Goliath is laughing maniacally in the night and spending his days atop the Eryie Building’s tallest tower. Or is he? Sevarius betraying Xanatos by is paying off mercenaries to kidnap the stone Goliath from the castle. Or is he? Xanatos is going to have a new minion, one who will be loyal and obedient. Or is he? Things aren’t as they seem in this episode. When you play god, you often summon the devil.
If you missed last week’s ep, you didn’t miss much, so just read today’s. If you’re still curious, it’s Revelations.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 2, Episode 16: Double Jeopardy
Reason(s) for existence: To explore the idea of nature and nurture creating a person’s personality and affecting their behavior. To develop Xanatos’s ongoing interest in creating his own gargoyles/minions. To explore what a clone is in relation to the original. To introduce a formidable new villain. To show that even Xanatos can be too smart for his own good.
Main antagonist(s): Sevarius, Thailog
Time(s): November 28-29, 1995
Location(s): New York City, New York
Previously: The Steel Clan is no match for the Flesh Clan. Sevarius makes the mutates, but he’s totally capable of making a clone. Only problem? Lack of raw material. Or so he says.
Just a Scratch
We open on the Eyrie Building! No establishing shot makes me happier. This is a year ago, November, 1994. In the storage rooms within the castle, a Steel Clan robot awakens. You can hear Elisa talking with Goliath, telling him he needs to jump ship before the captain comes back. Xanatos will be out of jail soon. This is the writers’ excellent way of telling new viewers – and reminding us old viewers who might have forgotten in the intervening 20-some eps – what was going on at this time last year. It also shows that even when Xanatos is locked away, he’s as much of a threat as ever.
The robot blasts through the ceiling and launches out. It’s now right in front of Goliath and Elisa. Goliath makes short work of it, but not before it scratches him across the arm.
Elisa freaks out over the scratches. They’re just three little 3-4 inch lines. Chill out. Goliath has taken laser blasts, fallen off roofs, been hit by falling masonry, etc. He’ll live.
Inexplicably, Owen appears with the first aid kit. I don’t know where his office is in relation to G’s location, but he arrives in record time. Also, I’m not sure why he cares about Goliath’s scratches. I mean, he’s the one advocating for taking the sledge hammer to the gargs when they’re asleep. His boss set a whole team of robots on them!
Elisa jumps his case, saying he’s got some ‘splanin’ to do. He gives a vague explanation about a freak overload in its power matrix blah blah blah. Somehow I doubt it, mate.
Anyhow, he puts some antiseptic on the scratches. It’s pretty much pointless, though, because rain starts pouring.
A Dark and Stormy Night
Back to the present, November 1995, Elisa is driving along the cliffs in another storm. It’s the same road that Matt tried to drive them off last ep. Overhead, Broadway and Lexington are playing wingmen. Apparently an anonymous tipster said the power plant was going to melt down. There are some power plants around NYC, so it’s believable. What’s not believable is Elisa’s response. First off, thus far every anonymous tip she’s received in the series has been from Owen, and they’re all designed to manipulate the gargoyles. Second, if the power plant is going to melt down, she needs to mobilize a lot more than herself and two gargoyles! Nuke power plants are serious business. They have security teams that put Spec Ops to shame. If one of these suckers melts down, it has global ramifications.
In the background is an oil rig.
Something swoops from the stormy sky to grab Lex’s ankle. It’s like being in the ocean and having something touch your foot.
Freakouts ensue. Lex drops his headset. Elisa stops the car.
On a cliff overlooking the road, lightning strikes, silhouetting…Goliath? He laughs manically in the storm. Um, ok. Did Goliath mistake November for April 1st?
We don’t know if Elisa finished investigating the nuclear reactor that’s supposed to go critical, or if she decided that investigating Goliath being a jerk was more important.
At Gen U Tech, Sevarius is paying off a villain from James Bond Junior. It’s not chump change either; it’s $50k. Wow. What part of the budget did that come from? Asset Recovery?
The mercenary wants to do whatever it is he’s supposed to do at night. Sevarius warns him not to.
At the clock tower, Goliath and Brooklyn still aren’t back. The sun rises.
We cut to the castle, to Goliath’s favorite parapet. Wait, Goliath is on it again?
Xanatos is in the courtyard with Owen, admiring the stone garg. “It’s nice to have him guarding the castle.”
They head inside, with Owen launching into the day’s agenda. The Emir, who was mentioned as meeting with Xanatos in The Edge, is having trouble meeting David’s “deadline.” We don’t know what for. I doubt it’s something innocuous, though, since they’ve mentioned it twice now.
Chopper rotors interrupt him, though.
Xanatos sprints outside to find a helicopter hovering over “Goliath” and loading him into the cargo hold.
Owen is always the first to grab a weapon, and today’s no different. He snags David’s favorite laser rifle from a secret panel in the wall. I swear, the castle’s mass is composed of at least 40% weapons.
Xanatos stops him before the security chief can get a shot off. “The gargoyle must not be damaged.”
Well, Owen is dashed. “Is this a plan you’ve neglected to mention?” I was fortunately not eating or drinking during this scene, because I would have choked. It’s so meta, too. David’s got at least four schemes in the works at all times, so the idea that one might have slipped through the cracks is possible.
I love seeing Owen and David interact when nobody else is around. Their snark level increases by a factor of ten. Owen isn’t the silent servant who literally bows to his master’s orders. David isn’t painfully polite. Their respect for each other is still high, but it takes a different form: They’re straight with each other. Xanatos treats Owen as an equal, and Owen isn’t afraid to offer criticisms and ask questions. We see this kind of relationship with protagonists/heroes fairly frequently. For example, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth, Tony Stark and JARVIS, Roger Smith and Norman Burg, Integra Hellsing and Walter Dornez. But I dare you to show me another antagonist duo like this. No, really, show me, cuz I’d love to watch/read them.
