Welcome back to the third episode of Gargoyles, Awakening part 3! If you missed the first part of the review, go read it.
Ready? Episode three’s second half tables the concerns about the evil rival corporation Cyberbiotics stealing trade secrets from Xanatos Enterprises. Now we’re following the gargoyles as they explore the new city and new era.
(Remember, spoilers are 20/20 moments. Greg Weisman comments from Ask Greg are According to Greg.)
We open on a beautiful sunset that paints the Statue of Liberty in pinks and golds. Gargoyles has amazing artwork for weather and for grand shots of the city. It makes the show feel more real. You know the creators cared about the quality of their work. They also respected the viewer, giving them a spectacular product.
The gargs wake up with appropriate drama. The Trio is off to explore. Goliath is hesitant, but he understands the need to learn about the new world.
As promised, Elisa Maza meets Goliath on top of a building a few blocks from the Eyrie Building. He arrives fashionably late, as he doesn’t trust her to come alone. She has come alone, though. So, either she doesn’t have any friends, or she trusts him. Maybe she just thinks she can take him on. It’s not as if she’s shown good judgment in picking opponents that are on her level so far. *coughXanatoscough*
Gray Beard hops down from the roof after he sees Goliath is fine. They reiterate that they don’t trust humans.
Elisa is still stuck on the “we don’t have names” comment. Why this takes the lion’s share of her interest, I don’t know. She insists that Gray Beard needs a name. This is where the no-name concept breaks down.
According to Greg: He admitted it didn’t make as much sense as he’d wanted. It was really there to just show that garg ways are not human ways.
See, Old and Grizzled counters that not everything needs a name. Does the sky need a name? Does the river? The sky has a name: it’s the sky. It’s a proper noun. As for the river…it’s The River. That actually is a name. You can’t tell me the gargs never described land features. “The brown mountain,” for example, or “the long river, not the winding river.” Those are basically names.
Elisa says the river is the Hudson. Old Dude relents and decides to be called Hudson as well. It’s rather interesting that he gives in rather than just calling her a nutty human and flying off. It’s as if he wants to keep her on their side. Wise. Or maybe he’s a bit touched that after all these years a human finally decided he should have a name. Goliath has a name, after all.
The Grand Tour:
While Hudson returns to
watch TV guard the castle, Goliath flies off with Elisa. She takes him on the grand tour. He doesn’t care about seeing the best hot dog stand in Manhattan, though. He wants to see the dangers/threats. She is more optimistic about the city.
Goliath brings up that there are no walls. He comes from an age when a wall meant safety. For thousands of years, walls have been the best way to stop attackers. Babylonians, Isrealites, Chinese, Romans, Europeans, and many more owed much of their success to walls. The biggest threats were from outside. Elisa explains the threats now are from inside. Goliath’s experience with the Captain betraying his castle makes him agree. As the Chinese found as well, all it takes to negate a wall’s benefit is the have someone open a gate. Once the enemy is inside, the game is theirs.
20/20 moment: This half of the episode is here to lay the groundwork for what will become the clan’s new mission by the end of the first season: protect the city.
Back at the castle, Hudson and the dog-goyle are wandering the halls. The place is like the Starship Enterprise: halls and more halls. They reach a tiny antechamber that contains a recliner, semi-couch, end table, and TV. There’s no decor, other than Middle-Ages Servant Quarters, meaning rock walls and a rug.
20/20 moment: Yes I’m doing one on a room. I have no idea why this room exists. I could hazard a guess that Xanatos made it as a place to let the gargs watch TV, but it’s not really big enough to house them all comfortably. It’s more likely he doesn’t know it exists at the moment.
We see the room throughout the clan’s time in the castle as the only place they watch the TV. So maybe my first hazarded guess was right? Or maybe it is the only place in the castle with a TV, other than Xanatos’s office? There’s no reason to strew TVs all over the building, after all.
It’s the very same TV that Xanatos uses in Thrill of the Hunt to interest the clan in the Pack.
What’s more bemusing is that in Outfoxed, Fox uses it as her control center, so to speak. She watches the news about Fortress II, then Skypes with Preston Vogel about his paid betrayal of her father.
In The Journey, the entire clan and House Xanatos watches the news. Could we maybe graduate to a room bigger than the master bathroom at this point?
Hudson first freaks himself out by sitting back too far in the recliner. Then he clicks on the TV, which for some reason is randomly set to M-TV. I think the Trio must’ve been here. He and Spot flee.
What’s interesting is that this scene is in the half of the episode that shows the clan learning about new threats. Yes, it’s also a lot about understanding and discovering the modern world. But I can’t help smiling at the thought of the TV and recliner being lumped with the threats.
20/20 moment: In Upgrade, Fox uses the a TV ad to manipulate the gargs to make her “move” against David in the real-life combat chess the two played.
Back on the mean streets, we meet recurring characters Brendan and Margot. Marina Sirtis, who also voices Goliath’s second in command, voices Margot. The yuppies took a shortcut through a bad part of the city that of course doesn’t have cell reception. Now they’re car breaks down. Thugs approach. They’re mainly voiced by Jeff Bennett. Surprising, I know.
Elisa sticks her head out of an alley, waves her badge, and warns them to stop. They don’t care. They follow her into the alley, only to come face to roaring face with Goliath. He doesn’t kill them, but they’ll think twice before trying to rob yuppies again.
Ever the optimist, Elisa thinks he’ll be good for the city. Now, Elisa is fairly young, in her twenties. Yet she’s a detective. They don’t just hand those ranks out like M&Ms, which makes me think she’s a very perceptive and intelligent person. Or she did a favor for the right person. Okay, I’m making the last one up, because she’s a protagonist, and she gets on my nerves at times.
Elsewhere, the Trio is stealing a motorcycle.
They wreck the bike – in a fireball. Very impressive. What were you saying about being good for the city, Maza?
In Central Park, Goliath and Elisa wrap up their date by strolling through the trees. Goliath is ray of pitch black with his statements about how the city is savage. Maza is still paying Public Relations Specialist for NYC: It’s not so bad. Moms sing to their kids, after all! What does this even mean? So when moms stop singing to their kids, the world ends in fire? Go join Twenty One Pilots.
Too bad for Little Miss Sunshine, the commandos from the castle are back. They aren’t playing around, either. If you expected a repeat of the last battle, or one of the usual superhero-kicking-canon-fodder-butt scenes, you’re about to get the opposite. These guys are prepared. They shoot Goliath with a tranquilizer dart.
Then a pack of them grab Goliath, while another takes Elisa and pins her arms. The leader of the group, Bruno, draws his handgun.
Well now, this is all very unexpected. Has the last moms stopped singing to her kid? We’ll have to wait till next time to find out!
Commandos chase Elisa in park in broad daylight. A boathouse explodes. Goliath is in an airship. The trio attack a tower. Goliath’s second in command/lover appears.
This episode accomplished its purpose: it pushed the plot forward by giving the clan a new quest, then it showed the clan acclimating to the new world. Other series would’ve jumped right to the meat, to the retrieval of the data from the three Cyberbiotics installations. (I’ll talk about them later.) But Greg and his crew knew better. They slowed their roll to allow us to get to know the characters and see how unfamiliar they are with the new world. This increases our sympathy for them. It also will be a great way to explain why they are supposedly easy marks for certain antagonists.
What did you think of this ep? Comment!
Check out the next ep, part 4!