In the sixth episode of the first season of Gargoyles, I am charmed by this show’s sincerity. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles.
Look, I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that this plot isn’t ludicrous. Somehow, Xanatos created The Pack in the weeks since meeting the gargoyles, hired a bunch of mercenary-type actors, catapulted it to national notoriety, had the TVs in the castle rigged to only show The Pack, hoped that an unmarked envelope with photos of Goliath would compel the actors to hung Goliath down, and then booked a gig for a TV action show at Madison Square Garden. The more I think about this, the less possible it seems, and that’s not even acknowledging living gargoyles.
But guess what? The beauty of Gargoyles thus far means that I care about these characters and the general theme of “The Pack” so much that I can honestly overlook this. I CAN, AND I SHALL. This story is treated as real and genuine and meaningful, and that’s why it’s so compelling. First of all: the gargoyles have gotten obsessed with television. It’s a great gag, sure, but it’s also a fascinating way for this show to deliberately thrust these characters into the modern day. Indeed, I’d argue that the “Awakening” arc did this as well. There’s no easy into this new existence; the gargoyles exist in our world, and they’re going to have to learn how to adapt.
That’s specifically what Lexington has to learn here in “The Pack.” His natural sense of kindness and desire to be friendly works against him after he makes contact with the actors portraying The Pack. And while I’ll get back to the friendship bit later, I want to talk about how surprising it was to me that Lexington even went to the Pack in the first place. I’m so used to a very specific trope within urban fantasy stories like this: the paranormal, weird, and strange is kept hidden from the general public. Granted, there’s usually a group or a single person who knows the truth, and you can see that same technique used in the “Awakening” arc. However, even then? The gargoyles got exposed to way more people than I expected. In this episode, however, I found myself consistently impressed that the writers seem to be avoiding this trope by having the gargoyles – like Lexington – exhibit a curiosity about their world. It’s natural, isn’t it? This is where they live, and thus far, they hadn’t had a real reason not to explore. Eliza told them they should stay hidden, but did that really hold that much meaning to them?
Unfortunately, Lexington learns the hard way that humans in New York City don’t exactly want to be friends. He’s manipulated into bringing Goliath to the hunters, which brings on a brutal chase sequence in which Goliath and Lexington are seen by at least EIGHT OTHER PEOPLE. (Shout out to those terrible parents, by the way. Nothing like acknowledging that someone might be working and still refusing to get your kids out of the way.) All the while, Lexington is dejected by being betrayed. It sucks to have someone use your kindness against you, too! Thankfully, the show doesn’t condemn Lexington for being nice and seeking out allies. The final scene between Lexington and Goliath is probably my single favorite moment, both because Lexington isn’t encouraged to be someone else, and because of the potential. Goliath accepts that they’re all going to have to live in this world, and that means they’ll need allies to support them. In that case… that means more interactions with humanity, right? More Elisa Maza? MORE ABSURDITY?
This was a lot of fun, y’all.
The video for “The Pack” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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