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


Background information

by Raymond Schaff

Loch Ness: Water and Land

Loch Ness is located in the large, scenic Highlands of northern Scotland, the most rugged and sparsely-populated area in Great Britain. Dividing the Highlands is the Glen More or Great Glen, a geologic fault or depression which holds several lakes, including Ness, as a waterway called the Caledonian Canal.

Loch Ness itself is about 22-24 miles (35-39 km) long, at least 1 mile (1.4-2 km) wide and as much as 754 feet (230 m) deep (although one source claims that depth is nearly 300 meters (984 feet)). (NOTE: Measurements vary between sources, so these ranges are given to be fair & safe.) The loch is fed by three small rivers (Enrick, Foyers and Oich) at its southwestern tip while it drains via the Ness river in the northeast into a North Sea inlet named Moray Firth. Formed by glaciers millions of years ago, Loch Ness remains ice-free year-round, although its freshwater is reportedly cold (40 degrees Fahrenheit or so) and dark, laced with silt.

The town (or burgh) of Inverness is located near the mouth of the Ness River and the Caledonian Canal on an arm of Moray Firth. Inverness is both an administrative and commercial center of the Highland region and northern Scotland's road and rail hub. With Loch Ness no more than 9 miles away on Highway A82, various sightseeing tours are operated here. These often include boat trips that cross the loch to the ruins of Urquhart Castle (dating from the twelfth century), as well as a guided tour of the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition.

Somewhere on the shores of Ness, the Clansman Hotel rents out a deep-sea diving submarine for the more daring of tourists (reportedly $65 per hour).

'Nessie': Stories, Sightings and Science

Creature sightings date back to Vikings in the first century AD. Norse and Celtic stories tell of "water horses" or kelpies that have been said to frolic in the loch and/or lure travelers to their death.

What is considered to be the first written account of the monster, by a cleric no less, dates back to 565 AD. The well-known Irish missionary Saint Columba came upon the burial of a man allegedly bitten (or eaten) to death by a monster while swimming in Loch Ness. Saint Columba himself rowed out to the center of the loch and angrily ordered the creature to cease and desist. Supposedly, it agreed and no humans have been attacked since, yet sightings continued in the centuries that followed.

Things got more interesting in recent years. Newspaper accounts from 1868 report an alleged "monster" 40-50 feet (12-15 m) in length living in Loch Ness. When a road was completed around the loch by the 1930s, sightings escalated. For instance, in 1933 a man and woman driving along the lakeside noticed much surging of water in the middle, and watched "an enormous animal rolling and plunging" for several minutes. Reported worldwide by the press, the Loch Ness monster became a household name.

Not all the publicity has been good; a famous 1934 photograph of Nessie, taken by Colonel (Dr.) Robert Wilson and broadcast or reproduced thousands of times, was revealed to be a fraud 60 years later. (I believe one man involved said it was a toy submarine with a long piece of rubber on top; two other men either deny this and/or decline to comment.) Several more photos have been confirmed as fake, from a Godzilla costume's top-half(!) to others dismissed with actual scientific analysis.

These do not account for all evidence, especially movie cameras and camcorders which average people cannot tamper with convincingly. One such example is some 16-mm film used by one Tim Dinsdale. His footage has been analyzed by various biologists, hydrophysicists, film and special effects experts, and the British Royal Air Force's Joint Aerial Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre. Whatever Dinsdale filmed, they agreed it seemed to be "a living... animate object" in motion, at least 16 feet long, extended five feet above the surface and was not a boat.

Since Nessie's existence has never been fully proven, many investigators have attempted to confirm (or deny) it. It's been the subject of many books, articles, documentaries and even a symposium at the Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. In 1972 and 1975, the Academy of Applied Science sponsored an American expedition that eventually obtained some "startling" underwater time-lapse pictures which some think show a large animal swimming deep in Loch Ness. A British expedition of 20 ships used sonar throughout the loch in 1987. The only confirmed inhabitants, however, were at least three types of fish. No evidence was found by the Museum of Natural History's recent attempt, either.

Cousins, Perhaps?

