Gargoyles: Her Brother’s Keeper – Episode Review

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Merry week-of-Christmas!

What happens when one of the protagonists annoys an antagonist who’s minding his own business for once in his life? You got it: the antagonist acts. When Elisa pesters Xanatos, he makes it a Maza-family affair by targeting her brother. Unlike other villains who want to kill the protags’ families, Xanatos wants to hire Derek Maza as a bodyguard and chopper pilot. It’s possible David intended to do this even before Elisa began, well, stalking him, but I doubt it.

To make things more fun, Hyena and Jackal are trying to kill Xanatos. Never a dull moment here!

If you missed the last review, go read Long Way to Morning.

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

Season 1, Episode 12: Her Brother’s Keeper

Reason(s) for existence: To move Derek into Xanatos’s employ. To show Fox’s relationship to Xanatos. To get Hyena and Jackal into prison. To explore the theme of living one’s own life. To explore the value of siblings.

Main antagonist(s): Hyena, Jackal, David Xanatos (if you squint)

Time(s):  January 25th-28th, 1995

Location(s): New York City, New York; Xanadu, Upstate New York

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - title scene

It’s not in this shot, but it’s 11:49 PM

Eyes in the Sky

On a cold January night, Elisa is tying up police resources by tailing a limo. One guess whose limo it is. Right, David Xanatos’s.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - limo below chopper

Light traffic and zero snow. Nice.

Derek Maza, Elisa’s brother, is the chopper pilot.  She’s railroaded him into this because Xanatos always “spots the tail” when she tries to follow him by car. Well, maybe if you didn’t use that red Ford Fairlane…

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - elisa and derek chopper

Evidently they don’t require a copilot or really even reason to be up there.

Derek is not on board with the surveillance idea. “You’re really obsessed with this guy. He did his time,” Derek defends Xanatos. So let him be.

Elisa wants something she “can use” on Xanatos. Why? Due process, jail time, and probation/parole aren’t good enough for you, Elisa? Are you going to go Dexter or Batman and turn vigilante? I guess she’s still pissed about MOMA burglary and how he framed the gargs.

This makes me wonder, does Elisa operate with the mindset that if you’re arrested, convicted, and sentenced, you should have life in prison automatically? Look, Xanatos manipulated the gargoyles. He sent them after the discs, which ended in the destruction of the Fortress I Airship. The ship only crashed because Demona went above and beyond. If everyone had followed Xanatos’s plan to the letter, all three bases would be intact but short three discs. He didn’t set up anyone’s murder, or kidnapping, or rape. He doesn’t run a human trafficking ring or the mafia. As far as committing felonies goes, he’s not very dangerous. Yes, he burglarized the MOMA to steal his own diamond, but he didn’t kill anyone.

Elisa has a personal grudge against Xanatos. It’s understandable, considering how much he toys with her friends. It’s interesting that the protagonist cop is the one with the grudge, not the man she helped put behind bars. Xanatos is happily living his life of luxury, while she’s wasting her time and the force’s resources chasing him. Again we have an example of why grudges, bitterness, and vengeance only hurt you, not the person you’re angry with. Elisa is about to get a Masters course on this.

Gamer Gargs

Back at the clock tower, the Trio is fighting over a chopper simulator game. It’s a basic, basic game. This is the mid 1990s, remember. Lex is hogging it.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - lexington gaming

A view every girlfriend has had at least once. Hand over the controller, jerk!

Goliath shuts down the argument.

Broadway is the first to apologize. He’s worried about Elisa. Ever since he shot her, he’s become her biggest advocate. The flying idea just doesn’t sit well with him. It didn’t bother him when she was with the guys checking out Lady Liberty.

Shopping Spree

In the limo, David is looking even better than usual as he sports a tux. Owen is playing chauffeur. Elisa’s grand idea of using a chopper isn’t any more successful than the car tail. How surprising! You mean Xanatos noticed a police chopper roaring away three-hundred above him? Odd.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - david xanatos in tux and limo

Guys should have to wear a tux at least once a week.

David asks Owen casually, “Are they up there?” Yes. “Good. Let’s go shopping.” Whenever Xanatos says good, it’s bad for the protags. He’s got something up his sleeve, but what? Why does he want Elisa tailing him, other than to show her that he’s just going about his normal life?

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - owen driver

Why pay for another chauffeur when you can have your chief of security do it for you?

Side note: Can you imagine how much Xanatos screwed with Elisa the other times she tailed him?

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - chopper on limo rear camera

Your cloaking device seems to be on the fritz, Elisa.

He doesn’t mean shopping at Walmart, either. It’s the Diamond Exchange.

