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THE LIBRARIANS and the Split-Personality Santa

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Episode 104 “And Santa’s Midnight Run”

[photos: Scott Patrick Green/TNT]

We start this week in a snowy London, where the streets are empty due to the weather. Inside a soup kitchen, we see a man enter with a firearm and threaten to rob the place. The server from the kitchen, a.k.a. Santa (Bruce Campbell) steps out from the kitchen to deliver a personal pep talk to the gunman about Christmas spirit. Just after he quietly disarms the would-be robber and they share a moment, Santa gets hit by a mistletoe dart in the neck and falls to the floor.

Back from the break, the Library Annex is getting decorated by the team. Well, by everyone except Baird, who is a bit of a Scrooge. The young Librarians are all sharing their Christmas past memories: Jacob reminisces about playing pool and enjoying a bar brawl on Christmas Eve, Cassandra explains that her parents didn’t want her to believe in Santa after the age of 3, and Ezekiel admits that he would like to know what it felt like to be the good guy at Christmas, rather than the thief who took everyone else’s stuff. Jenkins enters and announces that Christmas is cancelled: Santa Claus has disappeared.

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It turns out that Santa is the immortal avatar of good will who travels the Earth witnessing good will all year, then releasing it back to the Earth on Christmas Eve. If he doesn’t complete his annual trek, the world ends up in a fiery ball after a few weeks’ time (on Groundhog Day, to be exact). They learn of his last location via phone call from Gretchen (a.k.a. Mrs. Claus), and go to investigate.

Cassandra: “Mrs Claus is real?”
Jenkins: “Oh, Shiny balls, yes”

After deciphering some Cockney rhyme at the scene of the crime, Jacob and Cassandra learn that the Serpent Brotherhood is behind this. Ezekiel finds surveillance camera images confirming that Du Lac (Matt Frewer) was behind the plot, and Jenkins concludes that Dulaque plans to kill Santa Claus to release and steal all that magical power that Santa’s been accumulating all year.

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Of course, Dulaque wants to get every last drop of magical power, so he explains that they must wait until midnight to maximize the yield. Meanwhile, silver-tongued Santa starts to use his smooth talk on Lamia, but he is stifled by another mistletoe dart to the neck.

To locate Dulaque’s hideout, Ezekiel uses his tech-savvy skills to pinpoint the location by having Cassandra recreate her previous blindfolded trip. With Jacob’s help to keep her focused, she’s able to remember sounds and other sensory clues that allow them to find Dulaque’s lair and pay him a visit.

Baird and Jacob enter, only to be surrounded by Dulaque and his minions, so Jacob starts tossing Dulaque’s collection of rare and very valuable art collection to keep them busy while Cassandra and Ezekiel go down the chimney to rescue Santa in another part of the building. Dulaque suspects that they are stalling and finds that Santa is missing.

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Getting Santa out of the Serpent Brotherhood’s HQ is one thing; now they have to get him to the North Pole where he must be to disperse the magic. The team splits: Baird and Santa go together to find Santa’s sleigh and they send Ezekiel, wearing Santa’s hat, as a decoy. As Baird and Santa approach the sleigh’s hiding spot, they find…nothing.

Santa: Somebody jacked Santa’s ride!

Did I mention that Santa talks about himself in 3rd person?

Ezekiel (with the hat) has begun to show Santa-like traits, while Santa is not feeling himself — he’s now Nicolas, the wondermaker (a prankster who hides gifts in shoes). Turns out that Santa has several incarnations throughout history, and he’s now having a hard time staying in his Santa form without the talisman of his Santa persona — yep, you guessed it — the hat. The one Ezekiel is wearing.

Baird: Great; I’m on a road trip with a psychotic shape-shifting avatar of good will.

Jenkins tells Baird that she must keep Santa/Nick moving to avoid being detected. She clearly has a thing against Christmas. As Santa puts it: she seems to be on Christmas’s case. We learn that she spent her childhood as an army brat, moving around between army bases all over the world where they were close to wars, even at Christmas, which has left her just a little embittered about the holiday. Jenkins calls and urges them to get to the North Pole a.s.a.p., and so Santa moves the car at lightening speed, landing them somewhere in Canada with an empty tank of gas, thumbing for a ride.

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Back at the Annex, Ezekiel (still wearing the stylish Santa hat) has donned an apron and is happily baking cookies, making hot cocoa and stuffing stockings. The rest of them realize that since Baird’s car is stranded, they need a plan. Cassandra recognizes that they can leverage the aurora borealis and the Earth’s Ley lines to channel the magic. They just need to get Santa/Nick to a strong spot in the aurora, somewhere in Alaska. Cassandra and Ezekiel set out to get a pilot and a plane lined up, and Jacob sets out to meet Baird and Santa/Nick with another car.

Ezekiel, being full of “Christmas Present” (and clearly having an internal struggle with that), grants the hired pilot the night off. The pilot explains that he would rather be with his lady than flying these lunatics around on Christmas Eve. Go figure.

Baird and Santa/Nick where we see Santa change into a third incarnation: Odin, the Viking god of battle and death — and in true Viking form, Odin wastes no time chugging several beers and upsetting the locals, getting the three of them into a Christmas Eve bar brawl, where Jacob is right at home.

They end up at the airport (you know, the one without a pilot)? Turns out Santa, who is Santa again, can fly large objects through the air, and soon they are on their way, but carrying all of that good will is taking a toll on Santa. He must deliver the gift — the one gift of hope — to the world soon.

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Enter Dulaque and Lamia in Santa’s nicked sleigh at the back of the cargo plane, announcing the plan to “blah, blah, something, something, I am going to kill you, blah, blah.”

They trick Dulaque into wearing Santa’s hat, making him want to grant any Christmas wishes. They all start bombarding him with their wishes for him to kill Santa right now (this must mean the person wearing the hat?), to send Lamia away (which he does), and to spill the Secret Brotherhood’s plans.  This last one is too much, and he takes that hat off to break the spell and a fight in the out-of-control plane ensues.

Baird catches Dulaque as he is falling out of the plane, but he lets go, laughing as he falls to Earth. (Clearly he has a Plan B). Santa is in no shape to fly the plane with magic, so Baird takes the helm. With Jacob’s help, they locate an oil pipeline station on the ground, Google instructions on how to land a damaged cargo plane and just like magic, they are on the ground, seeking shelter in the station, which just happens to be surrounded by – voila – the aurora borealis.

The guy formerly known as Santa/Nick/Odin is now talking in the first person, so we know he must be a) really sick, b) losing his incarnations c) snapping back to reality after a very interesting trip. (I’ll have some of what he was drinking.)

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The aurora is dancing around them and time is running out. Santa explains that he is too sick to complete the mission and needs a surrogate. They all volunteer, but this can’t be don’t by “just anyone.” His stand-in must be someone bound to Christmas, which turns out to be Eve Baird, who was born on the last stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve (hence her name). She accepts the mission to spread hope over the world. She is splintered across the world in a single moment, where she gifts hope to those who seem to have given up (and saves a few lives in the process).  Looks like Christmas future is promising, too.

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Back at the annex to wrap up the episode, Jenkins explains that Dulaque would not die from the airplane fall (duh), and slips that “we — he is made of tougher stuff.”  (Is Dulaque an ex-Librarian?). The team throws a surprise B-day party for Eve, and they notice that they all got their wishes (Jacob got his bar fight, Cassandra got to believe in Santa, and Ezekiel got to be the good guy). And Baird? Baird is now filled with Xmas spirit. God bless us every one….where’s Tiny Tim Cratchet when you need him?

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