While Goliath, Elisa, and Bronx are on their world tour, the rest of the clan is stuck in NYC. They haven’t heard from Elisa or their leader in several days. They ask their friends, then branch out to their enemies. But neither – including Xanatos, who finds the disappearance quite interesting – knows where the gargoyles or detective went. Brooklyn finds his leadership skills tested in Goliath’s absence. Meanwhile, insurrection is brewing in the Labyrinth, the home of the Mutates: Fang wants to be boss.
Miss last week’s ep? Read Heritage episode review.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 2, Episode 26: Kingdom
Reason(s) for existence: To show that every group has its own kingdom. To explore the theme of leadership. To develop Brooklyn and Talon as leaders. To show how the clan is handling their friends’ disappearance. To show the antagonists’ reactions as well.
Main antagonist(s): Fang, Claw, Chas, Lou
Time(s): January 4-5th, 1996
Location(s): New York City, New York, USA
The Crown Weighs Heavy
We open on the clan back in NYC. Finally! They’re worried about their missing friends and dog-garg. Nobody has found any clues yet.
Broadway returns from Elisa’s apartment, where Cagney was slowly starving to death.
Hudson asks Brooklyn what they should do now. Brooklyn’s the leader now, remember? He doesn’t want to be. He probably thinks that doing so would mean he didn’t believe Goliath is going to return.
The gang assigns itself people to ask: Lex will go to the Mazas, Broadway will go to Matt, and Hudson will go to the Labyrinth to ask the Mutates. Their fearless leader Brooklyn doesn’t have a role. Hudson reminds him that he’s the leader. This is interesting: Hudson was once the leader, but he’s happy to hand over authority to young Brook.
Note: Hudson’s nickname was Mentor. He is the worst mentor ever here. Like, worse than even Dumbledore.
Hudson also reminds Brooklyn that Maggie is in the Labyrinth. Well, Brooklyn decides the Labyrinth totally needs him to investigate it. Yeesh, mate, she’s Talon’s girlfriend, you know.
Hudson and the cat stay to guard the TV- er, clock tower.
Let’s take a minute to look at the lack of communication from the world travelers. According to Greg, this part of the ep happened on January 4th. That’s the same day all that stuff on Queen Florence Island went down. We know the tribe there had satellite communication, not only because we saw the dish, but also because Nick called for a chopper (that couldn’t come). If I were Elisa, the second I was conscious enough to remember my work’s phone number, I’d be calling them and begging them not to fire me. Remember, she just vanished without a word! That’s grounds for dismissal. Then she could have had Matt tell the clan what happened. This ep covers Jan 5th, too, meaning she had plenty of time after defeating Raven to phone home.
Brooklyn ventures into the Labyrinth, which includes the subway tunnels and Cyberbiotics’s old lab. He runs into two humans – Chas and Lou – beating up a bum named Al. Then who should appear but Fang! He demands Al give him surface-world stuff. So apparently this vagrant works as a lower-echelon gang member for Fang. Well, Al isn’t the brightest; he hands Fang coins. First off, there’s probably less than $10 in there. Second, as Fang points out, there’s no way he can spend the money. Fang doesn’t have the resources or intelligence of Thailog, so money now has no value for him. You know, I wonder how the gargoyle economy functions. Or does it? It must, since they’re a sentient race with wants and needs.
Enraged, Fang makes Al “dance” by blasting electricity at him.
At this, Brooklyn jumps in and stops it. A moment later, Talon and Maggie appear. Fang submits.
As Talon and Mags walk off, she asks if they shouldn’t do something more about Fang. I wonder what she has in mind? Talon says Fang will come around. That’s an interesting idea from a former cop. How many criminals “come around” when they’ve been in jail or prison? So how would having NOTHING happen to him convince Fang to “come around”? But really, what’s he supposed to do? There are only four of them. They’re friends, of a sort. There aren’t any police to call, either.
The Mutates haven’t seen Elisa . Talon thought she was busy in the “real world.” Real world… I know what he means, but it’s almost like he considers the labyrinth and the derelicts who live there to be a weak substitute for normal life.
Xanatos’s name gets brought up offhandedly. Fang emerges at this point. He pulls out all the stops to throw Xanatos under the bus, pointing out that the businessman turned them into “flying bug zappers,” tricked them into fighting the gargoyles, and to really top off that sundae of evil, he hates Elisa. We all know Fang is wrong on that last point. “Dislikes” may be more accurate. Overall he considers her a challenge, but a fun one. He plays her like a Stradivarius, so it’s not like she’s a threat. No, he won’t let her get the upper hand again. Those months in jail – all her doing – were enough, thank you very much.
Well, Talon has a major grudge against David, so he’s game.
Back at the clock tower, everyone’s turned up empty-handed. Then Talon and Brooklyn arrive. Talon had predicted this. He’s pushing for them to storm the castle –literally.
Brooklyn is resistant, because there’s no proof it was Xanatos, and telling him that G&E are missing might not be the best idea.
Hudson rubs it in that Brook is leader. Brooklyn is starting to regret being so competent that Goliath elected him as second in command. Ah, looky there! An episode theme. Brooklyn understands that leadership doesn’t have many bonuses. You get all the blame and none of the credit. People look to you for leadership, and all you want to do is look to somebody else. It’s like when in the movies they say, “Call the Police! Wait, we are the police!” Leadership sounds great until crap hits the fan and you have to man up and LEAD.
