I think that one thing most people can agree on is how much high school sucks sometimes.
Especially when people are using witchcraft to one up another.
Unfortunately for four students, they’ve all been paralyzed or stopped from competing at the Chicagoland STEM Fair. The winners of the fair would get a full scholarship to college and internships—what better motivation for competition-induced witchcraft?
Mistaken as judges, Eve and Jake run into the fifth runner-up Leonard who has the ubiquitous paper mache volcano. At another booth, Ezekiel guesses that Cassandra used to be super-involved with this crowd, yet Cassandra says that she no longer has her wall full of trophies though because “people change”.
This must be the potential Cassandra feels was thwarted by her tumor.
When Leonard’s volcano erupts with actual fire, Cassandra points out three goth kids she’d noticed earlier making fun of the science kids as probable suspects. This is the most cliché high school episode ever. Goth kids can’t also be into science? I’m not surprised they didn’t make fun of the “jocks” too. Eve and Jake find the kids but Dashell asks Amy Myers (Bex Taylor-Klaus), who earlier was being coached by her overzealous mom to prom. She turns him down because nothing is more important “then getting into a good college” —although it seems like Amy’s mom is more motivated about the fair than Amy.
Jenkins points out at the Annex that the magic being used to sabotage the other contestants most likely comes from a coven of three people. That and the Rule of Three from The Wiccan Rede states that “Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.” which means that anything one person does, whether bad or good, will be returned onto them threefold.
Not all Wiccans believe in the Rule of Three, but anyone watching is probably really annoyed at this portrayal of coven magic used for evil because even though Jenkins notes for like one sentence that magic can be used for good, the writers have portrayed Wiccans and their covens as always evil.
Everyone is linked to Amy so she becomes the first real suspect. Eve and Cassandra go to talk to Amy and her—as the teachers call her—“Wolverine” mom: both the helicopter!mom who hovers and the lawnmower!mom who mows everyone down in her kid’s way.
At first it seems like Amy and her mom are two of three needed for the coven but there’s actually multiple people involved because students begin to get sick at the fair. One even coughs up a swarm of flying insects (which is so gross!)
Ezekiel pickpockets Amy’s phone, and on it is one of those brain booster apps: do some brain exercises, and your IQ goes up. Except this app fulfills your wishes, so all the students using it are just creating a feedback loop of bad energy—except for Amy because she never actually used the app since her wishes were about being more than just the “smart” girl. Amy wants to balance being involved in the fairs but have a teenager life where she can go to the movies, have sleepovers, and go on dates. All of which her mother never allowed her to do.
Unfortunately, Cassandra doesn’t have many words of comfort for Amy. She too had been working towards the “better future”, but when her tumor turned her super-math into hallucinations, Cassandra dropped out of school and returned home to her science fair trophies thrown in the trash by her parents.
No wonder Cassandra’s so angry about not leading the life she had picked out for herself and understands better than anyone that they have to stop the students from using the app.
(I always feel like an infomercial when writing these reviews.)
Morgan le Faye, King Arthur’s half-sister, the sorceress responsible for the downfall of Camelot.
Although, le Faye doesn’t agree with Jenkins because it’s a lot more complicated than le Faye being involved—who is, as some people have guessed, Sir Galahad.
Galahad, or Galeus as Morgan calls him, was the son of Lancelot and Elaine known for his gallantry and purity some of which still shows in the 2015 Jenkins. He was also one of three Knights of the Round Table to find the Holy Grail, which most likely means that he’ll be a significant part of solving whatever the problem is in the season finale.
Which means that Dulaque must be another Knight of the Round Table if not someone from that period. I really hope this show gets more seasons so that all those questions about their relationship can get answered.
Morgan disappears, so Eve goes after her. Cassandra and Jake work on using Amy’s fair table’s legs to form a pentacle to use as a kinda science-meets-magic Faraday cage, which would protect anything inside it from an electricity charge, thereby, protecting the 27 students (3x3x3) who were the source of the feedback loop of bad magic.
Eve uses the app so that she can physically stop Morgan, who tells Eve to either kill her or save the kids.
Of course, Eve goes for the kids, but I wonder if Guardians are able to kill people. Can they kill people if they have the time? Or because they’re supposed to be the protector of the good guys and must be good themselves, is it one of those “hurt until incapacitated” things?
Even though Dulaque and Lamia aren’t in this episode, they’re obviously the dark parallel to Eve and Flynn/Eve the LITs. (Are the LITs going to each have their own Guardians?) Which makes me wonder if would have been called by the Library, or was called to be Dulaque’s Guardian before he left.
These are all questions I’m probably not getting answered this season or the next, but the episode does end with Eve being lectured by Jenkins for not killing Morgan who left a message for Jenkins in Latin—“Do not fear the villain; fear the hero.” —which goes along nicely with Jenkins’ response that an end is coming, and if Eve can’t learn to fight the war instead of only the battles, no one will survive.
Totally a high note to end an episode on.
After the Faraday Cage works, Leonard wins the prize after Amy’s experiment is disqualified, and Ezekiel gives Cassandra the trophy meant for Leonard which is the best scene of the episode.
A lot has happened in the last six episodes which, as I’ve mentioned before, have aired out of order. The order should have been the pilot followed by “Horns of a Dilemma” and “Fables of Doom”, which focused on Ezekiel; “Heart of Darkness” followed by Santa with the last four episodes being “Apple of Discord”, where Flynn returned; “City of Light”, which will focus on Jake; “Rule of Three” with “Loom of Fate” for the finale. Although with a seven week run and this being the first season, some of the episodes can be slid around, but it’s just annoying to see the errors in continuity—especially with characterization.
Most of this episode is awesome. The science fair as a backdrop for Cassandra’s past and as the beginning of the end (or so Morgan and Jenkins say) gives insight into evil!Cassandra from last week and emphasizes that magic can exist anywhere, and the Librarians have their work cut out for them if they don’t want the world to end.
So—the usual fare for heroes in any ‘verse. However, there’s a huge problem with utilizing concepts from an under-represented religion and suggesting that all Wiccans use power for negative reasons when the Rule of Three could be compared to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. Additionally, the red herring that the goth kids are the bad guys because they made fun of a few students is super-stereotypical, cliché, and not fair to an entire subculture.
Grade: A+ for Cassandra plot and science but F for portraying Wiccans as misguided, demonizing goths and being ridiculously cliché about high school.