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The Edge

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


by Kieran Dunn

Xanatos donates the Eye of Odin to the Museum of Modern Art. That night a "Gargoyle" steals the Eye. Elisa and her new partner (Matt Bluestone) arive just as the "Gargoyle" is taking off. Matt shoots at the dark figure and hears a metalic CLINK when the bullet hits, and doesn't even slow it down.

The Gargoyles are blamed for the robbery, and Xanatos meets with them discuse their "safe haven", a biological testing laboratory. Goliath gets mad and flies away. Latter, the Gargoyles are attacked by some new and improved "Steel Clan" Gargoyles, equiped with lasers, electric defenses and more. The whole clan with the exception of their leader, who escapes, is destroyed.

The leader flies to the castle and takes off his helmet. Underneath we find Xanatos who explains to Owen about his new prototype Gargoyle exoskeleton.


by Ray Schaff

Act I

David Xanatos and Owen Barnett face off in martial arts practice. A relaxed Xanatos dodges Owen's first kick but is promptly sent sliding across the gym mat with a second kick. Shocked, Xanatos stops the match, the first one he's ever lost to his assistant. Owen asks if he should pretend to lose; "I'd fire you if you did" is the angry reply. Xanatos assures Owen he's fine and decides to move on with the day's agenda. Owen notes that the two o'clock meeting with the Emir is next. "Tell him to be here at one" Owen is told, so he starts dialing.

Elisa Maza carries a medium-sized TV set up the front steps of the precinct, dropping a remote control as she reaches for the door. A red-haired man in a trenchcoat holds the door open and asks if she's going to catch the late show. "It's a gift. I'm just stashing it here 'til I'm off shift" she explains before going in. He picks up the remote and follows.

In her office, Captain Maria Chavez tells an annoyed Elisa that she's getting a partner; "Now that you're back on duty, we're going to make sure you stay there." Elisa claims that getting shot was an accident (in Deadly Force), but it's not open to discussion. Chavez opens the door to introduce Detective Matt Bluestone, who helped close the Dracon case, as well open the door for Elisa earlier. Matt hands his new, unimpressed partner the remote control she dropped before.

In the halls, Elisa tells Matt that she neither needs nor wants a partner. He understands, but she has one now; "Guess we have to just make the best of it." Elisa complains of a conspiracy to complicate her life, something Bluestone claims wouldn't surprise him. She tells him to meet her outside in 20 minutes after she takes care of something alone.

Elisa steps into a broom closet where the TV is stashed, shuts the door and pulls down a hinged staircase. "You guys better appreciate this" she whispers with a smile.

Up in the clock tower, Hudson rests in a recliner while Broadway stirs a pot on a hotplate, stopping to help lift Elisa and the TV up. Lexington races his radio-controlled car right under Elisa's feet, so she threatens to ticket him. She asks about the absent Goliath. "Down in the library" says Broadway; "Ya staying for breakfast?" She declines, leaving the clan to set up the TV.

In an adjacent building, Elisa finds Goliath sitting in the moonlight, reading Dostoevsky. "Yeah? Who's it by?" she jokes, getting only a puzzled look. Helicopter sounds draw their gaze out a window towards the Eyrie building and Castle Wyvern. Goliath admits to Elisa his frustration over losing their ancestral home and going into hiding. Bending his book unconsciously, he laments that they are outcasts in Xanatos' time and world with no hope of regaining anything. Elisa tries to assure him that it won't last forever; "What goes around comes around, Goliath. I wouldn't want his karma." "If only I could make him feel what I feel now" Goliath wishes.

The clan admires their new television, which Hudson thanks Elisa for, until they see Xanatos on it. He's being interviewed by Travis Marshall at the Museum of Modern Art, where he's donating a priceless gem, the Eye of Odin, from his private collection. As irate gargoyles watch, Xanatos claims that he just felt like sharing the Eye with the world; "Besides, it's a great tax write-off." "A grand gesture from a man known for grand gestures" Marshall proclaims, causing Goliath to storm out of the room in fury.

"A few more donations like this, and New York might even forget about your prison record" Marshall sarcastically notes. Xanatos responds that he made a mistake, he's paid his debt and now he's just giving to benefit others. "Would you rather I kept the Eye?" he asks. Owen arrives to tell Xanatos his limo is ready, getting a compliment for his timing. Sensing he's not appreciated there, Xanatos leaves the museum and a smirking Marshall behind.

