Hold it. Hold it.
Yeah, that's what you get!
Truck on the other side.
Stop! Stop! Stop! Hey, buddy!
You're an idiot!
Geez, that was close.
Help me! Stop! Stop him!
Man: Stay clear on that side.
Never gonna get used to that.
I know, right?
Investigating a traffic accident in bumblefart, Washington.
Excellent use of my criminal genius.
Clippings book showed us an article about a truck crash in Bremen.
Well, we're in Bremen.
All right. Any idea how you're gonna talk to these people?
'Cause I don't think you can just keep flashing your counter-terrorism badge.
I don't think we can walk up and go,
"hey, we're from the library."
Oh, well, on TV shows, the supernatural detectives, they always tell people that weird stuff was caused by swamp gas.
That's UFOs, not magic.
Excuse me, Sheriff "hiyer."
Uh, actually, it's Heyer, like, hey!... er.
Uh... Hi. I'm Eve Baird.
Spoke on the phone.
Right. Right. Nice to meet you.
So, uh, what was it you said you were here for again?
We're from the, uh, Metropolitan Library.
And we're doing a, uh, traffic-flow study.
We're doing a, uh... conducting and collating accident reports and statistical surveys on rural... Stuff.
Well, uh, wasn't no traffic flow issue.
Way I see it, truck driver was driving too fast, tried to pass a car, swerved to avoid oncoming traffic, and then... biew-zu-zu-zu-zu-zu! [Imitates splash]
Fella was darn lucky he survived with scrapes and bruises.
See? Quaint explanation for a quaint place.
Yeah, it means small, boring, you know.
I know what the word means.
I'm just trying to decipher what you mean by it.
You with this, uh, library, son?
Oh, look, there's the truck!
Mind if we take a peek?
Right there. Mr. Jones.
So, hey, thank you, by the way, for, uh... we'll just, uh...
Glad to help.
Do not antagonize local law enforcement.
But it's so much fun.
One of these days your luck's gonna run out and a man with a badge is gonna put an end to your fun once and for all.
Yet today is not that day.
Cassandra: Guys, there's a pattern.
It's... It's waves.
Waves. Waves. Amber waves of grain.
Cereal. Milky cereal.
Oh, yum. Tasty.
I don't see it.
A big one.
It might be a troll.
I-I understand your skepticism, Mr. Jones.
Trolls are not indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, but with the return of magic to the world, all sorts of odd things are waking up.
And if, indeed, it is a troll you're facing,
well, it's not been nice knowing you, per Se.
How do we fight a troll?
You flee. Or you die.
But if you can get me a picture or a sample to analyze, I-I could identify the species and find a weakness.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but subduing a troll to get a sample might be a little... tricky?
I'll be happy to correct you, Colonel. You're wrong.
Trolls are nothing but subdued, in daylight.
Ah. Cryptic and annoying. A two-fer.
Okay, so, we have to get a sample or a picture and not die.
You two, see if the sheriff has any surveillance from the bridge.
Maybe we'll get lucky.
I'll see if I can find anything on the ground.
Maybe I should go with you.
You and Stone work together.
Yeah, no problem.
And I'll head back to the annex.
I think it's time for my after-breakfast nap.
You're coming with me.
Let's go track a troll.
Oh, no. Just another tree.
Jones, you have to adjust that attitude.
Want to call yourself a librarian, you're gonna have to do the job.
Job? Ooh, no, don't like the sound of that word.
You see, I became a librarian because it looked like fun.
Stealing artifacts, dodging monsters.
I like a challenge.
There's more to life than traveling the world and pushing your luck.
Not for me, there isn't.
When it stops being fun, I get bored.
And when I'm bored, I'm gone.
I think your definition of bored and mine differ... Greatly.
Trolls are nothing but subdued in daylight.
That's just a pile of rocks, right?
Well, then you should have no problem reaching in there and grabbing a few pebbles.
Grab a few.
Thank you. What?
Um, I didn't think you'd want to work with me.
I told you, Cassandra, I can work with you.
I like you. I just don't trust you.
So, what, am I supposed to just keep running around trying to regain your trust?
