Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Librarians and the Eternal Question – review

Directed by: Noah Wyle

First aired: 2017

Contains spoilers

It was probably inevitable, as the third Librarian film - the Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice - was concerned with vampires, that the spin-off the Librarians TV series would feature a vampire episode.

This occurred in Season 3, episode 8 and – having only watched the third film and none of the series before this – my review is really a test of the vampire element in a standalone sense. However for those as uninitiated as myself the Librarians are a group chosen by the library to be guardians of its artefacts as well as to solve mysteries, repel supernatural threats and recover other artefacts.

golfer starts smoking
The episode begins with a golfer in an amateur competition, who seems to be sweating but is doing well (and suggests to his wife that he is cured now). Suddenly he starts to smoke and then spontaneously combusts, reduced to ashes in seconds. The team got to hear of this and so, whilst Eve (Rebecca Romijn, Adventure Time: Stakes) and Flynn (Noah Wyle) are side-lined, other team member Cassandra (Lindy Booth, Relic Hunter: Possessed & Teenage Space Vampires) goes off to see a professor who knows about spontaneous combustion and Jake (Christian Kane, Angel) and Ezekiel (John Harlan Kim) go to interview the wife.

Ezekiel and Jake
It turns out that Cassandra has lied, she has gone to see a specialist as she is expecting results about a tumour – and the news isn’t good, even though she refuses treatment. Jake and Ezekiel speak to the wife and, when a curtain is opened, she too spontaneously combusts. However, she has told them that they had been to a spa where her husband’s cancer had been miraculously cured so the three Librarians check out the spa whilst Jenkins (John Larroquette), the Annex’s caretaker, tests the remains of the wife. He discovers her remains are vampire and the team find a spa run by vampires.

Clara Lago as Estelle
The essence of the story then revolves around a family of Spanish vampires who came to the area when their mother Sofia (Norma Maldonado) decided to meet the sun in that place. The sun did not kill her and eventually they developed a sanctuary for vampires (the staff) and humans (unaware guests who are terminally ill and given respite by being given a little vampire blood). There is a claim that they take just a little of the guests’ blood but don’t explain how the guests don’t notice this. Later there is a claim of having fed – presumably they meant a “full meal”. The daughter, Estrella (Clara Lago), has told Cassandra of the strange rock that permeates the grounds and this turns out to be a meteorite that is key to the daywalking.

fast moving
Whilst mother and daughter are good vampires, there is something rotten at the core of the spa as guests are being experimented on in order that the villain(s) might discover the secret of daywalking and leave the place. Presumably whatever lets them walk in the sun suppresses hunger to a greater or lesser degree, as they are turning guests as part of the experiment and those turned don’t seem to have a clue. How other vampire traits remain hidden from the guests is not answered, given that the team quickly notice a lack of reflection and the vampires demonstrate super strength and speed.

Despite this enhanced physicality mortals can, apparently, battle with them and hold them off – knuckle to knuckle. Beheading and stabbing/staking the heart also kills vampires. The same sparky death effects are used for fast moving effects. There is reference to the film and Flynn’s relationship to the vampiress in that vehicle. So – does it work as a standalone? To be honest, it was ok to watch but the vampire story was somewhat lost within the Cassandra dying (and being offered immortality) side-story. This is probably great for a fan of the series as a wider arc but it meant that the detail and plot around the standalone story was scant – leading to continuity issues like turned guests not knowing they are vampires.

As a standalone episode, 4.5 out of 10 is probably generous. The imdb page is here.

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