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Awakening, Part III

Synopsis |  Review by Juan F. Lara |  Review by Todd Jensen



Act I

Detective Maza and Owen are talking in the castle. Owen apologizes for the incident, which he attributes to an exploding generator. He says that Mr. Xanatos has agreed to pay for any damages. Elisa doesn't buy the story. She says that she heard automatic weapons fire. She tells Owen that he can either let her look around now, or she can come back with a warrant and many more police.

Owen takes Elisa to Xanatos, who explains that he just got off the phone with the mayor, apologizing for the incident. She asks him what really happened. Xanatos says that the generator story was for the press. The truth is that his men repelled an invasion by a rival corporation. They attempted to steal some of the technology that his company was developing. Elisa quips that he is a private citizen, not a country. His answer is that his company is bigger than most countries she could name. They walk out to the courtyard, which is in a state of disarray. Smoking debris are strewn everywhere. Elisa asks him if he had permits for the weapons she heard. He does. Goliath watches the two of them from a parapet.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn, Lexington, and Broadway have found the kitchen. They are taken in by all the strange devices. Brooklyn walks over to the stove and wonders what all the small dials do. He turns one and jumps back as one of the burners ignites. He bumps into Lexington, who goes flying into a rack full of pots and pans. Broadway finds the freezer, which contains enough food for a huge banquet. He is in heaven as he grabs as much as he can carry. Lexington unknowingly shuts the door to the freezer. Broadway yells out for help. Brooklyn and Lexington pull on the door, and tell Broadway to push. He backs up, and runs toward the door. He hits the door just as the other two pull it open, and gargoyles and food sail across the room.

Owen interrupts Xanatos and Elisa, and says there is a problem in the kitchen with their new guests. Xanatos excuses himself and asks Owen to show her out. After Xanatos leaves, Elisa sees Hudson on one of the walls. Owen asks her what she sees, and she replies that she thought she saw that gargoyle move. Owen chuckles that the castle can be spooky at night and he has often thought the same thing himself. He rings the elevator and tells her goodnight.

In the elevator, Elisa hits the stop button and gets off at the next floor. She wants to continue her investigation on her own. She wanders through the castle and jokes to herself about Dracula appearing. She begins to ascend a flight of stairs when she hears a noise behind her. She turns, but sees nothing and walks on. Bronx walks in, sniffs the air, and follows her up the steps. The stairs lead to one of the castle's ramparts. Maza admires the view, but hears someone behind her. She draws her gun, but gasps when she sees Bronx. She takes aim at him, but Goliath lands and takes her gun before she can fire. He smashes it in his hand. Elisa is frightened and backs up. Unfortunately, the only thing behind her is a low wall and empty space. She falls over the side and plunges downward.

Act II

As Elisa falls off the building, Goliath dives after her. He catches her and spreads his wings. They swoop over the street, startling passersby, and land safely on a ledge. Elisa starts at the first good look she gets of her savior. She speaks softly to Goliath, as if to soothe a savage beast. Golaith asks her why she was in the castle. She is surprised at his ability to talk and asks him what he is. "My kind have no names," he replies, "but you humans call me Goliath." She takes his statement to mean there is more than one of him. "Barely..." he sighs as he turns to leave. Elisa asks him to wait. They need to get off the ledge, and she suggests that he fly them up to the castle. He explains that he can't fly. He can only glide on currents of wind, and there are none strong enough near the ledge to lift them up. She asks if they are stuck. He sighs again, lifts her to his shoulders, and tells her to hold on. He digs his claws into the side of the building and hoists himself up the side. Elisa is frightened, but he tells her to trust him.

At the top of the building, Goliath lets Elisa down. Bronx is still there and growls. Elisa had forgotten about him and backs up again. Goliath pats Bronx and assures her that he will not hurt her. He asks again why she is in the castle, and tells her not to fall off the building again.

Hudson walks out of the castle with Brooklyn, Lexington, and Broadway. He scolds them for making such a mess of the kitchen. Lexington interrupts him when he notices Goliath talking to Elisa.

Goliath tells Maza their story, and she asks if anyone else knows about them. He answers that only Xanatos knows. The other gargoyles walk up. Brooklyn sniffs Elisa and asks Goliath if she is a new friend. Goliath introduces Elisa and says that she is a detective. Hudson asks what a detective does. Elisa tries to explain that when someone does something wrong, she finds out who and arrests them. Goliath asks who decides what's wrong. Maza explains that there is a justice system based on laws that the people decide. "You mean the humans decide," says Goliath. He notices the dawn beginning to break, and tells he she has to leave now. Elisa asks if she will see him again. She is grateful for him saving her life and offers to show him the city. Goliath agrees. She offers to meet him in the afternoon. He replies that it must be after dark. She asks if she should come to the castle. He points to a nearby rooftop. She asks why there. He asks her why she was sneaking into the castle. Her reply is that a good detective trusts no one. He says that is one thing they have in common. Elisa leaves. Hudson comments that much has changed from what they knew. Goliath agrees and says that they need to learn more about this new world and the humans who rule it, if they are to defend the castle. Owen walks out and calls to Goliath.

