Mark Watches ‘Gargoyles’: S01E02 – Awakening, Part II

In the second episode of the first season of Gargoyles, the spell is broken. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles

THIS IS REALLY GOOD ALREADY. It’s always fun to start a show and feel an affinity for it rather quickly. The storytelling here is sharp and exciting, and for just twenty-minutes of screentime, “Awakening, Part II” does a whole lot with very little. The split story works wonders, too, establishing the strangeness of the Xanatos skyscraper while also showing us why the gargoyles are so defensive towards other humans. They have every right to be! The captain betrayed them in order to spite the Princess and the Magus, and he naïvely believed that the gargoyles would be spared. Honestly, did he think the head of the Viking forces would simply let the gargoyles live after they attacked his men?

That’s one of the tragedies of this origin story. THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE OF THEM BECAUSE THIS SHOW DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT MY FEELINGS. Not only does the captain cause much of what happens here, he doesn’t get what he wants. He betrays his country, and for what? Was it worth it? HOPE YOU HAD A NICE FALL OFF THAT CLIFF. Yet it’s not until it’s too late that the other humans realize that the gargoyles do have their best interests in mind. The mother of the young refugee boy suddenly doesn’t hate the gargoyles once they can save her; the princess, who publicly demonized them as monsters, is alive because of Goliath; and the Magus, relying on his prejudices, believed that the gargoyles caused the Princess’s death. SO HE DOOMS THEM TO BEING TURNED TO STONE FOR PRETTY MUCH FOREVER. He acts entirely out of ignorance, only to discover he can’t even undone his deed. The gargoyles are stuck in stone until the castle “rises above the clouds.”

There’s a sad dignity to Goliath during these scenes. Despite that humans have treated him so terribly and killed his love, he still fights for them. I’d be curious to know if this was always something he felt a duty towards, or if it developed over time. Regardless, Goliath’s quiet sadness is the worst and feels like a crime against my heart. Seriously, he asked to be magically encased in stone alongside his friends rather than live in the world alone. THAT IS SOME HEAVY SHIT FOR THE SECOND EPISODE.

Which brings us to the present, where Xanatos (not sure of his first name, but HEY THAT’S JONATHAN FRAKES) has found a way to break the spell… by reconstructing the Wyvern Castle on top of his skyscraper. Visually, it’s a stunning and surreal image, one that moves the story into a fascinating arena. The gargoyles are awoken by a man rich enough to build a castle on top of a skyscraper. What does that mean for them? Xanatos spends a great deal of time assuring them, over and over again, that he will not exploit them as humans have in the past. That he’s a good guy. That he is going to earn their trust. And yet? Look how he doesn’t try to stop them from getting involved in that heist. They ultimately fail against the intruders, and that’s mainly because they’ve been awoken one thousand years in the future and WEAPONS DON’T MAKE SENSE TO THEM. (Bless that grenade gag, by the way.) So does Xanatos have their best interests in mind, or does he want to use them, too?

I don’t know. I’m certainly not quite ready to trust him, and like Goliath, I view all these people with suspicion. Even worse, it’s very easy for Xanatos to exploit the gargoyles because he now owns their home! Where else are they gonna go? They can’t just fly out into the world and live on their own because gargoyles are hidden from society at large. In that sense, they’re stuck with Xanatos… for now.


The video for “Awakening, Part II” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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