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Chapter XXXII: "The Cage"

For ASK GREG and the DCV, here's my ramble on "The Cage"...

Director: Dennis J. Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano


We'd seen a photo of Beth Maza before, but this was the first time we actually met her.

This is also, arguably, Vinnie's first real appearance. We'd heard his voice before, and we later decided that he had appeared two or three times before. But here was the inspirational moment. The character that we fell in love with, that went on to STAR in "Vendettas" and "The Journey". Throughout our viewing of the episode, my wife kept asking who did this voice, who did that voice? Every single time, I answered "Jeff Bennett." Then at the end, she asked: "Who's voicing Maggie? Don't tell me it's Jeff." For the record, it's Kath Soucie.

And here's the first real characterization for Fang & Claw as well. Fang was voiced by Jonathan Frakes for his one line in "Metamorphosis". But we cast Jim Belushi to play Mr. Obnoxious from this point out. I fell in love with Jim's take on Fang. His performance alone was one of the big inspirations for BAD GUYS. He's got some great lines:
--"Cat got your tongue... don't you get it?"
--"Like you're some kind of expert on evil monsters!"
--"I'll have to clear my social calendar."

Note also, to save money, Diane Maza never speaks. This episode had a huge cast. Making Claw a mute was a fun way to save money.


--Elisa refers to her brother as Derek. Goliath uses the word Talon.

--I love how Xanatos says: "Goliath and Elisa are always welcome here." He's so slick. He's far from in control in this episode. But he never stops playing the various characters against each other. He's constantly adjusting to new information. Never flustered.

--I like how Sev is basically talking to himself in his cage. With only the growling monster for feedback. Amazing how much one can gleen from a growl.

--Broadway praises the concert music simply by virtue of it's volume.

--Brooklyn's line: "I'm not a man. I'm a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.

Goliath kidnapping Sev and withholding info from Elisa to 'spare her pain', presiges his behavior in "Eye of the Storm".

Maggie is interesting to me in this. Though she's never going to be an action hero -- we intentionally didn't want to make her a strong female, because it seemed like every other female in the show was strong -- she seems to come into her own a bit here. She speaks her mind. She wields some power over Derek, even if she doesn't realize it. She's still stronger than she gives herself credit for. (Geez, I must suck at weak women characters.)

Although it's not used in the body of this episode, in the credits we refer to Maggie as "Maggie the Cat" for the first time. A Tennessee Williams "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" reference.


Lots of 'em. The recap. And TWO separate internal flashbacks in the show. I'm trying to remember if the board was short or if we just really felt like this was a tough story to get if you didn't have a TON of back-info.

Elisa even has a line, that I think works pretty well, where she's imagining telling her family about Derek -- and in one quick speech, she spews out all the pertinent details. We were clearly nervous about this episode being able to stand alone. Did anyone else have problems with this? Particularly anyone who saw this one without having seen "Metamorphosis" already?

When you see Maggie in flashback, book-ended by her current appearance, you can really see how different the designs were between "Metamorphosis" and "The Cage". I greatly prefer the later designs. Though I think I miss the tails.


--Throughout the episode, I have numerous problems where identities seem to me to be given away before I want them to be given away.

In the opening scene, we want the audience to think that the snooping winged creature is Goliath. But there are two problems. One is all the Talon scenes in the "Previously on Gargoyles..." recap. The second is that we get too clear a glimpse of Talon.

Later, Goliath kidnaps Sevarius and holds him captive. But we wanted the audience to think it's Talon. But again, I think we get glimpses of Goliath that are just too clearly Goliath.

The concept of seeing a character "in shadows" or in partial "silhouette" just seemed tough to get across the ocean and back with our production team on this ep.

Did anyone think that Talon had kidnapped Sev? Was anyone shocked when it was revealed that Goliath was the kidnapper?

--On my tape, Anton's briefcase mispells his name: SERVARIUS. I hope that was corrected for later airings. I hope.

--The scene between Talon and X in the latter's office is clunky. The cityscape visible through X's window looks to be painted onto the window. And Talon's footsteps are very labored and clunky.

