Gargoyles: Protection – Episode Review

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Tony Dracon is the top dog in NYC’s organized crime scene. His protection rackets are second to none, and nobody muscles in on his territory. Until now. Word on the street is there’s a corrupt cop who wants a piece of the action. Who is this dirty cop? None other than Detective Elisa Maza. Besides threatening innocent bar owners, she’s also neglecting her relationship with Goliath. The clan senses a disturbance in the Force. Dracon’s about to find out what real strong-arming is, courtesy of Goliath and Broadway.

Last week’s ep was nicely creepy => Upgrade episode review.

Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits. 


Season 2, Episode 18: Protection


Reason(s) for existence: To explore the theme of protection (not that kind of protection). To show Elisa’s skills as a cop. To show Broadway’s detective skills. To prove Goliath can be cunning. To continue Dracon’s story.


Main antagonist(s): Tony Dracon and Co.


Time(s):  December 19th, 1995


Location(s): New York City, New York


Disney Gargoyles - Protection -

Uhg, I hate mob/mafia/organized crime plots. I didn’t watch the Sopranos. I didn’t see any of the Godfathers.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

At Lois and Art’s restaurant, the owners are closing up shop. Lois says they should pay the protection fee. Art says they don’t need no stinking protection. They find a briefcase but figure someone will come for it tomorrow. They leave.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - art and briefcase

Unattended luggage? Uh-oh.

Unsurprisingly, the case was a bomb.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - art and lois' explodes

It’s a dramatic start to the ep. I guess Sal paid up?

Elsewhere in the city, Dracon gives Glasses a lift. The lieutenant says the explosion would send a message. He also says there’s a crooked cop who’s trying to muscle in on Dracon’s protection turf. Well, they need to send him a message. Ah, but wait, it’s a she, not a he.

At the clock tower, Goliath and Broadway are watching Travis Marshal on the news. He’s interviewing Art and Lois, who refuse to talk about what happened. Travis reports that the witnesses are afraid, showing the protection racket is the elephant in the room.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - travis marshal

His hair looks darker. Mid Life crisis?

When Broadway explains what a protection racket is, Goliath goes off. “This is protection?!” He wants to know why Elisa hasn’t done something about it. Huh, that’s interesting. Normally Goliath is saying he should be out taking care of biz. Now it’s suddenly Elisa’s job to stamp out every criminal activity in the city? Um, Dracon is a big-time crime boss. You mess with him, and you’ll be feeding the fishes from the wrong side of the water.

Speaking of the detective, the gargs haven’t seen her in days. Odd.

The Set Up

Matt and gangster Joey, one of Dracon’s crew, walk into the station. Chavez accosts them, asking about Elisa. Matt hasn’t seen her.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - matt joey chavez

Behold, the classic cocky gangster!

Matt goes to interrogate the hood about his involvement with the explosion. Joey suggests he ask “a cop on the take” about it.

But before he can get too far, Elisa busts in and kicks him out. Um, are you suddenly on the case? And let me again ask, what exactly is her division? Homicide? Vice? Violent Crimes? She says she has questions that Matt, “Mr. Clean,” doesn’t want to hear. Eh?

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - matt confused

Matt looks as confused as I feel.

Elisa tells Joey to deliver a message to Dracon. “His territory is my territory.” Ooh, tables turned! That she’s running her own protection scheme.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - elisa scares joey

Her face looks weird.

Chavez calls her out and upbraids her. There have been reports that she’s a dirty cop. The cap takes her gun and badge. Elisa leaves in a huff.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - elisa hands over her gun and badge

Ah, the classic de-badge scene in all cop movies.

Joey hears all this. Well, this looks suspicious.

In the clock tower, Goliath and Broadway watch her go. They sense something amiss. They’re perceptive like that.

Joey reports to Dracon it’s Elisa.

Rescuers Up Over

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - daves ball and sticks

DAVE’S BALL AND STICK. That’s the actual name.

In a seedy bar and pool hall where Elisa is apparently the only customer, she demands protection money from the bartender. He’s just called Dracon, though, and Tony has him stalling her. She threatens to call the inspectors to shut the place down. Um…as a cop, she should probably do that anyway.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - elisa running protection racket

She’d actually make a pretty good antagonist. I could appreciate her annoying personality then. Maybe. At least it would be more justified.

The barkeep agrees to pay up.

Glasses walks in right about then. He orders her into the car outside.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - elisa with glasses and joey

How risky can you get, Elisa! You’re climbing inside a car with gangsters? He’s a known kidnapper too. Erg.

Goliath and Broadway are following. They assume the worst and promptly wreck the car and pull the thugs out. Elisa tells them to back off and stop following her like “puppies.” The gargs are mystified. The gangsters are impressed.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - goliath vs glasses

Drop the gangster, boy. Who’s a good gargoyle? You are!

So away she goes with her new friends, leaving Goliath and Broadway in the street. Goliath thinks it’s a magic spell. …Because Dracon uses magic all the time, yes, G. Broadway, who’s more street smart thanks to film noir movies from the 1940s, figures she’s undercover.

