The Librarians: And the Christmas Thief, And the Silver Screen
Original air date: December 20th, 2017
In the spirit of the holidays we were once again gifted with two episodes of The Librarians. The first, And the Christmas Thief, is a Christmas themed episode in which we get to meet Ezekiel’s mom, (Gia Carides) and the patron saint of thieves (Steven Weber). The episode, directed by Noah Wyle and written by Nicole Ranadive, hits on all the holiday notes—from religious mythos, to Charles Dickens, to ugly sweaters, creating a fun holiday outing for the series. The only thing missing was Santa himself (Bruce Campbell).
Okay, fun mythology time—the New Testament gave a backstory to two lesser known characters: Dismas and Gestas. Both were thieves and Mary and Joseph, while fleeing King Herod, encountered them in their travels. Gestas wanted to rob them, but Dismas stopped him, thus Dismas became the good thief (Gestas, the bad thief) and sometime later, became he the patron saint of thieves. Technically his feast day is March 25th, (Which is closer to Jesus’ actual birth, but I digress) Also, his name rhymes with Christmas, so there’s that. In And the Christmas Thief, he happens to be the brother St. Nick, aka Santa, and is also the patron saint of repentant thieves.
In this episode, the patron saint of thieves wants Santa’s sleigh so he can destroy it and claim the holiday as his own—and due to Ezekiel’s mom’s antics, it falls right into his hands. With the help of the other Librarians and Jenkins, the sleigh is finagled away from PSOT, and returned to the Library for safe keeping. At the heart of the episode is Ezekiel’s relationship with his mom.
She doesn’t know that Ezekiel Jones is a legend among thieves; she thinks he sucks at thieving. She and his adopted sisters make fun of him tirelessly, and when he presents a non-stolen gift to her for Thankakiing, well that is just icing on their ridicule cake. Ezekiel wants his mom’s approval, so much so, that he takes her to the Library. She is suitably impressed with the globe that opens a door anywhere and snatches it. That prompts the whole sleigh debacle, but in the end (and in the spirit of the season) she learns from Ezekiel how much more rewarding giving, rather than taking, can be. She also learns how great her son is (not just as a thief), but as a Librarian.
Seeing a peek into Ezekiel’s home life was a great way to develop his character more. We see his need for approval; we can see why he worked so hard at becoming a master thief, and why he works hard at being a Librarian. Gia Carides was great as his mom. I loved her and his sisters. I would like to see more of them– it would be fun if his sisters got mixed up in some Library shenanigans. As it was, they were great as comic relief and I loved Cassandra as the “ghost of Christmas future”.
In the second of our Librarian double-feature, our Librarians take a go at the Silver Screen. I loved this episode, which considering I’m a sucker for holiday themed anything, is saying quite a bit. And the Silver Screen, directed by Jonathan Frakes and written by Noah Wyle, brings to life some old Hollywood Glamour. We get a taste of Film Noir, Westerns, and some cheesy Sci-fi. I will admit, I watched this episode over again before writing my review, and when I’m done, I’ll probably watch it again. This episode is on it’s way of becoming my favorite episode! I will also freely admit that I even cried at the end (happy tears), but tears nonetheless.
Looking to spend some time away from their Library duties, Eve and Flynn go out on a date night to see a James Desmond Wheeler retrospect. It’s a fictional movie writer and director, whose career spanned from 30’s Noir to 60’s Sci-Fi. Due to some ley lines in LA and movie memorabilia, a new artifact is created, transporting Eve and Flynn into the movie they are watching.
The Found, the Lost, and the Looking, a Sam Spade like movie, has Flynn as private detective Mac Doyle and Eve as his assistant Kitty. I just loved this, I loved the lighting—the play of shadow and dark, I loved the noir feel, but how it stayed true to the style of The Librarians. Most of all, I love how the gender standards of the films of old were called out. Mac Doyle seemed impervious to pain—Flynn as Mac, not so much. He freely admits that he was in pain, that he didn’t want to get beat up, and fully acknowledged that Eve usually took on the more physical aspects of their job. Eve couldn’t take on her position of Guardian because they had to follow the storylines of the movie to get out.
However, the movie’s ending wasn’t the original. Turns out Wheeler didn’t write the Mac Doyle movies– it was Elenore Darnell (Margaret Avery). Not only did they collaborate on the films, but in private as well. Movie theater owner and daughter to Wheeler, Jade Wells (Gloria Reuben) is really her daughter with Wheeler. Wheeler and his wife adopted her to save themselves (and Elenore) from scandal. The end of the movie has a mother reunited with her daughter; it was Elenore’s plea to Wheeler. Once solved to its original conclusion, Flynn and Eve are free as Elenore and Jade are reunited.
While Eve and Flynn are gumshoeing, the other Librarians take their turn in a couple other Wheeler movies. Chaps in Chaps, reminiscent to Bob Hope’s Pale Face, sees Jake, Ezekiel and Cassandra in a Technicolor musical-western extravaganza. The costuming, the color, the music… all were just perfect. I think they should have Christian Kane (Jake) sing in every episode– that’s my two-cents. Amidst a shootout, they escape from the western only to end up in Brain Robbers from Planet Alpha-Zenon Six (Think Plan 9 from Outer Space). I imagine if ever I were transported into one of my favorite movies, I would have the same giddy expression as Cassandra. She looked like she was enjoying every second of her role. I don’t know, that artifact might be one I would be tempted to use.
My only worry is we get so few episodes in a season, I feel these back to back episodes are going to make this season go too fast. I’m all for a good binge watch of my favorite shows, but I also would like to savor the season, take my time—time spent with these characters always goes to fast and I’m afraid the doubling up of episodes marks the end of the series. I hope I’m wrong, maybe TNT is just in the giving mood—I hope they are like Dismas and not Gestas.