It’s the archeological find of the decade! The Scrolls of Merlin are being brought from their home across the sea to NYC. Elisa and Matt are in charge of security for some reason, meaning the gargoyles won’t be far away. Things go swimmingly until two mercs in Harrier jets attack. There are many, many people who want the scrolls, but who’s gutsy/desperate enough to steal them like this? And what do they want with them? Rumor is, the scrolls hold powerful spells.
Hudson plays an integral part in the effort to reclaim the scrolls. He makes two unlikely friend along the way. We also learn the importance of literacy – in case there was any doubt about its value.
This isn’t one of my favorite episodes, but **SPOILER** Macbeth and Owen are in it, so it’s got that going for it.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 2, Episode 4: Lighthouse in the Sea of Time
Reason(s) for existence: To drive home the theme that literacy is important. To bring Macbeth back into the picture.
Main antagonist(s): Macbeth and Co
Time(s): Late September, 1995
Location(s): New York City, New York
Previously on Gargoyles: Recap of Enter Macbeth. Well, now we know who the antagonist is this time around.
According to Greg: Greg admits it was a mistake to do the recap in this one. It gives away the mystery of who the antagonist is. He was caught between letting people wonder who this Macbeth fellow was yet maintaining the mystery of the antag, and explaining who Macbeth was and killing the reveal at the half-way point.
In a cave-like tomb on the moors, the Thornberries are exploring a treasure trove. Ok, fine, they’re archeologists Lydia Duane and Arthur Morwood-Smythe. They’re your stereotypical Brit explorers.
According to Greg: The female archeologist is named after writers Lydia Marano and Diane Duane. Morwood-Smythe was named after writers Arthur Byron Cover and Peter Morwood. Smythe was probably added for flair.
The wind blows over a lyre, which sparkles. I’m not sure if it’s magic. The harp/lyre is a traditional Celtic symbol. Below it is a chest with runes on it. The runes, according to Lydia, say that the seeker of knowledge has nothing to fear. The destroyer, everything. Gungho, the Indiana Joneses open it.
Blue light snakes out – yes, snakes – and forms the outline of a bearded man’s face. Then it returns. It’s a spell that’s supposed to check intent. Inside are scrolls. The Scrolls of Merlin.
At the clock tower, Lex reads an article about the Scrolls. They’re coming to Metropolitan Museum in NYC. Brooklyn says that the wizard is a lot like Magus. Goliath is quite familiar with Merlin. Merlin is a white wizard of the 5th century. His magic was incredibly powerful. Ooh, a magic-related plot. It’s good to have one of these stuck in now and then. Yes, Legion had magic, but it was mostly weirdo VR computer stuff.
According to Greg: Merlin is a child of the Fae Lord Oberon (of Shakespearean fame) and a mortal woman.
Also, Greg wanted to cite The Crystal Cave as a book about Merlin, but Legal wouldn’t let him.
Goliath kicks off what will be a slugfest of hammering home the literacy theme: he tells Brooklyn he can find books on Merlin in the library. Really, Lavar?
Broadway would rather rent the movie. Does he mean Sword in the Stone? It’s a Disney classic. And how is he renting them? You had to have your birth certificate, a blood oath, and a picture of you in a zebra costume to rent a video back then! This brings Lexington’s and Brooklyn’s opinions. They’re pro-book. Hudson stays out of it mostly as he watches TV.
They tear themselves away from arguing about books to listen to Elisa. She and Matt, since they’re NYC detectives, will be working the security detail for the Scrolls while they’re…on the ship…that’s sailing from the UK. Why isn’t there already security? Why do they have to go out there – and in the middle of a storm no less? This should be a Coast Guard issue, if anything.
Sailing the High Seas
Oh well, off they go. As they admire the scrolls, two jet aircraft blow out the windows of the ship’s bridge. Somehow the glass shrapnel doesn’t kill anyone. While the captain (hi, Jeff Bennett!) of the HMS Churchill radios and SOS, the jets come in for a landing on the deck. They’re Harriers, meaning they’re vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Who the heck has enough resources to hire mercs who can fly in the middle of a storm and land the notoriously touchy Harriers on a ship’s deck? Not to mention that the aircraft themselves cost millions of dollars.
Popeye and a refugee from an ’80’s punk rock band make short work of the two (wow, a whole two! Way to go all out on security!) detectives and the archeologists. Guess they weren’t Indiana Jones types after all. The attackers use lightning pistols, but the blond Popeye merc just shoves Elisa back. What happened to the detective who took out all of Bruno’s crew in Awakening?
The gargoyles show up on the ocean in the middle of the storm. Lex recognizes the jets as Harriers, as he read about them. Oh look, it’s the THEME! Broadway’s still dubious about books.
Goliath believes the jets belong to Xanatos. Of course he believes this. Xanatos is the boogie man, the first suspect in any plot, even if it makes no sense for him to be.
