Macbeth is hot on the trail of the second set of Merlin’s scrolls. They’re supposed to contain magic spells. Do they? Well, they’re magical, all right. Broadway and Hudson are learning the importance of the written word. This ep is all about literacy. It’s not exactly what Macbeth had in mind, though.
Lost? Check out Lighthouse in the Sea of Time episode review part 1.
Signed, Sealed, Not Delivered
Macbeth reclaims the scrolls from Broadway. The seal reads that it’s the second scroll. It’s apparently dangerous to read the scrolls out of order; they need the first volume!
Hudson has better luck that Broadway. The brick house belongs to author Jeffery Robbins, and his dog, Gilly (short for Gilgamesh, even though the dog’s female). Robbins is blind, and so is unaware of Hudson’s gargoyle self. Hudson says he just needs a rest, not a doctor, when Robbins meets him. Robbins is a nice guy, so he brings this stranger into his house. Gilly likes Hudson, so he must be OK.
Macbeth and his semi-competent minions fly off in search of the second scroll canister. Broadway is chained in the middle of the aircraft. Despite referring to gargoyles as beasts, Macbeth treats Broadway with dignity and respect. He’s going to keep a hold on Broadway only until the first scroll shows up. The mercs think the scroll sank with Hudson. Macbeth wants them that if it did, they’ll join it. It’s probably an empty threat. Still, Macbeth isn’t one to screw with.
In Robbins’s cozy living room, we learn he lost his sight in ‘Nam while saving others. He clarifies for Hudson that it’s Vietnam. Kids of my era would know what that was. I’m not sure about the ignorant younguns nowadays. Robbins says that something in Hudson’s voice made him sound like a soldier too. Hudson agrees. Um, being a warrior and being a soldier are two different things. Did gargoyles have an army? I thought they just acted as a clan/family defending itself.
Next up, an explanation of Braille and of Robbins being a writer. THE THEME! He’s lost interest in writing lately, though. What the heck kind of writer are you, man? You don’t write because you feel like it. You write because it’s your job and because you can’t live without writing!
Robbins guesses that Hudson can’t read. The only shame there is to stay illiterate.
Back on Macbeth’s craft, Broadway asks who Merlin is. “Just another stupid magician,” he guesses. Then the Scotsman delivers an eloquent, stirring summary of Merlin and Arthur. Broadway is taken aback. It sounded like Macbeth was there for the events. Macbeth laughs. “I’m old but not that old. Obviously I read about it.” THE THEME! Why does Broadway act like he’s never heard a story before? Flag on the field: Theme ramming. Writers using direct explanation to emphasize the theme.
20/20 moment: Macbeth’s “not that old” line is hilarious when you know he’s over 1000 years old! This ep, despite brutally bludgeoning you with the theme, does have some great lines.
Macbeth sees the cat gargoyles on Robbins’s wall. Somehow Mac knows this is where to look. Uh, how? Did I miss something?
At the Eyrie Building, Goliath and Co are still hassling Owen. They’re trying to, at least. He’s ignoring them in hopes that they’ll go away. Currently he’s at his desk, reading the paper. (THE THEME!)
Side note: Of all the people in the series, Owen has spent the most time with the gargoyles. He’s lived alongside them 24/7 for three months. Elisa visits them, yes, but she has her shift to do and then goes home. I doubt Owen interacted with the gargoyles much, as it would’ve been awkward and annoying, but he no doubt stalked them via the security cameras.
Lex apparently searched the building? That was quick!
It’s also another example of how the gargs take Xanatos’s leniency toward them for granted. Any other antagonist would have been fighting them by now, even if they weren’t involved in the other gargoyles’ disappearance. Owen is the epitome of economy of effort, though. Why bother fight them? Xanatos doesn’t want them killed. They’ll go away on their own eventually.
Now he, Brooklyn, and Goliath demand to know about the jets.
“You didn’t find them? I’m not surprised.” Then Owen grudgingly informs them that “all of Mr. Xanatos’s vertical takeoff and landing craft are in the shop.” All of them? What the heck have you guys been doing? You play rough with your toys. “But,” he adds, “you might try Macbeth.”
Hold up! There are a lot of people around with VTOLs. Mrs. Thornberry said that many people wanted the scrolls, or rather, “who wouldn’t want them?” Owen’s remark makes me think he knows more than he’s letting on. Do he and his boss know about Macbeth’s scheme? Did they help him, perhaps by supplying the aircraft and/or mercenaries in exchange for getting a “cut” of the spells?
