The Librarians (2013-2018) sends paranormal investigators out into the field to track down and neutralize powerful magical objects or beings: Excalibur, the Apple of Discord, the Minotaur. I watched Episode 6, where fairy tales come to life. A jam-up of The X Files and Once Upon a Time?
Scene 1: Bremen, Washington. A jerk trucker speeds around a "lane closed" sign, veers into oncoming traffic, and almost has an accident. Suddenly a giant hand grabs his truck and tosses it into the river.
Scene 2: The Scoobies arrive through a portal in an outhouse: By-the-Books Leader Eve; Hunk Jake (Christian Kane, below); Smart-Aleck Teenager Ezekial (John Harlan Kim, top photo); and Mousy Psychic Cassandra. They approach the Sheriff (Ted Rooney) with their cover story: "we're analyzing traffic flows in rural areas."
There are giant fingerprints on the truck. The boss (John Larroquette) identifies them as belonging to a troll, from Scandinavian mythology. But trolls aren't native to the Pacific Northwest. He asks for a sample to analyze.
Scene 3: They divide into pairs. Leader and Smart Aleck find a cave with the troll inside (turned to stone in the day time), and Hunk and Psychic check out the town. Whoops, the chunky mayor (Gary Kraus) drops by naked, but he thinks he's wearing a jogging suit: "The Emperor's New Clothes."
The team reunites just in time to fight a giant wolf wearing a bonnet: "Red Riding Hood." The troll was from "Three Billy Goats Gruff." Someone is weaponizing fairy tales!
Scene 4: Back at headquarters. the Boss tells them that there are 57 magical objects that could bring fairy tales to life, but most are safely stored in the library or untethered from our reality. He narrows it down to several possible artifacts, but he needs more data.
Scene 5: First step:bring back the giant wolf, which is being stored in the freezer at a local tavern until the Wildlife Department can investigate. Leader and Psychic stay behind while Hunk and Smart Aleck drag it out. Suddenly all of the female bar patrons start swooning over the Psychic.
Scene 7: They start an autopsy on the wolf, and a woman pops out! Alive, just cold from the freezer. Boss concludes that the magical artifact is the Liber Fabula, a book which can bring any story to life, for a price.
Switch to a man reading fairy tales to a little girl in the hospital. Uh-oh.
Scene 8: Hunk and Psychic interview the woman they saved. She'll only talk to Psychic: "I had just finished work, and walked into the woods, and...I don't remember anything else. Can I get your number?" All the women in town are in love with Psychic!
Meanwhile, the Sheriff becomes antagonistic toward Boss and Smart Aleck: "I smell trouble!" he exclaims, sniffing the teenager.
Scene 9: Boss explains that as you keep reading the Liber Fabula, it can change the stories and add new ones. Also, it draws its power from people, who get sick and die. That explains the little girl in Scene 9.
Boss and Psychic check the hospital records for patients with mysterious wasting-away diseases, Smart Aleck chases a magical coin through the hospital, and Leader and Hunk go to the library. The librarian says that they just got a donation of rare books from the estate of Thomas Deter -- who had the largest collection of arcana in the world -- and donated them to a small town library, not Miskatonic University?
Scene 10: The magical coin leads Smart Aleck to the room of the dying child, who happens to be the Sheriff's daughter. They bond over their shared love of larceny (he teaches her how to pick a lock).
Scene 11: The group reunites at the bar. They have the wasting-away kid, and they know where the book is, so things can wrap up...wait, the Sheriff tries to arrest Smart Aleck for....um...visiting a sick kid? He turns into the Big Bad Wolf and blows the whole bar down. I could swear that two guys were walking hand-in-hand on the sidewalk outside.
Chased by the Sheriff and his cronies, the group hides. But Hunk turns into the Huntsman from "Snow White," and Leader into Cinderella. Psychic is already Prince Charming...um, Princess Charming. And Smart Aleck is Jack (there are a lot of Jacks in the stories).
Scene 12: While Psychic uses her Princess Charming powers to evacuate the townsfolk, Smart Aleck rushes back to the hospital, where the librarian is reading to the wasting-away-child (from a rare 15th century folio? Buy a paperback!). He tries to grab the book, but the librarian is infused with the book's energy and too powerful. Turns out that it wasn't an accident -- the librarian is having fun tormenting the townsfolk, and now he's going to change the story to kill the team!
Scene 13: Fight between Psychic, Leader, and Hunk and the Sheriff/Wolf and his cronies. Meanwhile, Smart Aleck manages to wrestle the book from the librarian's hands and give it to the girl, who then changes the story so the heroes beat the wolves. The evil librarian is sucked into the book.
Scene 14: The team explains that everyone was hallucinating due to swamp gas. They return to headquarters. Hunk is disquited by the experience; Psychic liked having hot girls fawning over her; Leader didn't like having to fight in Cinderella shoes; and Smart Aleck is still a smart aleck. The end.
Beefcake: The chunky mayor is nude. No other attractive guys.
Gay Characters: The Psychic is apparently gay.
Heterosexism: No one expresses any heterosexual interest. I expected Leader and Hunk to have a "will they or won't they" sparring relationship, but no.
Shipping Pairs: None. They split into nearly every possible pairing during the episode, seemingly at random.
Fairy Tales: How does a 15th century book contain Grimm's fairy tales, first published in 1812, or "The Emperor's New Clothes," published in 1837?
My Grade: We've seen this plot a few dozen times before, but it was a pleasant diversion I could use some more beefcake and buddy-bonding. B