Valid XHTML 1.0!
Valid CSS!
Episode List

Previous Episode |  Episode List |  Next Episode

Eye of the Beholder

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



by Gabriel Guay

Act I

October 1st. Inside the castle, Xanatos and Fox are having dinner; Xanatos takes that opportunity to ask Fox in marriage. Although reluctant at first, Fox accepts the proposal at the sight of the enormous jewel.

October 30th.While getting out of a costumes shop, Elisa hears something screaming from a nearby store. The store owner comes out of the building and runs, not looking back, completely terrified. Elisa takes her gun and enters the store, only to hear strange animal sounds. She tries to control the beast, but it makes her drop her gun and the only thing responsible for her survival is a bag of flour on the ground, which she manages to hurl at the beast's head. She also notices, while struggling with the beast, that it has the eye of Odin as a necklace, and a blue tatoo around its right eye. The beast escapes and as usual, the rest of the police arrive too late to be of any help.

Meanwhile, Xanatos is watching the T.V. NEWS with Travis Marshall, reporting that since October 4th, there have been a lot of sightings, including this night. Xanatos closes the television, just as Fox enters, strange looking. Her hair is loose and she appears to be cold. She isn't even wearing any shoes, just a trench coat. Xanatos asks her if she's still wearing her engagement gift. She answers positively, then gets out of the room with a lame excuse. Xanatos then comments to Owen: "Time for plan A."

October 31st. Children are trick-or-treating everywhere in the Big Apple. The gargoyles awaken, and the younger ones are all very excited. Elisa arrives, wanting to talk to Goliath.

Goliath is very concerned about Elisa's encounter with the werewolf, says she could've been hurt. Elisa reminds him that "everyone's vulnerable, Goliath, but it helps to know somebody cares."

Under the full moon, Fox stares at the eye of Odin. Xanatos opens the door, startling her. He says he wants to borrow her engagement gift, as he wants it engraved. Fox says no, but Xanatos insists, so she takes the eye with one hand, and then tranforms into a werewolf, before an horrified David Xanatos.

Act II

Xanatos, still stunned, takes some time to get a hold of himself, but manages to fire a dart at Fox. Still, nothing happens. He calls for Owen, who fires another dart at Fox, but again, nothing happens. They then try to restrain Fox, but to no avail. When Owen closes the door, she feels trapped and escapes, destroying the door.

Later on, Owen is able to monitor Fox' lifesigns and position with the help of the tracking dart he planted on her. He also has to report to Xanatos that her metabolism is working at an accelerated rate and will burn out before the morning; she will die. Xanatos regrets to have lost the eye, given the extraordinary powers it possesses. However, it is a worried Xanatos who tells Owen it's time to move to plan B.

Elisa pays a visit to Goliath at the library, who's reading a book about werewolves. She tells him that she just received an anonymous tip as to where to find the "thing" that's been tormenting New York for almost a month.

Xanatos, in his gargoyle exoskeleton, is following Fox' signal, which leads to a meat depot, since her accelerated metabolism forces her to eat almost constantly. Now inside, he searches for Fox, but she finds him first. He manages to fire another dart at her, but it has no effect. In the fight, Fox renders the exoskeleton head inoperative. Xanatos is even forced to fake death in order to stay alive. Fox, in a moment of awareness, escapes, leaving him lying on the floor.

Now outside, the beast is attacked by Goliath. Elisa takes out her gun, but is unable to aim correctly at the beast. Goliath manages to knock it uncouscious, but Xanatos, trying to grab the eye of Odin from Fox, gets electrocuted, and she escapes once again. Xanatos also flies away from the scene. Elisa expresses her concerns to Goliath, tries to convince him that they have to get the eye of Odin before Xanatos does.

Xanatos gets back to the castle. Owen can only acknowledge that plan B wasn't entirely successful. Xanatos says that at least plan C is now in work. He explains to him that the gargoyles will want to get the eye before he does. Owen is failing to see how getting the eye from the gargoyles will be any easier, when Goliath and Elisa arrive. Goliath, almost angered, says Xanatos' schemes won't work this time, plus he guesses that Xanatos doesn't have a plan D.


