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



by Adam Cerling

Act I

Lexington and Brooklyn return to the clock tower after a night of searching for Goliath and Bronx [cf. Avalon, Part I]. As they tell Hudson of their failure to discover anything, Broadway swoops in carrying Cagney, Elisa's cat; Elisa is missing as well. Faced with uncertainty, Hudson, Broadway and Lex look to Brooklyn for a plan of action. Brooklyn refuses to accept the responsibility of leadership [cf. Upgrade]. He maintains a desperate faith that Goliath, Bronx and Elisa will return soon--they're "probably on a... secret mission." Reaching for that thin strand of hope, Broadway volunteers to speak with Matt about Elisa, and Lex offers to eavesdrop at the Maza home. Hudson suggests that Brooklyn speak with the Mutates [cf. Metamorphosis and The Cage] in their Labyrinth, the abandoned places of the New York underground. Thoughts of Maggie encourage Brooklyn to investigate. The three young Gargoyles leave, while Hudson stays behind... "Just in case."

As Brooklyn enters the Labyrinth, he hears cries of fear. Fang, Claw and two human thugs are threatening an older man. Fang wants something from him, but all the man has is a few coins. Angered, Fang begins throwing bolts of electricity at the man. Brooklyn arrives and tackles Fang. Fang's human henchmen leap to their leader's aid, and a brawl ensues--although Claw hangs hesitantly in the background. Talon arrives to break it up, telling Fang that all are welcome in the Labyrinth and that the weak are to be protected. "Who died and made you king?" is Fang's sullen response. Talon insists that in the Labyrinth, nobody is king; then he leaves. Talon has faith that Fang will eventually adjust, but Fang's sentiments are mutinous.

Matt Bluestone, returning to his apartment for the night, is startled by Broadway perched outside his window. "...I'm still not used to you guys!" Matt tells Broadway he doesn't know where Elisa is--the whole police station, in fact, has been looking for her. Broadway tells Matt that Goliath and Bronx are missing as well.

After hearing the news from Brooklyn, Talon suggests that Xanatos could be behind the disappearance of Elisa and the others. Fang encourages this idea, and Talon becomes determined to pursue it. Brooklyn, voicing doubts about this plan, follows Talon out of the Labyrinth. Maggie is angry at Fang for provoking Talon, but Fang is unabashed; rather, he lets Maggie know he wouldn't mind if Xanatos got rid of Talon.

At the clock tower, Lex returns to tell Broadway and Hudson that Elisa's family is also mystified about her disappearance. Seeing Talon's silhouette as he arrives, Broadway thinks for a heart-wrenching moment that Goliath has returned. Talon tells the others about his suspicion of Xanatos, and Lex and Broadway are enthusiastic about confronting the mega-billionaire. Brooklyn thinks it is probably a mistake--if Xanatos isn't responsible, this will let him know about the disappearances. Hudson asks Brooklyn if he'd like to overrule the plan, as leader, but Brooklyn just gives up and goes along with it.

En route to Xanatos' skyscraper, Brooklyn objects to such a direct approach, but Talon silences him--"Speak now or hold your peace!" Xanatos, inside his castle, decides that it would be a good idea to test of his new weapons systems against his uninvited guests. Laser cannons rise from the towers of the castle.

Act II

After a few minutes and few million dollars' worth of damage, Talon and the three Gargoyles take care of the lasers and pay Xanatos a visit in his office. Faced with Talon's angry accusation, Xanatos flatly denies all prior knowledge of Goliath, Bronx and Elisa's disappearance--but he is pleased to know about it now. Brooklyn groans, his fears justified. Xanatos invites Talon to search the building and Lex to search the computers.

In the Labyrinth, Fang's henchmen lead him and Claw to a discovery they've made--a locked steel vault, once buried behind a wall. Fang and Claw demolish the door with their electric powers. Inside they discover a tall, round capsule of metal glass. Opening it with a key card Claw discovers, they help themselves to four high-tech laser rifles inside. Fang tears the capsule from the floor and carries it with him as they leave--"You never know when something like this might come in handy."

Talon, Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington find nothing in their search of Xanatos' castle. Before they leave, Xanatos promises to use all his resources to find Elisa, Goliath and Bronx. Talon refuses his help, but Xanatos "wasn't aware that he needed permission."

Sunrise approaches, and at the clock tower the Gargoyles prepare to roost. Talon flies off to return to the Labyrinth. Hudson asks Brooklyn again for his plan. The sun comes up as Brooklyn angrily refuses that responsibility.

Talon returns to the Labyrinth and a confrontation with Fang. Unveiling his henchmen and Claw toting their newfound artillery, Fang makes it clear that he's taking over the Labyrinth.


Led into Fang's Labyrinth, Talon sees Maggie imprisoned in the capsule Fang took. Talon leaps for it, but Fang tackles him; they begin to fight in the air. During their battle, Maggie convinces Claw to use the key and free her. After Talon is incapacitated, Fang's two henchmen imprison him in the capsule. Fang takes the key card from Claw, and worries no more over Maggie, believing she won't dare the sunlight.