Trivia: The Diamond Exchange is a thing. It’s in NYC’s Diamond District in Midtown Manhattan. On West 47th Street between the 5th and 6th Avenue, it’s home to over 4,000 jewelers and wholesalers.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - diamond exchange

It’s like Target!

In the showroom at the DE, New York’s upper crust is out in force. Jackal and Hyena, the crazy siblings from the Pack, are there too. They’re looking for a diamond, but not to buy it. In particular, they’re scoping out the Coyote Diamond.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - jackal and hyena look at coyote diamond

Jackal is the smart one. Heaven help us.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - coyote diamond

Makes a great paperweight.

According to Greg: The Coyote Diamond was supposed to pop up later – in comic form if nothing else – as a power source for CYOTE/Coyote the robot. It never did in the TV series. I’m not sure about the comic series.

Hyena wants to grab it and shoot their way out. Not much of a planner, this one. Jackal restrains her with a plea for “style.” That, and he doesn’t want to join Fox and Wolf in prison. Hyena laments not going to Europe with Dingo. These two are adrenaline junkies, but it’s gotten to a serious addiction. They risk life and freedom for idiotic reasons. There’s a lot of emotional and mental disorders in these two.

This diamond robbery scheme sounds horrible already. Why are they stealing a monster diamond that a blind aardvark could recognize? Is there really a buyer out there interested in hot ice? Stick to stuff like gold coins, small gems, and copper wire.

Before they get too involved, though, the hostess pulls the diamond. It’s been purchased by…David Xanatos, of course. Of course. He’s bathing in the attention as the hostess hands him his new piece of bling. He remarks to Owen that it’ll look quite nice next to the Star of Arabia.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos and owen with diamond

Look at these two and their secrety-secret references.  Again, I really want to see his collection of artifacts, gems, the Ark of the Covenant, etc.

Whatever the siblings were planning goes out the window. Now they follow Hyena’s plan, but they use paring knives instead of guns. Step one: side-kick Xanatos in the back of the C-spine. Don’t get me started on my why-didn’t-that-paralyze-him rant again. Go back to Awakening part 5 if you want to hear it.

They grab the gem and book it out.

As if this is nothing more than somebody cutting him off in traffic, David stands up and instructs Owen to call the police.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos tells owen to call police

Ah, sweet irony when the cops have to protect him. He loves it.

On the roof, Jackal and Hyena are assembling hang gliders that have no harnesses.

The cop chopper appears. Derek swings it around to cut them off.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - chopper stops hyena jackal

Plank it out, kids!

Jackal goes for an RPG launcher. When all else fails… A silhouette dashes across the camera’s line of sight. Just as Jackal shoulders the RPG launcher and acquires his target, Xanatos tackles him. The shot goes wild but hits the chopper’s rear rotor.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos tackles jackal

Gettin’ some air! These idiots stole his diamond and kicked him in the neck. Payback time.

Derek manages to put the chopper down on its struts and not on the edge of its rotor.

Meanwhile, Xanatos appears, watching the landing. We know from Awakening and The Edge that he can trash his enemies in hand to hand combat. So I’m assuming Jackal is incapacitated-

Nope. Nope. Jackal and Hyena pop up to hold David at knife point. He looks as putout as if a web-page was taking too long to load.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos at knifepoint hyena jacka;

Flanked by knife-wielding psychos? Minor inconvenience.

Elisa jumps out to hold them at gunpoint.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - elisa holds hyena jackal xanatos at gunpoint

It looks like her gun’s pointing at Xanatos, but I’m sure that was a slip.

The siblings take off – literally. They grab hang gliders.

Elisa can’t get a clean shot.

In the background, David recovers the Coyote Diamond. “Never a gargoyle around when you need one, eh?” he asks. You just can’t beat this guy’s attitude! Irony is his stock and trade.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos recovers diamond

It’s like he enjoyed the whole fracas.

Elisa turns around to find him congratulating Derek. Now this is an antagonist! He’s the perfect gentlemen, praising Derek’s skills. This is a great segue into a…job offer? Bodyguard and personal chopper pilot. Xanatos Enterprises pays better than the force and is less risky. Wait, he wants a Maza – Elisa’s brother, no less – to be one of his most trusted employees? Ooh, that’s a slap in the face to Elisa!

Xanatos knows the power of compliments. It’s not even flattery, as everything he said was accurate. Does Xanatos know of the siblings’ friction? Does he even know they’re siblings? Or does he just want a really good pilot who, according to Derek’s name tag, happens to be related to Elisa? So many questions.

Of course, Elisa will think the worse of Xanatos over all this. We’ll see how this develops, though. Is Xanatos really the target here? He created the Pack, but the Pack members don’t know it. So it is possible this is totally as it appears.

