What Do You Protect?: “Reawakening”

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It took a little over 3 months for the first season of Gargoyles to air. It’s taken nearly six times as long for this blog to get through it. Pathetic as that may be, I’m cranking out a better workflow to get these pumped out throughout this year without unplanned breaks. The serendipity of it all? It’s now the top of 2014, the 20th anniversary of Gargoyles! Well, technically it will be the 20th anniversary in about 10 months, but you know…semantics, right? Semantics are actually a big deal in the first season finale of the show, so we’re going to break into the meaning of a big gargoyle mantra…by way of a cybernetic zombie, of course.

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Lead Your Own Life: “Her Brother’s Keeper”

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Elisa Maza is the action hero of Gargoyles. While all other characters have their super gargoyle powers, or technological enhancements, or Machiavellian intellect, Elisa has normal human wits, normal human strength, and an extreme drive. She’s the underdog, the audience surrogate, the everyman, and just a pinch of love interest all mixed in one super cool, red-jacketed package. Thus far, her flaw has been nothing more than just being an average human. But the cracks are starting to show, and the everyday humanity that makes Elisa such a likeable character might ultimately lead to her downfall.

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A Clever Old Thing: “Long Way to Morning”

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Old age is a strange topic for shows in the 6-11 (or even 12-18) demographic to hit. But it’s a recurring theme in numerous animated shows past and present; I mean, consider that the entire conciet of Batman Beyond is “What happens when Bruce Wayne becomes too old?” Even stranger, that concept of “too old” is often dealt with better than any actual child-centered tales are in childrens’ programming. After a run of wacky action, colorful villains and broad morality tales establishing its first season, Gargoyles started to slow down and look at the more “mature” characters with “The Edge,” and takes it to the next level with “Long Way to Morning”—a belated spotlight on our beloved Old Beard. Continue reading

The Best Friend You Have In This World: “The Edge”

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Even though this show is called Gargoyles, we’ve got a wealth of human characters on the roster that, in a lot of ways, flesh out this world better than our main clan. Elisa Maza and David Xanatos are near polar opposites, but they’ve both forcibly intertwined themselves in the this strange new world, albeit for very different reasons. The existence of the gargoyles is going to make an impact on them both (and vice versa), and though this episode doesn’t go terribly far with that concept, it still delivers one of the strongest, most straightforward episodes of the season.

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Not Your Home Anymore: “Enter Macbeth”

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Animation is a weird animal. In live action, a poor script can be saved by wonderful performances and set design, and a strong script can still work even with weak actors or low-budget sets. In animation, everything from the writing process to the music to the performances can be absolutely perfect, but if the animators—who are often overseas and might barely have correspondence with the showrunners—don’t put in a good enough effort, it will bring it all crashing down. This episode isn’t like that. This one’s just pretty bad all around.  Continue reading

The Crisis Point: “Deadly Force”

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This is it. The gun episode. On the shortlist of “must-see,” “quintessential” or “most-remembered” episodes of the show, “Deadly Force” is on it. We pretty much all agree that it’s a prime example of how to handle a big morality story in a mature way, focusing on a real issue that affects children and adults, and leaving out the abstract. But does that make it an actual, like, good episode of television? Brace yourselves, we’ve got a hard nut to crack here. Continue reading

Embracing A Half-Truth: “Temptation”

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Let’s get past the excuses and jump into the brass tacks. It’s back, it’s happening, so here we go. Last October, episode six gave us a bunch of colorful characters and silly action, and was far from the best the series had to offer. Now we’re getting back into the meat of the story, in a much better follow-up to the five-part pilot and a nice take on how psychologically dark the show can get. Also, BROOKLYN RIDES A MOTORCYCLE AND IT’S COOLER THAN ANYTHING YOU WILL EVER DO.

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