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The Librarians: 1.08 “And the Heart of Darkness” Review

We go from science fair and witchcraft to a horror movie opening with a girl, Katie (portrayed by Lea Zawada, who was also in Leverage as a character that Christian Kane’s character Elliot protects) running from a house in Slovakia that may be killing people.

The house. Not Slovakia.

So, not good.

That and the ley lines, which are natural channels along which magic travels, are broken and going “wavy”—that means wild magic.

Really not good.

The idea of ley lines of magic running underground is so cool to me. I’m surprised the Brotherhood hasn’t tried to tap into one actually, but I digress.

Eve and Jake go to look at the house while Ezekiel goes to activate magical cardinal scrolls to anchor the ley line’s energies, and Cassandra is told to stay with Katie. Eve doesn’t want Cassandra to be around the ley lines because Eve doesn’t trust Cassandra all that much after the whole evil!Cassandra thing.

Also, because—in the original order of continuity—this all happened closer to the pilot and the mistrust of Cassandra after her initial betrayal was still strong.

Katie refuses to stay back, and they all end up in the house, which doesn’t fit normal house dimensions. The hallway is longer than the house itself because haunted, and this is the exact moment where the audience collectively yells “Get outta the house!”

As Eve, Ezekiel, and Jake walk through the rooms, they come across a photo of the house, and Eve sees Katie’s friends in the photo where no one else can.

The good news is that the ley line have been anchored, but the bad news is that all those urban legends of people dying in old houses aren’t legends. They all occurred in one of five Mystery Houses—one of which is the Dionaea House, which is from a Creepypasta that tells the story about a house that eats people.

The sixth Mystery House is the House of Refuge, which actually helps people.

The house that the LITs and Katie are in—the Shatterbox—is the opposite.

It’s been eating people and moving around for a century, and while there’s no chance (yet) for Katie’s friends, the LITs can stop the house if they find its dark heart by midnight.

Ezekiel asks the question we’re all asking: “Why is it always midnight?”

As for Cassandra, she’s become the Katie-wrangler and is really not pleased with being sidelined. This is one example of why airing episodes out of order does weird things to plot and character continuity because this episode was meant to air fifth with the characters still working out how to be a team, and Eve still learning how to be a Guardian.

So even though by “And the Rule of Three” the team had worked out most of their kinks, here we see that Cassandra is still not trusted, that her tumor which makes her useful also makes her unreliable, so she is sent off with Katie to the Annex when Ezekiel disappears in the house.

At least—that’s what the audience is meant to assume since Jake thinks Ezekiel will ran like he did during training that first training session in episode two.

Except some evil/dark/spirit/thing-in-black destroys the car sending Katie and Cassandra back in the house before placing Jake in a doll house with Ezekiel who just randomly has samosas because whatever he wishes he gets.

So—this is an evil wish-giving house?

Well, when the wishes are meant to cause the people stay, I guess?

Jake realizes that the pictures on the wall of the dollhouse are from a variety of periods like the Crusades as well as from 10th century Astronomy books.

The house changed its images to fit the period of time in which it was, which means that the creepy photos from earlier must have been of a family that lived in the house at one point.

Outside, Cassandra realizes that the dark heart of the house is actually Katie! Katie starts muttering about Texarkana and calling Cassandra “Jessie” (a girl who was killed when the house was in Scotland and is very dead).

Props to Lea for portraying the creepiest girl ever.

Back in the house, Cassandra comes across a room where the spirits of all of Katie’s past kills are standing while Katie explains her story downstairs: Katie and her family had been killing people, but she was the only one to realize her house was magical, and she could speak to it.

Uh…now that’s a good horror movie plot, and I hate horror movies.

The house granted Katie’s wish to live on after death and be what she calls “the Angel of Death”, but Cassandra isn’t having it. Cassandra faces death in the mirror every day and has been since she was fifteen when the doctors told her about her tumor. Katie isn’t the Angel of Death here; Cassandra is.

(TNT really should have aired this episode in the right place because it leads to so much of the later episodes like when she talks about her potential being thwarted as evil!Cassandra!)

Cassandra swings at Katie with an axe causing Katie’s body to disappear before Cassandra passes out.

When Cassandra wakes up, she finds a note from the house saying thank you and then comes across Ezekiel and Jake arguing about having the House of Wishes which Cassandra points out that this house isn’t.

It’s not the Shatterbox either.

It’s the House of Refuge, and the House of Refuge helps those in need; however, no one expected that a family of serial killers was going to end up finding it.

Which, shouldn’t a magical house have some sort of safeguard for that kind of stuff? Maybe, I’m overthinking it.

And, the evil/dark/spirit/thing before? Well, that was actually the house butler: a very nice, elderly man who fixes the car so that everyone can go home safely.

Okay. after watching “And the Rule of Three”, which was meant to air ninth and seeing how far the team will have come, it was a bit jarring to watch Eve not trust Cassandra and almost babying her because of a nosebleed as well as Cassandra’s lack of control over her synesthesia.

Even so, this was obviously meant to be part of Cassandra’s redemption for letting the Brotherhood into the Library during the pilot because she’s the one (besides Jake) who really realizes what’s going on with the house and is able to stop Katie once and for all.

Plus, the bit about Cassandra being Death—or at least seeing herself as Death when she faces her impending death every day—is a pretty huge revelation for her character and could mean that in the season finale Cassandra’ll have some big choices to make about magic in relation to her tumor.

Ezekiel, Eve, and Jake all have minuscule moments of growth as well, but this episode really is about Cassandra, and it’s quite artfully done.

Grade: A


Image courtesy TNT

Seher
Written By

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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