And they all lived happily ever after. In a matter of speaking, they do, at the end of the Sunday, Dec. 27 season finale of “The Librarians,” “And the Final Curtain.” Sure, it’s probably just for now, and this is just the ending of one chapter or book of their story (with another to begin with season 3) – and it may have taken a kiss lasting 400 years – but where everyone is at the end of the finale? They’re pretty happy, and they’re ready for more adventures.
Once again, it’s an hour of fun, adventure, fantastical wackiness, teamwork and friendship, as everyone must work together in two different times to stop Prospero’s plan. One of the best parts is the bits here and there about the Library still not being perfectly back in place after the recent troubles – some rooms are still out of whack (upside down, color changes, inside out), and there are plenty of rooms left to uncover and hopefully explore in the future. The season finale even introduces a room that could easily be the focus of an entire episode (the time machine room). And there’s even a reunion that’s been two seasons in the making – between Flynn and Cal, of course.
The point of “The Librarians” is to entertain its fans each week. Sure, at times it can get a bit dark – say, like with the threat of Flynn and Eve being stuck in the past – but there’s always that hope of a magical way to fix things just a commercial break away – in this instance, a magical pen – and it’s one that fits in the narrative without needing to rewrite a magical rule here and there. Does that mean it sometimes feels like things are wrapped up too neatly and easily with a bow? Yes. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
And just like with season 1, season 2 ends with closure to one arc and the promise of more adventures to come, with a bit of change. In this case, it’s Flynn agreeing to stick around, seeing that he doesn’t have to run anymore (which hopefully means more of him in season 3 than the first two seasons), and the team still a team, still with Eve being their Guardian. Sure, there may not be some crazy twists and cliffhangers like there are with other TV shows, but that’s what makes this one a joy to watch; it doesn’t need that. It just needs to continue to be what it is, and as long as it does, it will be successful.
After the tease of a time loop a couple episodes back, temporal loops are mentioned in “And the Final Curtain,” as, upon realizing that the note they had found from 1611 was written by Flynn with his left hand, they get a look at the time machine room – and warned about the dangers of time travel. These time machines have been locked down and taken apart to make sure they never work again. Owners have tried to change history and been caught in temporal loops. The first rule of time travel is to never violate causality; you can’t change a significant event in the past. So in their case, when they travel back in time, they have to grab the Staff of Power, bring it back to the present, use it to stop Prospero, then break it again and return it to the past. Of course, something has to go wrong, and after Even and Flynn travel back in time, their time machine breaks, meaning they have no way of returning home. Cue a scavenger hunt of sorts for Jenkins, Cassandra, Jacob and Ezekiel to follow in order for the group split in time to stop Prospero.
In the past, Flynn and Eve encounter Moriarty, who has his own plan: kill Shakespeare. He’s double-crossing Prospero, but his assassination attempt is stopped by Flynn, who then gets to audition for the author (which would probably have been on the Librarian’s bucket list if he knew it could be) after fanboying upon seeing him. Moments after they realize that there’s something very different about this version of “The Tempest,” written with a magical quill from the Tree of Knowledge – namely, that it’s actually titled “The Triumph of Prospero” – Flynn and Eve witness Shakespeare turn into Prospero and use his Staff to do magic from the plays – turn a man’s head into a donkey, another guy into stone, et. He’s a manifestation of Shakespeare’s id, they realize soon enough, so basically, the author has been possessed by his creation.
In the present, the others find a trunk of items put together for them in the past by Eve and Flynn and figure out quickly enough that they’re meant to perform an exorcism. They do just that, using Shakespeare’s story, and once he’s back to being Shakespeare, the world is safe from his evil plan.
In the past, after Eve has to play mediator when Flynn and Moriarty’s disagreement turns physical and they start slapping at each other, they eventually agree to work together to bring about the end of Prospero’s story, by drowning his book and breaking his staff. Moriarty lures Prospero away with the promise of telling him his future, and Eve manages to get away with the book, but Prospero returns in time to stop Flynn from grabbing his Staff. When Eve is drowning his book, Prospero sends her underwater, but fortunately, there’s the Lady of the Lake to help her, and she emerges with a familiar sword: Excalibur. Once again wielding “Cal,” Flynn is able to break Prospero’s Staff. (However, is Jenkins noting the legend that Arthur would return in a time of need foreshadowing something?)
Though a hole in the timeline opens up for Shakespeare to return to the past through, there’s one problem: Eve and Flynn cannot return to the present. Once the author is back in 1911, the primary paradox is closed. The timeline requires him to live out his life in the past, but it won’t let them return. That means the others must say their goodbyes… but not for long. After all, this is a world where magic is real and a certain writer has a magical pen and has already written about turning people into stone. That’s exactly what he does for Flynn and Eve, so that soon after the others say goodbye to them through the hole in the timeline, they’re led to the locked room in the Library, and with Eve’s name the key to opening its door, they find Flynn and Eve locked in a kiss, the spell broken by Cassandra’s voice and the team is whole once again.
“The Librarians” will be back for a third season on TNT. What did you think of the season 2 finale, “And the Final Curtain”?