Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Librarians S1E01 ...And The Crown of King Arthur

We open in Berlin, to much swearing, because oh FUCK YOU GUYS that's the same fucking alley between sound stages you used in fucking Leverage for the SAME FUCKING CITY. If you're having crossover problems now, join the club and pull up a comfy chair, 'cause we're gonna be here awhile. (Worse, I'm pretty sure I know the exact area of Portland that is, because it looks awfully similar to Grimm's sound stages.) Rather than a librarian in the shape of Noah Wyle (yes, I've seen the movies, there will be references, I recommend watching them for the sheer camp value if nothing else, though you don't need it for the backstory here), we have anxious law enforcement raid music! And a group of people in full raid gear with a blonde woman leading the way. Hi, Eve! I'll just say here that absolutely the only reason she doesn't have a helmet on is because the camera needs to identify her somehow, and while some people miiiight be able to look at body type and the way she moves and say, oh, that's a woman and the rest of them are men and she's taking point so she's the leader, that's not something you generally bank on in the first thirty seconds of your pilot. I deeply appreciate that that IS the only way to ID Eve, too. Well, that and the fact that all her team has assault weapons and she's got a handgun. But again: this is not actually a procedural law enforcement show, and given the audience likely to be watching Librarians you don't want to rely on everyone's knowledge of the visual tropes. Which is interesting, because the entire directing style is very deliberately similar to typical procedural while Eve's the only main character onscreen. Apparently they have a WMD in the giant warehouse! Oh what great fun. And all of Col. Baird's men, with the exception of the guy I'm pretty sure is the new guy, are utterly loyal to her and do not need more than the basic verbal commands. And she has utter faith in them, given that she knows exactly how long it should take the other guys to get into position out of her line of sight. Like. This is such delightful competence porn.

I'm not so certain about how the raid itself is carried out: either they got bad intel on the amount and kind of resistance they should expect, or the writers decided the shootout was more exciting than everyone going stealth and being badasses that way. Anyway. Bad guys realizing they're badly outnumbered and running off! Eve spotting them and disappearing from her team without backup. EVE. Though this is in keeping with our initial presentation of her as someone who takes more risks than she should, but is competent enough to pull them off, and as such has managed to get herself promoted up the CoC despite being a woman. And let me tell you, given that every other person on her team appears to be a man? Yeah. Also that little smile right before she jumps down a level, which is probably a good 15' easy, tells us all about her adrenaline junkie issues too. It turns out that our bad guys, whoever they are, are of the fine fuckit we'll blow ourselves AND YOU up, which suggests this was either a trap or exceedingly poor planning. Or maybe the Library itself arranged this somehow, considering it's there to get Eve and Flynn in the same place at the same time. I am quite certain the Library has that power. Yes, Eve, the giant bomb of doom is beeping because it's armed, and either there's too many layers of concrete or there's some other kind of fuckery (technological? magical?) interfering with the radios. But what we do have is Flynn tunneling through the steam vents and complaining about it! At length! And as is his custom, he will now proceed to confuse the shit out of everyone, including the bad guys. Eve would like backup or a second gun so she can hold one on both the known bad guys and her new problem. You can SEE that without her having to say a WORD. Unfortunately getting to her ankle holdout is a nonstarter at the moment.

Flynn is not here for your mundane WMD, he's here for the Opal of Samara. Samara itself, for the interested, is a Russian city slightly north of western Kazakhstan, officially established over the 16th and 17th centuries as anything more than a useful bend on the Volga. Like many Russian cities, it was renamed after the October Revolution and was indeed very important during WWII, as the "backup capital" should Moscow fall. It was, however, never the site of any battles so far as I can tell. According to Flynn, it was stolen (stolen, Flynn, let's be honest here) by Teutonic knights from Jerusalem during the Third Crusade. Which was the last of the Crusades to have even a plausible gilding of religious motivation, as opposed to looting and revenge. Apparently wherever it got stored (Samara? somewhere else in Russia? WHO KNOWS THANKS FLYNN), the Thule Society or similar stole it and meant to use it. And oh hey look there's a magical safe. That's probably for the best. Fucking Nazi occult assholes. (Interestingly, the symbol on the pillars looks like an ibis or maybe a stork. You guys, mixing your occult symbols never EVER leads anywhere good when you're doing ceremonial magic, I'm just saying.) Anyway. Apparently the reason it's locked away is because it summons demons without controlling them, and who knows if or where there's a control crystal! Er, opal. Mechanism. Thing. (I can blame that slip on Haven, right? Moving on.) Actually, Flynn probably does know but he's not telling. I have a lot of respect for the kind of person who keeps up that kind of random stream of patter without giving away anything too critical at the time, although frankly Flynn could probably stand to take some lessons in the latter half of that from Tony Stark.

This looks like the kind of magical safe that could be opened with, I don't know, specific sound frequencies? Suggests the tuning fork, anyway, except Flynn you are not a musician do better. And definitely don't set off the trap for creating flesh-eating zombies. For once Baird and the bad guys are in agreement: NO NO ZOMBIES THAT'S BAD. I like how none of them are questioning this at this point, Eve because she's smart enough to recognize an expert in his field when she meets one and I suspect the bad guys because they're too bulldozed to know what to believe. No, apparently the fix to the trap is some kind of alphanumeric code keyed to Bible verses. I sincerely fucking hope you mean Torah verses you guys, which would SEVERELY fuck things up, although given the timeframe it's entirely possible it's the Christian Bible. ...in which case I hope you know which version you're using in which translation. Yeah, I wouldn't be all that good at focusing with a beeping suitcase nuke either, Flynn, I can't blame you there. It does kind of set up for more bullets on top of the beeping, though, which you would think would be worse. (You would be wrong, because Flynn Carson is a terrifying adrenaline junkie, but it's a normal person reaction.) Other downsides nobody ever tells you about archaeology: DON'T SNEEZE ON THE ARTIFACTS. You mean the dust-covered ones? That reek like centuries of - yep. Those. Don't sneeze on those. Oh, hey, stations of the cross! I love how Eve's all okay fine Mr. Know-It-All, do YOU know how to defuse a nuclear bomb? Yes. Yes he does. What he does not know is how to give coherent directions. Don't is a very important word when you're talking about things that can kill you all! AS YOU ARE MOST OF THE TIME, FLYNN.

