Gargoyles: Future Tense – Episode Review Continued

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After Xanatos murders his son, the rebels have one option: attack the Eyrie Pyramid directly. But the price for their resistance is high. Goliath enters virtual reality to battle Xanatos, who is not the man we know. However, it’s soon apparent that Xanatos has absolute power in this realm. Is Goliath in over his head, or can he pull himself together and defeat Xanatos? Even if he does, will it save the future?

Miss last week’s? Read Future Tense episode review.

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


Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - brooklyn map

“If you put some pot lighting over the door here, it’ll make the entry really pop.”

The rebels decide to conduct an attack on the nerve center of the Eyrie Building: the pyramid that sits over the castle.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - eyrie tower

That thing is YUGE.

Broadway will use the sonar collar to knock out the Thailog shock troops. Oh, so that’s what the collar does. Pretty nifty.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - eyrie pyramid

The pyramid, for scale.

Demona suggests that Goliath give Angela the Phoenix Gate so that she can hide in the past. Goliath, however, says hiding is not the answer.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - demona goliath

Hiding’s not the answer until it is, hm, G?

The group splits up with various sections attacking different parts of the Xanatos Empire. As Goliath waits with the other gargoyles to assault the pyramid itself, Lex keeps tabs on the other rebels. Bronx, Matt, and Claw are killed by a group of clone troops. Of course, Lexington can’t say that, because of S&P, so he says they’re “gone.” We do get to watch them disappear in a burst of light though, so that’s neat.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - bronx matt claw killed

But at least they got to look really neat dying.

The gargoyles land on the castle’s front yard. No sooner do they touch down, than Thailog shock troops appear. They have rifles, armor, and some sort of half visor things. Broadway shorts out the visors.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - thailog troops

A whole herd of Thailogs? Impressive. If the original had worked, would Xanatos have made a host of them like this?

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - surrounded

Better hope they can’t fight with Goliath’s skill.

As the gargoyles take down the clones, Lexington is captured by more of the troops, and pulled through a secret entry in the wall.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - thailogs grab lex

It looks like he signaled for this to happen, but it’s hard to tell in the confusion. 20/20 moment: Lex controlling Goliaths. Fitting, since he’s had issues with G’s authority before.

During the battle, and despite the fact that the shock troops are disoriented by their visors shorting out, Broadway ends up getting shot. Fatally. It’s one of the most emotional death scenes I’ve seen.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - broadway dies

He should win an Academy Award.


20/20 moment: Or at least Puck should. Again, check out the level of pathos in Puck’s story! Priceless.


As he does, he says that he can see the sun coming, and it’s beautiful. Goliath holds him as the blind garg expires. But they don’t have time to mourn.


20/20 moment: Puck is using all these deaths to push Goliath into a corner where he will have no choice but to use the Gate.


Goliath, Demona, and Brooklyn troop into the Great Hall. There’s a lot of computers around, but nobody live.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - inside great hall

Note that the chandelier is now screens.

When they stop in the center, a beam of light hits them. Suddenly, they’re in the virtual reality world. Now they have a welcome committee — of one. Namely, Xanatos in full armor. He says that not only are they in virtual reality, they’re in his mind. So, his brain interfaces directly with the virtual reality on a level beyond normal.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - inside virtual reality

Oh joy, a Coldstone-esque VR world.

Angela and Elisa are chained spread-eagle. I’m not sure what the plan was with them. I guess hold them as bait until everyone arrived.

Xanatos said that when he and Hudson quarreled, they were BOTH killed. Xanatos’s electro sword blew up.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos and hudson fight

Shoot him with your shoulder lasers!

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - hudson electrocuted

I guess that’s what you get for always wanting to be on the cutting edge of technology.

But, like any conscientious person, Xanatos made a backup. Except instead of shoving his files on another email account or a cloud service, he actually backed up his personality, brain patterns, and I’m assuming his memories. Wow, science has really advanced if it can tap so thoroughly into the human consciousness that it can pull memories. The possibilities with that are extraordinary.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos program bot

He’s a robot. Oh joy.

