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"It's never too late to take in the Christmas Spirit."
Santa Claus


"And Santa's Midnight Run" is the fourth episode of the first season of The Librarians. It aired on December 21, 2014.[1]

Synopsis[]

When the Serpent Brotherhood wants to kill Santa, the Librarians must rescue him and help him accomplish the true, secret purpose of Christmas.[1]

Plot[]

Santa is volunteering at a soup kitchen in London. Rather than the traditional fat, bearded Christmas icon, he's a middle-aged man wearing a fancy suit and a nice hat. A man comes with a shotgun, trying to steal donations from a volunteer Santa who's dropped into the kitchen, but the real Santa talks him down, looking into his heart to find the good in him. However, Santa is then shot with a mistletoe tranquilizer and realises the robbery was a trick to make him reveal himself.

At the Annex, the team prepares for Christmas, with varying levels of excitement. Cassandra loves Christmas and is enthusiastically decorating, while Jacob wraps presents for his family members. Eve is in a bad mood, as Flynn's desk keeps resetting itself, and she's not into Christmas cheer. The others defend Christmas: Cassandra adores it, even though her parents revealed that Santa wasn't real to her at the age of three and she wishes she could have believed a little longer. Jacob likes seeing his nieces and nephews and misses spending Christmas Eve with his cousins, which often involved a bar brawl. Ezekiel loves Christmas and how clearly marked expensive goods are at that time of year, although when pushed, he admits that he sometimes wonders what it would be like to be a good guy.

Suddenly, Jenkins interrupts the annex-decorating festivities to say that Christmas is cancelled: Santa has been kidnapped. As the team reacts to the news that Santa is real, Jenkins explains that Santa isn't actually the figure they've been led to believe, but an immortal avatar of good cheer. Santa collects good will throughout the year and returns it on Christmas. But if he fails to do so, there will be worldwide chaos. That's why folks are cranky during the holidays: they're running low on good will.

Jacob and Cassandra go to the soup kitchen and learn that the kidnappers had snake tattoos, and realize that Santa has been kidnapped by the Serpent Brotherhood. As they try to track down the kidnappers, Cassandra recognizes Dulaque in surveillance footage and points him out to the others, who had only met Lamia when the Brotherhood had made their attempt to bring magic back into the world. Jenkins seems intensely shocked to hear that name, and obviously recognizes Dulaque. Jenkins determines that they are planning to kill Santa on Christmas Eve at midnight in order to absorb his stored magical power.

At the Serpent Brotherhood's base in London, Santa is being held hostage, but doesn't seem overly concerned about it. He speaks to Lamia, telling her that he's disappointed in her, as he knows she wants to help people, but she's going about it the wrong way. However, he's once again tranquilized by Dulaque before he can finish the conversation.

As Cassandra was taken to the Brotherhood's base while she was working with them, they realize that they can use her memory to help them figure out its location, even though she was blindfolded at the time. While Ezekiel hacks into London's many surveillance cameras, Eve walks Cassandra through using her other senses to recall what else she experienced when she was taken by the Brotherhood. The clues she offers up help Ezekiel determine the right street, while Jacob uses his architectural knowledge to find the exact house.

Jacob and Eve make their way inside the Serpent Brotherhood's lair, where Jacob is distracted first by the amazing art collection, then by Lamia flirting with him. Dulaque orders his underlings to kill them, but Jacob and Eve interrupt them by throwing the many rare and expensive items on display in the room towards the members of the Brotherhood, forcing them to focus on catching the art.

Meanwhile, Ezekiel and Cassandra slide down a chimney into the room where Santa's being held. Cassandra is elated to learn that Santa knows her name, while Ezekiel seems concerned when Santa informs him that he's been a bit naughty.

Dulaque and Lamia realise that Jake and Eve are stalling, so they run off to get to Santa, leaving Jacob to catch the last falling statue himself. When they get to the room, they find that Santa's gone. Dulaque says they won't get far, as Santa "won't be feeling quite himself".

