What could be more difficult than dealing with a shapeshifting god? Dealing with a shapeshifting god in the middle of an unplanned, unwanted family reunion, as Jake learns in the Sunday, Nov. 8 episode of “The Librarians,” 203, “And What Lies Beneath the Stones.”
“Family ain’t easy” – biological or the one people make with those around them – has been heard time and time again, so when “The Librarians” brings it up, it’s nothing new. It is, however, something new for the TNT drama, as the latest adventure sent their way by the clipping book lands them right where Jake’s father is digging, and the locals aren’t too happy with him because they think it’s tribal land. So not only are the Librarians dealing with something magical, the locals could be a problem, Jake has to not be himself because his father doesn’t know how smart he is, and Eve and Jenkins are back in the annex at a loss as to what to do about the Library.
See, the Library is still rearranging itself in a random jumble, something Jenkins has not heard of happening in its history, and it seems that some rooms may actually be missing. With Flynn off on his artifact hunt, it’s up to Eve and Jenkins to deal with it, and for now, that means that rooms are going to continue to be mentioned that would be great to see – like the Large Animals room, in which is Nessie. But with what’s going on with the Library clearly the mystery that will be unraveled throughout the season, no progress is made about it this episode, though, with Eve insisting the Librarians go off on their own to work out their issues with one another on this adventure, it does mean seeing more of Eve and Jenkins together, and that dynamic is, like the entire series itself, a lot of fun.
While Eve does, for the most part, belong in the field with the Librarians – you can’t have her stay back all the time, even though they are no longer in-training, because the four of them working together as a team was, in large part, why the first season was a success – changing it up like this every so often is a smart move. Have Eve and Jenkins work together and have the Librarians out in the field together – or switch it around. But mixing up the teams is the right thing to do.
And the Librarians do have issues to work through in the field, so when better than now to have them face an obstacle/trickster god that feeds on lies and the chaos brought on by said lies and can only be overcome/defeated by them telling the truth. In order to open the door of the trickster’s cage so they can re-trap it and then bind it so it can’t get back out, the three of them have to tell one another things that are true – because truths only work when there’s emotional weight to them, when they’re shared.
When it comes to the team, in order to open the door, that means Ezekiel revealing he was recruited to MI-6 and Cassandra revealing that when the doctors told her about her tumor, she picked the day when she chooses to die. When it comes to binding the god, Cassandra says she didn’t stay with them after Peru because she wanted to prove she could do it alone, and Jake admits that he didn’t stay because he didn’t want them to see him fail. By episode’s end, the god is locked up and the team has worked out its issues. Given their job, it’s not like they have much down time while running around to talk about these things, so having it happen in a situation where they have to tell the truth? Wise move.
But for Jake, most of his lies can be traced back to the truths he’s kept from his father and the world – beginning with the fact that, as Cassandra discovers, he’s still publishing under fake names. He can be himself now, she reminds him, but this is what works for Jake, the real reasons for which become clear when he’s reunited with his father, who can’t see him as anything but what he’s pretended to be: the type of guy who would only be a field assistant and he could blame for his finances being screwed up even though he balanced his accounts while still in Oklahoma, not the guy who knows multiple languages, is an expert in his field and, in his down time from saving the world, writes an academic criticism on colonial architecture.
Nothing really says more about the father/son relationship between Isaac and Jake than Isaac asking what he’s doing there upon seeing his son again for the first time. Jake’s lie that he’s Ezekiel’s field assistant is something that’s easy for Isaac to believe because he can’t see his son as anything else, as someone who could even have one degree apparently, as someone who could’ve done something worth turning his back on the family business for. And what does it say about their relationship that Jake later admits that, while he does defend him and say that he’s not responsible, he was worried that his father attacked a protestor?
But even so, another truth he tells is that he lied to his father because he didn’t want him to know he thought he was a failure and resented him. And as is only fitting of this relationship – because it can’t be changed with a few admissions, as Jake gives one after another, about his academic achievements, about why he didn’t tell him – when he does admit to those lies, it’s to the god looking like his father, not to Isaac himself. As much as those things are things that Isaac needs to hear about his son – and as much as it seems that they’re things that Jake needs to throw in his face, given how Isaac treats him – it’s more fitting that Jake doesn’t need to tell him who he really is when it’s time for him to leave. He doesn’t care anymore if he knows the truth because he doesn’t need his approval.
By the end of “And What Lies Beneath the Stones,” Jake changes the name on his academic criticism to his own, because facing the god forced him to admit that he was afraid to use his real name because then he can’t pretend it’s his father’s fault anymore. He was too afraid to be a failure in his new life. Because, it’s not, as he tells his father, his approval he needed, but Jake needed to accept who he is, who he was hiding before he became a Librarian. And really, the only way for him to truly do that was to return home like he has to for this adventure.
“The Librarians” season 2 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on TNT. What did you think of episode 3 “And What Lies Beneath the Stones”?