Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Librarians S01E02 ...And the Sword in the Stone

There will not be finishing off the Librarian with your henchthugs; there will be an Eve Baird slamming heads together until they drop. Literally! Giving rise to look, if you want something done right, fucking do it yourself. Isn't that ON the Evil Overlord list? If not it should be, and lord knows Lamia should be plotting what she'll do if Dulacque shows signs of weakness. I am just saying. This is only sensible. Jake and Ezekiel pelt on up to stare in horror, Eve is all LOOK YOU MORON I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR MAGICAL WOUND I WILL TREAT THE SYMPTOMS. Which at least gets Flynn to move his ass over to another artifact that'll delay death. Good! We like delaying death, especially when the entire Library looks like it's about to Do Something Bad. Besides get raided. So, yes, the magical healing oil of Bathsheba, which I'll let you look up the stories about her, but suffice it to say I totally would believe in that kind of an artifact. One of the more obviously named artifacts so we can all gloss over it and move onto the important part, which is hey guys, we don't need to find Cassandra, she kinda betrayed us. Okay, um, what about the still-oozing wound? Charlene will help! Honey, Charlene's busy trying to help save the Library itself, she wasn't counting on you getting stabbed by Cal, this is why you have a Guardian. Moron. Corridor of Doors! Deep in the Library! Go, all of you. Yes? Yes.

Lamia sends everyone off to loot the easily-transportable artifacts, I facepalm and assume she doesn't care about if they survive because if this is what W13 was based off of? Some of those are liable to bite the hand that tries stealing them. Cassandra's having second thoughts, or maybe third thoughts, no shit Lamia and her henchthugs aren't nice people. I am amused, and I think I missed talking about this last recaplysis, that the Crown of King Arthur is itself absolutely covered in triquetras, both because that's one of my preferred symbols and because that's a massive Celtic-Catholic symbol still which does predate Christianity coming to the Isles. So it's appropriate on all KINDS of levels. Anyway. Cassandra wants reassurance that they're the good guys, and in fact Lamia won't say that. Just that they're going to change the world. You know, as much as I enjoy a villain who thinks they're really truly helping and what they're doing is right, it's kind of refreshing to have this level of camp straight out in the open. Let's put justifications on pause for a second to take a tally of artifacts: there's a golden chalice that's probably the Grail, an ornate Germano-Celtic cross that's proooobably Templar-related but I got nothing else for sure about its origins, a statue of Bast, the crystal skull from the beginning of Return to King Solomon's Mines (of Atlantis, says the placard), the Judas Chalice, King Solomon's Battle Staves, oh no the Holy Grail was also in that case so I'm not sure what the other chalice-thing was. Could be lots of options! I'm a little surprised the Spear of Destiny didn't show up in that same display case, but hey, there's a lot of loot to be had and it's a pretty powerful artifact, maybe it's chilling with some other chalices or something.

Ahem. Flynn Carson you do know that running like that with a nasty gut-stab is going to kill you faster, right? Just checking. And then a bell starts ringing! Which Flynn calls the Countdown Clock, and while we don't know exactly what happens when it stops we can go with the Library folding up into a much much smaller pocket dimension (cf.: "As big as it needs to be.") and taking everyone still inside with it. Since humans aren't really built to LIVE in itty bitty pocket dimensions, I'm gonna go with that being bad for Our Heroes. I absolutely fucking love Eve yanking Flynn out of horrified staring BY HIS COLLAR. Amaze. Lamia proceeds to call everyone out of the shelves, stop your looting if you want to take it with you, and they will yes please flee. In case we hadn't gotten the pocket dimension message before now (as I feel all good genre viewers should), Lamia will also exposition-dump for us. I'm fond of this as a writing choice. Villains get long monologues a lot of the time! Might's well use the trope to provide us with information/confirmation. And there's also information in there, though it's delivered so offhandedly it takes a second for it to sink in: the first Librarian just cut the anchor chain between our dimension and the Library's dimension. Does that mean Charlene? You could be forgiven for wondering if it does, but no, I'm like 90% sure that's Judson, because of a bunch of stuff in the Judas Chalice movie.

The Corridor of Doors (say THAT one five times fast) turns out to stretch into infinity in either direction, or so it appears, despite the Library doing its best imitation of a reverse Katamari Damacy ball. All doors! All shapes and sizes and colors and labels and everything: the one closest to us as we cut over says THEATRE stage left, then there's a plain-ish brown door, then an arched… possibly Gothic? door, then a black door, then a red one, then a white, I am now humming Rolling Stones and muttering about color symbolism. Flynn hasn't a clue what to do, claiming he's never been this deep in the Library. I'd have to go back and watch all the movies to confirm but I think he might be right, or right in a sideways sense, on account of I'm pretty sure he's been to the heart of the Library. This is not the same thing, however. We will now count down three bells, to two, while Flynn flails around all BUT SOMEONE ELSE DECIDE. No, honey, you don't get to absolve yourself of responsibility for this one, and Eve's gonna smack him until he chooses. Also Ezekiel, bless him for his survival instinct. Picking a door results in Eve literally shoving the baby Librarians through and once again yanking Flynn by his collar. She is so not here for your bullshit suicide plays when you COULD conceivably survive, for the love of fuck.

