This episode cemented more than anything that this show's true hero is John Larroquette. Both the actor and his character. Seriously, no one is funnier on this show than Larroquette and this week we learned that he's the Big Good to Matt Frewer's Big Bad. There are worse people to rest your show on, I guess.
The specific plot points of this episode are far less interesting than the character bits so, in the style of Dulaque's villain speech from last week, here it is:
Blah, blah, blah, Flynn's back and he's still rocking that "Professor on speed" vibe.
Blah, blah, dragons, blah, blah, disguised as a human for budget reasons
Blah, blah, blah, stolen apple of discord, blah, blah, Vatican, blah, blah evil Cassandra
The whole "apple of discord" thing is really just a way to get everyone but Ezekiel and Jenkins out of the way for the true plot to take place. Angry dragons call a meeting of the council of magical beings, or whatever, in order to deal with the stolen apple (hidden in a pearl) and Ezekiel accidentally answers the door and — he thinks it's his pizza — and ends up speaking for the Library. Yes, the diplomatic face of the library in this episode is Ezekiel. Thankfully, he gets to pick a counsel, Jenkins, while the rest of the team goes looking for the apple.
This is them acting out "Jenkins" for Ezekiel, by the way.
In terms of Larroquette being the best thing in this show, we get a lot of that in the beginning of the episode, where he's delivering one-liners in a way that makes comedy look so, so easy. Damn him. In particular, the way he says to Noah Wyle's Flynn, "Did you come to take them away? I keep their bags packed" and his dissertation on how dragon fractions are like rappers were amazing.
In terms of Jenkins being the hero, this whole episode turns on his character development. He's the grumpy old man who doesn't want these people in his annex, where he was peacefully doing research away from the action. He particularly — although I will admit it seemed to be just for this episode, since they haven't really interacted much before — dislikes Ezekiel, the thief with lacking morals.
So the two are paired for the magic creatures conclave, where Ezekiel proves surprisingly adept at dealing with the various petitions and grievances of the parties. However, Dulaque shows up and calls for a vote of no confidence and close the library. Jenkins is fed up with this whole thing, packs a bag, and just leaves. Ezekiel catches him leaving, and tells him that he's a coward and he has to choose between actually helping or being completely removed. He's been lecturing them, and calling them idiots, but he's still given them answers. He needs to either choose the team or choose his research, and not just swan about the outside.
Jenkins comes back, uses his knowledge of rules and procedures to delay the vote, and that's when Flynn come bursting in with the apple of discord, angrily ranting about the Library and all they do and how no one cares — the apple makes you the worst version of yourself. Which, for Flynn, isn't too dissimilar from his normal self. Just hyper-angry instead of hyper-happy.
Jenkins and Ezekiel use their new found sympatico to team up to get the apple back — Jenkins distracting Flynn and Ezekiel stealing the apple. Flynn gives a speech about how awesome the Library is and the vote is defeated.
But here are the two most interesting bits of the show. First, the speech Jenkins gives when he's accused of being a coward:
I did choose. Once. I chose a side in a very complicated... I chose. No good came of it. And over the years, I chose again and again. Each time, a little hop lots of blood. And nothing really changed. I finally learned my lesson. And I came here just to do my work alone. Because, why choose? Nothing, oh god, nothing ever changes.
And then, as Dulaque is leaving, he and Jenkins have this exchange:
Dulaque: It's not too late you know, you can still join me.
Jenkins: The conclave is over Mr. Dulaque
Dulaque: Of course, our sides have always been chosen for us, haven't they?
Jenkins: No, we choose. a thousand years ago, you know that very moment when you and I stopped being whatever we were.
Dulaque:If I hadn't tried, I'd actually be the monster you think I am. Travel well
So: A) Jenkins and Dulaque are clearly older than they look and have been stuck on different sides for a long time (Jenkins leaving? Now means something more than what Ezekiel thought. Kudos to the writers for hinting at it with him saying that "You can't blame me for leaving that situation ... you have no idea —) B) I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. I assumed Dulaque was a Lancelot reference, but who does that make Jenkins? Is it Arthur? But that last talk doesn't line up too much with Arthurian legend.
"Whatever we were" — friends? brothers? lovers? I DEMAND ANSWERS. This is the most intriguing that this show has been yet, and Larroquette sells the pain in Jenkins as he talks to Dulaque.
This show improves by leaps and bounds every episode. The comedy keeps landing and there's actually some character development taking place. The rest of the team was actually pretty funny with the apple of discord hunt and I'm kind of in love with Lamia, who had no idea what on Earth was up with the evil Librarians. Also, her running flirtation with Stone, while people remind him that she tried to kill them all, is growing on me.
But. Stop trying to make Baird and Flynn happen, writers. It's never going to happen.
In conclusion, here's the greatest villain shot ever produced: