A simple progress-report trip to Gen-U-Tech is changing Derek Maza’s life forever. There’s no going back. Will he press forward and make the best of the situation, or will he cave in to despair? It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, even if that’s what’s causing the challenge. It’s what’s inside. We’re about to see what Derek is made of. We’re also going to learn the truth behind his transformation. The antagonists are making the fight personal, going more than skin deep with their maneuvers.
If you missed the first half of the Metamorphosis episode review, go read it.
This episode doesn’t seem to gel with the other eps. It grinds my gears! I’ll try to spray some WD-40 on ’em as we go.
Also, the animation is made of suck.
Elisa knows Sevarius and is lying. How? She never talked to him. She just talked to Bruno. I doubt she recognized him as one of the mercenaries from Central Park in Awakening.
She can’t go after Gen-U-Tech or Sevarius, though, because she doesn’t have a warrant. Since when has that stopped her? She performed warrantless searches of the Eyrie Building that eventually led to Xanatos’s arrest and conviction. Why doesn’t she just sneak in?
Feed Me, Seymour!
At the lab, Xanatos is hovering over Sevarius’s shoulder as the scientist spins down some colorful liquids. They bicker while Derek continues his transformation. It’s amazingly fast! Like, almost werewolf-transformation fast.
Sevarius knows the process. He wants to cage Derek. Apparently the doc read page 394!
Xanatos is a cage-free type of guy. No cage for Derek. Apparently he’s tried to put a cat or two into travel crates.
Back at the clock tower… The gargoyles decide to act. Goliath has a plan: they’re going to sneak in to Gen-U-Tech. How original.
Thanks to Lexington, they bypass the alarm system…by stealthily crashing through the ceiling. Inside, Lex starts typing at the nearest computer. Due to a policy violation where the last user never logged out, Lex is able to access the server. His made DOS skillz get him all the info he needs in about 4 seconds. It takes me longer than that to log into the system at work.
They make a daring rescue of Catgirl, who really doesn’t want to be rescued, even calling for help via the intercom system. Can’t blame her, really. First off, Goliath is terrifying as he bashes through the glass. Second, what’s she going to do? Where’s she going to go? This is her only hope for a cure. Running off with a bunch of “monsters” isn’t gonna help.
Bruno and his team bust in. They’re in the blue and gray armor we know so well from Awakening. Teargas doesn’t stop the gargs, nor does the team’s wild shooting. Now, I think I would stand down range if these guys were shooting at me. It’s the safest place!
A room over, Sevarius has whipped a fresh batch of antidote. It’s either that or Mt. Dew.
Goliath bursts into the room, Brooklyn, Lex, and Catgirl in tow. Chaos breaks out when Bruno’s team follows. Shooting, throwing, etc.
During the struggle, one of the security team gets tossed into Sevarius, who’s standing around like he’s waiting for a bus. The antidote flies out of his hand. Derek lunges for it – and misses. The vial shatters.
As Goliath makes an exit through the ceiling, Sevarius musters his courage and grabs the gargoyle’s foot. Goliath kicks, sending him into the eel tank. The aquarium shatters. Sevarius has the great idea of grabbing the nearest eel. Zap!
In case you wondered, yes, Xanatos is in the room. He has the good sense to stay out of the mess. When the dust settles, he reappears. He trots into the water with the electric eels, who have disappeared. He checks Sevarius’s pulse and breathing. Nothing. …Well, don’t everybody start high-quality chest compressions at once! One at a time! Wait, my mistake, nobody’s doing anything. They’re just standing around looking sad.
Xanatos reassures Derek they’ll find a cure. Sure, the only man who knew the antidote formula is dead. But we’ll figure something out. Now they gotta blow this Popsicle stand before the heat comes. “You don’t want Elisa to see you like this.” Oh, perfect use of the earlier cop visit! Bonus points for using family and pride as leverage.
I want to know one thing: WHERE ARE THE EELS?
The Meek Shall Inherit
At the clock tower, Catgirl is cowering in a corner, trying to get as far away from the gargoyles while her back is against a wall.
She hopes for a cure, and she can only get that with Gen-U-Tech.After the trauma she’s experienced – the transformation and the escape – she has one anchor: the idea that she’s human. “I’m not a monster!” Her name’s Maggie Reed. She’s from Ohio. While I snicker at the addition of her state of origin, it’s important to her character. She holds onto anything she can that will remind her of normalcy.
