Monday, January 26, 2015

LIBRARIANS #107 "Rule of Three" Answer Post

Man, I love this episode.

As we’ve discussed, a show is rarely ever the show until episode six. You may be either supremely skilled or lucky enough to be hitting home runs right from episode two — more prep tends to allow this, as you’re burning through your 999 bad ideas to get to the 1000th good idea some time during pre-shoot, rather than while in production — but six is usually the magic number. This can be  problematic as show orders shrink from 22 to 15 to 13 to 10, but it can be dealt with by -- again -- more prep time and a clarity of intention. This was magic number six for us.

The episode was born through a unusually clean process. We’d thrown a bunch of cards up before the season began, listing variations on themes. Different topics, and the different ways various “types” of shows would handle them.  “Witchcraft” was one. “Okay”, I asked, “presuming the show is telling the story of a world with gradually re-awakening magic, what happens to your standard genre-show coven?”

(NOTE the first: the trick to showrunning is to fill the room with smart people, and then ask questions with a tone of voice that implies you already have an answer, but you would like to hear alternates before pitching your own. Do not tell the writers this is how I run a show.)

“Somebody in the coven can suddenly start doing real magic,” somebody pitched.

“Which creates conflict how —“

“Power struggle, because they can all suddenly do real magic, and it’s going to their heads.”

“Fine, so what’s the LEAST likely coven?”

The MOST likely coven is made up of the stereotypical wicca/goth kids, who are suddenly empowered. You can absolutely see that episode of X-FILES in your head.  Because in the '80's/90’s, that was the zeitgeist.

(NOTE the second: Attention young people.  At one point, America was completely seized by the belief that there was a vast satanic conspiracy infiltrating every suburban community in the nation. Seriously. People went to jail over that shit. )

(NOTE the third: I don't believe in the supernatural, so please rest assured I respect Wicca as much as I respect all other more traditionally accepted religious beliefs -- as one of many available cool personal operating systems one might use to comprehend a vast and nigh-infinite universe. I know that these operating systems are deeply emotionally resonant to most of you.  I'm not mocking, and the show will farm from various religious traditions for story points as cultural frameworks and legendary narratives, with as much respect as we can muster. We will sometimes fail. Sorry about that.)

So we spent a morning cycling through various coven structures — empowerment groups where the new age stuff worked, that led us to all the “success visualization” stuff out there, the co-opting of new age enlightenment theory by the success culture of the US, which led us to a cut-throat group of upscale housewives, and how would they do that, they’d help their kids … and to kids. Hyper-competitive high school kids.

And wow, look at that, there’s high school, one of the most screwed up social structures on earth, where we create identities but become trapped in them; dream of our lives but first encounter the idea that maybe those dreams aren’t possible; the place where we separate from our parents, often on the way to eventually becoming them … knowing who your characters were in high school informs you of who they are now. Did they reject or embrace that first self-determination, and why?  Character attitudes toward high school are a great way to explore "backstory" without explicitly dredging up "backstories", because it’s a well-nigh universal experience. Much like we discussed in the Christmas episode, having a story object you can toss into a roomful of people, about which they will all have naturally divergent attitudes towards, is a good story object.

“High school” is also a unified place, which is not only easier to shoot but fits one of my personal bugaboos about show construction. I’m not as dedicated to “what world are we exploring” as my friend Chris Downey is, but I do so like everything pointing in the same direction.

So instead of the goth kids, it would be the alpha kids. But THE LIBRARIANS happens in a secretly haunted world. How did the alpha kids find out about magic, and how are they using it without spreading the secret, people finding out?

That led us to the idea that they didn’t know they were using it, which led to the parents.  (Can you tell the idea of hyper-competitive high schools/parents had been a topic of conversation?) And how were the parents wielding magic?  The idea that someone found “an artifact” comes immediately to mind, but we were very consciously avoiding artifacts to avoid mowing WAREHOUSE 13’s lawn. At this point in the development cycle we had

The pilot two-parter — artifacts, to match the tone of the movies.
The Minotaur, which broke as a monster/cult episode, with the Thread intended to only be part of the power/focus/effect troika (substitute “dylithium crystal” in for “thread” and that ep works fine),
Fables - a straight-up artifact show.
The Haunted House (written and shot fifth) — it’s a haunted house episode
this one — we were breaking
Santa — already on the burner, but was a MIDNIGHT RUN riff
City of Light —  the card was up on the wall since Day One, no artifact.  Unless you count the town.

We hadn’t broken "Apple" yet, nor the finale. To be fair, we had inklings of that finale structure from day one, enough to plant the seeds during the season. We wound up NOT using the original idea to fold everything from the season together, but I won’t spoil what the original season finale was just in case we wind up using it for Season Two.

While breaking this story, we were talking about how we could express the hyper-competitiveness of the kids — I mean, what’s a visually interesting, time-dependent way to tell the story? — and the national STEM fair was going on, with its concurrent focus on young female participants.  Well heck yeah. The "science fair" card was already up on the wall, something we'd been considering for a more straight ahead sci-fi or maybe Frankenstein story.  Combine SCIENCE FAIR with MAGIC, and you have two great index cards which might ordinarily not be pinned together, but taste great nonetheless.

Anyway, not an artifact. “So a person?” somebody said, and lo and behold, there in our pile of “interesting Immortals we might want to meet, collated for an idea we had for a Season 1 arc which we will now probably use for another Season” was Morgan Le Fey. Who of course was tied to Jenkins’s past, the only person who would not have gone to high school, and might be outside our operating theme but now was drawn into it.

The nice thing was, the path we took to break the story actually wound up matching the three-part journey we’d be taking the audience on:

1.) It’s a coven using magic.
2.) No, it’s the alpha kids using science.
3.) No, it’s Morgan Le Fey.

Paul and Rorick then promptly went off and wrote the shit out of it.  We wound up focusing on Stone and Cassandra for the backstory bits — we decided it didn’t make sense for everyone to have rebelled completely from high school, and we only have 41:30 a week, for chrissake.  While both Baird and Ezekiel are living the lives they want to live at the beginning of the show, both Stone and Cassandra are not. So why not? Whoever has the most interesting problem wins when it comes to page count.

The big production challenge was coming up with the science fair, We knew how to shoot a collection of booths so they seemed bigger than they actually are — we’d done it for the Toy episode of LEVERAGE. But fake toys are one thing, that’s just dollies and balls and hoops in the BG, and we only ever referenced one specific toy. We’d be meeting a half-dozen science fair participants at least, and with Cassandra geeking out over the science, we wanted a lot of real science to throw at the screen.  We had to build a roomful of science fair projects?

“Orrr”, as one genius in production design suggested, “ we simply put out the call for science fair participants, like we did for the classic cars episode in LEVERAGE.”

And lo, almost all the science projects in the show are real projects graciously loaned to us by helpful and brilliant local Oregon/Washington students. God bless. Pretty much the only openly manufactured project is the otter booth, inspired by a running argument in the Writers Room about how cute, fluffy otters are actually the monstrous rape-murderers of the sea.

People dig in on weird things.

And of course for casting, we got the awesome Alica Witt and Bex Taylor-Klaus. Bex is not just a great actor, she’s also a straight-up geek.  She became so enamored of the Annex set she almost refused to leave, and could only be lured out with promises of Amy’s future return.

Alicia was coming off a startling dark and powerful turn on JUSTIFIED. She did a fantastic job of grounding the character, never waving her arms in airy-fairy magic gestures or changing her voice. She played Morgan as we always wanted: an eminently practical (and misunderstood) survivor in a brutal secret world.  We certainly didn’t anticipate the unbridled glee she brought to the fight scene. The idea that Morgan had been alive so long, done so many things, survived so many trials that the sheer novelty of somebody landing a punch would be an absolute, almost sexual delight … well, that certainly opened up some future paths for that character.

By the way, just because you think you know a version of the Camelot story, don’t be sure you know what really happened. As Jenkins will admit, “It was complicated.”

Enough bullshit. Let’s see what’s on your minds …

@John Seavey: Original draft: "Science works, bitches"?

Oh yes.

@Mario Di Giacomo:"Galeas"? Sneaky.... and very suggestive. Especially where Dulaque comes in.

It was tricky, figuring out how many lies to drop. In the end, it’s a family adventure show, and we wanted to reward any enterprising youth who might decide to do a little research. I know I always preferred a play fair mystery, hence my Ellery Queen fixation.

@Madhatter360: So where are the actual judges during all this?

They’re around.  A lot of them buggered off after the electrical freak-out and FUN TRAIN! DO NOT STOP THE FUN TRAIN!!

@JulieD: So if LeFay just walked through the door of the Library, could anyone? Or was it because she is LeFay? Do folks often just walk in the door and find Jenkins?

Nope, it’s because she’s hella-magic.

@karykeion: So...Cassie holds onto a little bit of magic at the end of Fables of Doom, then she has a line about how it's maybe a little too easy for her to figure out the magic under the table in this episode, and then a famously powerful sorceress shows up at a STEM fair and physically resembles Cassie a whole lot. Anything we should be taking from that?

Thanks for spotting that “little too easy” bit, not everyone caught it. Now that you’ve seen the finale — yeah, I think there are a few thing you can derive from it. Probably not as many as you’re thinking, but future plotlines are coalescing.

@eacole72: Costuming/wardrobe question ... Did I really see Payless beige patent leather pumps on Morgan le Fey? (I am pretty sure I own the same shoes!)

Morgan dresses the part. How do you think she’s lasted this long?

@alliem: 1) did she call him Taliesin? A bard *would* make a pretty super librarian . . . Sounded more like "Thaleus" though maybe . . .

2) Baird sure is the conduit for a lot of incredibly strong magic. I can't wait to find out some of the stuff you guys have in mind for these characters. Also I love her with Flynn and I really hope he's sticking around. This and Falling Skies are both only part-year, right? Right?

3) that said, if I asked nicely, would Baird marry me? Jk. But really. Lol, not really. But really.
4) SO excited to have so much of the Leverage team back making TV magic!

1.) No, although he’s a card on the wall.
2.) We shall see. No promises.
3.) Hey, buy a girl a drink first.
4.) And we’re glad to be gainfully employed.

@Nusaiba C: Thanks for the rundown of the ep order! I'm a huge continuity buff and while the eps do work out of order mostly, I wish this had been in the same order before the finale with the whole "loom of fate" business. With that being said and I bet most of this is gonna get a "spoiler" but if we get a second season will the King Arthur stuff with Galahad/Dulaque (who I don't know enough about Arthurian history to guess who he could be) continue? Because that was an awesome "She called him WHAT" moment. Thanks!

Ah, that little “She called him WHAT” was what we were looking for. If there is a Season Two, the Arthurian legend will probably blend more into the “secret magic history of the world” theme.

@GadgetDon: 1.) Was Baird protected by the pentagram? Or does she have a rule of 3 coming? And how does Dulac (and Morgan herself) avoid some serious rule of 3 feedback?

2.) If this episode doesn't result in Emmy nominations, There Ain't No Justice.

1.) She didn’t use the app enough, and her misdeeds were bled out by the pentagram.
2.) If genre shows got Emmys, Joss would have one for “The Body”. But they don’t so he doesn’t, so we certainly as shit aren’t going to get one.

@Andrew Timson: 1.) The mom-using-magic-so-her-daughter-can-win reminded me of the episode "Witch" back in season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Coincidence that both daughters were named Amy?

2.) Also, props to the props people for using an Android (or at least Android-esque) phone; somehow A.L.B. doesn't seem like it'd pass Apple's app store review, and would have to be sideloaded. :)

1.) Coincidence. It’s just a super-innocuous name.
2.) Having released an app myself … yeah.