Goliath walks into Xanatos' office. He says that it is almost dawn, and he and his friends must sleep soon. Xanatos assures him that he will only take a minute, and asks for his help. He says that the men who attacked stole three disks from him. Goliath is confused, so he tells him to think of them as magic talismans, each containing hundreds of spells. He aks Goliath if he will retrive the disks. Goliath suggests he use a detective. Xanatos chuckles, but explains that he can't involve the police because of the gargoyles' presence. He says that they would be locked up for study. They are the only gargoyles left, and humans would fear them. "And betray us..." Golaith says. He asks what he would have them do. Xanatos walks over to a large television screen and loads a videotape. He says that he has discovered that a company called Cyberbiotics was behind the theft. Goliath looks in awe at the image and compares it to a living tapestry. "Your naivete is refreshing, Goliath," Xanatos says. He explains that the stolen data is being held in three locations: an island in the bay, an underground research center, and a flying air fortress. They all need to be hit at the same time, so one can't warn the others. Goliath asks why he needs the gargoyles. Xanatos answers that he need to retrive the disks before they are decoded, before the spells are translated. Goliath says that this is much different than defending the castle. It would endanger the lives of his charges, and he cannot risk that. Xanatos asks him to think about it, and Goliath leaves. A side door opens where a winged figure stands in shadow. "Don't worry," Xanatos says to the shadow, "everything is proceeding according to plan."


After the sun rises, the gargoyles are frozen in stone. The day passes, and the sun sets. As the sun sinks below the horizon, the gargoyles awaken once more. Brooklyn immediately jumps off his perch and prepares to leave. Goliath asks him where he is going. Brooklyn says he is going to explore the city. He says that they need to learn all they can about their new home. Goliath agrees, but warns him to stay close to the castle and stay out of sight. Brooklyn, Lexington, and Broadway all fly off.

Elisa cautiously walks onto the rooftop that she agreed to meet Goliath on. She calls to him, but sees no one. Golaith steps around the corner and startles her. She asks him why he was hiding. He says he wanted to make sure she was alone. Maza chuckles that he shouldn't worry since he could probably handle an entire SWAT team. Just then, Hudson flies in and lands behind them. Goliath asks him why he is there. Hudson answers that he wanted to make sure it was not an ambush. Elisa laughs at their seemingly overt paranoia. She turns Hudson and asks if he is coming. She stumbles for a moment and asks what she should call him (remember only Goliath has a name up to this point). He sighs and asks why humans must name everything. Nothing is real to them until they've given it a name, and defined its limits. Elisa says that it's not like that, and fidgets for an explanation. The best she can come up with is simply that things need names. He asks her if the sky needs a name, or the river. She smiles and says that the river is called the Hudson. Goliath smiles at him as he sighs in compliance. "Fine lass," he says, "then I shall be the Hudson as well." Elisa agrees and Goliath says that they should be going. Elisa wonders how they will keep others from seeing Goliath. "Simple," Goliath answers, "we will keep to the rooftops." She says that's fine for him and his wings, but what about her? Her answer comes as Goliath gently lifts her into his arms. Elisa puts her arm around Goliath. Hudson looks on with a bit of disdain. Goliath asks if he is coming. Hudson declines, saying that this world is too busy for his tastes. He flies back to the castle to guard it. Elisa asks Goliath what he wants to see. He asks her to show him the dangers that threaten the gargoyles. She tells him to lighten up and they fly off. They fly all over the city, and finally land on the top of the Empire State Building. Elisa asks Goliath what he thinks. He is in awe of the advances made by man while they slept. He says that he sees no walls, and asks how the city is protected from invaders. Elisa answers that their biggest problems come from inside, not out. "That I am all too familiar with, " says Goliath.

Back at the castle, Hudson and Bronx walk through the hallways. Bronx looks up to Hudson and whines. Hudson agrees with his feelings about the strange new world. They walk into a room with an easy chair and a TV. Hudson tests the chair and sits. The chair reclines and startles them both, but Hudson quickly settles into the comfortable chair. Bronx sniffs at the TV's remote control, and Hudson picks it up and presses a button. The TV comes to life with a rock video which sends Hudson and Bronx running from the room.

