Synopsis 02×08: The clipping book sends the team to a DARPA research facility where they get caught in what seems to be a time loop. Of course, everyone except Ezekiel forgets at every reset, and he’s left to try and save his team.

Rating: ★★★★★

DARPA, as always in science fiction, was up to no good. They were utilizing some sort of new stone they’d located to create a supercomputer of some sort. Naturally, it didn’t go well, and the team ended up being called to deal with the situation right as everything went to hell in a hand basket.

Jenkins, on the other hand, worked on trying to figure out what Prospero was up to. It had been a while since they’d had a run-in with him, and it had been mostly radio silence. That’s never a good sign from a bad guy. So using sweets and some sort of weird ritual, he summoned a sprite similar to Prospero’s Ariel to try and convince it to help their cause. The sprite agreed, but not before trying to strike a deal with Jenkins that was turned down after a moment of consideration. Jenkins sent the sprite on his way and waited for him to return to see what was next.

The team realized very quickly that the situation at the DARPA facility was far more dire than they initially anticipated. They needed to get to the main control room to remove the stone, which turned out to be from Atlantis, and then get it back to the annex. Naturally, there was a complication and the team got rushed by “rage people.”

Everything looked dire, until the whole scenario reset and everyone was alive again. Ezekiel quickly figured out they were in a time loop, since he was the only one able to remember what had happened, and as a team they began working to try and figure out how to escape the facility with the stone.

During the first few times through, the team wasn’t exactly open to believing Ezekiel. Even when he was trying, his attempts fell short and kept getting the team killed. Even when they thought they had the right plan and could get through the gate, they ended up dead. Over and over again, he had to watch his friends die because they just couldn’t figure out how to beat the time loop. Even when they finally seemed to, nothing changed. They were still stuck in the loop after all of it.

Of course, it was because they weren’t actually stuck in a time loop. In a fit of anger, after watching his friends die countless times for nothing, Ezekiel beat the crap out of some crates and found a health pack and a grenade. They were in a video game, not a time loop, and he was the only one who could remember because he was the first one through the door and became the “main player.” What they had to do was figure out how to beat the level of the game to get free.

Ezekiel ended up locking the rest of the team in a room against their will. They wanted to help him, but he told them he’d watched them die enough times, he wasn’t going to do it again. He would figure out how to beat the video game, and then lead the rest of the team through it once he figured out the solution. It was an eye-opening process, though, as he had to keep going back to get various members of the team to give him crash courses in the various quests he had to complete. Along the way, he showed a different side of himself and the team supported him in a way they hadn’t before.

Perhaps the most touching moment within the looping sequences was when Eve Baird looked at Ezekiel when she realized just how many times he’d been through the game and watched people die. “How many times?” She asked him with a heartbreaking look when she realized that he allowed himself to be injured, burned, and killed over and over again and remembered it all just to try and save them. “The” Ezekiel Jones could be selfless and step up when necessary.

Taking a different approach, Ezekiel decided to go above the game instead of through it. From a higher point of view, he was able to drop into the correct room that would take everyone out of the game and to the “save point.” He allowed himself to die so that the game would reset, but this time around the stakes were higher. His little stunt had caused the game to glitch and begin to crash. It was going to probably be their only chance, and he knew how to get them out. The worst part? The team didn’t believe him. They didn’t want to believe him because he was “him,” the little brother, the one who couldn’t be trusted. He made a passionate plea for them to give him a chance, and they did.

Using all their skills, he led the team through the puzzles and up to the roof where they were able to bypass the group of rage people that would have killed them. However, standing across the way from the door their path became less clear as the ground fell out from beneath them. Now they had to jump. Thankfully, since it was a video game, they could “rocket jump” across the abyss using the grenades he’d picked up. Eve, Cassandra, and Jake all made it across, but Ezekiel showed them that he didn’t have any more grenades. He’d sacrificed himself to save them and then tried to make the jump himself only to fall.

The rest of the team made it through the save point and then, by realigning the Atlantian stone, were able to bring everything back to what it was supposed to be. That included Ezekiel, who didn’t remember a single thing about his epic quest even though his teammates did. They made it back to the annex in one piece.

Jenkins’ sprite returned to answer his questions about Prospero. However, his last answer was ominous. Jenkins asked the sprite when Prospero would make his next movie and the sprite said “now!” The Librarians got pulled off onto another mission before Jenkins could warn them that it was a trap. Then, just like that, he seemed to complete forget what he was doing and went forward like nothing was wrong.

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