Gargoyles: The Mirror – Episode Review

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Demona’s sick and tired of her plans being thwarted by meddling gargoyles. She’s decided to bring in the big guns. Namely, one of the most powerful of Oberon’s Children: The Puck. That’s right, the one from Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare. He’s no fairy, though; he’s a dark elf. As if being made of pure magic isn’t enough, he’s also a trickster’s trickster. Don’t turn your back. Watch your wording. And be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.

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


Season 2, Episode 5: The Mirror


Reason(s) for existence: To drive home the theme that you should be careful what you wish for. To introduce the Third Race and Puck. To give Demona her new daytime form. To explore Goliath and Elisa’s relationship.

Main antagonist(s): Demona and Puck

Time(s):  September 28th, 1995

Location(s): New York City, New York


Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - title

Museums don’t fare well in this show.


According to Greg: this is Greg’s favorite stand-alone episode. It has humor, action, and the introduction of a major new element in the Gargoyles universe: the fae, Oberon’s Children.


Previously: We get a recap of Elisa and Demona’s run-ins. There’s some serious rivalry here. Cat-fight doesn’t begin to describe it. Now we know the ep will involve both of Goliath’s love interests. We again see the Temptation ending where Demona rips spells from the Grimorum Arcanorum. I’m sorry not sorry, but it really didn’t look like she grabbed that many pages. I’m starting to lose count of how many episodes have involved those couple pages.

Mirror, Mirror

We open on the MOMA in NYC. Demona is watching the lockup process from across the street.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - demona watches

What’s she planning? A little B&E?

It’s change of shift for the guards. The new exhibit is quite interesting to the oncoming guard. She checks herself out in the mirror – hey, she looks familiar! A sound makes her turn from the mirror. The reflection doesn’t move. What the… Magic.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - elisa in mirror

I’m not even surprised anymore.

Demona crashes into the exhibit hall.

The guard draws her gun. Yeah, it’s Elisa.

Demona’s reaction is classic. Utter frustration and rage boil over in Sirtis’s voice acting: “You! The most useless member of a craven, puny race!” Tell us how you really feel! Don ‘t forget, she stole your man.

Demona grabs whatever artifacts are at hand and hurls them at Elisa. Goliath is on hand to catch them and save Elisa. Aren’t there cameras around? Where are the other cops? Is this just something Elisa thought up? I’m so confused.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - goliath saves statue from demona

It’s a nice look at Goliath’s character. He values artifacts.

Elisa and Goliath chase Demona, who’s apparently thwarted.

Or is she? Two thieves in Oceans 11 gear drop from the ceiling and cart the mirror off.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - thieves steal titanias mirror

It’s hilarious of you think about it. Here the Keystone Cops are, pounding after Demona, who’s merrily skipping off as a distraction.

She glides off after clawing up the obelisk in the park. Big Guy lets her go. He should really be more worried. She’s not usually defeated this easily.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - demona climbs obelisk

This is why we can’t have anything nice.

Dracula’s Daughter Meets Oberon’s Child

At a spooky mansion in the city, the thieves pull up to the iron gate. “Oberon sent me,” is the password. Oberon…like in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with the fae? Hm.


20/20 moment: when I watched this as a kid, I’d already seen The Gathering. It was my first ep, remember? So I knew exactly who Oberon was. And Puck. I wish I’d had the surprise of finding out who Owen was after seeing him for the whole series, not just The Gathering part 1.


The thieves drop the mirror off in exchange for an envelope of, I assume, money. Demona tells them to take it and go. Wow, she’s upscale! After being around as long as she has, she’s made good use of her experience. She has enough money to buy a place in NYC and live there without having to worry about holding down a day job!

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - demona's mansion

Are they dropping of dalmatians for a fur coat?

In the attic, she has the mirror set up. She’s monologue-ing about how her plans are always “thwarted.” Well, maybe if you made them more gambit-like and built in some contingencies like Xanatos does, you’d have better luck. It’s the complete opposite reaction Xanatos has after his surface-level plans are thwarted by the meddling gargs.

Ah, but she’s got a spell in mind that will change all this. Are those spells written in 2 point font? Or are they just the Latin line?

The spell:

“Cum aescerat argentum et aurum involare, Postea Puck ad speculum Titania penetrare!”

She rings a silver bell with a gold ring, and blows a feather into the mirror .

This is the translation from The Gargoyles Fan Website:

With fire, silver, and gold combined, Summon Puck to pass through Titania’s mirror!

The translators called it really “bad Latin” and gave the classical Latin: Cum ignis, argentum et aurum universus, Postuli Puck penetro speculum Titania.

Green light envelops the mirror.

Out comes…a white-haired bishounen in a Medieval outfit. He’s in chains that were around the mirror, and he is piiiissed. Whoa now, who’s this? His elf ears say he isn’t human. He’s certainly not a willing participant in this endeavor.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - puck

You’re really cutting into his social life, Demona.

At the Batcave clock tower, the gargs learn Demona still stole the mirror. They then explain to an incredulous Elisa that the artifact is Titania’s Mirror. Yes, Titania from Midsummer Night’s. Brooklyn mentions it. Aha, so he did read about it after his run-in with Macbeth in Enter Macbeth! Nice continuity, writers. Titania is of the Third Race. Humans, gargoyles, and the fae. AKA Dark elves, fairies, Oberon’s Children. They’re pure magic with shapeshifting ability.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - elisa doesn't believe in fae

Really, Elisa, you really find something hard to believe in this universe?

Oh wonderful. Demona now has a being enslaved to her that’s pure magic.

