Monday, January 22, 2018

The Librarians, Season 4, Episode 9: A Town Called Feud

This week we have American civil war re-enactors and a pesky case of haunting.

This naturally pings the Library’s radar - and in part it’s well timed because the librarians are at each other’s throats: Cassandra is very much in favour of multiple Librarians (supported by Jenkins - who is still heartbreakingly dealing with creeping mortality, bodily function, food etc. And even talking retirement! NOOOOOOO. Stop this! stop)

The tethering ceremony is coming soon and Eve needs a Librarian to tether with, just one (JENKINS! CHOOSE JENKINS! PLEASE GODS CHOOSE JENKINS! We know he can handle immortality, he’s an incredible asset! JENKINGS!)

This is why Jenkins and Cassandra stay back in the Library for an awesome high tea and looking for the Librarian’s correspondence so they can see why the two warring Librarians actually attacked each other. Which means a scavenger hunt because some previous Librarians decided to move them and leave a series of cryptic clues

Look, I’m no fan of the Dewey Decimal system either - but this is ludicrous

The civil war re-enactment takes place in a town called Feud which is right on the Mason-Dixie line and is all about the civil war, museums and turning it into a vast tourist attraction

Jake doesn’t approve of this because he’s a historian and all the fudging of facts for the sake of entertainment Does Not Amuse Him.

Eve is also not best pleased because, as a soldier who has actually been in combat, she is also Not Amused by turning it into entertainment.

Both of them are a little hostile when it comes to questioning the museum director about ghosts etc. It doesn’t help that they all kind of assume she should accept the reality of ghosts which just kind of feels so very very weird. I mean, I think we’re expected to see her as unreasonable or evil or… something? For not just believing these three random people telling her to shut down her big money making event because ghosts? And she does mean things like call the police on her when they break into her office and safe… so she’s definitely bad apparently?

The story is that during the war two brothers fought for separate sides and were not super happy with each other. Their dear mother wasn’t thrilled by her little boys trying to shoot each other in the face so left them a locket - broken in half in the hope they would reconcile and reunite the rocket. The museum had one locket for a while and now has found the second locket. Apparently separately so the assumption is these brothers didn’t make up at all.

The town was renamed “Feud” and this whole town built itself around this story. And the curator, Janet Hedge, is very invested in it

Through this we have plenty of ghostly visitations - including a woman in widow-weeds and a small child who has lost things. And we have lots of snarking between Ezekiel Jake, each showing off their skills to prove who is the greatest Librarian of them all, much to Eve’s annoyance.

There’s also some very dubious conspiracy theorists who are very very invested in changing the results of who wins the civil war re-enactment. Which matters to some people… I guess?

The re-enactment happens, ghosts appear everywhere - and they possess the crowd to point guns at each other. As do the two brothers - possessing Jake and Ezekiel: all to shoot each other.

Eve prepares for horrific disaster - except that the brothers miss (causing the whole crowd to miss). Except this is intentional - the brothers chose the feuding Ezekiel and Jake because they wouldn’t kill each other - because the brothers couldn’t bring themselves to kill each other.

Doing some digging it turns out that their history has been rather distorted and the ghosts join the many not amused people with this town. Brother 1, the Union brother, turned against the war after his young son died in a cross fire. Brother 2, the Confederate brother, fell in love with a Black woman which made him much much less inclined to support the Confederate cause. When Hedge found the locket it was united - the brothers had reconciled. But she hid the fact because she thought it would be a better story

Because this woman is just weird - because reconciling on the eve of death sounds like a much more awesome story: and the Librarians agree that this is damn foolish

With their new found love of redemption and co-operation and reconciliation they return to the Library full of joyous happy co-operation and wanting many librarians

Except Jenkins and Cassandra have taken a logical leap so vast it’s more of a logical plummet. The letters from the previous Librarians revealed they went to war because both of them started acting more and more selfishly. And since Cassandra and Jenkins want to have more than one Librarian around - this means apparently they should stop supporting a group of Librarian. Because… because? I mean, seriously they don’t take this as a lesson to be not selfish or why more than 2 Librarians are good because then they can counter any single Librarian who loses their shit? Or how Jenkins and Eve as immortal guardians and a highly respected leader-figures are excellently placed to counter any short-sighted selfishness. Or they could consider that these Librarians are all such specialists that they work as a collaborative force so are so much less likely to turn against each other. And they have a Jenkins and an Eve.

This season keeps pushing, over and over, these conflicts between the Librarians which don’t seem to actually reasonably follow through with the logic and reason behind this. It feels fake, it feels forced. And it ignores what they really really need to focus on: saving Jenkins!