Later that night, something audibly flies over the museum roof. Inside, a security guard checks a door and comments on an abstract painting before the sounds of breaking glass and an alarm send him running down the hall.

Riding in Elisa's car, Matt tells her about the Illuminati, which allegedly runs everything up to and including the President. Elisa tells him "I don't care about UFOs, Loch Ness or secret societies. Believe me, the world's strange enough as it is." Then the police radio broadcasts a "10-31 at the Museum of Modern Art". Matt puts a siren on the roof as they speed off.

The museum's security guard enters a room and is swiftly punched out by a large, shadowy figure with red eyes.

The detectives arrive outside the museum, where Elisa tells her partner to wait for back-up. Something crashes through an upper window and Matt aims his gun at it, shouting "Police! Freeze!" The gargoyle-like figure spreads its wings and takes off. "No!" shouts Elisa, reaching for Matt just as he fires.

Act II

Matt Bluestone shoots at the fleeing creature, but the shot ricochets loudly, much to Elisa's relief. Putting away his gun, he asks why she tried to stop him. She suggests that whatever-it-was could've blown up if shot. Matt grudgingly accepts that and asks if she had any idea what he was shooting at. "Not a clue," she tells him.

The next day, Captain Chavez looks over a portfolio with shadowy, amateur gargoyle photos. "According to sightings all over town, there are at least three of these things. Well they're not shy about being seen" she tells a distracted Elisa Maza. Matt enters and draws their attention to the TV he turns on, where Travis Marshall presents security camera footage of the robbery. "According to witnesses, this gargoyle-like creature attacked a guard and then flew away from the scene" Marshall narrates as something shaped like Goliath walks up to a glass case, shatters it, grabs the Eye of Odin and walks away. Chavez asks for the detectives' speculation. All Matt knows is that his .38 slug didn't even faze it. Elisa's reply: "Not yet."

Later, Elisa finishes telling the clan about Goliath's impostor, dismissing Brooklyn's idea of other live gargoyles; "I heard Matt's slugs bounce off metal." Goliath realizes that Xanatos has made more of the Steel Clan they thought destroyed (in Awakening, Part Five). Hudson questions why Xanatos would steal the very gem he donated. Suspicious, Goliath orders Hudson and Bronx to stand guard while Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington go with him to deal with Xanatos. Elisa tries to stop him, stating they're not very popular right now, but Goliath won't hear of it. "Xanatos will answer to me for this" he growls, pushing her aside and taking flight with young trio right behind them.

Elisa runs outside but stops just short of her car when Matt catches her. She tells him she has something to handle alone, but Matt disagrees, "not with those stainless steel monsters out there." "Look, this is one time I don't want a partner" she snaps. He tells her "that's usually the time you need one the most." She relents and they drive off toward the Eyrie building.

Xanatos waits in a windy Castle Wyvern courtyard, wearing a trenchcoat. The younger gargoyles land on a wall while Goliath lands right in front of Xanatos, angrily accusing of the man of stealing not just their home and but their very identities. He responds "You got it all wrong. I'm the best friend you have in this world," enraging Goliath even more.

Detectives Maza and Bluestone enter the Eyrie building lobby but they are blocked at the elevator by Owen Barnett, who says Xanatos is in a meeting. Although she was welcome before, Owen replies that "Things change, Detective. I don't suppose you have a warrant." Obviously, they don't.

Ignoring Goliath's accusations, Xanatos calmly explains that with all of New York City ready to hunt gargoyles, the clan is invited to stay in an upstate research facility of his. He doesn't think such it's a difficult choice: "Stay here in the city and be hunted down like animals or be my guests in a safe haven." Goliath smashes a lamp post in fury, jumps up the wall and takes off with the trio following. Xanatos shouts after him "You're taking this much too personally!"

"Well, that was spectacularly unsuccessful" muses Matt as he and Elisa walk back onto the street. She looks up to see the clan gliding away. She rushes off with Matt at her heels. "I can tell working with you is going to be good aerobics" he mutters before they drive off.

Goliath refuses to discuss Xanatos' offer with the trio, only to be clipped suddenly by a laser shot and land on a satellite dish. Then all four are attacked by three Steel Clan robots, two grey and one red. The gargoyles are barely able to dodge the robots' attacks while the laser-fight attracts frightened citizens below. Soon Broadway and Lexington are shot out of sky and onto a roof. Broadway grabs Lex, who's out cold from bouncing into a fence.

