Friday, November 13, 2015

The Librarians - 2.03 - And What Lies Beneath the Stones - Roundtable Review

This week the roundtable reviews The Librarians, episode 2.03 called "And What Lies Beneath the Stones." A roundtable is different from a regular review in that it contains several perspectives on the episode instead of just one. This week I have Ali, Aussiekaniac, BlueStar22X, Heidi, Lisa King, Lin, Prpleight, Stacey, and Judy joining me. A special thanks to you all. If you would like to participate in next week's roundtable, I will post a link to the questions here on Tuesday evening (CST). You can also find the link on my blog, Twitter, or G+. Until next time, may your family be less conflicted, may no doppelgangers create havoc in your life, and don't forget to comment below with your opinion of the episode.

What was your favorite thing about this episode?

Ali - My favorite thing was getting the back story of Jake. The emotional acting of Christian Kane was just brilliant. Also, seeing evil Cassandra again. Lindy does it so well. I enjoyed that it was just the 3 of them coming together without Baird and being a team.
Aussiekaniac - I loved the dynamic as the team comes together. Getting the back story of Jake was great. Cassandra and Ezekiel are both showing maturity in this episode and I loved loved Cassandra's confessions..great dialogue. Well done to the writers all around. Brilliant episode, very emotional as well for Jake. I felt like I could relate to his family dynamic. It hit true to the mark. Bring on the next episode.
BlueStar22X - My favorite thing about this episode is that we got to learn more about Jake and that he moved on from wanting approval from his [terrible] father. He was able to be proud of what he's accomplished on his own.
Heidi - I liked how Jacob was able to work through his issues with his father. The fact that his confession was to the doppelganger may have been better for him in that his father only saw his strength at the end.
Lisa King - The truth in how Stone reacted to what was going on. From his initial hiding to his truthful revelations. The fact that he did not need to say all he already said to the trickster to his father. The growth the characters all showed in this episode was gratefully accepted.
Kris - Well, Jake Stone is my favorite librarian, so I loved learning more about his background.
Lin - I liked the focus on the supernatural element. The shape shifter was kind of cool yet very powerful and evil. Of course, there was the whole back story on Jake Stone, which was well handled, and I really liked it that there was no clear resolution to the Stone internal conflict.
Prpleight - Jeff Fehey. The opportunity to find out more about Stone. They spent more time on Cassandra and Ezekiel over the previous season. So it was great for me to find out more about Jake and the toll the lies were taking on him. Also, love that they haven't backed away from the idea that the most dishonest of the librarians is the most honest among them.
Stacey - It's hard to pick just one thing. The whole episode was so entertaining, never a dull moment.  It was full of action, mystery, adventure, suspense and of course, magic :) I absolutely LOVED that Jake Stone's character was highlighted and his "history" filled in. It explains so much about who he is and why he did/does/feels the things/way he does. Jeff Fahey was magnificent as Stone's father. The writers had phenomenal lines for everyone and the actors made it so real, taking on their characters and making us believe #BecauseMagic
Dahne - Last year, one of my complaints was that we didn't have a Jake-centered story so this was a check on my wish list. I loved getting to know the character better and seeing how he handled being in a high stress situation of a different kind.
Judy - I loved how the fight scene between the "two Jacobs" was a kind of metaphor for Jacob Stone's own internal fight between his intelligence & love of art & history against his outward "good ole boy" persona. Plus, seeing Christian Kane fight is always worth watching - when they let him fight the right way! So much better than most at making the fight scenes look real.