Loch Ness isn't alone; there have been reports of creatures living in over 250 lakes across the world. In the United States alone, sightings include a "Kipsy" in the Hudson River (near Poughkeepsie, New York), "Bessie" in Great South Bay (southern Long Island, New York), "Chessie" in Chesapeake Bay (eastern Maryland & Virginia) and "Tessie" in Lake Tahoe (between California & Nevada).

While these three differ significantly between sightings, often only size changes with those in several Scandinavian lakes. One such creature is "Storsjvodjuret", a 350-year-old local myth in Sweden's Lake Storsjvn or Storsjon. At least that's how a Swedish Fisheries Officer felt about it until something swam under his boat. He swiped at it with an oar and it swiped back. He survived after his boat was thrown ten feet into the air.

Something almost as famous as Nessie may live in British Columbia's Lake Okanagan. Named "Ogopogo" in 1924, for as long as 500 years it's been known to the region's First Nations Peoples as "N'ha-a-tik" (Chinook for "Great-Beast-on-the-Lake") or "Na-ha-ha-tik" (Salish for "Great-Snake-in-the-Lake"). Some believe it also lays claim to Rattlesnake Island, whose shores would display the bones of fish and other small animals. Here in 1914, an unusual animal's corpse was found with a badly decayed and devoured front half, yet it had a tail, flippers and over 400 pounds left over. Impossible to reconstruct, it was first 'identified' as a manatee.

Since sizes often differ between sightings (which have continued for years), some may suspect more than one creature inhabits one body of water. This suspicion has been enforced by sightings of more than one Ogopogo. At Okanagan Mission Beach on September 16, 1926, plenty of 'late-season' vacationers claimed to see two figures surface side-by-side. Lightning might explain the smaller shape, but not all of the "multiple-observer sightings", which continue until this day, may be that easy.

Skepticism and speculation continue.


Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (from America Online), © 1994 Columbia University Press (Licensed from INSO Corporation).

The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, © Grolier Incorporated. All rights reserved. One article written by Peter L. Petrakis.

Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia, © 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. © Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved for both.

Sci-Fi Universe, June 1996 (Vol. 2, Issue 16, page 12); © 1996 L.F.P., Inc., publisher.

The Unofficial X-Files Companion II, © 1996 N. E. Genge, author; published by Avon Books. THE X-FILES © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. (Not that I quote Fox Mulder or anything, but it can't hurt.)

...and a documentary, article or two the author vaguely recalls seeing.

Further Reading

Bauer, Henry H., The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery (1986);

Campbell, Steuart, The Loch Ness Monster: The Evidence (1986);

Dinsdale, Tim, The Loch Ness Monster, 4th ed. (1982);

Gould, Rupert T., The Loch Ness Monster (1976).

Witchell, Nicholas, The Loch Ness Story (1993).


by Raymond Schaff

"Previously on GARGOYLES": The classic line "Avalon sends you where you need to be!", Angela joins Goliath & company and bids farewell to Gabriel, and Elisa questions Goliath about Angela's parentage (from Avalon, Parts II and III), respectively).

Act I

The skiff carrying Angela, Bronx, Elisa and Goliath emerges from fog in unknown but calm waters. It's not Avalon, and Goliath assures Angela that it isn't Manhattan. "It's too quiet," Elisa agrees, "and the water's way too clean." Something puts Bronx on edge, and for good reason; the skiff gets bumped from underneath by something very large that Angela thinks was made of metal. Since it vanished into the misty night, Goliath decides to row them all ashore for a better view.

On shore they only see a calm lake amongst hills. A jaded Angela suggests they try again to find Manhattan. But then Elisa spots lights, possibly a town, in the distance. Eager to telephone Matt so he can relay a message to the clan, Elisa rushes off with Goliath's blessing while the gargoyles stay behind.

A sign near the docks reads LOCH NESS: HOME OF THE FAMOUS LOCH NESS MONSTER. "In the mood for adventure, lass?" a souvenir vendor asks Elisa, gesturing toward a tour boat by the pier; "Our rates are low, and I even throw in a free camera rental!" "I'm not really the adventuring type," she claims as she walks to a phone booth, "but thanks just the same."