Now we move along to me getting to geek out about random Christianity knowledge! Eve is entirely correct, and betraying her likely upbringing as being Catholic (there's other options, not least among them Lutheran, but for TV shorthand Catholic is the most common), in that if you learn the Stations of the Cross you learn the 14 stations dammit. And there are 14 stations, and they're that way because when you have two thousand-odd years of historical basis for liturgy, new stuff gets tacked on, osmosed from other religions, and flat-out made up because it fits in with the theological point people are trying to make. But Flynn is also correct, in that only eight of the stations have direct scriptural basis, and since they're working with something that predates the 1600s (when the 14 stations took more or less the form they have today), we're going with the eight in Scripture: Jesus is condemned to death; he carries his cross; Simon of Cyrene helps to carry the cross (whether this was voluntary or not is variously attested); Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem; Jesus is stripped of his garments; the Crucifixion itself; Jesus' death; Jesus is laid in the tomb. Those are actually the only ones IN the Gospels that, by the time of the Third Crusade, the Church had agreed were canonical. (Did you ever wonder where the fannish term came from? It came from Church debates about what's heretical or not. I PROMISE YOU WE ARE NOT AS BAD AS THEY WERE.) I am not even remotely fucking touching the fact that at the point where they're talking, the Bible would have been in LATIN. Not in English. And for that matter, the Vulgate Bible was only confirmed as the Catholic Church's preferred version of the Latin in the 16th century, so presumably the death trap surrounding the Opal of Samara postdates that or you're working on a wrong version of the Bible and about to explode. (Prior to the Vulgate, they would've had a collection of versions known as the Old Latin, or Vetus Latina: the history of how the Bible is put together is a FASCINATING one and I highly recommend looking into it if you're a history nerd. It honestly explains so, so much about our culture when you realize that Christians have been fighting about this shit for two millennia.) Also technically I wouldn't call John 19:17 the condemnation; I'd move that a verse up to 19:16, but okay whatever the Church would probably argue with me about it. No, Flynn, you are not 50% less likely to die, let's go with 25%, giving 5% to the guys with guns getting a lucky shot in. Given they do seem to be that fucking stupid and suicidal about charging Eve while she's trying to dismantle the nuke. 45% to the nuke, 5% to the evil terrorist whatevers, and 50% to the death trap which is NOT fully disarmed THANK YOU FLYNN CARSON. Ahem. I'm not quite sure how we get from the Gospel of Luke to 2-2-5-6-6 as the disarm code: Luke is the third Gospel, the chapter and verses are 23:26-31 (or 27, depending on if you're including Jesus' speech to the women or not), but whatever, I'll go with it. See also: different Bibles! Besides, it lets them get the great moment of easy-to-say numbers in chorus. Eve, please punch Flynn for being a condescending jerk about you knowing your Bible. Though I do love him then demonstrating that he's capable of counting bullets while disarming the death trap of Crusader doom. I suspect Eve would've been JUST fine without the help, given the guy's enough of an idiot to forget range of efficacy.

Opal acquired, last terrorist disarmed and knocked out (Eve ZIPTIE HIM are you a professional or not), time for a moment of "wait what, what the fuck just happened, who are you, what the hell." Oh she is definitely going to punch you for the flip "I'm the Librarian" answer, dude. Just as soon as you stop Batmanning around the place long enough to be gotten. But the Opal is only the Macguffin to get them introduced and kick off the main plotline! It doesn't even bear scrutiny past this point. Have a title card instead… oh, oh, we're just going to be screamingly blatant then? And go for the crown of King Arthur? See, this is when I knew this show was a) written for me and b) going to punch all of my Arthuriana buttons. ALL OF THEM. I should note, by the way, before we get any deeper into this kind of flaily nerding-out analysis, that I'm fully aware that there's only so much you can cram into a TV show, even with the incredibly rapid-fire dialogue that Librarians is so good at. This is why we have the blog! To fill in the gaps and talk through the things that have to be skipped over for reasons of time, and also so we can talk technical aspects, where possible. ...so far I may have been slightly too distracted by history nerding to remember that, but we'll see!

Next day, in New York, just outside the Metropolitan Library in Midtown! A strange man calling Flynn on the phone, being stalked by Matt Frewer in a black suit and hat. GEE. I WONDER. Is the random guy gonna die? Is Matt Frewer gonna kill him? Telegraph a little harder, I can't tell! We go through a series of no-you're-not-yes-I-am until Flynn stops being obfuscatory and contrary and goes wait, you're serious! And know shit! Yes, you arrogant fuckwit. (I love Flynn, but ten years of gallivanting around on his own and surviving has made him even MORE of an arrogant ass than he was to start with, and I appreciate that the writers aren't handwaving that.) That said, the strange librarian or whoever he is, is now a was, because Dulaque stabs him in the middle of the lobby and whispers that the crown is his. I should note, for the doubters, that it's actually entirely possible to stab someone with a narrow blade and make it look like you only bumped into them hard, and then to get out and away before the blood and falling over clues everyone else in. It takes a lot of training and a certain mindset to be capable of it, but it's possible. (I note the training specifically because it seems the diaphragm was pierced, making screaming difficult-to-impossible.) And, of course, the one paper that Flynn needs flutters up the steps to land under his shoe! I'm gonna go ahead and blame that one on the Library taking matters into its own hands. As it were. Let's just pause on the photocopy of the painting, shall we? Which I'm not sure is an actual painting in our universe either, but it's titled Knights Fighting Barbarians, two separate dates? maybe? I'm not sure what C 10 CA is supposed to be, 1150 AD is definitely a date and dated for the general audiences; CE has entered best-practice scholarly usage. The best I can think is C10 is 10th century and ca is circa, but then the 1150 AD date is contra-indicated; probably ~C10 is the date of the battle in the painting and 1150 is the date the painting was done. Stylistically I find that most plausible, and since all the notes strongly suggest we're looking at Camlann or at least late-Arthur period, the 900s are about as late as you can reasonably go for a historical Arthur figure. Much more accurate would be somewhere between 3-500 CE, but okay, whatever, it's Librarians, I'll play. The rest of the notes ask who the barbarians are (Vikings, Huns, and Celts are the three suggestions, so we're going with a Roman Arthur), lots of ?! over the idea that the crown is in the painting, and an art historian type note about how the exaggerated position of the far-right figure gives an air of movement and draws attention to the fallen figure that might or might not be Arthur. Well. Flynn's not happy!

Eve's not happy either! Clearly just arrived home from the airport, given her bags which sort of match her personality but frankly I think there should be some kind of bright-colored something or another. If you travel that much, you have an easily identified mark that differentiates your black bag from all the other black bags. Or navy bags. Or brown bags. Whether that's colored ribbon knotted around the handle or decals or something else doesn't really matter, though I suppose Eve being an agent of awesome she might also take pride in not NEEDING anything other than the particular pattern of dings. Also I bet she gets to avoid the TSA lines. Excuse me while I have envy. There's about a week's worth of newspapers on her stoop, though no mail, it's a brownstone walkup which says a good deal about how much money she's making, aaand that is a totally barren but very nice kitchen-dining area! I want it. I will fill it with extra counter space and a pots and pans ceiling rack and pretty pictures or stencils. Eve does not want a month of leave. Eve have you ever taken leave in your LIFE? Judging by her offended exasperation and the utterly empty apartment I'm going with no. Seriously I think the elliptical? machine is like the only piece of personal anything in the first shot. Apparently she even sits on a folding chair to eat. Eve, Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a warning to others, not a role model. Also there are free weights and kettlebells in what should be either the dining room or the living room. Note, let's shall, that this apartment is so empty I'm actually having some difficulty telling for sure what rooms are intended for what purpose. Now I will give her credit, despite the fact that the fridge is empty save a bottle of water: the more classic thing would be to have the fridge growing all kinds of horrific things in leftover takeout containers. So at least Eve cares that much about this place, that she's keeping it clean. And yes, yes this is a depressing apartment, you could DO something about that? Fuck knows that she should be getting enough overtime and hazard pay to afford an interior decorator if she's not naturally inclined. (This also will serve as a GREAT contrast to the Library later.) Speaking of! Hello, white envelope! In the tradition of magic messages everywhere, it only shows up when she's home alone. Aww. Just in case we were in any doubt about its provenance, the music gives us the lilting flute for the Library's theme, and oh hey, magically appearing gold script! Mind you, I don't think she has any intention of accepting this position when the letter appears, she just wants to hunt down the Librarians and find out what the everloving fuck happened in Berlin, especially since her report is probably what got her benched. Yes, Eve, talking about magical artifacts and appearing-disappearing crazy men is a great way for your SO to decide you've been overworking.

