Sunday, September 8, 2013

Gargoyles: "Legion"

In which Coldstone contains multitudes.

PREVIOUSLY ON GARGOYLES: Demona and Xanatos mixed magic and science to bring back Coldstone, a gargoyle brother of Goliath and Demon who died at the Castle Wyvern massacre back in 994.

Remember how I complained about Xanatos' murky motives in creating Coldstone? Well, here's an explanation, he was letting Demona run the show back then because he was, as usual, playing the long game. Well, that retroactively solves the biggest problem I had with that mostly-great episode, so awesome!

But this isn't a Xanatos episode - he doesn't even appear as himself until the last scene. After spending the last two episodes mostly in the background, Goliath moves back to the forefront and I'm glad. He is the one eager to welcome his brother back again despite his erratic behavior, he's the one who enters Coldstone's mind to help battle the computer virus and the programming that Xanatos planted in Coldstone, to say nothing of Iago. Goliath is the one who still has hope that Coldstone with one day reawaken yet again and join the clan permanently.

Though that's not quite correct. For the big reveal of the episode is that Coldstone is actually three gargoyles, not just one.  Let's see if I can untangle this whopping case of multiple personalities:
  • Coldstone: not actually a sentient being, simply the cyborg/stone body.
  • Othello: Goliath's rookery brother and the consciousness that was in control back in "Reawakening."
  • Desdemona: Othello's lover.
  • Iago: malevolent gargoyle who hates Othello, covets Desdemona and eventually merges with:
  • Xanatos Program: the programming Xanatos planted in Coldstone to control him.
I should note that the gargoyles never actually use their Shakespearean names in the show. That's for the audience to use to keep them straight. Greg Weisman himself gave them those names. I like to think I would've picked up on the Othello parallels just by watching - they are quite obvious - but I was already aware of those names before I sat down to watch this episode. Oh, well. At least I'm saved from a possible "D'oh!" moment.

This Othello is a little more sympathetic than Shakespeare's. Or rather, a little less culpable for his own tragedy. At least this one doesn't kill Desdemona (yet). Plus, there's the additional horror of having the ones dripping poison in his ear being inside his head with him. That would make them a whole lot harder to dismiss. And in the end he actually listens to Desdemona and Cassio Goliath, and turns on Iago. He may be easily led - Demona was also able to get him on board quite easily in "Reawakening" - but he does know deep down who he should really trust.

Speaking of trust, Elisa is rather abusing Matt's. If my years of watching TV have taught me anything, it's that the bond between cop partners is almost sacred. It was necessary for her to steal the VR doohickey so that the clan could figure out what was going on with Coldstone, but it was still a betrayal of Matt. More, she doesn't seem to feel bad about it at all. I know he was kind of forced on her by her boss, but Matt seems like both a good guy and a good cop. I feel bad for him that his partner is so consistently deceiving him. He's still not as overtly suspicious of her as I think he should be, but I'm still getting a vibe that he senses something off. This could get messy.

Random thoughts:
  • I wonder if there was an Emilia gargoyle before the Wyvern massacre.
  • Elisa never lets Matt drive. Control freak.
  • Othello being so happy to see Hudson was touching.
  • I've decided any gargoyle wearing gold hoop earrings must be an evil master manipulator.
  • Did Demon bring back Desdemona and Iago deliberately or was that an unintended side effect of resurrecting Othello?
  • I thought the Coldstone mindscape scenes were a little boring visually (though interesting on a character level), but the merging of Iago and the Xanatos program was quite impressive.
  • The NYPD really should pay more attention to who builds their fancy new robots.

 Next time, the poetically titled "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time."


  1. At the risk of spoilers, you're absolutely right about Matt.

    1. Ah, good to know. I like Matt a lot and want to see more of him.

  2. Also, if you haven't already done so, I highly recommend watching this episode a second time; there are little details in this episode, particularly when Coldstone is behaving "erratically," that I didn't notice the first time I watched it, but did notice the second time.

    1. Hmm. Intriguing. I might just do a re-re-watch.

  3. "Did Demon bring back Desdemona and Iago deliberately or was that an unintended side effect of resurrecting Othello?"

    Somehwhat unintentional I believe. There were only so many stone fragments that she had of Othellow, before having to use some of Desdemona's or Iago's.

    1. I'm not so sure about that. Her intention in creating Coldstone was to use him/her/it against Goliath, and Othello might not have been as easily swayed without also using Desdemona as a carrot and Iago as a stick.

      Besides, dozens or maybe even scores of gargoyles were slaughtered during the Wyvern Massacre, which meant that there were plenty of remains for Demona to use. I think the use of those three bodies (and their respective spirits) in particular would have to be deliberate.

      Or if those three bodies were the only ones left that Demona could use, then who or what preserved them (and none of the others), and why?

    2. Oh, okay, I hadn't realized Demona was bringing back Othello & Co. by using their remains (which, eesh). I must have missed that.

      I thought she used magic to summon Othello's soul from wherever gargoyle souls go and then I had some half-formed idea that Desdemona and Iago's souls piggy-backed along, because they were tied to Othello through love and enmity, respectively. I wasn't sure if that Demona knew that would happen, or if she wanted it to or not.

      But if she could only bring back those whose stone fragments she used, then I think I agree with you, Paul, that she picked Iago and Desdemona deliberately. Why use their remains at all, otherwise? She obviously had enough of Othello to bring him back.

  4. Oops. That information might have come from a future episode, in which case I apologize for spoiling it.

    1. No worries. That's kind of the risk I run when watching a show that's nearly 20 years old, after all.