Elisa reaches Matt Bluestone, or more accurately his answering machine. "Tell my parents, Captain Chavez and all my friends in Brooklyn that me and the big guy are fine" she starts after the beep, "We're just taking some vacation time and I hope to be home soon. I'll explain everything when I get back." The machine, however, has another message: YOUR MESSAGE TAPE IS FILLED; NO NEW MESSAGE [sic]

Having heard Princess Katherine tell of the Loch Ness monster, Angela is rather eager to stay. Goliath, however, prefers to go home and rows them into the loch. Elisa doesn't think there's much of a mystery there anyway. She points out the tour boat she saw before, now under way not too far from them; "For some people monster legends are strictly business."

As tour boat captain, the souvenir vendor from earlier describes the loch, the hump that bumped the skiff before heads right for his craft followed by something similar. One tourist couple onboard sees "Nessie", but Elisa thinks it's a just submarine meant to thrill tourists, courtesy of all the boat companies. Then the first hump hits the tour boat hard. With his craft listing and taking on water, the shaken captain decides to head back "a wee bit early" as one hump follows another toward the skiff.

"It's a show!" Elisa tells her friends; "Theme parks do this sort of thing five times a day." Just then the same hump capsizes the skiff. Everyone surfaces in the water except for Angela. Soon, they get strange company; a large, metal serpentine head and neck pops up, eyes them with heat sensors and resumes its underwater chase. It's target: a real loch monster!

Goliath dives under to search for Angela, but before long the 'real' creature swims by and forces him back. Angela herself is still except for drifting, then the mechanical monster swallows her. Goliath, Bronx and Elisa go under again to continue their search.

The metallic Nessie-sub passes through big sliding doors below shoreline and surfaces in a pool in an underground base. From the sub's wide-open mouth walk Xanatos mercenaries, who are promptly scolded over the P.A. system for not bringing in "Big Daddy". "Without his companionship, I'm afraid our current guest is not long for this world" sneers a man with a slight British accent. This irate boss changes his tune when an underling named Bruno (see Awakening, Parts III and IV) tells him they sighted gargoyles on a raft and even caught one in their nets. Walking downstairs, Dr. Anton Sevarius is very pleased indeed to find an adolescent female gargoyle laid out on a stretcher. Fondling Angela's hair, he tells Bruno to take a standard sample of her cells before putting her in the grotto. Bruno's surprised by that last part; "The grotto?!"

On shore, Bronx, Goliath and Elisa are wet, tired and trying to reassure themselves that Angela is alive. Goliath is sure she was taken by the submarine, something Elisa thinks needs a base to dock for supplies and maintenance. Goliath swears they'll find it, "no matter how long it takes."

Angela rests on some rocks in an underground lake. Something brushes her hand and she awakens with a start. An angry-looking Loch Ness Monster bursts up from the lake and stares down, growling.

Act II

The creature takes a good look at Angela, but soon all it does is lean back on some rocks, moaning. Now concerned, Angela introduces herself to it. "If I seem a little nervous, it's because I've never been this close to a real live Loch Ness monster before," she says slowly, "but I'll wager you've never been this close to a real live gargoyle either." Interested, it lets Angela pet it on the snout. Bruno and Sevarius watch these new friends on a monitor. The doctor's response: "If it gets any more saccharine in there, I'm going to put a finger down my throat."

Later, Sevarius notes in a recorded log entry that Nessie was dying of her lonesome captivity the day before. However, he happily reports on her now improved vital signs and appetite, thanks to Angela's friendship. Watching Angela feed the beast, the doctor suspects she's from a new gargoyle clan and is looking forward to her DNA profile.

At the shore of the loch, Elisa tells Goliath she'll return that night and resume searching. "At sundown" he says, "We can't waste afford to waste a single moment." "I don't intend to" she promises, just before leaving her two stone friends behind.

Elisa's day in town includes buying and reading a map when she's bumped by a familiar blonde woman. The blonde and a man put lots of grocery bags into a pick-up truck while Elisa watches from an alley. She recognizes them as part of "the Xanatos Goon Squad, stocking up on supplies no less." Elisa quickly ducks around the corner.

The pick-up is driven along a twisted mountain road as a tarp covers the back, the supplies and a certain lady detective as stowaway. As it enters some cliff-side ruins, Elisa jumps off the truck, then looks at her watch.