20/20 moment: Puck might be shining through here too. He knows what’s in the scrolls, I’m sure. He’d know that the scrolls don’t have spells. This makes the theory of Xanatos helping less likely. No, Owen can’t directly convey Puck knowledge, as per the terms of his deal with Xanatos. But Puck is beyond clever, meaning he can wiggle around most rules if he wants. He’s loyal to Xanatos for one reason: he likes David and Fox!
Before sunrise, Robbins and Hudson discuss learning to read. Robbins learned Braille. Hudson can learn to read too. (I like Robbins. He’s a strong character.)
The Mysterious Guest
Sunrise! Hudson becomes a statue on Robbins’s stone wall.
Soon after, Macbeth lands nearby. He greets Robbins, introducing himself as Lenox Macduff. Robbins says he hasn’t seen anyone around. Macbeth sees he has nothing to worry about with the blind man and proceeds to take the canister from stone Hudson.
At sunset, Hudson awakes to find the canister missing. Robbins fills him in on Macduff. Hudson doesn’t know any Macduff. Robbins mentions that Lenox and Macduff are characters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Well now, Hudson does know a Macbeth! Also, THE THEME! And double points for getting it in with a Shakespeare reference.
How to find Macbeth? Robbins grabs a phone book. I kid you not. He finds Lenox Macduff in the phone book. It’s gotta be the most mundane way of tracking down a villain ever. “A magic book!” Hudson says. Really? You’ve been in the modern age for almost a year and you don’t know what a phone book is yet? Surely he’s seen one on the sitcoms he watches.
Anyway, Robbins comments, “Aren’t all books?” Most, yes.
At Macbeth’s castle, he’s got Broadway chained again. Mac is going to test out the spells on Broadway. Why? That doesn’t seem very Macbeth-like, especially since he said he’d let Broadway go once he found the scrolls.
Let the Magic Begin
Now Macbeth is ready to work some magic.
The gargs show up and have a showdown with the mercs. The two minions are on laser turrets.
Macbeth pops the seals and reads…a prologue by Merlin about Arthur. Well that’s a letdown. That’s how I feel about prologues too.
Long battle short, the turrets are incapacitated. The clan faces Macbeth. Goliath grabs one of the scrolls as a hostage. He’ll burn it if Macbeth doesn’t give Broadway back.
Macbeth doesn’t care anymore.
Cue an eloquent speech by Broadway about how important the scrolls are. Suddenly he’s a reading fan. I don’t understand how he converted so fast. Like Hudson, he’s been in the modern world for almost a year. In our society, reading is extremely important. Maybe it’s because everything’s cooler and more important when an antagonist says it that he now values literacy?
Macbeth is 100% done with today. He tells them all to git off his yard because they’re trespassing. And take the scrolls with you. That deescalated quickly!
Goliath will give Elisa the scrolls. Nobody comments about how they were dead wrong in slandering Xanatos. Not that I expected an apology or anything.
Hudson and Broadway will read the scrolls after they learn how to read.
We wrap with Robbins deciding to start a new book. In 1990s fashion, he starts with a wordy prologue about books being the “lighthouse in the sea of time.” THE THEME one last time!
I feel this episode is heavy-handed in its pushing the “reading is important!” theme. It was a popular drum to beat in the 1990s, I remember. Back then they cared about kids being able to educate themselves. Those were the days of Reading Rainbow and Wishbone. Oh, and Book-It at Pizza Hut! Good times indeed. But I don’t like being slapped in the face with the theme like it’s a dead salmon. Finesse, people, finesse.
Macbeth is a collector of antiquities, as his pre-inferno castle showed. He’s also interested in functional historic artifacts. I’m not sure what he thought was in the spells, but his eagerness to rip into the scrolls and get to magic-ing points to an expectation of a specific spell. Why? We still don’t know his backstory. He’s familiar with the Merlin story, but does he know more than he’s letting on?
20/20 moment: Was he hoping for a spell that would end his bond with Demona? Considering Merlin is half fae, it’s plausible that his magic would undo another fae’s magic. It’s never stated how compatible one form of magic, ie Grimorum magic, is with another, ie fae magic.
We never discover why Owen was being so evasive and snarky. It’s his default state, I guess, which is enough explanation. I don’t know how much contact Macbeth and House Xanatos have with each other. Xanatos was quite interested in Macbeth, calling him “a new player in the game.” (It was a nice tie in when Goliath told Owen, “No games.”) We’ll wait and see.
Tune in next week we’re in for a treat! We meet one of the coolest fae around: The Puck! He and Demona are making things…interesting in The Mirror. Don’t miss it!
What did you think of today’s ep? Comment!