Friday, January 20, 2017

The Librarians, Season 3 Episode 8: And the Eternal Question

We see evidence of perhaps the most dangerous, most powerful, most evil dark magic we’ve ever seen on this show.

People excited over golf. Golf people! Human sacrifice must be involved!

Until the main golfer who is doing so well suddenly spontaneously combusts. He is also disqualified because he did something interesting in a golf match. Totally against the rules.

Of course spontaneous combustion is definitely a Librarian thing. Kind of. Jenkins and Flynn are both clear they’ve never come across magical spontaneous combustion before. But, hey, there’s a first time for everything.

More investigating leads to the golfer’s wife who informs them that her husband was dying of cancer before he went to a spa and totally got better.


Then they open some curtains and she burns to ash when exposed to sunlight.

Time to go visit this spa. There they the owner and her son Tomas and daughter Estrella who runs the place. It’s a beautiful, amazing place all organic and shiny and with special shiny rocks in the soil.

There’s also very clear chemistry between Estrella and Cassandra. And normally I’m the first to frown at subtext but this is not subtle.

Everything seems on the level but Cassandra is troubled. She’s just come back from her brain surgeon: the tumour has grown to a level where he’s shocked she’s still mobile. He doesn’t have a prognosis for how long she has to live, because she has no time left. Needless to say that a spa that promises miracle cures and only offers false hope (and “peace of mind” touches some very raw nerves with her)

While Jake and Ezekiel discover some of the staff don’t have reflections! Vampires!

Back to the Library and I’ll get back to the whole vampire thing but there is something far more amazing in this episode

Cassandra asks Jenkins on a date. Did not see that coming. Did not see that coming at all

He protests their age gap – and she points out he’s a damn immortal there’s a vast age gap between him and EVERYTHING. Though he does make a point that he’s so old he’s virtually a different species from normal humans; which he has a point. She, angrily and with visible pain, points to what he’s truly afraid of: losing someone, loving and then them dying and him hurting. She is also deeply frustrated by him having all this life he doesn’t use… when she has so little

Ouch…. So much ouch. Librarians who knew you had this in you?

He falls back on him once being in love. He loved a woman and though he chose someone else he swore to love her. And as a knight h won’t put that aside: oh what tragic courtly love.

Remember he’s a knight this will be relevant.

Cassandra and Jenkins… I can see it.

Everything else is completely anticlimactic after that – vampires cannot compete.

Ezekiel and Jake are all up for stabbing some vampires but Jenkins and Cassandra object to murdering people for what they are. Or, as Jenkins points out, killing people who are “trapped in this existence” ouch… look at that Freudian. Instead they have to go back to investigating

They do – and the vampires running the place are happy to admit they’re vampires- but deny doing anything to kill people. Yes they can walking in the sunlight – but only in their little paradise spa. Turns out there’s super special meteor diamonds in the soil that protect vampires from sunlight. They will co-operate and let them snoop everywhere

Ezekiel and Jake do this to find some of the vampire employees are, indeed, performing experiments on the guests to see how long they can live with various rock-based products to see whether they can walk in the sunlight and leave their beautiful garden. They’re making progress but leaving piles of dead ashy people in their investigative wake.

They try to bring this evidence to the owner of the spa – who is dead. Someone has ashed her. This doesn’t make Tomas and Estrealla very happy and things get tense. Jake and Ezekiel end up confronting a pack of vampires who are all for human testing. How can they fight a horde of vampires?

Well, Jenkins has discovered that Cassandra has visited a surgeon – and because that surgeon knows nothing of professional ethics, he learns Cassandra is dying right now unless she has surgery. He surges into action – and when he runs into that pack of vampires, with his sword, we’re powerfully reminded that Jenkins is Sir Galahad, thousand year old knight of the round table. And that he’s made of awesome and not to be trifled with.

While Cassandra tries to talk to Estrella, reveals she has figured out how the rocks really make people sun-proof and Tomas let’s it slip that he is behind it all. Estrella is horrified, rejects the idea of becoming a sun-walking vampire if it costs this much evil. She and her brother fight – and when he goes for Cassandra she hands a stake Estrella and she stakes her brother to save Cassandra.

This could be dramatic but Cassandra faints and falls not into Estrella’s arms – but Jenkins.

He hurries her to hospital and Cassandra frets: without her tumour will she lose her excellent ability to visualise equations and do genius stuff. Of course the gang is quick to assure her she’s a Librarian because of who she is – not because of her tumour. I’m almost a little disappointed that this hasn’t been expanded: with Cassandra having to chose between a cure and thinking she may lose her gift: may lose being a Librarian, something which means so very much to her. It would have really developed this beautiful conflict.

She goes into surgery, surrounded by her loving Librarian family and wakes up to find her gift has gone into utter overdrive. Can she see through walls and manipulated minds now? Wait, what what what what?!

From surgery she goes to see Estrella, acknowledges their connection, talks about how Estrella inspired her by choosing her own life. Estrella makes another offer to become a vampire which Cassandra turns down: but leaves it open. And they seal it with a kiss

Actual LGBT representation in Librarians! It’s taken 3 seasons but we’ve got there – and we’re now seeing one of the main characters as a bisexual woman. This is definitely an excellent thing. I have one concern though:

Santuary, Van Helsing, Witches of East End, Almighty Johnsons we have a pattern of shows revealing a major female character as bisexual in one episode – then make sure they’re heavily invested in an opposite sex relationship or that their bisexuality is never mentioned again. I said 3 seasons there – Cassandra has been here since the beginning but her bisexuality is only revealed AFTER we firmly step on her (awesome) romance plot line with Jenkins? And this tends to happen when we see an LGBT character who is prominent, especially protagonist or co-protagonist.

It’s still awesome. Definitely awesome. But how it’s handled from here determines how awesome

And Jenkins? Of course Jenkins is awesome.