And they're in… a forest? With a freestanding door. Well, okay then! Personally I recognize the general area right away, but then I've watched Grimm, Leverage, and a bunch of stuff filmed in Vancouver, plus having visited the PNW recently, so I forgive them for not leaping to the right conclusion immediately. Plus, you know. Trauma of losing your home/being stabbed/losing something you didn't know you wanted and had just found, depending on who we're looking at here. No, Flynn, running through the door again is going to get you more forest, a self-closing door, and then a vanishing door. Be glad you didn't run through it while it was vanishing, I suspect that would've been miserable. No. No you just don't get to go home again. Not like that. Jake would like to know what the fuck is going on and if he's getting anything he can hit anytime soon. Ezekiel would like to believe in time travel. Kiddo, the sun doesn't stay in the same place on the planet all the time, it's not bound to be nighttime save over approximately half the Earth's surface. Flynn would like to file a complaint against time travel, and proceeds to comment about needing to eat more calcium because his blood's all crimson. Sit down before you fall down, for fuck's sake. Eve is not listening to Ezekiel's plotting about the local king and taking out her cell phone just to check, because honestly boys. No kingdom for you, Ezekiel, you're still in the US, unless we're talking Wacky San Franciscans we don't take well to royalty setting up shop here. And while Flynn may be able to figure position of the sun and land them all in Oregon by nothing but the power of his mind, Eve's power of common sense says hi I have a GPS and a map and I found a road. Isn't that much nicer than trying to use precious brain cells when you're BLEEDING TO DEATH? Yes? Yes.

HELLO JENKINS. HI JENKINS. HI. Eve, being smarter than the boys, is immediately suspicious of this nattily dressed stranger leaning up against a very convenient car and conveniently offering a ride and in conclusion TOO CONVENIENT ARE YOU EVIL, SIR. The music says no, he's not evil, he's just Mysterious and possibly A Trickster. Fortunately she can ask suspicious questions while getting in the car, protecting everyone, and so on and so forth. We will now have Eve and Jenkins establishing a somewhat opposite set of character traits, wherein he's calm and collected about everything and refuses to ask questions and Does Not Want To Be Involved, and Eve is not here for your bullshit, has a BIT of an emergency on her hands, and is disinclined to trust strangers. For good reason! On both counts, I suspect, though even now we don't totally have an answer on why Jenkins is so wary of getting involved and emotionally attached. I mean the obvious answers are obvious, I'm talking the specifics of what made him that way. Eve's still fixated on the hospital, I'm going to blame that on her military training for crises, which is fair, that's how we work! And she's had what, less than a week if that to get used to the whole hi, magic is real and magical wounds are a thing that we don't take to hospitals because magic is also SECRET okay. Besides, it gives us a perfectly in-character reason for Jenkins to go what no, no hospital, I'm taking you to MYSTERIOUS BRIDGE-TYPE-PLACE, with SIGILS OF POWER on the entrance. Guys, be a little MORE obvious, why don't you. At this point I think Eve is pushing because magic IS supposed to be secret so fucking cough up your knowledges already, jackass, and make them stop dancing around THEIR knowledges. Okay fine, sez Jenkins, no hospital because it's a wound from Excalibur and magic and doesn't heal, let me open up this dusty cobwebby old place with my giant keyring of mystical keys. And now Flynn's catching up, though to be fair it's a bit harder to do when you're trying to focus on not passing out from bloodloss. Jenkins is still not here for your questions now that he's established his bona fides, aside from giving out his name like everyone should know who he is, and Jenkins honey we'd all believe you more about the detached shit if you weren't being so fucking obvious about the dramatic entrance. For fuck's sake, man. Flynn will now keel over in shock of finding the Library (sort of) again, and also, you know, regular shock and bloodloss. Someone get that man some more Bathsheba oil.

Or tea. Tea works too. That's magical tea, isn't it, Jenkins. Jake would rather have a beer. I'm with him, I never have The Tea Experience, I have, as Kitty calls it, the hot leaf juice experience. With like one exception I've ever found. Anyway, Jenkins proceeds to insult the everliving hell out of Jake, thereby no longer endearing him to me as much as he might like, and Flynn complains some more at Eve about trying to stop the bleeding. Well, at this point I'd go with more like slowing it, but she's not wrong: superglue and duct tape are are a pretty good starting point for that! If he'd hold STILL and stop making it bleed MORE, my god. On the upside, he's the one in best position to demand answers to what the fuck is going on while Jenkins complains about these damn kids in his workspace blah blah blah be more stereotypical why don't you. Well. It's an annex to the main Library, it's his workspace and not Judson's, yes he knows Judson, yes he's doing work here, no he's not telling you what it is he's going to distract you with ask for a book that's only in the Library. Any book! Apparently the unedited Isaac Newton is from Atlantis. OH REALLY. (Hey, has anyone written that historical fic yet? I'd read it.) It also has the very neat effect of making one smaller soundstage they need to shoot on, as opposed to the ginormous fucking soundstage (and probably CGI) of the full Library. Like it's very clever writing on MANY levels: it makes it easier to shoot for TV, it gives us an overall s1 plot of Get The Library Back, it gives Flynn some character development, and it reduces Our Heroes' access to absolutely everything they could ever want to fight evil. Jake gets some of his own back when Jenkins more or less admits that he and Judson argued about everything, suggesting that Judson wanted him out of his fucking hair at the other end of the country. Well, possibly, but realistically I more expect that the arguing was the sort that two immortals just DO to pass the time. Some of it was probably accurate, by the way Jenkins is harboring some bitters over not getting to handle the magical artifacts, though I'm not sure if that's bitters toward Judson or bitter at himself for not trusting himself with that much magic. Could be either! Or both! Anyway. Flynn distracts us from Jenkins' volumes of issues by blaming himself for missing everything and letting potential Librarians die because he wasn't good enough and now he's going to die and WOE WOE IS HIM. Okay, I mock, but it is kind of a massive life-changing and -ending event, and clearly his father-figure's trust in him was misplaced, by his standards. Also Eve should now tell the baby Librarians what's up, since her freakout is clearly motivated by actually knowing how long someone can walk around bleeding out like that. I think 24 hours is a generous estimate, but yeah, basically: you can keep pumping someone full of fluids, plasma, replacement blood even, but eventually with that kind of a gut wound you're going to die of the stress and shock and everything fucking else. And it won't be pleasant. Ezekiel and Jake are duly Not Okay With This.

