This could just be me, but there was something missing from this week’s Librarians. It just didn’t seem as tightly packed and plotted as usual. The time between the team getting the assignment and figuring it all out stretched out too long.

Spoilers for “And the Image of Image” follow.

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I will fully admit that part of my general “meh” feeling this week was the twist. In my junior high school days, The Picture of Dorian Gray was my absolute favorite book. And Oscar Wilde was a particular fascination. And I did not feel that this episode added any value to it.

The plot is basically that Cassandra and Jake are in London doing Prospero research, when a girl flies through the air like she’s been hit by a car. Except she hasn’t, another person has. And someone else died from a cocaine overdose with no drugs in his blood work. And so on and so forth. I’m not impressed with how long it takes our brilliant team to figure out that this is what’s happening.

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Other things I’m not impressed with: Why isn’t Cassandra sent home once she’s become magically drunk? It’s awfully convenient that Dorian Gray literally just introduces himself to Cassandra with that name. Dorian’s personality is just ... drab. (Also, he’s not blond. Inexcusable.) And in a season where we’ve been running into fictionals every which way, we’re just making the whole Picture of Dorian Gray a nonfictional story now?

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Plus, I’m not sure I understand this Dorian’s motivations. In the novel, the painting ages and reflects Dorian’s sins. He’s not suddenly immune to hedonistic pursuits. That’s kind of what he lives for. Why did this version create a picture that means he gets none of the effects of drink and drugs? (And, he’s not passing off the negative effects. Cassandra gets drunk not just hungover.) The writers also turn Dorian into the usual “woe is me, mortality is wasted on the mortal” immortal. Dorian’s all about himself, not others. That’s the point.

There were a few moments that reminded me why I love this show. Jenkins, as always, is my forever favorite. Especially when he can’t remember when he was last in Dorian’s club. Jake and Ezekiel’s improvised defibrillator—and the usual banter while they figured it out—was fun. I even liked the way Ezekiel and Cassandra figured out how to defeat Dorian’s enchantment.

I never want to sit through Dorian Gray moralizing about selfies again. At the very least, Dorian talking about narcissism should have been deeply ironic. And it just wasn’t. It felt like an honest opinion of the show. Which was weird and condescending. I love this show, but this was not a strong outing.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.