The Gargoyles wake to find Maggie begging their aid. Brooklyn is galvanized by Maggie's distress. He commands the others to follow him to the Labyrinth and end Fang's regime. "I thought you didn't want to lead us, lad," Hudson comments. Brooklyn replies, "This has nothing to do with what I want. You'd better come along this time, Hudson--we'll need all the help we can get." "Is that an order, then?" Hudson glances sidelong at Brooklyn. "Yeah," Brooklyn replies. "I guess it is."

Fang gloats at Talon, watching him fight his imprisonment in the capsule. He declares his dominion over the Labyrinth just before Maggie and the Gargoyles drop in through the tiles of the ceiling. Maggie tries to free Talon as the opposing forces fight, but Fang catches her and offers to let her go free only if Brooklyn and the other Gargoyles leave. Brooklyn accepts, to the others' dismay. Fang shoves Maggie at Brooklyn, who grabs her hands; as she fights him--she refuses to leave Talon for him--Brooklyn slips the key card into her hands. He stole it from Fang during the fight. Brooklyn lets Maggie go so she can "say good-bye" to Talon, and she sets him free. Talon tackles Fang. Fang cries out to Claw for aid, but Claw smashes his rifle, casting his lot with Talon and Maggie. It's Fang's turn to sit in the capsule this time. With a declaration that all weapons are banned from the Labyrinth, Talon accepts the responsibility of its leadership. He thanks Brooklyn for the help. Once more, Hudson asks Brooklyn what he's going to do next. This time, Brooklyn says he will lead, but he swears never to give up the hope of finding Goliath, Bronx and Elisa.


by Juan F. Lara

The remaining cast in New York return. Wish the episode was better, though.

Bad Points

This episode had a muddled first half. The creators crammed in a lot of threads left over from before "Avalon", jumping from the Mutates to Matt to Xanatos and Owen. And as in "The Cage", the creators took up the Mutate thread in midstory: they seem to have started their own homeless shelter in between episodes. It took me a couple of minutes to realize what the Mutates were organizing in the Labyrinth. But the episode did improve when the story focused exclusively on the Mutate thread.

I didn't find the Mutate thread very compelling, though. But that was because I didn't have much interest in the Mutates compared to other storylines. More significantly though, I hated Jim Belushi's routine. I couldn't stand him as Rocko in "The Pebble and the Penguin" and I couldn't stand him as Fang here. Jim screamed gratingly whenever Fang had to be angry, and he chewed scenery in scenes like his making himself the Labyrinth's "new sheriff". Fang wound up with no charisma or appeal. Maybe if the creators had cast someone else.

Toon City did the animation. At times the first half had very ugly artwork. Characters tended to move very shakily, ( I particularly remembered Matt in his apartment. ) and I didn't think that TC's style of mouth movement worked with the "Gargoyles" cast. But Toon City got better as the episode progressed.

Scenes: I didn't like Xanatos's "new security system". That scene just added some gratuitous fighting. And Xanatos probably hired the same designer as MacBeth did, as Xanatos's lasers also could be manipulated into firing at his own building. :-)

I also didn't like that the creators played Claw's brief pantomime for laughs, using comedy-theme music. Toon City didn't help here, either.

Good Points

Dealing with only the Mutate's problems, the story did become entertaining in the second half. Act 3 had a well-staged fight scene, and I liked Brooklyn's ploy to rescue Derek. Toon City also made up for the first half with some good artwork like Maggie's crying while Brooklyn threatened her.

The creators also handled very well Brooklyn's problems with leading. At first Brooklyn just went along with what the others wanted to do, but he could realize when something was going on and he pointed it out. In some touching moments, Hudson used his own experience to help Brooklyn assume his role. At the end, Brooklyn could deal with his new burdens, but regretted them. So Brooklyn's characterization seemd very believable to me.

I loved how well Hudson took to Cagney. :-)


I'm guessing that "Kingdom" took place only 4 or 5 days after the Travellers left. So at that moment they're still fighting the bad guys in Avalon, and it'll be a few days before Xanatos gets word of their meddling in "Monsters" and "Grief".

Matt finally took off that trench coat. :-)

Are the Mutates going to keep Fang locked up in the Labyrinth, for the rest of his life?


Brooklyn: C'mon. Lighten up, you guys. They're probably on a secret mission, or...
Lexington: Yeah. Right.

Broadway: We looked everywhere. No luck.
Brooklyn: He LET you look. What did you expect?

"Kingdom" was only a fair episode. But I hope that there are more New York stories mixed in with World Tour eps.


by Todd Jensen

With Goliath, Elisa, and Bronx absent from Manhattan for five episodes, we now get a look of how the rest of the clan was handling their disappearance. (Unfortunately, the episode aired out of sequence - see "Tidbits" below for further information - delaying this revelation to the audience.)

