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Time to ramble...
This episode was directed by Dennis Woodyard, written and story edited by Cary Bates.
The one word title, as usual, was one of mine. I thought initially that we'd be even more focused on the Cathedral. That we might play a Quasimodo character. Heck, if Disney's "Hunchback" movie was going to have living gargoyles bouncing around, then I could have a Quasimodo swinging from the bell-ropes.
But the story, thank goodness, rightly evolved into a family drama with Goliath, Elisa, Angela, Demona, Macbeth and Thailog (and Bronx) providing us with one very ODD family. Quasimodo went away in favor of Thailog.
And we had to work a bit to make sure the thematic idea of the heart as a Sanctuary worked its way into the picture. Thank God for that French minister, eh?
During the "Previously..." recap the following exchange was heard between my eight year old daughter Erin and my five year old son Ben, after Angela learns (in that scene from "Monsters") that Goliath is her biological father:
Benny: He IS her father. He laid the egg.
Erin: Girls lay eggs.
Benny: His wife laid the egg.
Enter, for the third time or the first (or, depending on your point of view, maybe this one doesn't count either), Ms. Dominique Destine. She tells Mac, "We have all the time in the world..."
This for me (and I know for Bond expert Cary) was a very memorable line from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." And always a good sign that a relationship is going to come to a bad end.
Elisa tips her hand, which she can do cuz no one is awake, about how she really feels about Goliath here. "The most romantic city in the world and Goliath isn't awake to share it with me." (Or something like that, all quotations are approximate.) That's what she'd like to do, I'd wager. Soar over Paris with G. the way they soared over Manhattan in "Awakenings". Now had he been awake, do you think she would have made that request? Or would she in fact be distancing herself from him simply BECAUSE she had that impulse?
After her adventure on the Loch, it's nice to see Margot on a pleasant little stroll through Paris.
THE GARGOYLE WAY
Why is Goliath so resistant to parenting Angela? After all, though they're really more like younger brothers, he does his fair share of parenting the Trio.
He falls back on "The Gargoyle Way", but that's certainly inadequate, as Diane Maza will later point out. Yes, he's only one of her rookery fathers, but he's (a) the only one there and (b) the only one left alive except for the two souls trapped inside the AWOL Coldstone.
Ultimately, I think the answer is that Angela's sudden obssession with her "BIOLOGICAL" parentage makes him nervous because of the obvious extrapolation to what comes next. If she's obssessed with me as Daddy, then what happens when she learns who Mommy is?
And that's the key. He's divorced Demona. His wife who laid the egg. It took centuries and months, but after "Vows" he moved on. Now he sees Demona as a nemesis. A painful one to be sure, but a nemesis none the less. He's afraid of what the knowledge will do to Angela. He's afraid of what Demona will do with Angela, should Angela share that knowledge. And is he perhaps afraid of what -- under Demona's influence -- Angela might become?
There's some nice animation in this episode -- but none of it is at Notre Dame. That sequence put us through fits in retakes and editing. Ugghh. It's still painful to look at.
But there's some nice stuff going on...
Demona says: "In here my love." to Goliath before she realizes its not Thailog. What did you all think of that line? At this point we had only seen one silhouetted monster from a distance. And since you knew Demona was in town, we intentionally tried to lead you to belive that she was the Monster at Notre Dame. Were you expecting Thailog? Or did you think that Demona was addressing G as 'my love'?
Goliath's arrival is a shock to her, so what did you think then?
Then Thailog's arrival is supposed to be a bigger shock to you guys. Was it?
I love hearing Thailog say: "My angel of the night."
Demona has a good line too: "Jealous and paranoid."
Later, we set up Nightstone Unlimited and their two "human" identities, Alexander Thailog and Dominique Destine.
At this point in production, we knew that Fox was going to have a baby but we had not named it yet. I couldn't think of a better first name for Thailog and later I couldn't think of a better first name for Alexander Xanatos. At first this bugged me. But I began to realize it made perfect sense. Xanatos had programmed his "first" son well. If X would pick Alexander, why wouldn't T have picked it as well. And there's something so symmetrical about both his kids being named Alexander.
Elisa sits at a french cafe talking out loud to herself. Ugh. Very awkward. Obviously, we couldn't come up with a solution we liked better. I'm sure it occured to me to do it in voice over, but just chucking a V.O. sequence in the middle of an ep is very awkward too. Suddenly, the movie is POV Elisa, and we weren't doing that here. (Cf. "Revelations" and Matt's VO narration.)