Xanatos has to admit that, this time, he's got more than he bargained for, so he tells Goliath and Elisa that the creature they saw is Fox. He says he had no idea that the eye of Odin had that kind of power, seeing as to how "legend says the eye of Odin is supposed to endow the wearer with power and insight." But Goliath doesn't want to help Xanatos, and he asks him why he should help him. Xanatos answers that Goliath knows "what's it's like to lose someone you love." Elisa cannot believe Goliath is even listening, and wakes him up, making him understand that this IS his plan D. Goliath, now lucid, decides to leave the castle.

Xanatos asks to Owen how long it will take before the exo-frame is repaired, but Owen must inform him that since the damage is extensive, it'll take 2 to 3 days, and that Fox won't last that long.

In the New York streets, the Halloween party is drawing plenty of people. Everyone finds the trio's costumes fascinating, never suspecting for a second that these might not be costumes after all. Elisa enters the party with Goliath by his side. She is wearing a gorgeous yellow dress, like Belle's; even the music they dance on is from Disney's "The Beauty and the Beast."

After the dance, Elisa and Goliath walk away from all the noise to talk a little. Even though Elisa doesn't agree, Goliath decides to help Xanatos. Having heard all the conversation via the microphone he planted on Goliath, while talking to him at the castle, Xanatos shows himself and leads them to Fox' location.

They enter a building and find her. She attacks Xanatos, but Goliath helps him. While Goliath and Fox are wrestling, Elisa takes out her gun, but Xanatos crushes it, not wanting it to harm Fox. Goliath is thrown out the building and Fox escapes. She climbs a nearby building, and Goliath follows her. Elisa and Xanatos follow them with Xanatos' temporary exo-frame. Goliath searches for Fox, but she manages to escape from him. Instead, she goes to attack Xanatos and Elisa, but he tries to reason her. Confused, Fox jumps on Elisa, but Goliath protects her. He pushes her on an electrified panel, and Xanatos approaches and manages to get the jewel off her. The beast metamorphs back into the real Fox, unconscious. Owen arrives in an helicopter to pick his boss and his fiancee. Goliath asks Xanatos to give him the eye, for he can't trust him with it. Xanatos tells Goliath : "Now, you know my weakness." To this, Goliath replies: "Only you would regard Love as a weakness."

Xanatos takes Fox, still unconscious, into his arms and heads for the helicopter, but just before getting in , Owen tells his boss he's never looked more heroic. Xanatos assures him that it's only "a momentary lapse". Still, Owen finds himself smiling.


by Juan F. Lara

Xanatos showed dimensionality in this very good episode.

Good Points

One word: werefox. :-) Granted the werefox shown here had more in common with werewolves than the werefoxes of Asian myths. But I still enjoyed the novelty. Good character design for the werefox, too.

Xanatos did some of his own heavy lifting in this episode, going after Fox on his own. I found his fight with Fox in Act 2 fascinating to watch, as he never seemed so vulnerable before. Likewise Xanatos and Owen's stuggles with Fox in the bedroom.

I didn't fall for Xanatos's act in "Metamorphosis". But here I really believed that he was horrified at Fox's transformation. And he seemed to me genuinely concerned about Fox's safety at the start of Act 3. In both cases I still expected Xanatos to have his standard explanation at the end, but I still believed him. (And so I was pleasantly surprised when this expectation proved wrong. Owen had a priceless expression on his face at the end.)

The scenes at the Halloween block party were fun. But the highlight of course was Elisa as Belle. Elisa looked so PERFECT in her Belle costume. And I loved the waltz they did.

WD-Japan had a long list of secondary studios again. Every now and then I spotted a gaffe: Fox's hair at the end, Goliath being way too big in Act 1. But the artwork didn't seem to have the problems that Perry's "Leader of the Pack" had. I think this was partly due to "Eye of the Beholder" having a much stronger script that could keep viewers from being troubled by any animation problems.

Bad Points

The fight scenes between Fox and Goliath tended to drag, like in LotP. And there were a few bad lines. ("If someone like him can love, perhaps there still is hope for this world.") So I didn't quite feel that this was an excellent episode. But still the script didn't have any fundamental problems that would've turned me off.