Cassandra and Ezekiel get Santa to Eve and Jake. When Jacob introduces himself, Santa says that he knows him, "both incarnations" of him, which causes Jacob to look unsettled. He says he needs to get to his sleigh to get to the North Pole. Eve reluctantly agrees to help him find his sleigh, even though she's already annoyed by the fact that Santa speaks in the third person. She puts Santa's hat on Ezekiel so he can serve as a distraction, along with Cassandra and Jacob, while she takes Santa to the rail yard where he left his sleigh. Unfortunately, when they get there, they find out that Santa's sleigh has been stolen.

Ezekiel seems thrilled to spread good will while wearing the hat, and even showers a homeless man with money.

As Eve tries to find the sleigh, Santa shifts and goes invisible, reappearing as a Serpent Brotherhood thug attempts to attack Eve. He uses a staff that he's suddenly holding to take down the attacker, and also magically puts a small toy into Eve's shoe.

Eve finds and old, red truck, and starts driving them away from the rail yard. She calls Jenkins, who realizes that Santa has changed incarnations and is now Nikolas the Wondermaker, a much more trickster-like character who left gifts in children's shoes. Something's off about Santa, and he can't seem to keep his incarnations straight. As it turns out, his hat is a talisman: an anchor that helps him maintain his current incarnation, which would explain why Ezekiel's so set on spreading Christmas cheer. Without it, he's more susceptible to the poison administered by Dulaque through the darts. Jenkins advises Eve that they need to keep moving, otherwise Santa can be tracked because of all his magic.

Eve isn't happy about being stuck on a road trip with Santa, and decides that she'll call him "Nick", as she can't bring herself to call him Santa. He tries to talk to her about her dislike of Christmas, but she cuts him off, saying that the real Santa would understand why she doesn't like it. Jenkins asks if they've made any progress in getting to the North Pole, and Eve points out that there's no way she can drive them there. Santa uses his magic to super-speed the truck, but it runs out of gas in Canada, stranding them.

The other three return to the Annex, where Ezekiel continues to spread Christmas cheer, donning a festive apron to make hot chocolate and cookies, and stuffing stockings. Cassandra determines that the North Pole is special because of the ley lines, and calculates a place where Santa can spread Christmas cheer using the northern lights.

They tell this news to Eve, and send Cassandra and Ezekiel to get a plane ready at an airport in the area, while Stone heads into a small town nearby to meet up with Eve and Santa and find them a car. Eve and Santa start walking, and Santa offers up some insight on how Eve never felt like she belonged on Christmas because she's always been moving, spending her Christmases on different army bases as a child and in different war zones as an adult. When he tries to tell her that being with other people means she belongs, that the entire human race belongs together, she points out that she was in most of those places on Christmas because the people there were fighting each other, even on Christmas. Santa says that while people's actions can't be undone, their hearts can be changed, but Eve doesn't believe him.

They get into town and meet up with Jake in a bar, the Zanadew Lounge, where Santa reverts to his "Odin" reincarnation, drinking heavily and starting an enthusiastic bar fight with the locals, much to Jacob's delight. Unfortunately, when they finally get to the airport, they find that the pilot is gone because Ezekiel, in a fit of Christmas joy, sent him home to be with his fiancée. However, Santa claims that he can fly large objects through the air, so he pilots the plane towards the part of Alaska where the northern lights can be reached.

Unfortunately, Santa is starting to feel ill from the weight of the good will and the effects of the poison, and struggles to keep them on track. As they approach the Aurora Borealis, Dulaque and Lamia board the plane while it's still in flight using Santa's sleigh, which they stole. Dulaque makes a mock-attempt to get the Librarians to hand over Santa, ending with him simply saying that he's going to kill them. Santa passes out and Eve puts the plane on auto-pilot. She brings Santa back to the cargo area and finds that Lamia and Dulaque have subdued the other three. Dulaque informs her that he's poisoned Santa with holly and mistletoe, "old hedge magics", and says that Morgan Le Fay would be proud. He gets Lamia to disable the plane and prepares to kidnap Santa once more.

