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'The Librarians' recap: Fruit from the poisoned tree

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “And the Apple of Discord” | Aired Dec 28, 2014

Tonight, the Librarians demonstrate their improved ability to work as a team to a returned Flynn. They also discover the worst versions of themselves, which nearly destroys the world. Eve and Flynn jockey for leadership. And Ezekiel finally realizes why he, of all people, was chosen to be a Librarian. Also, DRAGONS! Kinda.

Seismic catastrophes are erupting all over the world—two in Japan!—and the Librarians scurry around the Annex to pinpoint exactly what’s causing the ruckus. This historiographical melee is interrupted by the rattling of the Door of Wonders. Ezekiel ducks under the desk. Eve grabs her gun. Jake grabs a sword. Cassandra … picks up a book. Hey, it’s a really heavy book!

The Librarians turn toward the Door of WondersFlynn is back! And dressed like the Gorton’s Fisherman, thanks to a dragon-created typhoon in Japan. He’s also surprised (if happy) to see all the Potentials still alive and well. The earthquakes, he explains, are the pissed-off dragons waking up to wreak all the havoc that can be wreaked. There’s also this 3,000-year-old blood feud between Eastern and Western dragons, which Flynn and Jenkins depict as being like the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the late 1990s. Word up.

Flynn in a rain hat

Flynn immediately assumes command, which puts Eve in a twist, as she’s been leading quite well in his absence, thank you very much. His heavy-handed return undermines her authority and upsets the Librarians’ well-oiled apple cart. Heh. Perfect pun is perfect.

Flynn is more concerned with the imminent arrival of the Eastern dragon representative, Mr. Drake, while Ezekiel is all about his delayed pizza delivery. But when the doorbell rings, it’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno. Mr. Drake and Flynn are too late to stop a clueless Ezekiel from inadvertently claiming to be the Library’s arbiter and invoking an intercession of dragons. All this time as a Librarian, and this kid hasn’t learned when to keep his mouth shut yet?

Mr. Drake accuses the Western dragons of stealing the Eastern dragons’ mystic pearl of Zhao. If they don’t get it back in 24 hours, the wreaking of havoc will commence. Leaving Ezekiel with Jenkins as his consigliere, Flynn, Eve, Jake, and Cassandra head to the last known lair of the western dragons—the Vatican. Cassandra starts her synesthesia spiral, but Jake brings her back from the brink. It’s particularly touching that Jake talks her down given last week’s conversation about trust and the lack thereof. Flynn is impressed as Eve explains they’ve been helping Cassandra control her spells. Cassandra hopscotches through a Fibonacci sequence in the stones, but she needs Jake’s knowledge of ancient Roman stone masonry to complete the puzzle and reveal the secret entrance. Yay for teamwork!

Thanks to more clueless and flippant fumbling from Ezekiel, the arbitration has become a conclave—a UN for the supernatural over which the arbiter presides. Cue the arrival of representatives from the Jinn, the Fae, the Iron Kingdom, and the Giants. Jenkins’ stewing resentment over the invasion of his Annex by the subpar Librarian pretenders finally unravels. Dulaque’s unwelcome arrival at the conclave is the final straw: Jenkins abandons ship. Ezekiel manages to shame him into returning, but not before Jenkins reveals that he once made the deliberate choice to align with good, a choice that brought a little hope and a lot of blood. Disillusioned, he came to the Annex to hide and do his work, but the arrival of the Librarians has unwillingly put him back on the front lines. Poor Jenkins. Together, he and Ezekiel bog the conclave down in red tape to hold off a vote of no confidence.

Ezekiel arbitrates the conclave

Beneath the Vatican is a treasure room with three Chinese boxes, each holding a pearl. And also a booby trap of flying arrows that shoot whenever someone speaks. All the Librarians have to do is walk silently through the room, right? Too easy. Instead, Flynn grabs a shield and charges in, shouting as a distraction, while Jake puzzles out which box holds the pearl of great price. But Jake goes all righteous art defender the moment he touches the pearl. Inside is hidden the Apple of Discord, created by the goddess Erys to wreak havoc by bringing out the worst version of its holder. Is there anyone in this ep who isn’t wreaking havoc?

The others stumble upon a half-asleep dragon … or at least its eye. The dragon reveals (in Latin) that the Western dragons didn’t steal the pearl. See? Latin is a dragon language, not a dead language. Since dragons can’t lie, this means they’re being framed for the theft.

The apple makes Jake rail over unappreciated and misaligned art, which goes over at the Vatican museum about as well as you’d expect. For Cassandra, possessing the apple brings first a change in wardrobe, then a deadly ability to apply physics in hand-to-hand combat with the inexplicably present Lamia. Finally, the apple makes Cassandra overload a power plant to drag all of Europe back to the Dark Ages, just because she can. It’s always the not-so-quiet ones …

CassandraOnce they trick Cassandra out of the apple, Flynn and Eve grab it at the same time bringing out first their shared ambition to rule the world, then a fierce competition to be the one in charge. Flynn triumphs (with an assist from a frustrated Lamia). Apple in hand, he gets his God complex on and charges back to the Annex just as Dulaque calls for a vote to end the Library. Flynn rails over the responsibility he’s borne for so long, but before he can fully unleash the old take-over-the-world ploy, Ezekiel picks his pocket and relieves him of the Apple of Discord. Flynn changes course mid-tirade and sways all parties back to agreeing on the necessity of the Library and, by extension, the Librarians. Despite the collective fear of what would happen should Ezekiel get the apple, nothing happens—because Ezekiel is already the worst version of himself and perfectly happy being it.

It’s Ezekiel who figures out Mr. Drake stole the pearl/apple from his own dragons in the first place, which handily resolves the whole wreaking havoc threat. With the conclave closed, Fin presents Eve with the transfer papers to make her position as Guardian permanent. He praises how far the Librarians have come since he left, thanks to her leadership. Eve signs the papers, but insists Flynn finish his mission to find the missing Library. Exeunt Flynn.


Quippy Goodness:

Jenkins to Flynn: Did you come to take them away? I keep their bags packed.

Jenkins: As Eric B and Rakim so aptly flowed, “I’m paid in full.”

Cassandra to Jenkins: He’s a dragon in a man costume?
Jenkins: He is a lawyer.

Flynn: I’m not processing papal possibilities while we peruse the perimeter looking for puzzles. What am I saying?!

Eve: If dragons can’t lie, someone is framing the Western dragons. See? The things that come out of my mouth don’t even bother me anymore.

Flynn: Little criticism? Since I’ve been back, the Librarians seem kind of evil.

Flynn: Hate the apple, not the Librarian.

The Librarians airs Sunday nights at 8/7C 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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