No, I'm cool with the way it is.
Surveillance photos from last night you called about.
Thanks. These will really help with our traffic-flow study.
Small car, medium car, big truck, bridge.
Small, medium, big, bridge.
Why does that sound familiar?
Ah, morning, Sheriff!
What are you doing?
Just out for a morning jog.
Wanted to see how last night's bridge accident was being managed.
Sir, I meant what are you doing in your birthday suit?
Yes, my wife did get me this jogging suit for my birthday.
How did you know?
Well, everything seems to be in hand here.
I'll leave you to it, Sheriff.
That is more than I ever wanted to see of any elected official.
I take it that's not normal.
Nope. Can't say that it is.
Is there any other unnatural stuff that's going on around here?
Uh, we have our usual small-town problems.
There's a farm down the way claims they're hearing voices from a barn full of animals.
Girl from a local community college went to a music festival last week, didn't come back.
And old Mrs. Stubbins was stuck in her pizza oven.
We got her out okay.
There's weirder stuff in the big cities, right?
Yeah. You bet.
You betcha. Thank you. Cheers.
Definitely a troll.
Oh, it sure looked like a troll.
No, we're saying it's more than just a troll.
That is a really big wolf.
Everybody! Stay back!
We need help.
[Ax thumps, wolf whines, body thuds]
Where'd you learn how to do that?
Well, it... um... I don't know.
This is no ordinary wolf.
I mean, it's at least twice the average size, and it was unusually hostile.
It's wearing a frilly night cap.
A wolf in a night cap.
"Little Red Riding Hood"?
The naked mayor.
"The Emperor's New Clothes."
Small, medium, and the big one was attacked by a troll.
That's "Three Billy Goats Gruff."
Fairy tales are coming alive.
Fairy tales are coming to life and attacking people.
Someone has weaponized fairy tales?
If someone is making...
Fairy tales come to life, the question is what or who?
Now, these are all of the magical items, curses, and paradoxes that could possibly cause fairy tales to come true and attack.
We have to find 57 magical items? Ugh.
No. Luckily for all of our sanities, we can employ a process of elimination.
We can cross off any artifact that is currently in the library, since being untethered from this reality makes accessing them rather difficult.
There have been no fires or floods reported in the area, so we can cross off anything that requires displays of nature's power.
The immortals prefer Southern Europe this time of the year.
Uh, the Libris Fabula has been lost for centuries, thankfully.
It is a really nasty one.
The black mask is not worth mentioning at this point, and the genie's lamp can go.
Why not the genie's lamp?
It's never the genie's lamp.
So, that leaves us with the mother goose treaty of 1918.
[Chuckles] They never forgave the way Beatrix Potter rewrote that bloody history.
And Aesop's lyre.
Loose nukes, nerve gas I know how to find.
Where do we even start here?
Autopsy on who?
Well, the giant dead wolf, of course.
Bring it back here.
Bring it back here?
You want us to move a giant dead wolf through town and put it through a magical door?
No problem. [Chuckles]
Where did that wolf end up?
We're the only place in town with a freezer big enough to hold the body.
So, Sheriff Heyer said, once Fish and Wildlife come, I can keep it.
Keep the wolf?
I'm gonna get it stuffed, put it out front, rename the place the big wolf tavern.
People will come from miles around to see it.
I even got the Guinness people coming.
That's sure... Something.
Next round's on me.
Chivalry's not dead.
So, what do I do about Stone?
He'll come around.
I've seen a million guys like him.
Farm boys straight off the bus into basic, world's nothing but black and white.
Guys like him have a wide turning radius, but they do turn.
Do I have something...
I-I feel like everyone's staring at me.
I mean, why would they stare at me?
You're the one who's having the amazing hair day.
I didn't do anything to my... my hair.
It's so shiny and...
Hey, Walter, how are those drinks coming?
Here you are, milady.
So, I was wondering...
Uh, do you think that maybe the Guinness record people would like to take your picture?
Very handsome man.
Ezekiel: Twice the size, but half the weight.
Moving a wolf carcass the size of a pony through a small town, we're gonna get spotted.
