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RESPONSES 2001-5 (May)

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VF writes...

Thought I'd take a stab at providing another viewer's reaction to an episode for you. So here are my observations about/reaction to "High Noon" -

The concept of there not being any scent in Coldstone's world was not jarring - it just seemed to be additional explanation of the rules that I was willing to go along with. It was already established in my mind that this was an alternate world that didn't necessarily have to follow the same rules of nature that my reality does. But I also thought, well, if it can be "real" enough to have heather growing in distant fields, why couldn't it also be artificially scented? But I assumed it was a technological limitation, not the unwillingness of a gargoyle soul to allow herself to smell.

I appreciated the continuity and progression of demonstrating Hudson and Broadway practicing their reading skills openly in front of their family, and I was genuinely pleased to see them doing so well. That I have reactions like this to a cartoon still amazes me, I have to confess. But those subtle yet significant touches provided further evidence to me that this show had some good writers and editors behind it.

Also, there was a lot of nice characterization showing Elisa's relationship with the rest of the clan - the exchange with Broadway about doing the right thing and claiming not to be a hero (when she so obviously is) and with Lex when she offers encouragement and shows confidence in him when she says he'll figure out the programming to fix Coldstone. Also, the part when Demona tells Macbeth her only consolation of enduring the pain of transformation is that he gets to suffer as well is priceless. It's deftly comical and tragically in character simultaneously. So lots of good storytelling and pacing of plot revelation going on here.

I did think it was a bit patronizing of Goliath to tell Elisa she has a whole city to protect and equally patronizing for her to order a full report later. I just sort of winced a bit at that exchange and thought "What was that all about?" I also had an adverse reaction to what I thought was Macbeth's really low blow in the library with the book reference, "And I know how to read them." For someone who had established such a strong code of honor, even among his worst enemies centuries earlier, that seemed more hurtful than any physical blow and really beneath him. So I'll generously attribute such uncouth behavior to his being under a spell, I guess.

In any episode of the series, I trust the reliability of Bronx's nose above all (i.e. in this case, his detection of Demona behind the wall of the closet). Yes, there are some constants in the gargoyle universe.

When the clan questions how two foes like Demona and Macbeth could be in collaboration, Hudson observes -- incorrectly but plausibly that -- "Maybe misery loves company." Ed Asner delivers that line with great finesse, hinting at a lot of complexity behind a seemingly simple statement. For one who appears to be an old-fashioned traditionalist, Hudson understands a lot more than other characters (and even viewers) may give him credit for.

Elisa had a very sweet and sincere line about not being able to leave the clock tower without knowing whether the clan was safe. She's a very dedicated friend. I was surprised that Demona would reveal her dual personality and transform in front of Elisa. I just thought that would be a trump card Demona wouldn't give up so easily, I guess. But I certainly thought it was completely in character for the scantily clad Dominique to strut her stuff in front of her rival - a pure sign of over-compensation for what is really subconscious insecurity and even a bit of self-loathing.

A line of Elisa's that really did not fit, in my opinion, was, "No more monsters - good or bad." I never, never would have believed, after "Awakenings" at least, that Elisa would've ever used that word in relation to her gargoyle friends. But I loved her new-found resolve with Morgan's help. Heroism shines through and adrenalin provides the needed strength; it's the great climax in the episode - the fight scene itself is simply the end result and is secondary to that moment.

More good lines follow: "I'm here to save him." "You fight like a rookie." (Elisa deserved some kind of one-up on Demona) and Macbeth's rye observation to a now Othello-controlled Coldstone that, "It seems your allegiance has shifted slightly" - here proving the concept that, when it comes to drama and comedic effect, more often than not, less is more. Incidentally, the error with the three Desdemonas' hair coloring didn't keep me from thinking of the Weird Sisters connection - I'm trained quite the opposite - any time I see three of anything in the series I'd think Weird Sisters, regardless of coloring.

And then there are the additional interesting revelations at the end, implying more to come in future episodes. But for me, that was almost just obligatory informational stuff needed to move the story along, it wasn't where the true strength of the episode lay.

For what it's worth. ...

Greg responds...

It's worth a lot actually. Very strong character analysis. As I said, I think we pushed Elisa a bit to get our parallel story. Caught her exhausted and on a bad day. But I don't think you're wrong about any of the above. Thanks.

Response recorded on May 30, 2001

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