Cassandra is also not okay, only she doesn't quite know it yet. Suspects, maybe, but doesn't know. For bonus points, Lamia's in all black and she's in black leggings and patterned whites and off-whites. Dulacque is thrilled, thrilled that she got out! And hopes that Ezekiel and Jacob got out, presumably because he's bored enough as an immortal to hold out for some decent opponents. Now allow him to be paternal and kinda gross; if this were a show like Leverage or The Mentalist I'd say they were aiming for neurolinguistic programming, but really it's just that hands on shoulders rubbing upper arms is a very very "I'm in control here" gesture while seeming to be caring. (And it could be an okay gesture for a relationship where that's an established thing! But here it's pretty clearly establishing dominance in a relationship with very little groundwork to go on, and even if Dulacque weren't the villain of the season I'd be wary of that.) Also he's in a gray suit because No Really He's Morally Ambiguous He Swears. His theme he's hammering on Cassandra with is that the Librarians are selfish to the point of suicide about keeping magic away from everyone else, which is a nice melding of cultural mores about suicide, I might add. Also that they'll cure her! And everyone else who can't be saved by science! Those are some huge promises there. I have so many questions about the logistics. Oh and no, Lamia, no stabbity death yet. Don't look so disappointed. I do love that this scene sets up Cassandra's desires for what magic is for versus what the rest of the Librarians believe, which I'm just betting is going to be a continuing source of friction into s3. She gets dismissed to "go rest," which is totally a cover for fuck off I need to plot with my second, but since Dulacque's playing gentleman villain he's not allowed to outright say that.

Lamia will now pout directly about not getting to stab someone. Well, not on Dulacque's new rug she isn't! I love the delivery here, it reads to me like he's entirely aware of the ridiculous over the top supervillain sound of it, and it might even be true, but he's putting on the show FOR Lamia in particular. That says a lot about what he thinks of her as his primary henchperson, and also probably about what he's told her about himself. I think the much more salient point is that having Cassandra around to solve any puzzles at the stone of King Arthur could be very, very useful. He tries sandwiching that between a joke about "mostly the rug" at the end, but I'm not buying it and I'm not sure Lamia is either.

Back at the Annex, Eve's standing under a weeping willow trying to get herself together before she can get Flynn together. Jenkins, as the ranking member of the Library hierarchy (such as it is), comes out to find her and give her a pep talk. Lecture. Thing. You know, Jenkins, for someone whose stated philosophy is not getting involved in other people's shit, you're really getting involved in other people's shit. Yes I do plan to call out his hypocrisy a lot this season because it's funny. Ahem. I'm also finding it mildly hilarious that the ancient mysterious man who swears he's not doing emotions at all is the one to give Eve a lecture about the less-punchy aspects of being a Guardian. This is not a job JUST about keeping Librarians from being stabbed, shot, cursed, bitten, etc., etc., etc. This is a job about keeping their souls those of a Librarian, not giving into despair, and pushing them to save the world one more time. And put like that it's kind of disturbing in some respects, how hard they have to lean on this whole chosen-one-and-protector bullshit? Because that never works out well. But one of the huge points of the series, to me, is that no it doesn't work well, so let's change it. Jenkins explains that Judson and Charlene were basically his parents so go save Flynn from his grief and do your Guardian thing. I have to giggle at him again for two things: one, the assertion that everyone's going to die soon, well yes, Mr Immortal, I suppose you'd say that; two, the little self-satisfied kids-these-days huff after Eve walks past him.

I'm so entertained by the music when she walks back in looking for Flynn. It could be more blatantly Hi We're Going To Have Emotionally Uplifting Talks Now, but I think they'd've needed to steal from Beethoven for it. And Beethoven after he took a nosedive into the Romantic end of things. Flynn stop bleeding on the books, that's unhygenic, you know better. I admit Noah Wyle does a good teary-eyed I'm not crying you're crying look, but Eve is totally not having with this shit. She will allow him the dignity of sitting with her back at a 90-degree angle to him, so that they can pretend he's not falling apart at the seams and she can talk at him without freaking out that she's making him fall apart at the seams more. I don't think Eve Baird is the kind of person who deals well with even temporarily dragging someone else's emotional wounds out into the light of day to help them heal. Fuck knows SHE doesn't like doing it to HERSELF. Ooh, I would totally read Einstein's translocation theories. It's a good conversational opener, gets Flynn talking about yay Library let's find a way back there this is totally my number one priority in life! Um. Sure, says Eve. Whatever you say. You know she hasn't seen you use any of the tools or artifacts or The Mystical Power Of The Library to defeat evil and save the world, right? And she pretty much spends the next couple minutes hammering on him with a cluebat about look, Judson chose you for your brain, dragged you out of hiding in the stacks of books and theory and gave you a chance to make a real difference and do some good in the world. And she's very very good at it! Up to and including dismissing his attempt to go BUT THEY MIGHT STILL BE ALIVE I SHOULD GO FIND THEM. No, dipshit. Go save the world one more time. And okay yes also look at Eve like SHE'S the world, because that's adorable. I love that they're just going to start with yes fine we have ridiculous chemistry and have decided this could be a thing, and also that Eve thinks it's hilarious how every time Flynn has an emotional crisis and goes to compliment her he gets sidetracked into WAIT A GENIUS REVELATION.