Lawyers, Guns, and Money

At Dracon’s pad, Tony is trying to be smooth and charming. He just comes off as sleazy and lame, as well as dated. He calls her Sugar. Seriously? She doesn’t appreciate that, either.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - dracon arm around elisa

This is one of my problems with Dracon: he tries too hard to be the cool villain. He’s like the total dork in high school who believed despite all evidence to the contrary that he just had to try to imitate the guys in the movies, and he’ll have all kinds of friends – and girls.

He’s understandably pissed about her cutting in on his territory.

Elisa comments that he’s a slick player, since he’s free so soon after kidnapping two COPS. Yeah. My thoughts exactly. “Power, money, good lawyers?” Ok, I get it that he has those. But…if Xanatos, the richest man in the world, can’t avoid jail time for accepting stolen goods, and if Fox, his girlfriend, can’t avoid prison time for taking a hostage in front of a monster, I don’t see how Tony Dracon was able to get off so easily. Seems a bit convenient, aka contrived.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - elisa gets in dracon's face

Dracon is also a horrible judge of character, unlike, say, Xanatos.

In another part of town, Mr. Jaffe the storekeeper who gets robbed by everything from thugs to werefoxes, is starting a sting with Matt. Matt is pretending to be a store clerk. Matt’s been coming into the store since he was a little boy.

Disney Gargoyles - Protection - matt disguised

Jaffe doesn’t miss the opportunity to point out that Matt’s always been “tilting and windmills.” You know what, buddy? Protect your own store.

Well, this clears up what I was wondering: Is Elisa doing this on her own?


Halftime!

I don’t know if we the viewers are supposed to fall for Elisa being a crooked cop, or if we’re supposed to suspect she’s setting up a sting? The only thing I was wondering about was if she did this with or without police backup.

Tony Dracon and Co are their usual selves. Dracon is one of the most 2-D antags of the series. He’s got some nice family history, with Dominic Dracon and his partnership with Mace Malone, yes. But he himself just isn’t that compelling. He tries too hard, pushing his cockiness way past the Xanatos level of charismatic snark and into being insufferable. And he’s too sane to be really surprising in his plans. He’s a gangster, that’s it.

Thus far he hasn’t initiated any plans against the gargoyles, which I guess is one of the big problems I have with him as an antagonist. If the protags butt in to stop an antag plot, that lacks punch. If, however, the antag initiates the game – like Demona, Macbeth, and Xanatos do – that’s a whole new ball game. You can have real fun with those plots!

Tune in Friday for the conclusion, where we learn how Elisa and Co trap Dracon and Co. What do you mean, That’s not very compelling? Look, we all know they catch him. He’s like the Joker of the series in that he gets out of prison by the next ep.

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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3 comments on “Gargoyles: Protection – Episode Review
  1. GregXB says:

    Okay, about the prison sentences.

    Fox was caught on camera taking a woman hostage.

    Dracon should have been put away after Silver Falcon with Elisa and Matt’s testimony. But… well, at least getting caught on camera puts him away in this one.

    As for Xanatos. To quote the timeline:

    “October 31st. In part because both he and Elisa want to conceal the gargoyles’ existence, Xanatos and the D.A.’s office agree to a plea bargain. He pleads guilty to the sole count of Receiving Stolen Property. He will be sentenced to six months in county jail including time served, with every hope that the sentence will be reduced to three months for good behavior.”

    Basically, he didn’t have to go to prison. But going to prison benefit in more than staying that out. so he chose to serve some time.

    I love that even spending time Behind Bars was his choice.

    • LC Champlin says:

      Yet nobody noticed there the giant purple monster Fox was using the human shield against… A pay-off of the people involved still seems like a viable option.
      And the writers are using the common understanding that most crime lords are bulletproof. Even in prison it doesn’t slow them down. (Oh, just like Xanatos…)
      Yes, I have his little timeline copied, actually. It’s great that Greg W is so detailed! TBH, I’m simply still shocked Xanatos got even that. I love how he lawyered his way out, though. There were so many things they could have nailed him on, and receiving stolen proper was one of the least serious. Then he pleads guilty just to get on with it, like you said. You gotta wonder if it was part of a PR plan too, so he could play the “reformed criminal who’s ‘paid hid debt to society'” role. People seem to cut more slack for others who have “paid” for their crime. Think of RDJ. Nobody even remembers his past, and if they do, they do so only to comment how great a guy he is now, which is true. I’m sure Xanatos made some good network contacts too while he was locked up. And the psychological effect on his opponents when they see he’s not even afraid of jail time? Not bad at all. Gotta love our Magnificent Bastard.

      • GregXB says:

        My guess is that Goliath didn’t turn up in the photos. The photographer wasn’t pointing the camera, he was terrified and was just clicking.

        But yeah, Xanatos knows how to make the most a situation. Definitely.

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