Xanatos replies that it’s not his scheme, and whoever arranged it – his top suspects are Demona, Macbeth, and Renard (funny how he suspects Renard of retaliation, of doing something he would probably do) – will pay “most dearly.” We rarely see Xanatos angry, but this is one of those times.
In the chopper, the merc confirms the mission’s success with Sevarius.
At the clock tower, Goliath and Brooklyn are back. So…that wasn’t Goliath on the parapet. Curiouser and curiouser.
Pay the Price
On an oil derrick off the coast, Sevarius takes delivery of the cargo container that holds “Goliath.” He’s got a tranquilizer dart gun. The mercs are amused at the precautions taken for a statue – until said statue tears the door off and roars. Oh. Wow. It’s Goliath’s twin, but his coloration is…inverted in some parts.
From what we’ve seen so far, we can assume this is one of Xanatos’s pet projects, like the eel cat bats. A clone, I’m assuming, though how it’s full grown, I don’t know. And why is Sevarius stealing it? Surely he was behind its creation.
Elisa, Broadway, and Lex are scouting the area where they saw Goliath’s double. They find a Gen U Tech bracelet, like the ones we saw on the mutates in Metamorphosis. It’s laying there like it wants to be found.
In the background is an oil rig.
In Xanatos’s throne room, David is waiting, staring at the phone. When it rings, Owen engages the trace. The caller wants $20 million in cash, delivered by Xanatos to the Black Rock Point oil rig. He’s to come alone, of course. The call ends 3 seconds short of a location lock.
In the meantime, Owen has been Googling, or Yahoo-ing back then, who holds Black Rock. Xanatos is enthusiastically accusing Cyberbiotics. For some straaaange reason, he’s suspicious of them. This is the second time in this ep he’s mentioned his father in law’s company. You’d almost think somebody from House Xanatos had recently pulled a stunt with Cyberbiotics that would piss the old man off. (Fox, I’m looking at you.) Or that Renard had met Goliath.
Side note: it’s rather interesting that Xanatos doesn’t understand Renard any more than Renard understands him or Fox. Renard would never do what Sevarius is doing. One wonders if Vogel told Fox what happened with Goliath, or if Renard himself filled her in.
Owen waits for his employer to finish, then drops the hammer. “Xanatos Enterprises.”
Well, that’s unexpected. Xanatos isn’t surprised. He and Owen know immediately it’s Sevarius. Nobody else has the access he does and the knowledge.
David loads up the $20 mil. Does he have a bank vault in the building where he keeps a half billion or so in cash for a rainy day? Otherwise he just cleaned out every ATM in town.
Sevarius is a great asset to XE, but this is going beyond even Xanatos’s loose moral code. Hey, s’all good, man, till you cross House Xanatos. It’s that simple. Time to make an “example” of the scientist. You gotta wonder what David’s planning. Sevarius can go to the cops any time and spill the genetic beans about the mutates and whatever else the lab’s been doing. This will get them both in hot water, but Sevarius can probably make a plea bargain. Maybe Sevarius would just…disappear.
And what’s this “example” business? What, is Xanatos going to send out a company-wide memo detailing how Sevarius stole a gargoyle clone and asked for ransom, and then how David went out and…taught him a lesson? Suuure.
Monster Maker Lab
At Gen U Tech, Lex and Broadway are once again accessing the lab’s computer system. Apparently nobody updated the passwords from Metamorphosis. Lex guesses to search for CLONE. Of course this works. Of course there are videos narrated by Sevarius detailing everything about Thailog’s creation.
Side note: the vid of Owen and Goliath, which we saw live at the ep’s start, is filmed with the same cinematic camera angles as we saw. Amazing video editing, security people! Also, how many cameras were filming that parapet?
Xanatos had the Thailog Project in the works while he was still in jail. The first place he went after he got home after being incarcerated – and I mean the very day – was Gen U Tech. Hits the ground running, does that man.
Sevarius used a growth acceleration process, but it skewed Thailog’s coloration.
Xanatos, for his part, personally developed a subliminal education program that taught “his own unique slant on things.” So think of the hypnopaedic education the establishment used in Brave New World to brainwash kids basically since their artificial birth.
I can’t help but remember at this point that Xanatos is about to have a kid of his very own to train up in the way he should go. Let’s hope he takes a different approach with the Little Xanatos. Mini-Mes are cool and all, but there’s a line you shouldn’t cross.
Out on the cliffs, the gargoyles spot a small watercraft heading for the oil rig. We see what they can’t: It’s Xanatos.
I love this episode so much! Unlike many other series, Gargoyles doesn’t have a comedic ep, other than maybe Vendetta. Double Jeopardy, though, comes close. Not in the plot, as it’s a very dark, disturbing premise, but in the dialog. The air is thick with snark – from everybody. But of course the lines I’m literally laughing aloud at are from Owen and Xanatos. And Sevarius.
Amusement aside, this is an intense, gloomy ep full of danger for everyone, protag and antag alike.
It’s rare that we see Xanatos in a bind, or in any way not in control. He’s usually the one taking the initiative and setting up the game board. He always plays the white side of the chess board, making the opening move. This time, though, he was relatively passive. Now he’s playing catch-up with…Sevarius? The doc is smart, but he’s not exactly cunning.
And what on earth is going on with this Goliath lookalike? Tune in Friday to find out. Xanatos and Co are in for a surprise that may be fatal.