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Came back to the rambles a bit later than I expected. Anyway....
First off, I felt the animation in this episode was some of the best in the series--fluid, characters had "solidness," and just overall very well done. My only real complaint is that sometimes the positions and movements of the characters seemed a bit too...BIG. Over-dramatic perhaps. The most obvious example is the very one you mentioned, Demona's "sex-pot poses." Those always throw me, because they just didn't really seem to fit the scene for me there. I suppose the idea put forward by several other fans--she was showing off against Elisa--is probable, but still.... On the other hand, I must admit that, yes, it is certainly...appealing to watch...the poses.
ANYWAY, still some pretty good animation. But while we're on the subject, Desdemona's skin-color seemed a bit lighter to me in this episode.
Yes, Michael Dorn does a great job contrasting the two personalities in his voice, doesn't he? Just the difference in between hearing him as Othello talking to Desdemona in cyberspace, and then as Coldstone/Iago calling Demona "Sister" is chilling. His voice work is one of the highlights of the episode IMHO.
I did not balk at the progress Hudson and Broadway made in their reading. For an animated television show, I thought this was a very nice show of development among the characters. Pity that even after reading it correctly when it really counted in THE SILVER FALCON, Broadway still has trouble reading the word "right." And perhaps, after a year of watching television, Hudson should have picked up the "hit the sack" phrase--he seemed to pick up "sitting ducks" a lot quicker than Broadway--but still, it was a fun touch.
I do kind of like the modesty Elisa displays in describing herself as no hero. I don't know why, but I do.
I didn't recognize Demona and Macbeth IMMEDIATELY. As soon as they were in the station and I managed to notice the beard on the "felon" I figured it was Macbeth. I didn't recognize Demona until she started talking (who couldn't recognize Marina Sirtis' voice as Demona?). What remained foremost on my mind was why these two were working together. I actually didn't wonder too much about the rest of the stuff--maybe it just didn't occur to me, or perhaps I figured all would be revealed in good time and just suspended my disbelief. I didn't think the two were capable of escaping the Weird Sisters, though. That is, unless the Sisters wanted them to.
As for Elisa...she REALLY should have gone to the doctor if she was out for that long. I admit, in light of this "enforced nap" I always had a problem swallowing Elisa's statement that she had only slept "a few hours in the last 40" (despite the fact that she certainly LOOKED like that statement was true).
I buy that Elisa found Demona familiar (you're right, there's that sort of connection between them).
The transformation sequence of Demona from human to gargoyle (and later from gargoyle to human) were EXCELLENT. I had been waiting to see her change since THE MIRROR and was a bit frustrated that it didn't occur anytime durning the five eps with her between then and now (y'see, I didn't know about the "tiers and tentpoles" back then). Thus, I was quite happy to see her working in human form here. Also, somehow I just KNEW the transformation was going to involve pain. I don't know why...maybe it's what I would have done with the spell if I had cast it on Demona. I can be cruel sometimes.
I'm afraid that the fact that we had three villains teaming up against the heroes didn't hit me as strongly as you would have liked. It's not just that the villains had such complexity, but also the fact that Macbeth and Demona usually are fighting each other. That kind of undercut some of the "WOW, THREE VILLAINS" factor. Also, the good guys still outnumbered the villains (even though the villains managed to outthink and incapacitate them)
I do love the interaction between Goliath and Elisa when the gargoyles head off to Macbeth's. I didn't find Goliath too smug, and I thought Elisa's "full report" remark was kind of fun and endearing.
The sequence at Macbeth's house was pretty cool as well. I also love it when Goliath taps the camera with his wing--I always was interested in seeing what other uses there were for that extra pair of appendages in addition to gliding.
"Just remember, one of them hates your guts." Lex has such a wonderfully blunt method of stating the situation. ;)
Of course Goliath responds with the equally fun "Then I'll just have to be very careful" after he's punched out the console.
Broadway: "Look at all these books!"
Macbeth: "And I know how to read them."
Nice exchange that succeeds in taking us back to LIGHTHOUSE. Also, it managed to impress my brother as being an excellent insult.
Bronx sniffs Demona behind the false wall, Brooklyn takes no notice. A repeat of the events that took place at the castle in CITY OF STONE. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I get the feeling Brooklyn's going to pay a bit more attention to Bronx's hunches after this.
BTW, I just love it when Bronx scratches at the door...and gouges the wood.
I figured Macbeth in the library was probably directly over Demona in the...whatever room it was, for the pain link to work.
Yeah, the villains pulled a smart one with Coldstone/Iago volunteering the added information. I didn't doubt that they would.
Elisa and Demona have their encounter, and then Elisa runs into Morgan. I was surprised to find that Keith David was Morgan's voice--it sounded so different from Goliath. But Morgan is a fun character with some nice insight.
I don't know why, but I like Elisa's mention that if she went to sleep and woke up there would be "no more monsters, good or bad."
Elisa goes to the castle, unarmed, and Macbeth goads Demona into facing Elisa the same way. This is one instance where it makes sense that the villain gives up the advantage of a weapon--just the honorable Macbeth playing on Demona's contempt for Elisa to ensure an honorable fight. And I like that Elisa holds her own well. I'm glad that she didn't just turn out as another "damsel in distress" but worked as a heroine in her own right.
Meanwhile, through all of this, Othello has been hiding away, against Desdemona's pleas. Personally, Desdemona strikes me as the more mature of the two of them, the wiser and more patient (she continues to stick by this guy no matter what--this is one heck of a woman...gargoyle, whatever).
Even though the hair-color was always off, I recognized the three Desdemonas as the Weird Sisters (c'mon, triplets talking nearly as one, in a situation concerning Demona and Macbeth; who else could it be?).
Othello makes the decision and the fight for control begins. You have to admire the sacrifice Othello and Des make for the sake of keeping Iago in cyberspace. I couldn't help feeling sorry that it had to be this way.
After the fight's over, and the chains are blasted, Coldstone takes his leave for the safety of others. A couple things I really like here--Coldstone refers to Elisa as "my lady" and bows, and when Coldstone shakes his head to defer staying until Goliath wakes, he only is able to close the biological eye. His robotic eye can't close. Pity that only shows up here.
And then the jogger comes in for some nice comic relief.
The final tag struck me--kind of like the first Xanatos tag I saw. Coldstone was a feint just to get the talismans--the three the Archmage said would grant "ultimate magical power!" There they were! Macbeth and Demona start to question the situation, and in come the Sisters. I knew they had been involved, but I didn't quite know what they wanted the talismans for. "The coming battle" eh? Well, that was one I couldn't wait to see.
Of course I had to wait a while for AVALON. :)
Glad you liked it. Hope it was worth the wait.