Okay, so a key, what about a key? Excalibur is a key! Or so Lamia said. It's a pretty powerful sword, but as Jacob says, I'd bet on the F-15 over the sword. As an Arthurian dork I'm going to sit here and roll my eyes a bit while Flynn gets around to the actual POINT, which is hey, the sword goes INTO the stone, which is a receptacle for magic, the sword is CHARGED with magic, yadda yadda find the ley line find the stone let's all go to London. Complete with a classic Flynn Carson round of dramatics via tossing the glowy globe o' ley lines up in the air. Just to show off. Dork. Yes, even the baby Librarians can come too, because they've got the other baby Librarian and the sword and crown of Arthur AND probably know where they're going AND Flynn is bleeding to death so yes, let's have a team effort. Jenkins, nobody believes your crotchety old man act. Flynn especially doesn't, though I could do without the mild asshole addition of hey book us tickets to London. And I have some sympathy for "but dammit the glowy globe is really distracting."

Right. So! London! And the Jewel House in the Tower of London, because that seems like a great place to steal from. Specifically, they need a magical item to serve as a compass that'll then lead them to the stone and the ley line. Oh Eve, no, they're totally not stealing the Crown Jewels, and how much do I love her AUGH MUST STAGE WHISPER DAMMIT FLYNN voice. So much. No, the Star of Marrakesh, which is not in fact a real emerald of ridiculous size but let's associate it with John Dee and Good Queen Bess's salvation from magical assassination anyway, it'll give it that certain cachet. Also they're not stealing it, Ezekiel is stealing it. Oh that's all better then. Ezekiel says it's not actually that hard, presumably because he has a four-man team to work with instead of just himself. Vibration plates and pressure sensors, okay, that really isn't THAT much security. I'm going to assume that in addition to the very alert guards, the Jewel House has quite a considerable amount more security in real life, just for the sake of my sanity. They're going to steal a wheelchair! Eve is rolling her eyes and sighing about how is this her life also what the fuck why. Jacob will now complain about how she pushes people around, from his position in the wheelchair, and BAM into the Crown Jewels case, hello distraction, goodbye Star of Marrakesh. I'm with Ezekiel, oh my god you're using gum to attach a string to the mystical emerald of infinite worth? That's kind of wrong, Flynn. And now it's like walking a very VERY eager dog on a far-too-short leash while the alarms go off all over the place. Eve and Jacob have disentangled themselves from the mess somehow, just in time for Flynn to get in the classic(ally facepalm-y) line "follow the gem!" Security runs out after them to provide a nice tidy ad break, and we come back to a Totally Not Weird At All walk through a park that is totally in London and not Portland (look, once you've BEEN to that strip of park, you can't really mistake it for wherever someone wants it to be this week) with the gem leading the way. They have five minutes before the cops catch up with them, I question that given they're DANGLING A GIANT EMERALD ON A STRING USING MAGIC IN BROAD DAYLIGHT but sure whatever maybe someone'll dismiss it as just some people filming stuff. Ahem. Anyway, find the leyline and the stone and keep them from putting Excalibur back in. Back in? Yes, Ezekiel, the magic is in the sword, they want it in the ley lines, apparently you're decent with Arthurian legend and shit at magical theory. I don't even know how that works, but okay whatever.

Allow Dulacque to explain his villainous plan! I kind of sideeye him for this, as it's totally on the evil overlord list of Thou Shalt Nots, but he IS the kind of villain who wants everyone to be impressed by his evil genius. And he doesn't ENTIRELY think he's a villain. And given that this is a multi-person operation, he ends up trusting a bunch of other people with at least pieces of the knowledge of what's going to happen, so I can't say it's a terrible idea. Honestly the terrible idea comes later and is mostly Lamia's. Anyway, the point is, shoving the sword back into the stone is like jumpstarting magic by giving all the power it sucked up back to the ley lines. In this universe (and indeed in most magical theory where ley lines are a thing!), this allows them to rebuild their power and magic happens and yay, magic! They're underground walking through the construction workings while Dulacque lectures, and I have to say HE looks thrilled about magic in general. Lamia looks thrilled about magic-as-power. Cassandra looks like a kid who just found a candy store at Christmas. Dulacque will now wax eloquent about how they're standing in the culvert that used to be the Tyburn River, which was a significant branch of the Thames that got covered over … my research isn't giving me a certain time, but we'll go with latest possible date at 1858, post a couple of serious cholera outbreaks courtesy of the assorted tributaries and rivers being used as open sewers. Yes, London was really really awful for a couple centuries in there. Dulacque, however, remembers it flowing through meadows, not city, which strongly suggested that we go back at least before the Great Fire, which means the guy's pushing five centuries minimum. Yes, do please look at him all disturbed, both of you. He will move along and stop being weird at the mortals now, talking about finding the chamber using sonar and I think they really mean GPR (ground-penetrating radar), but I'll let it slide. And then they decided to dig and deal with the difficulties of air recycling and all that fun shit, rather than handle the magical traps on top of it plus the human security. Human security? Well you know, the Royal Family and all their associated people!

