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Gargoyles Character Overview

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The Growth of Brooklyn

by Kenneth Chisholm

When I first saw Brooklyn, he just struck me as a "cool dude" ala Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was one who had adjusted well to the 20th Century, but lacked the innocent wonderment of Lexington or even the gluttonous goofiness of Broadway. Now, we see that the writers were handling him as a work in progress and a boy coming of age in a way that rivals the vividness of Simba's journey in The Lion King.

In the episode, "Temptation" we see a child more concerned with play as the joyride on Lex's bike would show. This display of youthful and carefree exuberance made his fall from innocence coming from the assault from the biker gang and Demona's exploitation of that trauma that much more powerful. Although he defeated Demona, he still bore the scars of shame for falling for her half truths,, The boy had gained his first personal enemy, whom he now hates with a blinding fury, because of her seduction of him and later from the learning of the bloody history of death that she wrote.

The hard road to maturity then forced him to see him that his best intentions will not always be appreciated. That education was especially painful when he struggled to help Maggie Reed be free of Sevarius and live with her altered state. For all his efforts, all he received was hate and frustration from her. The pain from that rejection did great damage which Brooklyn could not ignore. Yet, surely more positive events like when he realized that his brother survived the fatal fall in "The Price", showed him that there was far more to life than the pains and mistakes one makes.

This balance of events allowed him to handle the Mutates in "The Cage" as well as he did. Freeing them to learn about Xanatos' treacherous nature, which took a great deal of patience and courage, helped more to come to peace with them than any of Goliath's efforts or offers. These qualities made him ready for the demands of being second in command which he demonstrated to everyone when he orchestrated a well thought out rescue of the elders and Elisa from the improved Pack. Clearly, the others knew he was perfect for the position for when Goliath's named him, he had the unanimous support of the clan, even after the competition between the kids.

"Kingdom" shows the final passage of Brooklyn into manhood (forgive the choice of words, but I don't know a more forceful term). With the disappearance of Goliath, the centre of Brooklyn's sense of order was removed. That sudden loss coupled with the weight of leadership falling on him threw Brooklyn into an emotional tailspin as he staggered under the expectations of every one. That is what lead to him waffling to Derek's demands for action against Xanatos even when he knew that would give their enemy more information than they could afford. But instead of galvanizing him to assert his authority, it just made him feel more inadequate for not opposing the rashness enough.

Brooklyn faced his supreme ordeal when Maggie came to him for help to oppose Fang and rescue Derek. When Maggie pleaded for his aid, surely the temptation must have flashed through Brooklyn's mind to refuse her. The clock tower was the only refuge she had and he might have thought for a microsecond that he could woo Maggie without Derek's interference.

But in that moment, the reality of his options faced him. To refuse her would do nothing to endear her to him while condemning the Labyrinth and Derek to tyranny and death on account of his selfishness. All he could do to live with himself was to assert authority and move, with him realizing the responsibility that he must fulfill. When he growled, "This has nothing to do with what I want!" , he was letting his grief and jealousy surface briefly before he did the right thing instead.

With that emotional barrier breached, his best qualities came forward when he organized the attack on Fang and his followers. True to form, the assault was overwhelming in its force which stopped only when Fang created a hostage situation. His cleverness of slipping the key card to Maggie allowed him to release all the hurt Maggie's rejection and Goliath's absence inflicted on him in a way that was positive rather than self destructive. This demonstrated a level of self-control and intelligence that would make him the perfect leader. He found that making a firm decision can actually lift burdens and it did build his confidence. This whole feeling of empowering responsibility also allowed him to accept that he and Maggie were never to be.

At the end of Kingdom, we see a Gargoyle who has grown from a carefree boy to a man with the strength to accept his duties and perform them with a real sense of acceptance and purpose.

This is a tribute to the creativity and heart of the production team to make such a powerful story arc and do it so subtly. May future episodes strive for so much.

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