Humans fear what they don’t understand, but is this also true of other sentient races? What about races more technologically advanced than humans? Elisa is about to find the answer. To make matters worse, she becomes the pawn of Proteus, a shapeshifting murderer who would love nothing better than to destroy the hidden island of New Olympus. Think Loki minus the aliens from another dimension.
Miss last week’s? Read Pendragon episode review.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 2, Episode 37: The New Olympians
Reason(s) for existence: To offer an opportunity for a spin-off series with the New Olympians. To show that all sentient species are capable of species-ism. PREJUDICE, it’s a thing. To introduce Proteus. To showcase Elisa’s Black-Widow-like speeder skills.
Main antagonist(s): Proteus, New Olympian security forces, Boreas (ish)
Time(s): February 14th, 1996
Location(s): New Olympus
This episode, as I said in the last review, is not my favorite. In fact, is one of my least favorite episodes. I wouldn’t be watching it except that I have to review it for you people. You’re welcome.
The previews are about how humans don’t like anything different from themselves. It’s the old “they fear what they don’t understand” idea. Is this going to be another illustration of that?
Our Intrepid Heroes start the episode by sailing through a cloud of glitter.
The glitter clears up to reveal a futuristic city. It’s one of those cities that a Disney animator from the sixties might imagine for the Jetsons.
They barely drag ashore when the welcoming committee arrives. However, instead of bringing leis and Mickey Mouse hats, they’re riding are sleds/speeders and wearing armor. Oh, it’s the town guard, come to see what the adventures are up to. It’s the obligatory, “don’t mess up” command.
Elisa has sent the Gargoyles away, hoping they wouldn’t scare anyone. But it’s soon clear these guys would probably bet along with gargs, because the guards are in fact a centaur, a Minotaur, and a guy with fire on his head. Turns out they’d rather see gargoyles and humans, big time. Humans were creeps to them two thousand years ago, so they don’t like to see the squishy Earth creatures around.
According to Greg: there is a gargoyle clan on New Olympus, they just couldn’t be bothered to show up.
They promptly arrest Elisa for boating while human (BWH). The bull has a tractor beam on the front of his sled. His name is Taurus. Helios is the fire guy, and the centaur is Kiron.
Fun Fact: Kiron is named after Chiron. Which is partly where we get our word chiral. Sit back and let Walter White give you a chemistry lesson on chirality.
The bully is going to take Elisa to the Senate to stand before Boreas. This won’t end well. We have to have an episode, don’t we? On second thought, no we don’t. They could just let her go, have everyone turn around and go back into the ocean, and move on to the next episode. That’ll put us closer to the end of the Avalon Arc and the beginning of the Gathering.
Where was I? Right, the Senate. Holy nightmares, Batman. This place looks like the tunnels from Scott Sigler’s book Nocturnal. That’s not a compliment. There are monsters all over, mutants of vaguely human form. They are mostly from Greek legend, judging from their appearance. There’s a Medusa involved too.
As expected, this trial doesn’t go well. She’s convicted of being human, and sentenced to remain on the island. She will apparently tell everyone about New Olympus if she gets off. They don’t bother to take into account the fact that if she’s trustworthy for gargoyles, she’s probably trustworthy for other mythical beasts.
Turns out the whole point of the cloaking field was to keep humans out. I want one!
It’s still not really said if it’s magical or technical. They talk about how the technology of the humans is advancing, so I’m thinking it is some sort of tech. That’s just weird. Why would you take creatures from Greek myth and give them technology? It doesn’t appear they have magic, only inherent abilities. For instance, the flame-haired guy Helios can shoot fire from his hands. And I would assume the Medusa can turn people to Stone, but we never get to see it.
Side note: Ah, I’d love to see what Xanatos would do if he found out about these guys! Can you say, “technology watershed moment”?
According to Greg: According to Garg Wiki:
“Like the episode “Pendragon“, “The New Olympians” was designed as a back-door pilot for a Gargoyles spin-off series, also called The New Olympians. In the series, a young man named Terry Chung would be shipwrecked on New Olympus while sailing around the world by himself, and his arrival would serve as the catalyst for the New Olympians deciding to announce themselves to the world. The series would have focused on the impact of the New Olympians’ revealing themselves, and would have included further schemes from Proteus, Xanatos entering into trading relations with New Olympus for his own benefit, an attempt by a New Olympian named Jove and his followers to make the humans worship the New Olympians as gods as they had done in ancient times, and a Romeo and Juliet-type relationship between Terry and the female New Olympian Sphinx.”
By the way, go to the New Olympians ep page and check out the name meanings.
Elisa and the gang go outside, which is ill-advised. A riot erupts, instigated by Medusa, and this prompts Goliath to attack the centaur guard, who also sort of instigated it. Great, so they don’t have anyone on their side.
This gets them in even deeper crap, as one might expect. Then Taurus arrives. (What an incredibly inventive name for a Minotaur.) By the way, he hates humans because his ancestor thousands of years ago died at the hands of a human. Well, you know what? A lot of my ancestors died at the hands of humans too! Get over it. You were never kept in a labyrinth, and Elisa’s never kept any bulls in a labyrinth. She probably does eat burgers, though.
Antagonist off the port bow!
But I digress. The guards take her to prison. They pass a cell that holds another Minotaur, who claims to be Taurus’s dad. Turns out he’s not. He’s a weird-looking white dude – and I do mean white – with a giant forehead. This is Proteus. The shapeshifter, not the bacteria. Though he’s just as annoying.
He brags that he murdered
Ford Taurus’s dad. That’s his word, murdered. Most antagonist and even villains will say that they killed someone. Murdered is usually not in their vocabulary when it comes to them doing the killing. This is interesting. He’s proud of what he’s done.