Next day, or possibly just after a shower and change of clothes (aww interview clothes! she could possibly scream I'm From The Government And I'm Here To Help more, but she'd have to have the earwig and sunglasses too), Eve walks past the sleeping lions and goes to find out what the fuck. It is a very pretty building, and she's not wholly immune to that even if her personal decorating style is the very definition of spartan. And here we come to a question: I would dearly love to know exactly who at the front desk knows just enough to point people with white envelopes at Charlene, and if they know anything MORE than "just enough," and indeed how much of the MPL is in on knowing about THE Library. Alas, we get no answers. Just Charlene being obfuscatory and indignant as only a librarian can because NO DAMMIT FLYNN NO FOOD AROUND THE BOOKS. AND HER BUDGET IS VERY TIGHT, FLYNN CARSON. I have to assume this is by the way of getting Eve to fuck right off, because she in no way looks like she's delivering food, but white envelopes don't exactly come around every day. Particularly for someone who's been without a Guardian for ten years. Charlene will now do her very best impression of a terrifying grandmother or possibly maiden aunt, not quiiite as far as pinching Eve's cheeks but everything else yes! It also serves to discombobulate Eve enough to draw the boundary of stop touching me, but then she answers questions and follows along with her what the fuck look on. It's kind of great, especially because it's the what the fuck borne out of absolute confidence she can handle anything this place throws at her. I have more questions! Who the hell are the two young women sitting at the reading table? Are they Library interns? Is Charlene teaching them her job? Are they Serpent Brotherhood? WHAT IS GOING ON. The nameless guards that are even more government than Eve are at least self-explanatory. And the John Rogers catchphrase of "adorable." I MISSED THIS CATCHPHRASE SO MUCH Y'ALL. Do you know how many years I had to suffer with only Leverage rewatches to tide me through.

Into the all-white elevator! Down the metaphorical shaft! The not very explanatory at all exposition about what the Guardian to the Librarian is and how they work, which given it's somewhat unique to every pair is, I feel, reasonably hard to give. Common sense and brawn is a decent place to start with, I suppose. Apparently whatever Eve signed without looking it over (BAD GOVERNMENT AGENT NO BISCUIT) includes permission for Charlene to babble about magic and artifacts, because oh hi there casually making the newbie's head explode. That's mean, Charlene. You're getting far too much joy out of this. Oh there is definitely such a thing as magic, that is I believe the Spear of Longinus right up front. Also while we're talking continuity with the movies and things inspired by them, I should admit that until the pilot I didn't realize there was a cheesy TV movie trilogy out there. Which I of course watched. (Stana Katic plays a vampire. You should totally see that for the cognitive dissonance.) So instead to ME, this started out as a gleeful return to Warehouse 13, until I came to understand how much W13 was paying homage to this. And then I might have squeed a lot. Additionally, yes, this is filmed approximately ten years after the Quest for the Spear, the first of the movies and the only one in which Flynn has a Guardian. (She dies. Then he vows never to get a Guardian killed again, blah blah blah.) Eve will now proceed to rewrite her entire understanding of how the world works as fast as possible. AwwwwwEve. And the matching golden lions! I love them so. Charlene gives the initial "you got the white envelope, therefore the Library needs you" speech to nudge her forward out of her shock, because it is not exactly difficult to parse out that two things Eve Baird responds to are a) being needed for some greater purpose and b) being told she can't do something.

The second part of that is forthcoming! Hello, Flynn. Fencing lessons with Excalibur, which changes to Flynn giving Cal orders to keep Eve from getting any further into the Library. Flynn, don't be a total ass and at least ATTEMPT to read Charlene's body language. Does she LOOK coerced into this? For fuck's sake. On the other hand, it does give us the rather blatant foreshadowing that wounds caused by Excalibur never heal, Eve needs a moment to get some words that are OMG EXCALIBUR. I feel you, sro. No, Flynn, it's not a fake letter. Oh my god. Although claiming a sword, however personable, as your best friend, is totally a good reason to have serious social issues. Flynn and Charlene have a wholly predictable argument over who sends the envelopes (not her! the Library!) and whether Eve's going to be his Guardian or not, and Flynn goes all shouty at the ceiling. Flynn WHAT did I just say about being an asshole. And now Eve will demonstrate that nobody tells her fuckall about what to do, Charlene looks like she needs to go get the popcorn, and Flynn continues to act like he's about twelve by trying to run away and shut the door in her face. Ah yes, the annex room! Where every surface is covered in books, maps, parchments, lamps, the card catalogue takes up at least a third of the visual space, and if there's not much outright decoration beyond the skylights and the molding on the columns and balconade, the rest makes up for it. Also by Eve's expression, actually the kind of place she thinks of as homey even if she hasn't done anything to make her home resemble it. No, there are no other Librarians (yet), and Charlene is not coming to your rescue, Flynn. Judson! Has his portrait draped in black for those of us wondering where the fuck he is, and was the mysterious asshole father figure, basically. Okay, not always an asshole, but when he was mysterious? Definitely. Also it sounds like Flynn's mother's died too, and is not in fact trapped in a mirror being a spirit around the place. Eve please don't shoot the nice spirit. Or grope him. God I love Judson. I also love Flynn's refreshing bluntness, now that he's slowly dealing with the fact that she's not going away and the people he thinks should be getting rid of Eve aren't going to do anything either. Changed, Judson, is I believe a polite word for "gone slightly wrong in the head and probably has some PTSD." At a minimum. He's also the one with the right words to point out to Eve that she was already doing Guardian-like work before now, and the Library thinks that plus her being herself is the right combination to make her THE Guardian. So suck it up and consider that.

