Gargoyles: Reawakening – Episode Review

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Disney Gargoyles logo with Goliath reawakening


Merry week-after-Christmas!

The Grimorum Arcanorum’s pages resurface in a necromancy ceremony courtesy of our favorite genocidal gargoyle Demona, and the ever-experimenting trickster David Xanatos. It’s Dr Frankenstein meets Sauron. They reanimate a gargoyle from Goliath’s past. How will this “abomination” that’s lost its purpose help Goliath find meaning in life?

This is the last episode of season 1. It’s one of the best!

Need to catch up? Read Her Brother’s Keeper episode review from last week.

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


Season 1, Episode 13: Reawakening


Reason(s) for existence: To give the clan a purpose: protecting Manhattan. To introduce Coldstone. To reveal that the red Steel Clan robot is actually David Xanatos.

Main antagonist(s): David Xanatos, Demona, Coldstone

Time(s):  February 3rd, 1995

Location(s): New York City, New York


Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - title

More snow. Winter. Uhg.

Stickup

On a snowy night, the old fellow who runs the general store in a rundown part of NYC watches as an armed robber empties the cash register for the third time this month. As it’s Feb 3rd. That means this guy’s been robbing the store every night for three nights running. The cops are falling down on the job! Also, what kind of cameras does this place? Not to mention the lack of baseball bat behind the counter. Heck, even a broom would be better than nothing. I’ve seen enough CCTV footage of Indian gas station owners using brooms to chase off thieves.

Flashback! 994 AD:

Demona is trying to convince Goliath that the whole clan should go after the Vikings. Magus pops up to be obnoxious, demanding the gargs do something. Another gargoyle, one we haven’t seen before, doesn’t take this well. He sides with Demona and even wonders why they’re risking their lives to protect a human castle. They can live anywhere. Hudson arrives to answer: a gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - magus demona goliath coldstone

The gargs really should have done more along the way to instill respect for gargoyle kind in the humans. Like…backhanding chest-pokers.

Protect and Serve

Back in the present, the Trio is about to go see a movie. Hudson bows out, mainly because it’s cold out. He cites the motto about protecting the castle and breathing the air. Lex makes a good point: they don’t live in a castle anymore.

Goliath watches the exchange, brooding. He’d make a good Batman, given his brooding skills. He’s wondering what on earth they do protect. What do they do, exactly, with their new lives?

Elisa arrives. She’s dressed for winter, all bundled up in a…scarf and gloves. At least Xanatos had gloves and a trench coat. I’ve been in a lot of snow during my lifetime, and I can attest that you’re gonna need more than a scarf to keep warm in New York during winter.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - elisa hudson

Do you ever get off your tail, Hudson? Guarding the TV is important, hm.

She notes Goliath’s mood, but he hedges.

She has to go to work. With her clan, Goliath asks. Yep. Time for the old “protect and serve.” It’s the police motto. Indeed, when you protect someone, you serve them, even if you are technically above them in authority or title. It’s a paradox of being a protector. You’re the stronger one, but you serve as you protect. Goliath wants to come along on patrol. A ride-along!

Side note: Goliath says the cold does not bother the gargoyles. I guess they’re like…chickadees. Convenient.

Welcome to My Lab

Enough about the heroes. Time for the interesting part: the antagonists.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos demona revive coldstone lab

Just a typical day at the Eyrie Building.

Lights flash in one of Castle Wyvern’s towers. Inside, Xanatos and Demona are in the middle of movie!Dr Frankenstien’s lab. Electricity arcs between Van de Graaff generators crossed with Tesla coils, which occupy the ceiling. On the left wall, we have Demona’s spell equipment. On the right wall, we have a massive machine with switches and lights. It looks like  Xanatos got it at a NASA surplus auction…from 1962. Ah, but what we really  care about is on a table in the center of the room. It’s a body under a sheet.

Xanatos is adjusting the machine’s settings. “If this works, it’ll be a miracle,” he says. He’s totally skeptical. If he’s so doubtful about this project, why is he involved? This isn’t a cheap endeavor. It’s not a weekend project, either.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos sets machine

What I like is that he’s obviously familiar with the machine. He’s not using minions to do this job. It’s all him.

