TNT’s The Librarians And the Sword in the Stone TV Show Review. The Librarians: Season 1, Episode 2: And the Sword in the Stone, picks up where we left off at the end of episode 1, with Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) stretched across the floor bleeding. King Arthurs crown and Excalibur both stolen by The Serpent Brotherhood.
Usually a two-hour premiere suggests a new show that will come out the gate sizzling. I have to admit episode 1 was very soft. Even with a light family show like this, the importance of good writing and good acting are crucial. We left episode 1 without properly seeing Eve Baird (Rebecca Rominj) make the adjustments and have a real reason to go along for the ride. Maybe that’s another reason why she still feels disconnected from this show in episode 2. The Librarian movies that this show is based on suffered from the same kind of cheesy acting and very basic plots. The new recruits also suffer from the same issues. I think this 2-hour premiere would have been better served taking the time and building up the team we are supposed to suspend our disbelief with once a week. So far I don’t care about any of the characters.
Flynn, after being stabbed with a sword is about to be finished off and Eve saves him…by using an old Three Stooges gimmick. Yes, the double head butt move where two men pass out from a forced head collision. I knew the choreography was going to be bad but this isn’t even funny. I was hoping Eve’s character would pick up steam but she is still as stiff as she was in the first episode. When Flynn gets back to his feet he begins a funny little dance. A sword with magic impaled him and the wound won’t heal, so why is his overall condition not consistent? He collapsed to the floor one minute and is running like he has no wound in the next. Continuity is important…even in a lighthearted show.
With Flynn seriously wounded and the team locked out of the library, the sense of urgency was amazingly low. If this is going to be the pattern of how each episode will deal with danger/conflict…there is going to be trouble. We are already dealing with the fact that the new recruits never really sold the need or desire to join in the first place. Jenkin’s (John Larroquette) is known for making a scene pop. His introduction during a crisis was about as exciting as a car chase at super slow speed.
Lamia (Lesly-Ann Brandt) is second in command of the Serpent Brotherhood and she has already lost all of her cred. The bar fight was poorly executed and her acting left a lot to be desired. She is supposed to be a very dangerous player in this comedic game of chess but keeps coming off like a cliché. The library is infiltrated and she takes not only King Arthurs Crown, she takes Excalibur too. We can forgive Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) for helping Lamia but we cannot forgive Lamia. She impales Flynn and just like a move from a 70’s show…she allows him to live. This move is far too overused and is the butt of many jokes. I would expect a little more creativity from a writing team that has been in the game as long as these professionals have.
Staged or staged? One of the other issues with what has unfolded thus far is the overwhelming feeling of being on a stage. The green screen shots are in abundance, which makes most of the scenes feel small. I hope in future episodes more care is given to sell these shots. The show sells adventure in the trailers with a capital “A” but delivers on a lowercase basis.
After watching Eve’s character give Flynn an uncharacteristic motivational speech, the anticipated showdown takes place…on a set that looks like something from an elementary school play. The Karate kid moment where Flynn uses Eve’s motivation to win the day falls flat and once again matters are wrapped up too easy. The bar on this ride has to be raised. The Serpent Brotherhood is defeated for now but some magic escapes into the world. We could have arrived here with a more creative journey and the new recruits being more believable. As it stands, the team is locked out of the library and Flynn has to leave Eve to babysit the new recruits. She has barely sold us that she is really in and needs to show more motivation for her characters issues. What’s missing is…proper development. Even the final kiss between Flynn and Eve comes out of left field. If the tension between them is going down that road, then it should be played up. Right now I didn’t buy it because it felt forced and wasn’t set up from jump. There should have been a gradual build up where Eve sees things in Flynn she admires or is attracted to and we see it as well. We are two episodes in and magic has been unleashed upon the world. For some reason none of the characters on the show sells us on how significant this truly is. Can this ship be turned around before it’s too late?
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