Monday, December 29, 2014
The Librarians and the Apple of Discord Recap, Guest Starring Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
I enjoyed this week's episode "The Librarians and the Apple of Discord" so much that it was hard to write this without rambling - so bear with me, there's a lot to cover. The energy is still really fun, and the regular cast is delivering great performances. I especially liked Lindy Booth's performance this week - a little bit of the crazy lady showed up, and it was great! Spoilers ahead, of course.
The guest star this week was Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. The only promo I saw for this week's episode was the one at the end of last week's episode, and while it did mention dragons, I don't think it gave away the guest star, so it was a huge surprise for me! His performance was along the lines of most of his other bad-guy type roles - a really good meal of quiet strength served with a generous side dish of wonderfully evil sneer. The only disappointment for me this week is that I was expecting dragons. There were no dragons. Well... OK. There was part of a dragon. Sort of.
Once again, this episode is based in Greco-Roman mythology. The apple of discord was a golden apple that was inscribed with the words "For the Fairest." It is said to bring out the worst qualities in a person. Thrown out among the gods by Eris (goddess of discord), it was given to Aphrodite by Paris. All this was supposedly what started the Trojan war.
We open in a forest Near Mt. Fuji in Japan. A couple is lost hiking, looking at GPS. A very localized earthquake happens. There's lots of rumbling and smoke, and a roaring sound. The couple runs. The girl trips and falls to the ground. Looking up, she starts to scream.
At the Annex, there is a flurry of activity. The Librarians are researching frantically, looking for documented patterns of the same type of event. Jenkins says, "stop panicking! It is unseemly!!" They are researching earthquakes and geothermal phenomena back as far as 1643. Eve is struggling to find stuff among the Library's mess on Flynn's desk. The back door opens and Flynn enters in a raincoat. "It's the dragons!" There are greetings all around, then Jenkins says "Sir - did you come to take them away? I keep their bags packed..."
Flynn begins a lecture about dragons. Jenkins jumps in, disagreeing with Flynn. He makes a comparison of the different types of dragons - "Western dragons are thugs... hoarders... Eastern dragons are elemental... one can reason with them..." Eve cuts them both off and asks what they are talking about. Flynn says "Eastern and Western dragons have been in a blood feud for three thousand years-" Jenkins adds, "Not dissimilar to the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the late 20th century." Zeke is amazed that Jenkins knows hip-hop.
Apparently something of great value has been taken from the dragons, and this has made them... a little less than happy. Jake asks if there's any idea what's been taken. Flynn says "No!" So of course they need to find out. Flynn rapidly assigns research duties. "And Eve - You have to -" at this point Eve says "Stop." He starts to talk again, and she grabs his face across his mouth with one hand. "You have to stop. We have to talk." Still holding his face, she leads him into another room by the lips.
Flynn says that they don't have time for this - they aren't even remotely prepared. "Prepared for what?" Eve asks. Apparently there will be a meeting with a Mr. Drake, the dragon representative. There's a little back and forth about a giant fire breathing winged thing, and then Eve says "First - no hi? No 'nice to see you'?"
She reminds Flynn that she and the Librarians are a well-oiled machine now, and that he left them in good hands - hers. Eve is concerned that it isn't right for Flynn to just show up from wherever ("Seven seconds in the future, actually... Is that a doorbell?") because it undermines her authority. He relents, and she says "Let's just start at the beginning. Where have you been?" Then a doorbell rings.
Now Flynn is worried. He goes back into the main room. Zeke is missing. Flynn realizes where he went, and runs down the hall after Zeke, screaming "NOOOOOO!". Zeke has already opened the door. A man stands there - Mr. Drake (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), the dragon representative. He asks "Who here speaks for The Library?" Zeke responds, "I do, mate! You got my extra cheese and pepperoni?"
Flynn comes rushing up behind him, cutting him off. "No! He doesn't! I speak for the Library!" Mr. Drake tells Flynn that "he who speaks first speaks for the Library," and asks if there is to be an intercessor, looking at Zeke. He says "No, just, as long as I can intercess with my extra cheese pep!" He puts up his fist for a fist bump as Mr. Drake walks through the door, leaving him hanging. He say to Flynn, "So he's not the pizza guy?" "No! No, he is not!"
(I love that Zeke had a typically cartoon-teenager response to this. It kind of reminded me of Beast Boy from Teen Titans. While it might tend to give the impression that Zeke is an idiot, to me it more strongly conveys the whole campy energy of the movies. And hell... for all I know, Zeke just might be an idiot. And I love that they write him that way.)
Drake walks into the main room and speaks in a dragon's voice, calling the conclave to order. Eve and the rest of the group look on in frightened surprise as papers blow around. "Oh... this... this isn't good, is it?" asks Zeke. Flynn sighs. "No. No, it isn't."