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

Ali - I wish Jake really told his father not the shape shifter.
Aussiekaniac - Nope as I review it in my mind it was great. The close-ups were perfect, the fight scene with Jake and himself was good. I would have loved to listen to more of Cassandra's confessions. I was giggling away.
BlueStar22X - The creepy trickster smile. Seriously. If I had dreamed that night it would have been a nightmare involving that creepy smile.
Heidi - I think more things should happen to Ezekiel. He usually seems to come out without being affected.
Lisa King - That it would be longer.
Kris - I would like to have had Jake tell his real father the same thing he told the trickster god posing as his father. While his father may have still dismissed him, you have to at least give people a chance.
Lin - I quite liked it that Baird sent them away without overseeing the team so there isn't really anything I would change. It was well done from start to finish.
Prpleight - I was disappointed that Jake finally reveals who he really is to his father only to discover it wasn't actually his father. All I could think was 'what are the chances his father will ever open a book let alone notice his son's name as author'.
Stacey - I don't think I would change anything. It all flowed very well, each scene tied in to the next, so very creative and riveting, developing each character a little more. "Family ain't easy."
Dahne - Unlike the others, I think Baird should have been in on this too. Also there were logic flaws like why in the world would they have to stay behind to keep the door open if they already knew how to open the door? It felt like just an excuse to have Cassandra be silly, again.
Judy -I think I would have included Jacob's mother, & I would have had his Dad overhear Jacob tell the shape-shifter all about his IQ & degrees, so he could start to see what he lost. Any addict with money problems would go insane knowing he lost an opportunity like having access to Jacob's brain.

By forcing the librarians to tell the truth during the episode, it created many character reveals. Did you like the character development from these reveals? How successful did you think this tactic was?

Ali - I think this tactic was very successful. There was some obvious tension in the past two episodes so this allowed them to get it all out on the table and come together once again.
Aussiekaniac - Oh was good. While we had Jake's back story, we also got a peek at Ezekiel and Cassandra, not too much but enough for me to see who they are developing into. Last season we had three LITs; this season we are seeing them slowly grow. I don't want Ezekiel to ever lose his cheeky self-centered attitude though. It's perfect for his character.
BlueStar22X - I loved the character development through the reveals, mostly for Jake. Cassandra's were more comical and not too revealing. Ezekiel's was good, though it left me with more questions. I'm definitely hoping we get back story episodes for Cassandra and Ezekiel to flesh out their characters like this episode did for Jake.
Lisa King - Character development was beautifully exposed and nurtured. It was inspired writing to get all of it accomplished in the short amount of time they have on air. It was not overdone whether in relation to writing or actor choice.
Kris - Yes, it was interesting to hear more about them. I think it created some great interest in watching more to see what else we could learn.
Lin - I think the tactic was very successful. It told us about the characters without a lot of fleshing out in the upcoming episodes. As an Ezekiel fan, though, I was disappointed that the focus was about Cassandra but hoping that his time will come.
Prpleight - I thought this worked really well for this story. The librarians needed to re-connect and this was a great way of doing it.
Stacey - Absolutely LOVED the truths! Truth has "emotional weight" and it just shows honesty really is the best policy ;) The character development is extremely impressive because we want these "people" to be real to us as viewers. Proving they are human is a huge advantage in grabbing the viewer and pulling them in. Absolutely and completely enthralling.
Dahne - I thought it was a great way to keep it from feeling like character exposition, which it technically was. This was a more interesting way to spin it. I do wish that instead of focusing on Cassandra after Jake that they would have focused on Ezekiel. Cassandra got so much story time in season 1 but it felt like Ezekiel and Jake were less filled out. This helped with Jake but Ezekiel is largely still a mystery.
Judy -I found it entertaining but other than Jacob's "reveal" to his "Father," which was of course not real as it wasn't really his father,they were not particularly revealing. Everything that the others said I had already figured out in S1. You had to know Ezekiel had worked "for good," otherwise the Library would never have recruited him. Cassandra obviously had a need to prove herself, and while the "choosing the date to die" was a little out there, it wasn't really as bad as it could have been, as it didn't have any accompanying info like having a certain number of years to live.

What was your favorite reveal? Were there any that surprised you?