In the grotto, Nessie awakens by the stone Angela as Sevarius and two mercenaries enter. The angry reptile is tranquilized by gun on the doctor's orders. Angela is promptly shackled mere seconds before she hatches into flesh. "How aggravating it must be to wake up in chains first thing in the evening" gloats Sevarius. After introducing himself, he tells Angela that Nessie will awaken in a few minutes. "Meanwhile, young lady," he whispers, taking her by the wrist, "you have some explaining to do."

Meanwhile, Elisa, Goliath and Bronx explore the ruins she was led to before. Bronx growls and barks as if he just found something.

Angela listens to Sevarius dismiss his fanciful idea of a Loch Ness gargoyle clan before mentioning "little girls" and "DNA markers". She has no idea what he's talking about. He smugly tells her that tests undeniably prove she's more than one of Goliath's clan; "He's your biological father! You are his very own flesh and stone." Angela is in utter shock, that is until she sees a disk being attached to Nessie's neck. Sevarius explains that the monster, now healthier and bearing a SONAR tag, will be released into the loch. Once she finds "Big Daddy", both will be caught and used to breed monsters to the eager doctor's delight. "You're the only monster here!" shouts Angela, showing what the doctor calls "Pa-pa's short fuse". Then an alarm echoes through the cave; "And speak of the devil!" he laughs.

Bronx, Goliath and Elisa suddenly start going down. They find themselves standing on an elevator platform which they know someone else had to activate. A familiar voice sarcastically compliments Goliath's deduction and "gargoyle gray matter". "Sevarius!" Goliath growls, just as the platform pivots and throws them off. As they slide down a twisted tunnel, they're told "That's Doctor Sevarius to you."


Goliath, Bronx and Elisa find themselves trapped in a dungeon, something Sevarius takes pride in as he taunts them via the P.A. system. Goliath is outraged; he knows the doctor was behind Angela's abduction and fiercely warns him against harming her. "A bit late for fatherly concern, don't you think? So let me warn you" boasts Sevarius. "Angela is going with us on an excursion into the loch. Should you see fit to abuse my generous hospitality..." Shackled, Angela shouts "Don't listen to him, Gol**!" before she's pulled back from the microphone. Goliath leaps up to the speaker and smashes it in rage, letting Sevarius know that his point got across.

Angela is lead into the sub's mouth in chains. On a nearby catwalk, Sevarius tells the sentry Bruno he'd hate to lose a gargoyle, but nevertheless hands him a rifle in case Goliath gets "too rambunctious". Bruno has no problem with that.

Goliath, meanwhile, simply smiles after Elisa removes a stone from the base of the dungeon wall.

Nessie swims out the base's sliding doors into Loch Ness. From within the metallic resemblance that follows, Sevarius orders his underlings to go slow so they don't get too close.

In the dungeon, Bronx digs into the wall so zealously that Goliath shields his face from flying debris. Bruno watches them on a monitor, gun in hand.

As his sub follows his large former captive, Sevarius is confident they won't be too long; "I'm sure Big Daddy misses his Nessie-wessie."

Goliath punches through a wall and leads Elisa out into the docking bay, only to find Bruno and rifle waiting. With "the beast" nowhere in sight, he has them back away from their tunnel. When Goliath snarls, Bruno aims at him and gets jumped by Bronx. The gun fires stray particle beam shots, piercing walls, blowing up tanks and causing a massive flood. Goliath turns to Bruno, and his answer is "the minisub". With little time left, all four board a smaller version of the Nessie-styled submarine before it goes under.

In the loch, Nessie is met by "Big Daddy", her mate (with crest on his head), and the two swim happily together. Onboard the sub, Sevarius is quite pleased. Walking over to Angela, he asks aloud how to lure them close enough to catch. It's a rhetorical question; Angela winds up being dragged through the water, dangling on a chain by one of the sub's turbines. The monsters indeed notice and give chase.

Elisa is stunned to see real Loch Ness Monsters. She's more interested in why they're following Sevarius, and orders Bruno to zoom in the camera. "Why not? There's nothing you can do" sneers their pilot as he complies. Goliath is alarmed to spot Angela being towed through the water.