Cassie asks "Is that a dragon... in a man costume?" Jenkins replies, "he is a lawyer..." We learn that Mr. Drake represents the Eastern dragon faction, and that a mystical pearl has been stolen from them. Drake is addressing Zeke all the while. Flynn keeps trying to correct that, but Drake is having none of it, telling Flynn "You do not speak for the Library!" Eve questions the situation - "Seriously!?" Drake tells her too that she does not speak for the Library. "Only the Arbiter can speak." He warns Zeke that if the pearl is not returned by tomorrow at sunset, he cannot withhold the fury of his dragons.
Jenkins gets Flynn's attention behind Drake's back, gesturing at Zeke and Drake. Flynn understands (I don't know how, the gestures were pretty unclear) and asks the Arbiter if he has selected his conciliary for the intercession, and Zeke looks confused. Flynn, Eve and Jenkins all start pointing at themselves, silently indicating that Zeke should choose one of them. Zeke says "Oh... you mean Jenkins?" Eve and Flynn look deflated as Jenkins accepts the honor. Drake says that the listing of grievances will commence in 8 minutes. Jenkins asks if Drake would like anything to drink. "The tears of our enemies rent from their bodies as their bones are crushed." Jenkins thinks a second, then says "I have jasmine tea..." "Ooh... Jasmine! Yes, please."
The rest of the group leaves the room and starts making plans for getting the pearl back. Flynn guesses it's the Pearl of Zhao. He thinks that the Western dragons stole it, and their stronghold is in Rome. Cassie asks, "So we're going to Rome... to fight dragons... who stole a mystic pearl?" With a wickedly happy grin, Jake says "I love this job!" Eve calls it a heist. Jake calls it a repo job. Eve is concerned. "The one time we absolutely need Jones... there's no way to pull him free?" Flynn says that he's stuck for as long as it takes review the dragons' grievances.
Meanwhile, Zeke and Jenkins are waiting for Drake to finish his tea, and Jenkins is explaining to Zeke that the dragons have put together a list of grievances that have come up since the last session - which was in San Francisco in 1906. Zeke recognizes the date. "The earthquake that destroyed San Francisco? Was that before or after-" "Because of... " Jenkins responds.
Jenkins says that perhaps it would be best if Zeke let him do the talking. Zeke says, "you don't think I can handle this!" Jenkins says, "well... hmm... Is there a polite way of saying absolutely not? Well, I guess not... Let's see... you know what? No, absolutely not." Zeke bounces up out of his chair and approaches Drake. "Fire up your short list of grievances, mate." Drake picks up a scroll and throws one end out over the desk. It cascades down onto the floor, and Zeke looks worried. Jenkins fires a finger gun at him, making a "shooting" noise.
In Rome, the Librarians walk through a door and end up on the roof of... wait for it... the Vatican. They figure out that the entrance to the Western dragons' lair is the Vatican. I gotta admit, I kinda saw that coming. They get down to the street level, and realize that they need to look for puzzles to pinpoint the exact location of the entrance. Cassie figures out that they need to look for the patterns in the cobblestones in the street pavement. She starts doing her math thing, and then she overloads and starts smelling food. As we learned in the pilot, "I smell food when I do math."
Jake gets her to focus, and she finds what she thinks they need. Flynn pushes on the indicated spot but nothing happens. Cassie loses the pattern, but Jake figures out that the stones are not now in their original positions, due to the repaving over the years - stone overlayed with marble, then more stone and then concrete and then the modern cobblestone. The stone that Flynn pushed was concrete. Jake finds the right stone (which is actual stone), and steps on it. The ground falls away and a portal opens. Some cops see things happening and head over to investigate. The team jumps down into the portal, and it closes above them as the cops get to the spot.
They grab torches, and walk through a tunnel. The stop at a doorway to a dimly lit room. In the room are three old-timey, throne-looking chairs - each with a pearl on it. Eve asks Flynn, "Puzzle? Or trap?" He says "I'm thinkin' both." Eve takes a step into the room. Torches in the room get brighter, and there is a whooshing sound. Things start flying across the room from the walls - like the sharp pointy sticks in an Indiana Jones movie. (This kind of reminded me of the "Penitent Man" trap in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.) Flynn's reaction? "This is veeeeeerrrrrrry familiar...."
Flynn notices a rhythm to the trap, and then he realizes that it's sound-activated. He says he's going to draw the fire - he grabs a wooden shield and runs around the room screaming, taking the darts in the shield. Jake runs into the room, and finds the right pearl. When he picks it up, he becomes an evil version of himself. He locks everyone else out, saying something about the best museums in the world are in Rome, not that they would appreciate that.
Back in the Annex, Zeke has fallen asleep during the reading of the grievances. When asked for his response, he wakes up. The doorbell rings. "Finally! Pizza!" He runs off to answer the door. Drake says, "He's a terrible Arbiter." Jenkins responds with "Preaching to the choir, bub."