Philosophical maunderings will have to wait, because Flynn's going to be irritable about trying to solve a murder. Which only gets Eve to come needle him into coughing up details about it. Flynn really does work better with someone to bounce ideas off of, especially when that someone is telling him he's not as smart as he thinks he is. (Which he isn't. He is VERY smart, but sometimes he gets tunnel vision.) No, he doesn't know what the painting is, no, he doesn't have any leads that seems more solid than any others, there's just this guy dead on his doorstep. So! Says Eve. The obvious place: how did he know to come here? Given the Library is in fact incredibly secretive and people tend to be careful not to let on about its existence. Well… white envelopes? OH BUT WAIT, indeed, there ARE a bunch of people who know about the Library from… ten years ago! And being a library, they keep RECORDS of all this shit, so somewhere if the dead guy got an envelope they'll know. Great! Get better fucking organization, Flynn. (I am just not touching the number of PhDs anyone has on this show, okay, it hurts my brain to consider the sheer workload. Although not being all in hard sciences with practicum requirements probably helps a little.) Oh but wait, there's more! There's a guy who was at a NATO conference on bioweapons, also in the ledger, died in a car accident last month. Everyone has a bad feeling like this. And Eve has a smartphone! God I love good use of technological advancements. Plane crash for the next one, several more deaths and disappearances, and they're only hitting up the top dozen, which is to say the ones most likely to be a threat to the Serpent Brotherhood's plans. Except for the people who never came in for an interview! Apparently Flynn knows Ezekiel Jones by reputation, presumably as a thief, and will now pelt out the door to find the first person who's actually IN New York. Sliding down the banister. Flynn I know half of this is an act to try and keep Eve out. Quit it. She would also like you to stop trying to order her around and does not need permission fuck YOU.

And they're STILL arguing about this once they get to the hospital. Flynn's basic argument is that everyone leaves, dies, or both, and therefore fuck having a partner. Eve is predictably not buying this in the least. How's that complete lack of attachment ideal working out for you, Flynn? Because from here you look pretty fucking miserable. They're here for a woman named Cassandra Killian, who is not the EMT nor the woman on the stretcher, and may I just say that while it'd be nicer representation-wise if they DID have a woman of color talking, it's really nice to see four women… five women! On-duty nurse too. In a scene, and at least one of them is not white and probably one more. We get the standard run-down of symptoms, sudden onset high fever, headache, fell over passed out basically. Which, yes, for just about any other situation would in fact indicate meningitis! Fever, stiff neck, photophobia, sore joints, nausea and vomiting, all of those do fit the common symptoms, and given that meningitis is the sort of thing that spontaneously shows up in student populations it's not a bad guess! I honestly don't blame the poor doc on ER rotation for starting there. Also when you've got that high a fever it's a good guess that regardless of what else you should do, pushing broad-spectrum antibiotics should help your body fight off whatever the fuck invaded. And looking over the symptoms for psittacosis and where stuff differs, they actually haven't listed anything for me that deviates from where it overlaps with meningitis; it's purely on the strength of the parrot feather. Whiiiich I don't think is totally unreasonable but you need a better argument than that. Still! Worth looking into, run the tests, and make sure that the poor woman gets her parrot medicated too, because you do NOT want to venture forth for the psittacosis epidemic. Nooo. That would be bad. Plus you can't exactly not handle a parrot if you want it to be happy and healthy, they're flock animals, PS please don't get one unless it's a rescue and you really know what you're doing with birds, okay. I'll spare you all the longer rant. Meanwhile Cassandra's got some serious issues going on which look like some form of autism? or other neurodivergent stuff going on, but she hasn't been able to make herself stop free-associating to the math of the whole thing. Quantum physics isn't actually my strong suit, so I'll just let these bits go, and only say that WOW that is EXACTLY the right mental image for when I'm trying to juggle all the bits of a Murderboarding analysis, or all the bits of any other large project. I'd have to go look at other floaty mind palace CGI to tell you exactly why this one doesn't bother me as much as the others, but I think it has to do with the fact that it demonstrates the actual level of chaos inherent in the system. (Unlike, say, Sherlock, where they seem determined to tell us he's practically a robot. Sorry, no, brains are the fucking chaos butterfly in action.) Cassandra's especially! I have some synesthetic tendencies, but I damn well don't have all five common senses involved. Though there are more than five senses. Ask me about what I can remember when proprioception gets involved. Anyway. We get the rundown on what synesthesia is, the usual you're in danger come with us if you want to live speech, followed by I'm The Librarian.

And then we move straight into married-couple-partner bickering! There are two more people to get in, but they're on opposite sides of the world and Eve points out very firmly that he needs her help if he wants them not to fucking die in the getting there. She's off to Oklahoma where there might be ninjas, Flynn you are such an ass, and he's off to… Switzerland! Ezekiel what are you stealing from Geneva. Well so far he's reminding me a LOT of Alec Hardison with less of a heart. That is a very pretty dagger! Both of those are pretty daggers. Ezekiel you have got to get something other than "I hack the system" to deal with people who might want to kill you, for fuck's sake. At least Flynn brought a taser, or the artifactual equivalent. Turns out the reason Flynn knows this guy is he went off to steal something while Flynn was artifact-hunting for the Library. Involving an evil mummy. Oh dear god I want the flashback episode. Can it be like The Rashomon Job? Pleaaaaaaaase? Ahem. Fortunately, Ezekiel is one of those people who's pretty easily convinced to go just about anywhere, especially with the promise of curiosity fulfilled. Like why people are trying to kill him. I'm a fan of the snarky banter and the not quiiite as smart as he thinks he is; it reminds me of an ickle!Flynn in a lot of ways. Not that Flynn would want to hear that.

For our final piece of the ensemble, we go visit Oklahoma, where Christian Kane's native accent can come out to play! Enter a bar, with your stereotypical Southern 20-something woman blowing off steam by getting drunk and riding the mechanical bull until it throws her, and then hitting on the nice man who picks her up. Hi not!Eliot. I'm just gonna call him not!Eliot until we get his name, is that okay with everyone? Oh good. Not!Eliot is also not!interested in the woman who's probably 15-20 years younger than he is, which makes me think better of him right off the bat. Even if he is flirting, it's the kind of no harm, no intent flirting that a certain kind of man is actually really good at. Oh, and here's a strange woman all in black with a snake tattoo on her arm. I WONDER IF SHE'S EVIL. One of not!Eliot's drinking buddies is going to go ask her out because he's an idiot who thinks he's a player, an assessment the other buddy seems to more or less agree with, though he's not willing to say it out loud. Other-buddy is either a closer friend or taking a mild swipe at him for that comment (or both!) by asking after his apparently alcoholic and incompetent father who owns the oil pipeline that not!Eliot works on. Why is he here and not off being a kickass scholar somewhere? Because family duty, probably. There's a LOT of emotions tangled up in "too drunk to work and too stubborn to die": regret, bitterness, longing for something that never existed except maybe in very early childhood, a kind of love-obligation-withered respect knot that I don't think even the sword that cut through the Gordian knot could handle. Jake Stone is a very complicated man, as it turns out, because when his not-actually-a-player friend comes back to complain that the new woman in town won't even talk to you if you can't explain her tattoo, you can just SEE him going CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. Also let's note that he's got a lot of image stuff tied up in how he's presenting himself. The other guys are in baseball caps and patterned work-shirts. He's in a black Stetson and a pinkish buttondown work-shirt that could pass for dressy without that black t-shirt under it, and maybe the right pair of pants. In other words, this is a man who wants everyone to see a cowboy Okie, but can't quite help showing that he knows a lot more than he's telling.

