Monday, September 9, 2013

Gargoyles: "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time"

In which Hudson is a butterfly in the sky, he can go twice as high, take a look, it's in a book...

Good luck getting that tune out of your head now. You're welcome.

Oy, what is it with Macbeth episodes? I have vague memories of enjoying the character the first time around, but I found myself just as underwhelmed by "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" as I was by "Enter Macbeth."

I'm not sure why this is. It's not like the episode is bad. I can't point to anything and say, "that sucked, why did they do that?" The action was fine, nobody was acting strangely or out of character (well, as far as I can tell. I just met Macbeth's goons after all). Macbeth worked just fine as the antagonist. The "Literacy, Yay!" moral is certainly a worthy one. The episode is perfectly competent. I just can't seem to work up any enthusiasm about it.

The Robbins/Hudson scenes were the best of the show, the only ones that resonated on an emotional level. The parallels between the two were obvious, but the episode nobly refrained from beating the audience over the head with them. I was able to believe in Hudson's newfound determination to learn to read far more easily than Broadway's.

Random thoughts:
  • Is Macbeth going to rebuild? I'm kind of hoping it becomes a running joke, that his house gets destroyed every time he appears.
  • I like his red-headed goon. Her colleague has something weird going on with his eye, though.
  • Aw, Macbeth's a King Arthur fanboy. That's cute.
  • Goliath and Co. harassing Owen felt exactly like the waste of time it was. Of course, they hadn't seen the previouslies.
  • Tellingly, Elisa was the first to suspect Xanatos. Her grudge is alive and well.
  • Where was Xanatos, anyway? I hope off with Fox, doing something way more interesting.

Edited to add: I do love one part of this episode - the title. It's beautiful. It was ringing a very faint bell for me, so I did a little research (translation: googled) and found the source - the improbably named Edwin Percy Whipple, 19th century essayist and literary critic, a contemporary of the likes of Hawthorne, Emerson, Longfellow, and Bronson Alcott. Coincidentally, I have a dual biography of Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott in my large "To Read" pile.

Next time, Demona's back in "The Mirror." It seems to be a favorite among Gargoyles fans, so I have high hopes that I'll like it much better.


  1. What bugs you about "Enter Macbeth" and "A Lighthouse..." could be the animation itself. Those two episodes had some of the most off-model animation in Gargoyles canon, as far as I know.

    1. Could be. I don't usually pay much attention to the animation, but if it was off, maybe that affected my enjoyment of the episode on an unconscious level. I don't know if that makes me weird or not.

  2. I don't know. I think Broadway's interest in reading through Macbeth's description of Merlin does make sense.

    It's kind of like how in school some teachers when teaching a subject make it sound like a boring, and tiring chore, while others can take the same subject and make it sound fun.

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. It's not that Broadway's turnaround doesn't make sense, but that it felt a little perfunctory compared to the scenes with Robbins and Hudson. A little too convenient, although I realize it ruins the message of the episode if Broadway doesn't change his mind about learning to read.

      I dunno. I just wasn't feeling it.