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Time to ramble...
Chapter LIV: "Cloud Fathers"
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler-Reaves
Writer: Lydia Marano
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Our recap emphasized Xanatos' near disinterest in Goliath. It's kinda funny. And I love how Xanatos spells out that he doesn't hold a grudge. I really do think that it's his reasonableness that sets him apart as a villain. That and the fact that he's such a big picture guy. His big plans are rarely about acquiring things he can get himself. He wants immortality.
Xanatos: "It's my first real step at cliched villainy. How am I doing?"
Still, it was fun at the very end to let him at least get annoyed: "...These last minute upsets you keep handing me are becoming... irritating." THAT in fact is the closest Xanatos comes to cliched villainy.
Throughout the episode, the girls keep asking Peter if he wants to "visit" his own father. I'm curious as to how many of you realized that Carlos Maza had actually passed away.
I think the Cloud Fathers memo that I recently posted gives a pretty clear indication of what I was trying to go for here. This, in my mind, is an internal struggle: Peter vs. Peter. Were his actions as a young man reasonable? Are they justifiable? If he admits his mistakes can he live with them? Etc.
I like how dialogue from the Arizona flashback is referenced by Coyote later. My kids noticed it too. Erin also noticed how much Coyote looked like young Peter with his "rugged good looks". I'm glad that was clear.
We finally get to know Elisa's other sibling -- the non-mutated one. She seems like an interesting character. Very open-minded. Influenced by her mother's more academic and anthropological pursuits, but choosing to focus on the Native American side of her heritage as opposed to the African side that her mother studies.
It's interesting to me that Elisa is the only one of the siblings who really directly follows in a parent's footsteps.
And I like Beth & Elisa's exchange...
Beth: "They're kinda beautiful... but so alien."
Elisa: "After a while, all you notice is the beauty."
So is Elisa in love or what?!
And PLEASE don't tell me that Beth's line is further evidence that the gargs come from another planet.
THE SWIMMING POOL
I thought this was VERY clever having the skiff arrive in a pool. But I wonder how visually clear it was. that it was JUST a swimming pool.
I did like Elisa's line, when asked where she came from, she says: "The deep end." True in so many ways.
MORE LINES I LIKE
Coyote 4.0: "Once more with feeling."
Coyote 4.0: "Don't quit your day job." (This said to a gargoyle.)
Xanatos (regarding Angela): "She's lovely, Goliath."
Angela (while attacking): "I'm the lovely one, remember!"
Elisa: "Bronx, hit it!" (Didn't she say the same thing in Golem?)
Xanatos: "No way my luck is this bad."
Elisa to Peter re: the Gargs: "Are THESE guys figments of your imagination?" (Answer that one for yourself.)
Coyote re Coyote: "I should sue for trademark infringement."
Xanatos: "I've always considered myself a trickster at heart."
Xanatos to Coyote 4 re the Trickster: "Bottle him."
Coyote 4: "Curious."
Xanatos: "It's so hard to program good help these days."
Coyote 4: "I'm programmed for vengeance."
Coming up with Trickster plots -- for guys like Coyote or Puck or even Xanatos -- can be REALLY hellish. It's hard work making sure that you have all these twists and turns and contingencies figured out. Now try pitting TWO TRICKSTERS, Coyote and Xanatos, against each other. Man!
You can imagine why we were never quite able to tame our FOUR TRICKSTER story involving Puck, Coyote, Raven & Anansi. Not that I think it's impossible, but we just ran out of time and had to settle for the still incredibly complex "Possession".
EYES OF THE COYOTE
I wish the carving had had NO EYES until the acid created them.
Michael Horse, who played both Peter & Carlos in this story, advised us on this script. Obviously, we were trying to be respectful of the culture. He told us to make sure that the carving and the Kachina masks were NOT copies of actual sand-paintings or masks in use. That would be sacreligious.
We did get one letter of complaint about this episode, but it was clear from the letter that the writer hadn't yet seen the episode. So we sent them a tape. Got no more complaints.
He's a nice stand-in for X, but pales in comparison. Still it was fun always redesigning him. Making him tougher in new ways. And I really like that the Cauldron of Life was reincorporated into him. Nothing ever wasted on this series.
I was also highly amused by the Coyote/Roadrunner schtick. With the trickster in the role of the Roadrunner, tricking Wile E. 4.0 into destroying himself.
AND BACK TO PETER
Coyote had to get Peter back. I like that. And I like the bittersweet ending at Carlos' grave. It strikes me as a graveside victory.
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?