Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Librarians - 1.05 - And the Apple of Discord - Roundtable Review

Welcome back to The Librarians Roundtable Review.  We are officially half way through season 1 and this time we have even more people joining us.  Woo hoo!  If you would like to join, questions are posted on Monday or Tuesday on Google + or my Twitter.   All you have to do is fill out some questions.   Easy peasy.  This week we have Alouzon, Blue Star, Col, Gavin, Justyna, Robert, Suzana, and me, Dahne.  After reading our thoughts, don't forget to sound off in the comments below with your own.  Happy New Year to everyone!

What was your favorite part of this episode?

Alouzon - The "confrontation" between Jenkins & Dulaque towards the end (I don't know what to call it). Definitely implies a history, and not just as enemies. I NEED TO KNOW MORE!
Blue Star - Ezekiel tries to convince Jenkins to stay and help, Cassandra takes down Lamia, and Flynn and Eve at the end of the episode. The end scene was probably my absolute favorite of the episode. I liked that Flynn gave Eve the choice to leave and she recognized he needed to be out there searching for the Library.
Col - My favourite part of this episode was how our characters became the worse part of themselves when holding the apple. In particular the scene with Flynn and Baird.
Gavin - Loved the humour yet again. "We have Jasmine tea", cracked me up. "Was that the pope?!" was another one when they ended up on top of the Vatican and a random pope just strolls on by. The Librarians will always be entertaining when it delivers these zingers. Seeing the teamwork, like when Jacob helped Cassandra control her memory again, was wonderful to see. I love it when you see those character interactions that show they are really starting to develop. I love the whole arbitrar stuff; it was very interesting actually and a good concept. But my absolute favourite parts were when the characters were affected by the apple of discord. Cassandra was so unexpectedly devious!
Justyna K - I really enjoyed seeing a different side of Ezekiel and him staying behind with Jenkins, doing his best to help. Now I actually can't wait for Jones to become a better version of himself. I would certainly like this guy a lot. Also, Flynn's back and I have a soft spot for him so it's always good to have the Librarian back.
Robert - I loved the interaction between Jenkins and Ezekiel. You wouldn't normally see them two share an individual scene together, which is why I loved it so much as we are now starting to see some character development happen, and them bonding with each other and growing into a better, and stronger team. I also liked the meeting of the dragon lords at the table, and how all Ezekiel cared for was his pizza; I can always rely on him to add a bit of comedy to the episode. The worst side of the Librarians was also enjoyable to see, and it gave us the chance to see them in a whole different way. Everyone seemed so evil!
Suzana - Evil Jake followed by Evil Cassandra kicking Lamia's butt. Cassandra calculating the weak spot to put pressure on was quite impressive. But my favourite part of the episode was Jenkins' speech to Ezekiel about his choices. It was top-notch acting from John Larroquette. It was really powerful. I could see and hear his pain and sorrow. I want to know what happened to this man. He is way more broken that I ever noticed.
Dahne - I actually really liked the evil librarian bits. It was a fun way to explore their characters without any real consequences. I also loved Jenkins in this episode. The whole mystery between Dulaque and him is the best thing about the series so far for me.

If you could change anything about this episode, what would it be?

Alouzon - Cassandra's weird meltdown. If the apple makes you your worst self, what she did doesn't make much sense. Her purpose would have been linked to her 'brain-grape' not just random destruction.
Blue Star - Cassandra's evil version coming off over the top even for a fun show like this.
Col - More exploration with the characters sitting at the conclave, I know there wasn't time but would have been nice to understand who they actually were
Gavin - I was very sad to learn that I could not speak for the library, only Ezekiel. Damn it. I'd change that of course, but yet again I can't seem to think of anything that I'd change.
Robert - There isn't actually anything I would change; it was the best episode of the series so far. The only thing that comes to mind, which is quite minor, is to have gotten the chance to see a bit more of an actual dragon.
Suzana - Lamia who won my Useless Character Award. The fact that Ezekiel was so clueless at first was annoying. The line between annoying and fun is thin. Evil Cassandra was way too excessive at times. I mean I love Evil Cassandra but it would have been even greater if she hadn't been that much over-the-top. The first part was with Lamia was great but after she started losing a bit and was really over over-the-top at times.
Dahne - Ezekiel was well beyond obnoxious this time and I had an increasing desire to throw socks at him. I'm also not sure that Cassandra's high-pitched squeal worked well with her evil persona.

Flynn returns in this one. Do you think the timing was right, too soon, or too late? How did you feel about him in the regular mix?

