"And the Crown of King Arthur" is the first episode of the first season of The Librarians, and the first section of the two-part series premiere. It aired on December 7, 2014.
Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) is an expert at everything, including showing up at inopportune, if essential, moments. Like now, in Berlin, where Colonel Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn) of the NATO counterterrorism unit has just led a commando squad into a warehouse in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. That’s always a good time. Eve’s in a tense standstill with terrorists, complete with ticking time bomb. That doesn’t faze Flynn’s pursuit of the Opal of Samara, recovered by the Teutonic Knights during the Third Crusade, stolen by the Nazi Occult Division (hate those guys), and, as Flynn quickly discovers, still locked in a magical safe. Dangerous and valuable, the opal summons demons but doesn’t control them. “That’s demonologists for you,” Flynn chides. “Careless. Homicidal.” Flynn, have you met Constantine?
Using a tuning fork, Flynn unlocks the magical safe, which sets off a trap he has three minutes to dissolve before all the corpses in the area turn into zombies. Nazi zombies? Handily, that’s also the time left on the ticking bomb. Flynn helps Eve defuse the bomb (under gunfire) and disarms the magical safe’s booby trap with the exact same numeric code based on the Stations of the Cross. Huzzah!
Back in the States, there’s a man who is desperate to speak with Flynn but he’s murdered first in The Library’s foyer by a mysterious man (Matt Frewer), doing a credible impersonation of Colonel Toht.
There’s a fancy shmancy invitation waiting for Eve at home for a job interview at The Library, where Charlene (Jane Curtin) explains that Eve will be Guardian to Flynn’s Librarian, the brawn to his brain. I don’t care how much CGI it uses; I am a book and history nerd, and that pan of The Library gives me full-on chills.
Flynn makes his entrance in full Errol Flynn mode, parrying with Excalibur. When the sword tries to kill Eve, she’s told that wounds from the sword never heal. Flynn, of course, protests Eve being hired as his guardian, even though librarians are only replaced when they die. Though don’t worry about Judson, the First Librarian (Bob Newhart). His spirit lives on, literally, as it’s embedded in the standing mirror in Flynn’s study.
Flynn’s investigating the murder of noted archaeologist Dr. Jonas Sheir (in the foyer with the knife). When he discovers that Shier was an alternate candidate for The Librarian position ten years ago, when Flynn got the job, he and Eve realize that someone’s killing librarian potentials. Flynn and Eve need to track down the ones who didn’t show up.
First stop: New York, where they find Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth). Cassandra is a genius who has a condition called synesthesia that produces auditory and sensory hallucinations linked to memory retrieval. Numbers appear as colors, science as musical notes, and math as scents…mostly food.
Flynn and Eve split up to retrieve the next two potentials. He warns her to be ready for anything. “Ninjas, possibly.” Eve: “Ninjas? In Oklahoma?”
At a museum in Geneva, Flynn retrieves Master Thief Ezekiel Jones (John Kim). Flynn: “Come to New York. Find out why people are trying to kill you.” Good sales pitch.
At a bar in Oklahoma sits oil rigger and expert art historian Jacob Stone (Christian Kane), who speaks fluent Italian and goes to church, and whose attempt to chat up the beautiful Lamia (Lesley-Ann Brandt) ends in a bar fight just as Eve arrives. Jake: “Who are these guys?” Eve: “Ninjas? Possibly?” Jake: “In Oklahoma?!” Snort.
Flynn gives the new recruits the 10-cent tour and basic breakdown of The Library and its greatest hits. My favorite was The Judas Chalice. New Orleans, man. See, magic once traveled along the planet’s ley lines. Over the centuries, it’s been drained and stored in artifacts like Excalibur. As magic fades, The Librarians make sure any lingering power stays out of the wrong hands. Like Nazis. Hate those guys.
Alas, this time it’s the evil Serpent Brotherhood, led by Lamia, who want the Crown of King Arthur, forged by Merlin, to help Arthur control the magic he used to build Camelot—as depicted in the painting the dead Dr. Sheir wanted to give to Flynn. The Brotherhood want magic back in the world but need the crown to control it, because a world of wild magic will bring chaos and suffering. We definitely don’t want that.
Off to the Munich museum, where the original painting is on display! While Eve fights off The Brotherhood, the rest use their unique talents to determine that the painting’s a fake. A binary code embedded its frame gives coordinates that lead to a sundial with Celtic directions, which points them to the Black Forest. Got all that?
In the forest is a henge. In the henge is a hidden cache. In the hidden cache is the crown of King Arthur. Cassandra does the math in seconds (after scent of oranges and breakfast) and they recreate the solstice sunlight effect to reveal the hidden cache. Flynn jury-rigs a welding torch from an oxygen tank and some prosciutto stuffed into a cucumber and leaves Jake and Cassandra to it. Eve holds off the Brotherhood while Flynn engages Lamia and her samurai sword in a duel with a crow bar and Ezekiel rigs the chopper to explode. Helicopter go boom.
Once back at The Library, everyone agrees the potentials did well for their first time out—that is, until The Brotherhood breech The Library, something no one can do unless the magical security is disabled from the inside. Flynn calls “Cal” to arms, and Jake’s inner fanboy squees, “He’s got a flying sword!” as Excalibur wings through the air to Flynn’s hand. But Flynn’s too late to save the crown from Lamia, who’s waiting with Cassandra, the betrayer. “They said they can save me,” she confesses. There’s sword play and fisticuffs until Lamia finally puts the crown on her head.
Together, Charlene and Judson’s spirit in the sky seal the library. With the crown on her head, Lamia controls Excalibur. She turns the sword on Flynn, striking him deep. And wounds from Excalibur never heal…
|"And the Crown of King Arthur" • "And the Sword in the Stone" • "And the Horns of a Dilemma" • "And Santa's Midnight Run" • "And the Apple of Discord" • "And the Fables of Doom" • "And the Rule of Three" • "And the Heart of Darkness" • "And the City of Light" • "And the Loom of Fate"|