“Neither are we,” Brooklyn replies. Don’t start, boy. It’s not about you. It’s about this woman who lost everything she had. You were never human. You never had a human family and lived a human life. You have a gargoyle family and always have. You don’t worry about where your next meal is coming from. You don’t long to return to human existence. It’s bad enough that she was reduced to being a vagrant; now she can’t return to her old Ohio life even if she wanted.
Goliath, who’s probably beginning to realize the enormity of what they just did and to wonder why they got so involved, suggests they all sleep on it. They’ll find a cure in the morning. Sure, Goliath, maybe Lex can Google it. I’m sure he has a lab, just like he has a machine shop (motorcycle and chopper, anyone?). Actually, they’ll just confront Xanatos at the castle. I’m sure he’ll be happy to hand over the serum. Goliath takes it for granted that he can just drop in to the Eyrie and have a personal meeting with Xanatos, or at least Owen, whenever he feels like it. Almost any other antagonist would take a visit by the hero as an invitation to kill them.
At the lab, Elisa and Matt are checking out the wreckage. Again, doesn’t she have a specialty? Does she investigate everything in NYC? She’s making remarks about the “decorator.” I still don’t understand this line. It’s a lab. Were you expecting pot lighting and pastels? She’s standing in the puddle Sevarius died in. There’s no body. She doesn’t mention any deaths. Hmm… Maybe Xanatos had him transported to…I dunno, cryo storage?
What she does find are records linking Gen-U-Tech to Xanatos Enterprises. That proves nothing. Employees go rogue all the time. Companies would be shocked if they knew how their departments actually operated. Trust me. Heck, she doesn’t even have proof that they’re doing genetic testing on humans!
At the castle, David and Owen are watching the four mutants fly/glide.
Turns out, Derek is very resilient. He decided to make hard lemonade out of the lemons life gave him. He’s a pilot, so the flying/gliding thing comes naturally. The others don’t have any problem either. Good thing, since their first flight involved jumping off the world’s tallest building. Guess it’s in the genes. They’re supposed to have a bat’s ability to fly, but they really don’t have broad enough chests for flight muscles. I read somewhere that your chest would have to be six feet across to manage wings that you could fly with. Probably the mutants semi-fly but mostly glide. The gargoyles do the same thing, despite their claims of only being able to glide. The mutants are looking more developed than when we last saw them.
The cougar one remarks that he likes the new wings. “Sevarius can keep his cure.” Whoever chose him made a good selection.
Xanatos tells Owen to “get me the best geneticist on the planet.” Owen departs to consult the yellow pages. Ok, not really. What’s going through the security chief’s mind? Probably just security concerns. He doesn’t care about Derek.
The clan arrives. Tiger and Cougar punch out Lexington and Broadway in mid air. Well, that was quick.
Derek grabs Goliath. It’s all Goliath’s fault that the antidote is now a stain on the tile.
Owen informs Xanatos that Elisa is in the lobby.
Xanatos is cool as a ever. “Send her up. We have to stop this…senseless violence.”
Derek has Goliath down via electric-eel-gene zaps.
Meanwhile, Maggie zaps Brooklyn with eel power, believing he wants her to stay a monster like him. Pretty much, yeah.
Elisa appears 0.24 seconds later, gun drown, yelling “Freeze!”
She doesn’t know how to handle this new creature. Is it a gargoyle? Is it a monster? It’s hard to call something a monster just by its appearance when your friends and sort-of boyfriend are gargoyles. All the same, she asks Derek (whom she doesn’t recognize) who he is and why he’s stomping on her “friend.”
Derek laughs at her confusion. “Call me…Talon.” What the heck kind of stupid name is that? You’re a cat! Cats have claws. Birds have talons. Get it right.
Her “friend” is the one who made him this way. Mm, well, Talon, he’s the one who means you’ll stay that way.
According to Greg: Talon is actually from a character that Tim Schafer designed. The original character was during the early, early concept days of Gargoyles, back when Xanatos was still Xavier. Talon was actually a scientist who worked for Xavier on genetics and imaging tech. Xavier orchestrated the “accidental” injection, as the scientist who designed the tech should be the best one to deal with it. Xavier wasn’t very logical, unlike Xanatos. The scientist took the name Cat Scan, because he had x ray vision, or something like it. It had nothing to do with cats.
Gargoyles came a long way from its early days, when it was a semi-comedic, cartoony series for younger kids.
She’ll help him. Promise? Cross her heart. Derek forgets he’s supposed to keep his alter ego separate: he crosses his heart.
