Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gargoyles: "Vows"

In which some are joined together and others are torn asunder.

Shiny new DVD's! Wheeee! I need a pick-me-up after last night's Broadchurch finale flung me into a pit of despair and heartbreak. Apologies if this review is a little scattered and rushed, but I really want to devour these DVD's and special features (I LOVE special features).

I love time-travel episodes, but they can go off the rails so easily. This episode avoided that trap by making history unchangeable, neither Goliath or Demona succeed in changing their pasts. Xanatos succeeds because he's making sure history does unfold as it should; he HAS to go back to 975, because he DID receive a coin in 1975.

This episode is full of good ideas and has several great scenes, but I feel like story points rush by too quickly to be fully absorbed. I appreciate Gargoyles not talking down to its intended audience and assuming kids are too dumb to grasp a complicated, fast-moving plot, but as a (I like to think) reasonably intelligent adult, I was confused a few times. (On the other hand, I thought it was unnecessary for the Norman ambassador to outright call Xanatos a "fellow Illuminatus" when we'd already had our attention drawn to Xanatos' pin and the ambassador's ring. Yes, I'm impossible to please.)

Continuity abounds, which I always appreciate. Well, except for those damned skull candleholders. I feel like they're mocking me now. Archmage, Prince Malcolm. The Grimorum and the Eye of Odin, Coldstone.

But the meat of the episode is Demona and Goliath. To be honest, I have a little trouble with idea that the events of THIS episode are the final nail in the coffin for their relationship. I would've thought the relationship was definitively dead once Goliath knew Demona was responsible for the massacre of their clan, to say nothing of her multiple attempts to murder him since. I can buy that he still has complicated feelings for her, and that he thinks maybe he can turn her from her genocidal madness, but to actually be holding out hopes of reconciliation? I don't buy it, I'm sorry, and that's not even taking into account his feelings for Elisa.

Having said all that, the scene between Goliath and young Demona at the scene of the Wyvern massacre was genuinely affecting. "Attend the petty jealousies of your heart" is a beautiful line. And the scene between the two Demonas was the episode highlight. To mention Broadchurch again, a major theme of that show was "you can never truly know anyone." I see echoes of that here. Goliath never truly knew Demona. Demona doesn't even know herself, she doesn't understand that pushing too hard and raving like a maniac is going to shock and terrify her younger self, even though she used to be her.

Random thoughts:
  • Of course Demona was the Archmage's apprentice. But when did the Magus come in?
  • I didn't even talk about Petros the Perpetually Unimpressed! I quite liked his and Xanatos' dynamic. I loved that he got the last word.
  • Speaking of him, I would love to know what he and Fox talked about during that helicopter ride.
  • The Illuminati exist! Somewhere Matt Bluestone is doing a fist-pump and doesn't know why.
  • Hudson is quietly awesome in any time period.

Off to watch "City of Stone." I don't know yet how I'm going to review that one - in one big chunk or in discrete sections. I'll have to see.


  1. I personally believe that "City of Stone" deserves the same treatment that you gave "Awakening", but of course that's your call.

    Watch Part One, see if you're in the mood to blog about it or if you'd rather keep watching the rest of the miniseries first and make one big blog about the whole thing, and we'll enjoy reading your take on it either way.

    1. I couldn't resist watching all four parts today, but at the moment I'm leaning towards reviewing each part separately. There's just SO MUCH going on, I don't think I could do it justice in one post. But who knows, I might change my mind when I sit down to write.