The Eye of the Beholder may determine value and beauty, but the Eye of Odin determines how it’s going to magically give you “power and insight.” In Fox’s case, it turned her into a ravenous, self-loathing beast who on multiple occasions almost kills her fiancé, David Xanatos. Welcome to the conclusion of the Eye of the Beholder episode review, where antagonists’ lives change and protagonists actually wise up.
Kick in the Teeth
When we left off, Goliath was kicking Were!Fox in the face. A fight ensues, one in which Elisa doesn’t shoot, because she can’t get a clear shot at a beast the size of Goliath. Goliath throws the werebeast, incapacitating her. The werefox, not Elisa, I mean. Sorry to get you hopeful.
Xanatos has apparently been watching all this, because he jetpacks down to land beside
his GF the werefox. Elisa of course accuses him of being to blame. It’s a nice continuity note, considering Xanatos had a hand in turning Elisa’s bro Derek into a panther eel bat.
Unfazed, David says he feels a “personal responsibility” for the beast. He grabs the Eye – and gets thrown across the loading dock by magical electricity.
This wakes the werebeast up. Goliath has the bright idea of telling her that if Xanatos is her enemy, the gargs are her friends. Big mistake. It’s so ironic it funny: he’s talking to Xanatos’s biggest fan outside of Owen. Understandably, she attacks Goliath. He tosses her off again, and she lopes off.
The times she decides to run are telling. It’s as if there’s a wave pattern with the Eye’s control and Fox’s control. The flights all happen after a fight. Look:
#1: Fox attacks Elisa in the store
#2: Fox attacks David and Owen in the bedroom
with the candlestick
#3: Fox attacks David in the meat cooler
#4: Fox attacks Goliath
Perhaps using the super-strength drains the Eye’s energy, giving Fox increased self-control?
Xanatos is on his feet, about to advance in the opposite direction. Elisa holds him at gunpoint. Why would this work? It didn’t work in Reawakening. It doesn’t work now, either.
“Sorry, Detective. Business, you understand.” I love this man’s ability to stay cool in a crisis! And I adore his snark.
He blasts off back to the castle.
Elisa is distraught about the werebeast, thinking it’s another Gen U Tech creation. She’s sure they should do everything to get the necklace off the beast to keep it from Xanatos.
In a moment that shocks me, Goliath doesn’t jump onboard.
At the castle, Xanatos lands in front of Owen. Ever the master of sarcasm and understatement, Owen takes in the bite mark, and his boss’s lack of a helmet and fiancé, and says, “It would appear that Plan B has not been entirely successful.”
Xanatos is super-calm, which usually means he’s plotting or has a plot in motion. Usually both. Plan C is now in place. Yes, he actually says Plan C. This is like a parody of all his earlier Tags and Gambits. Plan C involves the gargoyles getting the Eye from Fox. This is actually a really, really great plan. The antagonist is using the protagonists! He’s seen how far they’ll go to defeat him, and how good they are at foiling his general plans (not all the little side quests his schemes achieve, though). I love it!
Not one to let his boss off easy, Owen notes that it won’t be easy to get the Eye from the gargoyles. He’s subtly pointing out that Xanatos is putting Fox’s life above the Eye. He’s probably thinking, “Just admit you love her! We all know it.” It’s better than a soap opera! Or a Shakespearean play.
No sooner does Xanatos relate his plan, than Goliath lands with Elisa. In a startling reversal, Goliath, the protagonist who is usually the five steps behind the antagonist that every hero must be, nips Xanatos’s plan in the bud. Goliath isn’t going to rush after the werebeast. Heck, he doesn’t even know if it’s Fox or not. Even if it is Fox, he’s not one of her biggest fans. He helped send her to prison, after all.
I love seeing the antag, especially Xanatos, always be on top and be ahead of the hero. But when the hero wises up, it forces the antagonist to up their game. Now the antagonist has to grow in skill and power to face the reversal.
Xanatos tosses pride to the wind. He admits he’s in over his head. He gave Fox the Eye because it was supposed to give the wearer power and insight.
20/20 moment: I have a head cannon where Owen has to keep Xanatos from trying it on, but Owen can’t say what it does, because that would be using Puck’s knowledge.
Owen can’t tell Xanatos anything about it. That means he had to stand there and watch David give Fox something that could kill her. The idea of seeing what the Eye would turn her into would be amusing to Puck for about 2 seconds before he realized that it could destroy his OTP. That had to tear Owen/Puck up inside. No wonder he’s so willing to jump on Were!Fox’s neck.