Alouzon - It was good to see him back, but I thought it was a little soon. Also surprised that in his case the apple merely made him more arrogant.
Blue Star - I think it was timed well. I love his character so I'm quite happy with him in the regular mix.
Col - Considering I just finished watching all 3 movies I liked the fact Flynn came back.  I'm happy for him to appear every so often, though maybe a few scenes showing him find a lead on where The Library and Judson is would be good too.
Gavin - I have really grown used to him not being there to the point where I couldn't care if he came back or not, but I do like him, I'm just enjoying the main characters more at the minute and seeing how they're coping with this new world. It did feel like a lot of power shifted from the Librarians and Eve to him, so it felt like the main characters were actually secondary whenever he was in a scene with them. Having said that, it was a good appearance.
Justyna K - It might have been too soon but since he's easily one of my favorite characters in the story and I really enjoy his dynamics with the team, I won't be complaining.
Robert - I thought that he fit in perfectly.  He could literally show up in any episode and it wouldn't change anything, the episode would still be great. Flynn is the main reason why the librarians were such fun movies so seeing more of him is never a bad thing. The timing of his appearance I will admit felt a bit out of the blue, especially after we just got used to seeing the others work without him, but I do think that the librarians work better with him, and the episodes with him flow a lot better. I am actually hoping once Falling Skies ends, Noah will become a series regular.
Suzana - I think the timing was okay. Flynn allowed the Jenkins/Ezekiel development to happen, and I think him coming only time to time is a good way to process. This show is not about Flynn after all. There's is only five main characters in this show, so most of the time Jenkins finds himself alone when they are going on a chase. Flynn filled in for Ezekiel this episode while the boy was teamed up with Jenkins. I think he fit nicely but I was glad Baird reminded him he isn't exactly in charge.
Dahne - I actually thought it was too soon for him to come back. I get that he is a fan favorite but the team has not quite gelled yet and so he ended up being a distraction from that bonding. To be honest, he didn't really add anything to the plot except another body until the very end.  I also agree with Gavin in that he turned the main cast into secondary characters with his appearance.

This episode introduced us to a variety of supernatural beings. What did you think about the conclave? Were there any beings you would like to know more about in particular?

Alouzon - It was too many for me. I would have rather seen only 3 or so, and gotten to know more about them.
Blue Star - The conclave was humorous. It certainly opened up a lot of possible story lines. More exploration of the warring dragon factions would be interesting.
Col - As I stated earlier, I would love to know about each of the conclave characters and who they actually are and where they fit in this universe.
Gavin - The Fae, I would love to know more about as the female seemed like she was being far too nice, even Flynn picked up on her self-esteem problems. I'm guessing they would be a very interesting species. I'd like to see more of the dragons.  I was actually a little scared when that huge eye appeared.
Justyna K - I liked the concept but it doesn't usually work too well on my shows when there's a council (or in this case - conclave) made up of people who are not aware of the reality of the situation and still have control over everything.  But I'd like to know more about its members for sure; it would certainly make things more interesting.
Robert - I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the actual dragons roaming the skies or something like that. The episode was centred on the dragons, but we didn't see much of an actual dragon which would have made the episode even better, well for me at least. Dragons are my favourite mythical creatures, so it was a little underwhelming not seeing them.
Suzana - The organization of the magic world is always interesting, with Santa last week and this week with the conclave. Too bad they didn't invite him, though. The Library is a neutral party chosen to regulate magic issues. There's so much potential. Those civilizations would be good reccuring material. I really want to know who the giant woman is.
Dahne - I loved the idea of a conclave and that they have officially introduced certain beings to the show's canon. I wish we had learned more about them, but there is plenty of time for that. I did like that dragons could take human form. That idea was weird for me when I first saw it done on Supernatural, but I actually prefer it now because it keeps me from being distracted by so-so CGI. I loved the idea that the dragons were in a turf war though. There is much that could be done with that subplot alone.

The apple introduced us to the worst sides of the Librarians. Did you like these new incarnations? Did you like one better than the others?

