Gargoyles – Season 1, Episode 13 – “Reawakening” – The Purpose of a Gargoyle

coldstone

We end Season 1 of Gargoyles with the 13th and Final Episode of the season, “Reawakening.” This is a great episode for many reasons, as it brings together the loose threads from a few of the stories, gives a hint of things to come and establishes a higher purpose and point. Suffice to say it is amazing and a favorite. Also, Michael Dorn (Worf from “Star Trek”) guest stars in this as Coldstone.

“Reawakening” was written by Brynne Chandler Reaves and directed by Saburo Hashimoto and Kazuo Terada.

The story is that Demona uses magic and Xanatos uses technology to ressurect Coldstone into a cyborg gargoyle body. From here they use him as Demona blames Goliath for the extinction of the Wyvern Clan from the vikings. Ashamed of his form and feeling hatred Coldstone joins with them as they target Goliath and the Manhattan Clan in a final showdown. From here the story unfolds.

Gargoyles Reawakening

Here is the assessment of the Season 1 Finale:

The Pros: Coldstone – Michael Dorn is an amazing actor and voice actor and he has the chance to play a complex gargoyle who was once Goliath’s Rookery Brother. You see how conflicted he is after Demona gives him the half-truth of the Vikings killing of him being Goliath’s doing and we see him choose to live rather than survive when he finds that all Demona is offering him is survival, which is no way for a gargoyle to be. We understand his distrust of humans too as the Sorcerer runs in fear of them from the castle tower in the flashback.

Demona – We see that hatred once again dominates her feelings as she shoots to kill at all times, even when Xanatos tells her he wants the Gargoyles alive. We also see her influence as she easily makes Coldstone their pawn when the episode begins. She would have killed more people too if Xanatos hadn’t used the rocket pack in the Red Steel Clan suit to run off with her after the battle. She shoots Coldstone and feels nothing, showing just how far gone she’s become.

Brooklyn – We see his hatred for Demona here for being used as a incapacitates her at the beginning of the fight, but still sees the bigger picture as he and Lexington save Broadway from the Steel Clan.

Lexington – Manages to take out two Steel Clan members through his wits and teams up to save Broadway from Xanatos. He is finding his confidence and how to use his small size to his advantage.

Elisa Maza – Grabs Hudson and Bronx and turns the tied against Demona and Xanatos, forcing them to run away. She also helps Goliath and the Gargoyles find their purpose once more as defenders once more.

Xanatos – Xanatos changes in this episode as he sees that he is working with someone he shouldn’t be as she doesn’t listen and is only after retribution where he is thinking long term. It’s powerful when he surrenders and reveals himself beneath the Red Steel Clan helmet as the Gargoyles didn’t know he’d been fighting with his robots and when he makes the escape rather than standing and fighting you see in his eyes him rethinking the whole of the situation. He also has a comedic laughing moment where he says “It’s alive! It’s alive!” When they ressurect Coldstone, which was something he always wanted to say.

Goliath – Goliath expresses the purpose for the Gargoyles as he is the one who reminds Coldstone of his, that there are things more important than survival or only caring for your own. He learns from from Elisa Maza and he and the Gargoyles swear to protect Manhattan, which in a way is when they officially become the Manhattan Clan. Manhattan is now their castle. It is powerful and we see how much Goliath has grown versus the lack of growth from Demona. Also a cute romantic moment at the end when he tells Elisa Maza. “All I need is a Detective.”

The Message – Look beyond yourself and look out for other people, do not hate those who are different but strive always for good. Protect. This the gargoyle way and is expressed fully in this episode.

Okay: Broadway and Hudson – They are there in the final battle, but Broadway needs to be saved and Hudson tells us what we already learned from Detective Maza. They aren’t bad, just redundant as all needed rescuing at one time or another and Detective Maza already gave us the message much better than Hudson.

This is an amazing episode, the only thing that is left in the air is if Coldstone is now undead so cannot die, what do Xanatos and Demona plan to do now? Where is Macbeth? These questions leave so much open for Season 2, which I remember Season 2 exploring quite well. Will see first hand when I get to it, for now we’re taking a break from “Gargoyles” and ending on a high note, as this season did. What compelling villains and characters and what great stories and messages…These are the things that made this show memorable beyond the premise, art and voice actors. This is a season I plan to watch again, as these stories are timeless. Timeless, as Gargoyles made of stone.

Final Score for the Finale: 10 / 10. I just wish it had been longer and been a two-parter to give us more time with Coldstone and more development for Broadway and Hudson.

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Gargoyles – Season 1, Episode 11 – “Long Way to Morning” – Hudson’s Story

Gargoyles Long Way to Morning

This is a good episode that explores the threat of Demona, the Gargoyles’ past and Hudson’s backstory. The episode was written by Brynne Chandler Reaves and directed by Takamitsu Kawamura and Kazuo Terada.

