Anyone else feel like The Librarians could have focused on standalone episodes this season and been better off? “And the Final Curtain” did nothing to justify Prospero’s existence as a villain and was really an excuse to travel through time and meet Shakespeare.

Spoilers...

If nothing else, season two of The Librarians proved that you don’t always need a Big Bad to make a show work. If all of Prospero’s parts of this season were excised from the show, what would we have lost? Not much, since pretty much every plot on this show can be justified with “magic.” They even have the characters say that.

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The plot of “And the Final Curtain” is that Baird and Flynn go back in time to stop Prospero from taking over the world. Only they find out that Shakespeare’s not writing The Tempest, he’s writing The Triumph of Prospero, which will bring the character to life and give him unchecked power. In the present, Jenkins, Cassandra, Jake, and Ezekiel find clues that Baird and Flynn left them from the past. This allows them to defeat Prospero but also strands Baird and Flynn in the past.

Also, Moriarty dies. Which I would have cared about more if the character had been developed at all, rather than just flirting with Eve all season. And not being particularly cunning or smart like Moriarty should be.

I also did not care that much if Baird and Flynn stayed stranded in the past. They have always been the weakest characters in this team. The development of Stone’s art and history credibility, Cassandra’s “mathemagics,” and Ezekiel’s tiny conscience and far more compelling than Baird and Flynn’s relationship. I groaned when they showed up in the frozen kiss statue at the end. Leave them in the past. I would have rather seen the team struggle forward without them. That would have been an interesting development for season three.

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As always, The Librarians has more than enough to engage the audience. Eve’s reaction to the smell of the past—which is definitely the first thing a modern person would notice—is great. “Like if bad ham drank burnt coffee and then jogged five miles in old underwear it never took off ever,” is very evocative of a stench. So was her running gag about hating all the paradoxes of time travel.

As usual, Jenkins stole the show by reminiscing about what it might be like to see his old friend King Arthur again. John Larroquette was so good in this scene, I wish the prophecy had meant Arthur. (It was Flynn who would wield Excalibur again. Of course. Much less interesting.)

We already know we’ve got another season coming, and I’m hoping they ditch the idea of having a single villain for it. The Librarians is a fun show. At its heart, it’s one where character arcs are more important than single plot arcs. So let’s focus on that next season.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.