Alouzon - It just didn't make a lot of sense. Ezekiel seemed unaffected by it, and if that is his 'worst' self, then he is probably the best and kindest of all the librarians in their regular state - he just doesn't bother hiding his flaws.
Blue Star - I liked seeing all their worst sides. Cassandra was my least favorite. Her worst side when fighting was great but otherwise was a bit annoying. I think Flynn's and Eve's incarnations were my favorites. Also Ezekiel, because if he's already his worst self, his worst self was the least worst of them all and I liked that.
Col - Stone's incarnation was the funniest, I mean really the worse part of him was worrying about what painting was hung with which painting was just funny.  The other incarnation was Flynn's, so over the top it just worked.  Yet again I am probably bringing a bias after watching the movies but it just seemed very true to his character, the power being the thing he wants the most.  Have to wonder if the apple would have affected Dulaque or if he would have been like Ezekiel.
Gavin - Cassandra's was very cartoonish and old school villain-of-the-week, and I found myself enjoying it. She was very evil. Her voice was a tad too squeaky for my tastes during her moments but I did like how she broke free of her good girl image and took off the flower dress. I'd love to see Cassandra really let loose in the future. Jacob's wasn't too bad, if not a little comical even though he was very serious about the painting. Loved the power play between Eve and Flynn.  I found it quite touching (oddly enough) that Ezekiel wasn't affected by the apple considering he already was "his worst self".
Justyna K - Most of them were quite predictable but I loved how Stone's worst side just couldn't stand people placing the wrong paintings next to each other. It was the funniest and only made me like his character even more. Also, I liked the fact that Ezekiel is currently showing us his worst side. It means that he has a great potential!
Robert - It was good to see each character in a different perspective, and it provided some really fun scenes. Cassandra's worst side was the standout for me.  Considering her character is the sweetest one among them, seeing her worst side was a bit of a shock.  She was just so evil.
Suzana - All of them were fun. First Jake, who could not stand to see a paintaing misplaced. That was just hilarious. And I liked Cassandra's a little too much. She was over the top at times and not necessarily in a good way, but even with that, I just love Evil Cassie.  I can't help it.
Dahne - This is actually the first time since the middle of the pilot that I liked Cassandra, so I am good with it. It was also a lot of fun to see Jake becoming personally affronted by poor landscape placement. If that's his worst side, he's doing pretty well. Like Alouzon, I was confused by Cassandra's worst side since it seemed fairly random. However the Ezekiel reveal was a nice little twist for me. I would have loved to how Jenkins would be affected if he had touched it, but he was smart enough to avoid it.

For the first time, Jenkins and Ezekiel spend an extended amount of time together and in doing so, they have some tough conversations. What did you think of their interactions?

Alouzon - I think Ezekiel works well with just about everyone. A character that honest about himself is a great foil to play against. I believe Jenkins and Ezekiel have figured out where they stand with each other, and will consequently work better together.
Blue Star - Their interactions were great. I loved the scene where Ezekiel tries to convince Jenkins to stay and saying that he changed.
Col - Personally I haven't warmed up to Ezekiel as yet, especially in this episode.  I think they could have explored his character a little more, especially when he was calling Jenkins a coward. The only thing their interaction achieved was me wanting to know about Jenkins.
Gavin - I was pleasantly surprised by the serious conversations they had as this show wasn't something I could take seriously before. It shows that they can sell it when they have good actors. I'm guessing the choice Jenkins made was the choice to be good as later indicated by his conversation with Dulaque and their past. But the whole Jenkins and Ezekiel dynamic was nice to see grow to the point where they could depend on each other to get the apple from Flynn. They worked together.
Justyna K - They were one of my favorite parts of the episode. Tough conversations like that give us all a great chance to get to know the characters better and really understand their motivations and what drives them.
Robert - It is clear that Jenkins is troubled by his past involving the library, so it was good that he could get some of it out in the open. It was also great to see the two interact since we haven't had many interactions between just two characters. The interactions also allowed Jenkins to create a bond with Ezekiel that wouldn't normally have happened.
Suzana - Ezekiel annoyed me a great deal by being so clueless at first, but it was worth it since we got fun and terrific interactions between the two with Jenkins response to Ezekiel cluelessness for fun. Jenkins' speech about his choices was magnificiently delivered by Larroquette. They ended up helping each other. Ezekiel grew up a little and Jenkins, well we don't exactly know what happened to him to make him run away so quickly so we don't know exactly what Ezekiel's speech triggered in him, but he decided not to run. To fight one more time. His comeback was another terrific moment. They make a surprisingly good pair.
Dahne - I actually could not stand Ezekiel for much of the episode, so I wanted Jenkins to Gibbs' slap him silly. Still at the end, they did seem to come to an acceptance of each other and when they actually worked together instead of Ezekiel acting like a hyperactive twit, they accomplished great things. I did love that Jenkins had a main role in this episode though and I hope he gets to interact with the other characters too.

