Gargoyles: Outfoxed – Episode Review Continued

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Fox’s plan to take over Cyberbiotics by infecting its robots and crashing the Air Ship Fortress II into the Cyberbiotics tower is coming along. Renard the company’s CEO, and Goliath, race to shut down the robots and regain control of the ship. Meanwhile, Vogel threatens to activate the ship’s self destruct mechanism. Why is Fox so interested in Cyberbiotics? And what’s the secret she’s keeping? One thing’s for certain: House Xanatos will never be the same after this.

Miss the first half of Outfoxed’s episode review? Go read it!


Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - fortress II heads for cyberbiotics tower

Yeah, keep that behemoth over the Hudson, please.

Vogel reports, in mild panic, that the Cybots have altered the ship’s course to ram into the Cyberbiotics’s tower in the bay. He can’t override them. I gotta say, he puts on a good act. He accuses Goliath, “the creature,” of bringing the virus onboard. Renard doesn’t seem to buy this, but there’s no time to tell Preston so.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - vogel accuses goliath

Wow, we can actually see the force of his hammer fist there.

Side note: It’s ironic that human betrayal is sinking this ship just like it sank Fortress I. Renard forgot that every system created by humans can be sabotaged or circumvented by humans.

There’s 7 minutes till the ship hits the tower. No time to evacuate the tower. Vogel is going to abandon ship in 6 minutes. If Renard doesn’t meet him at the escape pods then, Vogel will activate the self-destruct system on the ship.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - vogel sad

Haha 7 minutes! Wesker would laugh.

Whoa now, self destruct? Isn’t it dangerous to have that capability? And why would this be a safer option than the ship crashing? You can’t tell me that having the monstrosity blow up in mid-air would have a better outcome than just setting it down in a crash landing. The jumbo jets don’t have self-destruct systems. Yeesh, it’s something that crappy villains put in their lairs!

What follows is the protagonists’ valiant struggle to shut down the reactor in the middle of the ship, which will shut down the bots. There’s a lot of exploding robots and lasers and running/rolling through ship halls.

Good grief,why does this ship need so many bots? Why not just automate more task so the ship itself can deal with them. No wonder Cyberbiotics will go bankrupt if this stupid ship goes down. Probably 2/3 of the price to get it operational went to making robots. The Steel Clan’s 3-6 members are nothing compared to the number of machines that roam around Fortress II.

Vogel tries to talk Renard out of going to the bridge. It seems Preston really does care for the old guy. That’s what makes me believe Vogel thinks/rationalizes Cyberbiotics going down would be a good idea, something that would help Renard in the end. Maybe Fox convinced him of this? Vogel isn’t a villain. He’s only sort of an antagonist at this point.

Welp, no surprise, Goliath shuts down the reactor. Renard meanwhile makes it to the bridge. Dementia must be setting in, cuz only after he arrives does he remember that it takes two people to override the autopilot on the ship.

Who should show up but Vogel. He’s cocky at first. “It must have slipped your mind that two men are required for an emergency course override.”

 

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - vogel retursn

Renard is part Vulcan; he has pointy ears.

Renard is still trusting, thus totally missing the mockery in Preston’s tone.  “Mr. Vogel, I knew you wouldn’t let me down!” He calls Preston “Mr. Vogel,” while Xanatos calls Owen by his first name. Just an observation.

“Yes, well, you have that effect on people.” Not really, Vogel. He just has that effect on you. Obviously.

I was all set to have Vogel say he just came back to mock Renard face to face, but nooo. Preston has turned back to the side of Good and proceeds to help turn the ship, saving it and the tower at the last moment.

Maybe Vogel decided his long-game options were better if he stuck with Renard. I don’t know the wisdom of that. You basically pissed off House Xanatos. That’s not a good move. Now you’re with a company that thinks giant airships full of robots is a lucrative endeavor even though it will crumble if the ship goes down. (One ship to hang the fate of the company on. Reminds me a bit of Deathworld.)

Vogel, on his part, is all set to pretend like he had nothing to do with the virus. But Goliath has other ideas. Preston fesses up.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - goliath confronts vogel

Staring down the barrel of an angry gargoyle does wonders for taking responsibility and improving integrity.

We cut to a little later, with Renard and Goliath talking in a different room. Renard sees the betrayal as yet another proof that humans are devoid of moral fiber.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - vogel confesses

Preston would probably also admit to stealing Goliath’s pens, or anything else G demanded.

In a surprising turn, Goliath sticks up for Vogel, saying his action at the end proved he did have integrity. And more importantly, he proves that humans can change. Robots are robots, but even antagonists – when they’re flesh and blood – can change.


20/20 moment: Unless the AI has achieved singularity (self awareness) like Matrix in Walkabout.


Goliath and Renard declare their friendship for each other, and Goliath’s debt is repaid. A new friend for G, one who’s basically the antithesis of Xanatos.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - happy renard

Listen to them, the children of the night! What music they make!

Goliath leaves. He almost passes a hang glider, who soars up to the top of the ship a moment later. A masked ninja is flying it.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - hanglider fox

Yet again, a hang glider with no harness.

