea that he actually is capable of love (apart from himself), and Stone saw that maybe pure intellect isn't the best solution to things.

The little moments where all of them, down to the stuffy Jenkins, bond, where we see them genuinely enjoy each other's company, those for me are the real highlights of The Librarians.  I think it is because in their own way, they've become a family, bound together by affection and respect.  We see this when Jones and Stone squeal like teenage boys at  the thought of going into a submarine, or when Rebecca Romijn's Eve Baird hovers over Cassandra like a mother hen to her chick.

With Season Three, we got a new adversary, or rather two.  We got our supernatural one (the Egyptian god of chaos, Apep), but also the very human DOSA (Department of Statistical Anomalies).  The Librarians kept a good balance between the two, where sometimes DOSA would pop in at the end, sometimes Apep would be the dominant force.  I was concerned we would have perhaps too much of one or the other, or that Apep would be a particularly weak villain (especially given how great both Dulaque and Prospero/Moriarty were...and I'm still pulling for a Moriarty return).  My fears, however, were unfounded, as there were episodes where neither took center stage.  Sure, they may be lurking in the background, but sometimes episodes focused on other matters were just as strong.  To its credit, however, having them eventually tie themselves up worked wonders, rather than have ten episodes with ten separate missions that don't connect.

Apep is gone, but will DOSA reappear?  It would be interesting if Vanessa Williams guest-starred as an ally to The Librarians as opposed to an antagonist.  The possibility is there.  The possibility is also there for Noah Wyle's Flynn Carsen to be a more integrated part of the show.  One of the great issues with Seasons One and Two was how Flynn was inevitably shunted off somewhere (always to search for something) to pop up now and again.  I found this to be a tiresome, repetitive situation that had to be addressed sometime.  Season Three had some of that, but by the end Carsen worked well within the series where he neither overwhelmed the show or was diminished.  Hopefully Season Four will keep that momentum going.

As I said, The Librarians is a pretty strong family show, one that both children and adults can watch together without worrying too much about something being objectionable.  There were a few moments that did surprise me (seeing someone fall into a tub of wax for example).  Fortunately, those were few and far between.  The Librarians, on the whole, has a lot of fun with its premise, never takes things so deathly seriously (despite facing monsters and mystical creatures, there's always a bit of humor), with a strong cast and smart yet light scripts, this has been a pretty winning series since the beginning.

With things firmly established, it will be fascinating to see where Season Four will take us.

Next Episode: And the Dark Secret

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