Xanatos considers himself immortal because of this. Goliath disagrees, saying he’s not even Xanatos. His reasoning? The real Xanatos would never kill his own son. I find it intriguing that Goliath deduces this. He’s right, of course, but it takes a big person to give his opponent credit for, well, not being all that horrible. Goliath is likely going off David’s behavior in Eye of the Beholder, where David risked his life to save Fox.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos globe

This is still one of my all-time fave Xanatos scenes.

But I digress. To cut down on the number of opponents, Xanatos makes the sun rise. I’m sure the 1990s Xanatos would love to have the sun at his command.

Demona turns into her human form.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos proud

Give him a bat and he’d be striking a Negan pose.

Xanatos remarks that Puck’s spell of transformation still works in cyberspace. When did he find out about this? I guess it must have been later on, after the history that we’ve seen so far.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos blasts gargoyles

Aw, he’s doing what Owen was always pushing they do. Wonder what became of Owen, anyway. Hmmm…

The other gargoyles turn to stone. After he blasts them — excluding Goliath — he kills Demona. But not before she tells stone!Goliath that this is a battle of wills, and he can control the virtual world too.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos kills demona

Well then, why doesn’t Demona use her will?

Well, that should be the end of it, right?

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos eyes

Steely silicon eyed.

No.

Only one left is Goliath. But through sheer force of will, Goliath wakes up. Not out of stone, but enough to control his body movements. He tries to attack Xanatos, but the X program turns into a giant spinning top that has spikes on the side. It’s like a drill. No, I’m not making this up.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos grinds goliath

It’s virtual reality, so I guess this is believable. …As believable as any of this.

He buzzes Goliath down to just a head, which he takes out of the air and uses as a prop while quoting, or misquoting, Shakespeare. “Alas poor Goliath, I knew him well.”

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos with goliath's head

Not only would Xanatos not kill his son, he also wouldn’t straight-up murder Goliath.

When Goliath says that Xanatos won’t get away with this, or a paraphrase of that idea, Xanatos delivers an equally poetic line: “What are you going to do, bite my kneecaps off?” If you’re not aware, that’s from Monty Python.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - xanatos smile

This ep is pretty much just Xanatos looking awesome.

G’s will is strong. He causes the dust particles of his body to come together. They squish the Xanatos program’s avatar. This kills the program and starts to destroy the virtual world. I’m not sure why this would work. This is Xanatos’s world, so why can’t he just say that nothing can destroy him? Surely there are backup files, right?

Goliath and Elisa zap back into the real world. They are the only survivors. What do they find waiting for them, but Lexington in a hoverchair. It’s pretty neat. He says he’s been using the Xanatos program as a front while he takes control. This empire is really his. Soon, he will upload his program onto every computer on the web. Wow, Lexington went full dark side. I wonder why? Just because Goliath left?

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - lex in hover chair

Couldn’t resist revealing yourself, huh, Lex. I want a hover chair, btw.


20/20 moment: I wonder what Puck sees in Lexington that would prompt him to cast Lex as the villain? Is it just Lexington’s tech savvy? Or is there more? Owen has lived the longest of any human with the gargoyles. Rather, any human in this century. Yes, Elisa hangs with them, but she doesn’t spend the entire day and night with them. Owen, however, had the opportunity not only to interact with them every day, but also to monitor their behavior via CCTV. So he probably has the best understanding of them.

It would be interesting if Owen / Puck found out something that he could blackmail one of the gargoyles with. Maybe something minor, kind of like an embarrassing picture of them at the Christmas party. (Geek points if you get that reference.)


Goliath doesn’t take this betrayal too well. He tosses Lex into the computer screens. Welp, I guess even Goliath reaches the end of his rope. This somehow causes the complete meltdown of the pyramid.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - face hugger lex

FACE HUGGER! GET IT OFF!

Goliath and Elisa flee the giant fireball that was once the Eyrie Building’s top. But the falling masonry knocks a hole through Goliath’s swing. He tumbles to the ground.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - elisa down

Sauron’s tower is in flames.

Elisa picks herself up. There’s only one hope, the Phoenix Gate. She wants Goliath to give it to her. He’s too weak, so he lets it fall on the ground from his pouch.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - elisa wants phoenix gate

Behold, the pouch that’s only there when its contents are critical to the story. Otherwise it vanishes. He must stick it in his underwear.

