GARGOYLES: SEASON TWO (PART 2)

THREE GUYS AND… AN ANIMATED SERIES

series created by Marvin Mercer and Nick Stephenson

“GARGOYLES: SEASON TWO (PART 2)”

written by Dominick Cappello

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“I wonder where Avalon has brought us this time?” – Goliath

“Avalon, Parts 1-3” takes the series in a new direction. Tom, who was just a boy in “Awakening, Parts 1-2” and now known as The Guardian, arrives in Manhattan and brings Goliath, Elisa, and Bronx to the mystical island of Avalon. Time passes slower on Avalon, so that is how Tom is still alive after 1,000 years. Goliath is reunited with Princess Katharine and The Magus. The Magus is who cast the spell on The Manhattan Clan that turned them to stone permanently because he mistakenly believed they had caused the death of Princess Katharine. The Magus has been in the “friend zone” for 1,000 years. He is in love with the princess. She is in love with Tom. The Gargoyle eggs from the rookery have since hatched. They lived in peace on Avalon until The Archmage formed an alliance with The Weird Sisters to destroy them all. The Weird Sisters still have Demona and Macbeth under their control and use them as soldiers. Angela, a Gargoyle who will be revealed to be the daughter of Goliath and Demona, helps Goliath to defeat The Archmage. Get it? Demona is demon with an “A” because she’s evil and Angela is angel with an “A” because she’s good. Elisa awakens King Arthur, who was conveniently in suspended animation on the island, to help defeat Demona and Macbeth. The Magus defeats The Weird Sister, but the strain causes him to die. The Magus was an unlikeable character in “Awakening, Parts 1-2”, but these episodes redeemed him.

After the battle for Avalon, Angela chooses to accompany the others back to Manhattan, but Tom informs them that “Avalon does not take you where you want to go. It sends you where you need to be.” The die was cast, and the world tour was underway. Instead of The Manhattan Clan protecting their city, the focus of the series was now Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx travelling the world in a skiff and fighting injustice. Here’s where I may differ from other fans of the series as I feel that the world tour dragged for a bit too long. It lasted twenty episodes and only three of those episodes checked in with The Manhattan Clan. It just didn’t have the same dynamic.

This won’t be as detailed as my previous two articles. Instead, here’s a quick recap of the world tour. Goliath makes peace with the spirit of the Captain of the Guard who betrayed his clan back in the 10th century. A trickster called Raven masquerades as a Gargoyle in an Alaskan village. Angela befriends the Loch Ness Monster, who’s been captured by Dr. Savarius. Halcyn Renard (Xanatos’ father-in-law) becomes The Golem in Prague. Demona (in human form) marries Macbeth in Paris while having an affair with Thailog. Goliath travels back in time with the Phoenix Gate and fights in World War II alongside a Gargoyle called Griff. Our heroes battle the Egyptian god of death, Anubis. Tony Shalhoub provides a voice in this episode. Our heroes are taken captive in Ireland by The Banshee because she assumes they’ve been sent by Lord Oberon to return her to Avalon for The Gathering.

In Australia, our heroes battle self-aware nanobots collectively known as The Matrix. Dingo becomes a good guy in this episode. How about that? A member of The Pack with actual character development. Kate Mulgrew voices Fox’s mother, Anastasia Renard. More of the “Star Trek” connection. Nichelle Nichols returns as Elisa’s mother when our heroes fight poachers in Africa and LeVar Burton voices a trickster (who’s also a giant spider) called Anansi. Our heroes encounter Odin himself to Norway. Goliath dawns the Eye of Odin and becomes corrupted by its power. Seeing Angela in peril snaps him out of it and Odin reclaims his eye. In New Olympus, Elisa is arrested for the crime of being a human. Michael Dorn is the voice of her jailer, Taurus. Roddy McDowall is the voice of Proteus, a shapeshifter who poses as Goliath and tries to destroy the city. Our heroes join forces with a clan of Gargoyles in Guatemala to save the rainforest. Goliath, Angela, and Bronx are held prisoner on Easter Island after being mistaking for extraterrestrial invaders. Our heroes befriend a clan of Gargoyles in Japan and are held against their will in a Gargoyle themed amusement park. Xanatos uses his Coyote robot to capture a trickster called Coyote, forcing Elisa’s father to embrace his Native American heritage. The repetitive nature of the world tour drained me. There had already been an episode about a trickster and a character embracing his Native American heritage.

