Happy Friday! We’re celebrating by wrapping up the fourth episode of Gargoyles, Awakening part 4! If you missed the first half of the review, go read it.
This half of ep 4 is about wrapping up Central Park and launching the clan on the mission to retake the discs. It’s a transition period, but also a very important one, as we meet a character who will play a critical role in every character’s life from here on out.
Reminder: I review as if this is my first time watching the show. But since this show has more callbacks and references than a recruiting agency, I have to talk about spoilers. They’re in 20/20 moments sections. Behind-the-scenes info and additional details come from Greg Weisman’s comments at Station 8’s Ask Greg Archives. They’re called According to Greg here.
Bruno the lead commando, voiced by Jeff Bennett, discovers what he thought was
the wabbit Elisa is actually her jacket. Not to worry! He meets her a second later as she jumps him. Coming at him head-on isn’t the greatest idea, since he’s armed, armored, and just plain bigger and stronger than she is. Thus we end with her knocking the gun from his hand, then having him knocking her backward.
He has the great idea of lunging at her. This is never a good idea when your opponent is expecting it. She does a hybrid Seoi Nage and Soto Momo Harai to toss him. He forgets how to do a straight-over (proper jujitsu fall), instead splatting onto his back. Apparently the helmet doesn’t do anything except save him from having to comb his hair in the morning, because the landing knocks him out.
After taking out a whole team of commandos, she staggers back to sit with stone Goliath. All day. Lucky this is her night off, as was last night, and- It was, right? Speaking of work, one would think a police detective would have called in her buddies about all this commando nonsense. I don’t care how much of a loner you are, not calling backup is just insane. She wouldn’t have to mention Goliath. She wouldn’t even have to hide him. He’s stone! She could have cuffed Bruno and arrested him. If he started talking about monsters, the cops would just think he was a nut.
She’s also lucky that Central Park is a no-man’s land. It’s not like hundreds of people go there every day. Nah. The first and as far as we know only person she runs into is Jogger Guy. He’s surprised he’s never seen that statue (Goliath) before.
20/20 moment: I love when stories/series use recurring “non-player characters.” They give continuity and serve as an inside joke for longtime audience members. These characters also give us a taste of how the citizen on the street, the average Gothamite, sees the world – and the protagonists. We the viewers get so caught up with the protags and antags that we forget things like…it’s not normal to see gargoyles flying over. Consider the Jogger Guys of fiction as our reality checks.
The sun sleeps. Goliath awakens. This is always impressive, so it’s incredible for Elisa, who’s never seen it! Here she learns what we already knew: sleep heals minor wounds and conditions.
Goliath is surprised and impressed that she stayed all day. He doesn’t seem too shocked either that the commandos aren’t still around. How did he think she dealt with them? Does he care?
They agree to meet later that night. So…tonight’s your night off too, Detective? Maybe her shifts are 8 hours? Hah. She doesn’t seem any the worse for wear after being up all night and barely sleeping in the day.
Meanwhile, at the castle, the clan is getting nervous. Hudson reasons that they didn’t survive this long for Goliath to die so soon. He’s the wise one, but this…doesn’t make any sense. There are no laws about this sort of thing. You can die whenever your time’s up. It would be ironic if he died now. Or maybe I’ve been watching too much Walking Dead?
Goliath heads back to the castle. The clan is relieved to see him. He tells them the city is dangerous.
Our camera angle suddenly becomes the CCTV angle Xanatos and Owen are watching in Xanatos’s office. It seems the cameras also have audio pickup, because Xanatos tells Owen, “We’re ready for him now, Owen.” Or maybe he just figured it was time, since Goliath was back after a night on the town. Not sure about you, but that phrase, “We’re ready for him now,” doesn’t have a good connotation. Ah well, I suppose it could mean anything.
Meanwhile, Goliath calls Gray Beard “Hudson.” The Trio is eager to be with the in-crowd. They pick their own names, which is cheating, but they’ve done nothing but cheat since they woke up (bread thieves!). Beaky = Brooklyn. Patrick = Broadway. Squirrel Boy = Lexington. Dog-goyle = Bronx. Finally, at episode 4, we have names for all our protagonists! I’ve never seen a show like this. It’s refreshing. I love how fitting the names are, too. There’s something satisfying about a name that fits its holder. Picking names when writing is simultaneously one of the most difficult and most rewarding parts of character creation.
Owen materializes in the doorway. He clears his throat. This is his only line for the episode, but it’s effective.
Have I mentioned how much I love this guy? Let’s slow down and give him some appreciation, since he doesn’t get much screen time in ep 4. From the moment we meet him, we’re wondering what his story is. He’s the right-hand man of a billionaire, meaning he probably does the work of three people and with more proficiency, too. Nice how the writers keep this realistic, rather than defaulting to what we expect to see: an incompetent as an assistant. He’s not afraid to speak his mind, either, which is something his employer respects.
Now he shares a castle in the clouds with…a clan of mythological creatures. Not once does he act like this is outside the norm. In general, he seems to take everything in stride. What’s his backstory? What’s his life outside the office? What are his motives?
According to Greg: The writers didn’t know Owen’s backstory when they wrote these episodes, but Greg knew that it – and he – was important. Very important.
Reunion and Revelation
In the great hall, a casual Xanatos meets Goliath – and says there’s someone Goliath should meet. Out of a side door comes…Goliath’s second in command. It’s not the huge surprise it could’ve been for us, since we saw Xanatos speak to her earlier. But it’s a monumental surprise for Goliath.
They reunite with a wing hug.