Eve tricks Dulaque into putting Santa's hat on, by letting him know that it's a magical talisman of power. The Librarians use the fact that the hat makes the wearer want to spread joy to others, telling Dulaque it would make them very happy if Lamia left, and he sends her away in the sleigh. However, Dulaque removes the hat when they try to get him to say how to stop the Brotherhood. Eve manages to kick him towards the cargo door, and grabs his hand, but Dulaque willingly lets himself out of Eve's grasp to fall out of the plane. The plane is struggling to stay up, but Eve manages to land it with some help from Jacob looking it up on Google.

They make their way to an abandoned but still working pipeline survey station, but find out that Santa's not up to the task of delivering the gift, due to his being poisoned. Although each of the Librarians offers to help, even knowing they might not survive the experience, Santa reveals to the group that Eve is tuned into Christmas because she was born on Christmas Eve--which is why she's named "Eve". Santa transfers all of humanity's good will to Eve and tasks her with delivering the "gift": all of humanity's good will, transformed into hope. She is transported magically throughout the world and helps countless people to save lives, be encouraged, and feel hope. When she comes to, she finds she has survived and all good will has been spread.

Jenkins lets Eve know that Dulaque will have survived falling out of the plane, as they're--himself and Dulaque--are much tougher than that. However, he also lets her know that Santa is making a full recovery.

Just as Eve says that her plans for the holiday are a little peace and quiet, Cassandra, Jacob, and Ezekiel surprise her with a birthday party, with a banner, cake, and presents. As they celebrate, they realize that each of them got what they'd wished for earlier: Cassandra gets to believe in Santa, while Jacob got his bar brawl, and Ezekiel got to be a good guy for a while, although he claims he hated it. When Cassandra says that it's too bad Eve didn't make a Christmas wish that would have come true, Eve just smiles.

Cast[]

Main Cast[]

Recurring Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Trivia[]

