The Librarian: Season 3
For people that have spent a considerable amount of time watching television, otherwise referred to as Americans, there comes a time when a series captures your interest inexorably drawing you into s a fan. All too often the show is canceled by the network executive holding oversight over the scheduling decisions. When I first began watching a fantasy series, "The Librarian’ I immediately was hooked. A series that is imaginatively crafted ideally cast and eminently enjoyable is certain to meet its doom. To my delighted surprise, it is about to begin its fourth season. Of course, this news prompts the need to revisit the previous season by considering its recent DVD release. There are various reasons why this series has enjoyed even this taste of longevity; it is unassuming. It realizes that it is a lighthearted slice of fun fantasy built upon a collection of myths, folklore, and fables. Most importantly, the series never presumes to take itself seriously. Within the near-surreal fantasy world, it creates there is a very satisfying core of rules that provide an internal consistency. The series resulted from the appreciation of its fans, who remained loyal to a series of three ‘Librarian’ made for cable movies starring Noah Wyle. The premise of collecting artifacts imbued with powerful magical properties provided the potential for a myriad of different stories. However, the pitfall looming close to this premise is that the episodes would quickly degrade into a ‘freak of the week.' The original ruleset provided for one very special person to assume the mantle of ‘Librarian,' a title that has existed since antiquity. There was always one Librarian assisted in the field by a ‘Guardian,' who together would search for the artifacts and return them to the safety of the Library. When the story made the transition from a set of loosely connected movies to an episodic television show changes would understandable be required? Thankfully the writers and showrunner had an abundance of imagination.
For several years Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle), has assumed the position of Head Librarian, a first in the long history of the Library. Because of the unprecedented magnitude of damage to the world he has taken on a team of three Librarians to work together to counter the effects of magic once again becoming loose in the world. Each had considered being Flynn’s successor had the traditional protocols been observed. Jacob Stone (Christian Kane), has the physique of a blue-collar work but the quick mind of an academic. His specialties include art, architecture, and history. When the Library considers a candidate for Librarian, it looks at the person’s potential rather than their current vocation. This was never more evident than with the selection of Ezekiel Jones (John Kim). He is a professional thief by trade and a genius with gadgets and technology. Finally, there is Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth), a rare female candidate Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth). Who initially had a brain tumor that endowed here with auditory and sensory hallucinations linked to memory retrieval. She is a brilliant mathematician who gains the ability to direct magic. Flynn is seen to them as their leader, but he emphasizes their unity as a team. Flynn is frequently aware tracking down his investigations leaving the three in the Library.
The team has two individuals to guide and protect them. The first is Colonel Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), a former NATO agent whom the Library chose as the ‘Guardian,' her interaction with the team members has softened her strict, military demeanor. This change is greatly enhanced by the growing romantic relationship with Flynn. One of the recognized plot devices leading to the dreaded jumping of the shark is to allow mutual attraction and sexual chemistry to be consummated. Another of a growing list of departures from anticipated negative effects is how their relationship can intensify without damaging the series. Most obviously, Flynn is frequently away. This simple solution precludes the relationship from threatening to take center stage, eclipsing everything else. Balance is the prevailing quality of the series’ construction that makes the show so enjoyable. It straddles several genres including fantasy, action, and drama with just enough comedy to maintain everything in the proper perspective. It also enhances the ability for the audience to connect with at least one of the principle characters emotionally. Their interaction with individuals combining as a team creates an infectious dynamic that continues to keep each episode fresh. The final character added to the mix is Jenkins (John Larroquette) is the ever-present majordomo of the Library who has been associated with it for many centuries. In this third season the background of several characters revealing a lot of the mythos surrounding the Library and its long history. Jenkins had been content remaining in the Annex researching the artifacts until circumstances drew him into the fray. During this season his identity as Sir Galahad from the Round Table. As is the case with several individual crucial to the Library’s mission, Jenkins/Galahad is immortal choosing to appear as a man in his sixties. During this season Flynn calls upon one of his most trusted allies in the Library, Charlene (Jane Curtain). Along with the now deceased Judson (Bob Newhart), introduced Flynn to the Library and his new responsibilities as a Librarian. The audience learns through the team that Judson was the first Librarian from the Library of Alexandria. Charlene was the first Guardian. As with Jenkins, they were immortal. Immortality does not preclude dying from external events, and both Judson and Charlene heroically sacrificed themselves.
The Librarians receive a different type of persistent advisory this season. They have been up against fictional characters brought to life; evil geniuses are intent on using dark magic to control the world as well various demigods and assorted powerful entities. This season the encounter one of the most relentlessly evil things possible, government bureaucracy. The Department of Statistical Anomalies, the D.O.S.A. the is a black ops task force charged with tracking events suspected of involving magic. A new regular character, General Cynthia Rockwell (Vanessa Williams), serves as its Director. Adding a personal spin to the adversarial role, Rockwell was Eve’s mentor in the military. The organization has determined that an inordinate number of artifacts are involved with the Library. They become determined to uncover and co-opt its secrets. This plot point does provide a different perspective on the work of the Librarians and how crucial it is that they remain in the shadows. This season does include many references to Egyptian mythology starting with the driving force introduced in the first episode, Apep, the Egyptian god of chaos, later the god of death, Anubis, shows up. This does not preclude one of the show’s most entertaining features, crossing through a multitude of cultural mythologies. The ancient Greek Oracle of Delphi and the Norse, warring clans of Frost Giants, contend for a magical edge to their ambitions. The reality of sorts is liberally infused in the supernatural mix with episodes revolving around Harry Houdini and Lewis Carroll. With alternate realities, magical curses, amulets and ancient mysteries this season brings the Librarians from one form of magical insanity to the next. I greatly anticipate enjoying where season four will bring this dedicated cadre of knowledge.