The Librarians and the Drowned Book

The Librarians (Screen: TNT)
The Librarians (Screen: TNT)

After three months of individual (mis)adventures, the Librarians need their sharpest teamwork to defeat a tempest. The game is afoot!

The end of Season 1 saw Eve and Flynn depart for some off-screen kissy face, but Jones, Stone, and Cassandra didn’t get along as well on their Peruvian mission. For the moment, though, all five are working toward the same ends, even if they don’t immediately recognize it.

The magical, mystical, legend/artifact/thingie:

Stone’s in New York to check on a chess set; a pair of pearl earrings are Jones’ jam, and Cassandra’s gotten wind of some high-frequency weather sonar equipment. It just so happens that all of these objects are going to be in the same place at the same time: a shipwreck exhibit opening at the Museum of History in New York. How convenient — thanks, clipping books! Individually these are just valuable artifacts, but together they unlock something much more powerful: a spellbook once owned by Prospero, the Shakespearean wizard who renounced magic and cast his book into the sea.

Into which wrong hands might it fall?

Prospero, of course, who in this world disguises himself as a janitor.12 We don’t know what he wants to do with the book, exactly, except that he also wants his broken staff back. We do know that magic has re-entered the world, thanks to the reunification of The Sword with The Stone, and that Prospero has used his returned magic to conjure Professor James Moriarty out of a Sherlock Holmes book.

Regardless of Prospero’s exact plans, having three canonical villains work together is never a good thing.

Teamwork makes the team work:

#Actually, the crew spent most of this week’s adventure working at odds with one another. From the very beginning, Eve tries to get them to cooperate, but whatever happened in Peru3 has made the trio of newbies very uncomfortable working together. Flynn plays it off (“That’s just what Librarians do!”), and Prospero succeeds in reclaiming his book, escaping (with Moriarty) through spacetime, and leaving a hurricane behind. Thankfully the group does manage to pull it together in time and saves New York from being swept out to sea.

Giddily ridiculous moment of the week:

The gang is brainstorming ways to stop Category 5 Hurricane Ariel when Flynn and Jenkins simultaneously remember one of the Library’s assets:

Stone: “We have a sun?”

Eve: “?!”

Jenkins: “Yes, in the sun room. What else would one store in a sun room?”

Eve: “Uh, magazines, cosy chairs … mimosas?”

The science checks out:

Flynn: “So, that’s the plan. We take the thermal burst from a direct sun blast, bounce it off a couple mirrors and through a door, focusing it up4 through the storm where it should burn off the cold air and break the cycle. Hopefully, if everything goes as planned, the storm falls apart.”

Eve: “And if it all goes wrong?”

Flynn: “You and I get incinerated, and New York drowns.”

While it’s unlikely we’d ever be able to diffuse a hurricane using this precise method, the assumptions behind it actually aren’t too far from reality. The core engine of a hurricane is the temperature difference between the warm ocean and the cooler air in the atmosphere above. Some theories for stopping a hurricane involve cooling the warm part of the system, either with a giant block of ice, or by pumping cool water into it. Other theories involve warming the cool part of the system by dropping a nuclear bomb into it, with the only problem being that our current human-controlled nuclear technology could not create the amount of energy required. A sun would, indeed, solve that part of the problem.5

The more you know…™

Dewey decimal? Do we ever!

After spending a little time with the first two Librarian adventures, I have a better appreciation for what exactly this TV series is trying to do. Originally in the films, the Library had two keepers: the hardass played by Jane Curtin, and the marshmallow played by Bob Newhart. John Larroquette manages to seamlessly combine their temperaments into one character. Meanwhile, now that the characters are well-established as individuals, they can contribute both the camaraderie and contempt that a rotating cast of Guardians brought to the movies. We also finally have the Librarian / Guardian romance that was present from the very beginning of the original stories.6

Overall this premiere feels more polished and has better pacing than I remember from any of last season’s episodes. It’s silly, it’s fun, it takes huge liberties with science and folklore. What more can you ask for from The Librarians?

  1. There’s a what-do-you-do-with-an-English-major joke to be made here…  
  2. I was an English major and I’m pretty sure I have never read or seen The Tempest.  
  3. …stays in Peru.  
  4. via the Statue of Liberty, natch  
  5. Or we could just use lasers, because why not?  
  6. Flynn Carsen is sorta like James Bond — except, well, not.  

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About Ryan Brazell 135 Articles