 

She lands on the roof, then melts a hole through it with acid, then drops down a rope into the ship proper. Whoa now, what’s she up to?

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - acid hole

One guess who this is.

She creeps up behind Renard, who swivels his wheelcart to face her. “Hello, Janine.” So this is his Janine that he lost? Didn’t see that coming!

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - renard sees fox

He knows her well enough to expect her arrival.

The ninja pulls off her mask. Yep, it’s Fox. “Hello, Daddy.” This explains why Fox is affluent. Ok, hang on. How old is this guy? Did he contract some disease the aged him prematurely, or did he just get a late start at kids?

She leans down and – kisses him on the cheek. After all that? Huh. She really doesn’t bear any animosity toward him. And he seems nonplussed by her attack on his company.

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - Fox kisses renard

Daddy’s little girl. She plays rough though.

“Almost got you that time, didn’t I.”

 


According to Greg: I’m quoting Greg again: “The whole sense that Fox is in all this just for kicks. She’s not as acquisitive as her husband. He’d always take the path of LEAST resistance to a goal. If Renard would give Janine the company, X would suggest she ask for it. But she doesn’t care about the company. ONLY the game. X likes the game. But he’s about RESULTS. All established in one little scene.”

I disagree with is that Xanatos always takes the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance in Leader of the Pack was to just wait a few more months for Fox to be released. A number of his other plots aren’t the path of least resistance either. He wants the path of most results. It’s like figuring out the route home that will take you past as many stores where you had errands at as possible without backtracking or detouring.

Also, Greg states elsewhere that if she hadn’t wanted the company, she wouldn’t have bothered, thus contradicting his statement above. Her prize had to be valuable to merit her effort. There are other ways to mess with her dad, after all!


Renard asks her why she did it. Renard built the company for her, after all. He would have given it to her if she had just asked for it, aaaand if she hadn’t married “that villain Xanatos.” Heck, he’d still give it up if she’d just ask.

My mind is officially blown. You mean all that crap in Awakening could have been prevented? Fox could have just asked for Cyberbiotics, taken it over, and let Xanatos Enterprises scavenge what it wanted.


According to Greg: Why all this hassle? Because the writers didn’t know Fox and David were an item at that time. Even at Thrill of the Hunt they didn’t know. Gotta love how characters have a mind of their own when you’re writing them!


It’s also interesting that Fox married the man who Renard probably dislikes above all others. I’m thinking this might have been part of why she and David started dating: to bother the old man. David’s a good 13 years older than Fox, so Renard also likely thinks Xanatos tricked Daddy’s Little Girl and is nothing but a cradle robber. He’s wrong, of course. There’s no other man on earth who could make Fox as happy as David does. I also don’t think there’s another man on earth who could do her justice and who could truly appreciate her like David does. Say what you will of House Xanatos, but they represent to strongest, healthiest relationship in the series. David is a fine husband, by all indications.


20/20 moment: And an amazing dad, too!


Fox laughs off the idea. “Asking for it wouldn’t be any fun at all!”

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - fox amused

Hey, Petros should be proud of her: she wants to earn her rewards! (Also note the animators remembered she has GREEN eyes, not blue.)

“Fun is still more important to you than honor? I can’t understand that.”

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - renard can't understand

I love that she’s dressed as a ninja from The Pack!

Uh, yeah. You just proved how your obsession with everyone being perfect and rigid has basically made you lose hope in humanity and isolate yourself with robots. That’s a little maladaptive. You have driven off everybody you love.

I don’t think highly of the human race either, but you make the most of it, enjoying and even changing what you can. Nobody’s perfect, including me. Roll with it, mate!

Let’s look at Renard’s last comment. He doesn’t understand her. At all. She’s probably a lot like her mom, then, since Anastasia (assuming that was her mom and his wife) is also out from under his thumb. She grew up with a rigid, workaholic father who didn’t get her, and thus was unable to encourage her the way she needed to be encouraged. Huh, just like David’s childhood! She obviously gets a thrill out of pestering/annoying her dad. They love each other, but it’s a very strained relationship.

This is a lot like David and Petros’s relationship. Petros doesn’t appreciate the many good things in his son, instead focusing on the flaws. Petros also has a high moral standard, or so I assume, though it’s tough to tell since his main gripe was that David hadn’t “earned” the fortune, even though David grew $20k into billions. Unlike Fox, though, who doesn’t seem to need her dad’s approval, David still unconsciously seeks his father’s “atta boy.”

Speaking of David, this means his father in law is one of his biggest business rivals. So not only does Xanatos not have a dad he can confide in, he’s also missing a father in law to fill that slot. I’m guessing family reunions are not a big thing for Fox and David.

Fox has heard her dad’s sermon before. She takes his hand and puts it over her stomach as she replies, “Maybe you’ll have better luck relating to the next generation. That’s right, Daddy, you’re going to be a grandfather.”

Disney Gargoyles - Outfoxed - fox tells renard he's going to be a grandfather

MIC DROP!