In an alley somewhere in the city, an expensive looking car containing a yuppie couple stalls out. The female half of the couple, Margot, starts complaining to her husband, Brenden. Brenden stifles her and picks up his car phone. He can't get through to the police. He gets out of the car and attempts to fix it himself. Three street punks walk up to him and offer to "help". Brenden tells them that he just called the police. They are undaunted and turn belligerent. They are about to steal his wallet when something flies overhead and lands in a nearby alley. Elisa walks out of the alley and confronts the crooks. They start toward her and she shows her badge. They are not concerned. She warns them once more and runs into the alley. A roar is heard from the alley. The punks see Goliath and attack. Goliath makes short work of them. Brenden peeks around the corner, sees the foray, and tells Margot to run. Golaith asks Elisa if that was human gratitude. Elisa smiles and says that he may be the best thing to happen to the city in a long time.

Brooklyn, Lexington, and Broadway are perched on a rooftop contemplating the wonders that they have seen. A motorcyle drives by on the street below. Lexington is fascinated and flies after it to investigate. Lexington scares the driver, who wipes out and runs away. Brooklyn and Broadway land next to him and reminds him that Goliath said not to let anyone see them. Lexington climbs onto the bike. Broadway tells him to be careful, but Lexington says that it looks simple enough. He pops the clutch, and the bike races off. It heads toward a wall, and Lexington jumps off just before it hits and bursts into flames. The three of them watch the fire and agree not to tell Goliath.

Elisa and Goliath walk through Central Park. Elisa says that they are probably the only couple in the park that doesn't have to worry about muggers. Goliath remarks that this century is just as savage as the one he knew. Elisa says that he is judging the city too hard. It may show an ugly face, but there is a nicer side to it as well. Goliath hears a rustle in the bushes. A dart gun emerges from the brush and fires into Goliath's shoulder. The commandos that attacked the castle run from the trees. Elisa draws her gun, but it is knocked away by the commandos. They easily subdue both her and the drugged Goliath. The leader draws a weapon as Elisa asks him what they want. The leader aims the gun at Goliath and says that he is just tying up loose ends.


by Juan F. Lara

Actually, my local station flubbed their showing of Part 3. They've been showing the series at 6AM everyday, and it's the first show of the broadcast day. But they got on the air very late this time and so I only got to see the second half of Part 3. Too bad. I would've liked to have seen Eliza first coming upon the gargoyles.

Goliath: Hold on. (I liked the mildly peeved sigh he makes before he says this. :-)

Goliath: Now once again, what are you doing here? And please, don't fall off the building this time.

Eliza didn't come off too well from what I saw of her in Part 3. She often sounded hokey, and a lot of her lines were groaners ("There's beauty here. Moms that sing to their kids the way my mom used to.")

But the scene where Xanatos talks with Goliath was very well done. This scene had well-written dialogue that illustrated Goliath's struggling with understand the modern world and Xanatos' amusement about it.:

Goliath: Perhaps you should use a, uh, detective.

Goliath: Amazing. It's like a,...a living tapestry.
Xanatos: Your naivete is refreshing, Goliath.

Hudson: Does the sky need a name? Does the river?
Eliza: The river's called the Hudson.
(Now that's a zinger for you. :-)

I didn't care for the third act, though. Some people have been complaining about filler in this show. Act III definitely felt like needless padding. And it was almost all comic relief. I got a smile at Hudson's easing into the recliner. But Lexington's encounter with the motorcycle seemed badly timed to me. And I particularly didn't like that the couple being robbed were portrayed as yuppie caricatures. That hurt the tone of that scene.

So Part 3 was the weakest ep in the series, IMHO.


by Todd Jensen

With this episode, the series moved fully into the modern world, with no more "medieval scenes" until "Long Way Till Morning" eight episodes later. In spite of this, I still found myself enjoying "Gargoyles". One of the leading highlights of it for me, at this point, was seeing the gargoyles doing their best to make sense of the modern world, and the series realized this very well. We got such scenes as Goliath awedly (and very poetically) describing Xanatos's monitor screen as "like a living tapestry" (not to mention that, in the same scene, Xanatos has to explain the stolen computer disks in terms of magic talismans) and later on speaking of the city streets as even finer than the Roman roads. He also wonders aloud to Elisa why New York has no walls to keep out invaders - and understands all too well when she explains that the serious threats to the city's peace now come from inside.

