Happy post-Valentine’s Day week! Today’s episode continues what Eye of the Beholder started. David Xanatos and Fox are getting married. That’s right, the lives of two significant antagonists are changing irrevocably. That’s groundbreaking stuff. Who does antagonist-extraordinaire Xanatos choose as his best man? Goliath. Fox’s maid of honor is Demona. No, they haven’t lost their minds. This is all a plot to obtain the Phoenix Gate and time travel to 975 in Scotland. Xanatos’s past, present, and future depend on it.
Miss the prelude to all this epic adventure and scheming? Slacker. Go read the Eye of the Beholder episode review.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 2, Episode 8: Vows
Reason(s) for existence: To explore the theme of vows: when to make, keep, break, etc them. To show that Demona and Goliath really are through. To marry David Xanatos and Fox. To introduce Petros Xanatos and his rocky relationship with his son. To introduce the Phoenix Gate. To hint at the Arch Mage’s plan for the Gate, Eye, and Grimorum.
Main antagonist(s): Demona, David Xanatos
Time(s): November 5-6th, 1995; 975AD
Location(s): New York City, New York; Castle Wyvern, Scotland
Previously: Goliath and Demona promise their love. David and Fox become engaged. David tears the Eye of Odin off Fox.
We wade into the action, which is on the roof of the poor Golden Cup building. Goliath and exo-armored Xanatos are in the middle of a throw-down. It’s the same choreography as in The Edge. I’ll write it off to them knowing each other’s fighting styles so well.
Xanatos gets some distance on Goliath, then calls a hold. Goliath actually stops. Huh, heroes… Xanatos removes his helmet. He looks a bit bemused and miffed. “It’s so unlike you to attack first. I simply invited you here to talk.”
So Goliath was for once the instigator! Wow, that’s almost unheard of for protagonists. His little episode of seeing through Xanatos’s scheme (Plan C) must have made him more confident. What’s interesting, though, is that Goliath chose to attack first even after what happened not even a week ago on Halloween: he helped David save Fox from the Eye of Odin. You’re average protag would believe that the momentary teamwork and the parlay at the end were the glimmerings of hope for peace between House Xanatos and the clan.
According to Greg: Xanatos contacts Goliath via Elisa at the station house. It’s always amusing when Elisa is the pawn/messenger for Xanatos.
Goliath is doubtful. Xanatos acts ignorant of their history.
Turns out Xanatos is getting married. Well, congratulations! Now he and Fox can continue doing and living exactly what and how they were before they got their piece of paper, aka marriage license. They better not be expecting wedding gifts, either. They probably own Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond anyway.
Where were we? Right. Xanatos asks Goliath to be his best man. Come again? Um, what about Owen? I mean, it’s fun to mess with the protag like this, but…best man? I dunno.
Xanatos is determined to have Goliath attend. David’s gone to the extreme of inviting Demona, who “promised to be on her best behavior.” First off, I’m not trusting Demona’s promises. I’m also not trusting her definition of best behavior. Knowing her, it’s her best murder-rage behavior. She’s not making the fires worse, she’s making them better!
I don’t know what Xanatos is up to, but he’s not just interested in having a good sparring partner at the wedding party.
Goliath makes the mistake of telling Elisa and the clan about Xanatos’s invitation. Elisa is downright shrill in her objection. Goliath doesn’t say much.
Meet the Parent
The next day, Xanatos is waiting on the castle lawn near the pseudo-helipad. He’s in the exo-armor, sans helmet. His personal chopper sets down and Fox, who’s piloting it like a BOSS, hops out. She opens the passenger door and a man in his extremely late fifties exits. Who’s this? He’s distinguished and fit despite his age.
Xanatos is grinning. “Hello, father.”
Slow the bus down! We’re about to achieve the Holy Grail of antagonist fans: meeting the parents. Well, parent in this case. Knowing a bit about the antag’s childhood and heritage is crucial to understanding who they are now. What kind of dad does David Xanatos, the Magnificent Bastard of Magnificent Bastards, have? Is this where he learned his skills? Is this how he became rich?
The senior Xanatos doesn’t answer. He’s too busy disapproving of David and Fox’s extended PDA.
When Fox departs, and as David watches her go with hunger in his eyes, Senior remarks that it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. I use the term “remark” loosely. He’s complaining. BTW, he’s full Greek. That’s why David has that nice tan and is so handsome.