Ali - Ezekiel's past actually caught my off hairs so that was a nice surprise. All the truth shooting
Cassandra did. "I hate babies" was just hysterical.
Aussiekaniac - It was great to hear Jake say all his accomplishments and to see that he didn't need approval for who he was and to see him take steps to accept who he had become. A lesson we should all take on board and be who we are meant to be, not what we are told to be.
Heidi - I was surprised that Cassandra doesn't like babies. My favorite was that Ezekiel worked with MI6.
Lisa King - Favorite reveal was why Jake left after Peru. Was not really surprised by any.
Kris - I loved hearing Jake's resume as it were. How many languages he reads and writes, about the papers he publishes. No surprises but Cassandra's litany was amusing.
Lin - Fave reveal would have to be the truth that Ezekiel told-- how he worked for MI6. That was cool!
Prpleight - The most surprising reveal was that Ezekiel worked for Her Majesty's Secret service. Cassandra always wanted to be Vietnamese.
Stacey - Ezekiel really has nothing to hide for a thief! He is pretty much always honest even though he steals LOL This was also a character "reveal" in And The Apple of Discord episode...IMO
Dahne - I too found Ezekiel's reveal to be both surprising and fascinating. Although he considers himself a thief, he has always been working for his government with his skills. That slightly changes my perception of him because it means that he did not steal for personal gain.
Judy - Jacob's listing his honorary degrees & how he is the one who is called when new art is found. The other things were entertaining but not really new; Jacob's credentials have been hinted at but now they really explained them.

This was our first Jake-centric episode. How did this one compare to other character-centered episodes? What, if anything, new did this reveal about Jake to you? Did this episode change your feelings about Jake in any way?

Ali - I thought it brought things into perspective. I felt terrible for him and I really wanted to smack his dad multiple times. I get where he is coming from more. I hope he can truly accept who he is and move forward from this.
Aussiekaniac - I think I bonded more with his character. As with many shows with many lead actors your loyalty can be spread out. I felt like I understood him more and he became more embedded for me. I love the Librarian movies therefore Flynn's character is of course a favorite, but this season I feel like I don't need to see him in every episode. Baird explained he was out artifact hunting, I could see this in my mind so I was good; I knew where he was. It's also a bonus as I love to see the relationship develop between Flynn and Baird; however, it's also nice to see these strong women who can not only stand with a man in the fight for magic but also stand tall alone. Makes me proud to be a woman.
BlueStar22X - This episode was as good as the other character-centered episodes. About average. I don't think this episode really revealed anything very new about Jake and his family (at least not anything I hadn't guessed beforehand), but it did add details. I already loved Jake's character before this so it didn't change my feelings about him. I was just really happy he stuck up for himself. I wish his real father had heard his speech.
Lisa King - I enjoy all the character-centered episodes. I loved learning about Eve growing up on military bases and how she got her name. I was excited to learn about Cassandra's upbringing. Jakes episode however was more beautiful in how it stripped him of his hiding within himself and from himself. I was able to see him in a new light as to how he viewed himself in the past episodes and the beginning of this one to the cocoon opening on who he will be. This only deepens my respect for this character and actor Christian Kane's acting choices.
Kris - Love Jake. Want more Jake. Made me love him more.
Lin - Eh, not a Jake fan but Christian Kane handled this very well. His character was sympathetic and it was great to see him go with his real name and not hide any longer.
Prpleight - I think this is my favorite character centered episode because it had more of an emotional impact on me. I had always expected that the root of Jake's lies to his family was about keeping them from being angry or disappointed in him. I was surprise to see that he and his father didn't get along.
Stacey - I really enjoy all the character-centered episodes. Character development is extremely important in my opinion. Again, it ties everyone together creating that family atmosphere. Family always have struggles and working together is paramount in finding solutions. I am a Kaniac so anything centered on Jake Stone/Christian Kane is always greatly appreciated and enjoyed to the fullest. He is such a phenomenal and diversified actor. He does everything with heart and soul. I loved that he chose to be "himself" in the end.
Dahne - My favorite character besides Jenkins is Jake so I liked this character-centric episode better than the others. I also think it was slightly less hokey and more grounded than most episodes. I don't think it revealed anything new per se, but it did make me care even more about the character and helped me to see his perspective.
Judy -I was surprised at how his father thought so little of him. Somehow I had thought that, since he stayed home to take care of the "family business," his family at least gave him respect for that. In this episode, he truly seemed to have a classic adult-child-of-alcoholic-parent relationship with his father. It made me wonder how the way his Dad treated him will affect him in the future.