@MacSTL: What direction was Critter given for Cassandra? I find her costuming... unrealistic for well, anyone. Everyone else seems true to character. But of am often doing a 'WTF is she wearing!!!

The clothing already exists. Someone must wear it. In this universe, Cassandra does.

@Eri Smith: These ideas are not completely mine and are in fact from a conversation on Twitter I had earlier after the episode, but Galeas is the nickname of Sir Galahad of the Round table, and Lancelot's full name is "Lancelot Du Lac" So, am I and my accomplices in figuring things out, on the right track? However, what could possibly turn Lancelot to do so much bad? After all, trying to destroy the Library? Trying to kill Santa? The Arthurian legends, the worst Lancelot did was sleep with Guenevere who was his true love. He was faithful to her, and he did good for the round table, even if his affair did cause an end to Arthur's reign. So what could have changed in the last thousand years to cause such a change in character? Am I going to get the word SPOILER thrown at me for bringing this up?

Oh, all he did was sleep with his best friend’s wife and initiate the destruction of Camelot. Hmm, as noted above, let’s just say the famous story isn’t the whole story, so Lancelot didn’t really “change” per se. Lancelot came to the party with plenty of hubris.

@Calla: 1.)So, we know Cassie is super smart - tonight she even mentions all the trophies she won before getting the tumor - so would she still be Librarian material without her tumor? Any chance magic can cure her tumor and still leave her capable of the cool visualization stuff, but maybe so she can do it on command, instead of it being there all the time?

2.) And I'm not sure if this is standing out for me because of the order the eps are airing in, but this is at least the second time that Jones has discovered something and the others haven't thought it important (the girl in the hospital from 'Fables' and now the levitating ball from the Newton's cradle). "Cassandra" is the prophet cursed so no one believes her in Greek Mythology - but here it seems to be Jones in that role. Coincidence? Intentional? Significant? 

3.) Aside from all the girl-swooning you caused by having Kane read poetry, I just wanted to comment on how he recited it, with choice pauses and words emphasized - I don't think I've ever heard that poem recited like that before. Did he do multiple takes of the recitation and, if so, did he do it a few different ways? And, if yes, will you put the outtakes on the DVD?

1.) Oh yes. She had the synesthesia before her tumor, the “brain grape” just rewired her frontal lobe to accelerate and distort the effect.  With the tumor she’s formidable, without it she’d be even more so. As by now, you’ve seen …
2.) More “lucky thief”, and Ezekiel tends to be observant in different ways than the others. His bread and butter is the mundane.
3.) I’ll see if I can convince him to release an mp3 of him just doing the Romantics.

@Michael Brewer: 1.) So, about midway through the episode I was like "ah, they're going to figure out how to disrupt everything and Morgana won't get her magic boost and then she'll wither and die or something." Now, I like how things ended, but it makes me curious why you ended it the way you did. Also, Cassie is definitely getting pretty good at magic.

2.)Any chances we'll get to hear more about those otherworlds in season 2? Assuming there is one anyway.

1.) First, we really wanted to make sure we had a couple partial-wins in the season, and then one clean loss (“City of Light”) so the audience would understand that the show had variable stakes. Also — Morgans awesome. And Alicia made her more so. So why say goodbye to such an interesting character?
2.) They’re VERY hard to get to. There will be hints, but I doubt we’ll go there.

1.) Did a past Librarian ever crossed paths with Morgan Le Fay?

2.) Does Jenkins coming to work for the Library have anything to do with Morgan?

3.) Is Morgan's "Fear the hero" about Flynn? Might he go too far to recover the Library?

1.) Several, including Judson. Whom she adored, after they worked together to handle that pixie problem.
2.) Not causally, but as part of his post-Camelot wanderings.
3.) As you now know, no. It was her way of reminding Jenkins that his version of Camelot’s fall was not precisely how it went down, and that he had bigger problems to worry about.

@2Kris: I’ve just got to say: Ezekiel Jones is one of my favorite characters on television right now.

Well ours too.  One of ours.  We’re pretty fond of ORPHAN BLACK in the room, to tell the truth. Tatiana Maslany, also genre-robbed of an Emmy.

@amarillion:1.) Sorry, lost track if this has been asked before, but just how good is Jake Stone at compartmentalising his life, and are we ever going to see both halves come crashing together at all?
2.) Are we ever going to see something seriously shake up Ezekiels almost superhuman self confidence? I'm always torn between laughing my arse off at Ezekiel, and wanting to smack him over the head. 

1.) He’s very good, and you almost saw it this season. Almost guaranteed to see that episode in Season Two, if there is one.
2.) I doubt it.

@AnnZ: As a librarian who spent most of high school at the science fairs -- with a geology project, no less (not a volcano, though) -- this episode had to be about the best thing ever. Thank you! Normally, librarians wouldn't judge at a science fair at that level (I know, because I'd love to judge, but alas, I'm not qualified). Did Morgan just not care about the judging, or did she figure out who they were when they introduced themselves and figure that she might as well keep them around to get caught up in the rule of three? 

Nope, she was distracted. And in case you hadn’t noticed, go back and check the music cues whenever they say “We’re the Librarians.” They may be getting a little help with that cover story …

@Anonymous: 1.)Loved the way that everybody had a day off, but still ended up doing some kind of work at the library. (Except Ezekiel) Please don't tell me he finally got around to using the magic door of the Annex for a bank robbery. I have a really bad feeling about the sirens in the background and the package he was holding. 
2.)At the scene when Baird was dangling Morgan le Fay over the guardrail, why didn't she just shoot her in the head or something, and then go rescue the kids? It doesn't take that much time to shoot somebody, does it? 
3.) Was Jenkins being overdramatic in the last scene with Baird, or is the whole 'the end is nigh' thing really true? 
4.) What happens to Amy afterwards? Does she just go back to her normal life knowing that magic is real? Please tell me that she becomes one of the junior l.i.t your mentioned earlier. 
5.) And last, but definitely not the least, the big question....So is Jenkins Galahad and Dulaque Lancelot? Are they really father and son?

1.) Yep. Art though, not a bank.
2.) She’d seen guns not work, and she had a pretty good sense that the magic only worked on a personal level. We actually had a line about that we cut for time.
3.) Well heck yeah.
4.) Season Two.
5.) As you now know, yeah.  That said, father and son is a little imprecise.

@bookishmalarkey: My question: I know you've said we'll see Jake's family in S2 if the show gets renewed -- any chance of seeing Cassandra or Ezekiel's family as well at some point?

Probably not, although there is an Ezekiel story we’re playing with that makes sense. Assume it’s part of the “poncy nightshirt” problem, and we won’t go there unless we have a very good reason.

@lisa king: 1.) how likely are we in season 2 to get a person from a characters past show up and cause complications. My choice would be Stones as my Kaniac heart craves more back story and angsty looks.

2.) will there be an annex within the annex for all the jr lits. who will be their guardian. Poor Jenkins

1.) Poncy. Nightshirt.
2.) Hmm. Who WOULD be a good Guardian?

@StellaB: Still waiting to see what special talent/ability Stone brings the group; seems to be mostly Jones and Cassandra coming up with solutions and saving the day

Poor Stone, always doing the crucial but non-flashy things. Go back and watch how many giant chunks of the clue paths he unravels in the previous episodes.

@minimightymouse:1) I *adore* Ezekiel! He seems like he's starting to warm up to the folks around him (I mean, stealing a trophy for Cassandra bc she didn't have any?!). Methinks that he's more human than any of them (or even he) realize(s). 

2.) Any particular reason why Cassandra was wearing a seratonin necklace? Or was that the costuming department being awesome again?

3.) The use of Byron was adorable. 

4.) Man, the tension between LeFay and Jenkins was palpable. Alicia Witt does a freaking incredible job--I can't wait to see her if/when she comes back. My question, though, is whether or not there will be some epic showdown between she and Jenkins and/or she and Baird? 

5.) "Fear the hero," eh? Maybe the hero's trying to maintain the status quo when he really shouldn't be? (It seems to me as though the artifacts are particularly dangerous *because* they're concentrated magic. If this status quo were lessened [or gotten rid of entirely], would it decrease their power [and maybe the need for a Librarian]?)

1.) Ezekiel, at least, is quite sure he’s the best of the bunch.
2.) Costuming being awesome. I believe Lindy tweeted on where to get that necklace, if you hunt it up.
3.) Well thanks. That was one little bit of the script I wrote (I do get speechy) and Kane kicked the hell out of it.
4.) The traditional structure is “Meet. Fight. Team up.”
5.) That is a question worth five seasons to answer. An IMPORTANT one.

@antisocialbutterflies: Questions:

1) Thanks for the answers in the last post. After I posted, I realized that the black mask was mentioned in the Horns of Dilemma too. Related to that observation, I was wondering if you had started filming episodes prior to choosing a new direction or did you have to pull things in post?

2) Why was the spell screen the visualization from Windows media player?

3) This may be more of a writing process question. Were Cassandra's and Stone's interactions with their respective kids intended to be extensions of themselves or were they projecting themselves onto the kids?


1) Yay for Bex Taylor-Klaus! I always thought that she was grossly underutilized on Arrow.

2) I hate to say it, but I kind of like this better than stealing a science fair.

3) Whomever coined the term "mathemagics" has earned a cold alcoholic beverage on me.

1.) Figured it out about halfway through the season. Something that complicated, we never could have just cut together.
2.) Looked like it, but was not actually it. Smart ass.
3.) Hmm. You know, there’s an expression: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” A mix of the two, i think.
1.) We love her too.
2.) We forgive you.
3.) You haven’t heard the last of it.

@Isaac: 1.)You mentioned in a previous post that magic "doesn't work on Jenkins", but clearly Morgana's the exception. Have we seen magic pointedly not work on Jenkins? If so, I've missed it.
2.)Who wrote the "Otters are evil bastards" bit? I nearly fell out of my chair for that.

1.) He’s just genuinely immune. Like I said, Morgan’s just hellaciously powerful.
2.) it’s a room bit that took on a life of its own.

@Greg S.: Kane has a strength/facility with playing opposite children that is very similar (in my opinion) to Matt Smith's. Is that something you keep in mind when writing eps that will have children in them?

I think that actor’s more a teen than a kid, but no, we tend to just rely on the acting. That said, children tend to treat Kane like Batman.

@LauraP: 1.) Considering the episodes airing out of order, with both Fables and Heart coming before Midnight Ride and Apple, in regards to Jake's much warmer attitude towards her is it safe to say that Jake does trust Cassandra again by Santa's Midnight Ride or is that something that's still coming up or is it just never gonna happen? What can I say, I'm invested in their relationship or lack there of. 

2.)Also, I don't know if it's a thing, but I appreciate how similar Cassandra is to Willow Rosenberg, both redheaded mathematical geniuses with bubbly personalities who are perhaps very gifted when it comes to magic. 

3.) And judging by what Morgan called Jenkins, if he is Galahad, why would he say 'whatever it is we were' to Dulaque? I mean, that would make Dulaque his dad wouldn't it? Unless Jenkins stopped seeing Dulaque as his father a long time ago.....

1.) I’d say after “Heart of Darkness” he trusts her more because she’s proven herself, and Santa falls after that. It’s not 100% yet, but it’s getting there.
2.) Weirdly, the character was auditioned all ethnicities.  Total coincidence it wound up being red-headed Lindy.
3.) Not the whole story.

@Mechalith: (a cool theory invalidated by the finale, but still cool)

Not quite, but you’ll be seeing Morgan again, if we can get Alicia when she’s available.

@ChelseaNH: 1.) Who came up with all the science projects -- both the ideas and the presentations? Did you hijack a local STEM competition?

2.) Jenkins and his free will -- how much does he leave the team dangling so they figure stuff out for themselves, and how much does he boost them along so they finish up and he can go back to his "real" work?