David gives Derek his card, then strides off after nodding to Elisa. “Detective, always a pleasure.” Attitude. Style. He’s doing them right.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos gives derek card

Recognition of a job well done does wonders.

Elisa turns her ire on Derek, now that her favorite target is gone. She insists Xanatos is using Derek. Ooh, not the best route to take, sis. A billionaire just complimented Derek and offered him a high-paying, prestigious job. That doesn’t happen every day.

Derek slams back with, “Oh, right, he couldn’t possibly have thought I was good!” I wonder how much the sibs squabble normally? Elisa seems used to taking the aggressor role. Derek seems used to defending himself.

Scavengers’ Lair

In the scavenger sibs’ HQ, new orders come in. They’re from…Fox. Just like Xanatos, Fox continues her plans despite being incarcerated. She says they can “waste” Xanatos for interfering. Judging by their expressions, she might have said they just won the lottery. Hmm, looks like Xanatos’s private strike team idea backfired.

How did these two become part of the Pack? What’s their background? They’re both violent, thieving, and definitely murderous. Did they start out with mediocre skills, then build them up in their time with the Pack? They’re both thrilled with the idea of killing a man. Is it just because they can comitt murder, or because they’re killing Xanatos? Do they have a grudge? So. Many. Questions!

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - hyena happy


Hyena from lion king disney

I don’t think it’s a coincidence her name is Hyena, eh?

Sister Knows Best

At the clock tower, Elisa and the clan are discussing what to do with Derek. Broadway thinks Derek should trust Elisa’s judgment. Brooklyn points out that you need honesty for trust to work. Lexington just wants to hunt the Pack. Goliath gives the verdict: introduce Derek to them. He’ll hear their story and know what an evil spawn of Satan Xanatos is for tricking them. Ok, I made up that last bit.

Elisa takes the plunge. But before she can tell Derek, he tells her what’s what: he’s taking Xanatos’s offer.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - elisa derek talk

As the sun sets…

In a pool hall/bar, (yes, on a Disney show in the 1990s!) Elisa and Peter Maza are discussing the problem of Derek living his own life. Er, I mean, ditching the force for a job with respect and money. No, that’s not right either. Ah, yes, they want to know how they can stop Derek. Peter suggests they tell him it’ll kill Diane Maza, aka Mom.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - elisa and peter maza

I’m sure Peter’s just having iced tea.

Too bad Diane shoots that plan. Diane tells her son he should live his own life no matter what. If he’s not happy with the police, and if he thinks the job with Xanatos is the way to go, then go! It’s sound advice: live your life.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - derek and diane talk

Tea for everyone!

Elisa’s not done. Having conveniently forgotten the plan to tell Derek about the clan, she instead barges into the guys’ locker room as Derek is cleaning out his locker. She proceeds to tell him Xanatos is bad news. Derek isn’t having any of it. “He’s not the Prince of Darkness!” Good for Derek. Xanatos is a trickster, a Magnificent Bastard, but he’s not needlessly cruel. He’s not evil in the same sense as, say, Demona, who wants to wipe out humans.

Derek reminds Elisa that Xanatos saved their lives last night (ooh, irony!), and maintains that Xanatos deserves a chance to prove himself. “And I deserve the chance to do what I want.” Did he ever want to be in the police force?

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - elisa guys locker room

Nice bod, Matt!

Elisa asks the clan’s advice. There’s not much they can do. Derek has his own life. But they can stalk him.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - trio fights

Stakeouts are never as fun as they look on TV. Where are the snacks?

Later, while on surveillance duty, the trio sees the Xanatos Enterprises red and black helicopter take off from the castle courtyard. Another chopper starts to pursue it. Well now!

The Trio flies off to investigate.

Disney Gargoyles - Her Brother's Keeper - xanatos chopper takes off from eyrie building castle

Such a cool chopper, and well it should be! It’s the flagship of Xanatos Enterprises VTOLs.


Derek has a point: Elisa is obsessed with Xanatos. She’s fixated on putting him away forever, apparently. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on how to live life with the gargoyles not in the castle?

I love seeing antagonists/villains being suave. I also love a man in a tux. Xanatos was at his charming, smooth, cool best. He was in the thick of the action the whole time, too.

It’s kind of amusing to see Owen play the chauffeur. Everyone looks at him like he’s an underling, but in reality he’s the right-hand man and cohort.

Derek is a likeable character. He’s trying to find his path while everyone else is trying to shove him down the highway. I give him credit for having the guts to stand up for himself.

Tune in Friday to find out what the antagonists are up to this time.

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Lead researcher at Villainous Life Natures Research. Writer, reader, snarker. Lover of all things Geek and Dark. INTJ.
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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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