Titania, Queen of Avalon and of the Third Race, thinks it would be best if her grandson came to Avalon to develop his magical powers. Great, except he wouldn’t see his parents again. Oh, and he’s not even a day old. Using the hour of amnesty Lord Oberon grants House Xanatos, the humans prepare to fight the fey. Owen has already installed a state-of-the-art force field and security system, but will it be enough? Xanatos will have to test it alone, though, because Owen is deserting.
Note: Remember, this is the first episode of Gargoyles I saw. To help you keep that in mind, I’ll give what I can remember of my thoughts during the first watching, before I even knew what a gargoyle was. I’ll take those as First Thoughts. FYI, I was around 9 or 10.
Miss last week’s? Read The Gathering episode review.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Titania believes Alex has great potential. Xanatos agrees, given the kid’s “pedigree.” But that’s not what she means. She thinks that since Alex has fey blood — one-quarter of his genetic makeup will be fey — he should learn magic. On Avalon. Wait a minute, like, not be with his parents?
Note: This plays on the legends of Changelings, where fey would kidnap human babies and leave one of their own in exchange.
Xanatos isn’t going to take this. He pulls a laser pistol from a secret compartment behind the headboard. I want that compartment. I also want that laser pistol.
First Thoughts: He has secret panels with weapons? I love this guy!
First Thoughts: Slow down, Captain Planet! You can’t kidnap a baby! The poor parents. They’re just minding their own business, and this happens?
Oberon is not happy about taking Alex, believing that since Fox is “regrettably human,” the boy may end the same. (Plus he doesn’t want a step-grandson wandering around while he’s trying to be Lord of the Manor.) BUT! Titania is giving him the sexy eyes, so…
Oberon decides that since the child is of their blood, if only by a quarter, it’s legal for them to kidnap him from his parents. Ah, I see again why we in America have a three-branch system of government. Sorry, but the guy who makes the laws doesn’t get to interpret and / or enforce them.
What I do find interesting is that Oberon’s law about not meddling in human affairs is just that, Oberon’s law. There’s nothing in the universe that keeps him from doing this. No god or Old One prevents them from basically taking over the world. I guess it’s a lucky thing that Oberon’s in charge. What if a Voldemort or somebody of his mindset took over? Wow, there are a lot of Harry Potter references this ep. But there’s magic, a quarter Blood Prince, and training up in the magical arts.
David argues that the fey can’t do this, since taking a kid from its parents is the epitome of meddling in human affairs.
But Oberon has already decided. Or rather, Titania has decided, and Oberon must obey. Dang, she is an amazing manipulator. They have been remarried but a few days, and she’s already got him wrapped around her finger. He’s only getting Alex because she wants him to. Mother-in-laws, always causing trouble.
Note: I’m going to say that activating that secret panel activates the cameras in the room. Because otherwise, how would he explain this adequately to the in-laws? Well, Renard and Petros, anyway. Now, Petros knows about magic and such. However, I’m not sure if Xanatos knows of Renard’s dabbling in the occult.
Xanatos starts blasting at Oberon. The first hit takes Oberon by surprise. The others, though, meet magical shields. Oberon pulls the weapon from David’s grip with the Force. This shows that Oberon is a merciful and just ruler. He could have, I don’t know, pinched off an artery and given David a stroke, since magical telekinesis is a thing.
David is in full protector mode. This is something you don’t see very often. Actually, you really haven’t seen it but once, and that was when he was trying to save Fox. Well, this is his ultimate form in being a guardian. He leaps at Oberon for a flying kick. This is really desperate, but he doesn’t have many choices.
Boudicca knocks him out of the air. She pins him like Bronx usually does.
Oberon understands David’s actions, but that’s no consolation. Enraged, David hauls off and punches Boudicca off. We’re now in car-lifting level on the adrenaline-release scale.
First Thoughts: Wow, he’s so cool!
But Oberon freezes him before David can land a blow. The Lord of the Fey says that he would not see him be damaged any further. Aside from the massive psychological damage that he would suffer from losing his son, that is.
Note: Imagine if he had lost his son. Holy hell would have broken out. He would have found a way to go to Avalon and gotten him back.
Oberon allows them an hour to say their goodbyes, and he thinks he’s being nothing but merciful in that. Now, he should know that giving opponents a head start is probably a bad idea.
20/20 moment: If he hadn’t given them a bit of a head start, I think Titania would have pushed for it. She wants her true plan to get off to a good start.
After Oberon and Titania teleport from the room, Xanatos returns to his normal, fleshly state. He holds his wife as she holds their son. Fox cries. This is the first time we’ve seen her vulnerable. As for David, the look on his face is one of superhuman determination beyond anything we’ve seen in him before.
