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Enter MacBeth

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



by Lori Summers

"Previously on 'Gargoyles'" shows clips from "Awakening V," "Thrill of the Hunt," and "Deadly Force."

Act I

The gargoyles are going about normal activities at the castle: Hudson and Bronx are watching TV, Broadway is cooking, Lex and Brooklyn are playing cards, and Goliath has his nose stuck in a book. Xanatos, however, is still in prison, awaiting his release on October 31, four days hence. Owen comes to visit him, and they discuss what to do about the gargoyles. A tall gray-haired guard enters, offering to eradicate the gargoyles for Xanatos. He introduces himself as MacBeth.

Elisa, on crutches, appears on the castle roof at sunset to find MacBeth there. Fearing that he'll see the gargoyles awaken, she asks him to come downstairs. He tells her that he knows about the gargoyles, and the sun sets. He offers the gargoyles a home at his castle. When they refuse, he attacks them. In the course of the fight, he imprisons Brooklyn, Bronx, and Lexington in electrified nets. While Goliath is still dazed, he escapes onto his airship with his three prisoners.

Act II

Elisa tells Goliath AGAIN that he and the others are no longer safe at the castle and they must find a new home. Goliath will have none of it, and he flies off to find the others, ordering Hudson and Broadway to guard their home. Broadway agrees with Elisa, but Hudson reminds him that Goliath is their leader and they must follow him.

At MacBeth's castle, we see a large stained-glass window that depicts a man looking upwards at a female gargoyle silhouetted against the moon. In the basement, Brooklyn and Lex are in a cage while Bronx is in another.

Back at the castle, Elisa persuades Hudson and Broadway to leave the castle for their own good, thinking that Goliath will come around. She points out that Goliath told them to "guard their home," and the castle is really no longer their home. They decide to retrieve the Grimorum and take it with them, but Owen tries to stop them and almost succeeds until Elisa throws one of her crutches at him, allowing Broadway to throw him across the room. Hudson picks up the spellbook and they leave.

Back at MacBeth's castle, Lexington has noticed that the lights dim when Brooklyn touches the electrified bars of their cages. The two grasp the bars, drawing enough power to their own cage to allow Bronx to break out of his. Lex tells Bronx to go for help, and Bronx runs off. MacBeth sees him leave and grinds his teeth in anger.

Goliath, flying above the city, spies Bronx running along the street and cars veering out of his way. He alights in front of Bronx and the two take off to free Lex and Brooklyn.


Goliath and Bronx arrive at MacBeth's castle. Bronx goes off to find the two prisoners, and MacBeth leads Goliath on a merry chase around his booby-trapped castle. Eventually, Goliath finds himself in a hall of mirrors surrounded by reflections of MacBeth. He asks why MacBeth is doing this, for the gargoyles have done him no harm. MacBeth replies that he is interested not in them, but in their queen. Upon learning that he means Demona, Goliath is shocked. "You know Demona?" he asks. "Know her? I NAMED her!" MacBeth laughs. The floor drops out underneath Goliath and he ends up in the basement dungeon.

MacBeth explains that he's using the gargoyles as bait, thinking that Demona will come to rescue them. "Demona is our enemy," Goliath replies. "She wouldn't lift a talon to help us!" MacBeth, surprised, drops his torch on the floor and ignites a blaze. Goliath attacks him and the two resume their struggle. Bronx, meanwhile, has freed Brooklyn and Lexington. MacBeth flies away in his airship, and the gargoyles watch as MacBeth's castle is engulfed in flames.

As they fly back to the castle, they are called down to a neighboring rooftop where they find Elisa, Hudson and Broadway. Goliath is angry that they left the castle unprotected. Elisa tells him that she's found them a new home. Goliath is furious, still insisting that they won't leave the castle. Finally Broadway steps in and stands up to his leader, supporting Elisa's claim that they are no longer safe at the castle, and they can't stay there. Goliath grudgingly agrees but asks for a moment to return to the castle. He tells Owen to remind Xanatos that they will be back someday to reclaim their home.

On a sunny morning, Xanatos returns home, free from prison. He is intrigued by the video Owen shows him of MacBeth fighting the gargoyles. "Looks like there's a new player in the game," he observes.

On a gloomy evening, the gargoyles move into the clock tower. They speculate on how they might fix it up and make it more homey. "As long as we can be together, it's home," Goliath says.


by Juan F. Lara

Lots of turning points in the story line happened in this episode:

We have the first major sighting of the Gargoyles by the general public, when Goliath found Bronx in that busy street (Broadway?). I'm sure that future episodes will have news reports about this sighting and police/government authorities searching for them.