But she insists that he hand it to her. Even though she can pick it up an inch away. Must be always suspicious, because this makes him totally forget the fact that he’s fallen a good distance and has a giant rip in his wing. And then all his friends and family are dead.

He tells her to just pick it up, since her hands ain’t broke. Ok, not the last part but. When she continues to insist, he hops up. He knows that she is not Elisa. Darn, he is a suspicious git! He’s still thinking this clearly after losing all his friends and family, falling a good distance, and now staring down certain death. Impressive.

Well, that’s the end of it. The illusion, I mean. It all becomes part of Puck — sucked into him. Now that is interesting! We haven’t seen him for ages. Not since the mirror.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - goliath mad at puck

Reminds me of a ’90s sitcom. “Tune in for the wacky adventures of Goliath and Puck!”

You know, it’s kind of gutsy to use a character that you haven’t shown the audience recently. In fact, I think it was mostly an entire season ago. But Titania did mention him. Like, in the last episode. So it’s fair game.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - puck sad

I feel for Puck. He shouldn’t have to go be bored on Avalon.

Puck caused this illusion so that he can get the Phoenix Gate. Why? So he can use it to bribe Oberon. All right, but why? Puck doesn’t want to go back to Avalon. It’s really boring there, and it’s really not boring in the mortal world. I guess it would be like going to your relatives’ for Thanksgiving, but having it go on indefinitely. For, like, millennia. If that is in fact how it is, I would also try and bribe Oberon to get out of it.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - hopefull puck

How can you say no to that face!

But before he leaves, Puck taunts Goliath a final time. Was the vision only a dream? Or was it a prophecy?

Goliath wakes up in the bottom of the skiff. He passed out and fell overboard. Angela and Elisa don’t know a thing about his dream. And, he doesn’t tell them.

Disney Gargoyles - Future Tense - phoenix gate

I wonder if Oberon might actually have been a good keeper of the Gate? Or maybe one of his Children would have stolen it…

But he does see that there’s danger in keeping the Phoenix Gate. So he opens the Gate fireball with the magic incantation. Explaining that the Gate is too dangerous, he throws it into the fireball. Now with no will to guide the Gate, it will basically be lost at sea in the time stream. Or so he thinks. We know that the spin-off Time Dancer comes from this.


Final Thoughts

I’ve always wondered what Xanatos would think of this vision. I think it would be dangerous for Puck to show it to him; it might give him ideas. I think he’d be rather amused, and maybe in some parts offended. He would never kill his son, but then again the computer program lacked his restraint. The computer system is more like Coyote, which is where Puck must have gotten the idea. But at present, Coyote is not in the mood to take over anything. Of course, that will change in the future, according to Greg.

What’s really interesting about this episode is that we get a picture of Xanatos’s grown son before we even see him as a baby. Basically they introduce the character as he may become, and as he will probably look. That’s a fascinating way to get us attached to a character that might otherwise be a little bit difficult to identify with, considering he’s a baby.


20/20 moment: I don’t know about you, but I actually really like Alex. He’s one of my favorite characters, even though he’s not even a year old. Plus, it’s fun to watch David and Alex interact. The big, bad Xanatos, who makes his opponents’ lives so difficult when he feels like it, actually is a fantastic father.


Puck is one of my favorite characters. And for good reason. He’s a trickster who is incredibly intelligent, and has some of the best lines in the series. Here we get to see him in action. I suggest you watch this episode again, strictly focusing on the fact that this is Puck’s dream for Goliath. All the information that Puck says is from what he knows. And one must wonder how he knows what he does?


20/20 moment: Until the Gathering, you don’t know that Puck is Owen. So, as a viewer, you should be wondering how Puck knows all these details about the Gargoyles. Now, I started watching the show at the first episode of The Gathering, so I never really had that wonderful feeling of discovery when Owen became Puck. Yes, I had it slightly when he transformed in the second episode of The Gathering, but since it was only the second episode of the series that I had watched, I had no idea who anyone was or even why Xanatos and the gargoyles were at odds. So needless to say, his transformation was somewhat lost on me. I had no idea if this was supposed to be news or not.


So, how will this Puck and Oberon issue resolve? Tune in next week to find out. And to meet Alex for the first time. It’s a family reunion when we review The Gathering. And just like any family reunion, there’s going to be trouble. Big trouble.

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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