Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gargoyles: "Long Way to Morning"

In which an old gargoyle doesn't need to learn new tricks.

 Been busy, but I do have some thoughts on "Long Way to Morning."

Demona fascinates me. She didn't, really, when I watched as a kid. She didn't capture my attention in the same way Xanatos did, because I found it so much easier to place her in the traditional "villain" role, what with her being a murderous psycho and all. And she IS a villain, a deliciously nasty one. I wish I had, like, twenty extra keys on this keyboard so I can accurately convey just how brilliant I found one single word of dialogue: "Ciao." She's such a bitch and I love it. And even though I knew, obviously, that Goliath and Hudson were going to be fine, Demona still managed to be a credible threat. The tension was high as she stalked the two of them, and kudos to the writing that the flashbacks didn't undercut that tension at all.

What's interesting to me now, is Demona in the past, when she was supposedly "good." I was startled when I saw her Lady Macbeth act with Goliath. Startled, and intrigued. Did she urge Goliath to take over leadership from Hudson because she genuinely believed that was best for Goliath and/or the clan, or was it sheer ambition? Has she always been manipulative and power-hungry? Why didn't she want to lead the clan herself?

I go back and forth on what I think are the answers to these questions, which speaks to complex characterization. Nothing excuses Demona's actions, and the show doesn't try, but villains are not villains to themselves and  Demona so clearly feels justified in everything she does that she doesn't even question herself. That may be the most frightening thing about her.

I've barely mentioned Hudson, and this was his episode! I don't have much to say, really. It's nice to put him in the spotlight - everyone else has had their turn. I have no complaints, and if that sounds like damning with faint praise, that's not my intention. He is clearly a hero and you can easily see why he was such a good leader. His self-doubt was both affecting and a clear counterpoint to Demona. He may be the most clear-sighted character on this show (which is funny because he's half-blind, geddit? Yes, I'm sure I'm dazzling everyone with my trenchant insight there.)

Random points:
  • Villains are made, not born: Princess Katharine didn't hate gargoyles for no reason, her father planted scary thoughts about them in her head when she was a child.
  • Speaking of, Prince Malcolm is an asshat. "You're too sensitive." I hate that. 
  • Hudson's sword continues to amaze. He sliced a stone statue clean in half with it.
  • Are Demona and Xanatos still in cahoots? I would think she's too much of a loose cannon for him to want to deal with for long
  • All bad guys back in ancient Scotland go tumbling into a bottomless pit eventually.
  • I totally thought the Archmage had killed Prince Malcolm.
  • So Demona thinks Elisa's dead now?
  • Goliath still thinks he can "reach" Demona? Really? Dude, catch a clue, bitch crazy!

Next time, "Her Brother's Keeper."

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