Elisa flips out, understandably. Seeing your family member transformed into a cat-bat thing isn’t something you can be prepared for. Then she starts on her “it’s all Xanatos’s fault” rant. That’s sure to bring him around! He’s already embarrassed, and now you’re saying “I told you so.” Great.
Talon then flips out, accidentally tasing her. Then he flees, unable to face her.
As this family drama plays out, Xanatos and Owen watch. All they’re missing is popcorn. They make the whole thing way more awkward for Derek and Elisa.
Elisa rounds on the audience: “This means war, Xanatos!” She swears to take him “down” no matter what. Riiiiight.
20/20 moment: Except…it never was war. There were battles, but she never got any good blows in. He’s not about to let her land him in jail again. She should be glad he’s not like other antagonists; she should fear for her entire family and everyone she’s ever known if he was.
Xanatos just looks at her, apathetic. He knows the threat of an NYC detective, who hasn’t stopped any of his plans since he went to jail, isn’t even worth pulling his hands out of his pockets for. I imagine he and Owen had a good chuckle about it later.
Ya Never Know
Later, Owen and a man in a trench coat enter Xanatos’s office. “May I present ‘the best geneticist on the planet.'”
The man removes his hat and coat. It’s Sevarius! He looks about 20 years younger, though.
He’s laughing. He was proud of his death scene.
Unimpressed, Xanatos thinks Sevarius overplayed the part. Really? You weren’t exactly subtle.
Sevarius is downright amazed they “pulled it off.” It took months to force the test subjects to escape, which for him was the hardest part of the plan. So their experience wasn’t that unpleasant at Gen-U-Tech.
Xanatos never had a doubt. After the gargoyles saw Maggie, the plan “couldn’t have proceeded more predictably.”
Slow the heck down! So…this was all a Xanatos Gambit? No, more like a Xanatos Roulette. I…I don’t know where to begin. Ok, how about the plan itself? Let’s break it down like we did in Her Brother’s Keeper. I’ll underline the steps that are strain belief:
Step 1.) Convince the mutants to escape. — How exactly do you do this yet make them still want to come back? Do you have one “bad cop” orderly? Or is that why Sevarius chose Maggie? Perhaps she’s one of those people who keeps returning to abusive relationships.
Step 2.) Make sure the gargoyles see the mutant and interact enough to see she’s from Gen-U-Tech. — Manhattan is big. Really big. Does he know their patrol patterns, if they even have any? Perhaps he could call Elisa anonymously about reports of a winged creature? The plan would start in earnest when the gargs saw one of the mutants. This phase could stretch on for awhile. Better hope the mutants keep escaping!
Step 3.) Make sure the gargoyles are interested enough to pursue rescue. — Not too hard, if Catgirl cooperates. If she doesn’t though, you’re in trouble. They used a female on purpose, I assume, as this would be attractive to the all-male clan.
Step 4.) Make Elisa aware of the situation so she’ll investigate. — Just call her. Hearing about it from the clan is a bonus. It’s a gutsy move to get the cops involved in the lab.
Step 5.) Get Derek to Gen-U-Tech. — Just bring him.
Step 6.) Convince Derek that Xanatos is a repentant semi-victim in the mad doctor’s scheme. — Just overact.
Step 7.) Inject Derek with the mutagenic formula. — Either directly shoot him, or do what he did: take a dart for his boss.
Step 8.) BONUS STEP: Have Elisa show up to investigate as added impetus for Derek. — She could have investigated at any time. I dunno how you’d time it so well, unless you called her, which they didn’t, since she didn’t mention anything about it.
Step 9.) Make a big to-do about the antidote and how Sevarius is the only one who has it. — Overact.
Step 10.) Get the gargoyles to crash in at that moment. — How do you time that so perfectly? The best you can hope is you’re there long enough to run across them. So…stand around all night. Even then, what if they get distracted by a bank heist or something? Was the contingency to have Elisa put in danger? Or call her, tell her sketchy stuff is going down, and hope she relayed enough info to the gargs that they came to the rescue? You don’t want her involved inside just yet.
Step 11.) Get the gargoyles, particularly Goliath, to destroy the antidote and kill Sevarius. — Getting the gargs into the right room is the tricky bit, since Catgirl was in a different room. Sevarius can just drop the antidote. Once step 10 is underway, it’s a matter of faking his death. It has to be believable, though. Derek is a cop, even if he is under a lot of stress due to the transformation. (He also can’t be the one who checks if Anton is dead.) There must have been numerous contingencies for faking death. I’m still not sure how Sevarius survived. He was wallowing in water!
