Friday, January 9, 2015

The Librarians - 1.06 - And the Fables of Doom - Roundtable Review

We're now officially in the back half of season 1. It seems like the time has flown by and with a double episode next week, we'll be at the finale before we know it. Today we have Gavin Hetherington, BlueStar, Emma, Justyna K, Robert Fruin, Suzana, and me (Dahne) reviewing. Thanks so much to our panel. If you would like to join, simply fill out the form posted on Monday or Tuesday nights on my Google+ account or Twitter. I also usually add it to my Last Week in TV article. You can e-mail me at as well and I will send you the link. Until next week's supersized event, enjoy the fairy tale review and please add your own thoughts in the comments.

What was your favorite thing about this episode?

BlueStar - Jake being the Huntsman, Cassandra Prince Charming, and Eve a Princess. Jake makes a great huntsman, and the girls even Eve, being all googly eyed over Cassandra was quite funny. So was Eve singing a little and her outrage at having heels on.
Emma - Jake and Ezekiel smuggling the giant wolf out of town. The whole scene was hilarious - great visuals and dialog that had me laughing even on the rewatch. Bonus that it was the only Ezekiel scene that I didn't want to strangle him in.
Gavin - The fairy tales and how they affected each of the characters - or in Ezekiel's case, didn't affect him. Even though it was filler, I am always fascinated by a case the Librarians take on.
Justyna - The plot. It was a fun one and I really enjoyed the fairy tale aspect of it. It doesn't always work but it was a good idea here.
Robert - I enjoyed pretty much every scene. My favourite bit has to be when they started to act like fairy-tale characters. When Baird randomly starts humming and then a bird lands on Stone's arm were some one of the funniest moments from the episode, her humming and the bird on the arm were just so random, they came out of nowhere, which is what made is so enjoyable to watch. I didn't expect it.
Suzana - Baird as a princess and Cassandra as Prince Charming was hilarious and seeing them confused or horrified over their own behaviours was terribly funny. Oh and the fact that, the writer have not forgot what happened in the first episode, and that Cassandra has yet to gain Jake's trust. And Rene Auberjonois.
Dahne - The fairy tale aspect was fantastic and the best reason to watch for me. I also loved that the bad guy knew he was killing Jamie and didn't care. He was so blatantly evil. Also, Jenkins and the vending machine was perfect.

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

BlueStar - Not sure exactly why, but Ezekiel's arrogance was most apparent to me in this episode compared to the rest. I think the writers need to tone it down a bit.
Emma - Tone Ezekiel down a bit and make him a bit easier to relate to. I get that he is an unapologetic, selfish douche who wins in life because he is true to himself but the attitude is getting tiresome fast, especially in his interactions with the other LiTs and Jenkins.
Justyna - Ezekiel. Sadly, he's still not making the best impression on me. I wasn't happy that things don't really affect him and his behavior ends up being what the team needs to save the day. That only stops him from trying to do better. And even though he can be a fun character, I don't find him very likeable most of the time.
Robert - Like the Minotaur in a previous episode the special effects were not as good as they could have been. I have by now come to accept that they won’t be top notch, but when I saw the hand of the troll on the car, and then the wolf I tried my absolute best to overlook it, but I couldn't. They didn't seem that believable to me; they looked again like someone had dressed up inside them
Suzana - Ezekiel acting like a five-year-old. Or a moronic fifteen-year-old brat. Your pick. His speech on how awesome he is. I can't wait to see his luck turn against him bite him in the ass.
Dahne - I'm going to have to agree that Ezekiel bratting out and then being rewarded for it was frustrating. It would have been fine if it was the only episode in which this happened, but it's now a recurring theme that needs to go.

The idea of fairy tales coming true or stories sucking the life out of people is fairly well covered in sci-fi and fantasy shows. How did you like The Librarians' take on it? What part of the fairy tale aspect did you like best?

