Gargoyles: Avalon – Episode Review

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Disney Gargoyles logo with Goliath avalon p1


When a man from Goliath’s past turns up in full plate armor in New York City, asking the police about the clan and Goliath, Elisa, Goliath, and Bronx look for answers. It’s Tom, the boy who befriended the clan in Scotland in 994 AD. He says the gargoyle eggs from Castle Wyvern are in trouble on the isle of Avalon, threatened by the Archmage. But before Goliath can help, he needs to know what happened to Magus, Princess Katherine, Tom, Mary, and the 36 gargoyle eggs after the clan was turned to stone “until the castle rises above the clouds.”

Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits. 


Season 2, Episode 21: Avalon


Reason(s) for existence: To move on to Tier Four of the series. To introduce Avalon. To explain what happened to Magus, Katherine, and the eggs. To start the Avalon World Tour. To start wrapping up the Archmage’s story.


Main antagonist(s): Constantine


Time(s):  December 27th-28th, 1995; ?, 994; ?-September 28th, 995


Location(s): New York City, New York; Castle Wyvern and Edinburgh, Scotland


title

I’ve already done my whining about the Avalon World Tour, so let’s get this cruise started!

Previously:  Young Tom and his mom at Castle Wyvern before the Vikings attack. Magus and the Grimorum. The Archmage threatening Prince Malcolm. Katherine promising to protect the eggs. Macbeth and Demona wondering why they’re working together. Wow, we’re all over the map! This is gonna be a wild trilogy.


According to Greg: We bid farewell to Tier Three of Gargoyles. This triptych is a “tent pole” of the series that launches a new phase.


This Isn’t the SCA

The clan wakes up, but unlike pretty much every episode before this, Goliath plunks down in Hudson’s chair to read, while the old gargoyle goes on patrol. Is Hudson perhaps feeling more confident after his physical and verbal altercation with Xanatos last episode? Bronx stays, as per usual.

Out in the lake in Central Park, a medieval skiff appears from the fog. Fog? Huh. It’s pilot is a silhouette with a cloak and…ears? The craft docks. When the pilot steps into the light, we see it’s a gargoyle-faced helmet that goes with a full set of plate armor.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - tom and skiff

I’m assuming he’s not here for a tour of the Big Apple.

Under all this is a middle-aged man. The man marches down the street, a broad sword at his belt.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - margot and brendan

Margot and Brendan think this is intriguing.

The thugs that Goliath put down in Awakening think this is a target. Now, in real life, I doubt they’d think a man in armor who walks with a calm bearing is a target – unless they are really, really messed up in the heads.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - tom and gang

How dumb to you have to be to mess with this dude? His cheek bones could cut you, much less his sword.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - tom draws sword

Predators want prey that won’t fight back. When they select a target, they don’t pick somebody who might put up a fight. And this guy looks ready to slice and dice.

But whatever. We need to get him to meet the cops, which he does after he puts down the three punks but accidentally sets off a building alarm when he breaks the window. Morgan charges up. He has to explain that he’s a cop. I like Morgan. He’s not all “I’ll shoot!” when this newcomer waves a sword around and calls everyone ruffians.

When the man hears Morgan is a guardian of the peace, he says that he is too, and surrenders his sword.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - tom surrenders sword to morgan

Morgan can barely lift it. Okay, that’s not historically accurate, since swords were maybe 3-5 lbs max.

But whatever. We need to have Elisa hear about this fellow, which she does when Morgan tells her about the strange man he met who was wearing armor like “King Arthur stuff” and looking for gargoyles. Well, you had her at “gargoyles.” Then Morgan says the man “had them named.” The Tin Man asked for Goliath.

Elisa asks Goliath, but the garg doesn’t know anybody in gargoyle plate armor. Well, other than Xanatos, but his is red and flies. They need to talk to the man, who calls himself the Guardian.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - bronx happy with goliath

Aw, I like Bronx. He’s my second fave gargoyle, behind Brooklyn.

Elisa finagles him out of jail and has him to Belvedere Castle in a record one hour. Sure, getting him out was probably not an issue, given that most big cities, particularly NYC, are up to their eyeballs in criminals who are taking up cells. Cities often use book-and-release programs to a shocking degree. Even GTA in some places is treated like this. The real wonder is that she got through traffic that quickly!