Hey, it was your plan.
I was being sarcastic.
Subtext is very hard with you.
I don't have any subtext.
[Sighs] All right, in the truck.
No. We're not stealing a truck.
No. Of course we aren't.
What? No. No. You're not stealing a truck.
Oh. Unlocked. Lucky me.
Unlocked doesn't mean turned on.
And we can hardly call it stealing.
Boy, is that lucky.
So, uh, what? I-is the cap stuck?
No, it's not just stuck.
It's like part of the wolf's body.
It's pretty cool.
You know what? This probably, um, eliminates Aesop's lyre.
While it does make animals loquacious, I have never known it to affect their wardrobe.
So, it's the goose one?
Uh, the mother goose treaty of 1918.
Only one way to be sure.
If it is, the inside of this wolf will be stuffed with feathers.
Scalpel. Well, you know what?
Maybe the obsidian blade.
[Sighs] Then it would be... Both.
Ah, well, that would work.
Do you even know what you're doing?
Of course I do. I think.
I don't know. It... Feels right.
Something's in here.
[Shivering] What happened?
Where am I?
This is very bad. It's not the treaty.
It's the Libris Fabula. The... the... the storybook.
It'll bring any story you want to life, but at a price.
Uh, you said that was lost.
Yes, well, somebody found it.
A huntsman cut open the wolf, and little red riding hood emerged whole and safe.
[Strained] I love these stories.
Well, we're all relieved you found her, but she's not making a lot of sense.
Said something about you pulling her out of a wolf.
She... suffered exposure in the woods.
Thank you for letting us talk to her.
Wasn't up to me.
She wouldn't let go of your friend's hand.
I don't know what happened.
So, you... you don't remember anything?
I remember finishing my shift and then going out to my car, and then you pulling me out of that thing.
Actually, no, no, no.
That was... I-I was the one that... that pulled you out.
I know, but you played an important role.
So, you finished your shift.
I skipped out a little early.
I didn't want to miss the opening act.
Can I get your number?
Just in case my life needs saving again?
I'm not really comfortable with that.
You know what? Here's the thing.
I'm... I'm... I'm actually the... if you don't mind, I'm the one that pulled you out.
Over here. I'm the one that pulled you out.
Of a wolf.
You know, Walter at the bar said his wolf went missing after you two were there.
Your high school mascot's the wolves, right?
Your football rivals, I bet they'd love to steal your giant wolf.
Sheriff, you're probably a bit overworked.
We're glad we could help.
What he means is... oh, I know exactly what he means.
I know trouble, young man.
And you [Sniffs]
You smell like trouble.
What did I tell you about antagonizing local law enforcement?
What made you think I would listen? [Scoffs]
Girl doesn't remember anything.
Let's talk to Jenkins, find out how this book works.
Baird: Let's go.
I adore these.
It's like a miniature apartment building.
And when you hit the right numbers, the occupant of your choice leaps to its death!
And becomes your snack.
You don't get out much, do you?
Ha. Only when necessary.
And the Libris Fabula calls for it.
As long as that book is being read, its stories will come to life.
At first, only the stories already in the book come to life, but as the book gains power, those stories can be changed, new stories added, rewriting reality.
It's the shared narrative we agree to believe.
You're a very odd cowboy.
So I've been told.
And as the stories come to life, they get more powerful and more powerful, more people are swept up in them, entire towns, entire nations.
How big are we talking?
What do you think caused the black death?
The yersinia pestis bacterium.
The book's only limit to bring stories to life is that life has to come from somewhere.
So, it needs a power source to feed the magic.
And the people who feed the story, they grow weak, they get sick, they die.
So, somewhere in the records of this hospital...
There's a pattern of people becoming ill for no reason.
You two comb through the records see if you can find magic patient zero.
Stone, you and I are gonna hunt down that book.
I think I saw a local library down the street.
Maybe we can get a lead on, uh, local collectors, rare books.
[Thud, alarm ringing] Ezekiel!
Just... Stay out of jail.
Here's a case of a boy getting sick after eating a piece of siding off of his house.
