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Thrill of the Hunt

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



by Gabriel Guay

Act I

The show starts off showing us the skyscraper of Xanatos with the sky nearing sunset in the background. Elisa and Owen get out of the elevator, and Elisa tells Owen she's still surprised to be allowed in here since she was the one responsible for Xanatos' incarceration. Owen reassures Elisa that "Mr. Xanatos is not the sort to harbor a grudge, and he wouldn't dream to deny her the opportunity to see her friends."

They end up on the top of the castle where the gargoyles sleep, just in time to see the clan waking up. Owen goes back to his occupations, while Hudson and the trio rush to the television. Goliath greets Elisa, and Elisa decides to take the big plunge and try to talk some sense into him. She tries to tell him the castle is Xanatos' property now, but Goliath does not understand and goes away, almost shouting : "We are safe here!". Elisa comments to herself : "I think your head stays rock hard even at night."

Meanwhile, Hudson is watching the T.V. with Bronx. He tries to change the channel, but it's the same show on every channel. The trio enters and Lexington notices it's the Pack's. Hudson, who was still trying to change the channel, drops the remote control and says something is wrong. The others obviously don't care, since they love the show. The announcer reveals that the Pack will be making a rare public appearance at Madison Square Garden tonight.

At the Pack Media Studio, Fox, Wolf, Dingo, Hyena and Jackal are training. Wolf is complaining that there isn't enough action. Pretty soon, all the other members agree, and Fox decides to show the others the letter that came into today's mail. The mail shows pictures of Goliath and the Steel Clan, and it doesn't take long before everyone agrees what a thrill it would be to hunt something that big. They leave and head for the stage.

At Madison Square Garden, the crowd is wild and everyone is shouting "Pack!". Atop the studio is the trio, waiting too, and Lexington is definetly the most eager of the three. The Pack appears in a cloud of smoke and they take their fighting stance. Then, the Evil Ninjas make their appearance, and the crowd booes. The announcer comments: "The ninjas don't fight with honor, like the Pack does", and Brooklyn, impressed, admits : "Hey, these guys are alright."

The show ends, and Brooklyn and Broadway leave Lexington who says he wants to stay a little while longer. He decides to meet the Pack. At first, they're startled, but then Wolf notices Lexington is a lot smaller than the one he saw in the pictures. Fox asks Lexington if they could meet Goliath (they still don't know his name), and he agrees.

Act II

At the castle, the clan is worried and waits for Lexington. He finally arrives and declares he's made new allies. Brooklyn realizes that it's the Pack, and Goliath isn't very happy about it, but the dawn breaks and the gargoyles freeze to stone. This night starts with Lexington asking for Goliath to meet them before he judges them. "We've got to search for kindred spirits", he says, "or we'll always remain alone." Goliath relunctantly agrees to meet them. The two fly off in the night.

When they arrive in the studio, the place is dark. Goliath doesn't like this, he says. Then a blinding light is turned on, and they are being shot. Goliath takes Lexington and runs into cover. In a maze, Hyena comes from behind and scratches Lexington, who runs after her, mad, with Goliath following him. Goliath just has the time to save Lexington from the pikes, who comments : "I thought you fought with honor!", and after another trap, they both manage to get to the roof and glide off. Thus begins the hunt.

After a while, they land on the top of a building where it appears to be safe. Lexington is shocked to see that the Pack planned this all along. He says he'll never trust anyone again. Then, he gets taken in an explosion. Alright, he and Goliath get off the building, but when they are gliding between two buildings, Jackal throws a knife and cuts electricity cables that fall on Goliath and Lexington. They fall, but Goliath grabs Lexington and a ladder, and they head for the top of the building. They hear Hyena's maniacal laughter and get blown off the building by another explosion. They fall roughly on the ground, unconscious, with the Pack closing in.


The scene shows the Pack closing in. Just then, children come in and cheer when they realize it's the Pack. Goliath and Lexington awake and growl. The children ask what are those "things", and Wolf takes the children to their parents and says he'll protect them and then goes to fight Goliath. The children throw garbage remains at the gargoyles to help the Pack. Lexington scares them away and their parents decide it's time to go. Now that the streets are deserted, Fox orders Jackal and Hyena to finish them off. Goliath pushes them away with the water of a fire hydrant. Lexington and Goliath climb a ladder and head for the top of the building.

