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An Old Fan writes...

So I know you've answered this a number of times over the years, but rather than I asking the nth time, I've spent a while thinking about the "how".

So Macbeth and Demona cannot die but by their own hand and although there are situations that seem like they could die by another's (beheading, smashed stone, etc), these situations cannot happen because of the spell the Wierd Sisters placed on them. It protects them from assured fatal injuries that normally would kill mortals (again beheading, smashed stone, etc). The spell basically would manipulate events to ensure that Macbeth and Demona would always get out of such a situation (Macbeth getting caught in the French Revolution and is scheduled to be beheaded but some mishap with the dungeon keys delays it, buying him time to escape or Demona is forced to roost elsewhere instead of her normal spot because of some freak storm preventing her in getting back, thus sparing her from being smashed by the Hunters one morning).

They would have uncanny luck in avoiding death situations that would otherwise be assured.

Greg responds...

I guess you're basically right, but I would recharacterize it. The Sisters may not have magically enforced this "manipulation," as you put it, so much as they magically predicted future events.

Response recorded on August 18, 2021

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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...

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.

Greg responds...

That mosquito is exactly when Elisa's DNA was taken for later use in creating Delilah.

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 "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.

Greg responds...

Those typos drive me nuts.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

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".

Greg responds...

The animation on that episode was just lovely..

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

I rewatched "High Noon" over the weekend. ("Outfoxed", as well, but I'm giving it a separate entry.)

What struck me most about this episode this time around was that it was almost a "Shakespeare villain team-up" - Macbeth (and Demona, whom you could describe as a "Lady Macbeth" analogue) team up with Iago (more accurately, a gargoyle analogue for Iago, who's only called that in the voice actor credits). I doubt that Shakespeare should have objected to that, since he'd written at least one crossover himself ("A Midsummer Night's Dream", which blends Greek mythology with English fairy-lore).

I still like the touch of Hudson and Broadway learning to read from the newspaper - poor Broadway's still finding the word "right" a challenge (cf. "The Silver Falcon"). Again, I'm going to have to look through some books on the history of the English language to find out how so many words which sound like "-ite" came to end, in written form, with "-ight". It's probably one of the biggest challenges to someone learning written English.

Broadway's excited cry, as he and Hudson enter Macbeth's library, "Look at all these books!" struck me all the more, when I thought that, to someone who'd been born (well, hatched) and grown up in the 10th century, a library that size would indeed seem miraculous. What a difference the printing press has made!

"Iago"'s cry as "Othello" and "Desdemona" recover control of Coldstone, "I am besieged!", grabbed me this time around - such a dramatic way of describing the struggle within.

And this time, I also noted Coldstone's statement that, as long as "Iago"'s trying to recover control, "no *living* gargoyle" (emphasis mine) is safe from him. It brings home, I think, his awareness that he's now an "undead gargoyle".

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it, still, after all these years.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "City of Stone" today (all four episodes). A few things that stood out to me this time.

Continuing the "gargoyles being called beasts" thread: the granary guards in Part One call Demona's clan "filthy beasts". Gillecomgain doesn't use the term "beast" for Demona, but does call her a creature and a monster.

(By contrast, the "breastplate gargoyle" comments about their old home, after Demona and her clan have to abandon it following Duncan's attack, "The hunting there was good" - probably one of the few occasions where gargoyles are talking about being the hunters rather than the hunted.)

Demona's clan uses nets twice in this multi-parter - once against the granary guards in Part One, once against Canmore's army in Part Four. The nets being in Parts One and Four gave a nice sense of "bookends".

A detail that I can't believe I missed before: Demona was bearing the Hunter's mask at her belt, as if a trophy, after the battle with Duncan. (The young Canmore grabs it from her during his attack upon her.)

Demona calls Bronx "my pet"; I looked up your remarks on gargoyle beasts in the archives and found that gargoyles don't see gargoyle beasts as pets, but as equals. Maybe another sign that Demona thinks far more like a human than she'd admit (or than it would be safe to tell her)?

I like the touch of the various new kings (like Macbeth and Lulach) being hailed as "High King of Scotland" - the "high king" part conveys all the more a sense of Scotland as a collection of recently-united chiefdoms (which it would have been at the time in actual history).

Greg responds...

We tried to get a feeling for the actual history into the piece.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

Rewatched "Vows" today. A few new things that came to me.

I was hesitant about mentioning this, in case it comes across as an idea, but - from the way Goliath addressed Demona as "my angel of the night" at Prince Malcolm's wedding, I wondered if this was the first time he'd called her that.

When Xanatos referred to his getting the old coin that was the foundation of his fortune as "ancient history", I thought, "well, medieval history, to be precise".

I wonder how Prince Malcolm and his court must have perceived the Norman Ambassador's departure - he rides off just before the wedding, not staying to see Princess Elena, whom he'd escorted to the castle, wedded (even though he'd presumably be the closest thing to a representative of her father there). At least it doesn't appear to have caused a diplomatic incident between Scotland and Normandy.

The Archmage addresses Demona as "you stupid beast", continuing the pattern of unfriendly humans using such terms for gargoyles, that I've been paying close attention to this time around.

Brooklyn is the one most vocal about going to Goliath's rescue at the end; I wonder if Demona's involvement and his feelings about her had a lot to do about that.

I still think it's a pity that the original ending got onto the DVD; I hope that the Disney + version uses the corrected ending. (That's the main thing I miss from my old "Gargoyles" tapes.)

Greg responds...

<sigh> That damn ending...

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Alix writes...

Where did Demona get her Tiara from? Did someone give it to her or did she steal it?

Greg responds...

Really good question.

No spoilers.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021


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