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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.
Rewatched "The New Olympians" on DVD today.
Continuing the "hunting" theme in "Gargoyles" that I've paid closer attention to this time around, I noticed that Ekidne described the New Olympians' ancestors as "hunted". (I also spotted a New Olympian extra who looked a lot like traditional depictions of Artemis/Diana, the goddess of the hunt - though I think I'm reading too much into that.)
Goliath's words to Angela about how they cannot wage war on an entire city remind me of his words to Demona in "Awakening Part Five" of how he cannot wage war upon an entire world.
Also intentional. I love those kinds of callbacks.
Rewatched "Eye of the Storm" on DVD today.
I noticed, this time around, that after Goliath rescues Elisa from Odin, Odin cries "This isn't over!" - the same words that Hakon used after his initial attack on the castle was turned back at the start of the series. It struck me as appropriate, since they were both "Old Norse". (I don't know if that was intentional, though, or just a fortunate coincidence.)
Rewatched "Pendragon" on DVD yesterday. A few observations from this time around.
Hudson recognizes the wind that heralds the arrival of King Arthur and Griff; I suspected that there's an interesting story behind that and how he came to know it. Most likely something that would be told in "Dark Ages".
Griff refers to Westminster Abbey as "my abbey" when initially confronting King Arthur - for me, it evoked Goliath speaking of "my castle" when confronting Elisa back in "Awakening Part Three". Evidently part of the gargoyles' territorial nature manifesting itself.
Macbeth immediately recognizes Griff as a gargoyle, though all his on-stage encounters with gargoyles up till then were with the Scottish variety. (Of course, most of the things that went on during those nine hundred years of wandering in his life, we don't know about - only his fighting at Bannockburn on the Scottish side, and taking part in the 1950 removal of the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey.)
I really like the term "rookery poem" as a gargoyle counterpart to "nursery rhyme".
Someone should write a book of rookery poems...
Rewatched "Mark of the Panther" on DVD today.
I've mentioned before how I've noticed a strong "hunting" motif running through "Gargoyles" during my reviewing it; this episode included more of that theme, though, for a change, it didn't involve humans going after gargoyles. Instead, it was the Panther Queen and, later, Fara Maku, hunting for Anansi, and then Tea and the poachers hunting panthers.
Elisa lists the body parts of panthers that poachers are after as skin, teeth, and claws. When Diane Maza tells the story of the Panther Queen shortly afterwards, her description of the Panther Queen stresses those same three attributes (well, fur rather than skin, but it's close enough), but now focusing on their beauty, rather than the monetary worth that motivated the poachers. (And when Anansi turns the Panther Queen into a human, the story stresses the Queen's loss of those same attributes.)
Goliath's explanation to Diane, when they're trapped in the pit, that he can only glide, not fly, echoed (for me) his explanation to Elisa on the ledge back in "Awakening Part Three". Like mother, like daughter....
Rewatched "The Hound of Ulster" yesterday, but I didn't have any new thoughts on it, so I skipped it over - and "Walkabout" today.
Things that struck me about "Walkabout" this time around:
I'd noticed this before, but Bronx growls at a kangaroo near the beginning. I wonder what he dislikes about them. (I also spotted a koala up in a tree - that I *hadn't* seen in past viewings.)
I was amused by Elisa's description of Dingo as "not one of the good guys" - since that could so easily be tweaked to "one of the bad guys". I don't know if you'd come up with the name for that spin-off at the time, of course.
Goliath at one point says "Aye, for now" - probably the one occasion where he says "Aye" - he usually leaves those Scottish-toned words to Hudson.
During the battle with the Matrix in the Dreamtime-world, Goliath imprisons it briefly within a dome that looks a lot like the domes it was producing in the waking world, and conjures up a shield with a sun-design upon it - a strange emblem for a gargoyle to bear.
Maybe Bronx just had never seen a kangaroo before...
Rewatched "Grief" on DVD today.
The only new observation I have is that, this time, I noticed how Keith David did the "aged-up" Goliath; his voice sounded, while recognizably Goliath's, much older. I thought it another "mark of honor" for the "Gargoyles" voice cast.
Yeah. Keith - and our whole cast - were just amazing.
Rewatched "M.I.A." today. One detail stood out to me this time; the human Londoners grouped in the background at the very end are the same ones we saw in Act I staring at the gargoyles in shock and alarm, when Leo and Una are confronting Goliath outside their shop. It made a pleasant touch, I thought, to see that those people have now recognized (judging from the way they were shown at the conclusion) that they didn't need to be scared of the gargoyles.
Rewatched "Sanctuary" on DVD today. New observations.
Elisa writes Macbeth's name as "MacBeth". Not quite as serious as the infamous "Servarius" error in "The Cage", but still a bit unfortunate.
I was amused to note that Demona barely even registers Elisa's presence in the middle of her fight with Macbeth, even though Elisa's calling out to both of them - until just before Elisa shoots her. She does finally spot the detective and aim at her, but Elisa takes her down before she can do more than that. Apparently her feud with Macbeth tops even her hatred for Elisa.
I felt a sense of near-horror, though, as I noticed how Demona and Macbeth's fight was damaging the library, with several books apparently getting damaged or destroyed.
And the silhouette of a gargoyle against the moon in the newspaper photograph bears an uncanny similarity (obviously coincidental) to the Bat-Signal.
Those typos drive me nuts.
I rewatched "Golem" on DVD.
Not many new observations or insights, but I was impressed by the late Robert Culp's performance, the way he switches the tone of Renard's voice when he's in the Golem's body. It still sounds like Renard, but tougher, more vigorous.