Meanwhile, back in the Big Apple, Brooklyn assumes the leadership role in Episode 26, “Kingdom”. He saves Talon after he’s betrayed by Fang, the mutate voiced by Jim Belushi. Brooklyn also comes to terms with the fact that Maggie loves Talon and not him. This episode stands out because the animation differs from the rest of the series. It resembles more traditional Disney animation. Everyone has big eyes like a Disney Princess. Maybe this episode was farmed out to a different team while the regular team devoted themselves to the world tour? There’s also a major continuity gaff. Even though Bronx is part of the world tour, he’s seen in the clocktower with The Manhattan Clan. It looks as if they tried to correct their mistake by hiding him in a shadow, but you can still tell it’s Bronx. In Episode 35, “Pendragon”, King Arthur meets Griff in London, then they’re transported to New York City. They team up with The Manhattan Clan to make sure Arthur can reclaim Excalibur before Macbeth claims it for himself. Macbeth is a king, but Arthur proves to be the one true king, slaying a dragon and reclaiming Excalibur. In Episode 38, “The Green”, while Goliath and company are battling Jackal in Guatemala, Lexington and Broadway battle in Hyena in Manhattan to stop her from stealing an amulet that could be used against the Gargoyles in the rainforest.

The world tour begins to wind down in Episode 42, “I’ll Met be Moonlight.” Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx return to Avalon. The Weird Sisters bring Lord Oberon and his ex-wife Titania to rid the island of the Gargoyle infestation. Goliath, Angela, and Angela’s rookery brother Gabriel are named the champions to do battle with Oberon. Oberon wipes the floor with them, but is brought to his knees by the ringing of a cast iron bell because evidently iron is his one weakness. Oberon admits defeat and allows the Gargoyles to remain on Avalon. Titania is voiced by Kate Mulgrew. As with any animated series, actors voice multiple characters, but in this instance, it’s a clue to her identity.

Since I’m not overly fond of the world tour, I refer to it as the road to Episode 43, “Future Tense”, the balls to the wall post-apocalyptic episode where everyone dies! Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx finally return to Manhattan only to discover that it’s 40 years in the future and the city has been taken over by Xanatos. His army includes The Steel Clan, mutates who resemble Talon, and clones who resemble Thailog. The resistance includes Brooklyn, Demona, Lexington, Broadway, Matt Bluestone, Claw (a mutate who cannot speak), and Xanatos’ son who goes by Fox as a tribute to his mother. Brooklyn and Demona are now a couple, Broadway is blind, and Lexington has been given a cybernetic upgrade. Hudson was killed in a battle with Xanatos. Talon, Maggie, and Coldstone also died in battle. Thailog was killed in The Clone Wars. A nice “Star Wars” reference. Goliath is pressured to use the Phoenix Gate to go back in time and stop Xanatos, but he refuses to alter history. Xanatos kills his own son. Bluestone, Claw, Bronx, and Broadway are killed while infiltrating Xanatos’ lair and Lexington is taken captive. The others are transported into cyberspace. It is revealed that Xanatos didn’t survive his battle with Hudson and this is a Xanatos program that plans to takeover the world. Xanatos has become Skynet. Brooklyn, Angela, and Demona are killed, but Goliath escapes with Elisa. The big twist is that Lexington has been controlling the Xanatos program! Lexington, the least physically imposing member of the clan, has been the puppet master all along! Enraged, Goliath kills Lexington. Elisa then begs him to use the Phoenix Gate. This is when Goliath becomes suspicious of her. Turns out that this was all an illusion conjured by Puck to trick Goliath into surrendering the Phoenix Gate. I was 11 years old when this episode aired, and it floored me. All these years later, I’m still intrigued by its revelations. Will Xanatos be betrayed by his son? Will Brooklyn fall in love with Demona? Can Lexington be trusted? “Gargoyles” needs a revival! I need answers!

– Dominick Cappello

Author: Dominick

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