BlueStar - I enjoyed it just fine. The writers put just enough spin on it to make it the show's own. I liked how unexpected the fairytale roles of Eve and Cassandra were.
Emma - I liked that it was a mash up of several stories - it was fun trying to catch all the references.
Gavin - I agree that we see fairy tales in fantasy shows a lot, but I did enjoy the episode's perspective of it. I love it when we see a different side to each character, so Cassandra as Prince Charming was amazing and Eve as the Princess (and that random humming was hilarious). The fact that reading the story from the book was good and that you could change the direction of the story to benefit the outcome was pretty neat.
Justyna - Fairy tales don't always work. In fact, whenever the writers of the many sci-fi and fantasy shows drastically change things, trying to make the audience root for the villains, I end up being very much against it. So I liked that the Librarians' take on it worked the way it did. It was entertaining, a bit crazy, funny and dangerous which is exactly why I enjoy this show so much.
Robert - The main part I liked was actually seeing all the different fairy tale characters from Pinocchio to BO Peep. Throughout the episode I was always anticipating who may pop up next.
Suzana - Pretty great actually. The effects were not bad and they choose the original ones too. Those are pretty deadly. I like they did not only use the big classics but also others less used, less known like "The Emperor's Clothes".  I liked the fact that the fairy tales slowly took hold. With funny little details like, later on, the change in the clothes and appearances (which I liked a lot) and more significant elements.
Dahne - I love seeing how different people tackle fairy tales so watching random fairy tale characters popping up was a whole lot of fun. I would still say Supernatural's version was better though. For me the best part was Jamie because that's the only time I could stand Ezekiel.

This is the first time we see Jenkins in the field? Did you enjoy that aspect? Would you like to see him in the field more often or would you prefer he control things from the annex?

BlueStar - Yes, I really liked that we got to see Jenkins outside the annex. I like him wherever he is. I think a balance would be best, but leaning towards the annex a bit.
Emma - Jenkins in the field was awesome! He keeps saying that he likes being alone in the Annex to do his work while Judson had all the adventures with Flynn but I think he is loving this. Hope this continues, especially as things with Dulaque intensify.
Gavin - I was thinking how bizarre it was that he was out in the field. It was really good to see what he was like outside the library. I would like to see more of that, but he usually has all the answers and half the fun is seeing the Librarians figure it out on their own, so I'm not sure if I would like to see him out in the field much more. Maybe the odd once or twice for a change but not all the time.
Justyna - That was a nice change. I would definitely like to see him more in the field. Something tells me it would be a great chance for many comedic moments.
Robert - Most shows have a person who stays behind at the "home base." Felicity from Arrow, Finch from Person of Interest, etc. The Librarians has Jenkins. I don't mind him going into the field at all, but only when he is needed. He can control things better from the Annex, but when he is there we don't see him interact as much with the librarians like he did this episode. So perhaps letting him come out once and a while into the field is a good thing for his character. It will better develop him.
Suzana - I really like Jenkins as the Watch Tower, giving snarky advice to the LiTs from his annex. But I think it would be nice to see more of him in the field from time to time and to do more than research if it's not too much to ask.
Dahne - This was one of the best things about the episode to me. Jenkins' personifying the vending machine cracked me up. For me, character interaction is the quickest way to develop them so I like the idea of him working with the others in a more hands-on way. I think he does important stuff in the Annex, but he never gets enough screen time this way.

Jake and Ezekiel seem to play natural roles for themselves in the fairy tale world but Cassandra and Baird seem to have flipped roles. Why do you think the writers chose to do this? Did it work for you? Why or why not?