I do like her last line though, coming as it did from a long time Superman scripter, Cary Bates: "This is a job... for the Gargoyles!"
THE WEDDING NIGHT
We had Macbeth use the Lennox Macbeth name instead of Lennox Macduff because we thought it would be too confusing to give him an entirely different name to any new viewers. And it makes sense that he has multiple aliases. But it still bugs me and I think in hindsight, I wish we had just been consistent.
Demona kicks Macbeth into unconsciousness, and Erin asks: "Why didn't she get hurt?"
And that's a very fair question. As usual with D&M's Corsican Brother connection, we tried very hard to be faithful to it, but it was very hard. And we wound up being a bit inconsistent. The best I can suggest is that when Demona knows she's going to hurt M and it isn't just on impulse, she can more or less steel herself against the magical feedback. It's still painful. But she doesn't show it as much.
The Gargoyles wake up and Elisa says: "Look alive, guys!" Well, they do now, don't they?
I love how Thailog slips Mac the gun and then later yells at Demona, "Didn't you search him?!" He's an evil genius that one. And passive-aggressive too.
Thailog's plan is brilliant, I think. So elegant. So simple. And if not for Elisa, so effective.
Mac's suicidal tendencies resurface. Demona's legendary temper gets the better of her common sense.
Thailog really comes into his own in this ep. Sure, Xanatos said he may have created a monster, but now Thailog has outsmarted X, D and M. Who the hell is left to outsmart?
And he has some great lines too:
"You and what clan?"
"Teamwork is so overrated."
"Aren't you spunky?'" (Another Lou Grant reference of course.)
To be fair, he couldn't immediately know that Angela was blood kin, but still doesn't his reaction to her give you the creeps? When X says Angela is lovely in "Cloud Fathers" I don't think anyone thought he was being salacious. But T? Yeah, baby.
Of course, Goliath finally gets the picture after this one. Up to this point, he was thinking Demona's the lost cause but maybe Thailog is salvagable. Now he knows better. At least about T anyway.
There's a lot of water in that water tower. It looks cool though. The animation here makes up for the Cathedral stuff.
I love Goliath's two-handed punch.
I love Demona's punch-drunken sway, as she makes her move to, as Mac says, "put us out of our misery..."
But I've always wondered why the background painters put multiple pictures of Elisa on the wall of Macbeth's chateau. Odd, that.
When I was young, I used to love MASH, particularly back in the Wayne Rogers days. (And, yes, Wayne is a friend of my dad's now. But they didn't know each other back then so I was unbiased.) But one thing that used to drive me nuts was the repetition of the following exchange:
<LOTS OF SHELLING IS ROCKING THE HOSPITAL. SUDDENLY, IT STOPS.>
Hawkeye: Do you hear that?
Someone else: Hear what?
Hawkeye: Silence! The shelling's stopped!
This was fine the first time they used it. By the twentieth time it got VERY old.
But we do a version of it here after Elisa shoots Demona ending the battle.
Why? When it used to drive me nuts? It's amazing what I'll pay tribute too.
KEITH meet MR. DAVID
I love playing Thailog against Goliath, because I love those Thailog/Goliath exchanges where Keith plays both roles. That's one of the main reasons we created Thailog. To enjoy listening to Keith go to town.
Goliath: "She has done you a favor, Macbeth."
That line should be a bit of a shock when G first says it. But it makes a lot of sense after he explains. And I love the look that Goliath and Elisa share. They aren't even pretending they don't share those feelings. They just won't act on them.
And how about Goliath actually telling a joke: "Just make sure you get a good look at her at night." Word.
One of the things I like about our series is we didn't have to end each episode the same way.
This one ends rather darkly. Goliath won't acknowledge the obvious. He just broods. Angela turns to Elisa: "Elisa, I have to know." And Elisa confirms that Demona is Angela's mother, because it's ridiculous to either lie or to not confirm the obvious that Angela has already figured out. But she knows G didn't want A to know that. So everyone is left unhappy as we sail into the fog.
And Erin ends the episode saying: "I think Elisa should be her mother."
(Me, I've always seen them sharing a more sisterly relationship. But I thought Erin's idea was sweet, and certainly came out of the sexual tension between E&G.)
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?