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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

We were pretty happy with it.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on August 17, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Also intentional. I love those kinds of callbacks.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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....

Greg responds...

Yep...

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Maybe Bronx just had never seen a kangaroo before...

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Yep.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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".

Greg responds...

She wasn't just talking about Nessie.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

It was indeed intentional.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Certain elements run through my work, I suppose...

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Anonymous writes...

This is less a question than a comment, since I know you won't give out spoilers. :)

I've noticed that a lot of writers, especially in TV shows, either can't or don't want to write established relationships - either the courtship is dragged out until the final episode, or the couple gets together mid-series only to fall into an endless cycle of break ups and make ups. And while Gargoyles is one of the few TV series that I think had legitimately good reasons both for the long courtship and for the breakup in the comics, which both made sense with the characters and were compatible with them having a long-term healthy relationship... I also really hope that this won't become a recurring phenomenon, and that their relationship will continue to progress, however slowly. While I know that no relationship lasts forever, if nothing else because no one lives forever, I really really hope that Elisa and Goliath will have many long years ahead of them to function as a healthy couple, and that we the audience will get to see at least some of it. *crosses fingers for Gargoyles coming back in some form*

Greg responds...

I don't disagree with you.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021


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