Are you serious? The main antagonists are gonna have a kid? Again, mind = blown. Remember, this is a 1990s Disney animated series aimed at young people. This is not anime. This is not a live-action drama on a major network. Even those genres don’t often have major, irrevocable changes happen to their main characters, and especially not to their antagonists. And a life change like a kid on a Disney show? But that would mean our antagonists *gasp* did the deed together!

It also amuses me to no end to think of David Xanatos and Fox being a dad and mom. Unless you have a good knowledge of the characters, you might even wonder if they wanted to be parents. They don’t on the surface seem like the parental types. But then you look closer, and you see it makes perfect sense.

David’s desire for a kid isn’t a huge surprise. After all, in his marriage proposal was the fact that he and Fox are “genetically compatible.” (Um, yeah, you’re humans of opposite sexes. Of course you’re genetically compatible. But I think he was meaning they were both awesome genetic specimens, eh?)  He wants loyalty from people. Over and over he’s tried to finagle the gargoyles’ loyalty. He’s even tried to make his own gargoyles. Fox and Owen are his best friends, and he knows he can trust them. Having a kid of his own to raise and train how he likes is logical.


According to Greg: David’s desire to have a child and to be a father isn’t just another Xanatos scheme for self gratification. Xanatos will strive to be the best dad he possibly can, and he will let his child know he’s loved. David will avoid the errors of his own father’s parenting style.


Fox is a little harder to read, since we sadly haven’t had that many episodes with her. But I think her motive is a lot like David’s. Plus, like a lot of women who have kids, she wants someone to love her. Some people get pets for this reason, while others have munchkins. No doubt she too wants to be a different parent than hers, and to show her father that her way of raising a kid is better than his.

All that being said, this is a lot to get our minds around, given how conditioned we are to think of antagonists as somewhat one-dimensional characters who are only focused on screwing over the protags. It’s still a bit odd to think of Fox and David imagining what it would be like to be a parent, and then wanting to be one. Admit it, you have trouble picturing David looking at a friend’s baby and thinking, “I want one!” Or of Fox seeing her young fans and thinking, “Someday I’ll have a youngling of my own.”

I need a fic depicting how David reacted when he got the good news. There was likely much rejoicing. The first person he told, after he finished kissing Fox, had to be Owen.


20/20 moment: Puck had to be thrilled that his OTP was about to have a kiddo. Fey have an interest in raising kids. At the same time, he freaked out seriously, since Titania and Oberon were bound to roll up.

We know Owen immediately commissioned the force field to be built around the Eyrie Building.


Owen no doubt smiled while shaking his employer’s hand and congratulating him.

In my bland head canon, Owen has to put up with David randomly saying, “Owen, I’m going to be a dad!” ever hour or so for a week.


Final Thoughts

Although Fox and David aren’t in this episode that much, when they are, they’re laying down some heavy revelations. That’s why I love this episode. You learn so much about their characters!

Even Renard being preachy as heck works for me. He’s so Lawful Good it’s ridiculous. It’s to the point that he gives Goliath a run for his money in the morality department! I respect the guy because he holds to what he believes even if it costs him. He’s of course right that personal responsibility and integrity are vital. They’re the underpinnings of our society. But humans are humans. Everybody’s born a sinner, with a natural bent toward evil.

Renard’s fixation on his standard of morality blinds him to seeing that his son in law and daughter have their own type of personal responsibility and integrity. Look at Xanatos: he took full blame for the Awakening debacle, keeping Owen out of prison. The security chief should have had a cell next to his boss for his involvement in the scheme. David is also fiercely devoted to Fox, even admitting that the Eye of Odin fiasco was his bad. What about Fox? She’s loyal to David. She also saw the value of taking responsibility for her actions when she decided to stay in prison, even though it was all a manipulation.


20/20 moment: And of course the Gathering shows how much they love their boy.


This eps is also great cuz you know how much I love seeing antagonists’ parents. It grounds them in reality and humanizes them. We also see partly why the antag is the way s/he is.

For me, the whole robot and virus plot takes a back seat to House Xanatos having a kid. Oh, and the revelation that the uber-strict and self-righteous Renard is Fox’s dad. The revelation that her name is Janine (means gift from God) is fun. She’s being a brat by picking Fox as her name, basically saying she’d live up to the name, unlike her dad. But at the same time, she’s unconsciously giving a nod to him.

I can’t wait to see how this kid thing develops!

Come back Tuesday for…Revelations. Well, there are less revelations for us the viewers than for Matt Bluestone. Mace Malone is back, and so is the Illuminati. Matt’s old partner Martin Hacker has a surprise for the detective.

Thoughts? Comment!


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Lead researcher at Villainous Life Natures Research. Writer, reader, snarker. Lover of all things Geek and Dark. INTJ. Read my reports at vlnresearch.com and learn how understanding villains can help you succeed in life. Find my action-adventure post-apocalypse zombie thriller Wolves of the Apocalypse series at lcchamplin.com. I write fiction because the characters in my head have too much attitude to stay in my skull, I want to see the world through different eyes, and I want to live life through different souls.

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