Aaaand it's not pizza. It's the Djinn representative arriving for the conclave. Jenkins is confused. "Conclave?! Did someone call a conclave?!" The Djinn says if he has been deceived, he will drown the world in blood. Jenkins, exasperated, throws up his hands. "No blood drowning..." Zeke smiles. "Welcome to the conclave!" The leader of the Fae legion arrives next - a lady with a gentle style about her. Then the delegate from the Iron Kingdom arrives, a Fabio-looking dude. In a kilt. After him, a tall lady who wasn't immediately identified.
Zeke asks what a conclave is. Jenkins explains that it's like a U.N. for all the supernatural factions where they can peaceably resolve all their differences - over which the Arbiter presides. Zeke thinks he's got it. "You so don't 'got it'," Jenkins replies in frustration. Jenkins expresses his anger over having to deal with the new Librarians - he doesn't even think of them as such. He tells Zeke that he's not a Librarian, he's a thief. Zeke is offended, says some angry words of his own, and proceeds to try and handle the duties of an Arbiter.
Back in the Vatican dragon's lair, Flynn and the girls have found a dragon. OK - maybe not a whole dragon. Just the dragon's eye. Flynn tells the dragon that they came to retrieve the pearl. The dragon says that it wasn't taken from there. Eve asks the dragon if he could at least help them get out of there to find the pearl so that they can stop the Apocalypse. The dragon laughs.
Jake is still in the museum. Holding the pearl, he is angrily rambling on about real art and how people don't appreciate it. He snags a painting off the wall, and the docent sounds an alarm. Jake is struggling on a chair with two guards over the painting when Flynn and the girls come in. Jake drops the pearl and it shatters on the floor, revealing a golden apple. Eve flashes her government ID, making up some stuff about it being a NATO exercise, and clears the room.
When Eve and Flynn turn around, Cassie is standing there holding the apple. Her eyes are demon black. Flynn tells her the apple might be dangerous. In a little girl voice, she says "oh no. It's not dangerous." Then her voice changes to a deeper, more adult tone. "But I think I am." She starts waving a gun, and giggles - Harley Quinn style. She shoots a hole in a fire extinguisher, and runs out of the room.
At the Annex, Zeke is actually handling the conclave pretty well. He is taking votes on proposals for solutions, and getting things done. He appears to have the respect of the conclave members. Then there comes a request to be recognized, and Jenkins looks very disturbed at the sound of the voice.
Cassie is running through rooms at the museum, and stops in front of a mirror. She looks at her reflection. "Ew. Flowers..." She tears off her dress, exposing her undergarments - which look more like promiscuous outerwear. She's not naked, but does have a bare midriff. Lamia meets her with a knife to her face. " 'Allo, luv!"
Back at the Annex - it's Dulaque who made the request, and he's eating Zeke's pizza. "Dude... he is evil." The leader of the Fae legion recognizes his request and gives Dulaque the floor. Dulaque presents that the Library has outlived its usefulness - that in fact, the current Librarian has lost the Library itself. Zeke protests and accuses Dulaque of being the cause. Dulaque denies it, and asks the conclave if these are the hands they wish to put their trust in. Drake queries, "what other hands did you have in mind?" Dulaque grins wolfishly.
At the museum, Flynn has figured out what the apple is, and explains it to Jake and Eve. They set off to find Cassie. Meanwhile, Cassie is analyzing Lamia mathematically and proceeding to beat her up while maintaining a running dialogue of her analysis and actions. After choking her out, Cassie thinks out loud about what to do with all this new power.
Jenkins is leaving the Annex. Zeke follows him, telling him that he thinks that Jenkins really wants to help them, in spite of his hard demeanor. "You lecture us all the time and make us feel like idiots, but you slip in just enough information to get us pointed in the right direction - you want to help us!" Jenkins puts his things in the back of his station wagon and says "Good luck in prison." Zeke goes on. "At the same time, you act like you're better than everyone else, always complaining..." He says he's finally figured Jenkins out - he's a coward for not choosing between the two. "Interesting - a lecture, coming from someone who can't decide whether to be a thief or a Librarian." Zeke responds defiantly. "This Librarian is going back in there to save this place. And this thief is going back in there to take Dulaque down a peg. Neither one's running away!"
Jenkins says he did choose. He chose a side in a very complicated thing, and nothing good ever came of it. Through the years, he chose over and over and nothing ever changed. He came here to do his work alone, because "... why choose? Nothing - nothing - ever changes." Jake shrugs. "You did."
Eve, Flynn and Jake find Lamia sitting on the floor, nursing an injured arm. They ask her what she did to Cassie. She says, "the question is... what can your girl do with a power plant?" Cassie has found her way to the control center in the power plant and starts to put her plan in motion.