Xanatos admits that Sev's original "Metamorphosis" cure was just a placebo. If we stop here, then Talon should stop being angry at Goliath. Goliath neither killed Sev nor did he destroy a viable cure, nor did he have any impact on Talon's chance at a cure. But at this point, Talon's blinded by rage.

There's some really nice animation of Brooklyn and Fang climbing through the air.


My daughter Erin thought that Fang looked more wolf-like than cat-like.

She also figured out pretty fast that Goliath was the kidnapper. And when it was revealed she said, "I knew it all along."


Brooklyn acts as leader in Goliath's absense. But we don't have anyone comment on it. That was just in case this episode wound up airing before "Upgrade". I think Brook makes some wise moves here though. I also like his emotional resonance with Maggie: "You know I wanted to be your... friend."

I also like when he refers to her "persecution complex". Is he projecting?

We re-intro Cyberbiotics Underground Lab from the pilot, in preparation to turning it into the Labyrinth.

I like Goliath and Elisa's exchange in the lab. Lines like:

G: "You were in so much pain."
E: "Who would we test it on?"
E: "The ends can't justify the means. That's Xanatos' way. Not yours."

Other cool lines:

Fang: "I like this body."

Maggie: "Is your vengeance more important than our humanity?" The ultimate question to put to anyone pursuing vengeance.

Xanatos: "You always over-play your hand, Anton." Anton's just a ham to the core.

Xanatos: "He's the scientist. You're just the experiment."

Xanatos: "Hello, Goliath. Didn't even notice you there."

(X is so cool.)

Talon finally, finally figures out what Elisa has been trying to tell him since "Her Brother's Keeper". Took long enough. This arc for Talon was something we had been planning out as far back as our original unsold first dramatic over-pitch to Eisner. Back when Talon was both Scientist and experiment, and the character (created by Fred Schaefer) was known as Catscan.

I like Talon & Maggie's relationship. Don't know if they ever would have gotten together as humans. But they are so natural with each other as Mutates.

Talon: "We're not strong alone. We're strong together."

Goliath verbalizes here that Elisa is part of the clan.

Talon has his own clan (the Mutates) and his own family (the Mazas). The Mazas learn about the Mutates and are reunited with their son. But Goliath is hiding behind the curtain. Elisa's still not ready to share that secret.

Ending: Contrast this (relatively) upbeat ending with the endings from "Metamorphosis" where Elisa is left in tears and "Her Brother's Keeper" where she is left alone in the snow and wind. Things are looking up.

And, of course, we end on the image of the open cage door. That was important to me, because the cage was never more than a metaphor. We didn't really need it for Sevarius. We needed to see that Maggie and Talon were in cages of their own making. (Sev too, really. And Goliath. And maybe Elisa, although now I'm stretching it.)

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?

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"Protection" Addendum

One thing I forgot...

When Glasses first shows up at Mr. Jaffe's store, he knocks over a bunch of cans.

Later Dracon shows up, and he also knocks over the cans.

I'm reminded of the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk".

"He hates these cans! Stay away from the cans!"

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"THE CAGE" Memo...

In prep for a ramble on "The Cage", here is the memo that I wrote to Brynne Chandler Reaves on Lydia Marano's 1st draft outline...

WEISMAN 12-13-94

Notes on "The Cage" Outline...

Brynne, call me when you get these.

I hate to sound like a broken record but this begins too slow. I've tried not to write a whole new story. But I have condensed things -- moving the kidnapping up into the first act, etc.

A secondary problem that only occurred to me Sunday is that we have to re-introduce Talon to our audience before we begin to misdirect them into thinking that Talon is the kidnapper. Otherwise, they'll see the silhouette of a big guy with wings and correctly guess that the kidnapper is Goliath. (When the story begins, Talon will have only appeared in one other episode; Goliath will have been in at least 25.) Talon won't even enter their minds until he is re-introduced later in the first act. By that time, we'll need to change their mind regarding the kidnapper's identity. A difficult task, considering that the audience already would have assumed the truth.

MUTATE rather than MUTANT.

At start of story... Goliath is to Talon what Xanatos is to Elisa.

THEME: Cages of all kinds. Use every opportunity to reinforce it.

Need to make sure that in the first two acts, we've set up Maggie's desperate need for a cure. But more importantly, we must set up the warm interdependent relationship between Maggie and Talon. Need to believe their feelings for each other are real before we get to Act Three.