MacBeth - I liked the way the episode introduced MacBeth. The first act showed that he knew how to fight the Gargoyles, but didn't reveal his motivations for attacking them. Then Act II gives a hint with that stained-glass window. The episode ultimately builds up to MacBeth revealing that he "named Demona" (cf. Awakening, Part V). But that's ALL the episode revealed, leaving the audience eagerly wanting to know more about him. Has he lived for centuries as Demona apparently has (cf. Temptation),and what was his relationship to Demona?

MacBeth himself was a good villain. Along with his combat skills, he could be commanding and intimidating, such as in the hall of mirrors. His characterization helped keep a viewer interested in finding out more about him.

The bigger climax though was the Gargoyles finally vacating the castle. Memorable imagery from these scenes included Goliath's outrage over the abandonment (I don't think he's ever been angrier.), and his threat to Owen that someday they'll take the castle back, forshadowing future conflict. I also liked how Goliath didn't come around with an "I understand" immediately, and that Broadway stepped in to knock some sense into him.

And Xanatos finally gets out of prison. His upbeat return on a sunny day ("I'm home. That's all that matters now.") contrasted with the scene of the Gargoyles moving into the clock tower, which was somber because the Gargoyles have been left "destitute" but hopeful. I think this classic-Disney pathos is what makes "Gargoyles" distinctive from other shows.

Quotes and Dyns

They added a recap of the last few eps with outtakes relevant to this episode. Impressive.

Hudson was watching Donald Duck on TV. Could that possibly have been a preview of "Duck Daze"?

Eliza was using crutches, still recuperating from her injuries from "Deadly Force".

The release date of Xanatos was on October 31.

Just how much electric current can a gargoyle take? The Gargoyles got shocked lots of times in this ep.

Brooklyn: Who is this MacBeth, anyway?
Lexington: The name sounds familiar. Wait. I remember. Goliath was talking about a play called "MacBeth", by some new writer named Shakespeare.

(Sounds of roars and destruction)
Lexington: Bronx must've found Goliath.
Brooklyn: Yeah.
(I've noticed that the humor has gotten more subtle and less dependent on schtick from comic-relief characters then in the premiere.)

Owen had a hilarious scene where he faced off Hudson and Broadway. I loved how he calmly put his glasses away before fighting (How well could he see then, though? :-) He may not have succeeded in keeping the Grimorum, but I'm sure lots of villains with bumbling sidekicks envy Xanatos. :-)

Animation was by Wang. This schizophrenic studio can sometimes produce good work ("TaleSpin"'s "Jolly Molly Christmas"), but can also do horribly, like in "Aladdin"'s "Armored and Dangerous" and this week's "Shnookums and Meat" episode. Here they had problems keeping characters on model, and characters seemed to move like a blur in action sequences. But I thought the animation was overall good, and much better than I'd expect from Wang. There were some great sequences such as Goliath falling into a completely blackened room, and him breaking through a brick wall with his talons. Wang should be this good all the time.

Overall, I'd call this an excellent episode, IMHO, and I think the writing quality is improving with each episode.

MacBeth: I defeated you in your home. You think I wouldn't be ready for you in my own?


by Todd Jensen

The title of this episode was enough to grab my attention. Shakespeare's play Macbeth has long been a personal favorite of mine, and I was eager to see if there would be any connection here to this "Gargoyles" adventure. I was not disappointed, although it would not be until many episodes later that we would discover the full connection between the Macbeth of "Gargoyles" and the Macbeth of Shakespeare.

"Enter Macbeth" opens with another fine scene showing the gargoyles having a typical night at home in the castle, Hudson watching a Donald Duck cartoon on television, Bronx chewing on a bone, Broadway cooking, Brooklyn and Lexington playing cards, Goliath reading in the library. (This last image is a particularly appealing one, in that it shows to the audience that Goliath is not just a fearsome warrior. Indeed, it reinforces his more thoughtful, philosophical side, already displayed in "Awakening" through his understanding of the reasons for human fear of gargoyles and his desire to comprehend 20th century New York - alongside the particular aspects of it that he focuses upon.) This scene is all the more poignant in that it reflects one of the clan's last nights in its original home - if not the last night.

We are then immediately introduced to the reason for why the gargoyles will soon have to leave the castle, as Xanatos, almost at the end of his prison term, prepares for his homecoming. (In a touch so typical of his portrayal in the series, his desire to have the gargoyles ousted from the castle is based, not on vengeance, but on the simple understanding - which he shares with Elisa, of all people - that living under the same roof with them is not feasible. He even shows reluctance towards adopting Owen's suggestion of smashing them in their stone sleep, not out of soft-heartedness, but out of the fact that dead gargoyles are far less useful to him than living gargoyles would be.) Which leads, in turn, to the mysterious Macbeth offering his services in evicting the gargoyles. From his introduction scene, we can sense that there is more to him than just an unusual form of pest control.

