So after those 4,000 words screaming about how “The Mirror” CHANGES EVERYTHING, albeit drunkenly, we reach an episode that’s distinctly not this new changed Gargoyles that “The Mirror” promised. There’s no magic here, and in fact it’s about the most grounded story we’re ever going to get from this show. It’s a bottle episode, of sorts—well, not really, since it uses a whole bunch of new settings—but in the sense that it uses an extremely minimal cast and tight standalone story. It’s safe. It wraps up and doesn’t rely on much of what we’ve seen before. But you know what? No one said filler had to be bad, especially when that filler is a whole-plot homage to noir. And as this episode points out, no episode of Gargoyles is unimportant.
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.
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
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