Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Librarians, Season Two, Episode Seven: And the Image of Image

I must admit that I was very amused by this episode.  And the Image of Image really turned out to be a commentary on the phenomenon of selfies. We take more picture than ever before but we take them of ourselves and not others.  The Librarians suggest in this episode that it is a reflection of how narcissistic we have become. It is absolutely natural that Dorian Grey should make an appearance as the antagonist. It turns out that Dorian Grey is not in fact a fictional character but a contemporary and lover of Oscar Wilde, who wrote his story as a cautionary tale.

When the Librarians notice two deaths associated with a club, they are certain that magic is involved but the book does not give them a heads up.  They get dressed up to go clubbing and the team looks awesome to be honest. I've never seen Christian Kane look hotter.  It's not long before the Librarians figure out that what is keeping Dorian alive today is not a painting, but a collection of selfies that he has imbued with magic.  The people in the selfies pay the consequences for Dorian's actions keeping him eternally young. Though Dorian can potentially live forever, he doesn't feel anything causing him to be more and more reckless, making his victims suffer his consequences.

The librarians outwit Dorian Grey by creating a photo of Eve using images of him.  When Eve dives off a building, it's Dorian who ends up dying.  As cases go, this one is pretty simple to be honest. What makes this story good isn't the investigation,  or even the antics of Dorian Grey and the very drunk Cassandra but learning more about Eve and her role.

Early in the episode we learn that Eve never wants to have her picture taken.  Eve has had to work very hard to succeed and each time she has had to fight patriarchy and sexism.  She talks about being the youngest person to achieve a role and still finding that men were refer to her as blondie and pinch her ass.  Eve knows that she is beautiful but what she wants people to see is the person she is on the inside.  She wants respect for her accomplishments and not her beautiful face. This is a common problem that women face but I must admit to being a little surprised that The Librarians decided to cover this.

In episode six, the Librarians had to deal with the devil. Eve worked hard to save the Librarians from making a deal to sell their souls in exchange for their lives.  At the beginning, Eve believed that it is the job of the Guardian to save the lives of the Librarians and it wasn't until the end of the episode that she learned that it is the job of the Guardian to save the Librarians from temptation.  Librarians don't stop being Librarians because they die but because they become corrupted.  I found this to be particularly telling. It seems that Eve still hasn't really come to terms with what her role on the team really is.  Dorian tells Eve that as a Guardian that she is the nameless, faceless one that no one remembers.  He's very heavily implying that the role that Eve plays is unimportant and therefore she will not be remembered. From the look on Eve's face, it's very clear that he struck a nerve and yet she still follows through with her part of the mission and takes out Dorian Grey.

Back at the Library, Jenkins tells Eve that there's more to a picture than an image.  I think that this is his way of telling her that he sees her value and her role even if she has yet to accept it.  The Librarians then discuss why they were chosen and it is Jones who points out that none of the Librarians have connections to the real world, so that if something happened to them, they wouldn't be missed.  It's telling that Finn is the longest serving Librarian at this point and now with the addition of the three and Eve, there's a stability that the Library has never had before.  Jenkins points out earlier in the episode that in the 1800's they lost three Librarians in rapid succession.  The role of Guardian is a complicated one in a way that being a Librarian is not, despite the skills and knowledge required to become a Librarian.  Jenkins tells Eve that she needs to think about why she was chosen. This is clearly leading somewhere good and I cannot wait to find out.  More than any other character this season, we have been encouraged to think about Eve.

Finally, we have slowly been learning about Jenkins, whom I have loved from his first appearance. In episode six, we learned that Jenkins is indestructible and cannot die.  We already know that Jenkins is also Sir Galahad and that means he has been around for a long time.  I believed that Jenkins chose to appear as an older man but given Dorian's reaction upon seeing Jenkins, its clear that he does in fact age, just very slowly.  Does this then mean that Jenkins isn't actually immortal but simply has a longer than average life span?  I wonder if we will learn the answer to that question this season.

The wonky side and even mysteries of The Librarians has never interested me. I enjoy the character driven stories where we learn more about their backgrounds and what makes them tick.  I hope that as this series moves forward, we will see more of this and less of the cheese.  The Librarians will never be Doctor Who, Sherlock or Indiana Jones but it does have the opportunity to be its own unique and interesting story, if they will only drop some of the shtick.