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The Green

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



by dph of rules

Previously on Gargoyles: Elisa learning about Goliath turning to stone during the for the 1st time (Awakening Part 4), Angela asking about what happenned to the Pack (Grief)

In a forest, Elisa takes off her jacket saying it feels like a sauna and comments it sounds like a war zone. Goliath spies a fire fight between gargoyles and tree loggers. Angela spots Jackal & Hyena approaching the fire fight. Goliath goes off to prepare to enter the fight. Jackal & Hyena enter the fight, quickly taking out the Guatamelan gargoyles. Goliath enters the fight to protect the Guatamelan gargoyles. Angela & Bronx show up and tackle Jackal & Hyena. One of the loggers is about to shoot them when Elisa stops them. The loggers line to kill Elisa and Goliath stops them. Hyena manages to cut Bronx's left front paw. Jackal & Hyena comment that they have money at stake and are about to fire on them when Goliath throws the blade of a bulldozer at Jackal & Hyena, knocking the pair into the water. Angela, Elisa, and Bronx struggle to free the Guatamelan gargoyles from a net that Jackal shot at them. Goliath helps and they free them and exchange greetings. The red snake like gargoyle is called Zafiro and the blue one is Obsidiana. Obsidiana takes time to thank them, including Elisa. Elisa comments that Jackal & Hyena might be down, but not out. Zafiro gets the travellers to come with them. On their journy, Bronx whines about his damaged paw. Zafiro comments that it is 6 hours before sunrise. Obsidiana uses native vegetation to care of Bronx's problem and comments that their domain is full of curative wonders, but each time tress are cut, such medicines are lost. Goliath comments that now he understands why the forest needs gargoyle protection. Goliath asks about the size of the local clan and Zafiro responds that, once there were many, but a year ago poachers came and demolished most of the clan. Only 4 remain at the pyramid. The pyramid was built by the ancient Mayan tribe that ruled the area over 1,000 years ago. Zafiro says the summit provides a vantage point where they can watch over the forest day and night. Obsidiana says they wear magical pendents that keep the Mayan gargoyles from turning to stone. Turquesa and Jade prepare to attack at the sight of Zafiro and Obsidiana being accompanied. Jade explains the backstory of the clan. Eons ago, a Mayan socreror forged a magical sun amulet using sapphire, obsidian, jade, and turquose to create four pendants so that the gargoyles could guard the pyramid around the clock. Three years ago, poachers cam and raided the pyramid. The poachers destroyed the rest of the clan and took the sun amulet with them. Jackal & Hyena have been spying on the conversation. Hyena asks why not take them now, since they know where the gargoyles roost. Jackal replies why fight hard when they can fight smart. Sun rises and the Manhattan gargoyles turn to stone. Elisa volunteers to go with Zafiro on patrol. Obsidiana comments that she likes Elisa.

Jackal is using a personal computer to track down the location of the 10th century Mayan Sun Amulet. He finds its location in a museum and books Hyena on a 1st class trip there. Zafiro scares away a few small loggers. Elisa comments that Zafiro nearly scared her and says that if they don't cut down a few trees, they can't surive. Zafiro responds there is no such thing as a few trees.

Heyna comments about her luck in finding the amulet in Manhattan. She cuts a hole through a roof in a museum and goes in. Lexington and Broadway follow through the hole. Hyena spots Broadway and Lexington and a fight starts. Jackal is soaking in a hot tub when Preston Vogel approaches him. Vogel asks why Jackal isn't doing anything. Jackal replies that Hyena is in Manhattan to destroy the Mayan Sun Amulet. Once the Mayan Sun Amulet is destroyed, the Guatamelan gargoyles will turn to stone during the day. At that, Vogel reminds Jackal that by the contract, any damage done by the gargoyles tonight comes out of his fee and also says it is fortunate that Reynard is not aware of the details of their arrangement. Goliath, Angela, and Bronx go on patrol with the Guatamelan gargoyles while Elisa stays behind. Since the raid by the poachers, 2 of the Guatamelan gargoyles always stay behind to guard the pyramid. Turquesa and Jade stay behind with Elisa to guard the pyramid.