The Pack follows, but they discover that there are stone statues all over the place. They start to check the place, with Fox commenting : "Needle in a haystack.", when Jackal notices Hyena is gone. Fox orders them to stay together. Lexington flies in and grabs Dingo. Frightened, Jackal decides to take off even though Fox and Wolf still think they can take on the gargoyles. Fox and Wolf see the shadow of Jackal being knocked unconscious by Goliath. Afraid, they decide to run. Goliath intercepts them and pushes them through the top of the building where they all fall on the floor where there's a photograph taking pictures of models in swimsuits. Fox takes one of them in hostage and gets out of the building with Wolf while the photograph is taking pictures of that event.

Outside, Lexington knocks Fox unconscious on the ground and Wolf takes on Goliath. Goliath wipes him out and hearing sirens, he and Lexington head back at the castle.

On the tower, Lexington, hurt, says he's a fool, but Goliath doesn't think so. He agrees that they must search for new allies and kindred spirits. "To do otherwise", he says, "is to remain forever alone." The rest of the clan arrives and Brooklyn says the Pack has been arrested. Hudson declares that "maybe we shouldn't believe everything we see on television." The sun comes up and the gargoyles go to sleep, frozen in stone.

This episode is ended by a conversation of Owen and Xanatos in a prison. Owen explains to Xanatos that he sent the pictures of Goliath to the Pack and adjusted the T.V. so that the only program the gargoyles could see was the Pack, and that it was a pity nothing else happened according to plan. Xanatos doesn't think so and says : "I created the Pack to be far more than just a T.V. show. I had to see how good they were, and having underestimated Goliath once before, I needed to know what he was capable of as well. All in all, I'd say the test was most... informative."


by Juan F. Lara

I didn't expect a ROTFL episode from this series. But that's what we got with this one, along with the usual great action. I loved this episode.

Good Points

I liked the continuity between this episode and the premiere. They immediately dealt with Xanatos imprisonment and the question of where are the Gargoyles going to live. I liked how Goliath didn't understand that Xanatos still controlled the castle, and his reluctance to abandon it. The writers found a plausible way to put the "Where will they live?" problem aside for a few episodes, IMHO.

We got a much needed focus on Lexington in this episode. He had a child-like nature in the way he looked up to the Pack and the way he got so emotionally angry when they betrayed him ("I'm never trusting anybody again!") He's also very assertive, trying to make friends with the Pack and standing up to Goliath in the argument. I found him a very appealing character. Hopefully the other Gargoyles will get a similar focus.

And I loved the idea of the Pack. "The Pack" WOULD be a popular series in real life. I was laughing all through their Live Performance, as it was just like a performance you'd see of the Ninja Turtles or the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, or at Disney World. :-) Very good satire.

Bad Points

The animation wasn't as good here as it was in the mini-series. The characters looked awkward when they spoke, and the artists had trouble with proportion. One particular example was when they're on the fire escape, where Goliath and Lexington are really badly drawn. Still, the action animation was generally good.

Scenes and Quotes

I liked the dialogue between the Pack members when they first get Goliath's picture. The Pack members had distinct personalities and were believable.

I laughed at how Lexington's face lights up when Fox touches his chin. Just the reaction I'd expect from a fan. :-)

The Gargoyles still think in terms of war. Lexington kept referring to the Pack as "allies".

Weird how they froze in mid-argument, and then started off where they left off. I laughed at that scene.

We got some more great action sequences in Act II. Highlights include Goliath and Lexington breaking through those steel spikes ( Both did their glowing eye routine, and Lex ran on all fours ), and both getting electrocuted in a strong scene.

But my favorite scene was the start of Act III, with those kids. I laughed a lot at how annoyed the Pack members were feeling about these kids. The best moment was when the kids tried to help ("Those monsters are attacking the Pack." "We've got to help them.") How often have you seen that situation in cartoons? :-) But unlike cartoons, all the kids do is throw cans, and Lex scares them away with a scream. Pure ROTFL.

Wolf: Get back. These are dangerous monsters sent by the Evil Ninjas. We'll protect you.

