December is here and the Christmas season is officially upon us! So we here at Nerds & Beyond are spreading the cheer by sharing some of our favorite things to watch during the Christmas season. Check in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through Christmas to see what’s on our screens this time of year.
Today we’re looking at the season 1 finale of Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh’s second animated show for Disney (their first being Phineas and Ferb, of course): Milo Murphy’s Law. The episode “A Christmas Peril” is the series’ only Christmas episode, which is understandable given the series’ tragically short run.
Running just two seasons between October 2016 and May 2019, Milo Murphy’s Law has yet to officially be cancelled; however fans have accepted that the two seasons we have now are all we’ll be getting. This makes “A Christmas Peril” extra special, since it’s the only one we’ll be getting. Although the episode would still be worth a watch even if this wasn’t the case.
As with most episodes of Milo Murphy’s Law, the episode bounces between the adventures of Milo and his friends and those of time travelers Cavendish and Dakota. Milo’s adventure kicks of with Sarah (his sister) driving him, Zack, and Melissa to the airport to pick up part of his Christmas gift to his parents: the whole Murphy family is coming to visit! Now given that each male Murphy has their own portion of Murphy’s Law (a family trait that makes sure that everything that can go wrong does), this plan gets complicated almost immediately.
First, at the airport, as the crew picks up Milo’s cousin — who insists he does not have Murphy’s Law (spoiler alert, he really does) — a lost bag leads to the two Murphy boys taking an outbound flight, which they later escape midair. Then when they head to the train station to pick up Grandma and Grandpa Murphy, Milo and his cousin board the train to help with the bags and end up trapped on the train heading towards Canada. However, luck actually seems to turn their way as the train suddenly breaks off the tracks near the harbor where they need to puck up Milo’s aunt and uncle. Although that “luck” runs out quickly as his aunt and uncle’s boat is hit by an iceberg in the harbor and begins to sink.
However, Milo is able to rescue them using a commandeered rowboat and the family, plus Melissa and Zack, go on to battle the snowstorm to get home. As you may have guessed by this point, it doesn’t exactly work out as planned. After the car gets trapped in the snow the group ends up catching a horse drawn carriage — yes, it is as odd as it sounds — and while they don’t make it home, they do make it to the mall where Milo and Sarah’s parents are.
Meanwhile, in the far off future — 2195 — we find versions of Cavendish and Dakota that are notably older than we’re used to. Not only that, but they don’t seem to be speaking anymore. As it turns out, back in 2175 the duo had an argument over the last eggroll at a company Christmas Party that left them completely estranged from on another. However, as they reflect on their time apart — Cavendish upon seeing Dakota at a book signing and Dakota while being asked about Cavendish during said book signing — they both decide to put their time travel skills to use and return to the party that set this mess in action to stop the argument from ever happening.
Unfortunately, the duo ends up working at cross purposes and even after multiple attempts they cannot seem to fix the problem. Granted, their methods are strange at best — Dakota brings in a dinosaur at one point — and even when they join forces they can’t seem to find a way to stop the argument. In the end, there are so many future versions of Cavendish and Dakota wreaking havoc that the party looks like the battleground of a superhero movie. So Cavendish finally breaks all the rules and directly approaches his past self.
Fortunately, the future Cavendish, with some help from future Dakota, is able to repair the duo’s past selves’ relationship. Unfortunately, repairing the relationship eliminated the future Cavendish and Dakota, causing them all to disappear.
The episode ends with the whole Murphy family, along with Melissa and her dad, Zack and his parents Cavendish and Dakota, and other recurring characters trapped in the mall due to the snow the storm. Luckily, in a Christmas movie cliché, the Chinese place is open, so everyone gathers together for Christmas dinner there.
The episode is full of exactly the humor we all expect from a Dan and Swampy show plus a lot of heart. If the amazing amount of effort Milo put into getting his family together for Christmas doesn’t touch your heart, then Cavendish and Dakota’s dedication to saving their friendship definitely will. The love shown onscreen between these characters hits exactly in the Christmas feels, and even if this episode is tragically the show’s only Christmas episode, it’s completely worthy of the honor.
You can check out both seasons of Milo Murphy’s Law over on Disney+ now, and be sure to check out “A Christmas Peril” this holiday season!