“Because magic.” As always is the case with “The Librarians,” that’s an apt way to describe the Sunday, Dec. 13 episode, 2×08, “And the Point of Salvation.” The hour clearly belongs to John Kim (and his character Ezekiel), as the series does what it does best and gives a unique take on a concept, this time, what seems to be a time loop at first, but is just the beginning of the danger. Plus, on the Prospero side of things, by episode’s end, Jenkins realizes too late what’s about to happen.
As previously stated, Kim owns this episode, which manages to take his character through possibly the greatest character development of the show thus far and then, like a time loop does, reset things in a way that isn’t annoying and instead works, not only for the series but for Ezekiel as well. Just like the rest of the season so far, “And the Point of Salvation” is a fun episode – but with an upgrade. Time loops have been done before; Ezekiel even names names – “Groundhog Day,” “Star Trek,” “The X-Files” and “Buffy” (and throw in “Supernatural,” especially with the reset once someone dies). So instead, what “The Librarians” does is play with the concept of a time loop for a bit before taking what, once it’s revealed, seems to be a natural spin on it when Ezekiel realizes what’s really going on.
“Maybe something something magic” is how Ezekiel describes the reason why he’s the only one who remembers what’s going on in what they think – at that point – is a time loop, and “because magic” is probably the easiest way to describe exactly what is happening. Put simply, due to a quantum computing overload and a stone from Atlantis, things are going haywire on a military base, leading to the Librarians and their Guardian facing rage people, resets, locks not working like they should and the like. Time after time, Ezekiel has to watch his friends die, becoming less like the Ezekiel Jones everyone knows and loves and more like the Ezekiel Jones that this reality is shaping him into: a hero.
Each time someone dies, they’re back at the beginning, coming through the door and the door no longer there to bring them back to the Annex, and each time, Ezekiel has to explain they’re in a loop and go through the same steps over and over, learning more and more and getting more and more tired of watching the others die over and over. It’s at this point, when he seems so defeated and so angry – taking his rage out on the objects around him that he figures out what’s really going on. Hitting a case with a crowbar doesn’t smash it to pieces like it should; instead, it reveals the health pack concealed. They’re in a video game. It’s that health pack he uses after another reset to prove what’s going on to the others after he shoots Jake in the leg.
However, however cool that may seem, it doesn’t change the fact that nothing changes for Ezekiel. He’s still the only one who remembers, and now, he knows why: he’s the player because he was the first one through the door, and this is an escort mission, meaning he has to get the others to safety. And so instead of watching them die again and again, he chooses to lock them up in a room and only use them when necessary – for help with engineering from Jake, with physics from Cassandra and fighting from Eve. He eve admits that he’s stopped counting how many times the “level” has reset to Eve after she tells him a story he’s already heard before.
It’s when he uses a quote from Robert Frost that Jake mentioned in the beginning – “the best way out is always through” – that he realizes he needs to get out of the level and climbs over the obstacle and jumps down to safety, only to realize that the game is crashing. And, of course, there’s another reset, so he has to deal with the others still thinking of him like he was before all of this as their world is crashing down around them. They won’t take him seriously because they think he’s him, the irresponsible little brother, he realizes, but all those resets were good for something: little tidbits about each of them he can use to make them see that he has changed, that he’s not the same Ezekiel they think he is. That makes him the one in charge this time, guiding them through the video game level and completing his mission as the player in the game – getting them to safety – at the expense of his own life.
Or so he thinks. Instead, the others figure out a way to restart the game and bring him – and the others in the base – back, but it resets them to how they were before the video game took over reality. And that means that Ezekiel is “an unsaved game,” back to being completely awesome, and with no memory of being the hero that worked so hard to save them all. But that’s the way it has to be, right? It just wouldn’t be the same without Ezekiel Jones being Ezekiel Jones.
Meanwhile, Jenkins seeks answers about Prospero from a fae, and when the fae returns with those answers, he finds out that Prospero’s plan is to remove the heroes before he rules this world. How? When? Well, at that point, Jenkins can only get one answer, and when he chooses the latter, he gets it at the same time that it happens: now. Realizing it’s a trap, he runs to stop the other from going through the door, but it’s too late. Why go there, he wonders, but then the plan set in motion reaches him, and instead of worrying about those missing, he’s going about like nothing’s wrong. As for what Prospero has done, well, that’s the story for the next adventure.
“The Librarians” season 2 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on TNT. What did you think of episode 8 “And the Point of Salvation”?