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The Librarians: 1.03 “And the Horns of a Dilemma” Review

The Librarians-in-Training (LITs) have their first solo mission this episode without Flynn. There are interns missing at the “Golden Axe” agricultural company in Boston, so the LITs and Eve must go figure out what’s going on. Eve points out that something is wrong with the CEO Ms. Willis (Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica) and has the Librarians look through the intern files while she goes to the server room. Except the server room has ancient Minoan artifacts, and HR is in a sub-basement filled with probably something like thousands of human skulls.

So, obviously, things are totally not okay.

Cassandra realizes that they’re in a labyrinth, which refers to the episode title as well as the Greek myth of the Minotaur.

A Minotaur is a creature with the head of a bull on a body of a man and was eventually slayed by the hero Theseus who was able to make his way out of the Labyrinth where the Minotaur lived with a ball of thread. The Minoan artifacts (another link to the Minotaur which has been linked to Crete where the Minoan society lived) supply the power to keep the Labyrinth working but Jenkins is able to get them all back to the Annex where they do some research before heading back to stop the Minotaur except the streets of Boston are actually part of the labyrinth itself.

So, Eve and Jake go to fight the Minotaur (which is literally just a dude in a spectacularly bad Minotaur suit or, in human form, a growling, red-eyed greaser) and find that if the ball of thread is removed is like taking the battery out of a car and will shut down the labyrinth.

This is where the cast gets to shine because the start of the episode had been Eve training the LITs how to fight. When attacked Jake had fought back immediately, Cassandra had hidden, and Ezekiel had bailed. When fighting the Minotaur though, Jake fights smarter and eventually hitting the Minotaur with a truck, which buys them the time to get back to the Annex and hold the door shut so that the Minotaur can’t get through.

As for Ezekiel and Cassandra, Ezekiel helps Cassandra from becoming overwhelmed by all of her senses in the maze like Jake last week (I’m calling the OT3ness right now). Her “brain grape” is what gets them through the maze which, okay, that’s one thing to call a tumor. He also points out that yes, Cassandra betrayed them, but he would have done the exact same thing. Except, unlike Cassandra, he’s the thief who bails on everybody, and he would have let Flynn die, and the Brotherhood win.

Of course, when push comes to shove, Ezekiel makes Willis think he’s the same thief and “takes off” into the labyrinth but, in reality had hidden, gets Cassandra, and unravels the ball of thread which unravels the labyrinth allowing the two of them to return to the Annex just like in the myth.

I thought this was a really cool interpretation of the thread because in the Greek myth, Theseus had just used it to retrace his steps out of the labyrinth, but the writers here decide to connect the thread to the labyrinth itself. Without the thread, there is no labyrinth. Also similar to the myth, which had called for a number of virgins which gave the King power, the inexperienced youth (interns) were sacrificed for the company’s success.

Luckily for them, the Minotaur holds a grudge as Jenkins mentioned earlier and will take care of Willis for them after being trapped for years. However, just because the team was able to solve that issue, their relationships are going to take a lot of work. Jake is still livid with Cassandra for betraying them, especially after their shared moment in the pilot and thinks that she and Ezekiel are the least reliable people he knows. He feels doubly worse because they were the first people he had shown his love and knowledge of art; whereas at home, no one knows just how smart he is. He likes “Cassie”, but right now, he doesn’t trust her. Their lack of trust and cohesion won’t be fixed overnight, which is an obvious link to the Golden Axe, one of Aesop’s Fables about cultivating honesty.

(I can’t help but make comparisons to Leverage. Jake’s anger is parallel to Eliot’s anger after Sophie cons the team. Jake, Cassandra, and Ezekiel will have to find their way to becoming a close team and trusting each other just like the younger members of the team in Leverage. The two shows will be similar just by virtue of having so many of the same people involved. Even some of the music from the pilot was recognizable, but I’ll try not to get too bogged down in the comparisons.)

Eve too learns a valuable lesson. She can’t mother-hen and keep the LITs safe forever just because she doesn’t think they’re not ready for the field nor can she just order them around. Neither magic nor the book of news clippings will wait for them to be ready. Still, it’s a pretty insightful look into her character. After all, she used to head a counter-terrorism team for NATO where everyone working for her was super trained for what could come their way. The LITs are just a bunch of adults who, while adept in their fields, have no idea how to really work together—especially Ezekiel, who is slowly learning.

I appreciate that the team’s growing pains are being dealt with realistically and in a timely manner; although, there’s only seven episodes left this season, so I assume there will be a small time jump somewhere especially since Flynn is set to come back at some point—which actually makes me really like this show because Flynn doesn’t have to be around every episode, or it would just be The Flynn show (like the movies really). The LITs then are facets of Flynn, his art history, science expertise, and thievery but, then, are fleshed out into their own characters.

Honestly, Jenkins’s absolute disdain for everyone combined with his wisdom is what cements the show’s likeability for me.

Now if only Charlene and Judson can come back, but actors’ schedules and contracts are a mess so fingers crossed the producers can make it happen. Also, if you all want to read a hilarious behind the scenes explanation for some of what I mention here and more character stuff, you should totally read John Roger’s post-episode blog.

Grade: A-


Image courtesy of TNT

Seher
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Seher obsesses over show ratings and usually writes about media representation issues. Otherwise, she's reading away for her graduate program in anthropology.

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