Brooklyn grabs one of the robots only to get an electrical shock and get tossed onto the roof with the others. The grey pair smash right through a wall behind the gargoyles, burying all the clan under a large pile of bricks. The robotic trio regroup and charge toward four helpless targets.


The Steel Clan suddenly stops and hovers in mid-air, staring down at the surprised gargoyles. The trio are puzzled as to why, but Goliath realizes they want to follow the clan to their new home. "Because Xanatos doesn't want to destroy us," he says as they emerge from the brick pile, "he wants to dominate us!" Now awake, Lexington thinks the robots are radio-controlled. "Yeah, so what do we do now?!" demands Brooklyn.

Elisa and Matt pull up on the street below and make their way through the crowd to Travis Marshall's news crew, whom she asks what's going on. "Looks like that urban myth about gargoyles just became urban reality" Marshall replies.

As the Steel Clan watches, Goliath weighs their options; they can't return to the clock tower, they can't stay there and sunrise isn't far away. Brooklyn and Lex note that robots are also tougher than the previous batch, especially the red leader. Deciding they need an isolated battlefield, Goliath leads them one by one off the roof. The Steel Clan follow soon after.

From the street, police spotlights and concerned spectators catch sight of something leaving. Matt Bluestone snatches a guy's binoculars and looks to see two sets of winged creatures heading south.

Both clans pass the World Trade Center towers as they reach their destination: the Statue of Liberty. After they land on her crown, Goliath tells the trio "You take the others. I'll handle the leader." They scatter as Red Leader's laser singes the part in Liberty's hair.

Soon a grey robot is taking shots at Broadway. "OK, Tin Man, lets play follow the leader!" he shouts, diving long and hard toward the statue with the robot in hot pursuit. The hefty gargoyle pulls up at the last second while the machine crashes onto the Liberty's tablet and explodes to Broadway's satisfaction.

Goliath and Red Leader play tag in the night sky until Goliath flies up and dives down onto the robot, which jets straight up with Goliath hanging on tight.

Pursued by last grey Steel Clan robot, Brooklyn and Lexington split up. As this goes on, Broadway stops to take a clawed hand from the scorched remains on the tablet. Lex grabs the robot's neck from behind and when it can't shake him off it gives off a prolonged electrical shock through its skin (and Lex). Close by, Broadway throws the metal claw like a spear, plunging it into the robot's chest. The trio make it to Lady Liberty's torch and watch the robot sputter, fall to the island below and burst into flames.

"No, machine! You'll not get rid of me that easily" growls Goliath, just before forcing his metallic adversary down onto the statue's crown. It gets up, but as soon as it draws its laser Goliath tears it off. Robot and gargoyle trade several punches, body-flips and a kick before Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington land on the crown. "Give it up, dumpster-face" warns Brooklyn as they slowly move in. The robot realizes both its companions are destroyed, its laser is missing and it's outnumbered. To their disbelief, it suddenly flies off into the night. When a police helicopter approaches, the clan leaves as well.

Derek Maza pilots the copter carrying Elisa, Matt Bluestone and Travis Marshall (who thanks Matt for the exclusive) to Liberty Island, where the chopper's spotlights find scrap metal and burn marks on the statue's tablet and the ground.

"The public's been reassured that the gargoyles were robots" Elisa tells Goliath back at the clock tower. "Who created them is still under investigation." Goliath is in much better spirits, having beaten Xanatos' plans and confident they can do it again. Elisa promises they will, together.

Just after dawn, Bluestone argues with Chavez as they leave the station; "What I saw through those binoculars was no robot. It was a flesh-and-blood... something." The captain reminds him they were a long way off in the dark, but Matt is convinced of what he saw, telling her he'll find out what it was. They part ways as the clan sleep as stone poised high above them in the sunlight.

Atop Castle Wyvern, Owen remarks that the plan to find the gargoyle's sanctuary has gone awry as the red 'robot' removes its 'head', revealing a nonetheless satisfied David Xanatos. "I have the Eye of Odin back in my private collection and the city owes me a favor for donating it. I successfully tested this prototype battle exo-frame. And the most important thing..." He pauses, drawing Owen's concern. "I was a little worried that I might be getting soft," Xanatos admits while staring at the sun, "but I was able to stand up against Goliath, the greatest warrior alive... I'd say I've still got the edge."


by Juan F. Lara

This episode did not have a lot of plot, emphasizing character development instead. Goliath and Xanatos particularly have the focus here.:

Goliath - As Xanatos said, Goliath took everything very personally. In the library at the beginning, we found him to be constantly troubled by their loss of the castle. In fact, Goliath wanted to "make Xanatos feel the way I feel now." And at the end, Goliath seemed giddy about defeating Xanatos again.