Ooh, she's even got a British accent. Jake, stoppit. JAKE STOP PLAYING DUMB. Eye-talian my ass, you ass. Also he is way too obvious about checking to be sure nobody's looking. (File under: ways Jake Stone is not Eliot Spencer.) But then he breaks out the perfect Latin pronunciation, man, I bet that's been rusting since the days of playing Lindsey on Angel. That takes me baaack. Nicely done, though! Helps that Latin does kinda roll off the tongue if you know any Romance languages at all, and I'd be surprised if Kane didn't speak at least a little Spanish, at minimum. Anyway, Lamia's running around with an ouroborus and a Latin-translated line from Yeats' "The Second Coming" on her arm, specifically "The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned." (I should note that yes, I typed that from memory and yes, there are variations in versions of the poem. I actually know the one where the shadows of indignant desert birds reel instead of wind, and the sands of the desert, but then I think everyone should get to see the variations too.) (I have not been a fan of this poem since I saw Babylon 5 I don't know WHAT you're talking about.) Anyway! Lamia introduces herself, says hi you're Jacob Stone, and that is never EVER a good sign. Never trust someone who identifies you by both names with an expression like that on. And indeed, it's time for the requisite bar fight! Enter Eve. I'm going to assume Lamia was keeping that katana under the bar, because she sure as fuck doesn't have a trenchcoat on for katana space. Enter… a lot of ninjas? Or rather, the stereotypical portrayal of ninjas, you all probably know the lecture about real ninjas hide in plain sight dressed as normal workers for the area, yes? Good. Nice Indiana Jones tip there with the bullwhip yanking Eve's gun out of her hands, though alas for that making it a real fight. I also really appreciate several things about the staging in this fight: one, bottles do not break that easily and you could probably use them to stave off a blade for at least a little while. Two, they're at least trying to show Eve is a more skilled fighter than Jake, though the problem with that is that Rebecca Romijn is definitely less trained than Christian Kane, so there's honestly only so many tricks they can do. JAKE. DEAL WITHOUT YOUR HAT. You are not actually Indiana Jones. Two barstools later and a dash out the door and they're home free to his… muscle car of some kind, there's not really a good enough look at it other than it's black and low-slung. And makes pretty noises. So, quite understandably, he'd like to know what the fuck, well-trained government agent type woman? Well, your expertise! Nooo there is no expertise here, except Eve has access to the Library's resources and lists off the Sorbonne and Cambridge as places he was accepted for an arts degree, but turned them both down. IQ 190, which in TV shorthand just means "really omg smart wtf." And it's been twenty years since then (THANK YOU FOR MAKING PEOPLE PLAY THEIR AGES), but he's been publishing under a pseudonym about Native American and European art history. Um. These things would seem to be wildly divergent fields, I am just putting that out there? In the meantime he's been working on the oil rig by his hometown. Sooo a little bit set in his ways maybe. You say. The music would like us to believe this is some kind of grand declaration of personhood. Jake is not amused OR impressed. Especially that first one.

Now at the Library, with hilarious and totally deliberate setup, because Eve Baird brought in one and a half of the baby Librarians, NOT all three, so you know Flynn left them to Charlene's TLC while Eve and Jake made it halfway across the continent. Like you do. Also I would guess that this is the next day, going by wardrobe changes, or at the very least everyone's had a chance to shower off travel grime and change. Ezekiel will start us off with some name-calling, which I guess is appropriate since he IS the youngest, Jake tries and fails utterly at making it better, and the three kids will now be distracted by wait this elevator, with the fast, and the down, and the really fast HOW ARE WE GOING TO STOP. Eve will just be back here with that little smile of "I totally did not have this exact reaction a few days ago lalalala okay I admit it's funny to watch other people be noobs." Also she's enjoying Cassandra snarling at both guys. So, then! We get not one, not two, but THREE separate reactions to the whole thing: Ezekiel trying to play the bratty little brother who's Too Cool to be impressed and can't help smiling, Cassandra utterly DELIGHTED and full of wonder, and Jake with the thick defensive layer of no, fuck you, if this is real then he has to have feelings about it and he doesn't WANT these feelings OKAY. Never mind that he's then the first one to start demanding confirmation on his identification of the pieces; up front and center we've got the Spear of Destiny (or Longinus' Lance, or any one of the half dozen names assigned to it) and the Ark of the Covenant. Cassandra asks after Bigfoot and Dracula, and the actual answer is yes to both but not anymore to Dracula on account of that whole killing him thing. Eve's government agent face is still great but cracking around the edges into "I really don't want to burst out laughing so I'll just smirk some instead."

No, Flynn, your definitions of helping are definitely not everyone's definitions of helping, let's just leave it at that and let Eve do the briefing, okay? Okay. Blah blah exposition, ten years ago where was everyone? Well, Cassandra was in hospital with her tumor, Flynn when ARE you going to learn to think before you open your mouth. So right there we've got motivation for someone to betray this group, and also significant pathos. Flynn will, having stuck his foot in it up to his knee, continue to babble about what he's guessed and what it is and how bad is it really, which wouldn't look like a gesture of kindness to most people but I'm pretty sure he's trying to save Cassandra from having to put on the spiel herself. How's that stint on ER serving you for rattling off oligodendroglioma, Noah Wyle? Because that was pretty nice. The details they don't get into for lack of time and basic decency are, these are tumors, non-cancerous but nothing in the brain can be considered exactly benign, depending on treatment, location, and genetic signature of the tumor patients can live anywhere from a few years after diagnosis to 11+ years. Basically, eventually the tumor will squish portions of your brain you need to live, and then you die, but until that time you're more or less okay; seizures are common and most treatments tend to be treating symptoms rather than going through endless iterations of chemo/radiation/surgery, not least because the survival rate for the cures is often worse than this particular tumor type. Ahem. Cassandra gets the awkward question from Ezekiel of all places, no, she's not dying yet, just someday. Jake is going to scowl the tumor out of her brain, evidently. Honey, that's not how it works. Promise. And Cassandra will now make a desperate bid for a change of subject with HEY BUT MAGIC EXISTS THAT'S AWESOME RIGHT GUYS? Yes. Yes it is. Eve is more than willing to help her, hassling the other two for why they didn't show, though Jacob comes in for it first and Ezekiel's only asked implicitly. "Because I already had a job" is a dumb answer, Jacob, everyone here already had a job when the white envelope showed up. Except, arguably, for Ezekiel, unless you call crime a job. He does! He also says he's been stealing stuff since he was a kid, which begs a WHOLE lot of questions about who raised him (if anyone), who taught him to steal (Archie is that you), and just how fucked up he is about anything most of us would consider normal life and attachments to people (very). Although to be fair, the motivation of who the fuck is trying to kill me would get me to go somewhere I wouldn't normally, even if I think avoiding a magic library is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. Ahem.

