Gargoyles: Walkabout – Episode Review

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If you had the power to reshape the world to your desire, would you use it? Caveat: it could easily destroy the world instead. And you don’t get a spaceship. Fox has the power – or believes she does. Enter the Matrix. No, not the idyllic world of a dystopian future. I mean the flood of metallic silver goo that will cover the globe if it goes uncontrolled. And…it just got loose. It’s up to Dingo and Goliath to settle their differences and work together to save Earth.

Miss last week’s? Read Grief episode review.

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


Season 2, Episode 33: Walkabout


Reason(s) for existence: To explore the danger of playing God. To redeem Dingo. To show Anastasia Renard is Fox’s mom. To announce that Fox is having a son soon. To set Dingo on another path.


Main antagonist(s): Matrix


Time(s):  February 7th, 1996


Location(s): Australian outback


More like floatabout.

The Previously On has me excited. It’s got David and Fox, and Fox announcing she’s pregnant. This means we’re finally going to see Xanatos this episode? Dingo’s also in the preview.

We open with our Intrepid Heroes floating down a river in a rain forest. A kangaroo bounces by and a koala hangs in a tree. Not hard to guess where they are.

That’s right, Kansas. Okay, not really, but they are in Oz.

They leave the forest and reach the desert. Well there’s no horse with no name to greet them, but there is a silver flood. Well, you don’t see that everyday. It’s a sea of chrome coming at them. It forms spikes as it advances. Evidently this is what they’re supposed to investigate. It also covers rocks in chrome plating. The Gargoyles hop up on top of huge boulders to get some air, but they can only go so far. I guess the wind isn’t right. Either that, or the writers wanted to increase the suspense.

I kind of want taffy right now. Or vanilla cake mix batter.

The silver tide stops just short of them – Goliath is so insightful!

Give Me the Beat, Boys

In another part of the country, or maybe not, Dingo is speaking with an Aboriginal shaman. The aboriginal is talking about the Dreamtime. Apparently in order for Dingo to “free his soul,” which I guess means not feeling guilty about all the crimes he committed, he has to enter the Dreamtime.

It says a lot about Dingo that he’ll go to a shaman about his problem. Dingo’s feeling guilty, but there’s really no way to absolve himself.


According to Gargwiki: Dreamtime: “As knowledgeable fans have pointed out, the script misused the term “Dreamtime” here, treating the Dreamtime as if it was another dimension. In fact, the Dreamtime of actual Australian Aborigine legend was a time, the time when the world was newly created and going through the processes that would shape it into its familiar form. “


I’m pretty sure that Dingo could have done that back in New York or Sydney, because there are some great drugs there. Somehow that’s probably not what the old guy means, though.

The shaman says that the Dreamtime is made up of the mind and the heart and is a parallel dimension. So, it’s like HP Lovecraft Dreamlands realm? Just going to be The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath? We’ll see.

Dingo decides it’s worth a shot, so he gets his armor prepped in the back of a truck and sets off on foot.

He always was the sanest one of the group after Fox left.

Of course, he doesn’t get far before he runs into the gargoyles. There’s a little throw down involving traditional weapons such as the boomerang, which Bronx eats, and the bolas, which ties up Bronx.

Now, Dingo did not initiate the attack. The gargoyles did. He was in a defensive stance. If I were them, and if he hadn’t tried to kill me yet, I’d ask what he was doing. The person who asks the questions has control of the conversation. He’s probably so shocked to see them in Australia that he would answer whatever the question they asked honestly.

Dingo summons his armor, which opens for him to enter in the back.

I wonder if this is how Xanatos’s exo-armor works? Usually I picture it like Iron Man’s armor.

Welcome to My Lab

Is that a reactor? Wow, one heck of a research facility!

In a lab somewhere in the area, a very obviously pregnant Fox is talking with a woman who’s a bit older than her.

Honestly, how often in animated series do you see a pregnant character, much less a preggo antagonist?

The older woman is objecting to using a hive-mind artificial intelligence, citing the fact that if the Matrix escapes, bad things will happen. It’s too smart and isn’t responding how they want it to.

Fox responds by calling her mom. Oh hey! I love meeting antagonists’ parents! It’s like being on a date. No, not really. It’s because when you see a person’s parents, you have so much more understanding of why they turned out like they did. They will either be like their parents, or they will have gone to great lengths to avoid being like them.


According to Greg: Xanatos’s mother is deceased. That’s why we don’t meet her.

I would love some flashbacks so we could meet her. I have a feeling that David is his mother’s son. Because he’s certainly not his father’s son. They say you get your brains from your mother. That explains so much.


Anyway, Fox has put her faith in the magnetic field that holds the Matrix. Yes, it’s called the Matrix, because the ep predates the movie. I wonder if Agent Smith is around?

We also get the news that she’s having a boy. Aw, we’re gonna have a David Jr! <3

Fox also says she has an operative in the field, who is keeping the locals away. This is probably more out of concern for the project’s secrecy than for concern about the people. Odds are, that’s Dingo.