I. Maza Family Dinner. Beth spots winged creature at window.

II. Clock Tower. Elisa talks to Goliath.
A. She hates to lie to her family about Derek.
1. Even if it's just a lie by omission.
B. By the way, G has to be more careful. Beth spotted him.
1. Wasn't me, Goliath says.
2. One of the other gargs? G doesn't think so.
3. Elisa's very excited. Could it be Derek?
4. Goliath is quiet. Deciding what to do.
C. G reveals to E that Talon and Mutates are back w/Xanatos.
1. Last few weeks, he's seen them near Eyrie Building.
2. Didn't tell her because he knew it would hurt her.
3. He feels powerless to help her.
D. Elisa insists that Goliath take her there.

III. Eyrie Building.
A. Action. Goliath vs. Talon, Fang & Claw.
1. Elisa tries to stop fight. Talon is torn.
2. Maggie stops fight.
a. She hates the fighting.
b. We see that Talon listens to her.
3. Magnanimous Xanatos seconds the motion.
a. He's pleased that the Mutates defend his castle.
b. But Goliath and Elisa are not the enemy.
B. Elisa confronts Talon: X is the enemy.
1. Maggie defends X as their only chance for a cure.
2. Elisa says X is the cause not the cure.
3. Talon: No -- Sevarius and Goliath caused this.
4. Reveal that Talon believes Sev. to be dead.
a. Either show flashback to "Metamorphosis"
b. Or be very clear for our audience:
i. Why he thinks Sev is dead.
ii. And why he blames Goliath.
5. Elisa hasn't seen Sev, so she can't be sure.
a. But she expresses some doubt that he's dead.
b. Talon: if Sev is alive now, he won't be for long.
6. Elisa and Goliath leave.
C. X secretly tells Owen to warn Sev to disappear for awhile.

IV. Gen-U-Tech.
A. Sev is kidnapped. Nobody sees. Very Quick.
B. Elisa arrives seconds later in her car.
1. Confirms w/security guard that Sev is alive.
a. She just missed him.
2. Another winged figure listens from above.
a. It's actually Talon.
b. But audience, and even Elisa, will assume it's G.
i. Elisa's touched G's so concerned about her.

V. Sev caged by unseen captor in underground Cyberbiotics Lab.

VI. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen has not been able to reach Sev.
1. Talon probably got to him first.
B. On battlements, Talon returns. Mutates confab.
1. Talon now knows Sev didn't die in "Metamorphosis".
2. But "dealing" with Sev is only half the job.
3. Sev couldn't have faked his death without help.
4. Goliath is Talon's #1 suspect.
5. Maggie doesn't agree but...
a. She let's slip about the Clock Tower.

VII. Fang, Claw and Maggie attack Clock Tower.
A. Maggie is present but is terrified by fighting.
B. Hudson and Bronx are the only Gargoyles there.
1. They put up a valiant fight but are defeated.

VIII. Underground Lab. Sev agrees to work on cure for unseen captor.

IX. Clock Tower. Hudson regains consciousness.
A. Fang & Claw await Goliath's return.
1. So they can bring him back to Talon, as ordered.
2. Hudson warns them it'll be a long wait.
a. Goliath said he'd be gone for a few nights.
i. It's actually the truth.
ii. But the mutates don't buy it.
iii. Neither will the audience.

X. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen checks all locations where Talon might hold Sev.
B. Talon confronts X.
1. Until recently, Sev was alive & working at G-U-Tech.
2. X admits that he was fooled by Sev's "death".
a. Goliath and Sev must've been working together.
b. G wants Sev to create more monsters like him.
c. This confirms Talon's suspicions.
3. X has known for some time that Sev was alive.
a. He's had Sev working on a cure at Gen-U-Tech.
b. Didn't want to get Talon's hopes up.
4. But Sev was close to a cure.
a. If it's not too late...
b. Talon should release him to X's custody....

