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Written by Steve Perry. Story Edited by Michael Reaves.
It's really just a coincidence that we watched this so close to Halloween (11-2-00). I wasn't trying for that. This was just the next episode in the sequence. Still, when I mentioned before we started that this was the Halloween episode of Gargoyles, the kids got very excited. Erin pointed at the framed cell we have in our bedroom which depicts Goliath and La Belle Elisa dancing. She remembered that it came from the episode we were about to watch. Benny then commented that Elisa and Goliath are going to get married. Erin, who has a clearer memory of the last time we completed the 66 episode sequence corrected him. But I said something cryptic, like you never know. Erin said I needed to make more episodes so that we could find out. From her mouth to God's ears.
In general, the kids were very verbal during this episode, or at least Erin was. Benny started out verbal, but fell asleep with his mom rubbing his tummy somewhere during Act One.
In the opener, a classic scene I think, when he first saw Xanatos and Fox together he said: "That was you, Erin. I was him." in reference to the Fox and Xanatos costumes they wore to the Gathering 2000's masquerade.
Erin really bought into the tension of the episode. And it is very tense. Some terrific pacing to this. She remembered this one with much greater clarity than most. "Uh oh. That's not just any necklace." Etc. Personally, I just love Xanatos' pragmatic proposal. The truth is X should have already known that he was truly in love with Fox. I've just done some research into sentencing while working on and reworking my Gargoyle timeline. Fox & Wolf each received a 16 month sentence for briefly holding that model hostage in "Thrill of the Hunt". They had the opportunity to be parolled after eight months. They were rejected. Instead of waiting a mere eight more months for them to be released free and clear, an impatient Xanatos sets up the events in "Leader of the Pack". Is that a man in love or what? Nevertheless, we get his whole "We're genetically compatible and have the same goals" speech. She asks about love, and he feels himself largely incapable of the emotion. He thinks he's too amoral for that. "I think we love each other as much as two people like us can." (Or something like that. I'm approximating all these quotations.) It's fun.
Then comes the sequence in Mr. Jaffe's store. Erin is still very tense: "Uh oh, that's Fox. She's wearing the necklace." and "She wants to stop it [the necklace] with one arm. But she doesn't want to with the other." Here, Erin's hit right on Fox's internal conflict. Part of her is fighting the Eye, but part of her wants to surrender to its power. When X first confronts her in her bedroom, and when the Werefox emerges and attacks, it doesn't shred him. It throws him down on the bed. There's some powerful primal energy swirling 'round that room. Lucky thing Owen is there, or I'm not sure Xanatos escapes with his dignity intact.
Xanatos takes note and activates Plan A, which will be followed by B and C. And a makeshift D. It becomes almost a parody of all his contingencies and "Xanatos Tags" from previous episodes. For once, he's out of control. And he can't bear to admit it. He pretends (even to himself) that he just needs to recover the valuable Eye of Odin, when what he obviously really wants is to save Fox. "...I'd never have just given it away. Ah, well, spilled milk." (I always thought that was a great and yet feeble cover for his real feelings.)
Speaking of the Eye, how many knew back when it was intro'd in "The Edge" that it would be so important? As I think I've mentioned, the Eye was actually the creation of Disney Interactive which was working on a GARGOYLES VIDEO GAME at the time. They told us about the Eye, and I loved the idea and decided to incorporate it into the show. Unfortunately, we didn't use their design, which had this great crow/raven theme to it, appropriate to Odin. Instead, our design always looked vaguely Egyptian to me. I can't remember, but I think that maybe they're design wasn't ready when we needed to complete our model for "The Edge". Or it might have been poor communication. The Eye was designed at Walt Disney Animation - Japan. At any rate, we knew from the gamer folk that the Eye had metamorphic powers. But I wanted to be more specific. Yes, it would grant power, but it had to grant power that suited the legend of Odin's Eye. The Eye traditionally provided Mimir with the gift of sight. That easily translated to "insight" for me. Which is a kind of power in its own right. The Eye in the Gargoyles Universe would externalize and amplify a major trait of the wearer. And, yes, even then I had plans to eventually intro Odin himself and have him stick the thing back in his empty socket.
I think that shot from inside the elevator shaft when Fox smashes her way in is very cool.
Owen with an Elvis tribute: "Fox has left the building."
--The Eye of Odin, of course.
--Mr. Jaffe's poor grocery store.
--X's commando squad (including Bruno) is at the ready, yet still unprepared for the Werefox's fury.
--Since "The Mirror", Goliath is more open about his growing feelings for Elisa. She again defuses things by turning his concerns for her into a more objective statement about friendship.
--Goliath is back in the library. This time studying Werewolves. The information won't be useful, but isn't that just like him?