Yes. Yes that is Buckingham Palace. Don't worry, it's only a model. Eve would like to file a complaint about how many incredibly high-security places they're having to get into, probably one part her sensibilities about having only days ago being on the other side of these kinds of ops to two parts This Is A Bad Plan And You Should Feel Bad. No, Ezekiel, you cannot forge something passable for the charity gala on less than twelve hours' notice, and stop making people royalty because that's REALLY dumb and sure to get you noticed. Do you seriously think these people don't pay super-close attention to this shit? My god. Eve stalks off listing off all the places they could and shouldn't break into, I will just note that at least one of those has since happened on-screen. Flynn is sure she'll be back. Yes! In time to save all  your asses. Do you know how long it takes women to get ready and presentable for a gala like that, as opposed to you guys?

Especially when you don't shave properly, JACOB STONE. Kane's doing a great job of uncomfortable in a suit, considering the guy has to've worn plenty for Hollywood stuff! And we know he wore them a few times in Leverage. Flynn is nervous about Eve's absence, which is totally not helping them sell their presence here. Oh my god all of you stop fidgeting. So. They get made, Ezekiel's forgeries are crap AND he can run faster than the man who's been stabbed by a magical blade, embrace the power of and you guys. Jacob stop looking like you're going to brawl. Eve will now make her entrance under the guise of testing their security! Well DONE. Counter-terrorism, etc, well done gentlemen, also that is an amazing green on her. I so appreciate them letting Rebecca Romijn work her modeling skills, because believe me those ARE skills. Okay then! Out to the dance floor and giving the boys their marching orders to look for a secret passageway, while they take a turn around the dance floor in the hopes of keeping Flynn on his feet and Eve supporting him as subtly as possible. That must be a fuck of a lot of gauze and whatever else he's got taped over the stab wound, given he's not bleeding through the suit yet. The boys go off ostensibly to look for things that "look out of place" and are immediately distracted, first Jacob by explaining to a pompous ass that he's wrong on the internet about art and everything he's said in the last ten seconds is wrong like a wrong thing, then Ezekiel by some upper-class women wearing a fortune on their persons in the form of jewels. SIGH YOU TWO. Mom and Dad, er, Eve and Flynn, are having a Moment on the dance floor, by which I mean she says this is nice and totally skewers him on purpose by saying it's about surveillance, not about being with him. Aww, Flynn, that's okay, once you're not dying anymore she'll snog you for awhile. And then she finds out that they don't train the Librarians and you can just about hear her internal monologue start swearing in several languages because THIS IS A STUPID METHOD FOR MAGICAL ARTIFACT GATHERING, OKAY. Yes, Eve. It is. And yes, Flynn damn near died on his first mission and would've if it hadn't been for his Guardian, and now he will ulp and she'll be more forthright about her intentions. Note: more, not completely, they are in Buckingham Palace and Flynn is bleeding to death. But she's glad he didn't die, that he showed her that magic is real (which is totally not a euphemism for Feelings too), and they should dance together sometime when he's not dying! Yes. That's a good plan. They're really cute. Dulacque is not cute. Dulacque is Sinister and Irritated at these stupid Librarians showing up and trying to ruin his plans.

Down below, Lamia's getting cranky about their tight time schedule. Reinforcing her bad behavior by actually getting through the wall isn't going to help anything except maybe keeping your skin in one piece, dude. And that only very maybe. Some unknown amount of time later, they're bringing in fans and air recyclers and everything that makes it so they don't die before getting to the stone, also lights, oh hey there's an iron cage around the stone. You didn't think it was going to be that easy, did you? I honestly can't decide if Lamia's just that magically unversed that she doesn't assume it's cursed to kill, or if she's doing the standard Evil Second in Command thing and expecting to sacrifice someone just to demonstrate to Cassandra that they can't just cut through the metal. Hard to say! It freaks Cassandra out (as well it might, YOU try having someone get magicked into skeletal dust fragments in front of you and see how well you deal with it), Lamia sounds annoyed but that could also be a cover for mildly freaked out, we already know she's very used to violence. So! The control panel thing turns out to be in High Enochian, which for the purposes of this universe is a mathematical language based on ancient Greek and Hebrew. Considering that Enochian is a supposedly-divine language invented? discovered? by John Dee and also referred to as the language of the angels, I feel pretty good about them repurposing it to be whatever the fuck they want as a McGuffin. Cassandra thinks that yes, she can crack it given time, Lamia's take all the time you need sounds really, really menacing, and yes let's give the power-mad woman the crown to wear, that's a great plan. And the sword! EVEN BETTER. I have to admit I'm impressed with her ability to flat-out get the respect of the lower-ranking henchthugs, because you would think by now one of them would've tried handling either artifact, but it doesn't seem so.

While everyone else is fucking around with magical artifacts, High Enochian, and proving themselves better than everyone else, Eve's actually done her damn job. I'm sure this comes as a surprise to absolutely everyone. So, yes, standard counterterrorism, soft threat assessment, keeping an eye on the VIPs to be sure nobody tries to get to them, and… one dude who's completely out of place. Because that is definitely not an obvious door! Whoever did your setup for this fails, MI5, if you're putting everyone else on the entryways then fucking put a sniper or at least a spotter on a balcony to watch the secret door. Make it even a LITTLE difficult for anyone with even a modicum of tactical knowledge to identify the secret passage. For fuck's sake. Ahem. Oh, and the coat of arms over it belongs to the original architect of Buckingham Palace. Yeah that's not a dead giveaway or anything. Speaking of dead, Flynn is wobbly on his feet and fortunately that glass of champagne looks pretty full, so I don't have to swear at him about the stupidity of drinking alcohol while you're BLEEDING TO DEATH. To say nothing of not being hooked up to a collection bag and getting self-transfusions, like, this would be way smarter than whatever it is they're actually doing but also much more difficult to conceal. I'm going to pretend that's what they're doing whenever Flynn's in private and off-camera. Anyway. Time to collect the kids! Which involves Eve shoving both of them out of their conversations, getting Ezekiel to return gems, and distracting at least him with "here now hack MI5's comms and get them to bugger off while we get into the secret passage." Jacob will just have to deal with being interrupted from proving someone wrong on the internet. I have to agree, this is a depressingly easy secret door to get into, but right now the important part is getting in, complain later. Jacob and Flynn will share a Manly Bonding Moment of you don't look so good, yeah I know but the crown is more important, okay then we'll leave you where you drop, HEY WAITAMINUTE. Flynn, I know you're dying and stuff, but leaving bloody fingerprints on the doorframe outside is a really significant tell, especially when there's been no word of a brawl at the gala. And while I may not think much of their tactical setup, they're at least doing a decent job of observing shit.