He reminds me of Loki. Shifting shapes, behind a transparent force field, in a cage, a trickster…
To show us his skills, he blows his hand up to about half his height as he waves.
Taurus throws Elisa in a cell, but not before she explains that she too is a cop. This does not have a lot of effect.
Outside, a mob forms below the window. At the head of it is the fire dude, Helios. He tosses a fireball through her cage window.
As if being bothered from the outside wasn’t enough, the inside has its own irritations. Proteus somehow knows where she came from and all about her. He doesn’t, however, know how she got here. You get the feeling that he would very much like to know so he can use it to get out. Well, now I think I know what the rest of the episode’s going to be about.
Goliath can’t let Elisa stay there. So he breaks in and knocks out the Centaur. Then it’s game on. However, Proteus turns into Elisa. He tells Goliath how to open down the door.
Goliath of course does, and also to no one’s surprise, Proteus turns into a cyclops and tosses Goliath in the cell, closing it after him. Nice work!
Prot then assumes G’s form and rescues Elisa. This is so he can use the skiff to get back to the real world. This is not a guy that you want lose.
Side note: If he’s so destructive, and he even murdered a cop, why is he just locked up? And for that matter, why is he locked up in an area that they’re using basically as a drunk tank? Shouldn’t you be in a supermax prison somewhere? I guess this place has risen above the death penalty. They’re about to rethink their decision.
At the skiff, Angela and Bronx have it out with the centaur. Then they promptly turn to stone. That’s one way to end a fight.
The fake Goliath says that he wants to overload the power and blow up the Collonadium where the Senate was. It’s only right, he says. This is a mistake. He doesn’t know anything about Goliath. It’s rather hard to steal someone’s identity convincingly while dealing with one of their best friends, and it’s especially difficult when you know nothing about them. It takes a lot more than appearance to fool somebody, especially when they’re already suspecting weirdness.
Elisa parts ways to get everything ready for him to leave, or so she says. Instead, she attacks Helios, kicking him off and taking a sky scooter when he won’t listen to her. It’s like Black Widow taking the aliens’ scooter.
She tracks down Taurus, and cons him into a chase. Somehow she is an expert pilot of this completely unfamiliar device. Maybe it was all her experience growing up with water skis and snowmobiles. Wait, she doesn’t have that. Maybe she rode a Vespa once. I don’t know. While expertly flying, she shouts, “You’ll have to do better than that!” Ah, an inside joke!
She leads him to the Collonadium, where Proteus is overloading the system. He’s already destroyed Talos, the guardian robot.
Taurus ties up Elisa. Then he realizes that the gargoyle is in fact not a gargoyle, but Proteus. Prot turns into a giant green Cyclops and goes toe-to-toe with the bull. When he tries to take the bull by the horns, he falls short. One punch in the eye from the Minotaur and he’s down. That was easy.
They sort everything out, and get Goliath out of prison. Of course this all proves that humans nowadays are not like the humans of legend, from 2000 years ago. And then perhaps humans are kind of okay. They decided they’re probably going to see more humans, considering how advanced our society and technology has become. And maybe they should alter their stance toward them.
I guess Proteus goes back to Arkham Asylum to await another chance to escape and cause chaos. How does a society that handles its most dangerous criminals, ones that want to destroy the entire island, survive?
This episode is of course a thinly-veiled message on race and stereotypes. Remember, racism works both ways. Contrary to popular belief, racism is something that every human can feel, not just white people toward other ethnicities. It’s very prevalent, and it is practiced by every culture. While we’re making strides in this day and age, but we’re far from being a post-racial society. We’ve erred too far on the other side, committing reverse discrimination and even offering benefits solely based on race rather than effort or performance.
There also doesn’t seem to be any real discipline for the so-called cops who instigated the riots. I don’t know if we want a guy that can shoot fireballs being a cop when he thinks it’s okay to start riots.
My main gripe for this episode is that they don’t explain what on Earth a new Olympian is. Are they partly fey? Are the aliens? What are they? I know According to Greg they’re what happens when humans and fey get it on together. Are they just genetic aberrations, or do they follow species? I’m assuming that at least two bit it’s the latter, since Tauruses father was a Minotaur as well. But all this still doesn’t explain why they’re so good at technology, or why there are so few of them. I’ve had two thousand years to recover, yet they can all fit quite comfortably on a little Island. Are they magical at all? I would assume that some of them could use sorcery, I don’t know what kind. I would assume it would be the same that humans use, but perhaps not, since they’ve been isolated for 2,000 years.
According to Greg: This ep was a promo for the New Olympian series they wanted to start:
“At the time we had big plans for the Gargoyles Universe. Hopes that it would eventually evolve into Disney’s equivalent of the Marvel or DC Universe. The World Tour expanded our Universe in many ways — mostly for the sake of the Gargoyles series itself. But also to demonstrate that our universe had the “chops” to go the distance.”
It’s also rather handy that they all spoke English. I’m just going to say they have a transmitter chip and they automatically know how to speak English. At this point, they wouldn’t even be speaking Greek. Two thousand years of language use rather changes things.
It’s pretty straightforward episode. There’s not a whole lot to analyze with Proteus. He’s a trickster, yes, but not to the extent of Loki or Puck. He’s more malicious. Loki caused havoc on the earth because he wanted to be king again. If he can’t be that, then he runs out of motivation other than being a trickster.
The ep gives me a headache because nothing is explained, and I really don’t see how Elisa could be that good on a speeder in so little time. I rather think laying a speeder down is a more serious than laying a bike down.
…If Xanatos was going to be in the New Olympian series, I’d totally watch.
Next week we’re back to the jungle. It’s The Green. The clan is about to meet some Green Peace gargoyles. And an old friend is in the mix, but he may be on the wrong side (again).