Well, that’s an apt title, considering the Shakespearean theme throughout this season and especially so in this episode.
The Internet is down, all military communications systems are down, and electricity is nonexistent— just like the Carrington Event. If the heroes don’t bring electricity back, they’ll never have technology again, and they’ll be stuck with Prospero’s idyllic forest utopia that he thinks is the best for humanity. Except there was nothing about that in The Tempest, as Moriarty points out (and gets zapped for his troubles). So who is writing this story?
But there’s more!
The note that Flynn found during the premiere, when he was trying to find the staff to stop Prospero, was written by Flynn in the past as a clue! The Librarians have to work with Jenkins to stop Prospero in real time while Flynn and Baird travel back to 1611 to figure out why Prospero was written by the Bard and grab the staff.
This is after we see the time travel room, where yes indeed, a TARDIS is located. (Cross referencing fantasy shows always.)
Eve and Flynn appear in their 2015 clothes, confusing the two men they run into (who think Eve is a guy because she’s too tall for women of that time). This also highlights Flynn’s atrocious acting ability. They knock the dudes out for their clothes when none other than Moriarty pops up to help the two! His plan is to just kill Shakespeare. Dude, that’s not how time travel works.
He’s stopped, of course, and is taken away while Flynn and Eve talk to Shakespeare and try out for the first showing of the Tempest— er, The Triumph of Prospero. Uh oh.
Turns out, Shakespeare had a magical quill that gave him writing power: a quill carved from a branch of the Tree of Knowledge. Uh oh, again.
Before Flynn and Eve can even think to get the quill, the unthinkable happens.
Specifically, Shakespeare’s quill is the focus, the power is Shakespeare’s rage about forced retirement, and the effect is PROSPERO’S RETURN.
Prospero is a manifestation of Shakespeare’s id and is using Shakespeare’s imagination. He’s possessing Shakespeare! In 1611! Damn, these writers are good.
Fortunately, Prospero can only use magic from the plays which decreases the amount of harm he can do, but killing King James, who is on his way to see Shakespeare’s play? Very bad.
Back (er, forward) in real time, as the forest continues to grow like Poison Ivy lent a helping hand, the Librarians work with Jenkins to see how they can help Eve and Flynn who can’t come back because the time machine sphere has exploded. But Jake figures out where a showing of Shakespearean stuff is being held and there’s a permanent exhibit from the Fleveh (Fleve!) collection.
Fleve know they can’t get back and have sent a message somehow. Ugh, this time travel stuff hurts my head.
In the box were a donkey head, carnations, the quill, and the original manuscript of the Tempest showing the Librarians and Jenkins that Shakespeare is the one outside, not Prospero! And the items?
Well, they make up ritual elements for an exorcism!
Back in 1611, Eve stops Moriarty and Flynn from fighting so they can break the staff and drown the book just like in the version of the Tempest we know now. To break the staff, though, they’ll need another item of more power, like Excalibur. Which is long gone. But legend says that in England’s time of most need, Arthur will return. Too bad he’s dead.
In present time, Jenkins summons Prospero and starts the ritual to expel Prospero when, in 1611, Prospero dumps Eve into the fountain where she was sinking the book and stabs Moriarty through. Bye, fictional!
But this show is ridiculous and the writers are particularly good and connect various plot points and characters as we’ve seen with the note from earlier.
So, who should appear to help save the day this time?
The floating Ladies of the Lake. And where there is a Lake (and water, like what Eve was pushed into), there is a sword. Ten points to whoever guesses that Eve (yes!) brings back Cal, who is quite happy to see Flynn.
She also gets asked to join the Ladies, like Cassandra did two episodes ago. Hopefully, these ladies won’t cause too much drama next season.
As Flynn fights Prospero in the past, the Librarians read famous lines from Shakespeare to send Prospero to when he belongs.
The forest disappears and Shakespeare appears in the present and is able to go back through a hole in the timeline. However, once he goes through, the hole closes. Eve and Flynn are stuck in the past! At least they got to share some kind words with the others?
In the Library, Jenkins and Jake are going over blueprints to make sure the Library is finally back to its original set up when Jake asks about the locked door with no key. Jenkins has never known where the key is but there’s a clue: “Jenkins. The key is in your guardian’s name.”
And behind the door? A statute of Eve and Flynn kissing, with Cal in his hand, that immediately comes apart after Cassandra speaks to bring our favorite couple back to their rightful time!
Again, time travel makes my head hurt, but that’s a pretty smart spell: having Shakespeare using his magic quill one last time to write their story and all of its parts.
After changing back into regular clothing, Eve hands out folders. Magical crime, things that go bump the night, and how science interacts with magic. They all need to start planning for what’s coming next! And Flynn is sticking around for a while to train Cal. After all, he doesn’t need to run anymore.
So the world is saved and we get a superbly written and acted season finale.
Until next year, when the show returns for ten more episodes of ridiculous fun and more baddies attempting to use magic for all the wrong reasons.