In the fifth episode of the first season of Gargoyles, BETRAYAL. I KNEW IT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles.
OH MY GOD, IT WAS WORSE THAN I THOUGHT IT WAS. In a general sense, I’d figured out the big twist of the “Awakening” arc, but NOPE. STILL WRONG. Not only did Xanatos use the gargoyles, but they were tricked by their own kind, too. In short?
What an introduction to this show, y’all.
There are three heists in this episode. Three! So I was gonna love this anyway, but the context of them is what makes the completion of this arc so interesting. Like the first episode of the show, “Awakening, Part V” ends in tragedy. After the three groups of gargoyles successfully retrieve Xanatos’s disks â€“ while exposing their existence in the process!!! â€“ they learn that they were never Xanatos’s disks in the first place. They belonged to the people the gargoyles stole from! OH MY GOD, I am only now fully realizing that my own prediction is even more messed up. This means that Xanatos’s own guards attacked him, then stole an empty briefcase, all so that the Gargoyles would think that something was stolen in the first place. This ruse made the gargoyles, especially Goliath, feel obligated to help. After all, he awoke them all from that spell, right?
It’s a manipulative move, of course. Xanatos created a debt and then hoped that the gargoyles would be eager to repay it, which they were, especially after Demona got involved. All of them risk their lives, and for what? Now, countless other people know that gargoyles exist. I know nothing about that company that Xanatos stole from, but I don’t trust any multi-national business with the knowledge that gargoyles exist. It’s only a matter of time before someone else comes along to use them for their own ends, right?
Even though I suspected that something wasn’t right with Demona, I didn’t expect her betrayal to have such a massive scope. The clues were there, of course; her appearance in the first episode firmly cemented her as anti-human. She had no desire to co-habit with them in any way. On one level, I don’t blame her. Gargoyles had been treated so poorly by humans up to that point. I can’t even imagine how horrific it has been for her to suffer through one thousand years of humanity that the other gargoyles never experienced. Her hatred of humans has got to be astronomical at this point! I mean… it’s obvious, isn’t it? She was going to throw that one guy out of the airship, and she purposely sabotaged it so that it would crash into the bay. Like… she killed people, right??? The episode didn’t need to show it, but people died in that crash!
She sees all humanity as disposable, and apparently, so does Xanatos. The reveal that he’d constructed robotic copies of Goliath was perhaps the most shocking thing in this episode. So the guy has dreams of conquering the world and ridding it of most of its people, right? That explains why Demona was willing to make an exception to her own moral code. It certainly adds context to her decision to SIDE WITH THE CAPTAIN A THOUSAND YEARS EARLIER. Again, humans were disposable to her, a means to an end, and that end is the eradication of all humans. What was she going to do once she’d achieved that? Kill off Xanatos, too?
In the end, Goliath is faced with a choice, yet it happened so fast that I only noticed it after he’d already made his decision. When the big confrontation on the roof comes to an explosive end (those poor Manhattan bystanders!), both Demona and Eliza are thrown from the building. Goliath makes a split-second decision and saves only Eliza. It’s a powerful visual statement: Goliath will support the safety of humanity over misguided loyalty to his own kind. If he could have saved them both, he would have, but he chose Eliza. I suspect this is not the last we’ll see of either Xanatos or Demona. She probably survived. Will Xanatos return to claim the castle at the top of his skyscraper? How’s that gonna work out???
The video for “Awakening, Part V” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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