XI. Clock Tower. Trio return home.
A. Hudson manages to warn them.
B. Battle.
1. Fang & Claw are more powerful...
2. But Gargoyles are more experienced fighters.
3. Gargoyles win.
C. Brooklyn talks to Maggie.
1. He's over his crush on her.
2. But he still tries to get her to see reason.
a. G was there that night to save her from Sev.
b. G & Sev aren't partners.
c. Xanatos must be culprit.
3. Maggie doesn't want to hear it.
a. Xanatos is their only chance for a cure.
b. Gargoyles must be at fault.
4. To prove her wrong, Brooklyn lets the Mutates go.

XII. Gen-U-Tech. Elisa's back, still looking for missing Sev.
A. She's very worried that Derek has done something stupid.
B. Checking security-camera footage for when Sev left earlier.
1. Does enhancing tricks to confirm Sev was snatched.
2. Enhances more to get a look at kidnapper.
a. Off her reaction...

XIII. Cyberbiotics. Reveal Goliath as kidnapper of Sev.

XIV. Eyrie Building. Talon tells Xanatos that he doesn't have Sev.
A. Owen enters w/news from Gen-U-Tech.
1. Looks like Sev. "left with" Goliath.
a. Comes across as proof that Sev & G are partners.
2. Doesn't take long for Owen to deduce where G is.
a. Only one abandoned lab that G knows about.
i. CyberBiotics Underground Research Lab.
B. Talon takes off.
C. Other Mutates are just getting back from Clock Tower.
2. They go after him.

XV. CyberBiotics. Goliath is watching Sev work on serum.
A. Elisa enters. (Calm before the storm.)
1. She deduced his location (same as Owen did).
2. Why did Goliath do it?
a. He could see how Derek's condition hurt Elisa.
b. He was afraid that if Talon got to Sev first...
i. then Sev wouldn't survive to cure Derek.
c. Seemed like only way to get cure from Sev.
3. Elisa: Ends don't justify the means.
a. Besides, wouldn't work anyhow.
b. They can't trust Sev.
i. How do they know "the cure" is safe?
4. Goliath agrees to release Sev.
B. Too late. Talon arrives, with Mutates on his heals.
1. Positive that G and Sev are in cahoots.
2. Talon attacks G.
a. This time E. can't stop them.
C. Mutates join in.
1. It's curtains for Goliath and Sev.
D. Sev tries to save his skin with the cure.
1. There's enough here for one.
b. But he can make enough for all four.
2. Talon and Fang don't care.
a. Claw and especially Maggie care a great deal.
b. Maggie reaches out to Talon.
i. What's more important?
ii. Vengeance or Humanity?
3. For her sake, he relents, and gives her the serum.
a. Maggie clutches the serum like it was a diamond.
4. Sev tries to get Talon to take it instead of Maggie.
a. Which makes everyone suspicious.
b. Situation on verge of heating up again.
E. Armored Xanatos steps out of shadows.
1. Rescues Sev.
2. Things seemed under control.
a. But Sev overplayed his hand, as usual.
3. Talon finally gets message about X.
4. X: "So sue me." or some such.
5. He takes off with Sev.
a. Parting shot from Sev: "Serum's poison."
F. Maggie still wants to take it.
1. She thinks Sev lied to preserve his "creations".
a. It's a risk she's willing to take.
b. Because it's better to die than to live a monster.
2. Talon disagrees strongly.
a. Life is more important than normalcy.
b. Besides, he's a monster too.
3. She thinks he's stronger than she is.
4. But Talon couldn't have made it without her.
a. Neither are strong alone.
b. They are strong together.
5. She puts the serum aside.
G. Goliath offers Mutates a home with his gargoyle clan.
1. Thanks, but no.
2. Talon has his own clan (i.e. Mutates).
3. And his own family...

A. Elisa brings Peter, Diane and Beth.
1. They are reunited with Talon.
a. Hint Maggie.
b. Fang and Claw in b.g.
B. Goliath watches, pleased.
C. Sevarius' cage sits empty. The door wide open.

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(the guppi) writes...

You're a crazy man, Greg, but you're my kind of crazy. :)

If you're still in the mood after judging the flood of LIGHTBULB CONTEST entries, i thought you might also enjoy some related excerpts from an old thread on the Gargoyles mailing list, as compiled by Marcos "Tony" Rawlings. It _does_ contain a couple of references to characters from the TGS fan project, but they aren't too hard to skirt around if you're feeling cautious. (ImHO it'd be a shame to pass all of 'em up -- some are absolute rip-snorters.) Whether you do decide to give it a peek or not, the listmembers' take on Fang's joke can be found at http://www.spottycat.com/marlos/lightbulb.html . Good luck with the contest, and happy reading?

