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High Noon

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


by Guandalug la'Fay


by Adam Cerling

Act I

In the surreal recesses of Coldstone's dormant mind (cf. Legion), Coldstone's soul brings a handful of heather to the soul of his beloved sister gargoyle upon Castle Wyvern. His sister is disappointed that the flowers have no scent or substance, but Coldstone takes comfort from the fact--there is nothing to separate the two of them. Nothing, that is, except the angry soul of Coldstone's gargoyle enemy, who dives ineffectually at the pair, then veers away. Powerless over the couple, he retreats.

In the clock tower, Lexington patiently taps at a laptop linked to Coldstone's body. Goliath hovers anxiously beside him. Hudson and Broadway test their fledgling reading skills (cf. A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time) against an edition of the morning paper. Elisa, entering the chamber from below, hands a tall pile of books to Broadway and expresses her weariness. Her shift is over, and she intends to do nothing so much as catch up on a lot of sleep. She tells Lexington that the books will tell him more about computer viruses. Lexington says that all Coldstone's programming is gone, as well as the virus--Lex wants to try writing a simple operating system. Casting a vote of confidence for Lexington, Elisa turns to leave. Dawn is breaking, so the Gargoyles take up their places to sleep as well.

Elisa yawns and stretches as she leaves the police station. Just as she begins to descend the stairs, a redheaded policewoman escorts a large man, hidden-faced and handcuffed, into the building. Elisa thinks she recognizes the cop. Officer Morgan, nearby, says she's just another rookie--who else would cuff the man's hands in front of him? Elisa follows the two inside--someone has to tell the woman about standard police procedure.

Inside, Elisa calls to the policewoman, asking her to wait, but she and her prisoner instead run upstairs. Elisa, tracking them to the clock chamber, finds the man's hat and handcuffs abandoned on the floor. She draws her gun. Macbeth--for he was the "prisoner"--and the redhead attack Elisa when she enters the clock chamber. Swiftly, they disarm her and knock her out cold.

Macbeth and his co-conspirator leave in Macbeth's aircraft. The redhead removes her policewoman's cap--she is Demona, in human form (cf. The Mirror). She is angry that Macbeth prevented her from destroying Elisa and the Gargoyles. Macbeth placates her, citing the success of their mission: their cargo is safely stolen and their getaway was unseen.

Shortly before dusk, Elisa regains consciousness. She finds the Gargoyles all intact, but Coldstone's body is missing.

At Macbeth's palatial estate, Demona waits for the sun to set so that Coldstone, when reactivated, may recognize her. Upon the sinking of the sun, Demona transforms from human to gargoyle. Macbeth comments on the pain he feels jointly with her (cf. City of Stone, Part III), then hands her a computer disk. Demona slides the disk into Coldstone's chest.

A great, swirling portal opens onto Coldstone's virtual mind. His soul and the soul of his sister are puzzled at its appearance, but the soul of his enemy appears promptly to enter it. The two abandon that soul to its choice.

Coldstone's body awakens and recognizes Demona. "How do you feel, brother?" she asks. Coldstone replies with a gaunt grin. "Vengeful."

Act II

Elisa and the Gargoyles debate the identity of Macbeth's partner and the motive for the theft. The Gargoyles depart for Macbeth's estate. Elisa stays behind; she has a night shift to work.

At Macbeth's estate, the Gargoyles split into three parties to search the premises, every one suspicious of a trap. Goliath and Lexington seek Macbeth in his central control room. The room is empty, but Lexington deftly uses the banks of surveillance screens to locate Coldstone, chained to the floor in another room and struggling. Goliath is suspicious, and Lex warns that they do not know which personality controls Coldstone. Goliath punctuates a sentiment of caution with a fist through Macbeth's equipment.

Brooklyn and Bronx investigate another room. Bronx sniffs out a suspicious door, but Brooklyn--with some relief--identifies it as a mere closet. As Brooklyn turns his back, Bronx sniffs at part of wall which swiftly slides open. Demona leaps over Bronx and out of the closet, tackling Brooklyn. She throws Brooklyn across the room and dodges a leap by Bronx. Bronx collides with Brooklyn, tumbling both into the fireplace, and Demona advances on them.