Goliath thinks it gives some insight into Fox’s real character.
According to Greg: The Eye of the Beholder is from the computer game Disney Interactive was working on. Their Eye had metamorphic capabilities too, but it had a Celtic raven design, not the Egyptian style one we have. Greg thinks it was a timing issue with the developers and artists.
Odin sold his eye for wisdom. Mimir used the eye to see. Sight = insight.
Elisa tells Goliath, who’s starting to falter, that Xanatos couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. She thinks this is his Plan D. Huh, she’s perceptive.
Not denying it, David delivers one of the most beautiful, heartfelt arguments in his life: “But it’s not my life we’re talking about. It’s Fox’s.” And Goliath knows “what it’s like to lose someone you love.” That’s just…powerful.
But this shouldn’t make a difference. Elisa sure doesn’t care. Just desserts, right? He took her bro away.
Goliath turns away at his new lover’s urging, even ignoring Xanatos’s hand on his shoulder. “Not a good night for you,” Goliath remarks.
After garg and detective leave, Xanatos asks Owen how long bfore the armor is finished. It’ll be a few days. Well, now Xanatos is really in a bind. His plans and his armor have failed.
Trick or Treat
On the street, the gargoyles are enjoying Halloween. Goliath and Elisa (dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast) are dancing.
They take a break to go into an alley to talk. A guy in a werewolf costume roars at them, resulting in Goliath taking him down.
After the poor dude runs off, Goliath observes that not everything is as it seems. If the beast is Fox, and she’s dying, they should do something. After all, she’s a danger to his city. Ah, his city? Not Xanatos’s anymore?
Elisa isn’t hot on the idea.
Goliath continues that if “a man like Xanatos can love,” there may be hope for the world. Dang it, Goliath, you were so logical a minute ago! What happened? Love makes people kill other people. Love makes people kill themselves. People who are evil are capable of love. They just put that emotion in a different box from their dirty deeds. Also, they’ve rationalized their sins. Every villain is the hero of his own story, right?
20/20 moment / According to Greg: Greg believes like Goliath. Greg proves Goliath was right in The Gathering. Xanatos’s and Fox’s love for each other and for Alex ends up reconciling House Xanatos with the clan.
Goliath admits that he’s going to help Xanatos.
“Good,” says a voice from the shadows. Hai thar, David! He’s been stalking them. That’s kinda creepy, but it was necessary.
Xanatos plucks the standard Scarab Corp tracker from Goliath’s shoulder. It’s a 100% repeat of the tracker episode in Awakening part 4! “Old habits die hard,” he says. He’s so smug. You gotta love him. And well he should be.
I’m almost wondering if Xanatos keeps a few trackers in his pocket at all times just in case.
The unlikely heroes troop off to find Fox. Not surprisingly, she’s in the Food Corut. What? That’s how it’s spelt on the sign. I swear, Fox is my spirit animal right now.
The court is deserted because the werefox sent everybody out in a panic. Xanatos locks the door behind himself and the others.
Were!Fox leaps down on him and is about to rip his face off for real this time. What changed, I wonder? Is Fox losing more control of herself?
Goliath full-Nelsons her, saving Xanatos’s purdy, purdy face. We all owe Goliath a thank-you.
Xanatos clears out, back to Elisa. He grabs her pistol and crushes it, then politely hands it back to her. You gotta know there was a lot of satisfaction from that move. She’s held that weapon on him twice now.
The werebeast throws Goliath out the door. He crashes into a car, ramming it against a lightpole.
Goliath and Were!Fox jump to the top of a nearby building.
Xanatos rips off his super-cool duster, which I’m totally not jealous of. Underneath he has…under armor. It’s got the gauntlets and claws from the exo-armor. There’s a jetpack and a chest rig. Under that, he’s wearing…basically a surfer wet suit. Mmm. What? Oh, right. So, a stripped-down, concealable armor is now in his inventory. Nice to know. Also nice to look at.
“I don’t have time to argue,” Xanatos says as he wraps his arm around her waist. Aw yeah, it’s antag/protag cooperation time! I love episodes like this. There’s conflict upon conflict, one-liner upon one-liner.
I Can See Clearly Now
He executes a beautiful jetpack landing, dropping Elisa off beside him. Problem: they’re right in front of Were!Fox.