According to Greg: Greg describes Petros’s disapproval as “teasing.” It doesn’t come across as that. Greg is quite forgiving of Petros’s negativity. Read Greg’s memo at Station 8 for his thoughts.
David laughs it off.
Petros – his name is Petros, a variation of Peter, which is also Elisa’s dad’s name, and I think they’d get along great – still hasn’t returned the greeting. He’s not going to. Instead, he launches into, “Why do you need all this?” It’s clear that David’s attempt to impress his father is backfiring horribly. It’s going to be a salvage operation from here on out, I sense.
“Reason, not the need. I wanted it, so I took it.”
This was not the best of responses. It’s the truth, yes, but it’s not up to par for Petros.
Oh, and the armor? “Purely defensive.” Sorry, but the armor would have stopped most dads in their tracks as they asked, “Does it fly?”
The older Xanatos launches into a rant about how David would’ve been better off as a poor fisherman like his father. And if Petros ever catches the man who gave David the coin that started all this, he’ll teach him not to try to better other people’s poor, sorry existences. Oh, sorry, that last bit was what he meant.
ATTENTION-WHORE MOMENT: In May of 2015 I made a 3-part Tumblr post with in-depth analysis of David and Petros’s relationship. I am not a Petros fan. Because of those posts, I’m not going too much into the relationship, as it’ll just be a rehash.
PS: the posts have hilarious pic captions. Go read it! I’ll probably post it directly here around Father’s Day.
David responds, “That’s ancient history, Pop.” (He calls his dad Pop. Aaaaw 🙂 ) The coin was “only” worth about $20k in 1975. He’s now worth “considerably more.”
Hey, this is all new information! So David Xanatos has a secret benefactor? This isn’t going to turn into some Victorian novel, is it?
What’s also interesting is Petros seems to be the polar opposite of his son. Well now, that explains a lot.
Petros is deep in the rut of his lecture, though, and enjoying the security of his favorite gripe. “You didn’t earn any of it, boy!”
Boy? He’s 40 and the richest man on earth. Uhg, we will always be kids to our parents.
Excuse me, but turning $20k into a “multi-national corporation that’s bigger than many countries you could name” isn’t something just anybody can do. That takes skill, tenacity, wisdom, intelligence, and business savvy. If you gave most 20-year-old guys 20Gs, which is about $40K-60K now with inflation, they’d just go blow it on booze and a new truck.
“Someday I’ll prove to you I’m a self-made man.” Poor David, he just wants to have his dad be proud of him, but no matter what he does, Petros shuts him down. Really, you need to read my Tumblr post on David and Petros.
Oddly enough, Petros doesn’t bring up David’s or Fox’s prison records. They would be easy targets…
In the great hall, Owen is guarding Judge Ian Roebling, a Justice of the Peace in Manhattan, who will be officiating. David greets the judge with a crushing handshake, then sends him off with Petros to watch the inservice video on the gargoyles. It’s probably the same one he showed Derek Maza. I think David is hoping for some approval from his dad regarding the awakening of the gargoyles. That was all Xanatos, y’know.
Owen is skeptical about Goliath coming. David is confident. “I’d bet my future on” Goliath coming. Hmm…
Goliath is dreaming of when he and Demona were still lovers. They’re at Prince Malcolm’s wedding. He’s Princess Katherine’s dad, remember? Goliath and Demona exchange tokens of their love after seeing the humans do it. They break a hand-sized shield that has a gold phoenix rampant on a blue field.
When he wakes up, he grabs his half of the gate, which is in the trophy room of the clock tower with the Grimorum, Eye, and Coldstone.
According to Greg: Goliath had the Gate half stashed in a hollow stone in the castle. It survived the move and explosions somehow. Huh. My explanation was that Goliath just kept it jammed inside his loincloth.
At the castle, Xanatos and Owen are in the courtyard, waiting for Goliath. David is in a tux with the Illuminati Society pin on his lapel. He was inducted on September 14th, a month and a half ago. Owen questions the wisdom of wearing it, but David says it’s a necessary risk. What’s a pin got to do with anything?
Goliath shows. David is thrilled. David hands G the ring.