1.) As answered, yep.
2.) It’s a bit of a mix. As much as Ezekiel annoys him, Jenkins shares the thief’s personality trait of abhorring boredom.

@Dave Chapman:Please tell me there's a tabletop RPG in the works for this?

Eh, you could put this together in either Fate or Cortex Plus without breaking a sweat.

@EVW: 1.)Given Jenkin's obvious connection to Dulac (and now Morgan Le Fay), I find it strange that no one has had the "What are you not telling us?" talk with him yet. Is it safe to assume that's coming up soon? 

2.)Related question: How much does Flynn know about Jenkins? Does he know more than we do? (Does the library have an employment file with his resume, which someone could check?)

1.) When Jenkins does not want to talk about something, it is very hard to get Jenkins to talk about something. He's blanked them all, quite effectively.
2.) Not very much at all. The Library respects secrets, after all.

@Mike: Was turning a spell into an app a deliberate reference to Charles Stross's Laundry series, or just great minds thinking in parallel?

Fishing from the same waters, although I do love THE LAUNDRY series.

@Anonymous: I was surprised by Cassandra's audible curse when the cloud of flies came out of the student. Was that intentional, or was the sound of the buzzing supposed to effectively bleep it out, but didn't?

We are actually allowed to swear once an episode. We don’t (and we won’t) do it all the time, but we though we’d see how it went. It seemed like the right spot.

@Bill Murray: Does the mathemagics have any relation to Fletcher Pratt and L. Sprague De Camp's Harold Shea series of books which have been described as "a high point in the application of sternest intellectual logic to screwball fantasy" and used symbolic logic to travel between various fantasy lands?

No, but now I know what’s going on my Amazon wish list.

@Kalrane: How does the back door work from the outside? For example, Flynn came into the annex through the back door (and didn't apparently know it was even working?!) and now Jones has done the same thing. They don't have access to Jenkin's globe-mechanism-thing from outside the annex, presumably, so how do they work the door without it? Or, if that mechanism doesn't work the door, what does?

For Flynn, assume a lot of cool FUN TRAIN stuff happened on the other side of the door, leading him to accidentally lock in to the Annex just as it was reaching out for him. For Jones, the door was set TO his heist spot, it just hadn' been reset yet.

@Heidi Dobson: My question is that if Cassandra "was" Merlin and still had a spark of magic wouldn't Morgan have been able to sense it at the science fair? Or maybe she was busy concentrating on her own plans for the feedback loop that was coming.

Cassandra is not the Merlyn. Well, this Cassandra …

1.) The desk was the first thing I noticed! She's able to use it without all the usual clutter - they're there but she has more space for her research.

2.) None of them takes the day off, right? Jenkins has an idea Ezekiel uses the Backdoor for not Librarian purposes but he isn't surprised with it, how cute. Do they even have a separate housing near the Annex or did they all decide to inhabit the place (which I'm supposing has larger spaces than what we've been shown)?

3.) When was Eve woven into the Loom of Fate, when she dabbled with the Rule of Three or when she was chosen as the Guardian by the Library? Isn't it amazing she's the first to get Morgan Le Fay off guard in a long time ~wooh~ I remember one of your answers a few episodes back about why a specific letter for a Guardian whereas thousand potentials for the Librarian that implies that Baird's role is quite important (or I dare say even more important than Flynn's) in the grander scheme of things.

4.) Speaking of roles, I like this parallel between Jenkins and Eve. She's reiterating she's not here to kill and I think it says a lot how she's come a long way to the point she has a much clearer grasp on why she's the Guardian and what she's supposed to do in the face of the whole magic returning to world. Also, drunk Jenkins seems not his usual chill self, there's palpable fear about the implication of meeting Morgan Le Fay. Last saw him react similarly was with Dulaque - can't wait to see the finale to see what it all means~

5.) Oh and Morgan isn't fazed with Eve's power, she looks delighted too. And a smidge turned on even when she could be dropped from that ledge, I'm not sure. Her presence in the STEM Fair though, it's as if she counted on the Librarians coming in and their actions going according to her plans. Creepy.

1.) We’ll address that in the finale discussion.
2.) All of them live nearby, but not in the Library, except Jenkins.
3.) Eve was woven in to the Loom of Fate a looming time ago.
4.) Hope you were satisfied.
5.) Hot creepy. The best kind.

@Donna Marie: Was Morgan Le Fay mentioned in the one of the other Librarian episodes? I'm rewatching the movies because I could swear I heard the name before in one of them

Fair play, DuLaque dropped her name in the Santa episode.

@EVW: Assuming Jenkins is Galahad and Dulaque is Lancelot, are Arthurian characters they "real" persons in the Librarian universe? Or are they members of the Guild of Fictional Entities (mentioned during the Apple episode)? If they are fictional entities, that might explain why they're so hard to kill. (To paraphrase a line from the first movie, "It takes more than a fall to the ground to destroy a legend.")

The answer to that is complicated, and depends on what reality you count as your Prime.

@msd: Will the DVD be in the correct order - like the Leverage S1 was?


@grtsanhdn: 1.) Are we ever going to learn more about Ezekiel's past? So far, there's been a few revelations about Eve's, Cassandra's, Jenkins', and Stone's pasts, but not really anything about Ezekiel's. According to one of your earlier posts, he got the Library's letter when can we a teenager. Was he already a theif then, or did he become one later, and if so, what happened for him to go down that path? And does he have any family? I'm not sure if it's just me, but I felt like Ezekiel's speech to Jenkins in 'the Apple of Discord' about choices and being a coward touched some personal issue(s) for him. 

1b)Ezekiel's my favorite LIT, but even I admit that he's a bit....abrasive, for lack of a better term, to the team in the beginning. Did the writers decide at the beginning to write Ezekiel that way, or is that all John Kim? But now we see him stealing a trophy for Cassandra to make her feel better. What brought about this attitude adjustment? Exactly when/why/how did he 'allegedly' hack the NSA? 

2.) Why did was the magic app needed for setting up the 'five-side Tesla coil field'? Wouldn't the rule of three have gotten really wonky for them since they were using the app to counteract the effects of the app? On a side note, since all of them were outside of the center of the giant pentagram, why weren't they blown up?

2b.) What's up with the little yellow glowing bits of code in the app? Didn't know there was a font/color for writing code for granting magical wishes. Couldn't le Fay have written it normally, or was it left deliberately like that to let us viewers know something was seriously hinky? 

3.)So does Stone trust Cassandra now? I mean, when she had the plan for creating the Faraday's cage, he let her take the lead without can hesitation. There hasn't been the 'I like you, but don't trust you' speech from Stone for a while now, so has he gotten over the whole betrayal thing. 

4.) I'm going to break my own rules on asking about Jenkins here, but it's not that bad? Isn't Jenkins being sort of hypocritical to Baird when he berates her for not having killing Morgan le Fay, given that in 'Horns of a Dilemma' he said the library chose her for more of a reason than to kill?

5.)What exactly is the Loom of Fate? And when le Fay says 'you've already been woven into the loom of fate' is she specifying Baird, or the Library and everybody associated with it? On that note, did Baird tell anyone other than Jenkins about her and le Fay's little side conversion? Are the LITs aware that the world is about to end?

6.) What's Lamia's stake in all of the this? And for that matter, Dulaque's? Neither of them seem to be the type to destroy the world for the fun of it. And Santa's spiel about Lamia secretly wanting to be a good guy seems weird for how devoted she is to Dulaque. My headcanon at the moment is that Lamia had some kind of connection with the Library at some point, before everything went to hell, and then she vowed vengeance and joined up with Dulaque to reach it. Maybe the Library could have helped somebody she cared about with magic, but didn't because of the rules?

1.) Poncy. Nightshirt. But let’s say he was already technically a miscreant.
1b.) Ezekiel has always been intended to be an abrasive jerk. John actually makes him more charming than originally intended.
2.) The app allowed them to do magic, even though they weren’t magic-users. And they were grounded as part of the pentagram.
2b) The magic reacted oddly with Jenkins’ display.
3.) Getting there. Episodes in the correct order make this arc a whole lot clearer.
4.) Super hypocritical. He must have a VERY GOOD REASON for that.
5.) You know now. But as to the conversation, Baird kept that pretty close to the vest. She considers that to be between her self and Jenkins. Baird, too, respects secrets.
6.) Lamia, for some of you, is the hero of the whole damn show. But her story isn’t over yet …

@rosa: Since nobody asked: Whose brain was in the jar?

Abby Normal.

@gwangung: Ezekiel Jones actually suggests an adoption, possibly by devout Christians. Might be parent issues there....

Gwangung! Always a pleasure.  But no, that is his given name.

@Lyn Palmer: But come on....what happened to Jonas?

He’s okay.

@Neil W: This is where the UK drops behind as SyFyUK keeps to that antique schedule of one show a week. It's like living in the stone age. So here's my final real-time question of the season: What's the myth/legend/story/thingy you most want to do, but can't for whatever reason (budget/intellectual property/tone/too dumb/too awesome)?



Right, I know I’m behind. I’ve been busy. I’ll endeavour to get the rest up by week’s end. In the meantime, keep making the gifs. We love them.

Monday, January 19, 2015

LIBRARIANS #110 "Loom of Fate" Question post

Alternative universes! Jenkins backstory! Banter and zombies!  Questions and comments below. And thanks the HELL out of watching first season of the show.

LIBRARIANS #109 "City of Light" Question Post

Backstory! Tesla!  Snarky Cassandra! What more could you want? Comments and questions below, which I will answer this week.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

LIBRARIANS #108 "Heart of Darkness" Question post

A very dark little off-speed we did to see, basically, if we could do dark little off-speeds that started in non-traditional manners.  The return of awesome Portland actress (now at Stanford) Lea Zwada as our Final Girl!  Post questions, comments and complaints below.  Two more eps, one more week!

LIBRARIANS #107" "Rule of Three " question post

One of my favorites of the year for a variety of reason, not the least of which being Bex and Alicia Witt. Post your comments, questions and half-baked theories below.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

LIBRARIANS #106 "Fables of Doom" answer post

"Fables" was the first episode broken by the full Writers Room.  I'd broken and written the two-part opener over the previous fall, the pickup decision was made in January, and it was shot pretty much as written ... as much as something with a constantly shifting cast and shooting schedule can be shot. "Fables" was a good first episode to take a run at: very clean high-concept and mystery arc, unified space in and around the town, and we could play around with who we thought the characters are by exploring who they aren't.

Now we didn't jump straight into it.  Despite our compressed timeline, we still spent the first full week breaking the character background and relationships.  There's a very pretty little diamond pattern -- well, here's the rough whiteboard version.  I would ordinarily never post this, but what the hell, you people gave us good ratings.  Note that NOT ALL OF THE MATERIAL ON THIS BOARD IS CORRECT OR RELEVANT, as it was the first week brain-puke. Some of these ideas were erased or tossed by the end of the week.

As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure neither John Kim nor Lindy Booth were actually cast yet when we were working this up.  (Protip: Do not do that)  John Kim's smart-ass audition tape and then his performance definitely drove Ezekiel in a different direction once the season proper began. 

Second week was putting everything going up on the boards to find story arenas and establish world-building. Everything went on the board.  Every fantasy trope, every myth, every legend, every unsolved mystery we could think of, every lost land or weird artifact or ... everything.  The model for the show is"magical mysteries" not "artifact hunt", which is both freeing and, well, there's a reason guardrails exist.

