The Librarians and the Point of Salvation may just be the best episode ever in this TNT offering of mirth, magic and mayhem. Starting with a touch of Groundhog Day, then segueing into Edge of Tomorrow with a swift shift into Wreck-It Ralph, this installment was great fun all the way through.
Granted there were moments that were touching as well and the episode contained enough references to video game genres to satisfy the geek fanboy/girl in every gamer. Jake Stone excitedly mentions survival horror games and Ezekiel’s “backpack” references the Capcom classic “action horror franchise Resident Evil. (As well as a host of other video games, and their many devices, like health packs, escort missions and so on.) All things which are integral to video games in general are included in this loving look at gaming. Jake asks whether they are in a sandbox or railroad and later states that they are in a platform game.)
The episode starts with a video game being played on a computer screen in a control room of a quantum physics computer. The technician appears to be playing a version of CoD (Call of Duty) or another “first person shooter” (FPS) game. (This is the one plot hole in the entire show’s premise. While Resident Evil is essentially a FPS video game – which is what the episode is tipping its hat to, the “rules” in CoD do not emulate those of the action horror genre of RE…or any other action horror, except maybe F.E.A.R….just saying)
The technician’s boss requests he start up the computer, for a bit of “show and tell” and after the man hides his game, he powers up the machine. Everything goes wrong and the librarians come to the rescue. Just prior to the event, Cassandra works out that the facility have been using Atlantean Thaumatite which has given their computer magical capabilities.
Before the Librarians head to the facility we learn that Jenkins is really, or also known as Galeas (the Grail Knight of Virtue). This tidbit of information given by the summoned Faery Puck who, in the other plot line of the episode, is meant to tell Jenkins/Galeas what Prospero is up to.
After Ezekiel, Stone, Cillian and Baird arrive at the computer facility, they find everything in ruins and the place is deserted, except for a military “rage person” who attacks, and like the creatures in the Resident Evil verse, cannot be stopped by shooting into their body, they must be struck in the head. After getting the group killed a number of times, Ezekiel, who is player one as he was first into the lab, guesses that they are in a time loop.
Like Edge of Tomorrow (taken from the Japanese book All You Need is Kill) the plot device is made clearer to the “master thief” who understands quickly that they are in a video game and not in a time loop. Their initial entrance into the lab/facility is the first “save point” in the “game” and he must get them all to the next save point so they can escape.
The Librarians and the Point of Salvation does borrow very heavily from the Tom Cruise vehicle (Edge of Tomorrow, aka Live, Die, Repeat) in that Jones also stops, at one point in the game, and stores his mates in a “safe room.” He literally cannot stand seeing them die yet again. In EoT Cruises character, after trying a scenario hundreds (if not thousands of times) tires of seeing Emily Blunt’s character dying repeatedly leaves his colleague behind to head on alone.
There are some drawbacks to the episode, most specifically the tired trope that the male of the species is “into” video games and that the female, in the team at least, are not. This can be forgiven to a degree because essentially the characters in the show react logically. It is an understood that to Ezekiel Jones, video games would be addictive, as they would to Jake Stone, albeit for different reasons.
To Cassandra, with her uber analytical mind, that focusses upon magic and mathematics, the idea of video game would be anathema to her sensibilities. Baird is too pragmatic and “action oriented” although one feels that if given the chance, Eve could rock a controller just fine.
After his repeated run through of the facility via Resident Evil, a’la Edge of Tomorrow, Jones attempts a cheat which causes a glitch in the system, a’la Wreck-It Ralph. In the end, Ezekiel pulls a sacrifice play to save his friends and they “bring him back.” The end of the episode has Jenkins learning that Prospero intends to kill his “heroes” (the Librarians) “now.” As the end credits roll, it appears that the fictional villain has won.
This was a highly entertaining episode. Christian Kane, as Jake Stone, proves that he can do “infectious enthusiasm” quite well, thank you and Eve Baird can give a motivational speech at the drop of a hat. Cassandra, Lindy Booth, had little to do as this episode was really all about Ezekiel.
“Some master thief.”
Jone shooting Stone in the leg and “magically” healing him with the health pack.
It could be argued that relying so heavily on a plot device already used, in at least one film, points could, and should be taken off for lack of originality. That said, the premise worked brilliantly and was great fun to watch. It also endeared Ezekiel Jones to all and went to explain much about both his, and Christian Kane’s character.
The Librarians airs Sundays on TNT and is great family fun. This episode could just be the best episode ever since the series’ inception but the show’s makers could best themselves. Tune in and treat yourself.