We Are Gathered Here Today
In the great hall, the participants gather. Yellow, pink, and white are the colors, by the way. I don’t know what significance, if any, they have. It’s not like David or Fox are at this moment concerned with the trappings. Well, not those kind of trappings anyway…
Demona greets Goliath with a cold, “I’m only attending this farce because Xanatos insisted, and I need to keep him as an ally.” Farce, eh? Tactful.
20/20 moment: She’s thinking of City of Stone. Genocide on her mind!
Ah, Demona is the maid of honor. Fox didn’t have any problems with that, I guess. She’s a trooper. Then again…not many people can say they had a 1000-year-old gargoyle as their maid of honor.
There’s no father around to give Fox away. That might also explain some things.
I wonder how much Petros approves of Fox? Probably not much, given he apparently disapproves of everything his son does or is interested in.
The judge rolls into the vows. Well, he tries, but gets mired down on Fox’s name. She says it’s her legal name. Then he proceeds to mispronounce Xanatos as Xana-toss.
As soon as “man and wife” is pronounced, Demona storms off. Goliath, ever the clueless male, bounds after her. Besides that, she’s tried to kill him, his clan, and Elisa on multiple occasions. During her latest attempt, she sicked a fey on the clan.
Fox and David dispense with the kiss, having done that and much more previously, and start after the gargs.
Petros is having none of this. Tradition, darn it! David shakes him off and follows Fox, who’s halfway to the door.
Outside, Goliath hands Demona the other half of their token of devotion. Demona instantly launches into maniacal laughter and a dramatic announcement that Goliath is a sentimental fool who’s fallen into her and Xanatos’s trap to get the Phoenix Gate – the shield thing with the bird on it.
In the background, Fox and David are looking on with smug satisfaction.
Demona recites a Latin incantation:
Deflagrate muri tempi et intervallia!”
Meaning, Burn down walls of time and space!
A fireball engulfs her and Goliath. David and Fox sprint into it too. Wha-? And because God forbid he let his son and his daughter in law go on their honeymoon alone, Petros jumps in.
Owen is dry and witty as ever: “It seems the honeymoon has begun earlier than expected.”
The judge is catching flies with his jaw on the floor.
What Time Is It? Kilt Time!
The time hop lands in 975 AD, in Scotland.
Petros is confused. He’s NOT impressed.
Demona and Goliath fly off, leaving House Xanatos to their own devices. Which as it turns out, is hand to hand combat. See, bandits on horseback are attacking two riders. Always up for a good fight, Fox and David jump in with gusto. Even Petros steps up.
Between Team Xanatos and one of the victimized rides, they defeat the bandits. I gotta say, House Xanatos kicks serious butt! Fox literally tackles one guy off a horse and palm-heel strikes him in the face. David does a pretty spinning kick on another. And Petros uses his coat to drag another one off the horse.
After commandeering horses for his dad and wife, David chats with the lead rider. It’s the Norman Ambassador. The Ffreinc sees David’s Illuminati pin and is instantly his BFF. Ah, that’s what the pin was for!
David asks if Fox is having a good time. “Marvelous,” she replies, and means it. Aw, I love these two! Beating the snot out of 10th-century bandits would be a great honeymoon, IMO.
Meanwhile, Goliath runs into Hudson, or rather, 975!Hudson.
The ambassador takes the Xanatoses to Castle Wyvern, where Prince Malcolm is about to marry Princess Elena. She’s the other rider! As a wedding gift, they brought the Phoenix Gate.
In gratitude for helping save his bride, Malcolm gives David some coins and promises the strangers “fine food, fine lodging, and fine clothing.” Apparently the height of 20th-century formality doesn’t impress the prince.
David accepts it all with a sweeping bow. He is having the time of his life, you just know it! I mean, outmaneuvering Goliath again? Time traveling? Kicking butt with his wife and dad? That’s a heck of a wedding day!
Now this is how you start an episode! I’m digging how much David, Fox, and Owen are in this ep. This ep is about Xanatos’s history and his family. It’s intriguing to see how he interacts with his dad, who is not his greatest fan. David keeps the tone light most of the time with his dad, only insisting on getting to the point when time is of the essence. Otherwise he lets the man lecture and rant to his heart’s content. It takes a big man to not turn around and dig in with an argument of his own. David probably has a lot of complaints against his father, too. Go read my Tumblr post for more.
Tune in Friday to see what David is up to, how he really is a self-made man, and how they all get home. Oh, and there’s plenty of Young!Demona too. She’s nothing like Present!Demona.