Xanatos mentions that he’s very happy for them both, which is a lead-in. Goliath’s GF lays it out: They owe their reunion and their lives to David Xanatos .
Oh look, we finally discover Xanatos’s first name! The Captain already cited the Biblical story of David and Goliath, in case you forgot. David was the slayer of Goliath. David was the great warrior, the greatest king Israel knew. Foreshadowing, or irony? See what I mean about appropriate names? Win.
She explains that she left the castle on that fateful night, but she got lost, then the sun rose. When she returned, she found the clan destroyed and/or turned to stone. Magus turned her to stone, just as he did with Goliath.
Xanatos takes up the story: He bought her as a stone gargoyle a year ago. After the clan woke up, he thought it was logical that a trip to the castle would have the same effect on her as it did on the others.
It all seems very logical.
20/20 moment: Timing is where Demona’s story stands or falls.
Demona flying after Goliath would mean she disobeyed a direct order. Seems legit for her. If she did it close to morning, she could have ended like she said and like Goliath and Hudson did, as stone before she could return. Getting lost giver her padding. Still, how believable is it that she got lost? This is the only place she’s lived. I don’t get lost in my own neighborhood.
How far did the Vikings get from the castle when they made camp? How late was it when the clan found them? If it wasn’t too far, her story works, because the whole cluster could’ve taken only a few hours. She might have been out looking for them, then she decided to go to the castle. Or if she was far, she might have gone directly to the castle. Assuming that took 2 hours, that could make her just miss Goliath at the castle.
I would imagine (if her story were true) her going to the castle, then tracking the Vikings out, then coming back to find Magus and Katherine loading the eggs. Since Goliath asked Magus to turn him to stone, it’s logical to think Goliath would buy her doing the same. He didn’t consider that he was shirking his duty by leaving the eggs, so he could hardly condemn her for doing the same.
Goliath doesn’t care much about the explanation. She’s here, alive. That’s what matters.
Goliath and Red the GF go out to reunite with the clan. Cue happiness!
20/20 moment: Demona is scheming this whole time, but this looks like genuine happiness on her part. After 1,000 years of believing her clan is frozen in stone forever, she’s reunited with them. They’re hardly a day older than when she left them. Did she put any effort into trying to undo the spell when she first saw they were stone at night? There’s no indication in City of Stone that she did. Instead, her mind turned to vengeance. She became bestial.
Right now, she believes her dreams of making the gargoyles the ruling species are about to come true. That’s another reason for her to celebrate.
She reiterates that they should help Xanatos. She calls it doing a favor for her. Sex appeal helps her. Goliath would swim the sea for her if she told him. At the moment, he’s probably feeling nothing but happiness and relief.
We transition to Xanatos’s office and its stylish lighting. You feel like you’re looking at a stage when you see his desk. David is most definitely in the spotlight, as he should be.
He’s just finished a briefing on what he thinks are the strengths and weaknesses of each of Cyberbiotics’s installations.
They have three: A tower in the bay, an airship that flies a holding pattern around the city, and an underground facility that uses the old subway tunnels.
What the actual heck is this James Bond stuff? Are they trying to blow up the San Andreas fault? Or the moon maybe? Sorry, Cyberbiotics, but Xanatos Enterprises really deserves to put you down. Hey, Xanatos Enterprises, just sit back and wait for these wackos to blow their budget on airship fuel, ferry fees, and tunnel reinforcing. They’re a robotics company. There is no conceivable reason why you have to fly around the city on a giant SHIELD-esque carrier. You are not transporting the Avengers. Why would NYC even allow the thing to fly around like that? What if it crashes? What about it interfering with air traffic? There’s also no reason to have a giant re-creation of the Washington Monument in the middle of the bay. Just get an office building like everyone else.
Xanatos says that only the gargoyles’ speed and strength can stand against the installations’ defenses. In case you missed it, that’s also an explanation for why he’s not using humans on this job.
Everybody files out, while Xanatos looks on with a satisfied smile. This changes to a look of determination and expectation as they fly away.
Goliath and Red hit the airship, The Fortress. It takes a bit for them to negotiate the downwash of the rotors. I…don’t know how that’s even possible. Just come at it from the top.
Inside, they dispatch the guards. One of the canon fodder is Vinny, the guy with the bike the Trio wrecked. Poor dude. We don’t see it, but it looks like Goliath knocks him in the head. Unconscious, Vinny falls with his colleague.
Red hauls Vinny over to the door, ready to drop them. Goliath stops her. If she killed a defenseless foe, that would be murder. It is the pragmatic action, though…
Take a look at the guards’ uniforms. They’re yellow and baby blue. Kill it. Kill it with fire! Give me Xanatos Enterprises’s red and black any day. The uniforms and weapons don’t resemble the commandos’ in any way. Hmmm…
We catch up with the Trio. They’re attacking the obelisk/tower in the bay. They make short work of the door on the roof, ripping it off its hinges. Inside, they take the elevator cables down the shaft. It’s all going swimmingly! Then they open the door. A platoon of Cyberbiotics guards greets them. Rather, the guys’ guns great them.
Explosions, the airship crashing, Elisa watching, robots that look like gargoyles, more explosions, Elisa and Red falling off the castle amid the debris of a parapet… Meh, looks boring.
This half of the ep brings us where we need to be for the final ep of the 5-part set: A full cast of characters, dangers, villains, and a mission. It all feels like it’s going well. Too well? The looks from some people, namely David and Demona, have been a bit different from what we expect. Hm…
What did you think when you saw this ep? Did you trust everyone? What did you think of Cyberbiotics? Comment!
Now jump to the next episode, the climax of the 5-parter!