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'The Librarians': Follow the brain grape

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “And the Horns of a Dilemma” | Aired Dec 14, 2014

This week on The Librarians, we finally get into the meat of it. Nobody loves Noah Wyle’s adorably nerdy hero Flynn Carsen more than I, but if this show is going to be about the Potentials, we need to see them, ya know, potentializing. Trust is the theme of the night: Eve trusting the Librarians to handle themselves in the field, Cassandra trusting a thief to lead her blindly into the heart of a maze, and Jake reiterating his belief to never trust anyone. Quick! To the stacks!

There’s a Whedonesque feel to tonight’s adventure as a guy in a suit is dragged down the halls of an office by an unseen, growling monster. This is overseen by two figures in black monks’ cloaks who, after the suit has been eaten, casually discuss ordering turkey panini for the next budget meeting. Very Cabin in the Woods. Say, that’s Tricia Helfer decloaking!

Eve has been running the Librarians ragged with field training. They’re chomping at the bit to get out and help people with all the weird that shows up daily in the clippings book. Jenkins is ready to dump them in the deep end and trust that the good ones will learn to swim. He also has his own little workshop tucked in a back room where the elves man the naughty or nice lists. Hey, you don’t know there aren’t any elves back there. It’s a big annex!

The missing-person case Eve finally agrees to takes them to Golden Axe Foods in Boston. The cool part is how the Librarians get to Boston, via a wormhole created by hooking a globe up to the broom-closet door with jumpe r cables. It flipbooks through door options, finally settling on one that leads into Boston’s Back Bay. Nifty. Bet there’s a door that opens in the Louvre …

Golden Axe Foods’ CEO, Karen Willis (Tricia Helfer), is shocked—shocked, she says!—at the news that seven of her interns have gone missing. It might have something to do with the BYOS (Bring Your Own String) magical labyrinth stashed in the basement of their skyscraper, one straight out of Greek mythology that features its very own minotaur and his private room of carefully stacked human skulls.

Jake, Cassandra, and Ezekiel find the skull roomIn her efforts to keep the Librarians safe, Eve inadvertently sends them right into the labyrinth. She orders Jenkins to wormhole a door into the labyrinth, or, as she puts it, “the whosey-flopper whatchamacallit thingamajigy,” which bears no resemblance to the wibbly-wobbley-timey-wimey thing. Jenkins fears he can’t pinpoint them in the middle of a magical maze that exists in more than three dimensions.

Despite bickering with Jake about her previous betrayal, Cassandra figures out the maze’s pattern and leads Jake and Zeke back up to Eve on the HR floor just as the minotaur attacks. At the last minute, Jenkins opens the wormhole and they all dive back into the Library Annex.

All they have to do now is figure out how to destroy the labyrinth. Jenkins posits that the art gallery Eve found in Golden Axe’s server room is used as the focus to create the labyrinth. But the thread (heh) that holds all the magic together comes from the power of the original, millennia-old ball of string. Get the string and the labyrinth collapses in on itself. All they have to do is get past the minotaur, even though seven rounds from Eve’s gun weren’t enough to bring it down. No big.

The Librarians work the case and discover that the terms of the original myth prevail, reinterpreted for the modern age—14 virgins sacrificed every seven years in return for wealth and prosperity translates to 14 interns sacrificed so that Golden Axe Foods may prevail through war, famine, and plague.

The Librarians run from the MinotaurUnfortunately, the labyrinth has expanded to include all of Boston, trapping the Librarians inside—along with the now humanized biker bull minotaur. Eve is all set with a battle plan until Cassandra tersely reminds her they’re Librarians, not soldiers, and they win with what they know.

Cassandra does her thing and figures out the maze is a demihepteract. Duh. She and Ezekiel make for the center of the maze to find the ball of string and pull the plug. Meanwhile, Jake and Eve run with the bull and distract Mister Stompy. But the math overwhelms Cassandra and she has to trust Zeke to be her eyes and lead her to the heart of the maze. They successfully reach the artifact room, where they’re intercepted by Karen Willis … and her gun.

Karen knows they’re not “The” Librarian, but acknowledges there’s definitely more magic in the world given that Golden Axe has been sacrificing to the minotaur for 3,000 years but never saw the likes of their last IPO before. She’s responsible for the modernization of the sacrifices, amortizing them over the course of the year for a better ROI.

Jake and Eve reach the Annex with biker bull hot on their tail. Cassandra leaps at Karen Willis, who fires wildly, shattering the security glass surrounding the ball of thread. Zeke throws the ball into the labyrinth and as it unravels, so does the magic. The maze collapses in on itself. Biker Bull disappears. Like Theseus before them, Zeke and Cassandra use the thread to find their way back to the Annex.

Jenkins promises to find a place to safely store the artifact. May I suggest the workshop? Cassandra tries to make amends with Jake, but he admits to serious trust issues that make him hide his genius from friends and family. Much as he likes Cassandra, he won’t risk her betrayal again. Eve congratulates them all on doing OK their first time out, but admits she has to work on treating them less like a protective detail and more like partners. Ezekiel: “Can you go back to the part where we were awesome?”

Quippy Goodness

Eve to Jenkins: Annoying or cryptic. Those are your two speeds, huh?

Eve: I found something real weird.
Oh, didja? We found something real weird too!
Eve: I found a room full of really old art.
Jake: That is weird. We found a room full of human skulls!
Eve: What do you mean, ‘human skulls’?
Jake: How many different ways can I mean ‘human skulls?!

Jenkins: Here’s everything I have on Minotaurs. Nasty creatures. Hold a grudge.

The Librarians airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on TNT.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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