“…And the Drowned Book” followed by “…And the Broken Staff”
Our favorite Librarians (no longer in Training) return with a two part season premiere: first tackling a large storm brewing over Manhattan, while Jenkins works to figure out what is wrong with the Library since it returned from the void nine months ago; then, in the second hour, fighting Frankenstein’s monster and Moriarty, summoned by none other than Prospero who only talks in iambic pentameter. This is why I love the writers. Plus all the mentions of Italy are hilarious, considering Prospero was the Duke of Milan.
The storm is the work of Prospero who, in Shakespeare’s tale The Tempest, uses it to set off his plot to return daughter Miranda to her rightful place. He also summons Moriarty and the monster, both “fictionals”, characters from literature come to life.
It’s great to see the whole team together after a much needed separation, for the Librarians, from Baird and Flynn, as the latter two had gone on their own adventure. However, the three Librarians have also spent time apart from one another, so it will take some time for them to get back into their rhythm. So much so that we won’t actually see them deal with their issues until next week’s episode when they have to come clean to each other to save the day against Hokolonote, a shape-shifting god that grows in strength when lies are told.
By the way, Stone was in Japan, Cassandra in France (who kisses Jenkins on the cheek on her way to Manhattan!), and Zeke in a museum (as to be totally expected).
Ultimately the premiere sets up that the Librarians’ jobs are never quite finished and that they will need to work together if they’re going to deal with Prospero and, as the press release states for the season finale, “they can only defeat Prospero in each time by finding a way to work together.”
Looks like we’re getting time travel, folks! And even an episode where the team has scattered to live their “ideal” lives, of course until Ariel, the ghost bound to Prospero, shows up. Obviously, this season is about everyone figuring out who and where they want to be in their lives. Though it’s implied by the post episode promo that Zeke, who had originally been very chill with magic, is the one to remember most of their real lives.
Okay, enough about the future of the season and back to the present.
Besides the interpersonal drama, there are the usual ridiculous plans to solve the problem of the week.
For example: to stop the storm freakishly hovering over the city, Flynn, Baird, and the Librarians go inside the Museum under the storm and split up to figure out the issue on their own. First ridiculous idea and, as we know from all of last season, exactly what’ll cause their failure.
At least our three Librarians talk about why they haven’t worked together in the last three months. Eve is absolutely right that they all need to get back to being a team.
Too bad Flynn is so wrapped up in himself and working on his own that he doesn’t realize that who he thinks is Holmes is actually Moriarty (though lady Moriarty from Elementary is scarier). What’s worse is while Moriarty was summoned by Prospero, Prospero popped out himself, because of the strength of his story. Welp.
Of course, Flynn puts all the pieces together since he’s our Mr. Know It All and goes to confront Prospero who is mad that Shakespeare made him drown his book and break his staff. And in the coolest line of the show yet, Prospero states that he “writes [his] own ending!”
If that isn’t super meta about this show, I don’t know what else could be. After all, everything in the show is about rewriting everything any of us know about history, or have written ourselves, about fictional entities.
Back at the Annex, they discuss various artifacts that might help them, like Thor’s Hammer or Zeus’ lightning, and then decide to use their second sun in the sun room with some mirrors and overheat the storm itself.
Fortunately, Flynn gets his shit together (he really needs to stop being the lone wolf) and delegates much better than ever for the plan which goes well, obviously, but not before our Librarians have a short heart to heart about needing to work together instead of separately. FOUND FAMILIES!
Second meta moment is Jenkins taking over the second hour’s briefing about Prospero since Flynn usually does the rapid-fire conclusions, dramatic reveals, and running amok.
Also running amok is Prospero and Moriarty in the Library where they try to get Jenkins to help them find a branch from the tree of knowledge to just create a new staff. Of course the Tree of Knowledge is the heart of the Library.
Fortunately, Baird gets Jenkins out of his ice block so that he can explain to Baird and Flynn that the Library is freaking out on itself and the currently sixteen missing artifacts
Unfortunately, Prospero has summoned The Queen of Hearts who really wants his and Baird’s heads and Frankenstein’s monster to take care of Zeke and Flynn. Life is hard for Librarians, y’all.
At least with the Monster, all they need to do is offer him plastic surgery. Technically, since the characters are mad about their stories, if they get what they want, they should be happy, yes?
Or, just get him on Tindr, and let him be. And with Queen of Hearts, she just needs to see her reflection because the looking glass.
Finally, the three teams of two triangulate the Library to find Prospero and Moriarty, so our young ones hold the machinery steady while the adults go after the baddies into a forest with the Tree of Knowledge.
They save the day after Baird calls Flynn out on his inability to talk to the others and let them in on his plans, if they exist in the first place.
Prospero talks in rhyming couplets and IB, ultimately leading Flynn to set the Tree of Knowledge on fire, at least the one Flynn made Prospero think it was. Of course, a tree did get burned down so I hope it wasn’t important.
And that’s not the only issue. The Library is still malfunctioning, a room that has no key keeps popping up, there’s a mysterious note from a past Librarian stating the staff is in the Library, and you know, general chaos because Prospero is the bad guy! The fun part of the premiere and this show, besides the epic nerdiness, is how generally silly it is. The stakes are high, but there’s a refreshing kind of urgency in The Librarians that wouldn’t be found in a different TNT show. Yes, the Library is acting up, and Prospero, of all people, is the bad guy, but we know everyone will be okay in the end.
Ultimately, Flynn goes off on his own (duh) to find the missing artifacts, while the others work on figuring out what in the actual hell is happening to the Library.
Well, until the post episode promo which establishes that Moriarty is sticking around forever, and the usual ridiculousness is going to be upped a bunch. All we could ever hope for, really.