THE LIBRARIANS: AND THE
GRAVE OF TIME
And the Grave of Time is the first Librarians episode in a long time where I simply wasn't feeling anything towards it. I just wasn't enthusiastic about it. And the Grave of Time felt simultaneously slow and rushed, a lot of the comedy failing and a resolution that seems rather pat and weak.
Nicole Noone (Rachel Nichols) is searching for the various artifacts that she has buried in her own graves. Hot on her trail is Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), who forces Nicole to work with her, a case of Guardians United.
Nicole reluctantly agrees as she and Baird go search for Koschei's Needle, which is a powerful weapon that can destroy an Immortal. Her 'graves' hold bits of the key that will open the container of said needle, and Jenkins (John Larroquette), who had locked Nicole up as being a danger, is convinced she is after it to kill him. Her erstwhile lover, Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) is not sure of this, but together they go off to search for them.
This pretty much leaves the other Librarians out of the episode save for a few moments, especially at the end.
Nicole and Baird find another piece, and Nicole tries to get rid of her but fails. Nicole has also been pursued by a mysterious Russian, and after Nicole, Baird, Jenkins and Flynn all temporarily join forces, they are split up. The mysterious Russian tells them that Nicole helped Rasputin kill the Romanovs, and that he is a descendant of a lost Romanov who wants to avenge his family. Koschei's Needle is found, but turns out the Russian is no Romanov. He's Rasputin himself (Christopher Heyerdahl), and Nicole planned to use the Needle on him, not Jenkins. Rasputin in turn used it on Nicole.
Flynn and Baird manage to kill off Rasputin thanks to being in Chernobyl, and Nicole is restored to life by Jenkins giving up his immortality and passing that on to her. After all that, it appears that Flynn has resigned from the Library and left.
Looking back at And the Graves of Time, I find a lot of it a terrible letdown. Part of it is how most of the cast was sidelined. Cassandra Cillian, Jacob Stone, and Ezekiel Jones played such a minor part in the proceedings. I think a case can be made that they played no part in And the Graves of Time, and/or that their lines could have been spoken by anyone else.
Another aspect that bothered me was Jenkins giving up his immortality for Nicole. Now, this thread of Jenkins tiring of being an Immortal is an interesting one, and one that I think both should have been explored more and been introduced earlier. It just seemed very rushed to me: he as far as I remember has never mentioned this weariness before and before you know it, he surrenders it. Perhaps because I am not convinced Nicole is such a good person to give up Immortality for, or because this thread was barely mentioned, but it just did not work for me.
There are the comedy bits too that have me unhappy. In one scene, Baird manages to escape a mausoleum by crawling out of one tomb and interrupting a family's grieving in the process. Now, perhaps this did not sit well with me because I was reminded of recent funerals I've attended, none of which opened themselves up to laughs. As such, maybe I just was not in the mood to see people in mourning as subjects of laughter. However, I think this could have been handled better: say, a group of tourists exploring the mausoleum find themselves confronted with a walking dead. A really funny bit would have been if there had been a ghost tour taking place that Baird had inadvertently crashed.
Making a family's grief the source of comedy...not to my liking. If you want to think I am taking that too seriously, that's fine. I'm just expressing my views on the subject, and I don't think it was funny.
Neither was Baird managing to magically show up sitting next to Nicole on the plane. How would Nicole not notice Baird literally next to her? How did Baird manage to get there in time? I know The Librarians is not serious, but my suspension of disbelief goes only so far.
Again and again I felt the comedy parts were failing, particularly the 'witty banter'. I also wonder about how Baird and Jenkins could meet a 'Romanov' and believe his story so quickly. The 'Romanov' never mentioned whom he was descended from, so it makes his whole story so implausible, yet no one questioned it.
Finally, we have the 'Flynn leaves again' deal. Here, I cut them some slack in that we got a potential crisis with the dangers of having more than one Librarian, but now it seems Flynn did not quit out of that. He quit because...he felt guilty over Nicole? He did not want to be tethered to the Library and Baird?
The performances were good: the interplay between Nichols and Romijn and especially Larroquette and Wyle were strong, even amusing. The one funny bit was Flynn making Jenkins look like he was turning ill and senile to get access to a previous crypt. Heyerdahl, however, seemed way too camp for Rasputin, down to a really broad Russian accent that was more out of a spoof than anything else.
For all the importance and danger of what was at stake, it all felt so dry to me. And the Grave of Time just felt so empty, not even of people going through the motions.
This grave for me was empty and hollow.
Next Episode: And the Disenchanted Forest
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