In the third episode of the first season of Gargoyles, the gargoyles adjust to their new and strange life. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles.
This is so weird, and that’s a good thing. Gargoyles has presented me with a narrative that’s already challenging. How do these creatures deal with a world that is one thousand years in the future? How will each human who meets a gargoyle react? How will humans use or exploit the gargoyles? Again, I’m shocked by how much story is packed into a relatively little length of time! There are multiple plots here, and the show is introducing conflicts that have a lasting potential, not just something that can be resolved in a few minutes and forgotten.
Let’s start with one of those: Xanatos. I KNEW THERE WAS SOMETHING TO DISTRUST ABOUT HIM. His interest in the gargoyles seemed strange because it was so ill-defined. He wanted to see if the myth was real. Okay, but then what? What was his long term goal with them? To let them live in peace or to utilize them for his own gain? I’d argue that we’ve already seen the latter from him, and that’s before that UNFAIR reveal halfway through this episode. He didn’t stop the gargoyles from defending him from the soldiers, and his offer in this episode isn’t reciprocation. Exactly what is he offering the gargoyles? A safe haven? Protection? All I saw was him asking for their protection, not the other way around. Plus, he tries to recruit Goliath in the task of retrieving the three stolen disks (OH MY GOD SO 90s) without giving him any real information. What’s on the disks? Why are they so important? How are the gargoyles supposed to break into any of those highly-guarded facilities?
The answer to those questions isn’t all that important (yet) because Xanatos is a liar. The reveal that he’s got the female gargoyle LOCKED IN A CLOSET was so deliciously evil that it made me re-think all of Xanatos’s scenes. Oh my god, what if the uniformed soldiers are HIS OWN PEOPLE? Okay, that’s a pretty ridiculous theory, but his secret makes me question whether anything he’s shown the gargoyles is real. What’s his endgame here???
I love that my idea of who is a villain and who is an ally has shifted so many times in just three episodes. However, it seems obvious that Detective Eliza Maza isn’t going to be an antagonist. First of all, I’m so pleased that a brown girl is the lead human character so far!!! Maza is portrayed as an empathetic but relentless detective, one who immediately comes to see the gargoyles not as creatures to be feared, but understood. She is the only character so far aside from the Captain who has had this reaction to them, and that makes her stand out.
But this is a fascinating development for an entirely different reason. These beings have been unleashed on Manhattan, and it’s already complicating matters. Because Xanatos hasn’t chained them up, they have a freedom of a sort. They can leave their castle home, and the three “younger” gargoyles do just that to explore the city. And instead of conveniently keeping them out of sight, the writers instead show us a much more believable scenario: the gargoyles are going to upset people. And look, if I was riding a motorcycle and a creature flew next to me and started speaking in my ear, I’d probably freak out, too. That makes me wonder: will this show keep them a secret the whole time? Will other people aside from Xanatos and Maza see them?
I ask that because Maza more or less compels Goliath to fight crime alongside her. That scene reinforced the idea that the gargoyles – or at least Goliath – feels a duty to protect humans. Not always to his benefit, I should note! Now, four more humans have seen a gargoyle, which risks exposure. Plus, what’s Maza’s plan for him? Does she want to take him out on assignment? Is that a good idea???
Okay, y’all, this is a lot of fun. MORE, PLEASE.
The video for “Awakening, Part III” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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