There's one of an epidemic of food poisoning at a local apple farm.
Psychiatric followed a woman paranoid that her stepchildren were trying to kill her.
All of these have been happening in the past three weeks.
Those are people being affected by the story, not being sucked dry to power the book.
And no one died.
Well, maybe it's too new.
Maybe the Libris Fabula isn't strong enough yet.
Yeah. It took several years for the plague to build up.
Well, we're lucky they're just getting trapped in fairy tales.
You know, singing, dancing, woodland creatures making ball gowns.
Ah, my dear, these are not your cartoon stories.
These are the original fairy tales filled with death and dismemberment, and there's still a long list of archetypes.
The mayor was the only one able to wear the Emperor's new clothes.
Oh, and that girl, she cut out of work early, strayed from the path she was meant to be on, and she got eaten by a wolf for it.
Fairy tales are getting stronger.
There are more roles to fill that we haven't seen.
Princes, princesses, and huntsmen, rogues.
In their stories, their fates...
Are often the most terrible of all.
What are you doing? What are you... are you okay?
My shoe keeps falling off.
Hi, there. Can I help you folks?
We are looking for a book.
[Chuckles] Well, you've come to the right place.
[Chuckles] It's a library.
What we're looking for is very old.
Well, got a lot of old books.
Austen, Bronte, Dickens.
Not that anybody wants the classics.
Nowadays, I read to the kids, it's all Katniss Everdeen or Artemis Fowl.
Well, we're looking for something just a little bit older.
Old like that.
That's 15th century folio.
That should be in a museum.
Is that "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili"?
Yeah, just finishing up some cataloging.
These are part of a collection recently donated to us by Mr. Deter in his will.
Deter. Thompson Deter?
What are you doing here?
Ezekiel Jones, world-class coin hunter.
And... You are?
[Wheezes] But it's okay.
They let me choose my flavor of jell-o.
Well, at least you have that going for you.
Took me a while.
But when my A.N.C. got down to 1,000, I graduated from green to the red flavor.
Ugh. Hate the green.
If I get under 500, I think they'll break out the pudding.
Well, that's not right.
You should be able to sneak desserts better than that.
Oh, yeah? How would you do it?
Thompson Deter is... was... a rare book collector.
He had mystic texts of the world.
I'm sorry. When did he die?
A few weeks back.
He left his entire collection to detail.
Takes me a month to get through one manuscript.
Well, maybe we could help you catalogue them.
We're librarians, too.
You know, as a trustee of this collection, I have a sacred duty.
I have to document all of these before I can expose anymore.
We need someone who can pick a lock.
Feel for the pins.
These are standard five-pin locks.
Kitchen locks will be the same.
Now, push each pin up until it locks into place.
There you go.
Little bit of practice and you'll be swimming in tapioca.
Problem is [Wheezes]
I'm not really supposed to be out of bed.
I get tired.
What do you have?
They don't know.
I just got sick one day.
I fell asleep at story hour at the library, and I woke up here.
Look, all I know is you got to be the one to help yourself.
Do what you want when you want.
Otherwise, you spend the rest of your life stuck with green jell-o.
I think my dad would rather I just stay in this room.
He said a girl was saying she got swallowed...
By a wolf.
Yeah. I heard about that.
Sort of cool, right?
Like one of those old fairy tales.
Fairy tales aren't really my thing.
The bad guy, he never wins.
I love them.
Magic and heroes.
What are you looking for?
Oh, I was just wondering if you had any books I could borrow.
They don't let me keep any books in here.
It's not sterile.
Not even any visitors except reading days.
I'll be back, okay?
Hang on to this for me for luck.
Cassandra, you are so charming.
Let me get you another drink.
Why don't you get me some French fries.
My friends are here.
We think we found the book at the library.
You saw it?
But there's a rare collection of books there. It fits.
Oh, good. We need you to pick a lock at the library.
Easy, but we have to go to the hospital first.
Cassandra: No, there's no time.
If the book is in the collection, we need to get it now.
We couldn't find a pattern of people getting sick, but that's because the book wasn't strong enough yet.
