The Librarians: A Cabin in the Woods

The Librarians on TNT
The Librarians (Photo: TNT)

It’s as close to a bottle episode as The Librarians has come, and it’s a pretty dang good episode to boot.

It’s a double dose of The Librarians, one week in advance of their two part season finale, following not that far after their two part season premiere! Check out the rundown on Sunday night’s first episode first, if you missed it.

The magical, mystical, legend/artifact/thingie:

A haunted house! According to (debated) taxonomy, there are a handful of distinct styles of magical, phantasmagorical buildings out there, but the librarians are dealing with a pretty nasty iteration. There’s no chance of them saving the people already caught inside; they have to focus on saving themselves.

Into which wrong hands might it fall?

It’s already fallen! Turns out that this spectral structure doesn’t seek to harm people – it helps them get what they need. The problem is it was inhabited by a family of serial killers back in the 19th century, and the daughter’s need was to bring about violent death again and again through the years.

Teamwork makes the team work:

It’s nothing but the team and the crazy/evil/veryverybad spirit this week, making for a surprising amount of action and little repetitive talk. Once again, Stone, the art historian, figures out a crucial clue via, well, historical art. This time he’s paired up with Ezekiel in full on slacker mode1 when he puts it together – and it’s cute how Ezekiel once again stumbles across a key piece of information without realizing what he’s found.

The real growth in the team and individual members comes from Baird repeatedly shunting Cassandra aside in an effort, she thinks, to keep at least one of the librarians out of harm’s way. This understandably frustrates Cassandra – who then gets a spectacular, ringing emotional outburst where she reminds everyone that she’s been living with the knowledge that she’ll die well before her time for years now. It was almost too heavy a moment for a family show that generally keeps even its serious moments light, but man did it work. And it laid the groundwork for the closing scenes where all four teammates look to one another and give one another the support they need.

It took The Librarians a little while, but this has become a great team of four (plus one Jenkins) – it’s hard to see any one of them saving the world on their own.

Giddily ridiculous moment of the week:

There were a few moments that made me do a double take2 and the line “This is a 19th century American frontier house! What is it doing in the middle of a Slovakian forest?” is not something I thought would make sense to me at this point in the TV season. But I’ll go with the pretty good teen actress spitting her penultimate line “I am the angel! I am the angel of death!!” with such gusto.

The science checks out:

Broken ley lines means ‘wild magic’, warns Jenkins. ‘Wild Magic’ was also the name of his jam band back in the 90s.

Stone: How are we in the dollhouse?
Ezekiel: This is just a guess mind you but I’m going to say… magic?

Dewey decimal? Do we ever!

While it has touches of Cabin in the Woods and The Ring in its styling and sensibilities, this episode wasn’t a total knock off. On the other hand, Ezekiel looks to be using what amounts to an PKE meter to locate the broken ley lines.

A note to wardrobe: Cassandra’s costumes have become a little on the nose – could we dress her a bit less like the spunky host of a kids tv show?

  1. “I said ‘I wish there was something better to do and boom: Xbox!”  
  2. Bizarrely under-dressed furnishings chief among them. Really, how hard would it have been to hit a thrift store and find something actually worn instead of made vaguely dirty?  

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  • Mary E Brewer

    Great episode of The Librarians with Christian Kane and the rest of the gang!