Jacob has a valid question: okay, magic's real, where the fuck IS it then? Well, that's the Library's job now isn't it. Thank you, o exposition stick. Instead of paying attention to the contents of Flynn's mini-lecture about ley lines, magic, and artifacts, I'm going to go right ahead and stare at the images of artifacts themselves. Also I want the glowy globe. How come everyone but me gets a 3D map thing. So: crystal skull, one of the Mayan step pyramids which if you made me guess would be the one at Chichen Itza, Excalibur, a crown that's probably Arthur's, a necklace of some kind probably European and beyond that I'm not venturing a guess, the Sphynx, and what's almost certainly the Sangraal. And then I think the boxy thing is probably the Ark, but who knows for sure, we don't get as good a look at that one. Yes, Cassandra, good ear, definitely focus on the fact that Flynn appears to know Excalibur and calls it "he." That's not wholly sarcastic, by the way, since she has a better handle on genre conventions than anyone else here does. The whole magic existed, got pulled out of ley lines and put into artifacts, industrialization sped the process along, now we try to keep the bad guys from getting and using magic? Yeah that's stock from half a dozen different worlds off the top of my head. Which is probably why she's not paying much attention to it. So now they get down to the difference, which is hey, the bad guys are trying to kill you, what're we gonna do about that? Well, says Eve, the woman who tried for Stone had a snake tattoo! Oh well Serpent Brotherhood, Flynn is not at all happy to see you again. Ninja assassins blah blah sent to kill us? Yes. Wait, not ninjas, no ninjas in Oklahoma, Flynn ONE of them is going to punch you if you don't stop trolling them. Or Jacob could get distracted by the painting which he names the Crown of King Arthur, yes, that would be a good reason for people to kill the good doctor who was on his way to visit Flynn. Sidebar here, by the way? There actually is no legend about the crown of King Arthur like this, at least not in my knowledge banks which are fairly vast. In point of fact, none of either the Four Treasures of Ireland nor the Thirteen Treasures of Britain are crowns, although Llywelyn's coronet is about as close as you get, and since the Welsh tend to claim Arthur every chance we get, that's my best guess as to where it comes from. I'm sure Arthur had a crown, but the legend Flynn relates here? Totally made up. Still, it's a great Macguffin for the purposes of why would the Serpent Brotherhood want it, and a good way to bring up the obvious question of "okay but magic is awesome?" Yes but like all things, humans are great at taking awesome stuff, in both senses of the word awesome, and turning it into weapons. Really, really vicious weapons which would cause mass destruction without the nuclear radiation. I mean, there'd be other major downsides, but non-arable land would be less likely as one of them. Anyway. Flynn is going to do this without them, right up until he realizes that Jacob doesn't know where the piece is and… oh wait. Ezekiel does, and Cassandra knows how and when to get them all on flights. Actually I don't quite buy that the Brotherhood was trying to wipe out the competition so much as they were trying to prevent them from showing up and doing what they just did for Flynn, which is put all their knowledge together and give him a lead. After all, without Flynn, there's no real reason for them to get involved. At which point I start seriously questioning Dulacque's motives behind the original murders. Now, to all appearances they needed the Librarians to go track down the Crown for them because they were at loose ends, but stay with me: Dulacque is more than capable of being even twistier, and doing this on purpose to get everyone together for purposes of increasing the number of found artifacts. And possibly something else in his long game, but we'll start with that, since he definitely wants the Library and everything in it. Anyway, all the baby Librarians are totally willing to go beat these assholes to the Crown, Flynn is not willing to take them with, Eve will now override him with some of the smoothest fuck-you-I'm-in-charge I've seen in awhile, and Flynn is left gaping at their backs while I cackle. I love the little dance of "we don't want to shove you out of the way but DO stop standing in the door please" that Jake and Cassandra do.

Judson will now appear in his mirror, wise choice not startling the shit out of the newbies on top of hey did you know magic's real and your lives are in danger from people who want to make it more usable. And he brought a cluebat about NOT DOING THIS ALONE to apply to Flynn's thick skull, for all the good that does. (Hint: not much.) Flynn makes flappy motions over WELL THEN GO and Judson points out that it's got nothing to fucking do with when he's ready, he's waiting for Flynn to be ready, how much of a dumbass are you really dude. Don't answer that. Flynn is not in touch with his emotions. Flynn would like to join Jake in the land of masculine stoicism and brooding. Yes, honey, I know losing your father-figure hurts, but you do kinda gotta move on sometime, and a spirit, an aging bureaucrat, and a sentient sword are not actually the best company, especially when you're off questing to save the world.

While nominally the question of how the fuck did the Crown of King Arthur get from Camelot or Camlann or Avalon or where-the-fuck-ever all the way back over to Munich, it's not really that odd. There's all kinds of myths surrounding Arthur going back over to Brittany or some other part of France, there's equally all kinds of myths connecting France and Germany, and, as Jake points out, the Goths sacked a lot of places. Even if you don't buy the historically it was the Goths who sacked Camelot argument (because to do that you have to buy that Camelot itself existed), it's well within the bounds of plausibility for British artifacts to have ended up pretty much anywhere from Spain to the Holy Land, and Scandinavia to North Africa. Or, indeed, anywhere the British Empire colonized: so really ANYWHERE. You can work with that, if you make your mythology convoluted enough! Southern Germany's not much of a stretch. The music would like us to know that this is a Momentous Discovery Of A Clue, followed immediately by Ominous Brass. Hello, Ominous Brass and a Lamia with some henchmen! See, this is why I'm not 100% convinced they ever needed to follow the Librarians' trail, since they're already on the painting, although they could plausibly have followed them to Munich and researched the museum to find the painting's location on the flight. None of the Librarians are any good at noticing danger when knowledge is right THERE, so Eve gets to handle them all herself, plus, you know, great physical comedy. Cassandra, as the resident mad genius, will enlighten us that it's been estimated to be painted in 1146 CE, installed with the museum's opening in 1546 CE, Jacob starts getting his geek on about the Roman Hypothesis. Oh my god he's so cute come here and let me geek out with you forever about Arthuriana, honey. Which is to say, scholars wanting to prove the historicity of King Arthur argue that he was one of the Roman legionnaires who stayed behind, married into the locals, Camelot was one of the Roman cities, yadda yadda. EXCEPT OH NOES: the painting is fake.

