Mark Watches ‘Gargoyles’: S01E11 – Long Way to Morning

In the eleventh episode of the first season of Gargoyles, Hudson worries that he might fail Goliath as he once failed someone in the past. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles.

How is this storytelling already so rich and layered? “Long Way to Morning” flashes back to show us life in Scotland, years before the events that triggered the start of the series, and how the gargoyles were woven into royal life. There was a much more mutual relationship at play between the royal family and the gargoyles… to an extent. At that point, even Demona didn’t seem to have an aversion towards working with humans; that must have developed later.

Yet despite Hudson’s loyalty to the king, he couldn’t win over the man’s young daughter. The princess was terrified of the gargoyles, so when the Archmage tried to assassinate the king, she naturally blamed Hudson. The shitty part is that HUDSON BLAMED HIMSELF ANYWAY, which is the root of his emotional conflict in this episode. He wasn’t fast enough to catch the Archmage’s poison dart before it hit the king. On top of that, Demona frequently discusses the inferiority she perceives in Hudson while in earshot of him, urging Goliath to become the gargoyles’ new leader. Look, that’s not a great thing for someone who is already dealing with issues of adequacy or self-esteem.

Even without her hatred of humanity, Demona is kind of a jerk, isn’t she? Was she always like this? Is there a reason she seems so willing to put down others? I understand her behavior in modern times, even if I don’t like what she’s doing. But where did this come from? The only reason I’m asking these questions now is because Gargoyles already seems willing to explore the depths of these characters in its first season. The narrative is highly serialized, but we’re still getting episodes that focus on just a couple characters rather than the group as a whole. That’s exciting! So, consider this my official request for a Demona-focused story because I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT HER.

As for Hudson, I found his backstory heartbreaking, namely because he questions himself so strenuously, despite proving time and time again that he’s a loyal and dependable friend. He strives for perfection, yet falls short of his standards sometimes because he’s simply not as young, spry, or quick as his younger companions. Of course he seemed worried when Goliath asked him to accompany him to meet with Demona; he’d just had a dream where he believed he had failed the king of Wyvern! To make matters worse, DEMONA HAS A LASER RIFLE. And y’all, I’m so fascinated by the collision of fantasy narratives with sci-fi tropes because it’s so weird. We usually get one or the other, but there are mystical creatures in an show with advanced weaponry. I APPROVE. As I said in the video, they’ve got to realize that Demona is working with Xanatos, right? Or do they assume she just found one of the few weapons that Goliath didn’t destroy?

Regardless, “Long Way to Morning” is an intense cat-and-mouse game, and I’m invoking that specifically because it’s about the chase. If Hudson’s flaw is that he’s slower and older than the other gargoyles, he has one thing to his advantage: he’s patient. His patience and wisdom is what helped him find the Archmage over a thousand years prior; and his patience and wisdom is what allows him to keep himself and Goliath long enough for the sun to come up. That heals Goliath and gives him and Hudson the advantage over Demona. It’s a clever plan, but it’s not one Demona would have thought of. She’s too impatient, too eager for a quick fix to her problems. Which includes MURDERING HER OLD FRIENDS, but ya know, what can you do? Well… not murder them? Yes, that.

The video for “Long Way to Morning” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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