At that accelerated pace, I'll admit we may have punked out a bit and then taken a swing at one of the first and cleanest cards up on the wall: "WEAPONIZED FAIRY TALES". It was one of the first because Kate Rorick (@NobleRorick) had pitched the idea in her interview for the job.  We'd met with her for a different gig with my production company, and when the staff was being slammed together for this, we immediately thought of her.  She came in with a list of ideas, "fairy tales coming to life" being one of the top ones on the list.  Once we were in the room we combined another one of her story ideas, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, which originally began as a puzzle-book treasure hunt plot spanning the centuries.  A lot of this episode's purpose was to put not just the characters but the actors through their paces, figure out how they delivered jokes. It was illuminating.  And hey, John Larroquette delivering the "existentialist vending machine" speech will forever remain one of my favorite career memories.  Kate wrote the shit out of that script.

The other purpose was to resolve one of the lingering questions for the show -- why have a thief?  We wanted to establish that the characters were not just chosen for their skills, but for how they fit into the sometimes messy job of the Library -- and how that job, with the return of magic, was changing. It's unfortunate that the resequencing of the episodes put "Apple" and "Fables" so close together, and in inverted order.  That made it seem as if we were hammering the point that Ezekiel being a bad guy was an asset as far as the Library was concerned.  Rather than the intention was "Fables" was supposed to come first, as the setup, and "Apple" later, as the payoff.  

The order as originally written/intended took us through a very specific tour of the characters (I know the episode titles are out there, so I don't feel bad listing them):

1. & 2.)  Crown/Stone: Re-establish the mythology, set up the characters and the return of magic.
3.)  Horns of a Dilemma: Being the team's journey to learn to work together. Badly.  Oh, and the back door. Somewhat Baird-y, but we tagged all the relationships.
4.) Fables of Doom: Team still not working together great, Ezekiel-centric.
5.) Heart of Darkness (will air 8th): Still spiky, addresses everyone's relationship with Cassandra.
6.) Santa: Team working better together, bonding over Christmas, Eve-centric.
7.) Apple of Discord: Bring Flynn back, which eats a lot of show, and round-robin through how the team has changed.
8.) City of Light: Big Stone episode. (Will air 9th)
9.) Rule of Three: Very much a team episode, although some juicy Jenkins goodness in here (air 7th)
10.) Loom of Fate: ... spoilers.

Boy, 10 eps is not a lot of room. Particularly with a 2-part opener.  One focus episode each, and that's on top of whatever the plot of the week is.

That order was what we were arc-ing off of and working with before we knew exactly when Christmas fell during the season, or that our last two weeks would be double-ups to keep us from running into TNT's basketball coverage so the intended spacing out of the stories in the audience's perception would be off. 

Now that said, once we got Bruce Campbell for Santa, hells yeah, jam that in early and the week before Christmas rather than after.  And when the run of the show collapses from ten weeks to 7, you need Flynn to return to in one of the middle weeks, not necessarily one of the middle episodes.  So  FWIW I think broadcast order actually worked just fine for this season -- in particular, "City of Light" and "Rule of Three" flip just fine, it was more important to make sure they stayed in the back half than worry about specific order. "Heart of Darkness" in the back half also works, it was a gimme on which side of the "Apple" midpoint it fell, and it's very tonally a one-off.  "Fables" is the only one I regret sliding late, particularly because it's so damn funny.

When you got the big comedy episode, you call Jonathan goddam Frakes. Unfortunately Frakes wasn't available for as many episodes as we would've liked given the short notice of the season start, but getting him for this one was just perfect.  He also directed the finale, BTW, and killed the big high drama too, so I don't want you thinking he's a one-trick pony.  He's at least three tricks. The one day I was on set, hearing Frakes scream on the hospital set "Sicker!  THE GIRL IS SICKER!!" filled my heart with glee.

Going with prosthetics and practical effects was the stronger choice on this one. Make-up and hair did a great job slowly changing everyone's look as the "infection" took hold. Big props once again to Critter and wardrobe, who slowly evolved the character wardrobes to track their descent into the archetypes.  Production had a lovely bit of fun with the animals in this episode.  Props built a great foam wolf to be carried and then cut open, but rather than a CG wolf, why not get a real one?

That's writer Kate Rorick with the wolf in question. Before we shot with the wolf, we got test footage of him wearing different granny nightcaps. You know what? Any job where you can say "Hey, at lunch, let's look at the photos of the wolf in the granny caps", that's a good job.  The owl on Stone's arm was originally intended to be a bluejay harassing Baird, but apparently corvids are smart enough to know they should be paid scale to hit their marks, so the much more compliant owl was used.

It was a real pleasure  to have Rene Auberjonois as the guest villain. We seemed to have stumbled into some fun casting this year, because much as in Leverage, we do deliver a lot of "Hey, I never get to play that role" opportunities.  Particularly looking forward to you guys finally seeing Bex Taylor-Klaus and Alicia Witt in this week's "Rule of Three".  

Before we hit questions, I want to recommend to all of you -- ALL OF YOU -- that you check out Seanan McGuire's INDEXING. It deals with a similar theme, and if you dug 41:30 of this you'll love a whole damn book exploring the idea in a deeper, more memetically complex manner. You should also read all her stuff as Mira Grant, while you're at it. Feed tore through the Leverage crew like a wildfire.  Hopefully one day, perhaps around Halloween, we can explain why we're such big fans and good friends with Seanan ...

When it comes to specific plot stuff, you guys always lead us into much better than I can through your questions.  So lets dive in:


@Alyssa Parens: I loved the different fables that were played out in this episode, and it was so great that our Librarians got affected too. How was it decided who got which fable character? Side note: props for making Cassandra Prince Charming. That was really awesome, and worked perfectly.

We knew we wanted Ezekiel as the Jack (rogue), so for primaries that left us with the Huntsman, Princess and Prince Charming -- any "old Advisor" role would fall on Jenkins, and for various reasons he's immune to magic.  From that it was a discussion in the room about who would make the most interesting performances, and who the archetype would be most revelatory for.  Stone as Prince Charming was just too easy -- you might not notice until way too late that there was something amiss, as women being attracted to Christian Kane was not exactly a stretch, and Baird as the Huntsman fit the role she was already to a great degree playing in the show.  

As we've mentioned Rebecca has a wicked sense of humor, so giving her the chance to hit the Princess jokes was just way too satisfying.  The singing bit was an improv between she and Christian.  "Princess" also fit what Baird is always denying, her looks, to focus on her job.  That tossed Huntsman to Stone, which worked out well because we could hide that archetype on him for a while and it fit a hero role which he was born to play but, again, denied himself.  

That left Cassandra with Prince Charming.  For a variety of character arc reason that worked just fine, and fit our "who or what is the most amusing/interesting choice" rule, so we went for it. It has deeper meanings that play out over the show as a whole, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  We'll leave it at that.

@Video Beagle: 1.) We now have the "origin" for the Kane throwing an axe promo image, so the question we're left with, and with Casandra's closing scene (and the Sheriff still eating jell-o™ after the spell is broken) is how much/what residue is left? I'm guessing there's a "once you're touched by magic, it's always a part of you" bit to the universe, but does Jake now have Axe skills? What about the robot stuff?
2.) Also, having watched ABC's Galavant tonight, I can't help think there would be an awful lot of magical music stuff out there...Musical episode anyone? :D

1.) Honestly, everybody else shook off the residue of the Fables town pretty quickly, so the fact Cassandra held on to just a little magic for a bit ... Hmm. Let's say some of you guys are closer than you might think to tumbling Cassandra.
2.) I will never do a musical episode. Next showrunner, you can bully him/her. But no.

@marti jackson: 1. shot of that cursed Libris reads Vol. I on the spine... how many volumes of that damned book are there? 
2. wishlist for guest stars/villains: Mark Sheppard. end of list. 
3. seizing the Annex might be a foothold for Dulaque, but Jenkins pointed out several magical items are "lost" with the Library at this time. would Dulaque need to liberate all the magic items to "win", or is there a tipping point? 
4. shot of chalkboard list of magic items includes Jacob's Step Stool... *snort* 
thanks for sharing your misspent villainy.

1.) I believe there are three. There are always three.
2.) I'm sure there's a  voicemail from Mark waiting for me as I type this.
3.) Dulaque has multiple plans in play of varying scope and urgency.
4.) You can thank Kate Rorick, yet again, for filling the chalkboard with hilarity, although I believe there was a call to the Writers Room for backup.

@hansfish: 1) This is mostly a question about whether we're going to get more Jenkins bits like the vending machine thing, which, though it took an alarming turn at the end, was absolutely amazing, oh my goodness. :D?
2) So the little bit of blue Cassandra had at the end -- is she still Merlin, and therefore can't be killed -- !!! -- or is it just a little bit of residual magic she managed to hold onto? Is there any likelihood whatsoever that you'll answer this question instead of giving me a cryptic "that's a good question but SPOILERS!" answer?
3) You mentioned not wanting to set guardrails up in the answer post for 105; is that your attitude toward Cassandra's reaction to getting all those phone numbers, or is there something more concrete afoot here?
4) Having escaped mostly unscathed last week as a result of, as you stated, having accepted himself completely as he is/being the most spiritually advanced, is that related to the fact that Ezekiel would have been the only one to make it out of the tales tonight with a relatively happy ending, or is that just a quirk of the fact that the jack/knave/lives by his wits personality type will probably coexist with the one who's accepted himself the most completely?
5) Also seconding this: seriously, any way you could get Mark Sheppard?

1.) You get much more Jenkins. Hoo boy do you.
2.) How about "Don't read too much into, but don't read nothing into it."  Sometimes names aren’t names, they’re titles …
3.) I don't know 100% yet, to be honest. But we were very strict (and Lindy was excellent) in making sure she found it odd she was out of character, not distressed that she was being found attractive by/finding attractive the various female admirers.
4.) In the intended order, this ep is meant to reinforce his narcissism, which is why he feels comfortable relying on it in "Apple".  Not that he needs much help. 
It'll be interesting to see how you guys deal with Ezekiel. I see some people saying they don't like him, and that's fine.  The reason we hired John Kim is because his personal charm almost but does not quite over-ride the unpleasantness of Ezekiel Jones.  There's a real tendency to play to the fans and try to get everybody a little fan-base by softening the characters in genre world, cut people to either the good guy or bad guy side.  We're okay with you only liking some of the characters some of the time.  They're characters in transition.  As long as you stick around for that journey, it's all good.
5.) I think I just heard his car pull up.

@vickysg1: 1. Did you film this episode in the same town you filmed "The Low Low Price Job" episode ofLeverage? Because it looks a lot like it.
2. About Ezekiel, is 'Ezekiel Jones' his real name? I mean, thieves usually go for aliases (like Sophie, Parker or Tara) so why wouldn't it be an alias with The Library specifically recruiting this alias?

1.) Nope, but there are a couple of roughly identical small towns outside of Portland. 
2.) It is, improbably, his real name. Why the hell his parents called him that, well ...

@GadgetDon: 1.) The things said in this episode seem to put fairy tales firmly in the "legend" category - we won't see Snow White from Fabletown showing up (or similar enclave), the Magic Mirror isn't in the Library, etc. True? Or am I leaping to a conclusion.
2.) Way back in the first Librarian movie, Jensen (Bob Newhart) compared the magical artifacts in the Library to the cell phone. Is magic something you just need to understand to use, or do you have to be somehow "gifted" with the ability to use it? If it's just something to be understood, Cassandra is very good at understanding things, so her moments as Merlyn could have unlocked something big.

1.) Pretty much.  Although you can also assume that some of these ideas wound up in folk tales because they're reflections of real things or stories the storyteller at the time heard of.  John Dee did have this kickin' obsidian mirror ...
2.) Let's say it's easy to misuse magic without much understanding (as you will see this very week) but to use it properly, that takes someone special. Whether Cassandra has that knack ... 

