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Todd Jensen writes...

My ramble on "Heritage".

Truth to tell, I no longer recall my initial responses from when I first saw this episode (I particularly don't remember how long I expected the Avalon World Tour to last, or what my initial responses to Raven and Grandmother were), so I'll have to simply give my overall thoughts on it.

First off, I'll admit that the "legendary background" in this one was something that I was less familiar with than the use of actual myths and legends in earlier episodes of "Gargoyles". This does appear (as best as I can tell, at present) to be the first time that "Gargoyles" uses legends from a non-Western culture; up till then, the mythical background was that of the Western world (mostly the British Isles), with Macbeth, King Arthur, Puck, Avalon, etc. Here the legends were those of the Haida people, which I hadn't read as much about. I had some general knowledge of Raven, the Thunderbird, and totem poles, but that was about it. However, I did still quite like this episode.

Grandmother and Raven's introduction as specifically Children of Oberon, of course, makes it clear that Oberon's Children are worldwide, not confined to just one mythology, which was a good touch. (I noticed the pointy ears on both Grandmother and Raven in his human form, of course - one of the best-known ways of identifying someone as a mythical being). I also thought that Grandmother and Raven worked well in their respective roles - Raven, especially, who (as a trickster) got some of the best lines. (As generally is the case with tricksters). Such as "Oh, well, better make sure it's an uneven fight" or, in his big "sour grapes" moment, "This place no longer amuses me."

I agree with you about Natsilane's facial expression after Grandmother's roots line being priceless; it's one of the big LOL moments in "Gargoyles" for me. (Another one is coming up in "Kingdom", in fact - but I'll mention that one when we get to that, which'll clearly be soon).

Of course, since you released your "Gargoyles 2198" overview, we now know what some of your future plans for the events in this episode were. I still find it interesting that Queen Florence Island would indeed wind up being the home of a new gargoyle clan, converting Raven's lie into the truth (in a way). I wonder if anybody in 2188 was conscious of that (all of the original participants in that episode - except for Grandmother and Raven, of course - would obviously be long since gone, but their descendants - and we do know that both the Manhattan clan and Natsilane have descendants around in 2198 - might have preserved the story of that event).

I also like the exchange between Goliath and Angela over Raven's story, including Goliath's comments about how humans fear and hate gargoyles in spite of the fact that gargoyles protect them (and why), and yet how gargoyles still have the duty to look after their protectorate (something that he certainly lives up to himself, in his refusal to abandon Manhattan even when it becomes difficult for gargoyles to live safely in). So even an episode where the "new gargoyles" turn out to be impostors tells us more about gargoyles, which is quite a nice touch.

By the way, I did some general research on the legendary figures in this episode, and found out that the Thunderbird appears in some legends as a "benevolent teacher-figure", which does fit in quite nicely with it being one of the creatures that Grandmother shape-shifts into.

I also agree that it's a lovely moment when Goliath and Elisa hug just after the bear gets driven off (I also get a kick out of the scene where Bronx sticks his head out of the bush after driving the bear away).

Greg responds...

It does all work fairly well, I think. I particularly like the look of Thunderbird.

Response recorded on April 20, 2004