BlueStar - I'm not sure why the writers chose to do this. Probably because they wanted to include a prince and princess and thought that it would be funny to see the tough girl to play a princess and the shy one to play a prince. It worked for me because I had fun watching everyone in their roles.
Emma - I thought what the writers did was great - I really liked it. Since Jake and Cassandra talked after her betrayal, if seems to really bother her that Jake doesn't trust her anymore. Earlier in the episode she asked what she had to do to win his trust back and while Jake was OK with it being as is, Cassandra clearly wasn't. A thought that was reinforced when she was in the bar with Baird asking her opinion on what to do. I think the Charming persona that Cassandra took on was the fairy tale manifestation of her desire to win back Jake's trust. As for Baird, she is the protector, which means that she rarely gets to be a woman. Her kissing Flynn has been the only display of feminine desires we have seen so far and she sent Flynn away to do his duty - again, putting duty before desire. I think her being a giggling princess is the fairy tale manifestation of her desires to express herself as a woman instead of a protector all the time.
Gavin - It was definitely a treat to see, though I think I would have loved to see Jake as the princess. I couldn't say why the writers chose to have Cassandra and Eve sort of flip roles but it could have been done for comic relief or to see more of that other side of Cassandra who can take care of herself, that she isn't just a pushover and that Eve can be vulnerable. One thing I did love about Eve was when she was under the bridge with Ezekiel and he goes closer to the statues to get the pebbles, Eve looks like she's ready to run.
Justyna - It was a bit strange for me and wasn't quite sure about it but, in the end, I see it as a chance to get to know a completely different side of these two and I think it's surely something worth exploring.
Robert - I think the writers wanted to show us different sides of those two characters. They wanted to show us that Cassandra can be strong, and that Baird isn't just a tough nut. Baird being a princess was actually hilarious, she is always the really strong one among the group who takes everything so seriously so it was quite surprising seeing her as more of a girly girl, but I liked it a lot. It was nice to see her in a different light.
Suzana - This role flip worked very well for me. For one it was hilarious, between Baird singing and fluttering her eyelashes and Cassandra who suddenly became the center of attention of all the women. And the actors did a very good job with it. But I don't think this was a role flip per se. Even if Baird is close to the archetype of the strong leading woman kicking butts, Cassandra, while being the one with the whiny voice of the two, is not the damsel in distress kind either. And since it was confirmed in the episode that the book wasn't distributing the tales at random, I think the fairy tale just brought out or rather matched a part of them. The girly part in Baird and the wild, strong side in Cassandra we've already seen a little when she turned evil. The sheriff, his violent side. As for the naked mayor, since being elected is also often about how you appear to people, he ended up in his Birthday suit, as the naked king. And Ezekiel is always completely true to himself so... Of course it's only a hypothesis and it does not really fit in as well with Jake as the huntsman.
Dahne - I asked this question because I truly wanted to know if there was a reason beyond humor that they chose to do it this way. I'm also the dissenting voice. This to me was the worst part of the episode after Ezekiel. My logical brain couldn't reconcile the unequal switching and I agree with Suzana that this isn't the only time we've seen Cassandra take charge. More importantly, they had a chance to both temper Ezekiel's obnoxiousness if they had given him a different role and develop Jake's if he had been the thief. That would have been a true role reversal. Overall it just seemed silly and pointless to me when it could have been something dynamic and eye-opening.

In the end, it is Ezekiel that saves the day through virtue of being a thief and staying true to himself for the second episode in a row. Is this theme working for you? What aspects of Ezekiel in this episode do you like? Was there anything you would change?