They revived Broadway's eating jokes here. Did we really need to hear him burp? |-P

While they didn't want to help Xanatos in any way I wondered why Elisa and Goliath just went to the party with Fox still running loose. But I guess Elisa thought that other police officers could catch her instead.

How could Goliath hear Xanatos talking about Plan C when he was so far away from him.


Owen got new duties, as a butler for Xanatos and Fox (BTW: Did anyone think the sound effects for the tea were too loud?)

The other Disney reference: Someone wearing a Donald Duck-style ran past the camera once.

The yuppie couple from "Awakening, Part 3" had a cameo here. Also, we saw the Eye of Odin from "The Edge" and the bug from "Awakening". Elisa also made a reference to "Metamorphosis".

Quotes (with some comments attached)

Xanatos: Marry me.
Fox: Are you serious?
Xanatos: We're genetically compatible, highly intelligent, and have the same goals.

Xanatos: Incredible. If I'd known the eye of Odin had that kind of power, I'd never have just given it away. Well, spilled milk. Let's move on to plan B.
(This quote felt as nasty as Xanatos's lines at the end of "Metamorphosis." But then Xanatos had that worried expression which disoriented me. I think that maybe this line was too harsh.)

Goliath: Your manipulations have failed, Xanatos. I don't suppose you have a Plan D.
(Nice to hear Goliath get a zinger in for once. :-)

Elisa: Don't even think about it, Goliath! Can't you see? This IS Plan D. If it fails, he'll move on to E or F.
(Great running gag about the plans. :-)

Owen: Actually, Mr. Xanatos, I believe he's right. You've never looked more heroic.
Xanatos: A momentary lapse, I assure you.
(I didn't like Xanatos's comeback: It implied that he saw himself as a villain. I didn't think Xanatos cared a bit about whether he was a hero or villian. But I did like Owen's line: I didn't expect him to make such a comment.)


by Todd Jensen

There are three "Gargoyles" episodes which I have a tradition of watching each year on specific holidays. The first is "Sanctuary", which I watch on Valentine's Day. The second is "The Hound of Ulster", which I watch on St. Patrick's Day. And the third is "Eye of the Beholder", which I watch on Halloween, thanks to it being explicitly set on that holiday.

A Halloween-based episode is certainly an appropriate one for a series about "monstrous creatures" living in secret in the modern world. For one thing, their nature would link up thematically to a holiday dedicated to mythical inhabitants of the night; for another, Halloween would form the perfect opportunity for those same creatures to emerge in public without attracting panic or alarm from the humans around them, since everyone would think that they were merely wearing costumes. Which, indeed, is why the trio are so excited about Halloween in this episode; it's the one night that they can safely come out from hiding. Little do they know that this Halloween is going to be much more complicated than they had expected....

Continuing from the end of "Leader of the Pack", where we had discovered that Xanatos and Fox were in love with each other, "Eye of the Beholder" opens with Xanatos proposing to Fox. What stands out most about the scene is that Xanatos gives as his reasons for marriage purely pragmatic ones: "We're genetically compatible, highly intelligent, and we share the same goals." When Fox asks him about love, Xanatos replies in a not-particularly-concerned manner that he supposes that they love each other, without giving it too much thought, and the two of them agree on the proposal as if it was a business merger or political alliance.

But Xanatos soon realizes that his motives were not as pragmatic as he had believed them to be, once Fox is transformed by her engagement gift (the Eye of Odin - which is now revealed as a magical object) into a werefox and breaks out from the Eyrie Building to run about the city, wreaking havoc. Genuinely concerned over this situation, Xanatos becomes even more alarmed when he discovers that the Eye is draining so much energy from Fox through the transformations that it will eventually kill her unless she is separated from it. In a particularly effective touch, Xanatos, in his customary breezy fashion, comments that he'd certainly never have parted with the Eye had he known that it really did have the powers that legend ascribed to it, shrugs it off as "Spilled milk. Let's move on to Plan B" - but then, as he turns away, reveals a very troubled expression on his face, making it clear that this is about far more than losing a magical artifact.