@antisocialbutterflies: 1) The black mask, future plot point or throw away line?
2) It's never the genie's lamp; Is this an homage to House, ala it's never lupus. 
3) In the episodes leading up to this one, the writer's have made a point of emphasizing Jones' luckiness. Was that all leading up to this episode or is there something more to it?
4) Was Kane happy to do some more Eliot-style ultimate bad ass fighting, rather than Jake's bar brawling? 
5) Should we be concerned about TNT burning off episodes as two-fers?
6) I was watching the extended cuts and in episode 1 or 2 Baird has a line post-Buckingham palace break-in along the lines of "what's next the Vatican, the Taj Mahal, the White House?" Since we visited the Vatican in Apples of Discord, does this mean we will be hitting the Taj Mahal and White House before the end of the season? 

1.) Was originally the main plot for the season, faded into the background for next year, maybe. But good catch.
2.) Yep, nice to see how many people caught that.
3.) Addressed above.
4.) He's always happy to throw a punch.
5.) Nope, it was a scheduling decision made well before we began to air.
6.) Nope, but they're on a different list.

@Mario Di Giacamo: 1) Given the possible-but-never-actually-outright-stated presence of more high-tech organizations like the Middlemen and the Banzai Institute, are there any plans to have the team go after some more sci-fi artifacts?
2) Who do I have to bribe to get a cameo appearance by either Parker or Miranda Zero? I'll settle for Ezekiel or Cassandra getting a weird cellphone in the mail....

1.) Absolutely.
2.) The Global Frequency is canon in the Leverage-verse, not here. But the Bleed being the Bleed, and with hints dropped this week by a certain someone ... well, who knows?

@theuglybugball: 1.) I've read and understand that this episode wasn't shown in the order intended. I couldn't help laughing when Cassandra asked Stone, wide-eyed and sincere, about winning his trust back. Doesn't quite work after last week's black-eyed evil Cassandra. I hope you can order the episodes as intended on the DVDs. 
2.) Lamia's henchmen grabbed as many artifacts as they could carry in Sword in the Stone, and then the library folded up. How does Jenkins know which artifacts stayed with the library? Does the interface with the Annex include inventory lists?
3.) I was hoping Stone would keep digging inside the wolf and find Grandmother.
Haven't seen the extended version, but the scene with the troll under the bridge felt unfinished. Was this a budget issue and/or time issue?
4.) I enjoyed the gender bending with Cassandra as Prince Charming. Was it just for fun, or is there a clue about her character here? By the way, it brought back memories of the movie Dead Again with Emma Thompson. 
5.) Sophia Mitri Schloss was excellent. If the Library ever has a junior librarian spinoff...

1.) That actually lines up perfectly with Evil Cassandra.  Cassandra is pushing Evil Cassandra way way down, and her own insecurities are certainly part of the reason EviL Cassandra acted the way she did.
2.) Precisely.  Information from and about the Library can be accessed from the Annex, but not the physical space.
3.) We barely fit Red in there!
4.) Loved that flick.  On the gender-bending -- it seems weasely to say "I don't know yet" on Cassandra, but that's where we are, honestly.  It was for fun, true, but it was also important to show she was comfortable with it. Her sexuality hasn't been super-relevant to the stories so far, so we haven't bothered to come down hard on it one way or another, although I think everyone in the Writers Room has their own personal approach. One of the things I thought they handled very well on Warehouse 13 was Myka and H.G.'s relationship. That felt organically arrived at, and I'll admit a shade of disappointment it didn't play out into the full relationship the actor chemistry seemed to provide (and that's me as a writer-producer, not fan-me).  BTW, why does everyone focus on Cassandra as Prince Charming and not Baird throwing her those big hug-me eyes?
5.) There's another possible junior LiT coming.

@ChelseaNH: 1. "Weaponize fairy tales" is such a Baird turn of phrase. Are any writers gravitating towards certain characters/voices?
2.) RR tweeted about weave withdrawal. Are there any props or costumes that you're expecting to wander home with any of the actors?
3. I thought Ezekiel might be turning into the Gingerbread Man (you can't catch me!) but it seems he's actually a luck dragon.
4). Can you explain the coin? I feel there's an allusion that I'm not getting.

1.) Everyone writes everyone, but whenever you see a big fat Stone speech or Flynn tongue-twister, those are generally my heavy hand. On Leverage certain writers definitely gravitated to certain characters or types of stories, but it's a little early to figure out the patterns here yet.
2.) I believe we actually made John Kim take home ... oh, wait, spoiler. Finale, I'll answer that.
3.) I wish I had thought of luck dragon.  Damn.
4.) It's not a specific reference.  The coin is the bond between Ezekiel and the Girl, so it's the "object" in the Fairy Tale which is the key to defeating the "Evil Magic User", a gift of pure intent. We ran out of time to explain it properly.

@awa64: 1) Ezekiel's been in the "I am safe from this magical influence because it's only driving me to be who I already am anyway" seat two weeks in a row. Assuming it's not some broader influence imbued by wearing Santa's Hat for an extended period of time ( it?), are any other characters slated to sit in that particular seat?
2) To the point of that plot riff being more noticeable as a back-to-back occurance, and other mentions of stuff you thought might have worked better in a different order, any plans or desire to rejigger the episode order for the DVDs?
3) It looks like Cassandra kept either some of Merlin's magic or some of Merlin's knowledge after the book was shut down. Did Stone keep any robot-ness? (I'd ask if Baird kept any ninja-ness, but I think she already had plenty of that...)
4) I couldn't help but think of Mr. McGuire's ultimate fate as being "Myst'd." (Rene Auberjonois did a fantastic job this week, as he always does.) Mechanically speaking... is it possible someone could accidentally trade places with him within the book, freeing him and trapping themselves?
5) Is there a future bottle episode in cataloging the Adjunct Library's new rare book collection and something going horribly wrong?
6) Jenkins continues to be awesome. No question, I'm in total agreement with you on nightshirt-Wolverine, I'm just enjoying the ride on that front. (I loved "It's never the Genie's Lamp.")
7) Are there any magical-artifact cards that you've had to take off the wall due to rights/clearance issues?
8) I love Stone's art geekery, and as much as I love his terse matter-of-factness about the subject, my inner art school student kinda wants to see him get an opportunity or two to discuss art at greater length/depth. How much of that terseness is his own discomfort with demonstrating that part of his personality, how much is mercy toward the not-art-geek part of the audience, and how much is other-factors-I-haven't-considered?
9) With magic coming back to the world and expressing itself in increasingly-prominent ways, and the ridiculousness of "Librarians with the Metropolitan Public Library" as a cover story lampshaded this week, how liable are the LiTs to start developing a reputation for weirdness and trouble in the non-magical world?
10) So far, it seems like the magical artifacts driving weekly conflicts have all been deliberately sought or wielded by individuals with malicious purposes in mind—this week teasing an innocent, unknowing user and veering away as a major twist. Is the "dangerous artifact in the hands of an innocent/ignorant user" trope off-limits as Too Warehouse 13, or just one you haven't gotten around to yet because it's not as thematically on-point?

1.) As addressed, a coincidence. But nobody else is Ezekiel Jones, so that's his spot for a while. That said, it'll start to bite him in the ass soon enough, if there's an S2.
2.) We'll probably re-order for the DVD's, but not necessarily the order above.
3.) Addressed (kinda) above.
4.) S4.
5.) That may be a job for the incoming Junior Librarians.
6.) You actually get more answers -- or at least one answer -- about Jenkins than most of the other characters this season.
7.) not so far, although it is a coincidence that we were artifact-heavy in the first part of the year. None of the remaining episodes are artifact-centric.
8.) You see a bit more of it in the extended cuts, and if there's a Season 2, we'll get deeper into that.
9.) Oooooohhh yes. If only there were a government agency dedicated to investigating weird phenomena ...
10.) As I noted, we're not really an artifact show -- about 50% of the stories this Season I'd consider use an artifact as the central conceit -- but you'll certainly see misused magic coming up very soon, Very very soon.

@lisa king: 1.) Is Ezekiel warping luck? Hence the slot machine winnings from the vending machine.
2a) having held birds of prey myself, how many takes did you have to do with the owl? They weigh next to nothing but holding your arm in that position can get tiring. 
b) did not notice any jesses on the owls leg. Airbrushed out or that highly trained. 
3.) How hard was it to get Christian away from the animals, especially the wolf.

1.)  Precisely. It was a clue to how he was bing affected by the book.
2.a &b) The bird was super-well trained.
3.) Not hard. He already has his own wolf, after all.

@Teacups: I'm awfully curious to hear more about how Cassandra's synthesia/brain tumor works. For instance, in what way do her senses other than sight not work so well? Is it that they trigger memories and tangents, becoming overwhelming?

It's important to remember that her tumor didn't cause the synesthesia, it amplifies and interferes with it.  When she accesses her memory, the imagery is amplified and spun out by the hallucinatory effects of the tumor's placement.  Also -- pulp show.

@Tom Gallowy: (long question about Ezekiel not really coming across as that horrible)
Well, don't assume you've seen Ezekiel at his worst.  So far they amuse him. 

@Dan Da MAn: 1) Do you guys have a list of "weird doors they can come out of"? Because I have to think that the bathroom door would be on such a list.
2) Okay, I got to ask: Was the title and the various Big Bad Wolves simply because it worked out that way, or was that a specific reference to "Fables"? 
3) Is there a Necronomicon in that arcane book collection? ;

1.) There's a line Stone says in the "Santa" ep about "Finally coming out of a door that isn't a bathroom". They tend to be bathroom doors, actually ...
2.) We're just fishing form the same mythic well.
3.) Two.

@John Seavy: The LiTs are now bringing Jenkins all sorts of new, powerful and dangerous items like the Apple, the Liber, et cetera. Is this going to become a thing at some point? Is it a good idea to give this stuff to Jenkins?


@LynRasa: Whose kid/child-writer wrote that spectacularly kid accurate ending? That is exactly the kind of narrative my 2nd graders would write.

I believe while we were working it out, Paul Guyot chimed in, as he has the appropriately-aged chidren. Although the rest of us are 12 years old at heart, if you hadn't already noticed.

@Lora: 1.) I still don't know how I'm supposed to believe that Stone doesn't trust Cassie. It's all been tell. What he shows is that he pays close attention to her, cares about her, and has a connection with her that helps with her math. Until his actions say it too, he doth protest too much. 
2.) How did the coin freeze the old man? Was it just supposed to be that the Thief is so lucky that he happened to pick up an enchanted coin?

1.) All those actions show he's a good guy.  I like lots of people I wouldn’t trust with either my life or secrets. Now whether he's being completely honest with himself, that's an excellent question.
2.) It's more about the relationship with Ezekiel and the fact that it came from a "sleeping princess".  Just one of those things we said "let it be magic, and not worry about the goddam rules. It feels right."

@Neil Jasper:  1.) Eve seems to be Flynn's designated Guardian, even though she has agreed to babysit the Librarians-in-Training. Also, the Library seems to have accepted the LiTs Is it possible that, somewhere out there, are 3 people with the yet-unrealised potential to be Cassie, Jake and Ezekiel's Guardians?
2.) Speaking of which, I'm probably late to the party to spot this, but Lamia's relationship with Du Laque works as a dark analogy for the Librarian-Guardian dynamic. If not for her zealotry, could Lamia have been called to the Library as a Guardian?

1.) Spoiler.

@DaveMB:  (long question about niche protection)
Unlike the Leverage crew who all had a bit of experience in CrimeWorld, this group is indeed specialized and needs each other for their blind spots.  But let's just say I use the phrase "niche protection" because I read it in a Mutants & Masterminds RPG book and loved how succinct the phrase is.

