Monday, January 29, 2018

The Librarians, Season 4, Episode 10: And Some Guy Named Jeff

The Librarians have an issue with sabre tooth tigers which they have to deal with with the help of… Jeff

He looks like Jenkins in the mirror but we see a much younger man. Yes, it’s a body swap episode. And fake Jenkins - or Jeff - is much less skilled and knowledgeable that Jenkins. And he is definitely not qualified enough or awesome enough to be Jenkins.

Oh - Easter Egg, are those the Game of Thrones house banners?

Baratheon and Greyjoy it seems

Jenkins is clearly in Jeff’s body - which means dealing with frustrations like Jeff’s mother and her vast horde of cats and his three friends, all of which are somewhat bemused by a rather obviously bemused Jenkins. He tries to get back in the Library but Jeff manages to do enough to distract the team so they don’t let him in

This leaves Jenkins to convince Jeff’s friends to help him. There’s some things going for this since it seems that Jeff was completely obsessed with the Librarians and had full dossiers on all the Librarians including Jenkins - so much so they’d turned them into RPG characters

It’s still a stretch that everyone decides to believe Jenkins - and the whole idea that the fact they play DND makes them more likely to believe this is both dubious and a weird misreading of their audience. Seriously, you’re a show about magical artefacts with an arthurian knight, us DnD players (well, I’m more a WoD but I have a players guide and monster manual) are not going to be vanishingly rare among your audience

Still while we do have a lot of tropes with them, we also have them being generally genuinely likeable, intelligent and making a good case for being outsiders WITHOUT falling heavily on the “woe to the geeky” (because “woe geeky” hasn’t been that on point for some time) with some nice looks at Jenkin’s own past

He learns that Jeff had a very bad magical book so he needs to get in the Library back door. Surprisingly the back door doesn’t require magical, say, aura reading or quizzes, but instead a series of puzzles which Jenkins, the man who actually has been in the Library longer than anyone else in history, cannot actually solve. Instead they’re solved by his new friends. And I totally get that the story is to show these folks are kind of awesome, but it seems weird that the emergency entrance to the Library is not actually accessible by Library people but is by random DnD players. This security system needs addressing.

Inside the library the gang has quickly realised that Jeff is the worst as he utterly fails to pass himself off as Jenkins. But he’s also unleashed a demon, Asmodeus, who Jenkins talks up as the worst thing ever. He’s a guy in a rubber mask with a sword. So I’m not feeling the menacingness

This requires Jenkins to unleash his awesomeness, and Jeff to be a distraction here and there. Of course we see Jenkins wield a light sabre which makes everything good in the world.

In the aftermath with Jenkins duly described as awesome we have some not-so-subtle lessons about Jenkins accepting his new reality, particularly the good side of being human. Being mortal is not all bad and humans can be quite good people. Someone keep him away from any 24 hour news network

While giving Jeff a much better lesson in appreciating what he has - health, food, a loving if somewhat cat obsessed mother, and three extremely good friends who all seem to be way more awesome than him

So I am kind of sort of floating the idea now of a kind of extended Librarian circle? Perhaps as a rather awesome counter to Derrington Dare’s insistence that there can only be one Librarian and the very isolated life he led. Because an equal counter to Librarians acting selfishly and turning on each other is to have a network capable of calling out, demanding accountability and generally keep an eye on and supporting each other. Apart from anything else, there was doom and gloom because each brother was selfish and turned on each other - but wouldn’t this equally apply if there were just one Librarian who exploited the resources and powers of the Library for their own gains?

And with Cassandra last episode we saw some nifty characters she befriended and who are now in the know. Now Jenkins has created his own circle. We have Ezekiel’s family. As magic becomes more and more prevalent there are going to be more people aware of magic, artefacts et al - to create a wider circle of Librarian aware people: deputies, none of them at Librarian level but ready to be called upon when needed.

Especially if random guys are capable of doing sufficient research to not only get the full names of every Librarian, but also Jenkins (who hardly ever leaves the Library) AND be able to identify him as Galahad. The Library utterly fails at keeping this top secret stuff secret