The episode also does a fine job of contrasting the different responses to the modern world from each gargoyle or group of gargoyles. Hudson, the oldest, is the most resistant to the changes, but (in another great move on the writers' part) is portrayed thus in a sympathetic manner. His response is depicted as that of a person who believes himself to be too old and set in his ways to adjust to his new surroundings, and feels lost in the 20th century. This is most clearly displayed in two scenes. The first is when Goliath invites him to accompany himself and Elisa on the tour of the city; Hudson looks down troubledly at the city street below with its stream of honking cars and then declines, saying in a sad tone of voice, "This new world is too big, too bright, too loud for me". Later, back at the castle, when Bronx whimpers confusedly, Hudson replies, "Aye, I know what you mean, boy. It's a strange new world." (Even so, the old gargoyle quickly finds himself liking the recliner that he finds in the television room - and will soon be enjoying television as well.)

By contrast, the trio, as the youngest, are the most gung-ho about the changes in the past thousand years. Their excitement is conveyed with a considerable amount of comedy, first through their misadventures in the kitchen, and then in Lexington's encounter with Vinnie and his motorcycle. It is worth noting that the changes that they pay the most attention to are the obvious technological developments of the modern world.

Goliath stands in the middle. While marvelling at the "modern improvements" like the trio (and the scene where he and Elisa glide about the city so effectively continues what the gargoyles' first glimpse of New York in "Awakening Part Two" began - transforming the familiar sights and sounds of Manhattan into a strange and fantastic place by letting us see it through the gargoyles' eyes), his real interest lies in the people rather than in their devices. He quickly notes that some things have not changed; the three street thugs whom he and Elisa encounter prey upon Brendan and Margot with the same enthusiasm that Hakon and his Vikings preyed upon the humans of Castle Wyvern, and Brendan and Margot respond to Goliath with fear, just as Princess Katharine and her people had done.

While the concept of the gargoyles not having personal names was first introduced in "Awakening Part One", it is here that we take a close look at this aspect of gargoyle culture and thought-processes (ironically, just as the gargoyles are about to part ways with it and adopt names for themselves at last). Hudson sums it up so beautifully to Elisa: "Must you humans name everything? Nothing's real to you until you've named it, given it limits.... Does the sky need a name? Does the river?" This is another moment where "Gargoyles" shows itself so clearly to be not just another action-adventure cartoon, but a series of actual depth, which gives the gargoyles the feeling of an actual people with their own world-view rather than just another group of super-heroes.

Of course, the most important part of the episode is Elisa meeting the gargoyles for the first time, and this is well-handled also. After her initial shock at seeing Bronx and Goliath for the first time, the enterprising police detective quickly comes to understand the clan's true nature (particularly after Goliath saves her life), even displaying a sense of humor as she gets to know them (replying to Goliath's desire to see the potential dangers facing his clan with "You're starting to get me down, and I'm a cop", or commenting how she and Goliath are the only couple in Central Park "who don't have to worry about muggers"). Most moving of all (and a sign of things to come) is when, after Goliath picks Elisa up to carry her on his glide through the city, the two of them briefly exchange a smile - then break off, as they notice Hudson still there.

We also get our first glimpse of Demona in the modern world (unfortunately, a little too clear of a glimpse) and, although the gargoyles will not officially begin protecting the city until "Re-Awakening", the first example of Goliath engaged in this activity when he rescues Brendan and Margot (the yuppie couple whom Gargoyles fans love to poke fun at) from a group of street thugs. And we are treated to another cliffhanger as the commandoes from Part Two return and are on the verge of finishing off Goliath (so it seems)....


As mentioned above, Brendan and Margot make their first appearance in "Gargoyles" here, as do the three street thugs (who would reappear in "Avalon" and "Hunter's Moon"). The yuppie couple are among the best-known of the various "recurring background characters" of "Gargoyles", ordinary residents of New York who have the habit of cropping up again and again. At first they were introduced simply to make things easier for the animators, but soon the production team developed a fondness for making them into people who would encounter the gargoyles over and over, particularly Greg Weisman, who saw it as similar to the "universe of characters" concept found in "The Simpsons" and William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County stories. Brendan and Margot are not the first such "recurring background characters" to appear in "Gargoyles", however; that honor goes to Officer Morgan in "Awakening Part One".

Elisa comments when she first looks around Castle Wyvern, "You must have one heck of a heating bill". This remark bears a striking similarity to one made by Bugs Bunny in the 1959 Warner Brothers cartoon "A Witch's Tangled Hare", regarding, of all places, a ruined Scottish castle that he was strolling about in. Even more interestedly, "A Witch's Tangled Hare" contained a strong element of Shakespearean parody, primarily Macbeth, but with aspects of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet thrown in as well. Was this line of Elisa's a deliberate hommage to Bugs, or merely a coincidence? (While this question remains unanswered, later episodes of "Gargoyles" would contain tributes to another Warner Brothers cartoon character - Wile E. Coyote - in the form of Coyote and Vinnie.)

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