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I found the scene where Janus was petting Bronx on the head charming. (And all the more impressive, given that he's just encountered his first gargoyle beast only minutes before. He clearly picked up on Bronx's nature quickly.)
Bronx is very lovable.
Rewatched "Monsters" on DVD today. (Appropriate timing, I thought, since November 30 is St. Andrew's Day, dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland - and on that day, I was watching Scottish gargoyles encountering Scotland's most famous monster.) A few fresh thoughts on it.
When Elisa describes herself to the man at the souvenir stall as "not really the adventuring type", I found myself thinking of her statement in "High Noon", "I'm no hero; I just do my job". Certainly, whatever her incliations, she's had plenty of adventures.
I wondered whether Elisa's remark about theme parks doing "robot Nessie-type" stunts five times a day was Disney poking a bit of fun at itself - we'd see something similar in "Bushido".
And when Elisa says at the end how some legends need to stay that way, she looks in Goliath's direction as she speaks, making me wonder if it was just the Loch Ness Monster she was talking about. Certainly Elisa's been zealous about preserving the gargoyles' secrecy - maybe too zealous, in light of "Revelations" and "Mark of the Panther".
She wasn't just talking about Nessie.
I've now rewatched "Heritage" and "Kingdom" on DVD. No new thoughts on "Heritage", but I still really enjoy the gargoyles bringing Cagney to the clock tower to look after him in Elisa's absence. I thought it appropriate that it was Broadway who found the kitty (he's the one of the four left behind gargs who's closest to Elisa). And I liked Hudson's rapport with Cagney, while missing Bronx. Including Cagney rubbing affectionately against Hudson - he's got no problems with gargoyles (though Maggie's another story).
I found myself wondering how that containment unit was still functioning after Fang ripped the cables apart to transport it. (To make up for it, I noticed this time around - and really liked - the way they did Talon's voice while he was stuck in there.)
As you pointed out in your ramble, Xanatos's security system does far more damage to the castle than to the gargoyles - I cringe as I see it blowing pieces of the castle apart (small wonder that, by the time of the Double Date story, Owen was getting fed up with all those repairs!) - but Xanatos's lines made up for it.
Xanatos is just so much fun...
A postscript thought I had on "Shadows of the Past". Both it and "Future Tense" - the first and last episodes in the Avalon World Tour respectively - have Goliath being beset by terrifying magical illusions, but at last realizing that they're not real and confronting the person or people behind the illusion. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but I think it gives a great element of symmetry to the World Tour.
It was indeed intentional.
Rewatched "Shadows of the Past" today.
Bronx was definitely not enjoying the wild boat ride through the stormy seas - his response put me in mind of the "series Pitch"'s description of him as angst-ridden and not fond of adventures.
I really enjoyed the little animation details in this episode - Elisa cautiously climbing up the path from the shore, grabbing hold of the stone wall at one point to steady herself, or Bronx slipping a bit when he starts climbing up the cliff.
The entrance to the rookery looked different than it did in "Awakening Part One" - apparently those doors and the gargoyle-like face over them were removed by Xanatos to New York, along with the rest of the castle. The depiction of the now castle-less cliff - with a huge gap - brought home just how much of it Mr. X had removed.
I really like the illusory Demona's words to Goliath "Join me in the dark" - it's an illusion of her, of course, but those words capture so well in metaphor what she's been trying to get him to do (when not simply trying to kill him).
This time around, looking at the giant skull-like shape left over from the Archmage's battle with the gargoyles in "Long Way Till Morning", I tried to work out (but wasn't certain) whether it was a real skull (if so, it belonged to something really huge) or just part of the cave sculpted into the likeness of a skull. I'll have to pay closer attention to it, the next time I watch "Long Way Till Morning".
The animation on that episode was just lovely..
Rewatched the "Avalon" triptych on DVD today. A few new observations.
The Magus's lyre in the "flashback on Avalon" scene looks a lot like Merlin's lyre in "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time". Obviously not the same one, but evidently both wizards share a common taste in musical instruments.
Princess Katharine and the Magus's telling Elisa "Little is known of the Sleeping King" struck me as all the more appropriate since in 995, nearly all the major works on King Arthur had yet to be written (Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of the Kings of Britain", the oldest extant start-to-finish account of Arthur's life, wouldn't be written for over a hundred years). There were one or two, like Nennius's "Historia Brittonum", but that was about it.
A detail that I hadn't spotted before: a couple of gargoyle-like sculptures were "guarding" the bridge leading to Arthur's resting-place within the Hollow Hill.
King Arthur and Goliath have both used a mace while fighting Macbeth (Goliath did so in "Enter Macbeth") - one of a few points in common they share (others are awakening in the modern world from a long enchanted sleep, and having scheming illegitimate sons).
The Archmage's boast that he could destroy Goliath with "just a word" struck me as apt, since all the "enhanced Archmage"'s spells were one-word ones ("Vessel", "Revert", "Ice", etc.).
It's difficult not to smile at Elisa's "Souvenirs" question after Season One of "Young Justice". Fortunately, she was asking it in a lighthearted tone.
Certain elements run through my work, I suppose...
Rewatched "The Price" on DVD yesterday.
This time around, I noted the Macbeth-robot's "trophies" line, and how that continued the "hunting" imagery I'd been paying close attention to in the series during my 25th anniversary viewing. Because trophies are one of the reasons why someone would be hunting. (As far as I can tell, it's the only time that was given as a motive for hunting gargoyles - and, of course, it doesn't count, since it was all part of the misdirection tactic.)