Lucky for them they found a roof full of stone gargoyles. :-) (I wonder if this was a forshadowing of where they'll eventually wind up.) This scene had excellent direction, and Goliath and Lex show that they know how to use an advantage against an opponent. During the Live Performance, the announcer said the Pack won through teamwork, but they lose here partly to lack of teamwork.

Hudson: I thought they were the good guys...Maybe you can't believe everything you see on the television.
( :-D Like Xanatos said, their naivete is refreshing. :-)

I didn't expect the epilogue with Xanatos. Xanatos was VERY MUCH like Khan here, never losing composure and implying that he has plans unknown to us right now (or even to Owen apparently). And the scene ended with his trademark smirk. :-)


Here is the cast list for the Pack members, all familiar names.:

Clancy Brown
Jim Cummings
Matt Frewer
Cree Summers

Who voiced Fox though? She wasn't listed in the closing credits either.

While not as good as the mini-series, this still was a great first regular episode. I hope the Pack show up again.


by Todd Jensen

The first one-parter "Gargoyles" story, "The Thrill of the Hunt" introduces the Pack to the "Rogues' Gallery" of "Gargoyles", alongside Xanatos and Demona. It also forms the first of a trilogy of stories focusing on each member of the trio in turn; here, Lexington receives the spotlight.

The opening scene links up well to "Awakening", with Elisa visiting the castle (in her only appearance in the episode) in the aftermath of the defeat and arrest of Xanatos. However, in so doing, she immediately opens a new thread in the series by warning Goliath that Xanatos won't be in prison for long and that he and the other gargoyles will have to leave before he gets out. At the same time that the episode prepares the way for the gargoyles' eventual move to the clock tower, it also offers an effective reason for their not relocating immediately: Goliath cannot accept the fact that Castle Wyvern, his clan's ancestral dwelling-place and the only link that they have left to the 10th century in New York, is no longer their home. His stubborn refusal to depart from it (to be repeated in "Temptation" and "Enter Macbeth" - and even glimpsed in a flashback at the start of "Double Jeopardy") might be frustrating, but it is also very much in character for him.

Having established this background thread, the episode then focuses on the immediate adventure for the gargoyles: their first clash with the Pack. In its initial conception of the Pack, as mercenaries masquerading as action heroes, "The Thrill of the Hunt" sends an obvious message that people who play heroic figures in movies and television may not be so very heroic in real life, but does so without being preachy. (Even Hudson's comment at the end, "Maybe we shouldn't believe everything that we see on the television" works, since the gargoyles have only just awakened in the 20th century and are still learning how it functions; his words are those of a person discovering more about an unfamiliar culture that he finds himself in.) Lexington's anger and hurt over having been betrayed by the people whom he looked up to are well-realized.

But at the same time, "The Thrill of the Hunt" has a strong element of comedy in it. The Pack's live performance has a hilariously over-the-top atmosphere (the highlight goes to the announcer's cry of "Oh, no! It's the Evil Ninjas!", which sounds as if it was delivered by someone who went to the same acting school as Sevarius). Even funnier is the moment where, just as the Pack are about to finish off Goliath and Lexington, Billy and Susan show up, begging for autographs, leading to groans from Fox and Hyena over the youngsters' "perfect timing", and Wolf finally manages to get rid of them with the claim that the gargoyles are minions of the Evil Ninjas. The comic relief element helps to nullify the potential for preachiness in the story all the more, thus making it first and foremost an entertaining tale, if with a thoughtful element still behind it.

Lexington's description of the Pack as "defenders of the realm" is another good touch, its particular phrasing serving as a reminder of the gargoyles' medieval origins.

And we get a final twist at the end, where it turns out that Xanatos was behind the scheme - and (in a manner that will be typical of him throughout the series) is not distressed over the fact that the Pack had failed to defeat the gargoyles, since he had other reasons for setting up the encounter....


Alone among the Pack (and among the cast of "Gargoyles"), Fox's voice actor (Laura San Giacomo) was never listed in the ending credits. This was because Laura's agent feared that her acting career could be hindered if it was known that she had done voice acting on an animated series.

Dingo's remark about being enough out of shape that he "wouldn't last a week in a Central American war" takes on a new meaning in "The Green", where a couple of Pack members (though not Dingo) do take part in a "Central American war", of a sort.

During Owen's conversation with Xanatos at the end, a prison guard is present in the room. One hopes that he wasn't listening too closely....

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