Fang, though, wants power. He’s the very type of person who shouldn’t have any, because it will go to his head. People who really, really want power are often the ones who shouldn’t have an ounce of it.
Talon leads the charge on the castle, with the clan following Brooklyn’s half-hearted “whatever” approach to being in authority. As they fly out, Brooklyn continues to voice his disapproval of the idea, but Talon challenges his authority. If Brook wants to lead, then he needs to step up. So they’re both pretty inferior leaders at this point.
Storm the Castle and You’ll Face the Lightning
Xanatos sees them coming literally from miles away.
While David is at the big-screen TV, a jacket-less Owen is sitting at David’s desk, manning the computer. (I’m assuming the reason for the lack of his trademark suit jacket is to give the viewers a good look at his stone fist.)
Xanatos is exited in his smug, confident, trickster way. Owen responds with his knee-jerk reaction: shoot them! He words it as “test the new security system.” I’m thinking he didn’t get this one from ADT. Xanatos felt he needed one after Thailog got taken, I guess. But…it’s not like there are more gargs on the parapets that might get snatched. There’s nothing out there now but some lawn furniture. Having the turrets would have damaged Thailog, most likely. But I can understand the desire to have some sort of anti-aircraft system in place, considering your main antagonists are flying creatures.
Xanatos smirk-grins. “Why not? A little test never hurt anyone.”
So they boys activate…laser turrets. Predictably, they do more damage to the castle than the gargs. A LOT more. Srsly, guys, you’re both at genius level IQs, but you go with laser turrets. Owen, you’re head of security! I expected better. What, you didn’t see what happened to Macbeth’s place after he used an automated defense system? At least have manual controls.
According to Greg: I quote,
“Hey, how about that new security system, installed as a result of Thailog’s ‘kidnapping’ in Double Jep. Doesn’t it… SUCK??!!!!!
“The cannons do WAY more damage to X’s castle than to anyone or anything else. And I also felt like we had done this before at Mac’s place in Lighthouse and the Price.
“So this is just weak. A failure on our part to come up with something stronger, more original, etc. We needed some action around now. But I still wish we had cracked this better.”
Entire towers are decimated. The destruction is so great that it weakens and almost annihilates the roof of Xanatos’s office. Apparently it’s just below the main level. I think I’d put it way lower, considering how often the castle gets destroyed, but I guess it would be a pain to trek all the way down there. Xanatos lives in the upper section of the building and the castle itself.
There’s a horribly animated shot of Broadway tying the twin barrels of a cannon, then sitting on top of it as the cannon…puffs up like a bag of Jiffy Pop. Greg admits it looks terrible.
The gargoyles end up crashing through the ceiling.
In a hilarious show of calm, Xanatos rises from his desk and asks, “Gentlemen, what a pleasant surprise. To what do I owe the honor?” AAAAHG you gotta love this guy! His castle is trashed (do you like how I put that in passive voice so nobody gets hurt?). Winged creatures just smashed through his ceiling. His security system is annihilated. Yet he acts like this is totally normal, not showing any concern.
The guests are rage-y. Talon barrels in – only to fall back when Owen slams a vicious shovel hook into the eel cat bat’s floating ribs. Owen uses his stone fist, too. Ouch. Xanatos remarks that Owen is putting the “handicap” to good use. Hm, continuity. And Owen hasn’t opted to go the Pack or Darth Vader route and get a robot hand.
Xanatos pulls an Uzi-like handgun from his desk and holds the angry intruders at bay.
Talon blabs all about Elisa, and Broadway adds more about Goliath and Bronx being missing. Then they all accuse Xanatos of being behind it.Of course, he denies all knowledge of the disappearances. When questioned about why he was shooting them, he says, “Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?” I think the good time part ended when the lasers started to blow up his home. Still, shooting at gargoyles is always a fun! The comment is also a reminder that they are in fact in his home. They challenged him, not the other way around. You poke the bear, you’re gonna get your face clawed off.
In a move that again sets David apart from other antagonists, he shrugs and steps away from his desk. He invites Talon to look around the building. He even lets Lexington have access to the database . This is YUGE. I mean, the antagonist is voluntarily letting the protags search his HQ. Let. That. Sink. In.
While the protags go to investigate, a grinning Xanatos turns to a smiling Owen. They’re both fascinated by the news of Goliath’s disappearance. I think they both had some Cuban coffee today, because they’re really upbeat and enthused about…everything. Owen is smiling, and David is even more snarky than usual.
Down in the subway tunnels, Chaz and Lou have found a vault. Fang blows it open and discovers…a case with laser rifles in it. In the series, this hidden cache of weapons isn’t explained. It’s in a subway tunnel, not the lab, and it’s behind a brick wall. The goons were “digging around” down there.
Finally we get some Xanatos and Owen! I gotta say the security system was really dumb, though. I don’ know why the writers expect me to believe that the boys wouldn’t have shut the thing down after the first tower got blasted. But wow, Xanatos is in rare form! I love it when he’s extra snarky.
Fang is cool. I used to not like him much, but he’s getting more personality. We’ll look at him more next post.
I’m pretty sure the precinct would be at red alert right now, since one of their own has vanished. I wish they’d followed up on that more in the eps.
Tune in Friday to find out what Fang is planning, and how the protags take charge of their kingdoms.