As the two Nessies pursue the large monster-sub into an underwater canyon, Goliath squeezes into a pipe on the minisub wearing a breathing mask. Angela sways about in the sub's wake with her only mouthful of air. With 35 seconds before the beasts are in taser range, Sevarius' pilot flips open a button on the steering wheel and the turbine by Angela charges up.

Suddenly the minisub sideswipes it's larger counterpart, whose jolted crew finds they're taking on water. Elisa launches Goliath from the smaller craft's torpedo tube nearly all the way over to Angela. Swimming to her limp body, he puts a second breathing mask over her face. After she gets plenty of air, he remove her shackles. When Big Daddy and Nessie move in, the now-conscious Angela swims over to Nessie and removes her SONAR tag, which sinks to the bottom of the loch.

While his sub's bridge is like a wading pool with waterfalls, Sevarius orders a taser (a long, electrified cable) fired at Big Daddy, who roars in pain when it hits. The doctor launches a second cable, but it misses completely after Angela severs the first.

The sea serpents angrily attack their metal doppleganger, taking several bites out of its neck. Goliath and Angela quickly return to the minisub. After he seals off part of the sub, Sevarius and crew try to surface with the remaining ballast. The monsters don't quit, however, as Big Daddy rips off one of the metal flippers. Amidst all the chaos, a crewman finds Sevarius missing. He shouts the doctor's name as the sub (with two creatures biting down) sinks into darkness. Only bubbles of air surface.

Elisa and the gargoyles look out the side window as Big Daddy and Nessie look back and swim off with their two children.

On the surface, the minisub explodes as its former occupants watch from shore. Bruno, now tied up warns them they haven't seen the last of Dr. Sevarius. Elisa is just glad that the submarines are history; "Some creatures in this world are meant to remain legends." Goliath and Angela, happy that Nessie and Big Daddy are reunited, hold each other as they stare out at the moonlit loch.


by Juan F. Lara

The lovable-animal episode, and a flop, IMHO.

The premise might've worked if the creators wrote a more sophisticated script. But instead Nessie acted like every other cute-animal that immediately reacts to someone else's (anyone else's) affection. I couldn't stop thinking about how did Nessie become so tame, or why loch-ness monsters appeared to be as responsive as cats and dogs.

All this travel between Avalon and Earth was apparently reversing Angela's growth. She acted like a little kid for the first half of the episode, especially around Nessie. For the rest of the ep she was simply a damsel in distress. This episode reminded me that Angela needs a story that focuses on her and fleshes out her personality.

Angela: I'm Angela. If I seem a little nervous, it's because I've never been this close to a real live Loch Ness monster before. But I'll wager you've never been this close to a real live gargoyle before. Guess that kind of makes us even.
[Ick. At least she didn't ask Nessie what her sign was. :-)]

I liked Sevarius in "The Cage". But this time Tim Curry played him way over the top with his scene chewing monologues about his evil plans and his exaggerated lusting for Angela. Sevarius was so unreal and cartoony that the plot had no credibility at all.

Hong Ying did a particularly inept animation job. Characters tended to move in a very cartoony manner. They were also badly drawn. I particularly remembered how caricatured Angela's face was when she awakened in Act 2. The episode also had big gaffes like in Act 1 when they drew Demona in the group's boat instead of Angela.

Back in Scotland so soon. :-) And once again their boat got overturned by a monster, and one of the group got lost.


The yuppie couple make another cameo. Also appearing were some of the soldiers from "Awakening", including the blond woman that always gets attention whenever she appears. I did like Bruno's interaction with the good guys.

I also liked how some of the soldiers apparently went down with the sub. That moment was the only edge that this particular ep had.

DYN: the heroine in shackles got touched on the chin again. This time Angela and Sevarius.

I was wondering when Elisa would have the chance to call Matt to tell everyone that they're O.K. But what rotten luck, wouldn't you say? Matt could've at least had a machine that warned people that the mailbox was full. :-)


Sevarius: Oh, I know, I know. How aggravating it must be to wake up in chains first thing in the evening.

Sevarius: They say a man's home is his castle, and what fun would a castle be without her dungeon?

Sevarius: If it gets any more saccharine in there I'm going to put a finger down my throat.