Xanatos - Xanatos remained as unflinching as ever. At the very end, Xanatos shrugged off another failed plan, focusing on the positive aspects that he did achieve.

These two contrasting personalities came to blows in Act II, when Goliath confronted Xanatos about the Steel Clan. Goliath was angry all through that scene, and couldn't even talk about his conversation with Xanatos when they fled. Xanatos on the other hand remained calm, and held his ground against Goliath. I wondered if one day Goliath will let his emotions get the better of him and slip up, and Xanatos just has to wait until that happens.

The animation was the best in the series since the premiere. WD-Japan was back with their distinctive style: objects have mass and depth, and there are lots of detail in movement.

Xanatos: You've been practicing. This is the first time I've ever lost a match to you.
Owen: Would you rather I pretend to lose?
Xanatos: I'd fire you if you did.

The police headquarters is in the clock tower? (I haven't read the comic book yet.)

Eliza: What're you reading?
Goliath: Dostoyevsky.
Eliza: Yeah? Who's it by?
(Ooogh. Did anyone else cringe at that joke? :-P )

(Count the cliches:)
Eliza: You're right. It's a lousy deal. But Xanatos won't stay on top forever. What goes around comes around, Goliath. I wouldn't want his karma.
(Eliza did have lousy lines like this one, but at least the animation gave her some interesting facial expressions. )

Eliza referred to the "Deadly Force" shooting incident as an "accident". I guess she told the police the old "was cleaning the gun when it went off" routine after all.

Matt Bluestone - Eh. I'm sure the creators have a lot of plans for him. In this ep, though, he was just a fifth wheel. Other people noted that he was a clone of Fox Mulder from "The X-Files", only blander. I didn't really care whether or not he finds out about the Gargoyles, and he seemed in the way most of the time. But this is only his first appearance.

Eliza: I don't care about UFO's, Loch Ness, or secret societies. Believe me, the world is strange enough as it is.

The second half was one long fight with three Steel Clan robots. The pacing seemed slower than in "Enter MacBeth", emphasizing suspense. In the course of the fight we got memorable moments like when Broadway impales one robot with the other's arm. Likewise we saw the perspective of the robot leader. Its view of the wrecked robots and the screen registering "destroyed" humanized the robot leader unexpectedly.

Brooklyn: Give it up, dumpster-face.

Of course, the ending had a twist that explained why the robot leader seemed so human. I was totally fooled, thinking only that Xanatos must've made some remarkable advances in artificial intelligence. :-) I liked how Xanatos's last few lines tied in with the ep's first scene.

Xanatos: I was a little worried that I might be getting soft. But I was able to stand up against Goliath, the greatest warrior alive.....I'd say I still got the edge.


by Todd Jensen

"Enter Macbeth" saw Goliath and his clan being forced to vacate the castle for the clock tower; "The Edge" shows them settling in at their new home, while having to deal with a newly-released Xanatos. Fortunately, they are able to hold their own (while unaware that Xanatos had more fish to fry than just capturing and controlling the gargoyles).

Following the lead of "Enter Macbeth" (which opened with one of the clan's last typical nights home in the castle), "The Edge" lets us get a look at the gargoyles adjusting to their move. Elisa, come to visit them and deliver their new television set, gets treated to the sight of Lexington playing with a remote-control car and Broadway doing some more cooking (until he notices the detective's arrival and immediately helps her with the television). Goliath is, again, reading in the library, but this time in a much grimmer mood, as he reflects over how Xanatos was able to force the gargoyles out of the castle, and appears to have all the advantages in a world that he understands and the newly-awakened gargoyles do not.

But things are not going entirely Xanatos's way; he has just lost a judo match to Owen, and is feeling concerned over the fact that he lost - not out of some conventional "sore loser" attitude that a more stereotypical cartoon villain would hold (he even tells Owen that he'd fire him if the latter pretended to lose), but because he fears that his skills may be growing rusty. A scene that will have important ramifications for events ahead....