  • This episode was originally intended to air sixth, but was moved up the order once they had the airing schedule, so it aired the week of Christmas.[2]
  • The idea for a Christmas episode came about when they realized that they would be airing in December and realized that it felt appropriate for a series about magic to do a story about Christmas.[3]
  • The actual plot was a collaborative effort from the writers room[4], who figured out the "Serpent Brotherhood wants to kill Santa" part first and filled in the rest of the story around that idea.[2] The road trip aspect and the title were inspired by the movie Midnight Run, which is about a bounty hunter and a mob accountant on the run.[4]
  • Thematically, Christmas works well as a way to explore the characters' relationships with the holiday, their families, and where they find themselves during Christmastime, and the differences in how the characters feel about these things.[4]
  • In the original airing order, it would have been just past the mid-point of the season, and was meant to show that the team was starting to bond and work together.[2]
  • Unlike the rest of the season, this episode doesn't have an extended cut available, as it came in at the right length the first time.[3]
  • Both director Jonathan Frakes and producer Marc Roskin had worked with Bruce Campbell before, but everyone was very excited to have him on the show.[3]
  • This episode was shot in June and July, with the weather reaching over 100°F (over 35°C) during filming. The cast were very uncomfortable having to wear warm, heavy clothing, and it was difficult to create a feeling of winter.[5]
  • Although the producers had a plane set from their previous series, Leverage, it was a small passenger plane and there was no way to fit everyone onto it. Instead, the set people built the cargo plane set, which also allowed for an easier entrance and exit for the Serpent Brotherhood.[3]
    • The plane's tail number is C-XM45, which can be read as "C-XMAS".[6]
  • The survey station, however, was a re-used set from Leverage ("The Long Way Down Job").[3]
  • During the scene where Jacob Stone is wrapping presents, the teddy bear on the table is also from Leverage - it's the bear that Parker has in "The Broken Wing Job".[5]
  • Lindy Booth and Rebecca Romijn are both very into Christmas, so Lindy had an easy time playing Cassandra's excitement, while Rebecca had to play against her own personality for Eve's dislike of Christmas.[5]
    • The Christmas outfit was Lindy Booth's favourite outfit of the season, and the Christmas-themed cat pin on Cassandra's coat was a nod to Lindy's love of both Christmas and cats.[5]
  • The scene with comedian Jim Jefferies as the British Santa impersonator using Cockney rhyming slang while talking with Jacob and Cassandra took a long time to shoot because neither Christian Kane nor Lindy Booth could make it through the scene without laughing.[5]
  • The fight scene with the statues in the Serpent Brotherhood base was inspired by Jackie Chan, who said that there should always be a third aspect to a fight, not just two sides facing off.[5]
    • The statues were actual statues, not prop foam, and one of the extras got hit in the face with one when he missed a catch. He had to go to the hospital, and was cut from the scene.[5]
    • Neither Christian Kane nor Rebecca Romijn dropped a statue during the scene.[5]
    • The use of slow motion when Jacob dives to catch the last statue was suggested by Rebecca Romijn, and Christian Kane was really excited about how cool it made him look.[5]
  • Christian Kane came up with the idea of Jacob continuing to try to get the magical globe to work for him.[5]
  • According to the commentary, the apron Ezekiel is wearing to bake belongs to Gretchen, Mrs. Claus.[5]
  • As a Canadian, Lindy Booth was not impressed by the show's attempts at Canada.[5]
    • The episode did struggle with Canadian geography: the map on Jenkins' computer shows Eve and Santa as being somewhere in northern British Columbia, near Fort Nelson, but the road sign near them is for BC Highway 4, which is on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of the southern mainland. The driver who ignores them is apparently from Moose Jaw, which is about a 20 hour drive away from northern BC. It's also incredibly unlikely that northern BC would be bare of snow in late December.
  • The majority of the people in the bar scene were crew members, including producer Paul F. Bernard as the barkeep who challenges Santa-as-Odin to a fight, second AD Pete Dowd as the bar patron who removes his teeth to fight, and B camera operator Norbert Kaluza as another bar patron.[5]
  • The barkeep referring to Odin as "Odie, Ogie, whatever" may be a reference to the movie Slap Shot, which is much-beloved cult film about a minor league hockey team that realizes they get more attention from fighting than they do actually playing hockey. One of the characters in it is named "Ogie Ogilthorpe".
  • With Jonathan Frakes directing this episode, there were a lot of "Frakes on a Plane" jokes from everyone involved during the plane sequence.[5]
  • Frakes also brought a very useful skill set to this episode: "ship shake", used in Star Trek to make it look like the Enterprise--or in this case, the plane--is moving when the set is actually still. This is done through a combination of moving the camera and having the actors pretend to be knocked around by the motion of the plane.[5]
  • Due to the giant fans required to make it seem like they were rushing through the air when the plane cargo door was open, most of the dialogue for those scenes had to be redone in ADR, as the actors weren't audible even if they were screaming.[5]
  • The scenes with Eve spreading hope across the world were filmed over the rest of the season.[5]
    • The time zones line up properly during that sequence, which was planned during the tone meeting and carefully tracked.[3]
  • This was the first episode where anyone other than Cassandra learns of Dulaque, and the first to start dropping hints about his true identity and his relation to Jenkins.
  • This episode also has the first use of "Architecture is just art we live in" from Jacob Stone, which becomes a recurring theme, showing up most notably in "And the Cost of Education".
  • Flynn's desk resetting itself is also explained in this episode, with Jenkins implying that it's a sign Eve doesn't belong there.
  • Eve going through the experience of splintering across the entire world at once is part of what keeps her mind intact during the events of "And the Loom of Fate".[7]
  • Although it's never openly stated, it's implied that Santa's power is what is behind the events of the episode: he is clearly aware of the risk posed when Eve gives his hat to Ezekiel, but doesn't say anything; and the wishes of each character are granted throughout the episode, seemingly coincidentally. On his blog, showrunner John Rogers acknowledged this, saying, "it's almost as if things needed to go exactly as they did. As if there's some other plot going on in the background.  I mean, really, Santa is very powerful...".[3]
    • According to Rebecca Romijn, Eve's Christmas wish was a birthday party, which she got.[5]
  • Once he and Eve start their road trip, Santa never gets to finish the third "ho" in "ho ho ho".[5]

Quotes[]