Cassandra solves the puzzle, it goes all glowy, she steps AWAY from the iron cage of possible death because she's not stupid. Lamia is apparently going to trust the crown to protect her, or something, although I'd honestly hope that if you can solve the damn puzzle, it's not going to shoot an iron tentacle through your torso. Considering this is a mostly-comic universe (in the modern Aristotelian sense), though people do die, and this is supposed to be the good guys and all. Anyway. Iron tentacles disappear back into the ground! Lamia does not get impaled at this time. Cassandra, however, will get tossed into a dungeon cell. Seriously, Cassandra, what did you fucking expect? The woman dresses in black and leather and has henchthugs. Oh and she's very firmly in favor of them controlling the magic that's returning to the world. I don't know how much that's her and how much that's the effect of wearing the crown, although frankly I feel Cassandra should consider herself lucky she didn't get run through with Excalibur. I don't know if Lamia really needs the whole return to us hokey schtick as she shoves the sword back into the stone, but it probably makes her feel better. Humans and ritual, we know how that goes in the monkeybrain.

A less-secret door leads them to a wine cellar, which surely has another secret door, because why the fuck would you put a wine cellar behind one secret door in the first place. On the upside, it does have the benefit of being a total dead end with nowhere to run if you can't find the way out before the Queen's guards/MI5/etc get there! Jacob dates the section to George III by architecture and a bottle of wine, and oh oops there's the blue flash of doom they were all hoping not to see. At least it's not like the Ark of the Covenant and does not, in fact, melt everyone in the chamber. That's nice for them. Dulacque stop glowing blue in the eyes, that's fucking creepy. On the very definite downside, with Excalibur in the stone, magic's coming back, which means Flynn's bleeding out faster. Flynn you really should be going into shock any second now. We will now be distracted by Ezekiel accidentally finding the clue by way of wanting to steal a very expensive bottle of wine that definitely doesn't belong in this wine cellar. Yes, do find the lever to open the wall. Well done. The music would like you to have a big triumphant crescendo of winning. So. Through the underground passages, to the earthworks where Dulacque et al tunneled in from the side, Flynn shut UP do you want them to come SHOOT you as well as stab you? For fuck's sake, idiot. Also while it may be smarter to tunnel in, it takes a lot more time than wandering around and making with the distractions to get into the secret entries. Lamia's easily findable by her monologue to the henchthugs, who apparently think this is fucking cool enough to line up and be lectured while the stone flashes blue with magic sinking into the ley lines. Fortunately everyone's so focused on victory being nearly at hand that they don't see Team Librarians sneaking along to watch and then going well fuck, what're we going to do now?

Cassandra has some thoughts on that! She has, after all, had at least a few minutes of nothing but thinking about what she could do when she gets the fuck out of here. And presumably one of those thoughts was "wow okay these are not the good guys are they, fuck." Ezekiel is totally laughing at her and somewhat glad to see her. Jacob is SO not down for this. Flynn is not here for his reservations, fuck you, he got ganged up on about working as a team so fuck you they're working as a team. Also she was vulnerable and terrified and extremely susceptible to "we'll make the tumor stop killing you." Her plan is to make the cool water run through the warm air recyclers for a really effective fog machine, and for a nice bit of narrative exposition here, Flynn explains what each member of the team is doing while they're doing it. Jacob's fixing the fog machine, Ezekiel's rerouting the electricity to a set of specifications that are Possibly Mysterious, Eve is being the muscle and dealing with the henchthugs while Flynn gets to the stone and Lamia. Seems legit! Let's have a murky action sequence of kickass. I appreciate very much how they let Eve put herself in a dress that allows for some pretty significant range of motion - it's not the best, but for trying to be multi-purpose under the circumstances it's pretty good. I question the heels, but I always question women with military background wearing heels when they think they might see action. Because they're just the worst fucking choice. These are at least low-ish heels and look like solid shoes, so she's less likely to turn an ankle while kicking something in the knee. But still. Flynn's great plan for getting to Lamia involves a section of pipe wrapped in copper wiring and… fencing with an ever-more-bleeding wound. Yes. That is a great plan. Moronic martyr. Jacob also gets some brawling time in, keeping the henchthugs off Ezekiel and Cassandra's backs. I have to assume that Flynn always planned to lose this battle, because seriously dude no. And this is an interesting bit of foreshadowing that I'm quite certain was deliberate, so let's note it more completely as Lamia lists the baby Librarians off: one doomed, one fled, one abuses, Cassandra, Jacob, and Ezekiel, just to be extra-clear. What she misses is that everyone gets a second chance to be awesome. And also that Flynn believes that knowledge and wisdom will defeat the Serpent Brotherhood any day. Also electromagnets! You are such a goddamn showoff, Flynn Carson. Okay! So! The pipe turns into a magnet and yanks the crown off her head, giving him control of Excalibur who will save his life one more time, knock Lamia flying, and then wobble around being whimpery and sad.