Maybe we can find it and stop it before it gets strong enough to kill someone.
Collection's only been there a few weeks. Makes sense.
No, listen. There's a kid at the hospital.
She likes fairy tales and she's sick. No one knows why.
She's the one that we're gonna have to... she's the one you should've stayed away from. [Handcuffs click]
Sheriff, what is this?
Your friend here broke into my daughter's hospital room.
Bad enough he could get her sicker, but I find her practicing lock picking?
[Scoffs] I told you I could smell trouble.
Jamie's your kid? Lucky me.
But tell me, Sheriff, how are you going to arrest me when... You can't catch me?
Sheriff, you know you can't take him without charging him.
He comes with me or else.
Yeah? Or else what?
Or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow this whole bar down!
Well, it's a different fairy tale, it's a different wolf, and he wants his little piggy.
Well, how is this my fault?
Okay, it's a little my fault.
We got to move before the Sheriff realizes this building's only made out of wood.
Looks like the coast is... down! Down! Down!
Okay, how many wolves are there in the original fairy tales?
Well, considering it originated in Germanic folklore, the wolf's the natural enemy of the agrarian life, I'd say a lot. Why?
Cassandra: The football players... they're the wolves.
We have to get to the library and get that book.
The old man has to have it.
No, no, no. We need to go to the hospital.
No, the library's closer.
Yeah, but we...
What are you... what are you doing?
Are you humming?
You were just humming.
No, I wasn't.
All right, look, this is strange, all right?
Cassandra's like a chick magnet, and Baird, I'm pretty sure that hair is not army regulation.
Oh, I'm sorry, we're being strange?
Where did you get the ax?
I don't know.
You smell that?
There's a bird on you.
Jenkins, quick question.
Is it possible we're getting sucked into the fairy tales?
Fatal, yet interesting.
Uh, just out of curiosity, what roles are you playing?
Well, I'm pretty sure Stone's the huntsman.
And Cassandra's prince charming.
And Baird is a princess.
[Scoffs] A princess?
[Laughs daintily] Oh!
Look, Jenkins, if we're all heroes, we're all the good guys, that means we get happy endings, right?
No. Remember, I told you even for the heroes, there is death, dismemberment, hundred-year comas.
Not to mention all the civilian bystanders.
In fact, the only one who escapes every story unscathed is the Jack.
The Jack? Yes, Jack.
The nimble rogue, the lucky thief who lives by his wits.
All right, listen, good luck finding the book.
Got to go.
All right, Sheriff's gone.
Look at everybody else.
I'm sorry, have you seen my sheep?
Has anyone seen my sheep?
Man: I did not look at another woman!
Woman: Did your nose just grow?
The book's getting stronger.
It's not just us. It's everybody in town.
They could all get hurt. Or worse.
Baird: New plan.
We get everyone on the highway and out of town to...
Okay, old plan.
Back to the library, but we take all the civilians with us.
Hey, come with me if you want to live!
I've been waiting for you to say that to me my whole life.
There they are!
Let's move! Time to move!
Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!
[Police radio chatter]
Prince, the princess, and the huntsman as the wolves followed their prey down the path...
Jamie? Wake up.
What's wrong with her?
Oh, this happens when she's listening to the stories.
It's reading day.
You think you're helping her by reading her what she likes, but you're draining the life out of her.
[Laughs] That's ridiculous.
I know exactly what I'm doing.
I know exactly what I'm doing.
All right. Time to stop the crazy.
Ooh! Ooh. Ooh.
You know, when I started reading this book to the kids, I found out that it drains the listener but it gives the storyteller some of its strength.
I haven't felt this good in years.
You're hurting Jamie. You're gonna kill her.
People say you're lucky if you die of old age.
But do you have any idea what it's like to get old, to be forgotten?
I gave my life to this town.
Now this town is giving life to me.
It's my happily ever after!
You're welcome to stay and listen.
Listen while I take out your friends.
Now, where were we?
Oh, yes, yes. Here we are.
The wolves hunted their prey.
Everybody in the back.
Go. I don't want to leave you.