Step 12.) Convince Derek not to seek outside help. — Given he wants to keep this secret, and that Xanatos is just sooo helpful and apologetic, it’s an easy sell.
Step 13.) OPTIONAL STEP? Get the gargoyles to come to the castle to meet the mutates. — The furry they rescued will encouragement to them to seek a cure for her. If the mutates hang at the castle for a bit, the time window for them to arrive gets bigger.
Step 15.) BONUS STEP: Get Derek to out himself to Elisa. — This one is tough. I don’t know.
1/3 of those are sketchy at best. Everything had to work perfectly. My explanation is there must have been numerous contingency plans in place.
Xanatos remarks that the mutants are well suited to their new forms. Which makes me wonder, did Sevarius choose his subjects based on physical traits, or did he just grab the easiest target? Maybe Maggie was an earlier version, hence her underdeveloped wings.
Anton’s depressed because they all escaped. Xanatos knows they’ll return. David says Derek’s “delusion” that XE is the only place he’ll get a cure will “keep him just where I want him.” Which is where? Beholden Land? Do you have more discs that need to be stolen from Cyberbiotics? What’s the mutates purpose?
Some people are obsessed with collecting stamps, some with watching Star Wars. Xanatos is obsessed with having a gargoyle at his beck and call. We all have our little quirks, I suppose.
Then there’s the incredibly depressing – for protagonist fans – scene of Elisa bawling her eyes out as she sits in a pile of straw (why straw?) in the clock tower.
Why so sobby? Your boy friend is a gargoyle, but you cry your eyes out when your brother turns into something just like a gargoyle. I understand that it’s a different situation, like comparing eggs to apples, but you have to consider the gargoyles’ thoughts. Isn’t a bit offensive to them?
Grinds my Gears: This scheme sounds like revenge against Elisa for her constant harassing. Where Xanatos’s hiring Derek was a dig against her, this is slamming her in head with the shovel. She thinks she can run with the big dogs? Just let her try. I can see the other antagonists doing this, but Xanatos not so much.
Last episode was Leader of the Pack, where Xanatos calls revenge “a sucker’s game.” He might play around with and pester the gargoyles for his own ends and amusement. He might endanger them. But he doesn’t try to kill them when they’re down. It’s not fun. He’s not into wanton cruelty, either.
Changing Elisa’s brother into a cat-bat smacks of revenge. This is lightyears beyond the implied middle finger of hiring Derek. He just fundamentally transformed Derek’s life. Xanatos went through a lot of hassle to put Derek in this situation, too. And he wanted Elisa to see it. The only way he could say, “I can screw your life up in ways you can’t even imagine, and you can’t do anything about it” more loudly would be to put it on a billboard.
Here’s my grease gun for this: Xanatos is amoral. He at first didn’t plan to turn Derek into a frying monstrosity, but when the idea came along, he ran with it. Being a trickster at heart, the thought of turning the pilot into a flying cat was interesting. The little touch of making the African-American be a panther was an additional chuckle. Still, if this is part of playing the trickster, David’s playing rough.
All the grease in the world doesn’t make it less of a jerk move, though. I love my boys, but good grief, Xanatos and Sevarius are total SOBs here. Just callin’ it like I see it.
That said (you saw that coming, right?), looking on the bright side, Xanatos gave Derek a gift. There’s a lot Derek could do with his new abilities. There’s a lot of character grown and maturing he needs to do as well, and this transformation will push him in that direction. Xanatos could have done a lot worse to him, if causing pain for revenge was the goal. Xanatos has his own methods of assigning value to lives, that’s for sure.
The animation and general dissonance of the episode with the rest of the eps makes me have mixed emotions about it. I like the general plot, but it’s a little unbelievable. The animation makes me wince in parts, which is sad, considering how much my favorites (Xanatos and Owen!) are in the ep.
Gargoyles is the only Disney show, especially an animated young adults’ show, to be gutsy enough to end an ep with the protags defeated. There’s no easy fix.
I’m looking forward to seeing what becomes of Derek and the other mutates.
It was nice seeing cocky Elisa get taken down a notch. b
Sevarius is intriguing. A mad scientist in the mix means unlimited possibilities!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Little Shop of Horrors.
Come back next Tuesday for Legion. Coldstone is back! He’s more than meets the eye, though. There’s also more at stake than it seems.