On the floor above, Hudson and Broadway open the doors on a huge library. "Look at all these books!" Broadway exclaims just before a laser interrupts his wonderment. Macbeth is above, clinging to a rolling ladder, holding a hand-laser. "And I know how to read them," he taunts. With a push from the wall, he rides the ladder around the circular room, his destination a passage behind a bookshelf on the opposite wall. Broadway climbs a second ladder and pushes himself after Macbeth, while Hudson sprints toward a spiral staircase beneath the passage. Macbeth comes to a stop beside the stair, and Broadway collides with him. They tumble to the floor below.

Demona clutches her head in pain as Macbeth strikes the ground. Brooklyn lunges at her; regaining her senses, she kicks him off. The more massive Bronx, however, then pounces on her and pins her to the floor.

Goliath and Lexington, entering the room where Coldstone is chained, are halted by his warning: "It's a trap!" Hudson and Broadway beg to differ as they enter carrying an unconscious Macbeth. Coldstone insists that Demona is still loose, but Lexington doubts that--Macbeth and Demona would never work together! Enter stage left Bronx and Brooklyn, carrying Demona. The cooperation of the two enemies (not to mention their escape from the Wierd Sisters (cf. City of Stone, Part IV)) confuses the Gargoyles, but Lex turns to the matter at hand. By betraying Demona's presence, Coldstone won Lex's faith that his good personality is in control. Goliath breaks his brother's chains. Standing, Coldstone picks up the limp forms of Demona and Macbeth, then propels himself from the floor and hovers in the air. To the other Gargoyles' shock, Demona and Macbeth snap instantly awake, and Macbeth with the press of a button electrifies the chamber floor. All six Gargoyles are zapped unconscious.

Inside Coldstone's mind, Coldstone's soul and the soul of his beloved gape in horror at the great portal, sensing something very wrong.


The two dormant souls debate a course of action. She wants to take up the fight. He wants nothing but peace with her.

A worried, sleepy Elisa paces the balcony of the clock tower, wondering where Goliath and the others are. Just before dawn breaks Demona glides down to meet her. Elisa is stunned as she watches Demona turn into a human. Demona then delivers her ultimatum: Goliath and the others will be placed at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Elisa must come at high noon. If she comes, she won't save them and it will cost her her life; if she does not show, Goliath will know what true human loyalty is. Demona leaves.

Elisa catches up to Demona just in time to see her take a taxi away from the station. Officer Morgan meets Elisa there outside the building, and expresses concern--Elisa has barely slept in the last forty hours. He urges her to go home and sleep. Elisa aches for rest. But she knows that if she sleeps, it'll all be over: "No more monsters," she tells Morgan, "good or bad. Just normal life..." Morgan, believing she speaks of her job, says that it would be nice. "For a while," Elisa agrees. "But they need me." "Isn't that why you put on the badge?" asks Morgan. "Yeah--that's exactly why," Elisa replies, taking a deep breath. "Thanks, Morgan!" She leaves with a strengthened resolve.

Near noon, outside Belvedere Castle, the stone Gargoyles have chains around them. Coldstone wonders aloud to Demona and Macbeth why he is not stone. Demona says he is no longer a gargoyle. The people passing through the park do not notice the three: when Coldstone asks why, Macbeth tells him to accept it and let it be.

Inside Coldstone's mind, the soul of his sister argues that inaction is not the gargoyle way. Coldstone protests: they are shadows, not gargoyles. "Even shadows must be true to their shades," comes the reply. Three copies of Coldstone's beloved face him, each one with a different color of hair; one white, one black, and the other blonde.

Elisa doesn't even glance at Demona and the others when she arrives at high noon. She stops next to the bound, stone Goliath. Demona levels a large laser weapon at Elisa, who declares herself unarmed. Macbeth places his hand on Demona's weapon and challenges her to face Elisa hand-to-hand. Demona angrily throws down the laser and advances on Elisa. "Come, Detective," she spits. "Goliath cannot save you now." "I'm here to save him," retorts Elisa. She deftly evades Demona's clumsy opening attacks, but soon the two are on the locked in combat on the ground. "This is diverting," Coldstone comments wolfishly. Macbeth casts him a glance. "You don't know the half of it."

Coldstone's soul is swayed by the arguments of his thrice-cloned sister. Together, they dive into the swirling golden portal.

