At the conclusion of last week’s episode, Jenkins admits that weird occurrences have been happening in the library. Flynn sets out on a solo artifact hunt, and the gang gets back into the groove of working as a team, leaving them ready to ambitiously jump into this week’s adventure.
The episode opens on a hard ass Oklahoman business owner who lies about having proper digging permits. Digging without permission, causes the company to create a rift in the earth. Under the rift a presumed burial tomb is found. A cloud of sand escapes through the newly formed hole and takes the shape of the right hand man worker. We know that shenanigans are about to begin because the sand storm doppelganger’s face stretches into an unnatural Cheshire Cat grin. The creepy grinning continues throughout the episode to clue to audience into when a character is secretly the villain in disguise.
The gang gets the call to investigate the Oklahoma rift. Once there, it is discovered that the not so forthright and possibly alcoholic owner of the company is Isaac Stone, Jake’s estranged father. This episode could have easily been entitled, gruff whisper conversations.
Actor Jeff Fahey did a fine job portraying Jake’s father, but I still couldn’t help wishing that he was Sam Elliot.
I enjoy all of the small glimpses into the various characters’ back stories throughout episodes. Last week we learned that Jenkins was a knight. This week we learned that Ezekiel once stole for the Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s fun to try to piece together their individual histories. The small slips of information always beget questions and excite my interest in finding out more. I think that’s why this episode’s giant dump trunk full of backstory felt a bit overwhelming.
A Story of Biblical Proportions
Jacob Stone has daddy issues. I was wondering if anyone else picked up on the biblical references in this storyline, other than the names; a father and son relationship based on lies. A father not respecting his son’s life decisions. I half expected to find out that Jake had a twin brother named Esau who his father favors and who is bent on murdering Jake. Of course the biblical story doesn’t contain a shapeshifting, trickster god.
When Isaac Stone’s company dug up forbidden ground, they unwittingly allowed an imprisoned trickster, shapeshifter to escape into the world. The shapeshifter has the ability to take the form of the humans around him. The motivation of the trickster god was to have fun by sewing chaos. At first I didn’t think that a villain motivated by personal amusement was all that frightening. How much mischief could he really cause? Once the explosions began however, and lives became endangered, it was clear that the escaped god must be stopped.
The trickster god feeds on chaos brought on by lies, and there are more than enough lies for the god to nosh on between Jake and his father. Jake pretends to be a failure, hiding his genius and success, while Isaac Stone pretends to be a success, while in actuality he is a failure. The only way to defeat the shapeshifter is to tell the truth.
While Cassandra and Ezekiel must keep the shapeshifter’s prison door open by continually telling “truths”, in this case the truth literally sets them free, Jake must find a way to get the shapeshifter back into its cage.
Jake finds his father and finally divulges his genius. It plays as a bit of a cliché touching moment where all is forgiven and the two have a hug- it- out moment. Things take a turn though when Jake reveals that he knows that the person he just confessed to isn’t his father, but the shapeshifter. Jake wrestles the trickster god into the tomb, fights the shapeshifter who has taken on Jake’s form, tells some more truths, and the gang finally succeeds in imprisoning the trickster god once again.
I appreciated the ending of the episode. Instead of having Jake and his dad finally have the expected heartwarming father/son moment, Jake accepts the fact that his dad is always going to be a jerk face. He has no expectations that they will be hanging out playing catch anytime soon. All that he can do is come to terms with his own decision that he no longer needs his father’s acceptance. As Jenkins tells Jake later, “Family ain’t easy.”
Although we learned a lot about Jake in this episode, I think fans of the show were most excited to learn that Cassandra is a “Firefly”/Nathan Fillion fan.
I was a little disappointed to see Eve sidelined for this episode. It made sense though. She would have just flat out told Isaac Stone what was what and exerted a force that would have extinguished the whole dysfunctional family reunion. Hopefully she’ll be back in the mix, kicking butt, and keeping The Librarians protected from next week’s evil villain.