The weakness of "Kingdom" is that it tried doing too much; it begins with the general effort by the trio and Hudson to figure out why Goliath, Bronx, and Elisa have all vanished without a word of explanation, including even a confrontation with Xanatos, but then turns into a story (admittedly set up in Act I) about trouble amid the Mutates in their new home. The two stories are linked thematically through the theme of leadership; Brooklyn has to shoulder his new role as the leader of the clan and is unwilling to do so, while Fang challenges Talon over his position as the leader of the Mutates. Still, the blend feels uneven (and I will confess that I was much more interested in the former - even if there wasn't much that the trio and Hudson could do about the problem except wait for Avalon to at last send Goliath and his companions home).

Brooklyn's role as "reluctant leader" is handled well, at least. It is made clear to the audience that the reason why he does not initially take on his responsibilities is out of fear; he believes that if he were to do so, he would be admitting that Goliath would never return, and doesn't want to do so. His fear is so strong that even when he is in the right (as when he correctly points out that the raid on Xanatos's castle is a bad idea; if Xanatos isn't behind Goliath and Elisa's disappearances, paying a call on him could alert him to their having gone missing), he yields to the arguments of the others, if uneasily. At the same time, Hudson is quietly spurring him to take action, such as offering to make inquiries in the Labyrinth and specifically dropping Maggie's name in the process - which definitely motivates Brooklyn to volunteer for the job of visiting the Mutates! One of the best moments in the episode comes when Brooklyn, launching the expedition to free the Labyrinth from Fang's takeover, suggests that Hudson accompany the trio there:

HUDSON: Is that an order, then?
BROOKLYN: Uh, yeah. I guess so.

Hudson smiles, noting that he's finally achieved his goal with the young second-in-command.

And Brooklyn, now that he has at last accepted his position as leader, proves that Goliath chose well when he decided upon him. He acts decisively at last, but his particular triumph comes when he gets Fang's key card away from him, and then finds a way to secretly hand it over to Maggie, making one last mention of his original interest in her as a subterfuge to keep Fang from becoming suspicious until it's too late. At the end, he has understood that he can still serve as leader in Goliath's absence without thereby viewing that absence as permanent, resolving his internal conflict.

The Mutates' own troubles were less interesting, but had their own share of moments. We learn that Talon has now turned the former Cyberbiotics underground base from "Awakening" into, not only a new home for the Mutates, but as a place of refuge for the homeless in New York; he also still has a problem with rashness (leading, in particular, to the confrontation with Xanatos). Fang develops from a mere loudmouth (as portrayed in "The Cage") to an outright bully, bent on taking over the Labyrinth and exploiting its inhabitants. Maggie displays her own quiet strength; she's no warrior, yet she has the presence of mind to go to the clock tower and get help from the gargoyles, and soon picks up on Brooklyn's stratagem in handing her Fang's key card, participating in it alongside him. But the most memorable of the portrayals here is that of Claw. The most challenging of the Mutates to characterize thanks to his muteness (though that feature serves as the foundation stone for his characterization, in a sense), the tiger-like Mutate is still built up into a timid soul who serves Fang for a time out of fear, but who nevertheless doesn't have his heart in it, and finally helps Maggie and the gargoyles instead. (He also gets one of the biggest "laugh-out-loud" moments in "Gargoyles", when he hides inside his own wings from an angry Fang.)

Xanatos and Owen get only a small scene here, but (if flawed by a security system that Xanatos really could have done a better job of designing) are still their usual colorful selves. Xanatos provides his usual share of entertaining remarks such as (when asked by the trio why he opened fire on them) "Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?", and even amid the chaos of the battle, displays his sang-froid once more in the way that he, seated behind his desk, greets the gargoyles as they crash through the ceiling onto his office floor. The visit ends with Xanatos volunteering to help search for Goliath and Elisa, whether the trio want his help or not - unfortunately, this element was not as fully developed in the World Tour arc as it could have been (his later encounter with them in "Cloud Fathers" comes about through Avalon's design rather than his own).

Another nice touch comes at the beginning, when the gargoyles take in Cagney and look after him during Elisa's absence (which stands out to me all the more since I'm a cat lover; if I was to be away from my home in St. Louis for as long as Elisa was on the World Tour, I would certainly want someone to see to it that my own cat Obie was well cared for and didn't starve to death). It gains all the more heart when Hudson admits, while tending to Cagney, how much he misses Bronx. (Matt also gets a brief cameo when Broadway looks him up, hoping that he might know something about Elisa's disappearance.)

"Kingdom" is an uneven look at the home front during Goliath and Elisa's absence, but has many good scenes in it, and does a reasonably fine job of depicting Brooklyn's accepting the reins of power for a time.


Like "The Price", "Kingdom" aired out of order, premiering on February 5, 1996, after "Grief" (which first aired on December 28, 1995), and just before "The Hound of Ulster" (which first aired on February 6, 1996).

In one of the series' more notorious animation errors, Bronx briefly appears when the gargoyles are preparing to enter stone sleep at the clock tower.

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