David tries to reason with her. We get a nice were-POV shot. She recognizes him, but her attention goes to Elisa. The detective morphs into Fox’s image. Were!Fox lunges.
While Xanatos gapes, Goliath tackles the werefox. In. Slow. Motion. It’s impressive, to say the least.
Let’s slow down too: Were!Fox attacks herself. Hmm. That’s some self-loathing there. Does David know this about her? Is she hiding something? Is that why she’s so cocky and rebellious? Her parents are divorced, her dad is controlling, and her mom is anything but an authoritarian. Fox grew up privileged, too. I imagine she’s got her own demons to keep on a leash. David’s probably also got a good pack of them. Maybe they can help each other through.
Goliath and Were!Fox tangle. Goliath pins her against the lighted Mercury Building sign, which is sparking while bulbs blow.
It takes Xanatos two tries to get a hold on the Eye. Then he gets the full force of the magical electricity. Thanks to it, he couldn’t let go even if he wanted to. Were!Fox and the magical energy throw him across the roof and into the railing. Good news, though: he’s got the Eye, even if he broke a few ribs doing it!
Were!Fox is now Fox. With a roaring wail, she reverts to human form. While the boys recover, Elisa has the sense to detach her skirt and cover nekkid Fox with it. Hah, Elisa has a holster as a garter.
A second later, the Xanatos Enterprises Security Forces chopper hovers over the scene. It’s the same chopper Bruno’s gang used when the fake-stole the discs from the castle in Awakening part 2.
When the chopper lands, Owen hops out.
Xanatos and Goliath parlay. Goliath demands the Eye. Xanatos calls it a trade. That means he’s not losing to Goliath, see? Goliath says he doesn’t trust Xanatos with it.
Then, for a reason I’ll never know, instead of walking off, David says, “So now you know my weakness.” Why are you still talking? Why aren’t you over there with your love? Go, man, go! But he doesn’t. It’s like he has to admit it to Goliath in order to understand what’s going on himself. Or… He’s admitting he loves Fox, but he’s making darn sure Goliath knows he’s aware it’s a weakness, not some frilly emotional crap. And since David knows it’s his weakness, he’ll be guarding it.
Goliath is like the older bro or even a dad here: “Only you would regard love as a weakness.”
I don’t think David has anybody he can go to for advice, you know? There’s Owen, yes, but it’s not like having, I dunno, a mentor. Sometimes it’s good to get wisdom from someone older and more experienced than yourself. In a weird way, Xanatos seems to look up to Goliath. According to Greg, Xanatos likes Goliath as a person. According to me, Xanatos also likes Goliath as a playmate who can give him a challenge, adding some excitement to a life that was getting boring.
David picks Fox up, gently, and carries her to the chopper. She wakes up a bit. He tells her it was all a bad dream. The tenderness in his voice (Frakes doing his usual stellar performance!) is intense.
Owen is smiling – what have I said about Owen smiling? “Actually, Mr Xanatos, he’s right. You’ve never looked more heroic.”
In a character-defining moment, Xanatos looks into the distance for a beat, then replies, “A momentary lapse, I assure you.” Apparently not every villain is the hero of his own story. I love that David takes pride in being an amoral Magnificent Bastard trickster. Know thyself.
He steps into the chopper, Fox still in his arms.
Owen watches them, wearing a dreamy smile. This is definitely his OTP.
20/20 moment: Puck’s enjoyment and love of David and Fox is the reason Owen exists. So the dreamy smile is 100% appropriate. I have so much respect for the Gargoyles cast and crew, and this is part of why I do.
Whoa. This episode blew me away. I don’t have many thoughts on it that I haven’t already said. However I will say it’ll be interesting to see where this engagement thing goes. David Xanatos marrying? Fox marrying? Them marrying each other? It…actually makes sense when you add that last sentence.
How will Fox and David’s relationship change their behavior toward the gargoyles? House Xanatos is going to be an even bigger threat, I bet
I wish we got some scenes where Fox and David talk about what happened. Like, maybe it leads to them admitting some concerns or struggles they have.
If you’re curious too, or if you like time travel, or if you want to see David Xanatos’s dad get crotchety with his billionaire industrialist son, or if you want to see Demona and Goliath when they were young, or you’re just bored, check back Tuesday for another of my favorite episodes: Vows.