Coldstone's body clutches his head and cries, "I am besieged!"

In the portal, the sister soul holds the enemy gargoyle while the true Coldstone takes control of his body.

"Are you all right?" Macbeth inquires. Coldstone gathers himself and rushes him. Macbeth draws his small laser but loses it thanks to Coldstone's arm-laser. Finding the situation out of hand, Macbeth transmits an order to his airship. This distracts Demona, and Elisa kicks her away. Macbeth's airship swoops above; Macbeth and Demona catch a dangling rope ladder and swoop away. Elisa prevents Coldstone from pursuing them. Coldstone instead uses his laser to free the Gargoyles from their chains. With a promise to return if ever he can, Coldstone flies off so that he might settle the battle within him without endangering anyone. Elisa collapses against Goliath and finally rests.

At the estate, Macbeth and Demona argue. Their primary objective was successful: on a table nearby lay the Eye of Odin, Phoenix Gate, and Grimorum, stolen from the Gargoyles, who will take weeks to notice their absence. It was a spell from the Grimorum which concealed the conspirators from passersby in the park. Soon, the two become confused: why did they steal these things? How did they know where to find them? Why are they even working together? Just as the two go for each other's throat, a magical mist encircles them and freezes them in place. The Wierd Sisters appear. The compulsion they laid upon the Macbeth and Demona has just worn off. One sister wonders at the wisdom behind releasing Coldstone, but another says he is not needed. "These will do quite nicely in the coming battle," she says, and each Sister seizes one of the three magical items. Demona, Macbeth, the talismans, and the Sisters all then vanish in a swirl of mist.


by Juan F. Lara

A follow-up to "City of Stone", but one that I thought didn't work at all.

I spent most of this episode going "huh?", as all the characters seemed somehow off.:

I couldn't understand why MacBeth would help Demona in one of her plots against the Gargoyles. Their plot also didn't make any sense. Of course, the very last scene explained these apparent plotholes, along with other threads like how MacBeth and Demona knew to look in the clocktower and how they got away unnoticed. But even knowing that explanation, the episode still seemed confusing and boring the second time I watched it. I found the Gargoyles' sneaking around MacBeth's house tedious, and Demona's fistfight with Elisa didn't interest me at all.

When Lexington and Goliath find Coldstone again, Lex just mentioned in passing that "he was operational again". I would've expected them to react with some surprise at seeing Coldstone "alive" again. Likewise, in Act 3 Elisa just walked past Coldstone, even though she didn't know that he had been revived.

I couldn't believe that no one noticed that the magic articles were missing. Especially the Grimorum, which they've taken great pains to protect before.

What happened to the virus?: I assumed that Coldstone and Desdemona were able to destroy it. But how did they reform the castle and countryside? And I thought that the virus destroyed Iago. What happened to the Xanatos program then?

Like "Leader of the Pack", this episode had a long list of WD-Japan's secondary studios in the closing credits. And the animation had the same problems that LotP had, with awkward facial expressions and great difficulty of staying on model ( Watch for the minuature Lexington. :-)

I did like the two internal conflicts of Coldstone being reluctant to fight Iago, and Elisa getting fatigued from lack of sleep. I had been wondering if Elisa had problems with sleep and if the pressure of taking care of Gargoyles and keeping them a secret was getting to her. But I thought they didn't develop these plot threads as well as they should.

And we did see Demona's human/gargoyle transformation for the first time. I felt so-so about the animation for the transformations, though.

I thought Michael Dorn did a good acting job here. His voice when Iago was in charge had distinct mannerisms from his Coldstone voice.


Broadway: Look at all these books!
MacBeth: And I know how to read them.

Demona: Come, detective. Goliath cannot save you now.
Elisa: I'm here to save him.

Elisa: You fight like a rookie!

Coldstone: Well, this is diverting.
MacBeth: You don't know the half of it.

Sister: We do not need Coldstone. These will do quite nicely in the coming battle.

At least the ending promised big things in the future. I'm looking forward to the "coming battle".


by Todd Jensen

This episode is really a sequel to "City of Stone", but is cunningly disguised as a sequel to "Legion", furthering the Coldstone story. Inside Coldstone, both the castle and Iago have somehow been restored and the virus that devoured them has disappeared, with no explanation being given for either of those events. Othello and Desdemona are together again, and are happy - but maybe Othello is a little too happy with his mate, since he is ready to turn his back on the troubles of the world outside Coldstone.