The story begins with an attack on Elisa Maza in her home with a poison dart that she survives but lets Goliath know that Demona wants to meet him to give the antidote for the poison. So Goliath doesn’t know Elisa survived he goes with Hudson to the meeting point but is wounded mortally by Demona. It is than up to Hudson to defend Goliath until morning and he does so by giving Goliath strength be recounting when he, Demona and Goliath fought against the Archmage who poisoned the Scottish Prince.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Hudson – This is Hudson’s episode and it is where we learn he lead the Wyvern Clan until that day against the Archmage, where it was Demona and Goliath who were able to stop him and not Hudson the leader. He returns the favor this time by protecting Goliath until morning as Demona hunts them through the sewers and a graveyard. We see how patient he is and his devotion to Goliath who makes Clan leader after the battle against the Archmage. Ed Asner owns this role.

Goliath – This is where we see Goliath’s devotion to his mentor, as he asks Hudson to save himself multiple times and denies becoming Clan leader until Hudson insists in the past. We learn also that Goliath still has feeling for Demona and will not even think about killing her.

Demona – Demona is a great antagonist in this…we see how consumed by power she is as she tries to convince Hudson to join her and to kill Goliath once more for defending humanity. She is a great predator though and mortally wounds Goliath and would have won the battle if not for Hudson’s stalling until morning so Goliath could heal. She is one of their greatest enemies for certain and Marina Sirtis does a fantastic job once more.

Okay: The Scots – In this episode we meet the Archmage, the Prince the Princess who grows up distrusting the gargoyles because Hudson couldn’t protect her father from the Archmage and the Sorcerer who mention that they need the Grimorum to save the Prince. They are all okay, but none are super memorable. The Archmage is just mad and the Prince is just kind. There isn’t much there beyond characters of Hudson’s backstory.

This episode was great, it was wonderful to finally see Hudson in action, Demona as a threat once more and more of the past of their time as the Wyvern Clan and the history tied to it.

I recommend this episode for sure.

Final Score: 9 / 10

Gargoyles – Season 1, Episode 9 – “Enter Macbeth” – A New Threat, Great Villain and New Beginning

macbeth

 

“Enter Macbeth” is a great episode for a lot of reasons. Most of which I’ll get into in the assessment. One thing that does make it amazing though, is how it took a Shakespeare character and did something amazing with him, making him a character that fits and contributes to the lore of this Universe.

The episode was written by Steve Perry and directed by Kazuo Terada and Saburo Hashimoto. It is the 8th episode of the 1st season.

The story involves Macbeth approaching Xanatos and prison and letting him and Owen know that he knows about the gargoyle threat and that he can defeat them as he’s defeated them before. While this is going on a recovering Detective Maza is trying to convince Goliath they have to leave which he is resisting as the Castle is the home he’s known all his life and out of all of them, he’s the most resistant to change. Things come to a head though when Lexington, Brooklyn and Bronx are captured by Macbeth and Goliath must rescue them. The story unfolds from there.

Here is the assessment of the episode:

The Pros: Goliath – Goliath is tradition and the base for the gargoyles, it is why he’s the leader, as he isn’t the oldest…Hudson is. We see that he leaves no one behind though as he fights and defeats Macbeth in his own home and mocks Macbeth when he learns Macbeth captured them so he could get revenge on Demona. On the reveal that Demona doesn’t care about them, he loses it. In the fight Macbeth’s home is burned to the ground but he Goliath is forced to admit when Broadway and Maza convince him that the Castle is no longer their’s as Xanatos is free from prison and Macbeth is still out there. He does promise Owen that they’ll be back though.

Lexington – We see his brains at work again as he is able to sap the power from the cages to have Bronx break out of his cage and get Goliath to save them.

Brooklyn – Is comedic relief and good in this episode as he keeps annoying Lexington by electrocuting his finger on the cage until Lexington can come up with a plan.

Broadway – Sees the big picture and plays a part in convincing Goliath they need to leave the Castle, which makes sense since he is the gargoyle most of the current time period.

Detective Maza – Sees the big picture, fights Macbeth briefly when injured and is largely the reason Goliath gives in to them finding a new home. She also finds them a new home in the Clocktower.

Macbeth – Voiced by John Rhys-Davies of “Lord of the Rings” and “Indiana Jones” fame he owns this role. He is a compelling antagonist who is immortal though we don’t know why…and extremely intelligent as he uses technology and his strength to defeat the gargoyles. He also manages to escape from Goliath’s wrath.

The Ending – Things have changed…Xanatos is free, the gargoyles have changed homes, Detective Maza is still injured and recovering from being shot, and Macbeth is on the scene and a new player in the game against the gargoyles.

Okay – What we Know about Macbeth – We know he knows Demona and gave her her name, but we don’t know why he hates the gargoyles or how he is still alive after all these years. It’s not a bad thing, but a little more about him would have served the story better.

I recommend this episode for sure, and it is a favorite, even though it isn’t perfect. Macbeth is a great antagonist, and with Xanatos free and the gargoyles changing homes…we see that actions from prior episodes have consequences. It’s nice seeing that the gargoyles came from Ancient Scotland put to good use and have Macbeth be from that time period and their world.

