Did Demona abandon her efforts to convert the clan to her side? Not a chance. This time she’s upped the ante, putting Elisa’s life in the balance. With that kind of leverage, Demona can move mountains, or in this case Goliath. She didn’t bargain on Hudson coming along, though. Will old age and cunning win out against youth and strength? And what about Demona? How’s she handling the clan “betraying” her?
Since we completed the five Awakening episodes, Greg and the other writers have been shining the spotlight on specific characters, both protagonists and antagonists:
The Thrill of the Hunt = Lexington and the Pack
Temptation = Brooklyn and Demona
Deadly Force = Broadway and Dracon (and Owen)
Enter Macbeth = Macbeth
The Edge = David Xanatos
Long Way To Morning is Hudson’s episode.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 1, Episode 11: Long Way To Morning
Reason(s) for existence: To show Hudson still has warrior skills. To show how murderous and serious Demona is. To intro the Arch Mage.
Main antagonist(s): Demona, Arch Mage
Time(s): January 2_?, 1995; ?, 984.
Location(s): New York City, New York, USA. Scotland.
Fire up the flashback! Prince Duncan is threatening young!Katherine with gargoyles if she doesn’t behave. Why? That’s like saying the police will come and arrest you if you don’t go to sleep. Why does she believe him? She lives alongside the gargs. Apparently the royals don’t mingle with the “beasts.”
Hudson doesn’t approve of the idea. He has the guts to tell the prince about it. Duncan waves it off. Little does he know that his actions will reverberate through the next ten years, culminating in Demona finally losing all patience with the humans’ treatment of the gargoyles. I’m not saying it’s all his fault. I am however saying he played a big role in furthering the bigotry and abuse.
Hudson questions the prince’s banishment of the Archmage, who used magic to attempt to usurp the throne. Was it a stiff enough punishment? Well, anyone who knows anything about wizards will tell you the answer: no.
Lightning cuts them off. A wizard appears. He fires off magic missile at the
darkness gargoyle. He yells,
Meaning, Come lightning!
Direct hit on Hudson. It knocks him out of the way so the Archmage can use a blowgun to shoot the prince. The mage cites revenge as his motive. Oh wonderful, another vengeance-motivated villain. Ah, this is why Xanatos is such a breath of fresh air: revenge isn’t on his radar; he prefers to act for profit and amusement. We’ll see where this goes. How big of a villain is this mage going to be?
Katherine comes out and finds Hudson kneeling beside Duncan. Guess who gets blamed? Hudson.
Turns out it’s a dream. Hudson seems in introspection. The years are weighing on him. While the trio is struggling with the issues of reaching maturing, he’s struggling with old age. It’s a continuation of the theme of competence we started in The Edge.
20/20 moment: The writers chose Hudson for the garg Xanatos kidnapped in The Price for a reason: Hudson is the one experienced with aging. He knows the pros and cons. He’s a good counterpoint to Xanatos’s (100% accurate) arguments against growing old.
At Elisa’s apartment, which is massive and must cost a fortune, the detective is getting ready for work, putting her badge on. Who should crash through her windows and lose her the damage deposit – though that may have already been blown after she was shot in the kitchen? Demona.
Demona shoots a dart. Yes, a dart, just like the Archmage’s. It hits Elisa’s chest, but the badge blocks it. Demona doesn’t know. Exuberant, she informs Elisa that the dart is poisoned. Goliath needs to come to the opera house in the Village if he wants the antidote. Can you say trap?
Goliath goes despite Elisa’s protests. He takes Hudson rather than the Trio. The boys guard Elisa. Why bother? Demona already thinks she’s poisoned. Demona could have killed her but didn’t.
Hudson says that Goliath is the leader, and is also the representative of all gargoyles. So he has no choice but to meet Demona. What kind of logic is this? The president/king/PM of a country isn’t the representative of all humanity. As alpha male in the area, maybe he is in gargoyle culture?
Goliath and Hudson head off. At the opera house, they find claw marks that belong to Demona. Yeesh, I don’t think I want them hanging around my place; they tear stuff up!
Sure enough, she appears with laser-rifle a-firing.
Hey, Hudson, maybe you shouldn’t have brought a sword to a gun fight? I’m not sure why the gargs don’t upgrade to firearms. I know it probably boils down to Disney not wanting a band of gunslingers as heroes, because PC. But the villains all carry at least one weapon all the time. The gargoyles sticking to fists and a sword increases their credibility, too. You don’t want them verging into Street Sharks, Biker Mice from Mars, or SWAT Kats. I love those shows, but Gargoyles is infinitely better. There’s a reason Gargoyles has held its audience even when we’re in our 30s: It has substance.
I don’t know where Demona got the laser rifle. It speaks of her resources, though. If she’s been around this long, she’s gotta have a few tricks in her bag.
She shoots Goliath in the chest. Wait, what? Straight in the chest? It’s a low setting, though, so it doesn’t decimate his chest cavity. I’m not sure exactly what kind of weapon is, but I’m going with a straight laser rifle even though it looks different from Xanatos’s. If so, then he should have a burn on his chest. Right? We get a little smudge on his left pec.
Demona tries to take out Hudson, but his sword reflects the laser back at Demona and knocks the gun from her hands. Would this work? Wouldn’t the laser just cut the sword? Is the blade that shiny/polished?
Hudson helps Goliath, who is out of commission. Demona aims – only to miss as the boys jump through a skylight. They land in the storage room of the opera. A Viking ship dominates the area.
A cat and mouse game ensues. Demona channels Albert Wesker, taunting them as she stalks them. It’s the old, “I can totally kill you right now, but I’m not.” Again, this is why Xanatos is a unique antagonist: his goal is not to out and out kill the gargoyles, it’s to use them.
Demona does give an out: if Hudson swears fealty to her, she’ll let him live. As if that’s going to happen!
Now’s a great time for a flashback! Always good to have one in the middle of a crisis. Back in Scotland, young!Magus is telling Duncan the spell poisoned the prince. If the gargoyles can get the Grimorum Arcanorum from the Archmage, Magus can break the spell.
Hudson is about to go, but young!Goliath and young!Demona show up to join him. Their voices are lighter, younger. They’re also less filled out and weathered in character design.
Demona says Hudson should be stepping down soon and Goliath should take over. Goliath says that age = wisdom, and that’s why Hudson leads. They both have good points.
According to Greg: Demona and Goliath’s conversations happen while Hudson can overhear them. The words are meant to inspire in doubt in Hudson regarding his abilities. He starts to think he’s losing his edge due to old age.
Break a Leg
She starts blasting crates. They explode. Not sure why a laser makes them explode. Maybe it heats the water in the wood and- yeah, I got nothing.
While she’s at it, Hudson and Goliath squeeze out a window.
She tracks them to the sewer grate, which Hudson left open. So much for him being a master tracker.
I’m gonna be honest. I don’t like this episode. It gives a smidgen of backstory for Hudson and shows he’s still capable. It also introduces the Archmage. We already know Hudson’s capable; we’ve seen it throughout the eps. We don’t care about his backstory when all it does is show how he lost an eye and stepped down from command. We don’t need to know about the Archmage yet.
Also…Hudson is the least interesting of the clan, IMO.
Maybe the next half will improve? There’s more Demona, anyway, so it’s bound to be violent and deranged! Tune in Friday for the conclusion.
What did you think of the first half of the ep? Did you like the young!characters’ designs? Comment!