Since the very first episode of The Librarians, there’s been a ticking time bomb that sooner or later would go off unless it was somehow defused. This week’s episode had some big moments for one character and a callback to one of the Librarian movies.
The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long
Cassandra Cillian’s brain tumor has been in the background for most of the show. I wasn’t really sure what they were going to do with her condition. The hope of a cure could be used as a villain’s temptation to make her betray the team but Cassandra would never be trusted by anyone else if it happened for a second time. While a show like Travelers could use a similar terminal situation to great effect The Librarians is too lighthearted to dwell on something like that too long though we do get reminded sometimes that under Cassandra’s chipper demeanor she’s acutely aware that her days are numbered.
In this week’s episode “And the Eternal Question” when Stone and Ezekiel head off to investigate a spontaneous human combustion case Cassandra goes to see her neurologist. The doctor informs her that the tumor has grown so much that he’s surprised she can even walk. He urges surgery but Cassandra refuses. Her abilities are tied to her tumor and she would rather burn twice as bright than twice as long.
The spontaneous combustion case leads to a vampire commune where they can walk around in sunlight. Cassandra connects with a female vampire who offers to turn her which would also effectively cure her (yes, yes, I’ll get to that part in a bit). Some of the vampires aren’t nice people and they are defeated with the timely arrival of Jenkins going medieval on them.
Cassandra is rushed to the hospital. Her neurosurgeon operates on her, removes the tumor and saves her life. She seems to have lost her old abilities (at least the visualized calculations) but has gained new ones.
Okay, there’s that other thing
I know some viewers ship Cassandra with Stone or Ezekiel but did anyone expect Cassandra to hit on Jenkins? I sure didn’t. Alas, his heart belongs to another. Maybe she can find some solace with someone else.
The Librarians has danced around Cassandra’s interest in other women a few times but in this episode she kisses a girl and she likes it. Along with the story Jenkins tells Casandra it’s also a callback to the third Librarian movie where Flynn Carsen fell for a vampire (played by Stana Katic).
So after this week’s episode things will be different for Cassandra. Her new abilities seem to include telepathy. I’m sure we’ll see soon enough how that plays out. Meanwhile I’m sure she’ll still be the chirpy, perky one on the team and the biggest advocate of using magic to fight magic. And hopefully she maintains her fashion sense.
ETA: io9 has an interview with Lindy Booth discussing this episode.