Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gargoyles: "Awakening, Part Five"

In which there's a really bad break-up.

PREVIOUSLY ON GARGOYLES: I recapped it all here.

Cyberbiotics Research Tower. The guys duck back into the elevator shaft as the guards open fire. They scramble up the cable and out onto the next floor up and from there Broadway easily gets them to their desired destination by punching a hole in the floor, alarms blaring away. Then we get to see teamwork in action as Brooklyn intimidates a scientist into pointing to Disk #1, Lexington easily retrieves it from a very complicated-looking console, and Broadway hurls a piece of machinery through a window, out of which they quickly escape. Easy as pie.

Cyberbiotics Underground Base. The alarm has spread here, as a guard reports to the captain that the research tower has reportedly been breached by "monsters." The captain orders security increased. And the reason I'm calling him "the captain?" Check out this dude's hat:

He looks like he belongs on The Love Boat, and so I cannot take him remotely seriously. Well, that and the massive incompetence as Hudson easily gets through the "heightened" security by deliberately getting caught on a security camera, so that the base doors are opened as he's captured and a hidden Bronx can leap through. They easily fend off the guards and, with one good bash to the console, Hudson finds Disk #2. Their escape through rapidly closing doors, underground tunnels, on top of a subway car, and off onto a roof is reasonably thrilling (and funny - "You need to be losin' some weight, and that's a fact!"), but come on, we're all eager to get back to...

Cyberbiotics Air Fortress. On the bridge, another captain (in another Love Boat hat) is receiving some bad news. "We've lost two-thirds of the data!" Cue Goliath and his "Angel" breaking the door down. "Wrong! You've lost it all." Goliath neatly disarms the two guards with a tail-swipe and hauls the captain up by his uniform. AotN swiftly retrieves Disk #3 (with even less hesitation than tech-savant Lexington, which, HINT!), and while she says "Mission accomplished!" she doesn't really mean it until she disables the airship and sets it to crash. Then she heads for an escape hatch. Goliath is stunned (again). "What have you done?...We can't just leave them here!" Yeah, that's not an argument that cuts any ice with her. She drags him out the hatch.

Luckily for the crew, the airship crashes in the river and they are able to jump to safety. Luckily for the plot, Elisa is driving nearby and sees both the burning wreckage and the two fleeing gargoyles. "Goliath?" she whispers.

Castle Wyvern. Goliath and AotN arrive and hand over the final disk to Xanatos, who grandly thanks them. After he leaves, Goliath glares at AotN and they have a conversation that sums up the very fundamental differences between them. I'll let the writing speak for itself here:
Goliath: I have promised to meet a friend. I'll be back soon.
AotN: A friend? Who? Not one of us.
Goliath: No. A human, Elisa Maza.
AotN: Aside from Xanatos, we have no human friends, nor should we. Humanity is our enemy, Goliath. I thought you learned that a millennium ago.
Goliath: I cannot make war upon an entire world! Doesn't Xanatos prove that there are good humans as well as bad?
AotN: Can you forgive the humans for what they did to our kind?
Goliath: The ones responsible for that have been dead for a thousand years.
AotN: Then their descendents shall pay! I will have blood for blood!
Goliath: You said the centuries have changed me. They've changed you, too. You've become hard, unforgiving. You are not as I remember you. I'm going to see my friend now.
AotN: So be it.
After he leaves, we see Xanatos has been watching them via surveillance camera. He ominously observes that Goliath is too difficult to control.

Speaking of whom, he's gone from one upsetting conversation to another. On the roof where they met the previous night, Elisa questions him about the Cyberbiotics robberies. When he explains the Xanatos-fed version he believes, she shakes her head. Remember the scarab logo on the transmitter? She did some digging and found out that logo belongs to a company owned by Xanatos. The Goon Squad was working for him. Goliath doesn't understand, the Goon Squad were the ones who stole the disks. Elisa delivers the final prick that bursts the bubble: There was no theft. Xanatos staged the raid to trick the gargoyles into stealing the disks for him. They're rightfully Cyberbiotics property. He's been using the gargoyles from the start. And I'm sorry, but I have to quote some more, just for the contrast:
Elisa: Listen, Goliath. We haven't known each other very long, and I know you don't have any good reason to trust humans...
Goliath: (Growls and turns away)
Elisa: (Takes his face in her hands(!) and turns him back toward her) But you've got to trust somebody in this world, and I think you'd be better off with me than with Xanatos.
Goliath: (Crushes the slip of paper with the scarab in his fist and growls, louder)
Elisa: (Pleased) You won't regret it.
Already they understand each other better than he and AotN do, even when he doesn't actually speak.

Xanatos Skyscraper. In some shadowy room, Xanatos tells Owen that the gargoyles have outlived their usefulness, but with the stolen disks he's now able to bring their "replacements" online, referring to some tall gargoyle-shaped figures draped in cloth. Owen checks his watch, saying it's only three hours until sunrise. AotN emerges from the shadows to quash that line of thought. She strokes one of the figures through the cloth. "You need to test these 'replacements,' do you not?" She and Xanatos trade sly looks and if I were truly a first-time viewer, I would totally think they were lovers.

Castle Wyvern. Atop their tower, the guys are chilling out; Brooklyn with some sunglasses (I hate to tell you this, Brook, but generally only douchebags wear sunglasses at night), Lexington with a laptop, and Broadway with, you guessed it, a shitload of take-out. Ugh. Thankfully, my annoyance is wiped away by this:


As they swoop around, attacking the three gargoyles and wounding both Broadway and Lexington, Xanatos helpfully exposits about the capabilities of his robot gargoyles, "What did I tell you, Owen? A vast improvement. They're steel instead of stone, they don't sleep during the day, they can fly instead of glide, and best of all, they're 100% obedient." Also, mounted arm cannons!