@Kalrane: Why does the library call in so many potential Librarians but only choose a single Guardian?

It's almost as if the Guardian were more important than the Librarian, huh?

@Amber: My question isn't specific to the episode. I bought the season pass on iTunes so I could get the extended cuts and writers vlogs (enjoying those too) but I haven't gotten any of the extended cuts since I bought it, are there not anymore extended cuts since the first few episodes? Will there be more extended cuts for later episodes?

If you look, most of the episodes on iTunes are longer than the 41:30 we broadcast at, just none of them are as significantly longer (14 minutes!!) as the pilot two-parters were.

@Michael Brewer:  I wanted to ask a question about the two parter pilot, if that's ok. Part of the reason Cassie betrays the team is because the Serpent Brother hood tells her that they can cure her with magic. Practically right at the same time, Flynn pulls out a bottle of healing water and uses it to lessen the wound he got from Excalibur. Is there a reason he didn't just toss the vial of healing juice to her when they went on the Library tour earlier or did he just absentmindedly forget or was he putting it off or what?

That vial only heals WOUNDS, unfortunately.  That vial is important, however.  Remark upon it.

@svoliga: On the facade of the Annex, there are the symbols of a book, a tree and three swords. Do they have a meaning? The book is supposedly obvious, but all the others, especially with the current theme of Arthurian mythos...

The Book is man's spread of knowledge, the sword is action in defense of knowledge, and the trees represent history, the future, and the Tree of Knowledge -- which has deeper meaning if you've seen the movies.

@Thea: 1. I forgot to ask this last episode, Eve's Catholic, isn't she? I mean, she knows which Bible verse is in which New Testament book and clearly, she's mortified they ended up on the Vatican and possibly met the Pope hehe (I would just like to point out that in her panic, it could just be a random bishop... doesn't His Holiness wear all white?)
2. Still on Eve Baird, would we get to see her family and why she is not too keen to spend time with them? I'm assuming it's that way because of the way she said "... and family" when she was talking to Flynn in the Black Forest, I sensed guilt too? Maybe, it has something to do with what Santa Nick said about her moving from one military base to another even as a child but that's me.
3. How does the Libris Fabula pick what people of Bremen turn into? For example, does Baird have an inner expert eye-batting, swiftly growing tresses, sparkly glass shoes owning princess in her? Or does the persona have a semblance to her childhood dreams, perhaps? No complaints at all, as per Rebecca's tweet, #weavewithdrawal.
4. I just want to clarify two ep-related things: one, when I checked the show's imdb page before, it listed Flynn, Charlene and Judson in Fables of Doom but no scene whatsoever - did it end up being cut or it was just plain misinformation? Second, are we getting the last two episodes of the season back to back on the 18th, too? Eep, I haven't been this looking forward to a show's episode airing in a while.

1.) Eve is a lapsed Catholic.
2.) Eve is more estranged from her family through life choices and distance than emotional estrangement.
3.) The book itself is a bit mischievous.
4.) Because they were in the two-parter, they are sometimes listed as cast members for the show overall. IMDB quirk.

@Dora: So, I was wondering....what is up with the Icelandic Swans that were on Jenkins' board of things?


@seraS:  From the way Jenkins spoke it sounded like trolls were just a part of the magic side of things and you could run into one if you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is that essentially correct?

People disappear all the time.


Okay, double episodes tonight. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

LIBRARIANS #106 "Fables of DOOM" question post

A sleek little high-concept episode -- the first one broken by the room and written after the pilot, BTW. Heap your praise upon Kate Rorick and ask your other, obsessive questions below.

LIBRARIANS #105 "Apple of Discord" Answer post

We always intended Flynn to return  --

FANS: Yes, interesting. Explain the Jenkins conversation.

-- in the middle of the broadcast order. Noah's availabilities were at the beginning and end of the shoot schedule. Rather than blow him out in a two-part finale, which tend to be monstrous clanking beasts, why not build a clean little arc for him?  We wanted to keep Flynn present in the show, make sure we checked in with him, and so a personal visit in mid-run seemed to be the best way not to go too long without the Head Librarian.  

I'm a big believer in addressing the emotional beats of show production with the characters as a proxy.  For example, when Gina Bellman unexpectedly became pregnant 2nd season of Leverage, we had to get a Grifter replacement.  As awesome as Jeri Ryan is (and she is awesome, and a shit-hot pool player to boot)  we know the audience was going to take a while to get used to her. People hate change, although it is eternal, transforming, and not to be feared. 


Anyway, we dealt with this by having the CHARACTERS hate the change, and then slowly arced them to acceptance.  The relationship between character emotional space and audience emotional space in genre shows is complicated enough that I have no coherent theory about it, but I have notions which tend not to betray me too often, so I'll take that.

FANS: Suuuuper interesting, thanks, and not at all pedantic. So the Jenkins scene ...

The attitude we felt needed to be addressed, which was "yeah, we just figured out how the show worked without the original movie protagonists" could be addressed by shifting it over to "yeah, Flynn, thanks for coming back, we got this".  It may have been a little easier to sell if we'd gotten the original broadcast order we wanted, which placed at least one more episode before Flynn's return. The episode tonight, "the Fairy Tales of Doom" was the first regular season ep shot after the giant four-week shoot of the two-part opener, and was intended to be aired in the first half of the season.  I would've even liked another ep between Santa and Flynn's return, but careful season building was pretty much impossible when you combine the speed with which the season came together and the fact we only learned the air dates of the show -- and hence the Santa ep placement -- later in the production cycle.  

Bringing Flynn back meant we needed to have an episode with much higher stakes, so an idea about dragons originally in the season finale was dragooned (heh) into the midpoint tentpole ep.  First story break with the cards on the wall, Flynn was in his role as the Arbiter.  We then thought "Hey, we are bringing back a franchise character. Do we really want to have him sitting in a conference room for the entire ep?" But if not Flynn, then who?

TV writing 101: when asking "Who should perform this high-stakes task in my episode?", you rarely can go wrong by answering "The worst possible person."  This meant Ezekiel, which meant Ezekiel and Jenkins in the Annex, which was aces.  In the first season of a show you try to team people up in as many ways as possible to both explore the character dynamics and, frankly, see who works well together.  We hadn't had a proper Jenkins scene with anyone but Baird yet.  By this point in the production cycle we were completely on board the "much more John Larroquette, please" train ourselves. 


Not quite yet, no.  Again, complications are your friend: an object that needs to be recovered is interesting. An object that needs to be recovered and is dangerous to transport is entirely more fun.  We went though a couple of iterations before landing on the object (one of the cards from the wall, I believe) that gave us the most interesting problem: the Apple of Discord.  It not only allowed us top open up some of the hidden corners of the characters, it allowed us to show Flynn himself was not above temptation, and himself needs to be rescued by the Librarians.

The Conclave came about because we were running into problems keeping what was essentially a three-hander -- Mr. Drake, Jenkins, and Ezekiel -- interesting. Jenkins is hyper-capable, Ezekiel is hyper-arrogant, and Mr. Drake does not (apparently) have his own agenda.  Escalating the situation from Ezekiel handling a one-on-one negotiation to managing magical parliamentary procedure kept the show on pace.  

It also allowed us to crack open the Library-verse a bit and differentiate our show even more from, say Warehouse 13 and Grimm.  The Library-verse is one where multiple magical realms overlap with a secret pulp history of the world.  There is not one conspiracy, or secret organization, or secret struggle. All of them are happening. All of them are true, and probably not exactly the version you've read about. We retain the right to remix pulp culture

The references to Wold Newton, Lupin, the World Crime League, O2STK, etc are a manifesto of sorts.  Intellectual property rights and copyright have morphed from what they were originally intended -- mechanisms to inspire creativity and sharing -- to fenced-in IP farming constructs extending well past the lifetime of the creator. That's even assuming the IP does not in fact now belong to a corporation, which is functionally an immortal life form.  This has gotten so out of control that I had to argue with a Writer's Guild arbitration exec on whether the Wolfman -- the concept of a wolfman -- was actually public domain, as Universal had made movies based on the idea. I am still not completely sure I convinced her. (FWIW, I got Javi Grillo-Marxuach's permission to use O2STK,  which he generously gave)  Any references you hear in the show which you think cross over to another property a.) are probably based on old legends or stories you were unaware of or b.) are certainly not those properties, but if you want to believe so, who am I to stop you?

Basically, when I was a kid, I thought nothing could be cooler than the idea that all the superheroes, pulp heroes and historical badasses and legends and conspiracies and stories were not only true, but crossed over constantly.  I do not want my imagination limited by persnickety encyclopedic precision of who said what said when did where couldn't have done that never said that. That is the opposite of imagination.  The idea I live in a secretly magical, conspiracy-laden super-powered world fills me with childlike glee. They let me write TV. Why not write about that?

My only regret is that TNT, probably wisely, reined in a few of the more outrageous groups. You almost got the Council of Dolphins on speakerphone, and I do miss the demands of the Parliament of Babies. (Bonus: writer Kate Rorick explaining that the Baby Genius series of movies is basically Flowers for Algernon was one of the high points of the year for me.)

FANS: We swear to Christ we will flip the FUCKING TABLE --

Right, Jenkins.  John Larroquette just murdered the first, truly emotional scene we gave Jenkins, which is the set-up. The punch of hinting at the shared past with DuLaque doesn't work without that speech.  So you want to know more about Jenkins?

FANS: Yes.

To the point where you're actively annoyed that we're not giving it to you fast enough?


Did you watch Leverage?  Did you ever read what I wrote about Eliot and Parker and Sophie's backstories on this blog? 

FANS: Errrr, no.

You should go hunt that up. The entry involves a reference to Wolverine in a poncy nightshirt.  And be prepared to hate me. Basically, if you want more, it means we're doing it right. And there is some shit we will never, ever tell you.

That said, there were discussions that we we making various hints about some of the characters' backstories too subtle for the audience to catch. Adorable writers. The beloved audience is an infinite ocean of obsessives.

Big kudos to Paul Guyot and Geoff Thorne for wrestling all this into something shoot-able and coherent.  You can thank Geoff for the Eric B. and Rakim reference.  

Let's go to questions. And hey, that shot of the Dragon flying you saw in the promos -- that is indeed from this season ...

@Madhatter360: Watching with my dad, he wanted to know, was the World Crime League a Buckaroo Bonzai reference or is it the same organization and they take place in the same universe?

I couldn't possibly say.

@Sean Fagan: Other than out of concern for the viewers, why didn't Flynn respond to the dragon in Latin?

Out of concern for the viewers.

@ChelseaNH: How do you mistake Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa for a pizza delivery guy? Especially when he's not even holding a pizza box! What is it with rogues using WIS as a dump stat and then never having a spot check?

To be fair, Ezekiel did not see Mr, Drake (and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was indeed great!) before he opened the door. No peephole at the Library.

@Dan Da Man: 1) Will we one day see some episodes of more of a sci-fi nature? After all, in some of the TV movies we saw stuff like UFOs and Nessie hanging out in the background of the Library.
2) Wait, so Du Lac just knows where the Librarians hang out? Why doesn't he just send all of men at it at once and take it like he tried to do with the Library itself? (Well, besides the fact that the show would be really short otherwise)
3) How fun was it coming up with all the ways sexy-evil Lindy Booth could weaponize math? 
4) Was the opening scene in Japan specifically meant to homage Godzilla and other Kaiju films?

1.) Yes, although one's a bit of a science/magic hybrid. The other's straight sci fi.  Not really our bailiwick, but we will dabble.
2.) There are reasons which will probably be clearer in the finale. This is, however his attempt to be subtle. And grabbing the somewhat useless (to him) Annex is less useful than engaging in a power-play in the magical world. Consider this week's plot kind of a bank-shot.
3.) Tons of fun. Although I will admit, most of that came out of my old notebooks. I am just one bad choice away from being a supervillain.
4.) A bit.  We just wanted to show the international nature of the threat and so we got a combo.

