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.
At the start of the show, a man is seen running down an office building hallway. Screaming for help he comes upon two figures wearing habits, or grim reaper outfits, and as he pleads for help, something unseen grabs and pulls him out of sight. The two figures, turn and enter an elevator removing the hoods and start talking as the doors close. The three Librarians are in a darkened room and each is taken down by another unseen assailant, each one’s capture is indicative of their personality. Stone goes down fighting, Jones tries to run away, and Cillian attempts to hide, “very badly,” according to Baird who was hunting them all down in a training exercise.
When the group head back to the library, Baird tells Jenkins that the three Librarians are not ready to go on missions after he mentions that another newsclipping has appeared in the book. In this episode, And the Horns of a Dilemma, the group discover a business that is using the Minotaur’s labyrinth from mythology and the creature is killing people. Ezekiel has coined a new phrase for Cassandra’s brain tumor, “a brain grape,” which annoys her no end. Later though she uses the phrase herself.
While this TNT series does make the viewer think of the old Dr. Who sharing similar cheesy effects, for example the Minotaur was much scarier as a large “biker” than in its original form which resembled a dark rug with horns and red eyes, and a certain atmosphere which sort of feels like a Saturday morning kid’s program, it is entertaining and the characters are all likeable. Although John Larroquette is not to everyone’s taste, he fits the role of eccentric “magician/scientist” quite well. His Jenkins is sort of a cross between Mr. Wizard and Yoda without the awkward way of speaking or the very short stature.
This updated ensemble version of the 1999 television series Relic Hunter, which also featured Lindy Booth as Claudia, does makes one think of another ensemble show, based on a true story, show CBS’s Scorpion. While The Librarians are not all high IQ geniuses, although Jake Stone does, his two companions bring elevated/enhanced skills to the table which helps the team solve their Scooby Doo type mysteries, sans the old “you meddling kids” line at the end of the show.
The Librarians: And the Horns of a Dilemma, is still fun television to watch even without the eccentric Noah Wylie character, who really does feel like a sort of American version of the very English Dr. Who, and it is a great little show to have on Sunday night. Considering Sunday’s used to be the home of the Wonderful World of Disney years ago, about the same time as Lawrence Welk, it feels fitting that an adventure show suitable for family viewing has been scheduled on the same night. Well done TNT.
By Michael Smith