Mark Watches ‘Gargoyles’: S02E35 – Pendragon

In the thirty-fifth episode of the second season of Gargoyles, EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT ONCE AND IT’S GREAT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles.

See, this feels like the unintentional sequel to “Walkabout,” in the sense that it’s fucking weird, yet it doesn’t feel as overcrowded and confusing as the former episode. Like… Macbeth fights Arthur Pendragon. In modern Manhattan. FOR EXCALIBUR. That’s what this episode does, and it somehow makes perfect sense, and THERE’S ALSO ANOTHER GARGOYLE, SO THAT’S A THING, TOO.

Oh, it’s overwhelming in the best way possible. That’s the point I’m trying to make. At the opening, we’re dropped into two storylines that we know have to inevitably converge. How could both Arthur and Macbeth seek out Excalibur without throwing down? Oh, I WANTED IT MORE THAN MOST THINGS. Could Arthur defeat another legendary king who was also immortal??? As if that wasn’t enough, the writers also complicate things by having Arthur run into Griff while he was trying to find Excalibur, which adds a wonderful layer to this. Both Griff and Arthur have had recent experiences with Goliath, but they end up being messengers of a sort once they arrive in Manhattan. Goliath’s clan hasn’t seen him in weeks at this point, and they’re the closest thing to confirmation that he, Elisa, and Bronx are okay.

On a more immediate level, though, they’re family. Goliath had pledged his clan to both these characters, and THEY ARRIVED AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. They’re welcomed by the rest of Goliath’s clan, and y’all, I had hoped we might see one of these characters again. (Of the two, I assumed Arthur had the highest chance of a reappearance.) But both of them? In the same episode??? IT IS TOO WONDERFUL A GIFT.

It’s also clear that the writers for this show had a blast creating this. Like, someone thought to give Macbeth control of a Will o’ the Wisp and I CAN’T GET OVER HOW BRILLIANT THAT IS. How often do you get villains overhearing the protagonists’s plan? It’s a common plot technique. But how often is that done through a fantasy creature within a radar system? WHO CARES HOW THE SCIENCE WORKS, THIS IS AMAZING. It’s this continued combination between disparate parts – Macbeth and Arthur, Excalibur and Will o’ the Wisps, gargoyles and stone dragons IN THE BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDENS – that makes this all feel so refreshing and fun.

Do I have a lot of analysis for the story? Not particularly. In terms of character development, the only thing we get is Macbeth’s acceptance of Arthur (HE IS NOT A JERK ABOUT THIS, I WAS GENUINELY SURPRISED) and Griff pledging himself to Arthur. I’d be interested to see if there are ramifications of either of these things in future episodes. Will Griff and Arthur go on their own quest to find Merlin? Will Arthur ever take up Macbeth’s offer? AH, I’M TOO EXCITED. Basically: this was just a lot of fun.

The video for “Pendragon” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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