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My Puck/Owen Ramble:
I didn't see it coming, okay? Maybe I'm thick or something but I did not have the -slightest- clue that Owen was really the Puck. Did. Not. See it. I was blown away, to put it mildly. I fell out of my chair and frothed for a bit. Having managed to see these episodes in order, I'd seen all of Owen's episodes and Puck's and still didn't see it coming. Later, when I re-watched City of Stone, I fell over again: YOU KNEW ALL ALONG!! HINTS!!! EVERYWHERE!!! AGhthth!
As to the stone fist, I'd read it like this: Owen didn't know -what- the cauldron would do, but figured if it was something really bad, he could always get a new hand, given some time. His faith in Xanatos' technology was quite high, and there was ample evidence that Xanatos was developing loyalty-like emotions of his own. (I say loyalty-like because frankly Xanatos is one scary bugger, even post-Gathering.) As for Xanatos, I (wrongly, it turned out) read him as really feeling something there, some shock, some dismay and even sympathy, BUT knowing that the worst thing he could express was sympathy. It's not the Xanatos way to cry over spilled milk, or even a few gallons of spilled blood. You arch an eyebrow, make a mental note, and go on. To me at least, he did Owen a great service by reacting in the most Xanatos way possible, and in fact anything else would have been an insult to what I thought at the time was a huge (but on some level, justified as it IS freaking immortality) sacrifice.
(That last bit works really well even if you know about Puck, but it's far less dramatically heavy and more of a sublimely funny moment the two friends share. To translate the lines into Dude-where's-my-car-ese: "Hey, check it. Human form, human effects." "Huh huh. Awesome." The pair are actually -both- parodying themselves here, Owen being subserviant to the point of near-insanity, and Xanatos blowing it off. I like to think that here Xanatos is kind of thinking to himself "boy, I'm kind of a jerk, aren't I" but having more fun playing the part than any sort of remorse-like emotions.
If I somehow haven't said it enough, holy crap Gargoyles is the awesomeness, I've bought two copies each of the two DVD sets out, and I am obsessed with Xanatos' scary hotness. I have a LiveJournal icon of him from "The Edge" with the words "OMG XANATOS!" blinking underneath it. A toast to the prettiest, scariest, yummiest villain of all time.
I appreciate your compliments, but I also really LOVE your analysis of the characters. The fact that Owen turned out to be Puck doesn't change most of what you wrote.
As for that revelation, our goal was to shock the audience (or most of it) but still leave them saying, "Of course! Why didn't I see it before?!"