Go behind the scenes of tonight's Warehouse 13 Christmas special

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

Remember when Myka left in the season-two finale of Warehouse 13 after misjudging the true intentions of H.G. Wells and the world nearly coming to an end? Well, she's back for Syfy's special Christmas episode, "Secret Santa"—although not exactly in the way you might have expected.

"The holiday episode is a stand-alone," said actor Saul Rubinek, who plays Artie in the series. "This Christmas/Hanukkah episode is really called the long-lost episode, in a way. It's a stand-alone episode that has nothing to do with any of the other story arcs."

"Secret Santa" follows Pete and Myka as they attempt to track down a malevolent Santa who's terrorizing a workaholic (Paul Blackthorne) and committing robberies. Meanwhile, Claudia tries to reunite Artie with his estranged father, Isadore Weisfelt (Judd Hirsch).

When strange things happen on Warehouse 13 there's usually an artifact at the center of things ... or in this case "there are quite a few being used. There's one really special Christmas artifact, and then there are quite a few others of which maybe mistletoe is one," said Rubinek.

"As magical as Warehouse 13 stories are, this one has extra spice," he said.

"I think the Christmas episode is right in line with what we've always tried to do with the Warehouse 13 episodes," added actor Eddie McClintock, who plays Pete. "They're a lot of fun and there are some tense moments, but [at] its heart it's a nice family show about this family of people that have come together at this strange warehouse out in South Dakota, and I think it just stays true to the series and it's fun. ... And Paul Blackthorne, who is our guest star, does an amazing job."

As far as Bad Santa goes, "You don't want to mess with him, because he will kick some A-S-S. And I have to spell that out because my 5-year-old's right here," said McClintock.

As for Rubinek, their Bad Santa brings back memories of a cartoon by Gahan Wilson, who often published in The New Yorker. "One I remember from years ago is there's a little boy with his covers up with his eyes huge with terror and the door is cracked open and a very angry looking Santa is looking daggers at him, and the caption underneath is 'I hear you've been a naughty boy this year, Jimmy.' And it's that kind of terror that this bad Santa brings."

As far as what the guys liked most about the episode, "I guess my favorite part was when the nutcracker--" started McClintock.

"I could've told you that that was his favorite part just because he gets to say the word nutcracker," cracked Rubinek.

"And I get to say, 'Nuts.'"

"I have three favorite things that happened to me," said Rubinek."One is that I got to work with Judd Hirsch, who I'd never met but had been such a fan of for so many years. ... That was a huge thrill. He's a wonderful performer, great actor, and it was just a pleasure to have him on the show. They had to age him up a little bit to make him old enough to be my dad, but that was a joy."

Joy number two comes in the form of having show runner Jack Kenny, who also wrote the script, direct his first episode, he said. "And then I got to perform this little nocturne, or at least part of it, that I had been writing myself on the piano, which took the place of the nocturne that Artie has been working on for years that his father is so happy that he finished it. So I got to do that. Those were three great things for me."

Doing a holiday episode is great "because it kind of reminds people that we are there and it fills in the gap for fans who are bummed that we don't come on. Every summer it's a long time to wait. So it's a nice little gift," said McClintock.

And speaking of summer, the Syfy series is gearing up for its third season in 2011, and one that follows up on last season's cliffhanger. "They're going to have to deal one way or another with the fact that Myka has left the warehouse and try to figure out what to do about that," he said.

But mostly expect more of the same, said Rubinek. "You've got a show that people like. The audiences have liked it. It's a hit show for them. They're going to continue doing what they've been doing. But, that said, you know we've had unpredictable shows. We've had two unpredictable seasons. ... We've had villains who are not painted with just one color. They've been wonderful. Jaime Murray and Roger Rees have played multifaceted characters. Great actors, and the writing has matched their inclusion in the show."

Rubinek said that audiences should expect the unexpected, with the continuation of "that family feeling that we've got on the show. People care about us," he said. "As far as the particular adventures are concerned and what the arcs are, that's going to be stuff that's going to be revealed, probably starting with the first episode you'll start to get a feel for where that's going to go."

Syfy premieres a special holiday episode of Eureka at 9 p.m. and Warehouse 13 at 10 p.m. ET tonight.