They say you can know the measure of a person by how they respond to adversity. We’re about to find House Xanatos’s.
At the clock tower, Broadway and Hudson are watching the news. Travis Marshall is announcing the birth of Alex. Of course he takes the opportunity to get in a jab at Fox and David, commenting that they are both ex-convicts. Well, thank you, because that was so necessary in this news report. Drive-by media at its finest.
First Thoughts: Don’t be a jerk, reporter guy.
Brooklyn, with his characteristic optimism, says he has a feeling this kid is going to be big trouble. You think? Even not knowing about all the stuff that just went down in the Eyrie Building between the humans and the fey, you could guess that just by dint of him being the offspring of Fox and David. Boy’s gonna be a handful — but he’s also gonna be hawt.
Before they get too involved in this discussion, Bronx appears. It’s supposed to be all spooky and stuff because he’s in silhouette, but it’s not.
Cue the arrival of Goliath, Elisa, and Angela. There’s the big welcome-back. Then we have Angela’s introduction. Oh boy, these guys haven’t seen a female in over a thousand years. Kind of feel sorry for her.
First Thoughts: Eh? Who are all these people / critters? I don’t remember there being Gargoyles mentioned so far! (I really don’t remember knowing it was called Gargoyles.)
Broadway offers what’s left of his chocolate box. I wonder, how do they get food? Elisa’s not here to buy it anymore. And even if she was, that’s a lot of money, feeding this clan of giant creatures. It’d be like feeding a football team. Do they just grab it off some poor food seller’s cart? They’re hypocrites if they do, since they bust robbers and burglars all the time.
In the Eyrie Building, Xanatos storms in to Owen’s office. Owen is his typical unflustered self. David demands to know if his chief of security was aware of this whole Anastasia being Titania being thing. Wait, how would Owen know this? Just because he used to work for Renard?
Owen says that he did know. Again, how in the heck! Fox didn’t know, but this guy who worked for Renard for a few years knows? All righty then.
First Thoughts: Seriously, how are these guys related? Like, are they family or something? Best friends?
It doesn’t surprise David. He asks if Owen also knew that Titania would come for Alex.
Still implacable, Owen affirms that he feared this would happen. So, as soon as he heard Fox was expecting, he began working on a new defense system for the Eyrie Building, which is built to his precise specs.
He hands David the floppy disk. Yes, the all-powerful floppy disk of the ’90s.
David wants to know who authorized the defense system. Oh look, yet again you didn’t know what was going on in your own company. Kind of like when Thailog bought an oil rig with XE funds and authority?
Not surprisingly, Owen, chief of security, authorized it.
Xanatos is thrilled that Owen has taken such preventive measures. But before he can get too excited, his BFF heads for the door.
For the first time ever, David is surprised at Owen’s actions. Well, other than when Owen beat David in sparring.
Owen says this is one fight he cannot be a part of. He’s as sorry as he can be about this, but it is what it is.
But he does leave two words of wisdom: That energy is energy, whether it’s from the science or sorcery. And Oberon is vulnerable to iron. Too bad he didn’t mention that Oberon is really vulnerable to a bell made of iron. That would have been helpful. Very, very helpful. You could have forgone all this security system junk if you just cobbled together a bell like they did on Avalon. But what kind of story would that be? The episode would already be over. It’s not a garg ep if we can’t destroy the castle and have a rip-roaring fight.
First Thoughts: Apparently the semi-Brit hot blond guy usually helps out in times of trouble. So why’s he leaving? Buddy, you can’t leave poor hot dude by his lonesome!
Back at Elisa’s apartment, Goliath and Elisa are debriefing a little. They come close to kissing. The end. Oh, and it starts raining.
First Thoughts: I don’t care.
A fire alarm is going off at the Eyrie Building, causing a massive evacuation of the place. Everyone acts surprised. Why? This probably happens at least once a week, considering how often the place gets attacked.
At the clock tower, Anastasia appears. Because she’s Titania. And magical. She says that she wants the Gargoyles to protect Alex and Fox during the upcoming battle between Oberon and House Xanatos. The boy needs to be raised in Avalon, where he can develop his magic.
Goliath now has a choice. Does he live up to the high-minded ideals he preaches, or does he succumb to vengeance? To his credit, he says that he cannot help her kidnap Alex. Children should stay with their parents, even if that parent is David. The belief that nothing should come between a parent and child comes largely from Goliath’s recent experience with having a daughter.