Macbeth clearly knows all about gargoyles (something that immediately arrests the audience's attention), and reveals from the start his peculiar sense of honor. While he has no compunction about kidnapping them and imprisoning them in his castle dungeon, he refuses to attack them in their stone sleep, and from the way that he speaks of this, it is clear that he refrains from the latter out of an ethical sense of a sort. He also shows himself to be an experienced warrior, capable of overcoming the clan and capturing three of its members with an almost Batman-ish combination of fighting skills and high-tech equipment.

It is when he brings Lexington, Brooklyn, and Bronx to his home that we see even more hints relating to the "Macbeth mystery" that will finally be solved in "City of Stone". When we get our first look at his castle, the camera lingers longest on a stained-glass window depicting Macbeth staring up at a gargoyle with Demona's unmistakable silhouette. Macbeth, in his confrontation with Goliath, confirms the link and adds to it, with his cry of "Know her? I named her!" His exact link to Demona is left unexplained here, but makes him all the more intriguing. In the meantime, Lexington mentions to Brooklyn about Goliath's discovery of the Shakespeare play by that name, though neither he nor Brooklyn (nor, presumably, the audience at this point) suspect that there is a connection between the two.

Back at the Eyrie Building, Elisa (on crutches while recovering from her injuries in "Deadly Force" - another nice touch) finally persuades Broadway and Hudson that they have to vacate the castle (they understand the wisdom of her words, but are held back for a time by their loyalty to Goliath), and helps them when they face Owen in the course of removing the Grimorum Arcanorum from its case. (As in "Deadly Force", Owen, despite the fact that the episode is not focused on him, plays a noteworthy role; he loses to the two gargoyles and Elisa in the fight over the Grimorum, but puts up an effective battle. He also gets another great scene as he watches Macbeth's combat with the gargoyles, arching one eyebrow in increasing disapproval as parts of the castle start getting damaged in the crossfire.)

I liked Macbeth's castle-like mansion and thought it a pity that it burned down as a result of Goliath and Macbeth's battle (a confrontation so intense that for once, Goliath dispenses with his natural weaponry and snatches down a mace from the wall to oppose Macbeth's claymore - an ironic choice of weapons for him in light of the significance that maces generally bear for gargoyles).

And just as Macbeth (temporarily - the mansion is rebuilt by "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", and would feature again, for that matter, in "High Noon", "The Price", and "Pendragon") loses his home, so does Goliath, when Elisa finally gets through to him that he will have to leave the castle. Despite his initial anger, however, he comes to understand that she is right (particularly when Hudson and Broadway support her), and yields. His brief message to Owen (to be forwarded to Xanatos) that the gargoyles will someday reclaim their home is followed by a powerful scenelet where we see Goliath brooding silently upon the castle battlements, before taking his leave. Not until the very end of Season Two (and almost the end of "Gargoyles" itself) will the gargoyles call Castle Wyvern home. For my own part, I was sorry to see it happen (even though I understood the necessity); I have a deep-rooted fondness for castles, and found Castle Wyvern particularly appealing.

"Enter Macbeth" ends, however, on a hopeful note, despite the clan's loss; we see them settling into the clock tower with Lexington regarding the disused gears with his usual fascination for all things mechanical, Hudson finding a place where a television could be set up, and Goliath admitting that home is not a specific location, but wherever he and the other gargoyles can be safe. And in the very last scene, we see them in their stone sleep atop the railing, having truly made themselves at home here.


"Enter Macbeth" suffered a severely-delayed release thanks to animation difficulties; the original version of it came out so poorly animated that it had to be extensively redone. This resulted in "Awakening" (all five episodes of it) being repeated on the Fridays between the premiere of "Deadly Force" (November 18, 1994) and that of "Enter Macbeth" (January 6, 1995), to buy the animators time. Fortunately, this repeat of the series opener allowed people who had only just discovered the series after "Awakening" first aired to see how it began, and does not appear to have done the program any great harm.

This episode contains the first of many references to Shakespeare and his works throughout "Gargoyles" (stemming from Greg Weisman's fondness for the Bard). Alongside Macbeth, the Weird Sisters, Oberon, Titania, and Puck would all make on-stage appearances in the series, and other allusions would be made to Shakespeare's plays and characters (which will be duly noted in the appropriate sections). Greg also had unrealized plans to introduce Queen Mab from Romeo and Juliet (as Oberon's mother), and Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban from The Tempest, alongside making Dingo's real name "Harry Monmouth" (in a reference to Prince Hal), introducing a modern-day parallel to Romeo and Juliet in the projected New Olympians spin-off, and even trapping the gargoyles and their associates in an actual performance of Macbeth (with Macbeth in the title role, Demona as Lady Macbeth, Goliath as Macduff, and Elisa as Lady Macduff).

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