The Librarians and the City of Light
A missing UFO chaser prompts the team to visit a small1 town where everyone appears to have been possessed – body-snatched, as Ezekiel exclaims. It turns out a large scale experiment performed a century ago by Nikolai Tesla2 caused everyone in town to phase out of our reality. Baird accidentally winds up in the same boat, and the rest of the team has to try and use a city-sized 100-year-old device to get everyone back.
The magical, mystical, legend/artifact/thingie:
Wait a second… this was a science episode, wasn’t it? WASN’T IT, SHOW?! As for why the Clippings Book sent them on a non-magical quest… well, that’s all revealed next episode.
Into which wrong hands might it fall?
The eighty-some folks in town when the experiment went awry have spent the last century in limbo, waiting for an enormous dam-sized capacitor that Tesla built to acquire enough charge to phase them back into being. Meanwhile, they take control of the bodies of those who have since moved to town – just for an hour or two here and there, they claim. Ezekiel and most of the team aren’t too keen on this ‘we’re just borrowing it’ approach, but there’s a bigger conflict looming: When the capacitor kicks into action, Cassandra finds a flaw in the calculations. There’s a fifty-fifty chance the plan will work, or overload the system and kill everyone in a large radius around the town. Several of the astrally projected are more than willing to take those odds.
Teamwork makes the team work:
Stone gets the narrative/backstory focus this week. He put many of his dreams on hold to support the family business, staying close to home and substituting reading about far off cultures and ancient civilizations for actually seeing and experiencing them. While that’s changed with his new job, he and Mabel, the town’s historian – the only person to stay in phase when the experiment went awry3 – spends some charming scenes trading off ‘memories’ of make-believe trips to places they both hope to go once they can. It’s actually kind of sweet, making it actually kind of hurt a touch when (spoiler) Mabel sacrifices herself to turn off the capacitor before it can (maybe) destroy the town.
Meanwhile, despite being in a parallel dimension of sorts, Baird helps guide the team to some key information. The trio – plus Jenkins, who mostly stays out of the way – then work through their disagreements, put a plan together, and ultimately make the very tough choice to cancel the plan and strand everyone out of phase. (Fortunately for the season finale, Baird phases back just before things are turned off.) Overall it was a rather effective denouement episode – all the Librarians have grown more comfortable with their roles and are taking their work seriously. And while the next episode shows the continued benefits of them behaving as a team, we get to see them each be strong, independent personalities as well.
Ezekiel: Your guess is as good as mine.
Casandra: Pretty sure my guess is way better.
“It’s a figure of speech. He’s Australian – half the time we don’t know what he’s saying.” – Stone
Giddily ridiculous moment of the week:
Cassie does some things to make some things make Morse code in the middle of the climactic sequence. “It’s L, for Librarians,” says Stone, without a moment’s hesitation, running off to aid his comrade. Dude, I can barely piece those beeps together with my scout manual open in front of me.
The science checks out:
It took Jenkins eight episodes to get to this: “Magic is not an exact science. If it were, it would be… science.”
Dewey decimal? Do we ever!
Librarians tend to be somewhat short-lived, at least in comparison to the Library and the sorts of things in which it deals. Thus Jenkins clues Baird into the Library’s appointment book. It’s a way to tell future Librarians that something important, something that requires their aid, will occur. Make an appointment for them and they can do things like try to save the townspeople again in 200 years when enough charge has once again built up. It’s a great little touch, a nice addition to Library lore.