Eve will give us some nice punching to accompany that little revelation, and I have to admit that for all the comedy value the music's lending, the fight scenes are choreographed to indicate that she is really, really not a woman you want to fuck with. Those are some precise, hard hits she's dishing out, to opponents who outweigh her by a good 100 lbs at least. Meanwhile Jacob's explaining that the first recorded use of carmine in paintings was in the 1500s. While that is true, a really good historian would know that first recorded use doesn't mean first use, it means latest possible beginning of that use. Think about all the shit we do that doesn't get written down until five, ten years after the fact - less of that's true now with the internet and communication being what it is, but consider a time when paper, parchment, anything of that nature was in fact highly expensive and time-consuming to make. So that's not indicative. What would be indicative would be carbon-dating all the paintings with carmine in their composition to attempt to narrow down a range of dates. Anyway. I'm totally nitpicking here, let's move on, Ezekiel points out that the frame is anchored into the beam and you can't steal it or move it, and I think it's safe to say he'd've spotted the hidden door or other such thing already. I have a question about why nobody from security is asking them to please step AWAY from the painting, but hey, maybe rules are different in Munich. Cassandra finds the binary code in the frame, everyone would like to question what the fuck the importance of the others' discoveries is, Flynn would like them all to shut the fuck up. Yes, Flynn, this is what dealing with you is like ALL THE TIME, congrats, enjoy. He is, however, also far more accustomed to treasure hunts than these three, and walks everyone through the whole, okay, it's a fake painting, why would a fake painting be here? To send a message, and specifically a message about a location! Well okay then. That's a lot of fucking work and I'd love to know who's responsible for it, AHEM DULACQUE I AM LOOKING AT YOU AGAIN, ditto Jenkins, because fucking really? You expect us not to go looking at the two Arthurian legends currently in existence? I'm just saying. So, fine, the code on the frame is a location, the museum itself is the key because the painting is a fixed point in space, let's go find shit out while Eve dislocates some more shoulders and… possibly an elbow OW and kicks bad guys down the stairs. Hey, at least she kept it relatively discreet and away from the artwork! Outside is a sundial with a Latin inscription, are you seriously fucking telling me that nobody's tried translating that in all these years? I don't buy it. Although I suppose it's possible, given the extra layer of security at the standing stones themselves, that they went, found the stones, and went ha ha nice trick you guys. Still. There's people like me and Kitty around who study and translate dead languages for shits and giggles, and you're really saying that's stood here just fine for years? I'm going to pretend that the coordinates were encrypted by the painting and Flynn decrypted them in his head. Lamia is pissed and exasperated and now, yes, will have to start following them. Eve is still gonna punch Flynn or kiss him if he doesn't fucking quit that. Right now she's leaning more toward punch. And the crown is in the Black Forest because of course it fucking is, I knew that by the time they said Munich.

So! In the Black Forest, which looks suspiciously like Grimm's Black Forest, which in turn looks suspiciously like the Pacific Northwest, ahem, Flynn put your head back in the car you are not a dog you're a feral cat. Or possibly a bird of some kind. If we're anthropomorphizing. (Suddenly I really want THAT ep.) Cassandra packed a lunch, aww, that's both great character building and good foreshadowing, and Jacob would like Ezekiel to lay off. I would too, but because it's a lot easier to run for your life when you have the food to keep running. Just saying. Serpent Brotherhood has a helicopter. I'm with Eve. Eve, go argue Charlene into letting you guys have a helicopter, I'll get the popcorn, that's within budget, right? Flynn insists that they have the advantage because all the clues will be on ground level. Well, he's not wrong about where the clues are, since I rather doubt anybody flew a dragon in when they hid the crown - for one thing, the dragon would then have gone back to steal the fucking thing, so it's just a bad idea all around. But Eve is also right. Listen to Eve, Flynn. Oh hey, Lamia's getting instructions from Dulacque, who is completely unamused and unimpressed and a lot of other un-s over why doesn't she have the crown yet. Also, unless we're assuming he's way dumber and/or crazier than he is (in the clinically insane, cannot fully control his own actions sense), I would take that warning as being motivation to her, not impatience from him. Dulacque is perfectly capable of waiting a hundred years, but he'll be irritated over the inevitable changes to his plans as life happens. He would rather have the crown and get it over with and win. But he has contingencies for both. Never assume otherwise.

Now Eve and Flynn will have their first sort-of relationship conversation! Awwww you guys. Which is totally barely subtext about "I think you're really hot and I like you tons but we totes can't afford distractions so clearly there will be no boning or emotional entanglements RIGHT?" Yeah, nobody believes either of you. At all. Do YOU two even believe yourselves? Yeah, Eve, you'll have to get used to Flynn breaking off anything that might be a compliment or smack of direct Feelings in order to chase after his next shiny. Sorry not sorry? Although I have to say, I wouldn't mind being compared to a henge! Especially if it stored treasure. Ahem. So, yes, it's a henge, more specifically it's a henge of the stone circle variety which is rather rare in continental Europe; most examples are in Brittany, not southern Germany. Earthworks and timber henges are found throughout continental Europe. They did a nice job with the set, too, making it a smallish, partially fallen henge, an outer and inner circle, and guys you are standing in a fucking clearing while a helicopter circles. This is going to show your location sooner rather than later. Eve will go stall them, Eve will take Ezekiel? O-kay, sure, we'll go with that, although I guess Flynn's not wrong: this is a puzzle, not a lock, and he needs Cassandra and Jake's brains more than Ezekiel's. Also, you know, mildly expendable. Also if Eve can lure them away from the chopper, he can fuck around with it. I'm totally on board with this plan. I am also on board with Eve trolling the shit out of him, although I wouldn't be surprised if he really did have another FBI file. This is a guy who's been stealing shit for somewhere on the order of ten, fifteen years? Which is over a third of his life, maybe half his life, maybe longer? So really. They probably at minimum have notes about whether or not he's recruitment material as a CI.

Back at the circle, Jacob starts translating the symbols and Latin for us: they're supposed to be there four days after Solstice. Which one? Not sure! I'll go with summer, since that's appropriate to Arthur. Everyone's waiting for that day to conveniently be today, and I'm honestly so fucking relieved that it's not. Like, this is what Librarians does, I know that, but the thing is we're so primed for the trope it's still a relief. It is not today! Flynn could do the math over the course of several days, triangulation and whatnot, I even more or less understand what he's talking about? But it won't take Cassandra that much time, as long as she has the numbers. I am once again going to skip trying to translate the math into something that makes sense; I'm probably barely capable of understanding it if I have the refresher on my trigonometry, I'm crap at explaining, just take my word for it that she's being kickass about doing about five different trig problems IN HER HEAD. Or, well, in her hallucinations. I admit, if I had hallucinations with my math I could probably do them in my head too. Also augh that makes her so vulnerable while she's mathing. I dislike. Stone also dislikes, and especially isn't fond of her collapsing mid-calculation because everything ends up overwhelming her. A trick that I didn't know for synesthetes is apparently to focus on a very strong associated memory with one of the senses, which calms the hallucinations and synesthesia to a point where you can actually do anything. Well that's… useful, really! Out of Umberto Boccioni's memoirs, evidently, though I can't find any ready confirmation of his synesthesia on a quick google. Cassandra ends up sharing (I'm sure she'd call it over-sharing) that she balanced the checkbook in her head when she was twelve, and her parents were so proud, and that was the last time (she thinks) they were proud of her. Oh honey. Jacob, saying parents ain't ever easy is masking a whole lot of your own shit. Luckily, Flynn found the thing! We can leave uncomfortable conversations alone now. Locked in some very old, very well-made iron which they'll need a welding torch to cut through. Which he didn't pack, but Cassandra did, by way of the O2 tank in the first aid kit and all the food she brought. I'm going to sit here laughing for awhile, especially at Jacob's expression of THIS IS EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED HELL YES.

