In which a (not really) hard-boiled detective learns to appreciate her partner(s).
PREVIOUSLY ON GARGOYLES: We meet gangster Tony Dracon; soon after, Elisa is partnered with Matt Bluestone, a conspiracy theorist obsessed with the Illuminati Society.
From Shakespearean farce to film noir; I love a show that can switch genres on a dime. The noir elements are all here; the storm, the low lighting, a private detective (of a sort), trench coats and fedoras, a mysterious kidnapping, double-crosses, an informant, wry dialogue, etc. All that's missing is a leggy femme fatale, not that I'm complaining. There wasn't really room for one.
Well, it also didn't have a downer ending - the only ones unhappy at the end are the crooks. But I'm not complaining about that either. For all its opening tragedy, flawed heroes, many criminals, and the running commentary on bigotry; Gargoyles is not, at heart, a cynical show, and I think it's stronger for that.
This episode is a sequel of sorts to "Deadly Force." Broadway's back in Elisa's apartment, and he's once again acting out what he sees in a movie. In a nice, unremarked-upon touch, Elisa keeps her gun locked up instead of out in the open. Dracon shows up again, now with a weird skunk stripe in his hair. More than that, though, it's about partners, and how Elisa needs to be a better one.
Not that she sees it that way. No, she thinks she doesn't really need a partner, whether it's Matt or Broadway, that she can do a better job on her own. Part of that is probably because of this huge secret she's living with, but I think she's also kind of a loner by nature. That's pretty cool - there are no end of loner-cop-types in TV and movies, but they're almost always dudes. And she's not presented as damaged or unnatural because of it, either. I love Elisa and how she's never, ever helpless, even when she's in over her head.
But I was talking about how she's a bad partner. That's putting it too baldly, but she could stand to examine her behavior a little more. She likes Matt - she goes looking for him, after all, though she is a decent person and would probably do that for a stranger - but she's always seemed a little dismissive of him. Of course, he makes that easy with all his conspiracy theories, but it bugged me that she stole the VR machine from him in "Legion" which, aside from the deception, probably could've gotten him in some serious trouble at work if it had been destroyed or permanently lost. Elisa being caught between her partner and the gargoyles is a good source of conflict, but the problem was, she didn't seem to feel any conflict. Here, I think, she's beginning to. She sure looked uncomfortable when Matt apologized to her for not bringing her in on his Silver Falcon investigation. Because they're partners, and there should be trust and honesty there. I'm looking forward to seeing her actually struggle with divided loyalties.
Thing is, I don't think Goliath would have a problem with her telling Matt about the gargoyles. He already thinks of the police as Elisa's "clan" and he certainly values honesty and trust within the clan. He trusts Elisa's judgment implicitly - if she said Matt was trustworthy, he'd believe her. So why doesn't she? I don't think it's that she doesn't trust Matt - they've been working together for however many months now? (I can't keep track of the passage of time in the show, but I have the impression it's been a while.) She wouldn't even tell her own brother about them, even after Goliath straight-up told her to. I do wonder what that's about.
- I loved how Broadway's trench coat became more and more tattered as the night went on.
- He's learning to read! Good for him.
- Is it weird that Matt never told Elisa he used to be FBI? I think it's no more than embarrassment over being kicked out for being an obsessive weirdo, but she never once asked where he used to work before coming to the 23rd? More lack of consideration, I see.
- I didn't see the twist of the CPA guy being Dominic Dracon coming at all, though I should have.
- Poor Matt, where's he going to live now?
- I'm sure that the obelisk where Elisa met with Matt's FBI partner is a famous New York monument that I should recognize, but I don't.
Next time, "Eye of the Beholder." I hope it's better than the Star Trek: TNG episode of the same name.