BlueStar - The theme worked okay for me but I think now the writers need to change it up and let Jake, Cassandra, or Eve have a turn in saving the day. Being a thief can't save you every time. No talent can save you every time. I liked that Ezekiel helped the little girl in the hospital. I'd change how arrogant he was in this episode. As I said I noticed it the most in this episode and it's the first time it's really bothered me.
Emma - In a word, No. While Cassandra has become less annoying as the season has progressed, Ezekiel has gotten worse. I get what the writers are trying to show us with him but we are halfway thru the season now and I actually trust him less than Cassandra and she betrayed everyone and her Evil version would have killed thousands of people. For a moment, I thought we were going to see some growth with Ezekiel when he saved the little girl but the next scene back at the Annex showed that was not the case. If they are going to continue to portray him as an uncaring douche, they need to give us some context based in his back story.
Gavin - Out of all the characters, Ekeziel is the one who needs to grow up the most as he is still young and naive. It's important for him to have those moments where he is forced to be an adult and save the day, though so far it seems to all go to his head. I hope we can see how he develops from a thief to a real team player who cares for the team, instead of being self-congratulatory and just along for the ride until he's bored. He still needs to grow and I'm sure he'll get there.
Justyna - Like I already said before, I wasn't a fan of this theme. Staying true to yourself would be admirable for many but it's not exactly the case with Ezekiel. I did like his interactions with the little girl, though. It was really nice to see him fighting to save her. Caring Ezekiel might be my favorite version of him.
Robert - Ezekiel is becoming my favourite character on the show. I have liked that he has been the one to save them the last two episodes. He is a thief which requires you to be selfish, and not thoughtful, but these past episodes have showed us he isn't selfish and is willing to help people. Giving Ezekiel the chance to save the day is showing him what the rewards are for helping people, since he has always been reluctant to admit he joined the team to be more than thief.
Suzana - Well, I like that Ezekiel wants to stay true to himself but there are limits. The only problem is that he is annoying as hell. He spent most of the episode acting like a five-year-old and it really felt like Baird was babysitting at the beginning. Therefore, It is really hard for me to take Ezekiel seriously. So this theme only half works for me.  And two episodes in a row ? Really ? I could have done without it.
Dahne - It isn't working for the character or the theme for me. It's time to let it go. In the last two episodes, Ezekiel has gotten progressively more annoying and yet in each of them he has had some great moments with another character. Ezekiel seems to work best one on one and then only after he's bratted out a few times. I really loved him with Jamie and how they worked together to change the story, but in having him be a douche for 98% of the episode, it negates the 2% when he's great.

In this episode Jake finds himself pretty handy with an axe but based on social media, it feels like some fans think he's been less developed than the others. Do you think this is fair? How do you feel about the show's portrayal of Jake so far?

BlueStar - I think it's fair. I feel the same. I feel like Jake's more in the background compared to everyone else. He definitely needs more development or back story. I love what I've seen of this character.
Emma - I think Jake, Baird and Jenkins need more development - why is Jake so distrustful that he chooses to hide his gifts? Why did Baird choose counter-terrorism? How old is Jenkins and what is his relationship with the Library? With Dulaque? I feel like I got to know Cassandra relatively well over the first half of the season. Ezekiel too but they really do need to give me a relateable reason for the ego - as it stands right now, I am rooting for him to get his comeuppance not win the day (again).
Gavin - Yes, I agree with that. He just looked a little bored throughout the episode. It's a shame too because out of all the characters, I forget his name the most. I mean I've learned the others' but then when I'm trying to think of his, I've kind of forgotten it. He hasn't really had a breakout moment yet and I'm sure it will come. Maybe they're keeping him a little quiet so they can build up to something with his character? I hope so anyway.
Justyna - I would definitely like to learn more about his character! Though I have to say that his fairy tale change in the episode was once again my favorite (like with the evil side last time). We know little about him but all we do know makes me like him best in the group.
Suzana - To be honest, I just feel like we don't know anything about anyone. We don't really know where any of them came from. They found Cassandra as a caretaker. My point is there's a lot we don't know about those characters. But it's true that in terms of development, Jake is the one they have the least looked into. Maybe we'll get more of Jake in the next episode.
Dahne - Of the criticisms I hear about the show, this one comes up the most and is often found in the comments. At first I schlepped it off as the show just beginning and my own personal preference. Now though it feels deliberate and I am curious about why. I'm not sure if Jake is supposed to be a more secondary character, if it's because things will change in the remaining episodes, or if it's because they wanted to be more narrow-focused and chose Cassandra and Ezekiel. I'm with Emma in that I think so far Jake, Jenkins, and Baird have been the most shafted. I feel that for a short first season, we have focused on Cassandra and Ezekiel enough and now it's time to let the others shine.

Jenkins' board had many mystical items listed. Which would you like to see explored in future episodes?

