TNT’s The Librarians And Santa’s Midnight Run TV Show Review. The Librarians: Season 1, Episode 4: And Santa’s Midnight Run, pits the new recruits against the Serpent Brotherhood while they fight to save a legendary character…Santa (Bruce Campbell).
Ever since Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) left the new recruits in the skeptical hands of Eve Baird (Rebecca Rominj) the rhythm of the show had gotten a little off track. I was one of those folks who said Flynn’s character needed to come right back. Well, episode 4 found a groove and most of the credit for that has to go to Santa (Bruce Campbell). Both Noah Wyle and Bruce Campbell possess that quirky acting style that suits a show like this. We have seen Bruce flex his acting abilities again and again in the film Army of Darkness and TV shows like; Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. It was a very clever move to bring out one of the big guns early in the season. I don’t expect all of the characters to be as quirky as Flynn’s but they do have to have a style and some depth so they are defined and believable. A part of me was a little disappointed that Santa was portrayed in such a way that reminded me of the Biker/Minotaur in the last episode. It felt low budget and cheesy. This man could pull off just about anything a director dared to hand him to play. In this case Bruce handles it and takes our focus off what he looks like. He is a pure joy on screen and brings up the other actors that share the screen with him.
I also noticed Jenkins (John Larroquette) was also in rare mode during this episode. His great timing and wit was visibly on point. Even in the scenes with Rominj, who has needed a serious jolt, were balanced out. It appears that now he realizes he will need to kick his character into high gear from here on in. Looks like maybe he just needed to warm up to the cast. This is a definitely step in the right direction.
The changing of the hat with Ezekiel Jones (John Kim) was a very clever idea. It did provide some decent comedic relief. This was mostly due to the editing. John is still missing the core of who his character is. Instead of a seasoned thief who is basically a rehabilitated bad guy, he comes off like a tightly woven high school nerd. He is not believable in this role but the scenes he was in had some moments. The saving point for him is this show is very light and he doesn’t make or break the cast. That said, he is still missing something and feels like he is just there going along for the ride.
One of the most improved characters was Cassandra (Lindy Booth). For the first time since she joined the cast it’s starting to feel like she is becoming Cassandra. She pulled off some really good moments onscreen with Bruce Campbell and during her trance-like mode; she brought something extra to it. Even her physical movement is getting better. I hope this is a fever that will catch on to everyone else.
Jake Stone (Christian Kane), Lamia (Lesly-Ann Brandt) and Dulaque (Matt Fewer) all fell into the trap of the one-dimensional character disease this episode. Four episodes in and The Serpent Brotherhood still doesn’t feel very threatening. I think one of the problems with having Lamia being the second in command, is we expect to see her carry out Dulaque’s orders. She needs to escalate her efforts in the level of evil she dishes out. Having both Lamia and Dulaque go on missions and dropping one-liners weakens the whole dance. Dulaque is supposed to be the most powerful character they have to deal with. He is far too accessible. We should only see bits of him or just hear his voice for now. There are no more surprises to be had from the Serpent Brotherhood. Having them want to kill Santa for his powers was also a pretty flat plot but cute. The attempt at the feel-good ending was rushed. Good thing Campbell was onboard to save the day.
Hopefully the elements that were played up in this episode will set a pattern that will be sustainable till Flynn comes back. This show thrives on that quirky timing and the physical comedy we saw return with Bruce Campbell playing a character. Without it the actors feel like they are forcing their performances or just walking through scene after scene. This injection worked this time but I do believe it’s time to add more depth to the new recruits and let the audience get to know them better.
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