I dunno why Belvedere, other than it’s a reference to High Noon. But whatever. We need to get everybody to the lake with the skiff.

When Goliath meets the Guardian, the man reveals he’s Young Tom from the Viking attack. Only he’s now Old Tom. But there’s no time to explain! The garg eggs are in trouble! Why, did you forget to take them out of the back seat and put them in the fridge? Wait, no, he means the eggs from the rookery in Castle Wyvern. The Archmage is threatening them.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - tom and goliath

Note the crest on his armor.

Elisa and Goliath are suspicious. Bronx has channeled Dug from Up and loves Tom like a brother. That’s good enough for them, so they get in the skiff with Tom.

Get in, losers, we’re going to Avalon.

As they sail across the lake, Tom chants some Latin (source: Gargoyles Fan Website):

Vocate venti fortunate

ex rege Oberonis

et hic navis flugem regate

ad orae Avalonis.

That means:

Come winds, safely

from the kingdom shores of Oberon

guide this ship through the waves

to the shores of Avalon.

Then Tom begins the in-cruise story hour.

Flashback: 994-995 AD

Magus and Princess Katherine are loading the 36 gargoyle eggs from the rookery and into a cart.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - magus and katherine load egg

Think of the size of the omelette that would make!

Mary, Tom’s mom, wonders how many will survive. Tom declares he’ll protect them. Katherine seems to have gained tact after the Viking attack, because she makes him the Guardian of the eggs. Now, you’ll remember that Demona is watching them. But we don’t see that now, because the humans are unaware of her.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - katherine makes tom guardian

She’s commissioning him, not getting ready to stab him.

Side note: I don’t remember it being explained to my liking why everyone heads out of Wyvern. Were they just getting help? In the old days, people rebuilt castles. It’s not like it was damaged beyond repair. After all, it lasted another 1000 years and doesn’t look that bad even then.

They head to Katherine’s uncle.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - kenneth and group toast

The gang’s all here!

He’s King Kenneth II. Ken’s son and Katherine’s cousin Maol Chalvim (hi, Jeff Bennett!) is there, as well as a rival named Constantine. It gets complicated now with everybody being related to everybody, so I’ll quote Greg:


According to Greg: “Believe it or not, we also had another character originally that we cut early on because it was just getting too damn complicated. Katharine and Maol Chalvim’s cousin: the future King Kenneth III. The father of Bodhe. Yep. That Bodhe. The father of Gruoch.

Kenneth III winds up being made High King of Scotland after Constantine is killed. To get a sense of their relationship, at least as I see it, you might want to check out “Once upon a time there were three brothers…”

(Or to give you a hint, ten years after the events depicted here, King Kenneth III would be murdered by Maol Chalvim’s operatives during a civil war. Maol Chalvim was also known as Malcolm Forranach, the Destroyer. We used the Maol Chalvim version of his name so as not to confuse him with Katharine’s father Prince Malcolm. Just as in City of Stone we emphasized Malcolm Canmore’s Canmore name for the same reason.)”


The gang is warmly welcomed, but the realize quickly there are politics afoot. Constantine is all about power, and he’s going to get it no matter the cost. A noblewoman named Finella is his way to the crown.

Disney Gargoyles - Avalon part 1 - mary at fire

Mary knows all about the castle politics. She’s got some peasant network, apparently. FaceScroll, maybe?


Halftime!

Well, it’s the start of a three parter, so there’s a lot of ramping up. But it’s a welcome change to see some old faces. Did you wonder what happened to them after Awakening? I didn’t. It’s nice to bring them in, though, since it keeps us from having to meet a fleet of new characters. I like Magus, so seeing him again is welcome.

Not a whole lot to say thus far, but the next half gets more involved. It’s the Gargoyles version of Game of Thrones.  We’ll also get to see our favorite Twisted Sisters. Come back Friday for the continuation of Avalon.

Thoughts? Comment!


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Lead researcher at Villainous Life Natures Research. Writer, reader, snarker. Lover of all things Geek and Dark. INTJ.
Read my reports at vlnresearch.com and learn how understanding villains can help you succeed in life.
Find my action-adventure post-apocalypse zombie thriller Wolves of the Apocalypse series at lcchamplin.com.
I write fiction because the characters in my head have too much attitude to stay in my skull, I want to see the world through different eyes, and I want to live life through different souls.

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