@Cynthia Pachura: My question is this... When are going to hear Jacob Stone's backstory?

Despite my general loathing to reveal backstory, his is relevant in an upcoming episode. You'll hear a short version of his reasons for staying home, from him. Be sure to check out the extended versions of the pilot for some crucial info.

@Marquis: Enjoyed the reference to the Judas Chalice. Sad that after what happened Flynn cut himself off from people. Do you have any plans /desires to explore those years or are they all essentially timelocked whatever happened happend and it doesn't matter?

We may indeed explore those years.  A lot happened, including some cool stuff with Judson and Charlene. We're leaving them blank for now, though to give us the story space for new episodes. But something in tie-in novels or comics is not out of the question. 

@Traylantha:1. Really love the concept of Ezekiel already being the worst version of himself. I'm thinking this comes from the fact that of all of them, he is the only one that has accepted himself completely as he is? Which means he's slotted into the Chaotic Neutral alignment point. 
2. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa! Consider this my formal request for him to return in Season 2. Rogue dragon plotlines can be fun, yeah? I'm not being presumptive or optimistic. I think there just might be S2 after all these lovely ratings.
3. I like that Stone can work with everyone despite the fact that he doesn't really trust them. When does this bite him in the butt? 
4. As the series goes, Baird's hair gets more relaxed as she gets comfortable, I think? It's a nice progression point to focus on. 

1.) I believe I stated in a previous post that the Library chose Ezekiel Jones not just for his thieving skills. These character traits are definitely on the list.
2.) If we have the opportunity, it would be lovely to have him back.
3.) I think Stone's trust issues will actually protect him in ways the others aren't shielded. It's not even an "issue" per se, more an attitude.  His butt is not bitten -- by that, anyway.
4.) Hey, nice eye.

@Evan K: 1) I get the feeling that Eve Baird is smarter than she looks, in an Eliot Spencer kind of way - not that she looks unintelligent, just that she seems "normal" compared to all the super-geniuses. I hope to see more of her smarts as her character develops - surely her military training includes some serious expertise on tactics and strategy at the very least.
2) When is the Librarians RPG coming out? I suggest one based on the same rule set as the Leverage RPG. Also, let me know when you want to GM; I'll bring the Irish whiskey.
3) Are Jenkins and Dulaque fallen angels?
4) How much Irish whiskey does it take to fuel the creation of each episode of the Librarians?
5) I like that Ezekiel is the worst version of himself - and I hope he stays that way (mostly).
6) Something else about Irish whiskey.

1.) At the end of the season, go back and watch Baird. She lays out the strategies, directs the team's investigative plans, and saves the day pretty often.  She's a detective, in the truest sense of the word. It's not that she can't learn all the fancy bullshit the others know, She just doesn't care or need to.
2.) I'm pretty sure you could use either Cortex or Fate to handle The Librarians pretty easily even now. I'm sure if you look around on the web, you can already find some builds.
3.) That's interesting.  If you poke around, some other fans hve stumbled across a couple of hints.
4.) I go through about two bottles a season, give or take two bottles.
5.) Ezekiel may grow more personally fond of the team, and his ego will prevent him from sucking at his job, but he does not, pretty much ever, become a decent human being.
6.) I'm trying Japanese whisky lately. Interesting.

@Calla: 1.) With the success of Leverage and now The Librarians, why do you think there aren't more pulp shows like these on television? Is it that you and your people are the only ones clever enough to write a full series?
2.) And, finally, I wanted to comment on Stone & Cassie's relationship. I like that it is NOT the same as Eliot & Parker - because it could have been. I like that Stone gets Cassie and helps her to focus and pays attention enough to know what her "off switch" is. BUT, at the end of the pilot, Stone tells Cassie that he likes her but doesn't trust her. So, I'm seeing each week evidence that he likes her, but I've not noticed any evidence that he still doesn't trust her. Is it simply that he knows more about her than she knows about him?
3.) Since Baird hadn't officially transferred from NATO to the Library, it made sense that, last week, she said "I don't belong here!" and that Flynn's desk rejected her rearrangement of its contents. But after signing the transfer papers, shouldn't the desk accept her now and let her set it up the way she wants? And what, if anything, does this have to do with your comment last week that "the desk is a clue"?

1.) Thanks, but no, TV is ass-deep in humans far more clever than I. We just got a great network with good promotions and a lot of trust.  It's a damn tough tone to pull off, and frankly is never going to win us an Emmy. So plenty of reasons not to make these types of shows. I'd also argue that right now pretty much the entire CW line-up is pulp.
2.) Nope, he's just a man of his word, and dealing with his own stuff. They talk a little bit about it tonight, and even though the ep is out of the original air order, I think the conversation still applies.
3.) Yeah, it should have. Even before that. So I guess the desk is still a clue.

@vickysg1: 1. If Flynn didn't know about the door working how could he have come through it at the beginning?
2. What did the team do with Lamia? Why didn't she follow them to the Library as she was with Eve at the time?

1.) He thought he was teleporting in on his own (notice how he bombed out of the later scene on his own?) and it took him a second to notice that the door was functioning both ways, i.e. properly.
2.) Lamia went off to lick her wounds. She'd had a very, very weird day.

@Stick: Will the Harley Quinn / Midnighter / Root / River Tam version of Cassandra be back?

Midnighter!! Nice catch. Hey, she's still in there, somewhere ...

@Anonymous: When will this loose group ever become a team? By now I expected more cohesiveness and character development.

By episode 5? Nah.  For me, the whole POINT of the show is to slow play the evolution of the relationships and character development. People change slowly. Let's live in that for a while.  That way, you feel more like you've earned those relationships in later seasons, and you haven't burned through emotional arcs so fast that you're resorting to soap-opera contortions in S4.

@Rhea Lee: I was wondering, who hid the Apple in the pearl? When Flynn showed up at the conclave as his "evil" self, Dulaque seemed to be surprised at him acting out of character, so it looked like his plan didn't involve saddling the Librarians with the apple. Was the apple there at the Vatican for a long time, quietly waiting for a victim?

That is a mystery lost to time. But that effect was probably why the Dragons found it fascinating/collectible.

@Dan: 1. Did Kane actively petition to be this show's "Hardison", re: Stone's relationship with Cassie?
2. Were the different eye colors a conscious nod to Green Lantern or did it simply come about as a means of providing a visual cue to the audience when someone was "possessed" by the apple?
3. Flynn's clothes in the pilot were, in my humble opinion, quite similar to the clothes worn by the Tenth, Eleventh, and Eighth Doctors. The white suit this week reminded me of the Fifth Doctor. Any chance we'll see Flynn in a velvet opera cape, insanely long scarf, or question mark jumper before the season is over?
4.) (Not really a question about the episode, but: Is it too soon to start looking for info about a potential DVD release of the first season?)

1.) I don't see that relationship as a parallel, but eh, it's your show as much as mine.  But no, this is all us exploring character space in Season One.
2.) Not a reference to Green Lantern, but indeed a reference to each of the characters' sins.  Using references from classical sources, we matched colors to: Stone was Lust, Cassandra = Wrath, Baird = Envy and Flynn = Pride.
3.) That's more a coincidence, honestly that when you try to go "quirky, slightly dated look for a thin guy", your costumers run into the same space.  The white suit was a callback to the third Librarian movie, not a Dr. Who reference.
4.) We already have the DVD commentary dates booked.

@wilderebellion: What happened to those Japanese 20somethings from the beginning? Did the dragon scare their pants off or were they his evening snack?

They did indeed escape. Nobody believes their story. Well, almost nobody. A secret kaiju task force was sent to investigate the area ...

@Neil Jasper: Cassie's transformation when she was holding the apple seemed much darker than the other characters. Stone, Flynn and Baird all changed in ways that were bad, but made sense for each one - Stone's artistic snobbery, Flynn's desire to wield the Library's magical power rather than taking responsibility for it, Baird's will to make other people follow orders. 

The worst possible version of Cassie seemed to have a desire to kill and cause widespread destruction for its own sake - which seemed quite a shift from her normal nature. If the changes are all dark reflections of the character's personality, what should we draw from this about Cassie?  She comes across as somewhat innocent, but twice now she's shown that she's not averse to changing the world for millions of people to suit her needs or desires.

I think "twice" is not quite right. She didn't know the full extent of the magical world/stakes when she cut her deal with The Serpent Brotherhood the first time, and she was convinced that they were going to help people.  After all, even some fans of the show are saying that it doesn't seem right for the Library to lock up knowledge. Congratulations, that's Lamia's point of view. 

As to her worst possible version -- I think the thing to focus on is more about how her potential was thwarted (and you hear more about this later) and she felt powerless. That's what was acting out. That said, if we go more seasons, Cassandra' relationship to power is going to be an interesting thing to watch. We can discuss this more after tonight, and the science fair episode ...

Kevin: I'm having a hard time "suspending my disbelief" that Stone would "crack heads" over differing opinions of interpretations of art, Flynn/Eve would take over the world, Cassandra would kill (as a byproduct) and Ezekiel basically would do no worst than what he is everyday? He must be a saint that gets up on the wrong side of the bed everyday. Just put me traffic and remove my inhibition and the results wouldn't be good (am I right?). Is this foreshadowing or purely comedy?

Ezekiel has very few inhibitions. It's almost as if we're laying some thematic pipe about the thief being the most spiritually advanced ...

@Anonymous: Is The Librarians going to be available on Netflix or hulu (it doesn't look to be streaming currently)? I'm going through the other comments but haven't seen it mentioned. Unfortunately TNT's website won't allow me to watch online because my service provider doesn't participate/support the online viewing or something.

Unfortunately, those options will not open up until later in the year. Sorry, not our decision on that one.

@Thea: 1. Out of curiosity, is there a chance we'll get to know Eve's middle name this season?
2. Eve's "Come back alive, Librarian" recurred in this episode... It's their thing, right? But I do hope it's not a foreshadowing. I really took a liking to how her relationship with Flynn works and they're making the most out of their brand of normal.
3. Her hair seems to be more relaxed as the episodes go by (from the neat bun, now she's letting it free more often). Sort of her getting more acquainted with the whole "magic exists even if you don't know it" and in sync with her LITs? 

1.) She doesn't have one.
2.) ... you may be upset at some point during the year.
3.) As noted above, kind of, yes. 

@David B: 1. With the break-neck speed of development this show had, how much world-building/bible did you guys get down before writing (so you wouldn't cross important wires), and how much did you just wing? Having a formalized structure and established monster courts is a good gag, but it also drops some pretty big facts about the universe. Is that a, "This is how things work, and we're just hinting at the tip of the iceberg" decision or a "yeah that's great and we'll worry about elves in season 2"
2. Did the Western Dragons capture the Apple of Discord themselves (maybe during the Trojan War?), or was that a plant and part of Du Lac's plan?
3. Did the Roman Dragon have a name? If so, mind telling? (Also, nice on having the flame reflected in the eye-- that's a great detail!)

1.) We spent a chunk of time coming up with a loose magical history/philosophy, so we know what's consistent in the Library-verse. But we left ourselves lots of room to improvise.  We are indeed kind of just exploring, seeing how the world opens up as we write for some bits, but other sections of the magic world we've locked in. Its about 50/50.
2.) The plant was part of DuLaque's plan.
3.) His name is owned by another company.

