“The Librarians” tackles the issues that have been affecting the Library since its return from the void in the Sunday, Nov. 22 episode, “And the Hollow Men,” in quite the interesting way. Noah Wyle directs Flynn’s return, Eve and Moriarty’s team-up – and the villain sees something about her usual partner that she has to truly face by episode’s end – and the Library’s potential demise.
The adventure in this “Librarians” episode is a very personal one because, as the Library nears its death, Flynn is kidnapped and Eve must work with Moriarty to track him down. However, it’s Flynn who figures out why he’s been taken, who has him and how it’s all connected to the problems in their home base, and by the end of this adventure, the focus can return to stopping Prospero whole-heartedly. However, what the hour also addresses head-on is something that Flynn has been guilty of all this time: not knowing how – or being able – to work with the team because he’s not used to operating in any way but essentially on his own. And the implications that has for his and Eve’s relationship, for the time being, at least, is disappointing.
On the other hand, “And the Hollow Men” highlights something that has been evident since the beginning of the season, that Eve and Moriarty’s conversations – more banter-y than argue-y this episode, which cannot be said of Eve and Flynn’s – are so entertaining. Having them team up every so often, even though she knows she can’t trust him and he just enjoys being as charming as he knows he is (to the decimal point), is the right move. Also the right decision? Not to stretch out the problems with the Library. They could only last so long, and there’s really only so much time they could have Jenkins stuck trying to figure out what was happening and chasing down rooms while also helping the team with adventures before it would get to be too repetitive.
These last two episodes have been treats for “Leverage” fans. Beth Riesgraf showed up last week, and this week, Drew Powell guest stars as a mysterious man who just so happens to have all the missing artifacts from the Library… and who has kidnapped Flynn after he runs into Eve, Jake and Ezekiel while looking for the Eye of Zarathustra to use it to find the Staff of Zarathustra, the staff of knowledge. (Flynn’s entrance is, of course, Flynn-esque; he smuggled himself in as an art object.)
All the man who takes Flynn knows is his name, though if his Wall of Librarian Trivia were part of a procedural drama and one of them ended up dead, he would end up the prime subject/labeled a potential stalker. But since this is not a procedural drama and it is instead of fantasy series, the poor guy is just hoping that Flynn can help him figure out who he is because the Librarian is the one he needs. It’s when they stop in a diner that Ray tells him he knows that magic is loose in the world when it shouldn’t be and that he feels good now that they’re together. Flynn wonders why he seems so familiar, and after Ray falls down, grabbing his head in pain, the answer becomes clear. His memory only goes back four months, he has the missing artifacts and he’s somehow connected to the Library. He is the Library, its intelligence, its spirit. He needs the Staff to get his memory back, and the longer he and the physical Library are separated, the worst it is. While Flynn has many, many questions for Ray, however, the guy remembers nothing.
Meanwhile, the Library is dying, in such a state that the door is not only unstable, it closes before Eve can return to the annex with the others, leaving her to take the long route to find Flynn – and to road trip with Moriarty, who has Ariel to guide them. (She needs a guide. He needs transportation.) He even says that they can use the staff to break Prospero’s spell over him, to make him a free man.
Just like Cassandra couldn’t help but fangirl a bit over Moriarty’s intelligence, Flynn is a bit of a fanboy when it comes to being able to talk to the Library, so much so that every few minutes it seems that he’s mentioning that he has so many questions for him. And who can blame him? He’s a Librarian who has the Library in human form in front of him. But since Ray can’t remember anything, he can’t answer any of those questions. First, they have to find the temple in which the Staff is hidden, and that means, after a moment of losing hope from Ray, Flynn steps up to do what he does best and solve the riddle of the Eye. It needs both of them – his hope (the sun) and Ray’s sorrow (the rue) – to open the entrance. A few traps and close calls with arrows and fire later, and they’ve found the Staff.
That’s when Eve and Moriarty join them, in time to witness Ray becoming overwhelmed as everything begins coming back to him, the power and memories too much for him to handle alone. The only one of them who can take it on is Moriarty because he’s an immortal, a fictional. Eve thinks he planned for it to come down to this, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the only way, and so, in the end, Moriarty walks off with the Staff and Ray remembers everything – wise, brave and kind Judson, funny, tough and loving Charlene and, of course, Flynn. “You’re my best friend,” he tells the Librarian. But he’s still in pain.
That’s because the spirit of the Library needs to be reunited with the rest of it. And it’s just in time too because, while Jenkins comes up with a temporary solution using ghost lights, it’s just that – a temporary source for it to feed on. It needs something more, and Jenkins knows that it will be him because he’s immortal and the greatest life source. With Ray back, the Library can now heal and leave Flynn to head off on another amazing adventure.
But it’s Flynn’s tendency to run off on adventure after adventure that is a sore point for Eve, and it’s so good to see “The Librarians” consistently address this as a problem. As she points out when they first run into each other, he just expects others to follow his orders because he was alone for a long time. It’s because he never checks in that they’re even on the same ground looking for the same artifact. Running, being alone, is what Flynn is used to, and it’s something that others, including Ray and Moriarty have picked up on. As Moriarty tells Eve, he didn’t want to work with Sherlock because he was always running from himself, from boredom, while Moriarty wanted to build something (and so he did, his criminal empire). He knows that Eve is just like him, meaning that her usual partner is just like the man who couldn’t be Moriarty’s. They may be from different worlds, but there are those who run and those who build. They’re the latter, and Flynn is clearly the former.
What else would you expect from Flynn? This is a man who has fun when faced with traps like the ones in the temple, who’s in his element having to figure out a puzzle to escape certain death. He’s a man who, when Ray tells him that he has to stop Prospero, chooses to leave the others to do so because this is the only way he knows how to operate. And so this time, when he and Eve go their separate ways, it’s without a kiss and with Eve looking back only once he’s gone.
“The Librarians” season 2 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on TNT. What did you think of episode 5 “And the Hollow Men”?