Demona cuts back, saying the Pack and the Steel Clan haven’t worked.

Disney Gargoyles_demona performs spell

Sugar and spice and everything crazy.

Well, neither have her “stolen spells.” You know, the ones she stole from the Grimorum, which belongs to him.

 

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos doubtful

She may be homicidal, unstable, and able to tear him to pieces, but he’s not taking her digs any more than she’s taking his. I love it!

Bickering among antagonists is always entertaining. Aside from that, it gives insight into what the antags think of each other. Believe me, Team Villain is usually one insult away from imploding. Antagonists and villains are territorial, solitary creatures. Makes sense.

Neither science no sorcery have defeated Goliath. Perhaps, reasons Demona, a combination will succeed.

The thing on the table is a mix of parts from gargoyles. Meaning…she had the stone chunks of their bodies somehow. Then she turned them to flesh. Who, I wonder, of Xanatos’s employees got the honor of sticking blue non-human body parts to pieces of machine?

The cantrips have been spoken. It’s time for Xanatos’s machine to jump start this thing.


According to Greg: The writers wanted to make it clear that the spells Demona uses were the ones she tore from the Grimorum. I’m just shocked at how many powerful spells she managed to get in the 10 or so pages she ripped out. Imagine what’s in the rest of the book! I bet the warnings are at the end.


Xanatos maintains his air of stoicism and skepticism as he grabs a breaker switch and shoves it home. I’m, 100% convinced he could have just made a little button for this. But where’s the fun in that? He’s all about enjoying his projects.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos flips switches

Gotta respect a person who enjoys their work and has a flare for the dramatic.

 

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos throttles machine

Herbert West would probably think it was a great idea too!

 

Electricity arcs over the body on the table. One of the clawed fingers moves.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - electricity into colstone with xanatos and demona

Oh, I see nothing that could possibly go wrong here! This certainly doesn’t look like any horror movie I’ve ever seen.

The thing on the table sits up, ripping the wires off in a cascade of sparks.

 

Xanatos’s stoicism does a 180 as he yells, “IT’S ALIVE! ALIVE!”

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos it's alive

He loves his work!

He drops from mad-scientist eureka moment to amusement: “I always wanted to say that.” Leave it to a trickster to choose now to goof off. It’s probably one of the biggest advances in the field of sorcery and technology fusion, so he has a right to check off a bucket-list item. It’s a nice detail that adds more depth to his character. He’s seen Frankenstein. Apparently he enjoyed it!

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos ive always wanted to say that

What other horror movies has he seen? Heaven help us if he’s seen Dracula…


20/20 moment: Considering he implanted a “god” in Coldstone, I’d bet he’s read the book, too. In the book, the creature goes off the rails because the good doctor fails to be the father, mentor, and god the creature seeks. Xanatos’s guidance program solves that problem.


Xanatos wants to know if it can hear them.

Demona is more interested in what it remembers.

The thing pulls off the sheet to reveal…a gargoyle in shadow. It’s wonderful animation. The creature has one red eye that moves with a mechanical whir. Hmm.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - colstone awakens

Credit to him for being sans battle armor in this situation. The creature could go nuts at any second!

As the creature looks at her, Demona explains who she is. The eye shifts to Xanatos. David is quiet now; he wants to see how things pan out.

Demona introduces Xanatos as her “servant.”

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - xanatos my servant demona

Servant? That should be a giant red flag, sir.


According to Greg: This is partly to avoid Coldstone’s questions and partly because she believes Xanatos is her servant.


Xanatos and Demona are using each other, so it evens out. It’s the natural order of things, just like winter coming after fall. Demona thinks she’s in charge, and Xanatos thinks he’s in charge. As with most antagonist alliances, it’s temporary. They’ll part ways as soon as one of them reaches their goal in this project.


20/20 moment: Xanatos is obsessed with immortality. This was perhaps an option – until he saw it in action. Then again, with some tweaking, it could do well.


Then the creature speaks: “What am I?” Ah, one of the Big Four Questions: where did we come from, why are we here, where are we going, and how do we know what’s right? They involve origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. These are the very questions that Goliath has been wrestling with lately. They’re questions we all must answer in a coherent way if we want a meaningful, successful life.