I believe this is the first time that we meet any of the librarians' family outside of Jenkins. What other family members would you like to see? What did you like and/or dislike about the Stone family interactions?

Ali - I would like to see Ezekiel's family cause I still have no idea why he does what he does.
Aussiekaniac - I guess I would like to see Ezekiel's background. I am curious how he started as a thief. I get that he's smart but why? Where did this come from? I am Australian and we are very multicultural. I have many Asian Australian friends. We don't tend to stereotype here as we are a vast community. John Kim was raised by his mum in Melbourne which is a very multicultural city. She did a brilliant job raising a very talented and, trust me, an Aussie to be very proud of. It would be great how they will explain his background.
BlueStar22X - I'd take anyone else's family in the group: Cassandra, Ezekiel, and Eve. Their families are all pretty unknown though we do know Cassandra's parents put a lot of pressure on her to succeed when she was growing up.
Heidi - I would like to see Cassandra's parents and have them realize that their daughter is doing amazing things and has come out of her shell.
Lisa King - I would really like to see Cassandra and Ezekiel's families. The family dynamics rang true for the Stone family. Taking in to account the area they live in and the stereotype expected of them, I would not have changed anything.
Kris - I'd like to find out more about Ezekiel. How'd he wind up on the outside of the law? I wish Jake would have at least told his dad. At least then the onus would be on the dad to change, not still on Jake to come out.
Lin - I would love to see more Ezekiel centered drama/comedy/back story! I didn't really dislike anything about the Stone family. His father was not a likable character.
Stacey - I would love to see any and all of the family members of every character. It builds suspense but also provides insight to who they really are and why they chose their respective paths in life, as well as why The Library chose THEM to be LITs. I actually really enjoyed the Stone family interactions. It would have been nice to actually see more and yet, it showed Jake's discomfort in dealing with his father as well as his father's discomfort in dealing with Jake. I would LOVE to see the look on Stone Sr.'s face when he discovers just how much of a genius and truly talented his son really is.
Dahne - For me, it depends. If Ezekiel's family history is part of why he is the way he is, then that is who I would like to see. We need some insight into Ezekiel. I would also love to see Baird dealing with her family. I have a feeling that would be a very different side of her, one we might not get otherwise. While I didn't like Jake's dad, I did like the father-son interactions because it allowed both actors to branch out.
Judy - Well, of course, like most viewers I want to see Jacob's mother & how she fits into that dynamic. I'd also like to see Cassandra's parents as I think they'd be pretty interesting.

This episode brings up Native American mythology. What other mythology would you like to see represented? Any specific myths or mythological characters?

Ali - Gosh there are so many it is too hard to choose.
Aussiekaniac - Anything. I am not a history buff but I love shows that teach me things so bring it all on.
BlueStar22X - I've always been a fan of Greek mythology, so there's an idea. Though it's been done often I think The Librarians could put a new spin on it. I don't have a particular myth or character I'd really like to see - all of it is interesting to me.
Lisa King - The Celtic mythology would be amazing to see how it is handled. We know from the show that Santa is real so what about leprechauns? Is there really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
Kris - Love all mythologies. Greek and Roman are overdone. Maybe Norse?
Lin - Bigfoot. Noah Wyle wants it too.
Prpleight - African and Egyptian mythologies. I have come across more about real Egyptian mythology over the years. ( I must confess to finding reality more boring than...say The Mummy films.) But still it would be interesting. The mythologies of various African countries would be interesting. I'd also love to see more stories looking at Japanese mythologies as well. It's a big wide wonderful world filled with enough stories to keep us going for years.
Stacey - It's all great to explore. There doesn't seem to be enough time to go into depth of course but it leaves you with questions and then seeking answers. One of the best things about the Librarians is the yearning for more, to know more, learn more about any given subject brought up in any episode. It stimulates the mind. I say bring on ALL mythology and mythological characters; keep us entertained for the next 10 seasons or more!! LOL Their hints of other stories, fables, much to see, "catch" that watching over and over is never boring.
Dahne - I'd like to learn of some more of the less known myths like those from South America and Africa. I loved the Arthurian spin on last season and wouldn't mind getting more of that either, since it is likely to put Jenkins front and center. Basically though, I love how they handle mythology so whatever they choose is good with me. It's what I liked best from Warehouse 13 too.
Judy -I'd like to see more of the Arthurian legends. Maybe bring the Lady of the Lake and Excaliber back and more Shakespeare would be great.