Eve is indeed going to use Ezekiel to hotwire the chopper and fuck with the bad guys, it's GREAT. Also let's note that he doesn't actually confirm that he can hotwire it or fly it. But it does its job, which is to draw Lamia and the henchthugs back there while Flynn makes a cutting torch out of a picnic lunch. I am so totally handwaving the science here, I'm pretty sure that shouldn't work as well as it does, but we can go with it. I think it would WORK. I'm just not sure it'd work TV-fast. Flynn dashes off to go see what Eve's up to as far as punching goes, Eve is up to many punching so irritated wow. Unfortunately, she doesn't appear to've brought a gun to this swordfight, which means once Lamia starts in with her sword she is severely outmatched. And I think she would've been okay if she could've gotten to the crowbar Ezekiel lost! But of course Flynn will come save the day because he's an ass like that. I mean, on the plus side, it gives us some really really pretty seconds of swordfighting! And Eve can now go save Ezekiel's ass, because he is way WAY more of a kick 'em 'til they're down and run for it person. And now, as it turns out, they hotwired it to explode somehow. I'm not asking how, this is Electric Entertainment, if they're NOT making shit explode at least in the pilot and then every few eps I'm concerned. We will ignore Lamia surviving the concussion blast from that just as much as we're going to ignore there being NO WAY that Jacob or Flynn should be able to handle that door oh my fucking god, you guys, no. So! We have the Crown of King Arthur now. Win! Win? No, that's a throwing knife, get the fuck out of there. Also Flynn could you maybe take the Doctor for a little less of a role model? I'm just saying.

So! Back at the Library, placing the not all that period crown onto its velvet cushion to presumably keep it away from the other artifacts. I have to say, they have much better display than the Warehouse did, although arguably the Warehouse made it harder to find shit. Which is a different form of protection for the artifacts! We also get a(nother) movies reference, this time to the first one with the Spear of Destiny and yadda yadda interdimensional pyramid saved the world, yes, Flynn, you are showing off. A little. Because you're feeling replaceable. I promise, nobody thinks that except you and maybe Ezekiel. Eve is rolling her eyes at you while she mother hens the baby Librarians out to the office. Annex. Thing. Charlene would like a moment to discuss budgetary concerns, which Flynn could not be less worried about if he tried. Instead he brings up Judson maybe leaving and, not for the first time, I seriously question the depths of his and Charlene's relationship, since she clearly plans to go yell at him. Is he maybe her many-times-great grandfather? Or what. Not that answers are forthcoming.

What is forthcoming is Jacob waxing rustic cowboy about how this was great and all but he's gotta get home to the family. Wave those issues around a little more, dude, I think I missed being smacked in the face by the three-ring binder of them. Ezekiel pokes at him for it, quotes Robert Browning of all the things, and then proceeds to wave his issues around by saying that stealing's the only thing he's any good at. Okay, you guys, normally we're having dick-waving contests, not issues-waving contests, and if you combine the two you're gonna get papercuts in places you really don't want them, I'm just warning you. Flynn would like Ezekiel's awesome thievingness to get his ass out of Flynn's Library. I sympathize; as much as I'd like them all to get the therapy they so desperately need, Flynn is both included in "all" and also not set up to headshrink these guys. That's more Eve's bailiwick, not that she's good at facing up to it for awhile. Cassandra asks the obvious questions - or at least, obvious if you're the traitor! It's actually a relatively subtle bit of foreshadowing, especially as compared to the reveal of her brain tumor. But asking about how one becomes a Librarian, and if one of them would be the next one if Flynn dies, that's pretty much the nail in the coffin that doesn't need the klaxons sounding to add to the dramatic irony. I mean, they do because of course they do, I'm just saying, it's not even a mystery anymore, or shouldn't be, to those of us with any narrative savvy at all.

Perimeter alarm! Which is updated and everything since the last break-in, and the door is a magical portal that has to be disabled from the inside, which only makes the conclusion more obvious, not that they have time to think about that just now. Hi Lamia and henchthugs. I love how blatant Jake is about looking at Ezekiel, and the "wait you're looking at me? oh yeah okay that's fair but no" look he gets in turn. Flynn dispatches everyone else to go get Charlene and himself to go after the Crown, with Cal. Okay, Flynn honey, I don't think you've thought this through. You're going to put yourself and a magic sword near an artifact DIRECTLY RELATED TO IT, and you think this is a good idea. No. Bad. You know magical theory better than that. Take Eve, for fuck's sake. I do have to give Jacob the points on "he's got a flying sword!" I want a flying sword too. So say we all. Into the shelves, where Jacob needs to start saying SNEAK SNEAK SNEAK in order to be worse at it, oh my god, and we have the requisite in-words version of the conversation they had in looks earlier. Mainly because they don't know each other well enough to really have the conversation in looks, and for damn sure Jacob doesn't trust Ezekiel enough for it yet. That's nice, boys, but shut up and run please. Though that's a good way of confirming that neither of them's the traitor!

Which leaves us with an empty display case, a pissed off Flynn, and one member left of this little trio who could be the traitor, which I think he knows by the way Cassandra doesn't look scared so much as sad and resigned when she shows up with Lamia. He just doesn't want to believe it. And so! A rematch, with a sword that Lamia is way too happy to see, the boys yelling about both being attacked with excellent comic timing, and Flynn's Disappointed Dad face. Noah Wyle could definitely not have pulled that off ten years ago, but now? Oh ow. He battles ninjas, Lamia grabs the crown and we should be very worried, and I'm briefly distracted by the idea of Charlene the badass grandma swordswoman. Yes PLEASE. She's not even scratched, just her clothes torn. She and Judson are going to do Something Big to the Library that's going to take both of them and probably won't leave either of them alive after, which Judson is fine with since he's ready to move on, but technically Charlene still has a life. Even if it's a life comprised of receipts and auntie-ing at Flynn a lot. Since we're ramping up to the cliffhanger, we keep cutting back and forth, and I have to give the sound design and editing teams major, major kudos here: I totally feel for Cal. Nooo you leave the nice sentient sword alone he wants to be with his friend. I also appreciate that the combination of Flynn and Excalibur's will are almost enough to overcome the Crown, which gives us all kinds of interesting suggestions for what Flynn's powers might be. Which, as I recall, has been hinted at through all the MOVIES too. Argh. Oh well. Flynn's been stabbed, Cassandra remembers things like These Are Bad Guys and She Doesn't Really Want To Be A Bad Guy, just in time to get hauled back by the henchthugs, aaaand Lamia goes for blah blah villain monologue reveal plan, ordering them to kill Flynn, and we fade to black.

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