“The Thrill of the Hunt” is the 6th episode of the first season and was written by Michael Reaves and directed by Kazuo Terada. The story is a character centered episode with the main focus on Lexington.
The premise is “The Pack” is a television show that the gargoyles love because The Pack: Dingo, Jackal, Wolf, Fox and Hyena fight evil ninjas with honor. Lexington sees them as potential allies not realizing that all they want is a good hunt and see the gargoyles as prey after a mysterious benefactor sends them a package with the gargoyles’ pictures. From here the story unfolds.
Here is the assessment of the episode:
The Pros: Lexington – This is his episode and he owns it. He is the youngest of the gargoyles and him being outside of his time period makes it so he and the gargoyles believe what they see on tv as true, even if it is just a tv show. He introduces himself to the Pack and Fox manipulates him into bringing Goliath so they can start a hunt. After the incident he is hating himself for trusting people but Goliath says he is right and that they do need allies and to not be alone. It is a great episode for Lexington.
Goliath – Goliath is the one who thinks Detective Maza is enough, until Lexington makes him realize just how alone they are. His arc is understanding the idealism and practicalness of Lexington’s dream which informs his later actions. He also learns Xanatos will be getting out of prison soon so is pretty peeved.
Owen – is the main manipulator for Xanatos, as he has the pack playing on tv all the time so the Gargoyles will seek them out and be tested in their strength and on the dependability of the Pack.
The Pack – They have a great dynamic…Wolf and Fox are the leaders and Wolf is the one who loves fighting and hunting, Fox is the manipulator and his second in command, Jackal and Hyena are the rogues who revel in causing pain and Dingo is the tank who has an exploding boomerang as a weapon. They have an interesting dynamic as a group.
Xanatos – This guy is fantastic, this was another gambit to find out Goliath’s strength and to test the pack. He sees the loss as a gain that all went according to plan, once again showing why the Xanatos Gambit is such an amazing trope. Love this villain.
Okay: The Pack – Listing them here again because Jackal and Hyena are interchangeable and we don’t know why Wolf loves to hunt and fight. Would have loved to get more motivation behind them. Not a con, but also putting them in okay because they weren’t the perfect baddies like Xanatos.
I definitely recommend this episode. Not as good as the pilot, but a great character episode as it explores Lexington’s idealism and has Goliath grow as a character too. It is also a great glimpse into Xanatos never loses, everything is another trial in which he learns and grows.
Final Score of this episode is 9 / 10. Solidly great.