I cannot believe you fuckers are giving me feelings about a dying sword. Just for the record. Though it doesn't help that they've gone for a sad/hurt dog with metallic edges to the sounds. Which is a pretty accurate anthropomorphization of Excalibur, I gotta admit, as portrayed in this universe. So. Everyone is apparently adequately down for the count, in true cinematic fashion we don't get to see unconscious bodies or people clutching their knees or midsections, the focus is all on everyone rushing to Flynn's side as he and his sword appear to be dying at the same time. Now, what I really want to know is stuff about Excalibur's forging and how he got all the magic and how much of his physical swordliness is held together by that magic at this point - given it IS a millennia or so old. But the upshot is that Cal did lose most of his magic into the stone, and thus he's dying. Some nice character notes here: Cassandra is Very Distraught, Eve is upset and teary-eyed but holding it together for the comrade-in-arms who's dying, Jacob appears to be the kind of upset and sad that results in looking for someone to punch, and Ezekiel has the neutral-but-upset face on of someone who's having emotions and really doesn't want to be. Flynn will now be EVEN MORE of a martyr and give the sword to Cassandra if she wants to use the last of the raw magic to cure her brain tumor. Eve thinks he's being an asshole. I'm inclined to agree with her. He's definitely being an idiot, given that he lists off all the people who are gone to the people who just followed him into uncertain death and clearly are attached to him already. And she's tempted! God is she tempted, who wouldn't be when someone's all here have this thing to save your life now. But Cassandra's not the one bleeding out in the next ten seconds, and she probably has a couple more years, during which she probably hopes to find a magic artifact that's safe to use to heal her. I'd hope for that, personally! Jacob has no fucks to give for someone who's even tempted, how does that stick up your ass feel, dude. Besides, Cal's shown himself to be a sentient sword and very attached to Flynn and how do YOU think he'd want the last of his magic used? Yeah, I think he'd want to save Flynn one last time. So does Cassandra, in the end, who can't take someone who cares about her dying in front of her. I think the magic also dry-cleaned his suit, which is a nice touch but he should possibly wipe the blood off his hand. (This Will Be Important Later.) She brought lampshades to this party and informs Flynn that he already saved her now for the love of god be glad you're alive and go spend time with your dying sword. Again I say STOP GIVING ME FEELINGS ABOUT A SWORD. I guess the tiny bit of magic left melting into the rock so nobody can misuse any remnants of Excalibur isn't going to do much against the magic already released, though I kinda wish someone had said something about that later because WOW does that not seem like the best plan.

Well, at least Flynn seems to realize that yes he does have a new family and he better fucking start acting like it now that he's back from the brink of death. Let's get out of here, shall we? With smug ponderation about how no situation that can't be solved by thinking. Flynn, honey, your life was saved by Cassandra having emotions and giving into them. I mean it was also the best possible course of action as far as keeping everyone alive? (And I kinda question why she didn't at least TRY it on herself after saving Flynn.) But that's a really tough call to make in the middle of a crisis. Humans do it wrong all the time. Oh, hey, here's a situation that's fun! Hide the crown from the tac-team that's demanding you put your hands up! One of them's covered in blood! Do think, Flynn. While you think, you can be grateful to Eve for having infinite worldwide contacts in various agencies, I'm pretty sure that's her old 2IC. So she'll spin them a story about what the fuck is going on here, and Flynn and the others can go on and get the hell out. Flynn NOW will you wipe your bloody hand on your pocket square or SOMETHING? For fuck's sake.

I still wish we knew what the funny story was, but Eve does it well enough to get everyone back home to the Annex in Portland, self-evidently, and here comes Jenkins striding out to the side street with three envelopes in hand which look suspiciously familiar. Our three baby Librarians look rather dejected and not at all like a team while they sit out by Jenkins' station wagon, except for the part where they're all in shades of blue and gray. In case we didn't get the message that this whole airline tickets thing is a total decoy. Jenkins stop trolling them about the secret moon colony, that's not nice. (He is ALSO in shades of blue and gray.) Hilariously, Flynn's in brown and green earth tones, and Eve's in black and white, as the Different Ones of the group. So! They go home like nothing ever happened, with some money in their bank accounts and that's that. Totally. Flynn, being emotionally incompetent, doesn't know what to do with Cassandra flailing a bit about "but magic and world much bigger and more amazing and… moving on is bullshit." I'm with her, for the record. In fact the guys seem to be, too, Jacob having started this line of questioning and Ezekiel totally suppressing it, but they're all waiting for an answer. Which is not coming. Flynn will just ignore them and wander off for Important Librarian Business With Jenkins, oh my god how have none of your ALLIES shot you yet, dude. Eve gives them the standard government agent rundown about NDAs and don't tell anyone anything ever, if you do, oh snarky Ezekiel, she'll visit you in the sanitarium. Important Librarian Business turns out to be Flynn bugging Jenkins with a list of things to try, all of which he has already and confirmed that the Library itself is lost. At least for now. Nobody's bringing up the serious logistical difficulty this presents, namely, where the hell are you going to keep NEW artifacts when they start piling up? You need a safe and secure location where they can't interact - it doesn't appear to be as drastic a problem of cross-contamination as the Warehouse made it, but then they always had infinite space in the pocket dimension and much better filing.