Xanatos makes it even further clear to the audience over where his priorities really are when, after his first two plans have failed (persuading Fox to hand back the Eye to him for a while and attempting to seize it from her while she's in her werefox form), he embarks on Plan C: letting Goliath and his clan (who have just found out about the werefox's rampages) seize the Eye from her. As Owen accurately points out, it would be just as difficult to get the Eye away from the gargoyles as it would from a werefox, and this sheds light on Xanatos's real motive: not to re-acquire the Eye and its powers, but to separate it from Fox before it drains all the life out of her body. As long as Fox is safe, the question of who will have the Eye in their possession won't matter as much.

Xanatos's Plan C fails (the episode gently spoofs Xanatos's customary habit of careful planning, counter-planning, and setting up contingencies, through its increasing list of these lettered plans - Goliath makes one of his few jokes in the series with the comment "I don't suppose you have a Plan D?"), and he has to for once swallow his pride and beg Goliath and Elisa for help. (In a particularly nice touch, Xanatos, as part of his appeal, reminds Goliath how he knows what it's like to lose the woman that he loves.) The two of them are naturally suspicious of him, but in the end Goliath agrees to it, partly because he recognizes the danger that Fox in her were-form still poses to the city, partly because he finds himself wondering whether Xanatos truly is capable of love - and if he is, "perhaps there still is hope for ths world". This sets the stage for the first genuine alliance between the two adversaries, though not the last.

The two of them regain the Eye, which Xanatos permits Goliath to keep (seeing it as a trade for Fox, though Goliath merely sees it as a means of keeping it out of the wrong hands). This is followed by another wonderful exchange between the two:

XANATOS: So now you know my weakness.
GOLIATH: Only you would regard love as a weakness.

Owen seconds Goliath's remark with his own comment about how heroic Xanatos looks at that moment. Xanatos shrugs it off with one of his usual quips, but nevertheless, does indeed show himself more concerned with taking Fox home to safety than over the fact that he's just parted with the Eye (permanently, as it turns out). With "Eye of the Beholder", the series took its first step towards the eventual peace between the gargoyles and Xanatos that would come at the end of the second season.

Goliath and Elisa's own feelings for each other (no doubt strengthened by the recent events in "The Mirror", if left unspoken) come again to the fore as well. After Elisa's initial clash with the werefox, Goliath is concerned to hear about her narrow escape and wishes that he had been there to protect her. Elisa gently points out to him that they can't constantly watch over each other, but admits that it's still "good to know that someone cares". At the Halloween block party, Elisa actually dons a Belle costume from the Disney "Beauty and the Beast" movie and engages in an elegant dance with Goliath, in one of the most moving moments of the series.

Who would ever have thought that a Halloween story could be so romantic?


This is a good episode for incidental characters: a small crowd of them appears. We see, in succession, Mr. Jaffe (whose grocery store is attacked by Fox near the beginning), Officer Morgan, Travis Marshall, Bruno and his commandoes, and Brendan and Margot in their second appearance in "Gargoyles" (with Fox and Goliath both jumping on the hood of their car as they watch in astonishment). And one of the crowd at the Halloween block party, judging from his voice, is clearly Vinnie (for once, having a pre- "Vendettas" encounter with the gargoyles that doesn't wind up disastrously for him - assuming that he didn't have any comical misfortunes when Fox showed up and broke up the party).

Elisa alludes bitterly to Xanatos's mutation of Derek into Talon from "Metamorphosis" (one reason why she is so reluctant to help him in this episode).

Xanatos places another tracking device on Goliath, commenting when it is revealed, "Old habits die hard". (The episode plays fair in having Xanatos place one hand briefly on Goliath when the latter shows up with Elisa in Castle Wyvern, giving him the opportunity to plant the tracer.)

The trio all have their own Halloween costumes, appropriately chosen. Broadway wears his trenchcoat and fedora from "The Silver Falcon" again (in light of all the destruction that his outfit underwent in that episode, these would have to be a look-alike replacement). Brooklyn wears a pirate outfit, fitting in with his swashbuckling nature, and Lexington dresses up as an old-fashioned airplane pilot (straight out of the time of World War I flying aces and Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight), as an echo of his ambitions in "Her Brother's Keeper".

Previous Episode |  Episode List |  Next Episode