For the first time, we see Demona making use of Puck's little "gift" from "The Mirror" of becoming human in the daytime (which took me by surprise; it was not until Macbeth addressed her by name that I realized who the mysterious "policewoman" infiltrating the clock tower was). We even see her shifting both from human form to gargoyle and from gargoyle form to human, in the process discovering how painful it is for her. (Since in "The Mirror", Demona hadn't even realized until she looked in the mirror that she had become a human when the sun rose, the initial change must have been a far gentler one than all the others that followed it.)

As with "City of Stone", Goliath and his clan again have secondary roles here; this time, the leads are Elisa and Coldstone (or, more accurately, Othello), both of whom have to face the challenge of standing up for the clan. Othello is strongly tempted to merely remain blissfully with Desdemona in cyberspace, though she, fortunately, is far less contented to stand idly by while Iago is engaged in fresh schemings. As for Elisa, she has a moment of wavering after Demona has delivered her challenge to her, aware that if she didn't show up at Belvedere Castle, the gargoyles would be out of her life forever and things would be back to normal again. Fortunately, it's no more than a moment, as Officer Morgan (in perhaps his most important scene in the series) helps her regather her courage and sense of duty towards Goliath and his clan - without even realizing that that's what he's done. Othello holds out longer, but is finally nudged into action through Desdemona - and the Weird Sisters, working through her.

The gargoyles still get their airtime in this episode, however, as they enter Macbeth's mansion to search for Coldstone, and clash with Macbeth and Demona. (My favorite touch during the encounter is when Broadway and Hudson have their encounter with Macbeth in the library, in a harking-back to "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time".) And even their being inactive through all of Act Three does not take away from their importance in the episode, when it is for their sake that Elisa faces off against Demona at the climax.

(As a side-note, I can't help but think that it was a good thing for Demona that she had made herself - alongside Macbeth and Coldstone - invisible to any passers-by at Belvedere Castle, given the way that she was dressed at the time.)

There are many other fine moments throughout the episode: the moon in Coldstone's cyberspace world turning into his mechanical eye, Hudson and Broadway continuing their reading lessons after "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", Hudson being bewildered by Elisa's use of the phrase "hit the sack", and, for a bit of comic relief, Iago commenting appreciatively during Demona and Elisa's fight, "Well, this is diverting".

"Diverting" in a different sense is a good word for this episode, when it turns out in the very last scene that it was built around a misdirection tactic: Demona and Macbeth's real target (under instructions from the Weird Sisters) was the Grimorum Arcanorum, the Eye of Odin, and the Phoenix Gate. Coldstone was only abducted so as to mislead the gargoyles (and the audience) as to the real motive for the raid on the clock tower. (Note, incidentally, that Macbeth carefully speaks of "our stolen cargo" without being specific as to what it is.) Only at the end do we learn what the real goal is, as the Weird Sisters speak of "the coming battle". (When I first watched "High Noon", I thought that the battle would only take place at the end of the season. It would come much sooner than I had thought, of course - and I never even thought of where I had heard of that particular combination of magical objects before, for that matter. If I had, it might have given me a hint as to who would be returning for the battle....)


This is another good episode for "bit-characters". Not only does Officer Morgan play a major role here, but Brendan, Margot, and the Jogger all show up among the passers-by at Belvedere Castle.

Macbeth inaccurately describes Puck as a "changeling". His use of the word implies that it is being used to mean "shape-shifter"; in fact, a changeling, in fairy mythology, was a substitute baby left behind by the faerie-folk whenever they stole a human infant from its cradle, sometimes a fairy baby, more often a very old fairy pretending to be a baby. There is no hint in the series that Puck ever had such an experience.

When Lexington is typing in passwords in an effort to reactivate Coldstone, among the words that he tries are "Othello", "Desdemona", "Iago", and "Weisman".

Demona's eyes glow red even while she is in human form (at the moment when she angrily confronts Macbeth at the end of the episode, just before the Weird Sisters step in). Evidently Puck's transformation spell hasn't completely removed her gargoyle qualities during the daytime (she herself says in the same episode, "I am a gargoyle, night or day.").

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