Librarians Win Because of What They Know

Episode 2 of TNT's The Librarians
The Librarians (Photo: TNT)

Oh, man, they should totally do PSAs, in character, at the end of each episode…

This week: our intrepid trio of Librarians-in-training are itching to start helping people while their Guardian isn’t quite convinced that they’re ready. But with their powers combined and some just-might-work technology from Jenkins, the team manages to not only survive their first gig, but grow stronger in the doing – and cleanly dispense with several could-easily-be-shmaltzy storylines.

The magical, mystical, legend/artifact/thingie:

Minos’ labyrinth, powered by Theseus’ ball of string, and complete with virgin1-consuming minotaur. While it starts out as a sort of pocket universe thing in the basement of a building, the team soon understands that the labyrinth is as much an effect as anything – they can no longer trust their eyes as it threatens to trap them in its depths.

Worth noting – the switch to the outside world was a plus on numerous fronts: it varied the scenery beyond indistinguishable hallways, it made the stakes feel a little realer, it removed any need for under-budgeted special effects2, and it let the show ditch the hilariously bad minotaur costume and replace it with an angry biker dude.3

Into which wrong hands might it fall?

It’s already in the hands of the Golden Axe corporation, who has continued feeding the trapped minotaur in exchange for riches, power, and improved quarterly earnings reports. This villain felt… rather cursory. It made sense, but it was not impressive – as in neither the company as a whole or a generally awesome Tricia Helfer as its CEO did not leave an impression. And we’re probably never hearing from them again – the episode shows us that the labyrinth collapsed in on itself, and the minotaur wound up in the executive office suite.

Teamwork makes the team work:

An impressive enough second-outing for The Librarians – the pace remained high and they managed to have not one but two teammates tell Cillian that her pilot-episode betrayal was, if not resolved, at least not something to mope about. Not that anyone did any moping this episode – too much running from nasty beasts that keep grudges to allow for that. Elsewhere, Baird steps rapidly and neatly through to an understanding that she can’t order this team around like well-trained soldiers. Really, this show is wonderful at having characters take a deep breath and see a truth as opposed to how other shows would have them struggle for half the episode with an inevitable decision or personal discovery.

Technically everyone gets to play an important hand in saving the day, but we’re still waiting for Jones to show off the particular skill set he brings to the table. He did preen well and smirk through his lines with nary a dull moment, at least.

We got a new tool in the Librarians’ kit – a back door to the annex that can spit them out just about anywhere. It keeps the travel budget low – plus Jenkins keeps improving its accuracy with every passing tweak.4

Regarding doors, though – for a bunch of super-smart people, they’re really bad at holding a door to mysterious realm open while they take an initial peek… and even worse at remembering to close it behind them when RUNNING FROM A FRIGGIN’ MINOTAUR.

Giddily ridiculous moment of the week:

It happened really quickly, but I’m pretty sure Baird just knocked a guy out with his own lapel.

The science checks out:

“I don’t think putting an extra-dimensional hole in a multi-dimensional space is a good idea.” – Jenkins

Dewey decimal? Do we ever!

Just a note that a) TNT hasn’t posted any photos to their media site past the premiere, which is a little odd and b) they include the ‘The’ when alphabetizing their shows, which seems to go against everything this particular show stands for.

  1. Stone points out that the word probably referred to an unmarried person.  
  2. Seriously – that pile of skulls was comically bad, like the art department intern accidentally saved over a final copy with an initial rendering or something.  
  3. Who was used well, and acquitted himself nicely in a dialogue-less role.  
  4. I thought all of his stuff this episode was cute/spot-on. Again, it’s the pace; if the plan works, everyone says ‘great!’ and moves on to the next thing. If it doesn’t, everyone says ‘quick! try something else!’ and they do.  

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About Aaron Mucciolo 206 Articles

He does things. That’s all we can say at this time. E-mail: mooch@whatelseison.tv

  • That minotaur costume really was terribad, and I’m glad you brought it up. I can’t get over that scene where Rebecca Romijn, WHO HAS A GUN, charges the minotaur only to slide along the floor, between the beast’s legs, firing upwards at him the entire time. I just … No. Rebecca Romijn is already not believable in this role. Poorly written “action” scenes only serve to accentuate that fact.

    Yeah, Jones has yet to steal anything … the ball of twine doesn’t count, because Number Six broke the display case before he could deactivate the sensors, or whatever nonsense he was pretending to do on the breaker panel IN THE SAME ROOM WITH THE TREASURES. (Jesus, at least put that panel in a closet or restrict access via electronic combo. Make a burglar work for it a little.) This is only a ten-episode season, with three already behind us — the two hours of the pilot were technically separate episodes according to IMDB. So, how long exactly are they going to wait before giving him something to do other than be an arrogant prick?

    • Aaron Mucciolo

      Agree with everything – and yet, none of it really bothers me BECAUSE THEY KEEP UP THE PACE! If Leverage had been like this, we would have gotten seven seasons and a good TV movie.

      Romjin knows how to deliver the lines. I don’t disbelieve her in the role, maybe because the role is the least defined of the bunch.