Zeke accuses Dulaque of stealing his pizza and motions to close the floor. Dulaque seconds it, and calls for the vote to remove the Librarians and the Arbiter of the conclave. Zeke moves to re-open the floor. That motion is objected to and denied. Jenkins walks in, stating that no conclave can begin without the reading of the minutes of the previous conclave. He also quotes a regulation that refers to the fact that although Drake called the intercession, Zeke did not properly announce the conclave, so they skipped the minutes. Jenkins tells Zeke where to find the minutes of the last conclave meeting, and he goes to get it.
Flynn and the others find Cassie. She has gone totally Harley Quinn by now, right down to her voice. "Cassandra?" "Hey guys - guess ya found me, huh?" "Whatcha doin'?" "Oh, I was just gonna use this one little power station to set off a cascading power failure of Europe's power grid. Cool, huh?" Flynn tells Eve, "If this is what the apple does to Cassandra, we are not letting Zeke get a hold of it." Eve tries to stall her by asking why she's doing this. She rambles on, basically saying it's because she can, "now zip it, blondie..." Jake tries stalling her by asking about things with numbers to try and get her to do math as a distraction. He asks about a boiler switch with the number six. Cassie goes on a rant about how she's always thinking about everything and she's not some dumb robot and - "Did you say six?" With that, she totally shuts down. Like a robot. "We found the off switch!" Cassie comes to, and asks "Where's my clothes?"
Flynn and Eve both grab the apple. They start fighting over it, arguing that each one is better than the other to have it. Eve wins and gets the apple. She pulls a gun, and runs to the room that Lamia is in. Flynn gets the apple back, and pulls a sword. Eve tells him not to kill Lamia. Flynn rants, "Don't kill Lamia?! With all the magic I know, I could be a god!"
Drake is reading the minutes of the last conclave. He is on page two of what looks to be several thousand pages. Dulaque exclaims, "ENOUGH! I vote we waive the reading of the minutes and return to the business at hand." Zeke says he'd rather hear the rest of the minutes. Jenkins seconds Zeke's motion, but since Zeke didn't actually make a motion, Dulaque's motion is seconded by default. The Arbiter is ruled out of order, and Dulaque calls for a vote to end the library.
Flynn gets away with the apple, and comes through the door into the Annex where the conclave is being held. Dulaque is calling for a second on a motion, and Flynn seconds it. Drake tells him that he doesn't even know what he is voting for. Flynn thinks that Dulaque has called for a vote of no confidence. The other Librarians appear in the door, and Flynn locks them behind the gate to the other room. Still holding the apple, Flynn rants on about how if they think they can handle it, they can have the Library. "I've seen things!!!" Dulaque asks incredulously, "Are you ill?!?"
Jenkins and the other Librarians know that they have to get the apple away from him. Jenkins confronts Flynn. He rages at Jenkins, and calls for a vote of no confidence from the conclave. Then suddenly he returns to his normal self, lecturing the conclave as to why they need a Librarian and the Library. Zeke goes back to the group, and shows them the apple. He had pick-pocketed it while Jenkins distracted Flynn. Jake asks him if he's immune. He shrugs. "You're already..." The worst version of himself," Eve finishes. Zeke acts offended. "You say that like it's a bad thing!" Jenkins tells Zeke that he's starting appreciate the advantage of having both a Librarian AND a thief.
Flynn turns the floor back over to Zeke. He calls for the vote to replace the librarians - "or... whatever". All are opposed, except for Drake. He tells Zeke that he has not returned the pearl. He has not fulfilled the duties of Arbiter. Zeke announces that he has figured out who stole it. "Who had access? Who do the Eastern Dragons trust? Any idea who that could be - Mr. Drake?" Zeke then announces that the conclave is over.
Jenkins confronts Dulaque outside. He says that he knows that Dulaque was behind it all - Drake stealing the pearl, the conclave... taking the library... waking the dragons. Dulaque says that their sides have always been chosen for them. Jenkins says no - "We choose. Thousands of years ago, to choose stopping whatever we were becoming..." Dulaque says that if he hadn't tried then he would be the monster that Jenkins thinks he is. He embraces Jenkins and says softly, "Travel well."
Eve is clearing off the desk - again - when Flynn comes in with some papers for Eve. "Transfer papers?" Eve is confused. Flynn explains that she is still technically part of the NATO Counter-Terrorism task force. If she signs the papers, she will be permanently transferred to the Library. Or, tear them up and she can be gone tomorrow. He acknowledges all that she has accomplished to bring the team together, and that she belongs - this is her space now. He says he will stay if she stays.
She takes the papers, and says she says she will stay if he goes - he needs to go and find the Library. "Go finish the mission." When she looks up from signing them, Flynn is gone - and the things that she cleared off the desk are now back on the desk. "Oh, come on!!"