Not the most intimidating tactic… Behold, the monolith!.

Speaking of Dingo, he’s fighting alongside the gargoyles against the silver flood. However, it’s not very flood-y anymore. It’s more geometric. Crystals, domes, and monolithic slabs attack the interlopers.

Well, at least it didn’t eat her.

Finally they manage to get some breathing room and flee. It’s only possible because Dingo blasts a hole in the dome trapping Angela.

Once they’re safe, they instantly accuse Dingo of knowing what’s going on. He says he doesn’t. He’s more interested in why they’re here. They do not tell him any more than he tells them about why he’s in the middle of the outback.

I want battle armor too. But not in that gaudy paint scheme.

Meanwhile, Fox’s mom is freaking out. She wants Fox to start over with the computer program, because she doesn’t think it’s good enough.

With practiced skill, Fox rolls her eyes and moans Mo-other. It’s probably something that her mother has heard a thousand times. You never really grow up in the eyes of your parents, and they never really stopped being your parents. It’s fun to see Fox acting this way with her mom, just as it’s fun to see her do this with her dad. And of course, David has his own, less loving relationship with his father. It’s cool that Fox has a strong relationship with her mom. They also seem to be quite alike, both stubborn and strong.

They certainly do resemble each other.

Fox helpfully explains to us that the Matrix exists so that she and David can reshape the planet to suits them. Whoa, slow down there, Sparky! She just rolls this out like she’s saying Xanatos Enterprises is planning on buying out the taco truck that sits next to Gen-U-Tech. I mean, hello, when is reshaping the world with nano creatures a good idea? And I hope you really like chrome, because that’s what you’re going to get, unless you can get these little suckers to build other things. That would be possible, but right now we’re still in the silver phase. Really, if they can get this thing working the way they want, they can easily rule the world. They could also easily wipe out the world. This is more than a little disturbing.

Side note: I’m honestly shocked that David would give the green light on this plan. He’s cunning and daring, yes, but he’s also very pragmatic. In his own way, he’s cautious, choosing the wisest route if it suits his ends. It’s because of this that he tends to stay away from magic. Tends. This thing, though…this thing is worse than any magic.

Did Fox, like, wait until 1am, wake David halfway, explain she wanted to reshape the world, then ask if he liked the idea? Not that she needs his permission. She could do pretty much whatever, and he wouldn’t know about it if she didn’t want him to.  But she makes it sound like he’s cool with the idea.

Fox agrees though that she needs to create a new OS. It’ll be a lot of work. You think? Writing a new operating system isn’t exactly an afternoon project. And does this mean that Fox is a computer programmer?  That’s pretty cool. Or does she mean she’ll have her people work on it? How many other people work here? There are housing units nearby, it seems, but nobody mentioned evacuating the staff or anything. You’re not gonna run this place with just two people…

I realize I’m jumping ahead of myself slightly with the nanos. But when they say it’s artificial intelligence and they talk about escaping, and it’s doing all these shapes, it’s pretty easy to guess.

But in case you didn’t guess, Dingo helpfully magnifies an image of the flood with his visor. Sure enough, there are little square machines. He says he doesn’t know anything about where they came from, only that they’re very dangerous.

They’re like Replicators from Stargate SG-1, but really tiny.

Angela thinks it’s dark sorcery, and Elisa thinks it’s unbelievable. Not so much, as Dingo a points out, because that’s basically how cells function. Or bacteria. Or pretty much any living thing. It reproduces itself and reshapes its environment to suit itself. Humans are just a larger version of each nano creature. Beavers are the same.

Dingo comments that Coyote says this is the wave of the future. No pun intended. It’s interesting, though, that Coyote evidently had conversations, or at least made remarks. He didn’t just stick to the task at hand. I hate robots, but I like Coyote. Probably because he’s so much like Xanatos.

Dingo goes to consult the Aboriginal.


Halftime!

The silver junk is terrifying. Uncontrolled and unstoppable, it’s one of the greatest dangers to Earth. Even controlled it is a daunting idea, because the controllers will be House Xanatos. I love ’em, but I don’t think anybody should have that kind of power.

The scariest part of the ep right now is Fox’s attitude toward the goo. She’s underestimating it in the same way David underestimated the gargs in Awakening. And we know how well that ended for him. She’s so convinced her skill and tech will win the day that she throws caution to the wind. Her mother tries to be the voice of wisdom, but kids will be dangerously reckless kids. I’m guessing her mom is also a science type, judging by her knowledge of the Matrix. Also, she has a white jacked on that may be a short lab coat. That always screams SCIENTIST.

Come back Friday for the conclusion of Walkabout. We’re gonna get high and partaaay! Or not. We might just go talk to a computer. We’ll see how things play out. The fate of the world depends on the outcome, at any rate.

Thoughts? 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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