Greg responds...

As a matter of policy, I have to pass. But thanks.

Response recorded on April 29, 2002

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The Cat writes...

Hey Greg,

Ok, this might be a bit of a wake up call to the rest of fandom, but I don't think that it is even a possibility to get Gargoyles back. I mean with there about to be a war and all. It is hard to tell. Perhaps later, but I don't think so.

If so, will The World Trade Center be in the show or not?
And, what would the gargoyles think about one of New york's buildings getting smashed to rubble?

Ok, Bye

Greg responds...

Well, with months of hindsight since you wrote your question, let me start by saying, obviously, that the two factors have little connection if any.

As to the WTC, it's presence would appear in any flashbacks dating before 9 Sept 2001. And would not appear in anything dated after that.

As for the gargs reactions, I think they'd be pretty obvious. With the exception of Demona, our cast would feel helpless and horrified. Angry, etc. Everything that the rest of us felt, I imagine.

Response recorded on April 29, 2002

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

It has been a strange couple of weeks. Normally I wouldn't necessarily equate strange with bad, but in this case… I hope everyone and their loved ones are safe.

I have a few questions saved up, and a few new ones. Don't worry, they'll be in different posts:

First up- a quickie on the New Olympians: There is a gargoyle clan on the island, so it would be assumed that the fae/human hybrid portion of the population is at least passingly familiar with gargoyle custom. When Elisa was reunited with Goliath, and Goliath stroked her hair, did they recognize the gesture for what it was? If so, what was their reaction and did it influence the legal decision?

Greg responds...

I don't remember the image. It'll be a few weeks, but if we keep rambling on the episodes for the DCV, I should get to it soon.

Response recorded on April 29, 2002

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Creamy writes...

This may have been asked, but I haven't seen it...
1.Is Tatania one of Oberon's children?
1a.If not what is she considered?
2.Is her power equal to Oberon's power or does she have the lesser strengh of a Child?

Greg responds...

1. In the sense that Titania is one of the race of Oberon, yes. She's not literally one of his offspring.

2. In terms of sheer power, I'd guess no, she's not his equal. But she's more than his equal in other ways.

Response recorded on April 26, 2002

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Courtnie writes...

Hey Mr. Greg,
Ummm here's my question...it's kinda dumb but I was wondering Why was there hay in the Clock Tower when Elisa was crying. Was there a reason or just there for effect?
Thanky very very much too.

Greg responds...

Honestly, I don't remember. Why was there hay?

This is gonna drive me nuts.

Response recorded on April 26, 2002

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Lord Sloth writes...

1) I was reading FAQ and in the timedancer section you talked about an antagonist called Calaban. Who is Calaban?
2) In the FAQ for bad guys, you mentioned an antagonist named Falstaff. Who is he?
3) Thanks a bunch

Greg responds...

For both these guys, I have no intention of revealing my intentions at this time. But if you want a look at the original sources...

Caliban appears in William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST.

Falstaff is introduced in Shakespeare's HENRY IV, PART ONE. He reappears in HENRY IV, PART TWO and is spun-off in THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. He dies off-stage in HENRY V.

Response recorded on April 26, 2002

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Justin writes...


I have asked this before, but I can't find it in the archives.

1) In "Shadowss of the Past" we saw a whole bunch of slaughtered gargs from Goliath's clan. Why was the only female represented Demona?
2) Who was that one gargoyle with the rather big nose that pushed Goliath?
3) I also know that before the massacre, the wyvern clan broke up into two groups. Did more females go than males? That doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.

Thank you for you time. And I was good of you to give blood. I did too :)

Greg responds...

1. Limited resources. We just couldn't design the whole clan. Our designers drew up a few random gargoyles, unfortunately all male, and we had neither the time or the money to balance things out.

2. I don't recall Goliath getting pushed.

3. No. Gender-wise there was a fairly equal distribution.

Response recorded on April 26, 2002

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