--Elisa immediately jumping to the conclusion that the were-thing is another of Xanatos' mutated victims like her brother.
HALLOWEEN - The trio are very excited to be able to stroll into the open. "No one'll know who we are." Better yet, "No one will know WHAT we are." The taste of conformity they got in "The Mirror" has opened a window on their need to be a part of something larger than the clan.
Another cool visual: Fox and Goliath circling each other, with Fox on all fours.
I love when Goliath tries to reason with Fox. "If Xanatos is your enemy, then believe me, WE are your friends." How little he knows. The Werefox immediately attacks him. Still conflicted. Throughout the story, Fox fights, but the Eye reasserts.
Time for Plan C. But Owen has noticed the flaw in Xanatos' usually stellar power of contingency. X claims that all he cares about is the Eye. But he's only setting things up so that the gargs will get the eye. Subconsciously, all he wants is Fox. But we have Goliath arrive and interrupt just at that moment so that neither X or the audience has time to focus on the contradicition.
X breaks down. Appeals to Goliath. He's out of control. Up to a point. ("Old habits die hard -- he still has the forsight to plant a bug on Goliath ala "Awakening, Part Three".
Gotta love Goliath's line: "Not a good night for you." It's great as a writer when you can legitimately turn the tables and give Goliath a Xanatos line.
Broadway REALLY wanted to dress up as a Detective. So he's got a new trenchcoat and hat. Brooklyn, ever the swashbuckler, is a pirate. And Lex... hmm... what should we make Lex. We settled on a pilot, in keeping with his helicopter prowess, I guess. But it was never too clear what Lex would or should be, and I can't help thinking that Lex had trouble deciding on a costume too.
Of course, Goliath doesn't wear a costume.
Vinnie has a line here. Though officially, it's not Vinnie's first appearance, this one line of Jeff Bennett spoken dialogue "A costume over a costume." is the obvious inspiration for all that followed with the Vinster.
And I love Keith as that witch saying "That is a great, great costume." What a great, great line reading.
BEAUTY & THE BEAST. Finally, we get to hit the nail on the head. A moment so romantic (in a very romantic episode) that even the characters take note. Elisa lets her self go for a moment. Goliath just is. The kids are happy for them.
But "Things are not always as they seem". Goliath breaks the moment by attacking a guy in a werewolf costume.
Note: That Goliath now refers to Manhattan as "My castle, my city." A year earlier (more or less) he was calling it Xanatos' city. I love the notion that Goliath sees hope in Xanatos LOVING someone. And of course, he's right. Xanatos' love for Fox (and later Alex) will result in Goliath getting the castle back. Not war, but love.
Brooklyn and Lex finally get to eat pretzyls. Remember that in Awakening, Broadway ate them all. Meanwhile Broadway eat's a hot dog and BELCHES MIGHTILY. This was really more about all of us indulging ourselves in low humor. We put the burp into the script. Bill Fagerbakke burped loudly. But our sound effects guy Paca Thomas, put in the burp to end all burps.
--Lex gets very intense (briefly) and wants to go after FOX. He still hates anything or anyone connected to his Pack experience.
--The return of Brendan & Margot.
Gotta love Elisa's costume. Holster for a garter belt. Very sexy. Solved our nudity problem with Fox too. I'm amazed we got away with that.
In a larger sense, I'm amazed we got away with the entire episode. I was very nervous that the notion of X and Fox getting engaged would be rejected. But the BIG BOSSES didn't focus on the fact that the engagement might lead to marriage. And fortunately, they weren't paying attention when that engagement led to marriage, pregnancy and a kid. I don't think they would have allowed it.
I could have done without Broadway eating his hat.
Fox's internal conflict is visualized when she sees Elisa as herself and attacks to silence that human voice inside her once and for all.
When, in slow motion, Goliath intercepts Fox and saves Elisa (who's usually fairly self-sufficient) it may be the purest moment of Hero saving damsel we have in the series. The dress helps of course.
A little HIGHLANDER inspiration here with Fox and the exploding sign.
I love that Owen's right there with the helicopter.
X is still trying to interpret things to suit his old (and dated) world view. He thinks Goliath is trading the Eye for Fox, which of course he wasn't. Goliath doesn't think that way.
"Now you know my weakness."
"Only you would consider love a weakness."
"You've never looked more heroic."
"A momentary lapse, I assure you."
All great lines.
Let's go home.
And Owen, who signed on BECAUSE Fox and Xanatos were so interesting to the Puck, SMILES.
And now a word about the episode from Erin Sydney Weisman (she typed this herself):
I am most interested in this episode. And the episode I watched was a spooky episode. And I liked the episode, because it was a very enchanting episode.