Demona tells him he is cold stone brought to life.

“Cold…stone.”

His voice actor is Michael Dorn, aka Worf from Star Trek Next Gen. So, in this scene we have Counselor Troy (Demona/Marina Sirits), Commander Riker (Xanatos/Jonathan Frakes), and Lieutenant Worf. Make it so!

He looks in a nearby mirror – and smashes it. Charming.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - colstone in mirror

I dunno, he was pretty ugly before the metal.

Demona capitalizes on the moment. Goliath made him this way! Goliath has been seduced by the humans. Aha, “seduced.” She means the new girl friend! If not for Elisa, Demona believes Goliath would be at her side, ready to commit genocide, despite the fact that he’s always liked humans. I guess after living for 1000 years, you tend to have an idealized version of your lover.

Never a Dull Moment In Times Square

The cops are finally responding to the general store’s robbery. This call hits home for Matt. He knows the old guy. The shopkeeper’s been in the area for years. It’s important to him to help the community by providing food. The other stores won’t bother with the area. Guess they’re afraid of getting robbed.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - matt elisa general store

Don’t they have a specialty? Why do they investigate every crime?

This is a good humanizing moment for Matt. He’s truly concerned about the people he helps.

Elisa stays outside while Matt investigates. Somehow she’s gotten her hands on a Secret Service type mic and earphone setup. Goliath has one too. She explains the situation. Helping the community is more important to the shopkeeper than “hiding in his own castle.” Is that a jab at Goliath? Remember in Awakening, when she was giving him the tour of NYC, she remarked that the clan would be good for the city. Did she have something in mind?

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - elisa comm

Old-school Blue Tooth.

They get a call that something is going down in Times Square. It’s a Code 3. Which is…monsters in Times Square?

Coldstone is roaring as he tosses cars and tears things up. Cops are all over the place, cordoning it off. You can’t see a whole lot since a fire hydrant is spraying. Why hasn’t the SWAT team taken him out yet? You can’t tell me that many cops in one place didn’t start shooting.

At this point, it’s difficult to say how conscious Coldstone is of his actions. Is he having a psychotic episode? Is this just how he is – unstable and violent – after the revivification?


20/20 moment: No mention of the three souls in him yet. That’s a complication we don’t need just yet.


Matt and Elisa march right in to the danger zone. Again, where are the other cops?

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - matt elisa shooting

Why do they have to play David vs Coldstone’s Goliath? Thanks for the backup, police clan!

It doesn’t go well. You don’t say! Turns out Coldstone can throw cars. Goliath can’t.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - constone throws car elisa matt dodge

Roll for Dodge.

The police do manage to get spotlights on Coldstone. Now we see why he’s so strong: he’s half robot.

Side note: Xanatos Enterprises must be making a fortune on cybernetic implants for people with mobility and other physical challenges.

Coldstone fugly . Really fugly. The cyborg parts look cool, but the overall package is not appealing. He’s been pieced together from different gargoyles. That’s just…not…right.

Goliath has the same opinion. While at first he thought the creature was one of Xanatos’s robots, he now labels it an abomination. Um, don’t call a creature who can maybe understand you an abomination. For wanting acceptance from the humans so badly, Goliath gives little acceptance to this creature, who’s obviously a gargoyle. I suppose he does look a bit too much like the Steel Clan…

Coldstone fires his laser at Goliath by reflex. He’s as shocked as anyone to see the bracer laser deploy.

Disney Gargoyles - Reawakening - coldstone laser

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?


Halftime!

Any time we have a monster, I’m happy. This is an impressive one, too.

The antagonist alliance is intriguing. Xanatos probably signed on because he wanted to see if the reanimation would work, he wanted a gargoyle minion, and he wanted to be part of a reanimation. I’d sign on too. So would you, so stop kidding yourself.

He’s not after the gargoyles’ destruction. When Demona talks about his plans failing, I get the feeling her definition of success is far more violent and lethal than Xanatos’s.

What’s going to become of Coldstone? Will he join the clan? Will he be another toy for Xanatos? Will Demona claim custody?

Overall, it’s a nice build-up to the rest of the ep.

What do you think of this ep? 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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