@Amber: 1) are Jenkins and Dulaque brothers? I was getting the vibe that they were brothers, or at least they used to be good friends, especially at the end.
2) is Jake Stone going to learn to fight? I loved seeing Kane in Leverage and his fight scenes are great.
3) is the yellow rain coat that Flynn is wearing the same one that Hardison is wearing in the Miracle job? I just watched that episode a little bit ago and thought it looked familiar.

1.) They were very close.
2.) As a matter of fact, yes. It's a S2 plot point, and there's one moment in S1 ... well, spoiler.
3.) I'll ask. It may well be!

@Shelley: 1.) Fun to see Cassandra use math for evil. I love mathematics (even though I don't understand a lot of it). It's always great to see smart people. I thought it was a bit sad, really that Ezekiel is the worst version of himself. Are there plans to redeem the character over the course of the series or is he the anti-hero? 
2.) Will the DVD release be the extended versions of the episodes or the televised ones? (hoping for extended versions!) 
3.)  When does TNT announce series renewals? I seem to remember they were usually late, April, maybe? The show seems to be getting great ratings from what I've been reading so I hope to see news on season two soon!

1.) Ezekiel would be very hurt that you feel he needs to be redeemed. As as you'll see from tonight, it's probably best he's not.
2) Extended.
3.) Whenever they want. All joking aside, we should know in the next two months or so. Maybe.

@Christina: SPOILERS FOR 101/102 While watching the extended versions on iTunes, I was taken aback by what was chosen to cut. I felt cheated; had you not mentioned extended cuts were on iTunes, I would have a different opinion on the main characters then I do now.

The conversations Jake had in the bar about his dad, Cassandra had with Jake about the last time her parents had been proud of her as being when she was 12, Baird had with Ezekial about his OTHER FBI file, and Ezekial's comment about why he is a thief provide layers of info about them and explain a bit about their personalities that were missing for me up until I saw that.   It's like Jake is obligated to work the family business, Ezekial may not only steal for fun and profit, and Cassie feels like an outcast in her own family. I didn't take any of that away on my TNT broadcast viewing.

To my questions, 1) who gets to decide what gets cut? 2)Is it some arbitrary number (you must cut 8 min) and you just try to remove what makes the most sense? 3) Does it happen at a higher level of production (where the decision what to cut is made) and you have to roll with it?

1. & 3.) Dean and I decide what to cut, and we cut things because ...
2.) 41:30.  That's how long each broadcast episode is, and even though we got a bit more time for the pilot (about a minute and a half more) that number is a hard out.  Commercials, kids, that's the way it goes. We must hit that number. Full stop. So the stuff that gets cut is anything which will NOT break the logic chain of the episode. A particularly ugly problem we faced, too, was having to push all the Charlene material, some of which was originally in 102, into 101 for contract reasons, which gutted a lot of that character work out of the 1st episode.  

Two more factors complicated things: a.) New show, so we didn't know what page count paced out to the right running length. Each show is highly idiosyncratic. Leverage, for example, paced out to 50-55 pages per script, and anything even close to 50 ran short. Librarians, we realized about three scripts in, paces out to 48-50 pages per episode.  We wrote long and shot long for the first few.
b.) Different directors wind up giving you slightly different runtimes with the same page count.  Dean does these beautiful one-take scenes, but it's difficult to cut out of them, so you need to write to that.  Roksin and Frakes shoot different dialogue paces, different coverage and cutting patterns. 

@VideoBeagle: from 101/102 Wouldn't the contents of a law book are public domain, wouldn't the specific printing of it be copyrighted? Like a specific printing of the bible, or a performance of a Mozart piece? Or are law books printed as as public domain objects, in and of themselves?

Fuzzy enough that nobody cares. Or at least lawyers don't care. What's the basis for that lawsuit?

@bluehex: Two questions. 1.) One about the episode - the goodbye between DuLaque and Jenkins (plus Jenkins's obvious distress throughout the episode) seem to strongly hint at a previous romantic relationship. Good catch, or was I completely brainwashed by the Internet and see things that are not there? 
2.) Second question is about the fireaxe - it was emphasized quite a bit in promo photos/videos, to the point of becoming somewhat iconic. However, not a glimpse of it in the show itself. Should I look forward to the axe making an appearance - even a cameo would do - or was it just a prop for a prop's sake in the promos?

1.)  ... they were close.
2.) The axe appears in tonight's episode. You'll note Cassandra's holding a skull in some of the promos, and Ezekiel a ray gun, which he never wields in the show. The nice promo people -- who did a pretty great job with the show -- were just playing around with tones and props.

@ChelseaNH:1. It would be nice to see a fleeing boy fall down for once.
2. Hopefully Stone will express an appreciation for classical music and even (gasp!) opera. (Hating on opera must be easy because everybody does it.)
3. Since I've actually visited Portland, I hope to see some familiar locations. Powell's is probably too hard to arrange, but the rose test garden is cool (Portland is the Rose City) and the Japanese garden is lovely.

1.) Minotaur ep, like three weeks ago. We're equal opportunity stumblers.
2.) I don't think appreciating the classics in one artistic form necessarily extends to another. Ezekiel on the other hand ...
3.) We've been trying to get into the Japanese Garden for years. The main problem is, the parking is too nightmarish to get the production trucks in place.  We will endevour to bring you more quirky corners of the city.

@lisa king: Does the desk resetting mean that Flynn is about to return and the Annex is getting things ready for him?

At the risk of spoilers, I will say the desk is more a clue about Baird than Flynn.

@Cara B: 1) It seemed like Cassandra's darkest side was "kill all the things!" I know that she said it was because she wanted to practically apply the theories constantly flying around her brain, but was there a little bit of revenge in there (like, the world never took me seriously so *there*!)? [Also, I was a huge fan to see her go *so* dark. I hope that we see it again and that it won't be so easily turned off--I'd love to see everyone try and deal with it.]
2. "Travel well" was a super odd phrase, especially since Jenkins makes it a point to stay in the Annex. Is it a hint re: what's to come (as in: are we going to see Jenkins having to make another one of those choices that he talked about)? And/or was it a jab at one of the last conversations that the pair had?
3. Can we get more Ezekiel/Jenkins? PLEASE? 
4. At some point before this, you mentioned that there was a group of folks who was in charge of making the magical confines in which objects were/are held. Would they have any answers for Flynn and Co. re: the Library's whereabouts? More importantly, will we ever meet them?
5. During the Writer's Vlog for this episode, you briefly showed two of the boards. (The following assumes that they weren't meant to mislead.) The characters seemed to be on N-S and E-W continuums, with Baird being on the structured end and Ezekiel being the complete opposite. Since Stone and Cassandra are in the middle (with no real indication either way) are they the neutrals of the group? Or will we see them head in a certain direction?

1.) Cassandra has a lot of rage which she's ill-equipped to deal with. A big part of 1st season is her getting a handle on how her life's gone.
2.) It is an old-fashioned phrase, spoken out of habit between the sort of men who travelled a lot. 
3.) We shall try.
4.) The Library is untethered in space and time, floating in the Void, the Space between Spaces. It's not really anybody's realm of expertise. Well, that's not quite true, there is someone very good at opening doors. Someone you'll be meeting soon.
5.) Four characters, four corners of a square. Nothing more significant than that.  

@Stefan Jones: These days, when you -- producers & creators -- create and plan a show, do plans and rights for things like comics, novelizations, and RPGs get discussed right from the get-go? Put another way, I'm wondering how important these media extensions are these days.

The rights for such products are set forth in the original contracts for the show, before it's shot. The plans are usually made later, if necessary.

@amarillion: 1. Kane as Stone in glasses, speaking different languages and being incredibly adorably geeky. MOAR please?! Also Stone's darkside was getting to totally ignore everyone else and indulge in his art geekery?!! Heeehehe
2. Stone and Cassie working together -how much of a strain will badCassie put on that friendship?
3. You once mentioned pondered that outing Stone as Gay and Artistic was "too many hats", so I offer two terms: Bisexual and/or Sapiosexual (One who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature). Bi would be far less of a gotcha as he can be attracted to men & women.
4. The conclave: Was it deliberate that some factions seemed to have a mineral/metallic representation, or just you sneaking in more RPG references?
Drake - Eastern dragons - Jade and Pearl?
Western Dragons - Gold?
Dabra(sp?): City of Bronze - the Djinn
Sililandria: Fae Legions - Silver ?
CĂș Chulainn of the Iron Kingdom
African group?
Guild of Fictional Entities 
World Crime League.
5. Tall women who's name/Faction was a bunch of consonants in a row - Blodeuwedd maybe, from the Welsh Tylwyth Teg Faction?

1.) Stone's need to possess the things he was deprived of was more the sin, but we did find it amusing. We needed to keep it mild, to escalate the threats properly.
2.) Not much -- he's going to write this off the way we might write off That Night We All Got Hammered. Filed, but not obsessed over.
3.) Hey, four drinks in, who knows? My assistant once pegged me, after years of conversation, as a Kinsey 2 (I have an odd office), so who am I to be setting guardrails up?
4.) Although a lot of those groups and factions do show up in role-playing games -- I briefly had trouble convincing clearances that Everquest had not, in fact, invented the City of Brone -- they are actually classical references which both ourselves and the RPG designers had appropriated.
5.) Think more along the Necropolis type of faction.

@watsdaughter: 1.) This is sort of speculation more than a question, but here goes: I LOVED the scene between Du Lac and Jenkins. My guess: if Du Lac is Lancelot, then Jenkins has to be Gawain. Jenkins’ speech about complicated choices maps pretty well onto the tragic events surrounding the fall of Camelot – Gawain refusing to participate in an attack against Lancelot because of their friendship, Gawain’s brothers and sons getting killed in that attack, the resulting war. Could Du Lac’s line about “I had to try, or I would be the monster you think I am” be a reference to his attempted rescue of Guinevere (which led him into the fateful attack)? Are you going to say what the answer is or do we have to wait until the finale? (Bonus: Wikipedia says Gawain was “a friend to young knights,” a mentor and exemplar of knighthood in a lot of stories. Jenkins is totally becoming a reluctant friend and mentor to the LITs.)
2.) If the arrows were activated by sound, why didn’t they try being really, really quiet, instead of making lots of noise? 
3.) It seems like with Flynn back, Eve didn’t get to do much Guarding. When she and Flynn were in a scene together it seemed like it was him doing most of the physical stuff (like stopping her from stepping into the arrows and running around drawing fire in the booby-trapped chamber). In an episode that was so much about her professional and personal relationship with Flynn and how he needs to not undermine her, shouldn’t she have gotten to do some of the day-saving? That said, I love their relationship overall – their chemistry, the apple possession scene, the way Flynn wanted to make it clear that he respected her as an equal at the end of the episode. And I guess sending Flynn back out to continue the search is an example of an element of the Guardian’s job. But more Eve derring-do would be nice.
4.) How did they get out of the dragon’s lair? They ask the dragon how to get out, he laughs, and then they’re out. Did I miss some implication of how that happened?
5.) What would happen if someone held the Apple of Discord while wearing Santa’s Hat?

1.) Even if you are right about who's who (and not saying you are), please remember -- there's no guarantee the version of the story you know is what actually happened. Just ask Rosalind Franklin and Lise Meitner.
2.) Flynn tends to solve problems by doing the opposite of what the designers of those problems anticipate. It works more often in these odd circumstances.
3.) There was only really one sequence of danger, and that was a perfectly good example of why Flynn actually needs a Guardian. That said, there's a reason she's the LiT's Guardian ...
4.) Extended cut, I believe you see the door manifest in the wall next to the dragon.
5.) The emotional equivalent of putting a Bag of Holding in a Portable Hole.


Okay, see you next week for not just one but two, count'em two fine episodes.  Make sure to block off the time.  You will not want to miss either one.  One of them has a tiny throwaway moment of Jenkins backstory. And I'm not telling you which one.