First Thoughts: What’s Hot Guy ever done to you? He’s just minding his own business, having a kid, and suddenly fey bust in. Yeesh, what’s your problem, Big and Purple?
Now, I wonder if this is also an extension of Goliath’s thought during Eye of the Beholder. He actually stood up for Xanatos against Elisa, saying that if a man like David could love, there was still hope for the world. Goliath is counting on a child’s ability to change a parent’s heart. Granted, that only happens to a select few, but Goliath is pulling for that minority.
Titania is displeased. But if they won’t help her, then neither will they stop her. Ooh, is that a challenge? Now, remember, Oberon exempted them from his direct magic. Convenient.
Turns out Avalon sent them here for a reason other than just going home. (What’s the tour of duty length with Avalon skiffs, anyway? Like, is there really ever a time when they wouldn’t be needed somewhere?)
It’s also raining at the Eyrie Building. David and Petros are, for some reason, standing out in it. They’re not getting wet, though, because they’re that awesome.
David is still in shock about Owen leaving him. I think he would be at least as surprised if Fox left him. After all, Owen and he have been friends for about as long, and Owen’s been involved in all of his projects. They’re pretty much best friends, spending much of every day hanging out together. They also think alike, which is a wonderful thing to have in an employee or a boss.
Petros doesn’t really have any explanation. At least he’s not being antagonistic and saying, “Boy, if you weren’t such a money-hungry hotshot, he wouldn’t have left you.” So, props to Petros for not being as annoying and caustic as usual.
David pulls a remote out of his pocket. It belongs to the security system. He activates it.
Little beam projectors launch from the corners of the building to hover in midair. Their beams connect with ones that come from the ground. This creates a force field around the building.
My gosh, this is a real technology in the Gargverse? Why isn’t this used everywhere? This would revolutionize warfare. And why didn’t we do this earlier? Like, you know, around the time of Kingdom instead of using those stupid laser cannons? I highly doubt laser cannons were Owen’s first attempt at securing the castle. By that I mean I don’t think he was going to use them against Oberon at first, and then after a couple gargoyles knocked them out he thought better of it. I really think the laser cannons were David’s idea. (Actually, they were the lazy writers’ idea.)
Oberon is watching in human form on the ground. At first he thinks the force field is interesting. But then he realizes it’s going to be annoying, because he can’t even throw a car through it. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
First Thoughts: That’s a pretty cool force field. So this show has magic and tech?
Officer Morgan shows up to ask if Oberon was in the car that just got flipped into the building.
Obi responds by putting the entire city to sleep. That escalated quickly. Traffic wrecks occur throughout New York City. I can only imagine what happened to people who were in dangerous situations, such as flying an airplane or performing surgery.
First Thoughts: He did WHAT?
Let’s pause for a moment. Oberon’s law is that the fey cannot directly meddle in mortal affairs. I really fail to see how this is not meddling in mortal affairs. Is it really all justified because you’re trying to take someone who is a quarter of your blood to Avalon? So, you can basically wipe out entire cities in an effort to corral one of your kind? Good grief, he should be on the Supreme Court. Only they can interpret clear-cut rules so illogically.
The sleep thing reminds me of what happened in Artemis Fowl.
As if that wasn’t enough, Oberon shifts to his fey form. He catches a lightning bold, then he begins to grow. And grow. And grow. He’s now taller than the Eyrie Building.
This is shaping up to be quite the episode series. I have no idea how they’re supposed to deal with this. Yeah, we have a security system, but how good is it? I mean, this guy just put the entire city to sleep. I’m really betting he’s regretting being all merciful and giving them that extra hour.
But Oberon’s not doing any of this out of malice. He’s doing what he thinks is right, and he’s honoring what his wife wants him to do. He thinks he’s being nice!
Owen deserting is basically thermite in the works. Not only is Xanatos without his right-hand man, he’s also now distracted, trying to figure out why on Earth his chief of security ditched out at the most critical moment ever. If there was ever a time when he needed Owen’s advice and support, it was now. Xanatos is going to have to step up and be the protector that he needs to be. Whether they stand or fall is largely going to depend on him, as well as Owen’s security system. They have a fighting chance now, but the battle to come will still require every bit of courage Xanatos has. Fox will also have to step up her game. Ah, I love seeing antagonists fight to defend what they love. It adds a whole new layer of depth to the characters.
So where did Owen go? Is he chilling out in the building somewhere? Or did he, like, go across town? He better hope he wasn’t in the taxi when everybody went to sleep. Is he asleep too now?
Tune in next week to find out if the humans are a match for Oberon, what became of Owen, and how Titania is really involved. It’s the second half of The Gathering. Don’t be late.