Back inside the Annex while Eve talks to the baby Librarians about… who knows what, Flynn tries one sad shave-and-a-haircut knock on the mirror. Obviously not expecting a response, let alone the two-bits and Judson showing up. So, the Library and Charlene are both intact, but Judson is done hanging onto this plane of existence. Not because he's ready but because Flynn is, which he has to actually drop like an anvil onto the idiot's head. At least they're not so emotionally incompetent as to NOT admit (even by not-admitting) that theirs was a father-son relationship, at this last meeting. Judson, predictably, is the more capable of them with the whole thing. He will now drop another anvil in the form of look, idiot, if you want to deal with the surge of magic courtesy of the Serpent Brotherhood, you won't have time to search for the Library. Not if you do it alone, anyway. Thank you, Judson, though with that little I'll-always-be fadeout I see where Flynn gets his flair for the dramatic. Even IF he didn't want to say it in front of Eve, he could've pointedly waited for her to back out. At any rate, Flynn continues to have his little revelation about no you know what, these rules are stupid and Judson just SAID I was in charge let's fix the problems with the people at hand. Who WANT to stick around. Judson will now reappear long enough to share an eyeroll and a go get 'em nudge with Eve.

New plan! Yes, Flynn, you are just that slow on the uptake. The Library is totally laughing at you right now. Allow it to demonstrate by the "airline tickets" being invitations to work at the Library. Eve too! With the standard triumphant Library music. Cassandra looks like it's Christmas all over again, Jenkins looks HORRIFIED and shocked, shocked to find Librarians in his establishment. Nice try, Jenkins. His objections are from tradition and I'm reasonably certain just there to make sure Flynn's devoted to this whole thing. Eve's are that they're not qualified, which is the whole point of training them! So in conclusion it's a great idea and they shall henceforth be known as the Librarians-In-Training. ...yeah, I'm probably going to keep on with baby Librarians, it's shorter to type. I would like to know if you're planning to make a scale of not apocalyptic at all to very apocalyptic, just for shits and giggles. It can be like the X days without a velociraptor incident type of sign. Jenkins' new objection is that finding the Library is impossible, to which Flynn, now that he's had a last conversation with Judson and isn't, y'know, dying anymore, makes ridiculous pooh-poohing noises on the grounds of eating the impossible for breakfast. He's not wrong! Eve is slightly turned on by this motivated and bouncy Flynn. He will now give the baby Librarians a form of the welcome to the Library would you like to take this job speech, while Eve circles behind them all mama-bear protective. Aww Eve. Yes, Jacob, even Cassandra, and now Eve speaks up in her favor to remind them of the sacrifice Cassandra made, very much like she was planning this all along. Let's not forget that Eve Baird is a Colonel in a very macho unit, and knows exactly how to deal with this shit, even if she's not yet used to the laxity of a non-military command. Jacob's only stated goal is to help people, which I'm sure isn't the only one, just the one he's willing to show. Ezekiel, predictably, goes even further to the what-feelings-no-feelings-here side with chances to steal new and exciting things. And Cassandra needs to go hug her new… father-uncle-big-brother figure now. Yes you guys she's that demonstrative, oh my god will you chill out. (I'm sure someone ships them, by the way, but I really don't, for MANY reasons which will become clearer later.) No, Jenkins, still not your Library-Annex, etc. At this point I do believe he IS being an asshole out of disgruntlement that his routines are being disrupted, and also because he's got such high walls of self-defense up that he doesn't know how to deal with these three clusterfucks of issues.

That's what Eve is for! Although her initial instinct is to go with Flynn because she's HIS Guardian dammit, she's actually walking him out because, frankly, he's survived for ten years without one. And he needs someone he can trust to watch over the future of the Library, if anything should happen to him, and they've already proved that the Serpent Brotherhood (among others, presumably) is more than willing to try assassinating them. So he needs Eve there. Hell, I'd go so far as pointing at the second white envelope Eve got as indication that the Library wants her there too, helping to train them and dealing with Jenkins being a crotchety ass. Hey! Flynn is having a moment of not total emotional incompetence and admitting that he'd love to travel the world with Eve at his side! At which point Eve's all okay fine the job's more important no that's the old way, says Flynn. Well fine. She's going to kiss the living daylights out of you now instead of being repressed. You can work separately and still date, make out, whatever form of relationship you want to have when Flynn checks in! Awww. I love that they didn't wait on this and instead went ahead and let it be messy and complicated and very, very human. Excuse Eve while she gloats during Flynn being a stammery schoolboy mess of WAIT WHOOPS yes ma'am I will totally come back alive. She's being very quiet and polite about it, but she's totally gloating. Meanwhile, Jenkins attempts to explain that he's in charge and otherwise be grumpy and intimidating, which is Eve's cue to stride in and play dominance games. And it is TOTALLY a game; if Jenkins really wanted to break out all his own immortal force of personality she might well lose. But the baby Librarians need to know that she's on their side and can be trusted, and this is a great way to do that. It helps that Eve's almost as tall as he is. All three of them feel the need to put in their two cents, grinning, about how no she's not bluffing, Cassandra setting Jacob's hackles up again, and he finally backs down and admits there's the clippings book.

A clippings book turns out to be exactly what it sounds like! Bunch of newspaper clippings, which, given that it's magical and belongs to the Library, is updated every day with new mysteries to solve. I note that Jenkins' insults become much less acerbic when he's getting to teach, which allows Eve to step back and watch and, eventually, survey the Annex for security measures and likely workplaces for everyone, I would guess. Plus that bit of wonder that's not going away anytime soon. Is anyone surprised that Jenkins is the kind of teacher who pulls the arrogant oh you'll NEVER solve THIS shit? No? Everyone sitting on their hands? Okay good.

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