'The Librarians' Season 2 Finale: Prospero's Fate, Unusual Time Travel and the Surprise Return of [Spoiler]
Spoiler alert! Do not read further if you haven't seen the season finale of The Librarians.
The Librarians’ second season revels may have come to an end for now, but the events of the season finale will have consequences next season.
But first, a brief recap: When Eve (Rebecca Romijn) figured out that Flynn (Noah Wyle) was the Librarian who left the mysterious note from the season premiere, the duo time traveled to the past to the moment Prospero was manifested from Shakespeare's The Tempest, in order to learn how to defeat the wizard in both the past and present. Of course, they ran into the great Bard himself, who as it turned out, had some issues with a magical wooden pen carved from the Tree of Knowledge. Thus, when he read Prospero's monologue out loud from the play, he not only brought the character's spirit to life but it possessed him. Now alive in the past, Prospero summoned references to Shakespeare's other plays before he killed the also-present Moriarty (David S. Lee), attacked Flynn and almost drowned Eve. But the Guardian emerged from the water with none other than—Excalibur!—for Flynn to duel Prospero.
Meanwhile, in the present, Jake (Christian Kane), Cassandra (Lindy Booth) and Ezekiel (John Kim) worked on solving the clues Flynn and Eve left for them from the past, since there was no way to communicate back and forth. Being resourceful, the Librarians quickly found tools for an exorcism, which allowed them to get rid of Prospero's spirit forever. But even though he was vanquished, Flynn and Eve couldn't return to the present via the portal door, forcing them to time travel "the long way round." Trying to cope with the loss, the present-day Librarians went to work at the Library, where they discovered a previously unopenable door with a new inscription. Turned out Flynn and Eve used magic to preserve themselves in the past, time-stamping the spell only to be broken by the Librarians, at the right time. Now all fully reunited, the Librarians (plus Guardian) then focused on dealing with how magic was affecting the larger world.
Speaking about the finale executive producer Dean Devlin said, “These [magical incidents] aren’t isolated things in the world. They’re all somehow related. We began the series when magic was released back into the world. This season we really tried to deal with [the fact that] it’s getting harder and harder to keep the cat in the bag. Next season, the cat's going to be out of the bag. So now what will [the Librarians] do?”Adds co-executive producer John Rogers, the effects of the magical events are part of the show’s five-season plan. “When you look at the end of the five years, you’ll see that we had a very specific arc for the show planned. It’s about the relationship between magic and the rest of the world.”
With so many big magical moments taking place over the course of the hour, we spoke to Devlin and Rogers in more detail about what happened, what's next and how they settled on this season’s villains.
Why did you decide to have Flynn and Eve time travel “the long way round”?
Dean Devlin: We wanted to see how they would all react to the idea that Baird and Flynn weren't going to come back. What does that do to them? Do they splinter? Do they bond even more? We thought it was really important to have a moment where we believe they're not going to come back. As we planted a long time ago, anybody can time travel—just in one direction.
John Rogers: We tried to subvert the [time travel] trope. It's a little crazy that Doctor Who just did their long way round story, right before us, [even though] we wrote and shot our episode months before that thing aired! Any writers who play around with time travel are going to wind up examining the same issues. [But] a lot of it was just walking through the portal wasn't a solve. It's not something they did. At the end of day, the most important thing of The Librarians is that the characters are proactive, and we show why and how they solve problems. We wanted to give them a nice, clever solve that also, for one last time, checked in with Shakespeare's tradition of magic in his plays.
Last season we had the big Galahad reveal. In this episode, we saw the Lady of the Lake and Excalibur come back. Why another Arthurian reference?
Rogers: It’s not so much another Arthurian reference as it’s a re-balancing going into next year. To a great degree [it’s about] Flynn’s open emotional state [regading] where he belongs in the Library and in the mythos of the Library. Noah, in particular, is very fond of Excalibur as a character. He, more than the fans all year, was like, "When do I get Excalibur back?" Him getting that symbol of the old Library in new terms, him closing out his arc and us figuring out a way to re-integrate him back into the library, that was the goal of that. The fact it's Arthurian is really more of us going to touch on a lot of different magic traditions. The Arthurian magic tradition is one people are familiar with, but at the same time we'll support it. When you're using shorthand for magic, the Arthurian mythos is a good one to go to. Also, if I didn't give Noah Excalibur back this year, he would have murdered me!
When did you decide to bring Excalibur back in the finale?
Devlin: It was such an interesting thing for all of us who work on. When I directed the first two episodes in Season 1, we had a little screening [and] when Excalibur died in it, I had a room full of crying people. So I said, "We all just cried about a sword dying." Literally, in that minute we said, "All right. We're going to have figure a way to bring him back. This just isn't going to work. We all love this damn sword too much."
Rogers: I had no idea people were going to be that wrecked that Excalibur died—I still get hate mail! To a great degree [bringing back Excalibur] was about the mythos of the very legends about building something bigger than yourself and trying to actively make the world a better place. That is the tone we wanted to go into next year. [When] you’re talking about artifacts and the Lady of the Lake, you're talking about Excalibur. So it just [happened] organically.
When the other Librarians were all reading their passages for the exorcism, was that you guys tying together what they've learned over this season?
Devlin: Exactly! That was them using Shakespeare's words to reveal who they are. It’s them coming to terms with who they are and no longer trying to pretend to be something that they're not. That's been the theme of the whole season.
How are Jake, Cassandra and Ezekiel doing now? They’ve all grown as Librarians.
Rogers: The first year was about, "Holy smokes, there's a magical world and I'm part of it." Second year was, "I cannot be the same person I was in the not-magical world. I have to grow and expand." At the end of the first season, when everyone went their separate ways, they were not ready to do that growth yet. It was too much, too fast. This year is very much about them coming into their own full power, both as individuals and as a team. They're definitely all now ready to go do their part in the larger plot line.
What about Jenkins (John Larroquette)? Has he figured out his place in the library?
Rogers: Yes. That's why he doesn't have a speech. Because all he needed to do was be reminded of his quest. It’s no coincidence that they're thinking about starting some sort of new magical society to change the world for better, and Galahad happens to be hanging about in the background.
And what about Eve?
Rogers: Eve knows her role, and understands her role. She just has to be reminded of it when she doubts herself a bit. The season started with an argument between her and Flynn. In the end of the season, she wins the argument. It's not a tie; they're going to go with her plan. The dynamic between Flynn and Eve is interesting in that she is the longterm thinker. In “Infernal Contract” we saw that left to her own devices, Eve Baird can beat the devil. It's much more about her making sure she understands ... what she’s doing there. In my head, we've always written her as Batman. She's there because she's actually the smartest one in the room.
Is the Library all fixed now, or is there still work to be done, in terms of getting rooms back and stuff?
Devlin: The Library is healthy and fixed at the end of this season. [But] we still haven't seen Judson or Charlene…
The Librarians has been renewed for a third season and will return next year.