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Rewatched "Hunter's Moon" yesterday (Sunday) on DVD - all three parts.
I've mentioned before spotting a lot of mentions of hunting, usually applied to humans going after gargoyles with hostile intent, and it struck me that this made it appropriate that the Hunters would be the gargoyles' adversaries in the finale. (Well, the Disney Afternoon finale/Season Two finale.)
And it struck me that the Hunters were the most dangerous opponents that the gargoyles faced in modern times, judging by results. They blew up the clock tower, destroying the gargoyles' home, and then exposed them to the public. The former was partly undone by the gargoyles getting their old home (the castle) back by the end of the episode, but not the latter - now the gargoyles are facing an alarmed public (even though they're safe at the end - for the moment). None of the gargoyles' other adversaries in modern times have been able to inflict that much damage on them. To top it, you'd have to go back to 994 and the Wyvern Massacre.
A few things that struck me this time around:
Goliath and Elisa are actually openly speaking to each other and even sharing a brief embrace on board the passenger train, just after foiling the robbery; fortunately, the passengers apparently didn't notice that.
Hudson greets the returning gargoyles as "lads" - then quickly adding in "And lassie, of course", for Angela. It reminded me of his use of just "lads" for the younger gargoyles in "Possession" that I mentioned in my post on it - apparently he's getting more adjusted now to Angela's presence in the clan.
The trio's clash with Demona in Part One seems the last "trio action" in the series; they're increasingly split up (or else acting with the rest of the clan present) after this.
Lexington and Brooklyn's shared uneasy glances when they return to the clock tower with Goliath near the end of Part Two seemed all the stronger when I realized "the audience knows that Robyn and Jon survived Goliath's fight with them, but Lex and Brooklyn don't - from their perspective, Goliath had apparently killed those two."
Jon Canmore's cry about the gargoyles when he's facing Jason at the end, "They killed dad!", struck me as a sign of how (even before shooting Jason) he was losing it; it was Demona who killed Charles Canmore, none of the Manhattan clan were even present at the event, and Jon was there so he knows it.
Broadway shows how much his attitude towards reading has changed since the start of "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" when he's talking to Angela about how great the castle library is (and we'll see them there together in "The Journey").
This story really does seem like a good conclusion for the series in so many ways - the gargoyles are back in the castle again, their war with Xanatos is (seemingly) over, they'd defeated Demona's big scheme to wipe out humanity, Elisa finally admitted her feelings for Goliath and even kissed him. Except there's a big loose end with the gargoyles' existence being made public, and most of the New Yorkers aren't too happy about it. (Brooklyn's "And so it begins" remark does also support the feeling that the story could continue past this spot.) But it certainly makes a good season finale.
Oh, and I counted the number of "claw-mark transitions" in the entire two seasons during this review - 28 in all.
We were pretty happy with it.
New thoughts and observations on "Possession", which I also rewatched on DVD today.
Coldfire and Coldsteel's bodies are initially covered by cloths; while it serves the function of keeping their nature secret from the audience at first, it also does a good job of echoing the "Frankenstein" tone of Coldstone's introduction in "Re-Awakening".
When Goliath and Hudson return to the clock tower from patrol, Hudson initially says "lads" - and just that, with no mention that there should be a "lass" among them as well. We get an echo of this, I recall, in "Hunter's Moon Part One" when he addresses the clan as "lads", then remembers Angela and adds "lass" in; this moment brought that scene to mind.
Coldstone's line near the end about how "we truly lived again" echoed Goliath's "we live again" words in the opening narration, though I don't know if it was intentional.
It's a pretty safe bet that most everything is intentional. (Or that I will intentionally take credit for it.) But seriously, we were very aware of pushing call back moments throughout. I do that on every series I produce.
I watched "Turf" on DVD yesterday as well, but don't have anything new to say about it, so my new thoughts on "The Reckoning", which I watched with "Possession" on DVD today.
In Act I, Hudson warns Angela that her mother "is capable of anything". Angela later uses those exact words when confronting Demona in Act III.
Elisa gets bitten by a mosquito while in the Labyrinth; I wonder if that was the moment when Sevarius and Thailog acquired her DNA for Delilah; it'd certainly be a "playing fair with the audience" moment.
While Demona professes outrage over Angela's claim to be her daughter, her eyes aren't glowing red - and later we learn that she'd known Angela to be her daughter all along. The "eyes not glowing red" part makes a good hint to the audience that she was feigning anger and disbelief.
That mosquito is exactly when Elisa's DNA was taken for later use in creating Delilah.
Rewatched "Vendettas" today - this time around, I spotted what looked like a small village in the opening shot (near the former site of Castle Wyvern). A minor detail, I know, but I liked the discovery of a village or small town in the area.
Yep. Especially one that the Vikings haven't sacked for a century or ten.
Rewatched "The Gathering" (both episodes) on DVD today. A few new things I noticed about it.
A minor detail, but which I find touching: when Renard learns about Anastasia's remarriage,, he sadly clasps her hand.
The letter X is prominent among the Xanatoses: Xanatos, FoX, and AleXander. And then I thought of LeXington, who isn't one of the family, but who's close to Alex, and who became Xanatos's secret successor in "Future Tense". (And there's that bit, also, in your "Gargoyles 2198" piece, about the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation.)