What grade would you give this episode and why?

Ali - A+. It was everything I was expecting and so much more.
Aussiekaniac - oh 10/10. The writing was brilliant. It is a family show which and well #BecauseMagic. I don't need to say more.
BlueStar22X - B+. It was a solid episode and it was interesting to get Jake's back story but it was not as entertaining as the first two episodes of the season.
Lisa King - A++. While it centered on Jake it did not neglect the rest of the team or the magic. We got to see all of Jake but were left wanting to know more about him and the rest of the Lits.
Kris - A+
Lin - A
Prpleight - A - It was what I was hoping for with the season premiere; an episode that focused on the librarians.
Stacey - 10!! It definitely left no "Stone" unturned LOL Sorry I couldn't resist ;) It shows an amazing connection between the whole cast, developing relationships further and creating their own family.
Dahne - I give it a B. I liked it much better than the first two episodes and I adored learning more about Jake. It had the occasional pacing problem and logic gap but overall it was an entertaining episode.
Judy - Definitely an A plus. It had magic, action, & heart. Fantastic acting. I've seen the family relationships between the Stones in real life so I know Christian Kane & Jeff Fahey nailed it. It was an incredible show.

Anything you want to add?

Ali - I really hope they can kept this momentum going. This season has been really, really good so far!
Aussiekaniac - Not enough episodes per season but considering they shoot each episode over two days I would hate to exhaust my favorite actors so I shall be grateful for what we get!!!!
Lisa King - It is with great intensity that I wish to have many seasons of this show to see how these characters get to the point we saw their alternates in the season 1 finale. I would like to see them do it in this world we get every Sunday night.
Kris - Did I mention that I love Jake?
Lin - I enjoy every episode of The Librarians! Excellent writing and strong female role models give this show a huge appeal. In the end, our heroes are flawed and unpolished but likable and funny. We care about them.
Stacey - There is no "I" in Team. From the cast and crew to writers, producers, directors, editing, FX, everyone involved in this process, they have done a phenomenal job and are so very creative!! It is so wonderful to have something on TV for the whole family once again. With action, mystery, adventure, suspense, education and of course, magic, there's something for everyone. Fantastic + Fabulous = Fantabulous Family Fun!! They bring the stories we grew up on and then some, to life! It reminds me of my younger years. Just like we used to wait for Disney on Sunday nights, gathering the family for some time together. Now we do the same thing and escape this hectic reality for just a little while to watch magic happen on The Librarians. :)
Judy -I just loved this episode. It concentrated on the Librarians, really putting the focus where it belongs. The storyline and direction let the characters shine, but at the same time, the whole magic story was there. It was fun and relevant. This episode showed how great this show can be when it works at the top of its game.
Dahne - A big thanks again to everyone who reviewed this episode. If you would like to be included, tell me in the comments below or check out my blog or Twitter. You can also check out my G+ account. I post the questions link on all three. You can also check back on this page on Tuesdays for the link.

Screencaps by Kiss Them Goodbye

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/or creates polls for Teen Wolf, The 100, Grimm, How to Get Away with Murder, The Librarians, and others. She also runs the annual Character Cup. She's addicted to Twitter, live tweets a multitude of shows each week, and co-hosts The 100 "Red-Shirted", 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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