The gargs attack the jets as the aircraft takeoff. Hudson rips the canopy off Popeye’s jet, but Popeye sends him crashing into the sea with an electric shock that works despite not being grounded. Hudson takes the canister though. Meanwhile, Broadway clings to the fuselage of punk rock chick’s Harrier.
Right…we’ve got a gargoyle hanging onto the side of a fighter jet, and we’ve got a pilot flying the other one without a canopy or even so much as goggles. Sounds totally believable!
Cleared for Landing
Elisa is convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that Xanatos is behind the theft. How Elisa is a detective?` I don’t know sometimes. I’m going to ignore the recap at the beginning of the ep and pretend I have no idea who the main antagonist of the ep is. Here goes: This attack is nothing like Xanatos’s MO. He’s rarely that blatant unless he wants the attention, such as in The Edge. Those aren’t his mercenaries, either. Conventional aircraft like Harriers isn’t his style either, except in choppers. Even his choppers are wicked cool. Xanatos could easily have had the scrolls stolen from the museum they’re headed to, or even just bought them. Also, he’d have to be partnered with somebody like Demona, who knows sorcery. Never once did he try to work any of the spells in the Grimorum Arcanorum. He’s not about to risk life and limb tampering with that nonsense personally.
While Elisa gnashes her teeth at and plots her vengeance on her favorite scapegoat, Hudson is washing ashore somewhere on the east coast. He’s pretty much unconscious but manages to hold the cylinder. He wakes to find himself in front of a large, brick house.
The jets land at a castle – Macbeth’s castle. Apparently it didn’t take long to rebuild it after the inferno. Less than a year, actually!
The mercenaries jump out. Punk Chick is berating Squinty about losing his canister. They boss will be pissed, they reason, but at least they have one cylinder. Not so fast! There’s a hole in the side of her jet and the canister’s gone. How Broadway tore a hole in the jet without them noticing his movement or hearing metal ripping is beyond me.
Goliath, Lex, and Brooklyn storm into the Eyrie Building castle – again. The doors to the great hall stay unlocked, I guess, since you’re thousands of feet in the air and the gargs will bust them down anyway if they’re locked.
Owen has escaped his office to…use the computer in the great hall. It’s an odd place for a computer.
The gargoyles demand to know where Xanatos, Hudson, and Broadway are.
Owen is in another of his good moods. He’s to be quite snarky when people other than Xanatos are around.
20/20 moment: As the eps go on, we see more and more of Owen’s snark when he’s around Xanatos. It’s yet another reason I like their “solo” scenes! They go back and forth with each other.
Owen responds that, “I suppose they could be anywhere.” Nice! He doesn’t out and out insult them. He doesn’t pull his gun this time either.
“No games!” Goliath growls. Oh, buddy, haven’t you learned yet that Owen and his boss are all about having an entertaining time?
“You should know I can’t do that.” Owen continues the standoff.
To the gargs’ credit, they know better than to attack him. With anybody else, Goliath probably would have hoisted them up by the collar. Owen would drop the first idiot who tried that on him.
Goliath and Co storm off to find them on their own.
Owen flat out grins. What’s he up to? Is Xanatos involved somehow? Or is he just amused that Xanatos can cause the gargs trouble without even trying.
According to Greg: The writers decided not to have any more eps where Owen was holding the fort and giving snarky answers to the gargs when they started barking up the wrong castle. Two such scenes in four eps was enough. I disagree. Then again, I think they should have random Xanatos scenes thrown in. This ep could really use more Owen and Xanatos, because it’s kind of bland.
Not So Fast, Laddie
Broadway’s on the way out, off with his prize while the genius mercs are looking through the garage for the scrolls. Why? Something tore a hole in your jet, idiots! The scrolls aren’t going to just be laying around. Then they spot Broadway. He rolls barrels at them like this is a computer game. The two henchmen really suck at dodging. I think even Bruno’s squad could have avoided them!
He’s out Scott free…until he meets *cue Scottish music* Macbeth! Not quite Scott free. It’s not a huge reveal since the recap was all about him. Oh, and let’s not forget that the jets just landed at his very recognizable castle.
He promptly throws Broadway again, then tosses a sphere at him. Gas erupts from the orb. G’night, Big Boy. Broadway has a really poor track record against Macbeth. Heck, the guy threw Big Boy like he was a caber at the Highland Games.
I like Macbeth, so I’m glad to see him back. We don’t know what he wants with the scrolls just yet, but it’s probably the spells he wants. Why? What has he heard they contain? I wasn’t aware he was a practicing wizard.
Does Xanatos have anything to do with this plot? It’s always amusing when protags go after one antagonist, only to have to back off and admit they’re wrong. For once, the antag was behaving.
What’s actually in the scrolls? Merlin’s spells would be as powerful as the Grimorum’s, I suppose.
Check back Friday, when we learn what the scrolls hold!