TV Recap: “The Santa Clauses” – Episode 3 “No Magic at the Dinner Table”

Magnus Antas (Eric Stonestreet) is trying to summon his cane from across the room, but his magic is failing. Olga (Marta Kessler) is furious because after three months his magic is not at full strength. Declaring his magic will return, Magnus proclaims that he will have his revenge on everyone.

At the North Pole, Noel (Devin Bright) has lunch with Scott and Carol (Tim Allen and Elizabeth Mitchell) and learns that Carol is actively pursuing the missing nutcracker. Scott’s attempt to help his son Cal (Austin Kane), is alienating the elves. Scott is also ignoring what his son wants. Carol is trying to connect with Sandra (Elizabeth Allen-Dick) who is busy exploring her witch powers.

Magnus and Olga walk through Santapolis plotting their revenge. Sampling hot cocoa they both spit out their drinks and wonder how people travel around. Learning about ride sharing, Magnus and Olga wait for an Uber to pick them up, only to see a billboard advertising Easter. A plan begins to form.

Scott thinks he has hit a wall with his training of Cal. Carol is jealous of Sandra’s time with La Befana (Laura San Giacomo). Olga kidnaps the Easter Bunny (Tracy Morgan) and she and Magnus hope to use the magical creature to help them gain control of the North Pole.

Sandra’s training continues to succeed, and soon she is wondering how to do a transformation spell. La Befana says she must wait for two years before transformation spells. (I think we all know that this is not going to stop Sandra.)

Magnus confronts the Easter Bunny, and while he denies his complicity in the betrayal of Magnus, Olga tries to get the Easter Bunny to bring them to the North Pole.

Cal knows he is a failure and confides in Sandra. Wondering if he wants to be Santa, Cal admits that he is doing the training for everyone else. While the siblings are connecting on a new level of friendship, Carol spends her time in the office learning about the saga of the lost nutcracker, and though she is interested in the case Carol diverts the security cameras to watch La Befana’s cabin. Parental jealousy takes precedence. Scott suggests they invite La Befana to dinner so that they can get to know their daughter’s teacher better.

Forced to eat a pile of Peeps, the Easter Bunny poops out a gassy golden egg and escapes from Magnus and Olga. At dinner, Carol is trying to connect with La Befana, but struggles with an outburst at the table. Sandra leaves the table upset, and Carol and La Befana are left alone. Carol admits that she is jealous of her relationship with her daughter. La Befana invites Carol to witness some of Sandra’s training.

In the Letter’s Department, Scott meets with Cal and tells him that they are going to do something fun tonight. Opening a threatening letter from Magnus, Scott tosses the letter aside, not thinking anything serious about the abrasive written abuse. At the Control Room bar, Scott and Cal share a drink of ice cream and Scott tells his son that he loves him and that he is proud of him.

Meeting up with Sandra, Cal talks about how his dad told him that he loves him and is proud of him. The Easter Bunny arrives telling Cal and Sandra that he needs to see Santa. In her frustration Sandra changes the Easter Bunny into a real bunny. La Befana arrives with Carol, and she is concerned about what Sandra has done.

Cal and Sandra talk afterwards and he apologizes for their fight. She admits that her anger is really directed at La Befana. The two kids talk about their difficulties and Cal wishes that he could see Riley (Ruby Jay). Sandra hatches a plan to make her brother feel better.

Magnus and Olga are waiting in the park near Riley’s house. When Cal arrives to surprise his lady love, the reception is a bit frosty. Having missed her birthday from a couple of days ago, Riley tells him to go. Upset, Cal removes his Santa training vest, which falls to the ground, and Magnus promptly puts it on. The Mad Santa is now powered by Christmas magic.

Bill’s Final Thoughts:

The Santa Clauses knows its audience and knows the expectations for the story. I have been consistently laughing throughout the series, and bringing in Tracy Morgan as the Easter Bunny was the perfect stunt casting.

Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Austin Kane, and Elizabeth Allen-Dick are lovely as a family and capture the wholesomeness of a typical family, that just happens to be the center of Santa and Christmas magic.

The real joy is watching Eric Stonestreet as Magnus Antas. The Mad Santa is hilarious, and Stonestreet makes the most of every scene. The arguing between him and Marta Kessler’s Olga is worth the time alone, not to mention the great work from everyone else.

Sign up for Disney+ or the Disney Streaming Bundle (Disney+, ESPN+, and ad-supported Hulu) now

Bill Gowsell
Bill Gowsell has loved all things Disney since his first family trip to Walt Disney World in 1984. Since he began writing for Laughing Place in 2014, Bill has specialized in covering the Rick Riordan literary universe, a retrospective of the Touchstone Pictures movie library, and a variety of other Disney related topics. When he is not spending time with his family, Bill can be found at the bottom of a lake . . . scuba diving