Let’s slow down and look at the fae. This is a mind-blowing addition to the Gargoyles universe. We’ve known about magic, but fairies who are actually magical beings are a whole new layer of bad news. Calling them “dark elves” lets you know they aren’t happy little sprites who throw fairy dust and talk in bell tinkling. Now I’m really interested!

Back to Demona and her new friend. He’s not happy. What does she want, he demands. Hey, it’s Brent Spiner! You know, Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He’s costars with Jonathon Frakes and Marina Sirtis.

“You serve the human. Now you can serve me.” Eh? What human? Why haven’t we met this human who has a fae at his beck and call? We also wonder why the fae serves a human.

That aside, it looks like Demona is sick of partners she can’t control. Partners like Xanatos, who’s as big a manipulator as she is, if not more so.


20/20 moment / According to Greg: The line was supposed to be, “You serve him.” But they decided people might interpret that as serving Satan. I…I don’t know either. That’s just dumb. However, saying “human” leaves more mystery. Could be a guy or a gal.

I still don’t know how much Demona knows about Xanatos and Owen/Puck’s bargain. Or how she knows. The Weird Sisters?


This is Puck. You know, Robin Goodfellow from Midsummer Night’s. Nice! “Serving humans is fun!” Ah, so that’s why he serves a human. I guess. Demona, though? He says has no sense of humor. Wait, does he know her? She seems familiar with him too… Intriguing. Whatever the case, Demona is playing with fire. This is a magical being who is obviously unhappy about his situation, and who is mischievous. Anyone who’s watched Darby O’Gill and the Little People or heard even one leprechaun story knows not to trust fae. Desperate much, Demona?

He zips around the room, chains still around him, suddenly quite happy.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - demona thinks, puck flies

He’s thought of a way to make things fun, I presume. Oh boy.

Demona ignores him.

She rambles about not wanting to be stone in the day. Being a statue makes her vulnerable. You don’t say!

She sounds like she’s stalling. Why? She’s been planning this for ages, right? You’d think she’d have her wish thought out and laid out in bullet points.

She’d fit right in, Puck snarks. She would if not for the humans.

There we go! She wants him to get rid of all the humans. Genocide by fae.

Yeah, well, this ain’t Aladdin’s lamp (hah, Disney reference!). He has limits. It would be interesting to know exactly what they are.

Puck transforms the mirror into the Mirror of Erised, showing what Demona wants: Goliath. Then Elisa wanders into the shot and leans against the ex BF.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - puck with goliath and elisa in mirror

You cannot dislike Puck. You just can’t.

Puck thinks it’s “quaint” that she’s still carrying a torch for Goliath. Puck can make the big guy love her again. Mm, how would that end? Weirdly, to say the least.

“Rid me of that human!”

That human, or that human? I’ll figure it out. This just might be fun after all.” Vague requests? Ooh, rookie mistake, Demona! These beings are pros at “misinterpreting” wishes for their own gain. He looks like the poster boy for being up to no good.

Puck unleashes his rhyming spell: “They sight Demona doth offend, so Puck will hasten to amend. Be gone, Elisa, human born, and be no more as you were formed!”

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - puck casts spell

Green light. Just sayin.

Change of Face

At the clock tower, green light surrounds Elisa. Let me guess- She turns into a gargoyle. Yep. Hah, fun indeed, Puck! I wonder, can he not kill? Or does he just enjoy the game more? He wants to screw with Demona. He’s not really a villain here, he’s a victim. So we don’t know what he’s like on his own, or how he feels about gargoyles. He likes humans, that we know.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - elisa as a gargoyle

Even her clothes change. Puck is considerate.

To put a new spin on things, Elisa thinks Goliath has been turned into a gargoyle! I’m liking Puck’s sense of humor.

Puck tells Demona that Elisa, the human, is no more. He’s not lying.

Demona buys it. She wants him to do the same to all the NYC humans. Wow, she wants them all dead. It’s not subtle, either. Disney in the 1990s was great. I miss it so much.

Goliath tries to convince Elisa she’s always been a human. He’s smart: he cites his saving her when she fell of the Eyrie Building. She just thinks she can’t glide on her wings. Puck’s magic also blinds common sense, it seems. Nice.

Back to our villain and her victim: Puck will need a place to magnify his powers. The top of the World Trade Center works.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - world trade center

Aw man. This was in 1995. Six years later, and those buildings will fall to Islamic terrorists. It makes this scene distracting. You can only think about 9/11.

Demona and Puck transport through the mirror, landing on the roof of a WTC tower. Convenient. Puck stalls, saying he has to marshal his forces. Demona isn’t happy, but what choice does she have? What’s coming next is going to be a treat! I wonder if we’ll get to see Xanatos as a gargoyle? Now that would be fun.

Disney Gargoyles - The Mirror - puck on a chain demona

Just out walking her Puck.


According to Greg: This ep was originally pretty confusing. The writers tweaked it a lot. Here’s the memo Greg sent to Bryne.


Halftime!

Wow, heck of a first half! We have a whole new species in the game. And boy, is he powerful. He can change other people’s shapes, as well as their memories and perception. How powerful is he? And what human does he serve? I’m sure we’ll find out sometime.

How will the gargoyles defeat this creature of pure magic? The saving grace here is that Puck doesn’t like Demona, and he does like humans. It’s a fascinating choice for a fae and a pseudo antagonist. I’m really liking this guy! He’s snarky, smart, and hot. Plus, he’s an unknown quantity. Cool.

Come back Friday for the next half. We’ll see just what fun Puck has, and how he repays Demona for the little night on the town.


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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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