It is now confirmed that Jenkins and Dulaque have a long history together. Any theories about what supernatural beings they are or what their relationship is?

Alouzon - I don't know what to think, quite frankly. Two angels, one fallen? Who knows?
Blue Star - I have no idea what supernatural creatures they could be, but I'm thinking they were definitely at the least friends in the past. My first thought was maybe they are brothers.
Col - Seeing as how the hints about how old Judson was in the movies,, the mind boggles as to what the relationship between Jenkins and Dulaque was.  Maybe Jenkins was to Dulaque what Judson was to Flynn.
Gavin - I have no clue as to what supernatural beings they are, but I'm guessing they were probably childhood friends or at least grew up together.  Jenkins dipped his toe in the other side and made the choice to be good, thus severing his friendship with Dulaque. I can't really call what happened in the past but I do hope it's good. As a side note, I loved Ezekiel's "he IS evil" when Dulaque eats his double cheese and pepperoni pizza. I wasn't convinced of Dulaque being the Big Bad but now I am. Pure evil!
Justyna K - No idea about the supernatural beings.  They might be immortal warlocks, but my first thought was that they have to be brothers, family.  I really expected them to call each other "brother" at one point.
Robert - We know that Jenkins has a long history with the library, and I am thinking that Dulaque could have been a librarian at one point or at least been involved with it. It is obvious that they knew each other, but it seemed like they had known each other for a long while which is why I think they worked together at some point or were good friends. I am thinking they both were involved with the library at the same time, and Dulaque perhaps betrayed the library and Jenkins.
Suzana - Their relashionship might have been a romantic one, but since they have lived a great deal of time, Dulaque could be Jenkins' father for all we know. But I rather leant toward the romantic relationship explanation.  I still think it is Library connected. As for what they are, I have no idea, but Dulaque was called "The son of Ban"" during the conclave. In the Arthurian legend, Ban, King of Benoïc, is the father of Lancelot "Du Lac". Do you think it is only a funny coincidence?
Dahne - I'm with Justyna and Blue Star. I think they are family, perhaps a Cain vs. Abel kind of thing. I'm guessing that they are immortal beings from some famous ancient story. Perhaps they are even twins. They obviously have a history with the Library itself and it would be cool if Judson was part of the lore as well.  I also love the theory Suzana mentioned about it being tied to the Arthur story.

What grade would you give this episode and why?

Alouzon - 7.5/10.  I found this story to be the weakest, plot-wise, for many of the reasons mentioned above. I think the whole point was to get Jenkins and Dulaque together in a room and show they know each other.
Blue Star - I'd give it an A-. It gave us more information on Jenkins and opened up the possibility of more story with the conclave characters. I also loved the teamwork in the episode. This is my favorite episode after "And the Sword in the Stone" so far.
Col - I would give it a solid B+.  Cassandra was a little annoying and Ezekiel really didn't do anything for me with this episode,
Gavin - C+.  It wasn't as good an episode as last week's Christmas episode (which I totally fell in love with due to my love for the holiday season) but it was still an entertaining episode that introduced more interesting mythology and supernatural species. I don't think this show could get any more magical!
Robert - I would give this an A. It was by far the best episode.  We finally got to see some character development from one of our characters, and the episode itself was a great one. I loved each individual characters' worst side.  It showed each of them in a different perspective, but one of the standouts was the interactions between Jenkins and Ezekiel, and Jenkins and Dulaque where we finally got to know a little about Jenkins and his past.  Before the episode, we knew nothing much about him. The episode as always was action packed and had comedic aspects to it, which is something I have come to expect from the show.
Dahne - B+. This one was actually pretty good for me. I liked delving into their darker sides a bit and since Jenkins is rapidly becoming my favorite character, this whole mystery surrounding him and Dulaque is the highlight of series for me. I really enjoyed the increased screen time Jenkins had. Plus this was the first time I enjoyed both Cassandra and Dulaque.

We are now halfway through season 1 of The Librarians.  What do you think so far? What is the greatest success of the show so far?