Overall, an poorly constructed story sunk by false sentimentality and bad characterization. After this ep, I lost a lot of my enthusiasm for the world tour thread.


by Todd Jensen

The core concept of "Monsters" is a very appropriate and delightful one; the gargoyles, who are Scottish "monsters", encounter the most famous monster in all of Scotland (and one of the most famous monsters in all the world), the Loch Ness Monster! Unfortunately, this story is flawed by a rare case of sub-par animation, but still has some enjoyable moments.

On their second visit to Scotland, Goliath and his companions become involved in an attempt by Sevarius (nominally working for Xanatos, since he has the commandoes from "Awakening" providing hired muscle - but obviously the not-so-good doctor can't resist the opportunity to play about with Loch Ness Monster DNA and come up with opportunities to produce something even more bizarre than the Mutates) to kidnap the loch monsters. The situation becomes all the more complicated when Angela is captured and Sevarius, discovering how well she befriends a captive Nessie, decides to take advantage of it in his plans to capture the alpha-male in the loch. Fortunately, Goliath, Elisa, and Bronx come to the rescue in foiling Sevarius's plans and saving both Angela and the Loch Ness Monsters.

In the process, Sevarius makes a discovery of crucial importance for the larger story: after extracting and analyzing some of Angela's DNA, he discovers that she's Goliath's biological daughter - a revelation that amazes Angela herself when she learns it. (Thanks to having been raised by humans, Angela is more ready to accept the concept of individual biological parentage than the traditional "group parentage" of gargoyles.) This has profound consequences further down the road, in such episodes as "Sanctuary" and "Mark of the Panther".

Sevarius is his usual over-the-top self (which makes him such an entertaining villain); his funniest line comes when he comments in disgust about Angela's quick friendship with Nessie, "If it gets any more saccharine in there, I'm sticking my finger down my throat!" In the usual fashion of any recurring antagonist, he survives the wreck of the submarine at the end, somehow (though he won't next crop up on stage until "The Reckoning", over twenty episodes later); however, Xanatos's commandoes (with the exception of Bruno) aren't so fortunate. (Presumably the casualties include the blonde female member of the group - the only person on the team apart from Bruno to stand out as a distinct character.) This hadn't dawned on me the first time that I saw it, however; if it had, I strongly suspect that it would have jolted me in the same way that the destruction of the Grimorum in "Avalon" did and for the same reason: another familiar element that had been in the series from the beginning is now gone.

Elisa makes an attempt to call home which unfortunately fails (Matt either gets a lot of phone calls during the day, or else he should empty his answering machine's "mailbox" more often). At this point, the protagonists are still seeing their objective as just getting back to New York, and it has yet to occur to them that there's a reason for why Avalon isn't sending them there. (They won't remain in the dark much longer, though.)

The animation is crude by "Gargoyles" standards, and this is probably why this is one of the least popular episodes among the fans. I liked it more than most "Gargoyles" fans do, but I suspect that this stems more from the fact that I have a fondness for British settings and a certain interest in the Loch Ness Monster and other mythical denizens of the British Isles. Perhaps if my tastes had not run so strongly in this area, I might have disliked it as well; it's difficult to tell.


Brendan and Margot are among the passengers on the tour boat (even when they're away from New York on vacation, they can't stay away from the gargoyles, although at least, this time they didn't meet them face to face!).

Although the alpha-male Loch Ness Monster's name is given in the dialogue as "Big Daddy", and his reunion with Nessie parallels Goliath and Angela's reunion (as Angela herself comments at the end of the episode), Greg Weisman's own view on the matter was that the two "Loch Ness Monsters" were mates rather than father and daughter.

Sevarius initially believes Angela to be a member of a clan of gargoyles living in Loch Ness and looking after the "Nessies". While he soon discovers his error, according to Greg, an actual gargoyle clan does secretly exist in Loch Ness - though, somehow it avoided coming into contact with both Goliath and his clan, and Sevarius and his henchmen, during the entire adventure! (Which means, incidentally, that Demona was mistaken about her clan during the events in the "City of Stone" flashbacks being the last surviving gargoyles in Scotland, aside from the six gargoyles frozen in stone sleep atop Castle Wyvern's battlements.)

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