I know. But I need you to be safe.
All right, come on. They're coming.
We got to hold them back.
Until a lucky rogue can save us.
Maguire: Took all the villagers...
If you left because you got bored, so help me.
I'm at the hospital with the book and your nice old library guy.
Actually not so nice.
He's reading the book to the kid.
H-he's getting some kind of juice from it.
Kid? What kid? The kid you found?
Yeah. I tried to tell you I stumbled on her by sheer...
Sheer luck. Of course you did.
Jones, you're the only one the story works for, not against.
You have to get him to stop.
The story he's telling will kill us.
It'll kill the town!
Maguire: They could hear, but the wolves smashed in the doors of the sad little castle.
[Growls, inhales sharply]
Smells like dinner.
My friends, now is the time.
We will rise against the forces of darkness.
There is no beast that cannot be slain, no army that will not be faced.
Together, we will fight, and together, we will win!
Hey, guys, I'm actually pretty good at this. Oh.
Why am I wearing heels?!
While the villagers cowered, the princess, prince, and huntsman...
Change the story, Jones!
Change the story!
"Change the story."
Uh, the wolves, they were all suddenly blind.
It has to be a story.
Stories have a beginning... the wolves hunt your friends... a middle... they find them... and an end... the wolves kill everyone!
They're all dead.
Jamie! Jamie! Wake up!
What story am I supposed to tell?
Yours. Give it your happy ending.
Tell your story. Okay.
Quick, before the spell wears off.
Well, um, in mine... in mine, it only looked like they died, because the huntsman is really, uh, uh, a robot!
[Robotic voice] Yeah, I can work with this.
And the princess is a ninja princess.
About time. Keep going, Jamie.
The prince is really Merlin in disguise, and you can't kill Merlin.
And using their combined skills they chase the wolves away!
Except for the head wolf.
He's forced to pay for his crime.
But he doesn't die either.
But he has to eat green jell-o...
I don't even know where these came from.
That can't be the end.
I-I just... I don't understand what happened.
One minute I was with you all at Walter's Tavern, and then...
Well, sometimes what happens is, is, uh, when unexplainable events occur, people, they think it's "magic," you know what I mean, when really it's just...
Swamp gas. Swamp gas. [Chuckles]
We discovered it during our traffic-flow study.
Yes. It's a natural but localized occurrence.
It causes, uh, you know, people in a radius,
"the town," to mass hallucinate and...
We need to call FEMA.
No, no, no, no.
Need to... we neutralized the, uh... the situation is a thing that we do... the library jobs of the library.
Anyway, that's why so many crazy things kept happening.
In fact, you might want to give everyone in town a pass on the last couple days.
Jamie! How are you out of bed?
Jamie's feeling a lot better. Right, kid?
This can't be real.
Wait. What did you do?
I think this is one of those times where we say "and they lived happily ever after," and we go our separate ways.
Oh, sweetie. [Sighing] Oh.
Who are those people?
They're librarians, honey.
Now that I say that out loud, that does not make any sense at all.
Not a lick.
Tho... are those... yes.
Thompson Deter's arcane book collection.
I decided it's likely better they come with us.
Who knows what else is in them?
Yeah. I can only imagine.
An annotated "Paradise Lost"?
You don't want to know who it's annotated by.
The Libris Fabula.
Magic always has a cost.
I have just the place for him.
Mr. Maguire and the book will cause no further problems.
Is it just me, or the deeper into magic we get, the weirder it gets?
I don't know. I didn't mind all those girls buying me drinks.
I'm just glad my hair is back to normal.
I think I'll go spend some time with a punching bag, break a few nails.
What about you, Ezekiel?
What about me?
Do you feel different?
Really? That's it? You have nothing at all?
Why? Should I?
Well, surprisingly, you did save the day.
Of course I did. I'm awesome.
So, that's... that's... that's what... that's it?
Well, everybody tells me I can't do what I want, can't rely on luck, but when a magic spell turns everybody into heroes of legend, who did it turn me into?
Yep. I'm gonna go punch something.
I'm right behind you.
You know who's really lucky?
You, for knowing me.