With Elisa's injuries fully healed, she finds herself partnered (against her wishes) with Matt Bluestone, who now fully enters the series. While Matt's presence quickly becomes a problem for Elisa for obvious reasons (not to mention that he establishes himself as a conspiracy nut from the start), he also shows himself to be genuinely concerned about her well-being, accompanying her even when she wants to go solo on the grounds that the time when you want to do without a partner is generally the time that "you need one the most". And needless to say, he soon takes a strong interest in the gargoyles, after Xanatos's staged theft of the Eye of Odin brings the clan to the attention of the city.

Goliath and Xanatos have their first face-to-face confrontation since "Awakening", producing one of the most enjoyable scenes in the episode. Both display their characterizations well, Goliath straightforward and passionately angry about Xanatos's schemings, while Xanatos remains calm throughout, regarding the gargoyle in an almost amused way. Two particular pieces of dialogue stand out:

XANATOS: You see, soon everyone in the Big Apple will be hunting gargoyles.
GOLIATH: Because of you!
XANATOS: If you're going to be picky, we won't get anywhere.

and second:

After Xanatos points out to Goliath that his two alternatives are for him and the rest of the clan to take shelter in one of Xanatos's research facilities, or stay in the city and be hunted down, Goliath responds by demolishing one of the lampposts in the courtyard, then rushing up to the battlements and gliding off in a rage. Xanatos follows him up to the catwalk, and calls out, "You're taking this much too personally!"

The battle that ensues between the gargoyles and the Steel Clan is well-done and exciting, climaxing (in a scene that could probably not be made after September 11) in a final showdown at the Statue of Liberty (which, fortunately, is not heavily damaged). The big surprise comes at the very end, however, when it turns out that the red Steel Clan robot leading the others was actually Xanatos himself in a high-tech suit of armor which had allowed him to battle Goliath directly. Not only is it a true jaw-dropping moment (the first time that I saw "The Edge", I thought until the end that this seemingly new figure was simply a robot with better artificial intelligence programming than the original Steel Clan), but it ties in perfectly with the opening, showing us that Xanatos's real goal in pursing the gargoyles and engaging them in combat was not so much to capture them as to make certain that he still had "the edge".

The animation is particularly effective for this episode, including the battle scenes. My favorite moment, however (or one of my favorite moments, at least) comes when Elisa prepares to enter the uppermost chamber of the clock tower, where her friends await her. Everything about this scene gives us the feeling that we are entering a strange and mysterious world full of wonders alongside the police detective, a feeling that persists throughout the series at its best.


The episode sees the full introduction of Matt Bluestone (who first appears in a non-speaking role in "Deadly Force") and Travis Marshall. We also get a glimpse of Derek Maza as Elisa and Matt's helicopter pilot.

The Eye of Odin is also first introduced in "Gargoyles". It originated in the "Gargoyles" video game, and so intrigued Greg Weisman that he proceeded to write it into the series (though Greg feels disappointed that the Eye in the animated series did not look as Norse as the Eye in the game).

The Emir is first mentioned in the opening scene between Xanatos and Owen, here merely to give us a brief look at the world of movers and shakers that Xanatos operates in. Greg Weisman had not planned to turn the Emir into an on-stage character - yet.

The Illuminati also receive their first mention, in Matt's conversation with Elisa. Although they would later become an on-stage element, their original introduction, as planned by Michael Reaves, was done for a much simpler reason: Reaves wanted to make Matt's suspicion that the gargoyles were out there (thus leading into his investigation of them) believable, and decided that if he was portrayed as a conspiracy theorist, the audience would be more ready to accept his pursuit of the clan.

Elisa, displaying her scepticism towards Matt's Illuminati theories, says, "I don't believe in Loch Ness, secret societies, or UFOs." This is an ironic statement, since she would encounter both the Loch Ness Monster and an extra-terrestrial (Nokkar) during the Avalon World Tour, in the following season.

As in "Enter Macbeth", Goliath again shows a penchant for the classics, this time reading Dostoyevsky.

Xanatos's choice of the Museum of Modern Art to donate the Eye of Odin to seems surprising, since the Eye could hardly be modern art, in light of its background as revealed in Season Two. Greg Weisman has suggested that Xanatos chose the MOMA based on it having poor security, but fine security camera surveillance - just what he needed for his plan.

The security guard on duty at the MOMA on the night that Xanatos steals back the Eye briefly addresses a painting that is clearly either Edvard Munch's "The Scream" (which isn't on display there in real life), or modelled after it.

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