The Librarians: Episode 203 – The Family Stone (Review)

Jeff Fahey as Issac Stone in The Librarians

Episode 203 of The Librarians, titled What Lies Beneath the Stones,  is all about the “family Stone,” with Jake learning that the truth really does set you free, it also traps an ancient shape shifter.  Christian Kane owns this episode as the Oklahoma genius who has to uncover the lies “beneath the Stones.” Jeff Fahey guest stars as the Stone patriarch who Jake has hidden the truth from for years and who has lied to his son in return.

Stone, the elder, owns a drilling business and his latest project uncovers a tunnel in the ground, which at first look, appears to be a Choctaw burial chamber.  As the local tribe protest the invasion of their heritage, a released shapeshifter begins creating havoc around the drilling site.

Back at the Library, which does seem to be borrowing just a bit from the Warehouse 13 playbook, (as in something mysterious has rearranged the library and some parts are missing) two members of the team are busy. Jenkins (John Larroquette) is struggling to put everything back in its place and Colonel Baird (Rebecca Romijn) opts to help him rather than assist the three new librarians in their first “voluntary” team effort in Season two.

This episode manages to run a parallel storyline, or at the very least a two-tiered theme. Truth is important, whether dealing with a released “Hoklonote” or dealing with one’s family, as in Jake’s father or with one’s close colleagues, another sort of family.  As the released shapeshifter increases the chaos factor at the Oklahoma site,  it is not only Stone who must tell the truth, but Ezekiel (John Harlan Kim) and Cassandra (Lindy Booth) must also bare their souls. 

The team work out what the “cause and effect” solution must be in order to trap the creature and to get things back to normal. In the process, much is learned about the team. Rather oddly, it  is revealed that Cillian (Booth) has a multitude of lies, or at least “untruths” that she uses to  keep the trap open till Jake can bring the Hoklonote back.

Just as strange, and funny, is the revelation that the more “criminally minded” Jones, only really has one “lie” to hide.

Stand out moments:

Jake stripping all the lies away and removing all artifice in front of his father Issac (Jeff Fahey). The elder Stone pauses and then tells his son that he loves hims and gives him a hug. Jake, returns the hug and then tells his “dad” that his real father would never say or do that. Stone then pulls the shapeshifter into the tunnel entrance in a free fall to the bottom. 

Cassandra Cillian keeping the trap open with a long list of truths, one of which (that is never finished) sounds very disturbing, her joyous revelation starts with “And then the light went out of his eyes…” There is obviously a deepness to the tumor ridden genius as yet untapped by the writers. 

Ezekiel’s description of films as books  that are easier to read and have better pictures along with his insistence that the entire Oklahoma problem was caused by poltergeist.

Jakes assertion that a “truth” has emotional weight.

Eve Baird was trapped in the library through out the episode and this left the new replacements for Noah Wyle’s Flynn Carson up to their own devices and allowed the actors to show what splendid chemistry they have together.

What Lies Beneath the Stones, gave viewers a quick reminder of what each of the newbies had in terms of backstory. Cillian’s tumor, Jones’ thieving past, even if it was for  the Queen, and Jake’s issues with identity, confidence and blaming his father for having to lie.

Peripherally it allows Jenkins to have a little backstory, the old photo of Jenkins with a bloody nose and a most unhappy look on his face showed that the old dog had not always been in the library.

It was nice to see Jeff Fahey could take time from his  busy schedule this year to appear on the show. The actor is a regular on From Dusk to Dawn the series (Uncle Eddie) and the miniseries Texas Rising as Thomas Rusk, not to mention his short appearance in Falling Skies (another TNT series) this year as well.  The New York born actor has specialized in playing country characters, like his role as the cook in Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, and manages to effortlessly portray characters from Texas and Oklahoma.

The Librarians episode finish has Jake Stone putting his real name on a paper he is writing.  Whatever lies that were beneath the “Stones” have been laid to rest, at least from Jake’s end.  This series airs Sundays on TNT and is good family entertainment. Not a lot of gore or gratuitous bad language grace the set pieces of this show. Tune in and invite grandma and the kids.

The Librarians: And the Drowned Book – (Review) [Update]

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[Update] In the original review, it was stated that Jake Stone (Christian Kane’s character) was Texan when in fact the new librarian is from Oklahoma. This has been changed in the article.

Season two of The Librarians opens with And the Drowned Book. There is magic in the world with the reinsertion of the sword in the stone and ley lines are filled with magical powers.  Noah Wyle, Rebecca Romijn, Lindy Booth, Christian KaneJohn Larroquette and John Harlan Kim are all back as the Librarians and so is their “enabler” Jenkins (Larroquette).  TNT have brought back this great family fun show as part of their Sunday lineup and the wait has been worth it. 

Feeling like a cross between  Relic Hunter (a show that Lindy Booth was also a regular cast member of)  and Dr. Who but with slightly better FX, the show is a good natured small screen version of a new generation of antiquities hunters who all have special skills. Kane is rough and ready Oklahoman oil rigger Jake Stone, Booth is Cassandra Cillian a young woman who literally does figures in the air and Kim is Ezekiel Jones; a Jack of all trades.  Romijn is the real handler of the group, Jenkins runs the library and aids the Librarians when required.

Wyle is the Librarian, aka Flynn Carson.  The actual library feels a little like Warehouse 13 but with books and artifacts and with Jenkins as custodian.