BlueStar - It's so hard to choose. I guess Loki's spear, Cupid's bow, the black mask, the wolf's whistle, genie's lamp, Tesla's death ray, and unicorn. Better yet, how about all of them?
Emma - All of them of course!
Gavin - Oh man, there's a lot of great stuff there and some I wouldn't have thought of - the writers really are creative. Since I'm a student and Shakespeare has been the biggest pain in my ass, I'd like to see the Shakespeare's quill one, I can imagine that doing something funny with the characters and maybe even meet Shakespeare himself. Trident of Poseidon too, that just sounds exciting by its name alone and could explore some great Greek mythology like they've done in the past. The Tell-Tale Heart too as I love that short story by Poe (if that's the one they're referring to) so that would be cool. Loki's spear, of course, as I am a big fan of Thor and all that. Let's hope the show runs a very long time so we can see these mythical items and more appear.
Justyna - There are so many of them and there are so many I know nothing about. I usually like the themes from Greek mythology so that might be a good start. Also, anything related to Shakespeare, Thor or genies sounds like fun.
Robert - There are way too many that I would want to see, so here are a couple: Blackbeard's chest, Shakespeare's quill, goose with the golden eggs, trident of Poseidon, Tesla's death ray, pipes of Pan and Loki's spear.
Suzana - I would like to see the pipes of pan or Aesop's lyre. Or any mythical or historical musical instruments, really. I want music. And I bet Ozymandia's dream journal would make a pretty fun episode too.
Dahne - I agree that all sound like fun and it is this aspect that best captures the fun I miss since Warehouse 13 was canceled. Also they represent an impressive array of cultures. If the immortals includes back story on Dulaque and Jenkins, then that's the one I want most. Otherwise, not so much for the first 2 seasons. That sounds more like a season 3 or beyond story to me. The lamp of Diogenes sounds interesting, especially if it captures his snarky wit, while Ezekiel stealing the necklace of Harmonia might knock him down a peg or two. I would also love to expand to some Irish lore so the singing sword of Conaire Mor is a winner for me. The Swan Princess was a favorite childhood story of mine so Icelandic swans and shapeshifting could be cool and no one can resist a death ray, especially from Tesla. Other choices include: the veil of Scheherazade, book of Thoth, Inuit raven claw, the telltale heart, Aztec smoking mirror, the cap of invisibility, the stone of Giramphiel, Yata No Kagami, and the Inuit raven claw. I'll admit that interstellar wireless has captured my interest but the stein of many drinkers just made me laugh.

What grade would you give this episode and why?

BlueStar - I'd give it a B. It was fun but I was annoyed by Ezekiel sometimes and I wasn't quite as entertained by fairytales as I was with the evil sides of the librarians last week.
Emma - B+ Wasn't as good as last week and Ezekiel's attitude is getting old but still a solid outing for a Freshman show still finding its groove.
Gavin - B-. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, I didn't find it as enchanting as it could have been. It was definitely funny and I love the fairy tales aspect.
Robert - I would give this an A. It was an excellent episode that had so much going for it, I loved the introduction of a new fairy tale character good or bad, and I especially enjoyed seeing our characters develop into their own fairy-tale character. The scenes always came with a lot of humour which was great. The plot for the episode was solid as usual, and the interactions between the main cast were as good as they have ever been.
Dahne - B, for the fairy tales with a whole letter grade knock down for Ezekiel's boorishness

Anything you want to add?

BlueStar - I'm looking forward to the haunted house plot next week and double episodes.
Emma - A little nervous about that last scene. Jenkins said repeatedly that magic comes with a price and if Cassandra uses that spark of magic to cure herself but it comes with a horrible price - such as she looses all of her gifts - I will be upset...I'm finally starting to like her (even if, like Jake, I don't trust her).
Justyna - I can't believe we only have a few more episodes of season 1 left to see. Fingers crossed for the news about season 2 coming soon.
Robert - The Librarians is consistently good week in week out, and also offers us a fun storyline filled with action sequences and fun gags, so I really hope TNT renews the show!
Suzana - The girl rewriting and ending the story in a child fashion was very sweet. The ending confused me a little, though. Does Cassandra have magical power now ?
Dahne - I am confused about why TNT is running a double episode next week. Usually that is not a good sign as far as renewals go, but the show has good ratings for the network it's on. The season is already flying by.

Screencaps by Kane Nation, TV Fanatic, Razorfine, Examiner, Tumblr, Geeks Under Grace, and Screencapped.

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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