Alouzon - The relationship between characters. Also, I think Ezekiel is the surprise jewel of the ensemble. He's a fantastic character.
Blue Star - I think this show is awesome - for lack of a better term. Its greatest success is balancing humor with serious moments. One moment you're laughing, the next on the edge of your seat. It does great bonding moments too.
Col - I am personally loving the show.  It could be some bias as I am a Librarian by trade, though working for "The Library" would be very different. I also love the small in jokes about Librarians both in the movies and the TV series. I think it works because the writers don't take things too seriously.  Also for me, it fills the gap Warehouse 13 left behind.  It doesn't hurt with the cast they have or the guest stars they have used so far either.
Gavin - I wanted a Christmas episode. I got one. I wanted an episode to do with fairy tales, and this Sunday's episode there's going to be one. The season so far is going through solid material to make exciting episodes, and the pace is going along very nicely.  I just hope it won't burn up too quickly if the show gets renewed. The greatest success of the show so far, for me, is the magic and how they're organising it through this library to bring us fantasy-filled episodes each week. The characters too. The fact that "the things that come out of my mouth don't bother me anymore" for Eve shows how far they've come in half a season and even though the show is bonkers at times, now I also feel comfortable with what the show throws at me. I'm getting used to its wackiness and I like the fact that it's a journey for the viewers as well as the characters within this Librarian universe.
Justyna K - It's going great. It's just such a fun show. A bit crazy and all, but it's interesting, entertaining and makes you want to come back for another episode and care about the characters.
Robert - I think the chemistry the group shares is one of the biggest successes, and how none of the characters are unlikable. When a new show starts, it is very rare to like every single main character.  There is always one that everyone dislikes, but this show doesn't have that. They all are interesting characters that have strong personalities and work well together, and most importantly they are all likable.
Suzana - It's fun and light and rather well balanced. All the characters interactions continue to be great, and the magic world keeps getting more and more interesting. The greatest success of the show is Jenkins and the characters interactions too.
Dahne - I also am a librarian, so it's good to see them reflected in a positive light even if I don't have these kind of adventures. Still I think the best thing about this show is that it does not take itself the least bit seriously. It knows that it is a goofy, fluffy piece of entertainment and it sets out to do just that. Incorporating different myths and legends is also cool. I like seeing the twists they give familiar stories.

What would you like to see in the back half of the season?

Alouzon - Some clue as to what's happened to the library. Some North American mythology would be excellent too.
Blue Star - More backstory on the main characters and more of the humor and adventure the first half brought.
Col - I definitely need some more exploration and back stories of the Lits.  I would also love to see Eddie McClintock and Colin Ferguson guest star, Colin is a great method actor and is great at exaggerated comedy and doing his own stunts, A hole in the wall at a Melbourne Uni lecture theatre can attest to that.  Eddie is just Eddie; he speaks for himself.
Gavin - I would like to see some answers to the Jenkins and Dulaque history. I'd like to see more magic. The special effects may not be top quality stuff but I can live with that. The title card that appears in every episode when the name of the episode appears reminds me of old school fantasy and that reminds me this show is purely here to entertain, not blow our minds away with the SFX. So I want the show to go all out, guns blazing. I need TNT to renew this show and they'll only do that if it keeps up the viewers, so more people better watch!
Justyna K - I'd love to meet more magical beings and see some great references to other stories. Maybe add a new recurring character (ally or a villain). Also, an episode with high stakes (like an attempt to save one of the main characters) is always a fantastic chance to make a show shine. It's very often a turning point and works well for the series.
Robert -Some more character development is the main thing that I want to see. I feel that we don't really know any of them or anything much about their pasts. To know a little bit more about them would help their characters grow as librarians which would be ideal.
Suzana - I want to know who Jenkins is, what happened to him and what his connection to Dulaque is. Also to learn more about Jake and I want to know how Cassandra end up being a hospital caretaker.  I would like to know more about all the civilizations we learnt about at the conclave.
Dahne - They definitely need to keep growing the characters and making them more of team. For me, Cassandra and Ezekiel are the weakest links so maturing them up a bit is the first order of business. Like Col and Robert, I would love to see more of their back story and maybe even have cases that take them back home. I think they need to keep Flynn out until the season finale and focus on the team instead. Of course, I also would love answers on who Jenkins is and how he fits into the larger mythology of the show.

Screencaps by Springfield Springfield, FilmBook,and me.

About the Author - Dahne
One part teacher librarian - one part avid TV fan, Dahne is a contributing writer for SpoilerTV, where she recaps, reviews, and creates polls for Sleepy Hollow, White Collar, Grimm, Teen Wolf, and others. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts the Sleepy Hollow "Headless" and Teen Wolf "Welcome to Beacon Hills" podcasts for Southgate Media Group. Currently she writes a Last Week in TV column for her blog and SpoilerTV. ~ "I speak TV."
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