Final Score for this episode: 9.5 / 10. Definitely a favorite.

Gargoyles Pilot – Season 1, Episodes 1-5 – “Awakening” – A Matter of Trust

Gargoyles-AwakeningPartTwo40

“Gargoyles” was a show that I loved when I watched it in College, at least the first 2 seasons. I couldn’t get through season 3 because of the animation but may try again later. For this though, I’m going to be reviewing Season 1 and starting with the 5 Part Pilot of “Awakening.” Suffice to say I was impressed.

Part of the reason I loved this show were all the guest stars from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” that really got a chance to shine. Folks from one of my favorite sci. fi. shows in one of my favorite fantasy shows. It was a win win.

The story was written by Eric Luke and Michael Reaves and directed by Kazuo Terada and Saburo Hashimoto.

The story of “Gargoyles” begins in the past in Scotland. Gargoyles lead by Goliath protect the Scots from viking attacks, but one day they are betrayed by a man they consider a friend which leads to the vikings exterminating most of the gargoyles and enslaving the Scots. When the survivors free the Scots the Princess goes missing and they are blamed and turned to stone until the castle is above the skies. Goliath decides to join them and 1000 years pass and they brought to the present by Xanatos who puts their castle on top of his building. The story than unfolds as they deal with trusting humans, a reveal from the past and Goliath’s budding relationship with Detective Maza.

Demona

Here is the assessment of the episodes:

The Pros: The Premise – The premise is fantastic! Who would have thought making gargoyles living creatures who experience prejudice in all time periods would work so well. Them being outsiders and outside of time is part of what makes it so strong as they adapt to the future and finding their way. Having magic in this world works too by the very existence of the gargoyles on the scene. It establishes the fantastic early.

The Gargoyles – They can glide, live in clans and turn into stone by the light of the sun. They are powerful but have limitations which make them so amazing! They also have reason to distrust humans which makes for an interesting drama from the get go.

The characters: Goliath – The leader and first named of the gargoyles since the Gargoyles don’t have names except the ones humans give them, and Goliath was named so because of how large he was, and the fear related to him. He is a great character who is moral and fights for his people. He does not believe in killing and only does revenge as a last resort, because of his experience with the Princess and her Sorceress realizing they were wrong, he is able to trust again in the future.

Demona – Marina Sirtis from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is Goliath’s mate and takes the name because of how she hates being betrayed time and again by humans. She is the Magneto to Goliath’s Xavier and you can see where she’s coming from. The only thing I hated was when she targets the Gargoyles when they don’t stay loyal to Xanatos, this struck me as out of character…since she is the one trying to protect them in the long term. That was why she made the deal with the captain in the hopes that Goliath would take all the gargoyles to go and hunt down the Vikings.

Detective Maza – She is the one who shows Goliath that not all people are bad and risks her life countless times for him. She is an awesome protagonist and the main human perspective we get outside of Xanatos. She is the anti-Xanatos as she sees beyond herself and truly cares about the gargoyles. Salli Richardson does a good job.

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The Support Characters – Brooklyn (the beaked gargoyle), Hudson (the oldest and the mentor), Lexington (the techie), Broadway (the biggest one) and Bronx (the dog) are all amazing. You see why they care as they experienced kindness from a child and you see why they are the ones who survived, they were the outcasts of the outcasts and punished because they were strange by gargoyle standards and wanted to interact with people. They are the best support characters.

The Princess and the Sorcerer – These two are selfish distrusting folks who eventually feel guilt after the gargoyles sacrifice to save them and promise to protect the gargoyles hatchlings. Probably the weakest but that isn’t there fault as much as a time issue. The episode could have explored them both more, but they achieve their purpose for future episode arcs and showing Goliath not all humans are bad.

Xanatos

Xanatos – This guy has had a trope named after him because he is so intelligent and manipulative. Everything he does is a gambit and he has plans within plans or something to hold over the gargoyles head so that he’ll survive another day. Jonathan Frakes owned this role and he is one of my favorite complicated villains. His motivations work because he feels human even if he Lex Luthory at times. One of the best animated villains and the ultimate chess master. This episode he still has the gargoyles to manipulate at the end and he has nothing to hold over his head. He loses nothing at the episodes end even with the reveal of him trying to kill the gargoyles and only using them for himself.

The Message – There are reasons to trust and not trust people, but differences should not be a factor as there are good people in any group. It’s very X-Meny, but because their gargoyles it adds even more. The gargoyles look nothing like us and are like aliens and are different and good. It is sad every time people react towards fear towards them and seeing Demona consumed by hatred to the point she is no longer the person she was before.

I got to say I highly recommend this Pilot and can’t wait to review the rest of the season. It’s solid and gives a lot of room to explore all the characters. This episode has a wonderful larger point, tells a beautiful story and creates an interesting species of creatures while keeping a dark tone intermixed with hope. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Final Score is 10 / 10. One of the best pilots of any show.