In which what fool this Demona be...
Disclaimer: I've never seen a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (sad!), and I haven't read it since high school, so while there were probably more nods to the play beyond the presence of Puck, mention of Titania, and the magical transformations, I didn't notice them. Sorry.
[ETA: I usually make my own screencaps for these reviews, which is why they kind of suck, but the above high-quality pic is courtesy of the Grimorum, a Gargoyles wiki I found.]
Well, that's more like it! After the pedestrian "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time," the show course-corrects with what may be the best episode yet. Or at least the most fun.
Not that "The Mirror" is lightweight fluff. Yeah, it's fun to see gargoyles as humans and vice versa. It's hilarious to watch Puck twist Demona's every wish around, but let's not forget what those wishes are. She wants to wipe out every human on earth, and when Puck claims that's beyond his power, everyone in New York City - especially Elisa. It's chilling to see how eager she is to commit mass murder. I guess that makes Puck the hero of the episode - while his primary motive seems to be to confound Demona, it's due to him that there are no deaths. Well, that and Gargoyle-Elisa's quick reflexes.
Speaking of, the romantic undercurrent running between Elisa and Goliath since "Awakening" comes to the fore when Elisa's transformation to a gargoyle causes Goliath to see her in a new light. She's been his best friend and confident, now he perceives her as physically attractive as well - and that attraction doesn't go away when they're both back to their original forms. I'm glad that Elisa isn't unaware of this change - I don't need any Three's Company-style misunderstandings here. She just believes a romance between them is impossible - and is saddened by that, so she's clearly attracted as well.
It's fascinating how, with every change, no one ever perceives a difference in themselves, only those around them. It's the notion of "the Other;" what you are is normal, anything that is not-you is seen as different, maybe even frightening and dangerous, whether the "you" is gargoyle or human or whatever.
"The Mirror" also introduces Puck, who is delightful (and voiced by Brent Spiner apparently, how did I not know this before?), and the whole concept of the "third race," Oberon's Children (or the fae), which once again, widens the world of Gargoyles. I think, even without my knowledge from watching the show the first time, I would realize that we'd be seeing them again.
And finally, there's quite a change to Demona's status quo. She's worried about being vulnerable (yeah, no wonder) during the day, so Puck solves that problem - by turning her into what she despises most. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.
- Puck's not happy that Demona captured and chained him, but he seems even more offended when she tells him to go away. Capricious, which is perfect for one of the fae folk.
- Is Demona really still carrying a torch for Goliath, or was Puck just needling her?
- Okay, it is really weird to see the Twin Towers featured so prominently, especially today.
- If Demona is gargoyle by night and human by day, when is she going to sleep? She's crazy enough without being constantly sleep-deprived.
- Hudson wishing he could see the sun made me sad.
Next time, "The Silver Falcon."