The opening of season two’s The Librarians has renewed magic and a mysterious, and shadowy, figure summoning a character from a book. Not just any book, though. The tome is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the summoner opens the pages to the short story The Adventures of the Dancing Men.  The episode then heads to a museum where another character from a fictional tale is affecting the weather and the plot.

The cleverness of the writing in this opening episode is apparent from the first time we see the pages open to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short story. In the “Dancing Men” tale  Holmes recognized the “stick figure” men as code, aka a cipher and in this episode, The Librarians And the Drowned Book the relics sought by the Librarians make up a code created by Prospero (from The Tempest).

Prospero calls Professor Moriarty from the Holmes collection of stories to help him outwit the Librarians and to escape into the world.

There are a number of nods and winks to other works. In a scene with Moriarty (played by South African actor David S. Lee) Flynn Carson (Wyle) tells the criminal mastermind, whom he believes is Sherlock Holmes, that he admires the man who solved “The Five Orange Pips.” Both “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” and “The Five Orange Pips” feature an individual who dies after hiring the great detective. 

In another “homage” moment, Carson and Eve Baird (Romijn) go to  collect an artifact and Flynn tells Eve that things will be all right if the villagers do not know they are there.  A short beat later sees the two running from a group of angry people with Flynn shouting to the effect that they knew. The framing of the shot is very reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark opening sequence where he is being chased by natives.

The allusion to the Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford franchise is all too apparent in the overall make up of The Librarians.  Wyle can be seen as a sort of small screen Indy substitute. Both men, Jones and Carson,  are well educated and each searches for historical artifacts personally. These two are not researchers who pass their findings on, they are adventurers.

In the TNT series, Carson has recruited some helpers, in the forms of Kane, Booth and Kim. All three of the newcomers bring something to the table. Booth; a sort of spacey, yet fun, aura of genius. Kim portrays  a “criminally minded” magician who specializes in picking pockets and taking chances.

Christian Kane plays an affable and adventure seeking chap from Oklahoma who exudes a natural sense of capability and risk taking.

And the Drowned Book starts with all three of the new Librarians doing their own thing rather than working as a team.  Ultimately, through the course of the episode,  they learn that working as a group is much more effective.

There are a number of amusing moments in the show.

Kudos to Noah Wyle who, after appearing in Falling Skies as a hero type not prone to humor, gets off a few comic moments. None, however, are as good as the “I can lip read” gag.  After Moriarty reveals, to a delighted Eve, that he can read lips Flynn retorts:

“Lipreading’s not that hard. I can do it. Those two women over there… ‘Where are the snuffy pom moms?’ ‘I’ve never circled square Idaho in the blueberry cupcake.’ Nothing to it.” [Snaps fingers]

Before the end credit’s roll, Carson loses Prospero and Moriarty, Eve will not let him follow the two as they escape leaving a couple of season long villains to reappear at will.  Wyle, who solidified his character in The Librarian films has not deserted the show and he interacts with the new “kids” on a regular basis while wooing the group’s minder Eve.

The three newcomers to the verse have settled into their character’s shoes and each actor is a delight to watch. The Librarians is a series that anyone in the family can watch and enjoy. As close to a “G” rated show as one will find on nighttime television that features a bit of romance, action, magic and villainous characters that are not too bloody or violently gory.

The Librarians airs Sundays on TNT. Tune in and enjoy some entertaining storylines and the collective greatness that is Lindy Booth, Christian Kane and Noah Wyle, et al.

The Librarians: And Santa’s Midnight Run (Recap and Review)

The Librarians: And Santa’s Midnight Run (Recap and Review)

The Librarians, in their Christmas episode, have the brilliant Bruce Campbell as Father Christmas in the segment titled And Santa’s Midnight Run. In this week’s show Santa is kidnapped in a soup kitchen in London and Gretchen Claus, aka Mrs. Santa calls Jenkins to see if her missing husband is in the library. Since Saint Nick is not in the building, Jenkins announces that Christmas will be cancelled for the world if the Librarians in training cannot find him. Jake Stone and Cassandra head to the London kitchen to collect evidence and the couple meet a charity Father Christmas who reveals via rhyming cockney slang what happened when the real Santa was taken.

The Librarians: And the Horns of a Dilemma (Review)

The Librarians: And the Horns of a Dilemma (Review)

The second episode of The Librarians, titled And the Horns of a Dilemma, follows the three “potentials” (Sorry Buffy-verse, but it fits.) in their first solo mission without Flynn (Noah Wylie). Jenkins, played by John Larroquette, is the trio’s advisor and also the one who reins in the adventurers’ protector Eve Baird (played by Rebecca Romijn). Jake Stone (Christian Kane), Lindy Booth’s Cassandra Cillian and Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) take most of the episode to bond with each other and the former Colonel Baird. The small group, plus one with Jenkins, all learn a little more about one another and some of what each of the librarians bring to the team.

The Librarians: TNT Has a Doctor Who Type of Its Own

The Librarians: TNT Has a Doctor Who Type of Its Own

TNT has brought its own Doctor Who type to the small American television screen with The Librarians, a revisit to the TV movie verse that began in 2004 with the first film titled The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. Noah Wyle is back reprising his role as librarian Flynn Carson and Bob Newhart features in the show’s pilot as Judson, his character in the television movies. While Wyle made an appearance in the two hour long pilot, he will be an intermittent character in the series and the show promises to have some pretty impressive guest stars, one of which is Bruce Campbell.