Mark Watches ‘Gargoyles’: S02E11 – City of Stone, Part III

In the eleventh episode of the second season of Gargoyles, Demona and Macbeth bind themselves together to save their respective families. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Gargoyles. 

Hello again, friends! First off, let me thank you for your patience over the last five weeks or so. It was a long break from Double Features here on Mark Watches, but A LOT HAS HAPPENED IN THAT SPAN OF TIME. I wrote 50 reviews and recorded 50 videos, all to cover myself up to this week of reviews. Then, I packed up my entire apartment in Los Angeles, recycled and donated the bulk of my furniture, stuffed it all in a much larger box, and sent it on its way. I flew out to Kansas City, took a road trip up to Madison, Wisconsin, attended WisCon, then drove from there to New York City over two days. Here I am in my new apartment in New York, and suffice to say everything is overwhelming All of the Time. Oh, right, I also EDITED AN ENTIRE BOOK IN FOUR AND A HALF DAYS.

So yeah, it’s a lot. I hope to have news about book stuff very soon, but in the meantime? Well, let’s just jump back into double features and barrel through this! I don’t anticipate a need to put these on break any time soon because I have greatly reduced the summer travel I’m doing. (I need time to adjust to New York!) This is a good thing because holy shit, I missed Gargoyles. Just a few minutes into “City of Stone, Part III” and I was remembering just how much I loved this show. Ugh, y’all, how is this show real?

Anyway, let’s jump into this. This arc – however long it is – is still unreal to me. It’s deliberately complex and layered; it’s full of Shakespearean ideas, plots, and themes; it is INCREDIBLY DISTURBING. All of this somehow aired on the Disney Channel and wasn’t edited, and I can’t believe it. Except I have to! The commitment to this story is so incredible to me because the writers bring up all these complicated ideas, and then they see them through to the end. Here, we learn of the events that led Macbeth and Demona binding themselves together throughout time, and yet? It still doesn’t explain how they ended up as enemies, or how Macbeth got ahold of the Hunter mask.

Still, the writers intentionally parallel Demona and Macbeth by sticking them on the same side of a conflict. (Which, I should note, is a direct parallel to the whole Xanatos/Gargoyles alliance in the future!!! THIS IS SO GOOD.) That conflict is King Duncan, who schemes, plots, and connives his way to power. Once he has it, he’s willing to do anything to get rid of anyone who threatens his status. In this case, the Wyrd Sisters (THEY’RE CANONICALLY WEIRD SISTERS, THIS IS SO COOL) are once more an integral part of the story, since their meddling is one of the reasons Duncan turns against Macbeth. He fears their warning of Macbeth becoming king one day, which ironically sets him on a path where he fulfills the very thing he was trying to avoid. (Please tell me some of you became interested in Shakespeare after watching this show.) I gotta suspect that the Wyrd Sisters wanted all of this to happen and to get Macbeth into a position where he’d feel the need to make that pact with Demona.

Demona, on the other hand, has aged considerably since the last episode, and in her elder age, she realizes that the deck is stacked against her. Humans continue to torment and terrorize the gargoyles, and there’s yet another scene where stone gargoyles are murdered, and IT’S NEVER NOT GOING TO BE HORRIBLE TO WATCH. (Seriously, Duncan is the worst.) Her brief alliance with Macbeth – honestly, I don’t expect it to last a long time – is one of convenience, though there’s a hint that she actually enjoys it towards the end of “City of Stone, Part III.” Macbeth is the first human in a long while who has done something nice for the gargoyles.

But is it enough? As Demona states outright to Macbeth during the celebration of his kingship, she wants humans to fear the gargoyles. Macbeth jokingly says that humans will, but I don’t think he understands quite what Demona means. I say that knowing that hundreds of years into the future, Macbeth and Demona will despise one another. So something has to happen to bring that about, right? Something has to rip these two apart, and somehow, Macbeth gets the Hunter’s mask from Duncan’s son. That’s a huge part of the joy of this arc, though. I love knowing the end result of this story but being ignorant of the journey to that point.

There’s not much here in the present time, but that’s okay. Xanatos’s plan to light the sky on fire (!!!!) would have been overshadowed by the big showdown with Duncan anyway, so I’m glad it’s being pushed to the next episode. (Still won’t recover from how Duncan died for a long time.) This episode had to focus on loyalty, specifically between Macbeth and Demona, and it’s all the better because the story was given enough time to unfold naturally.

The video for “City of Stone, Part III” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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