Goliath's homecoming makes a lovely contrast with "Future Tense", as he warmly embraces the overjoyed Brooklyn and Lexington (the two members of the clan who'd been bitter towards his late return in "Future Tense") and Hudson says "I knew you hadn't abandoned us." (While Broadway hugs Elisa, tying in with his being the closest to her among the trio, ever since "Deadly Force".)
One feature of Goliath's pondering the possibility that Avalon sent him to Manhattan to stop Oberon from taking Alex away; if his speculation was correct, that means that Avalon was, in a way, going against its lord and master. Though that made sense when I thought about it; without going too deeply into hypotheticals, I suspect that things would have not gone well for Avalon if Oberon *had* spirited Alex away (no way would his parents have accepted that), and Avalon would be sparing itself and its lord and master a lot of potential trouble in thwarting him.
You mentioned once that you wanted to have Puck break the fourth wall, but the rest of the production team objected to it. I noticed that he does come close, though, when he turns towards the camera while saying "I'm on a roll". (And when somebody *did* break the fourth wall, it was Brooklyn instead.)
At the very end, Broadway turns to stone shortly before the rest of the clan does.
Interesting observations. Thanks for all these, Todd.
Rewatched "Future Tense" on DVD today. Things I noticed this time on it.
Bronx looks sad when Hudson's death is revealed; given the bond the two had showed throughout the series, I thought if both fitting and touching (even if it's not really Bronx).
Goliath tells Brooklyn "we thought our odyssey was fated". I thought "odyssey" an appropriate term, since Odysseus spent twenty years away from Ithaca, and Goliath supposedly spent forty years away from Manhattan - and since gargoyles age at half the speed of humans, twenty years for humans would translate to forty years for gargoyles. (I'll admit I'm reaching here - and it feels odd to be linking Goliath to Odysseus when I'd normally think of comparing a different "Gargoyles" character to Odysseus - a fellow Greek trickster....)
The Xanatos Program's intention of using the "World Wide Net" to download itself on every computer marks one of the extremely few occasions I can think of where the Internet was alluded to on "Gargoyles"; the only other example that comes to mind was Sevarius receiving his instructions for "kidnapping" Thailog via "electronic mail". (It also got mentioned in one of the Goliath Chronicles episodes, but that doesn't count.) The near-absence of the Internet from the series certainly makes it appear
technologically dated" from today's perspective.
I think "odyssey" is a particular apt word. And though Goliath and Odysseus don't have a lot of character traits in common, I do think the comparison here was intentional. And they are both big, strong heroes.
The absence of something like the internet is less of a problem for me - in terms of dating the series - than, say, the brick-sized cellphones that Xanatos and others occasionally use.
Rewatched "Ill Met By Moonlight" today.
I spotted more hunting allusions in it (though this time, the gargoyles' "hunter" isn't a human); Titania's incantation to temporarily restrict Oberon's abilities includes the line "Till hunt be done", and Oberon says, after defeating Goliath, "And so ends the hunt". (He also evokes hunting imagery when he says "the rabbits would face the fox" - though I couldn't help thinking when he said it, "Technically, they're facing the fox's stepfather, though the audience isn't supposed to know that for another two episodes.")
Rewatched "Cloud Fathers" on DVD yesterday.
This time while watching it, I wondered how Bronx left Beth's apartment. Goliath and Angela glided off without him, and I didn't see him going out the door with the Mazas (which wouldn't have been an option in any case, for obvious reasons).
We get another bit of hunting "verbal imagery", though one of the rare occasions where it's not directed at gargoyles, when Xanatos refers to Coyote the Trickster as his "true quarry".
Coyote the Trickster disappearing when he got the Mazas to look away for a moment reminds me of the tradition about how, if you look away from the faerie-folk for even a moment, they can vanish.
Don't really remember Bronx's exit without rewatching. But mightn't he have just walked down the outer wall of the building.
Rewatched "Bushido" today (I rewatched "Sentinel" yesterday, but had no new thoughts on it).
What most struck me this time around was the parallel to "Awakening", with Taro as like a less-serious version of Xanatos. The two specifics I noticed were the gargoyles' awakening in the theme park, which reminded me of the clan's first awakening in Manhattan, and their wondering if someone had moved the temple, which evoked Xanatos moving the castle to New York.
Those parallels were very intentional.
Rewatched "The Green" today.
I might be reading too much into this, but I noted that the ones responsible for the theft of the Mayan Sun Amulet and the deaths of most of the Mayan clan were called "poachers" - a term for illegal hunters. Given the recurrent theme about gargoyles being hunted and facing danger from hunters that I've been paying close attention to in the 25th anniversary reviewing, I thought that an apt word choice.
This episode featured five "clawmark" transitions, the most I've noted to date in any individual episode of "Gargoyles". (I've been keeping track of those during the silver anniversary reviewing, and counted fifteen up to this point, of which five were in this episode - one-third, in other words.)
Wow. That's a lot of claw wipes. But we also had more location transitions from Manhattan to the Green and back.