Perhaps you should've added "easily broken," to that list, David, because here comes Goliath, smashing the robot who had Brooklyn (carrying an unconscious Lex) in it's sights into a wall, where it short-circuits and catches fire. He then takes Lex, lays him down gently next to an also-unconcious Broadway, and goes back to the battle.

Alerted by the noise, Hudson and Bronx come running to join in . Bronx seizes another robot by the tail and Hudson destroys it with his incredibly sharp sword.

Maybe a better name would be "Tin-Foil Clan"

Downstairs, Elisa comes running into the building, flashing her badge at the security guard as she goes by.

Goliath destroys two more robots by steering them into a collision course. Xanatos: "My Steel Clan isn't performing as well as I'd hoped." Understatement, sir. He, Owen, and AotN head indoors, as Broadway and Lex wake up. They run over to join Hudson and Bronx as the remaining robot takes aim from above. But from even further above, Goliath and Brooklyn push over a large bit of loosened stone from a partially-destroyed tower. Boom!

But before they can celebrate their apparent victory, AotN reappears on the battlements, with a rocket launcher. I have no idea why, but that strikes me as hilarious. Xanatos is next to her with his fancy laser rifle. She fires. Brooklyn falls to the courtyard next to the other gargoyles, but Goliath lands on his feet on the battlements, facing his "angel." She takes aim at him again. The other gargoyles are shocked and Hudson draws his steel-slicing sword, but Xanatos has them covered with his rifle. "Let's just let them play out their little drama, shall we?" Bastard. He is so enjoying this. I bet he watches soaps.

And what drama it is. Finally, we get the moment the entire five parts of this premiere have been building towards:

AotN: Goliath, you're a fool. But then you always were, weren't you? If you'd only taken the rest of our clan away from the castle that night. The plan was perfect...
Goliath: Plan?
AotN: It would've succeeded!
Goliath: What plan?
AotN: I made a bargain with the Captain. I was to get us all out of the castle so that the Vikings could sack it.
Goliath: What?
AotN: It would've worked! And after the humans were gone, we would've had the castle all to ourselves! But you ruined it. You had to protect the humans. You made us stay at the castle when we should've been with you. When the Vikings attacked, the Captain said he'd protect us, but I didn't trust him. I've stayed alive because I don't trust anyone.
Goliath: But why did you do it?
AotN: You can ask me that? After how they treated us? They had to pay! All humanity has to pay for what they did to our kind!
Goliath: There is good and evil in all of us, human and gargoyle alike. You should know that more than anyone! Don't you see? None of this would have happened if it weren't for you.
AotN: Don't say that! Goliath, this is your last chance. Humanity is a poison that must be purged from this planet. (walks toward him, rocket launcher lowered)  Together, you and I can create a new world for our kind. You trusted me once. You loved me once. We have found each other again after a thousand years of solitude. (whispering) Does that mean nothing to you?
Goliath: (tears up, but remains silent)
AotN: Very well, then. If you are not my ally then you are my enemy. (takes aim past him and fires again)
Goliath: (rolls)
AotN: I have a name too, Goliath. The humans gave it too me long ago. You should know it before you die (aims directly at his chest) I am Demona. Goodbye, Goliath.

Just as she's about to pull the trigger, Elisa comes running out and tackles Demona away. Her shot goes wild and takes out yet another tower. Xanatos is knocked unconscious by some debris, but the largest section of the tower hits the battlements, sending both Elisa and Demon hurtling towards the ground far below. Goliath leaps after them and catches...Elisa. (Did anyone ever think he wouldn't?) Setting her safely on her feet, he gazes downward where Demona fell. For the second time, he believes her dead and despite everything, he again roars out to the night in grief.

Xanatos regains consciousness just in time for an enraged Goliath to grab him and dangle him over the edge. Even that doesn't ruffle Mr. Smooth. "Go ahead. Without me, you'd still be gathering moss." On one hand, awesome line. On the other hand, maybe it's not too smart to further provoke the angry gargoyle who's threatening to toss you to your death. On the third mutant hand, if anyone has a plan in place in the event he's ever thrown from a building, it'd be Xanatos. (Maybe that's what Owen's taking care of right now).

He doesn't need it, though. Elisa urges him Goliath not to do it. "...if you do, you're the same as Demona." Hudson adds his voice to hers, and after a moment, he tosses the man to the stone steps at Elisa's feet.

Castle Wyvern, aftermath. Down on the street, Xanatos is under arrest. Up above, Goliath wonders if Demona could've survived. Hudson is practical, "If she did, we'll know soon enough, I imagine." It's nearly dawn and the gargoyles climb up onto their resting places. The young gargs engage in some unfunny banter, while above them Goliath and Elisa talk. And I'm going to quote one last time. The dialogue is this episode was really top-notch - muli-layered and so revealing of character - just brilliant. I am so impressed, seriously.
Goliath: It's nice to know I have at least one human friend in this new world.
Elisa: I hope you have more, lots more. But whether you do or not, I'll always be your friend, Goliath. Same time tomorrow night?
Goliath: I wouldn't miss it.
Elisa: Good. Maybe we'll catch a Giants game.
Goliath: Giants?
And the sun rises over Manhattan.

Whew. That was a whole lot of fun, but a lot more work than I expected. I'm probably going to take a few days break to rest my aching fingers, but I will be back soon with the next episode, "The Thrill of the Hunt"

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