  • Jenkins: "Christmas is cancelled."
    Eve Baird: "Thank you!"
    Jenkins: "No. I mean Christmas is cancelled for the whole world, and soon after, the whole world will be cancelled because Santa Claus has disappeared."
  • Cassandra Cillian: "Mrs. Claus is real!"
    Jenkins: "Oh, shiny balls, yes."
  • Cassandra Cillian, to Jacob Stone: "Are there any languages you don't speak?"
    Jacob Stone: "Well, my Urdu's a little rusty."
  • Eve Baird, to Jacob Stone: "I thought you did art, not architecture."
    Jacob Stone: "Architecture is just art we live in. Why doesn't anybody get that?"
  • Lamia, to Jacob Stone: "Hello, darling."
    Jacob Stone: "'Darling'? Last time I saw you, you were trying to murder me with a sword."
    Lamia: "I don't get out the katana to murder just anybody, cowboy. You're special."
  • Ezekiel Jones, to Santa: "You don't look like the pictures."
    Santa: "Ho, ho, ho. Santa does not look like any of the pictures, but all the pictures look like Santa, Ezekiel Jones."
  • Eve Baird: "Great. Road trip with a psychotic, shape-shifting avatar of good will."
    Santa: "Santa thinks that will be a mouthful to say every time you want to get Santa's attention."
  • Santa, to Eve Baird: "As long as you're with other people, you belong. The entire human race belongs together."
    Eve Baird: "All those Christmases, I was in places that completely disproved that theory. I was there because people were fighting, hurting each other, doing things I-- that they-- that nobody could ever make right on Christmas."
    Santa: "Colonel Baird is correct. A human action, once taken, can never be changed, but a human heart--that can always be changed."
  • Jacob Stone: "He's Odin. The Viking god of battle and death."
    Eve Baird: "What? What the hell kind of Santa is that?!"
  • Dulaque: "Now, hand over Santa, blah, blah, and you won't be harmed, blah, blah, blah, a patently transparent lie of course. I'm going to kill you, blah, blah... Blah."
  • Dulaque: "I've killed more Guardians than you've seen stars, Guardian."
  • Eve: "I think I can survive spreading around some goodwill."
    Santa: "Good will? Who told you? Jenkins? But he never really understood. When a person commits an act of goodwill, it does not just create more goodwill, it transforms into something better, into a gift for their fellow man. So I give you, Eve Baird, all of humanity's goodwill. Now, go and give them back the gift... Of hope."

Media[]

Ratings[]

The episode, along with an encore performance, had a combined 4.2 million viewers (Live + Same Day), showing strong growth over the previous week. In key demographics, viewership was 1.8 million adults 25-54 (+6%) and 1.4 million adults 18-49 (+10%). The program averaged 12.4 million viewers per episode. The Librarians was the second highest rated cable original program for the night.[8]

External links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Listings - LIBRARIANS, THE on TNT - The Futon Critic
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rogers, John. "LIBRARIANS #106 "Fables of Doom" answer post" Kung Fu Monkey, 10 Jan. 2015, kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2015/01/librarians-016-fables-of-doom-answer.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Rogers, John. "LIBRARIANS #104 "Santa's Midnight Run" Answer post" Kung Fu Monkey, 28 Dec. 2014, kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2014/12/librarians-104-santas-midnight-run.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Rogers, John and Jeremy Bernstein. "Writer Vlog: And Santa's Midnight Run." The Librarians, TNT, 2016.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 Frakes, Jonathan, Paul Guyot, Rebecca Romijn, Christian Kane, John Kim and Lindy Booth. Audio Commentary. "And Santa's Midnight Run", The Librarians, season 1, episode 4, TNT, 2016.
  6. Guyot, Paul , Rogers, John (writer) & Frakes, Jonathan (director) (December 21, 2014). "And Santa's Midnight Run". The Librarians. Season 1. Episode 4. TNT.
  7. Rogers, John (writer) & Frakes, Jonathan (director) (January 18, 2015). "And the Loom of Fate". The Librarians. Season 1. Episode 10. TNT.
  8. Weekly Ratings Notes - 23 Dec 2014, zap2it TV by the Numbers