Hyena is still attacking Lexington & Broadway in the museum. Hyena gets free from Lexington and Broadway and aims her laser at the Mayan Sun Amulet. Broadway interferes with Hyena getting her shot off. Meanwhile, Goliath, Angela, Bronx, Zafiro, and Obsidiana are fighting a group of armed loggers. Jackal tells the loggers to get lost because he's damage control. Meanwhile, Lexington grabs the sun amulet to keep Hyena from getting it. Hyena goes after Lexington and Lexington toes the sun amulet like a frisbee to Broadway. Lexington and Broadway finally knock Hyena out and then debate what to do with the sun amulet. Meanwhile, Jackal continues his fight with the gargoyles. He attacks the trees instead of the gargoyles, slowly leading them back to the pyramid while dodging the rest of the gargoyles. Jackal then sets fire to the brush and lets time fly. Turquesa & Jade glide Elisa down to the base of the pyramid. Together, all the gargoyles and Elisa work quickly to contain the fire before it engulfs the forest. Jackal comments that they're so busy saving the forest that they forget dawn is rapidly approaching. Obsidiana loses her pendant on a tree and Bronx grabs it. The sun sets and Jackal prepares to continue the attack, 1st by taking out Elisa. Jackal then proceeds to go after Goliath. Turquesa blocks Jackal in the nick of time as the rest of the Mayan gargoyles (minus Obsidiana) arrive. Bronx grabs Jackal by the foot and Zafiro and Turquesa, off camera, carry Jackal to the Cyberbiotics buildings and drop Jackal in a pool just as Vogel suggests cancelling the Jackal/Hyena contract and abandoning Cyberbiotics entire rainforest operation and cut their losses, too.

Officer Morgan and his partner find Hyena unconscious in front of the 23rd precint and proceed to arrest her. We move up to the top of the clocktower to see Broadway firmly holding the Mayan Sun Amulet. Elisa takes the pendant from Bronx and puts it back on Obsidiana. Obsidiana asks if it's over and Elisa replies yet. The Mayan gargoyles wish there was a way to do something more. Elisa has an idea. That night, Goliath, Angela, Bronx, and Elisa head back to Avalon with Jade and Turquesa being pulled along in a boat, that is carrying samples to grow back on Avalon. Goliath says he's proud because they accomplished a great deal today. Elisa responds she hops humanity wakes up in time.


It has been revaled that Jade and Turquesa left Avalon shortly after ensuring the plant samples would grow on Avalon.


by Juan F. Lara

Eh, I was cool to this episode as well.

Good Points

The episode actually had two plots: Jackal and Hyena's scheme involving the amulet, and the Guatemalan gargoyles' mission to protect their rain forest. Cary Bates did an O.K. job on the rain forest storyline, IMHO. The Guatemalan gargoyles' mission was put in the context of their natural duty to protect, and their reluctance to reason with humans was understandable because of their isolation and past experiences. Also, Elisa stayed in character by insisting that the gargoyles stay within the law, and pointed out how some people were taking the trees to care for their families. But I wished that Elisa had more airtime, and that the humans cutting down the trees were more humanized.

But that would've taken time away from the second storyline. That storyline had the episode's high point when Jackal used the database to find the amulet. It's always funny to see these psychotic siblings dealing with mundane tasks. I was also impressed to see Jackal using his mind to come up with a thoughtful strategy. I similarly liked his scene in the hot tub.

Bad Points

But the second half of the episode was very ineptly organized. They drew out the fight in New York long enough to set up the climax in Act 3, and so the fight became tedious. I also found the jumps between New York and Guatemala very jarring. I had big problems with some of the plot points. Broadway's comment about destroying the amulet was a cheap attempt at creating suspense. I didn't see the point in Bronx getting one of the pendents when three other gargoyles still had theirs. And I rolled my eyes when Vogel decided to quit just at that moment. What a lucky break. :-) (Why did Elisa feel so sure that Jackal wouldn't bother them again after defeating him?) Also, the last scene seemed shoehorned in. I wondered how successfully those tropical plants will adapt to Avalon's environment. :-)

They hit Jackal so hard that they knocked him all the way to the hot tub?

Jackal was good, but Hyena was dull. She didn't have a good interaction with Lexington and Broadway during the fight scene, and that, too, made that sequence boring. And I'm getting fed up with her having new abilities in every episode. (Now she can retract her head into her torso.)

Why didn't they put Hyena in restraints in case she woke up before the police find her? The police were remarkably casual when they arrested her. Did the precinct have a cell specially made to hold her?


The Guatemalan gargoyles were a mix of humanoid and animalistic gargoyles. Zafiro was modelled after the Quetzalcoatl.

Cast list: Hector Elizondo ("Miami Vice" and Malcho in "Aladdin") played Zafiro while Marabina Jaimes (Carmen in "Santo Bugito") played Turquesa. Jesse Corti played Jade and Elisa Pensler Gabrielli played Obsidiana. They were even color coded. :-)

This episode also had some notably unnerving moments: Bronx's injury, (I liked the realistic portrayal.) Hyena's ear implant, Hyena holding her head in pain before passing out, and what Jackal wanted to do to Goliath. (Brrr. Think "City of Stone".)

Hyena: Is this going to take long?
Jackal: How many 10th century sun amulets can there be?

Cary Bates was less successful in making "The Green" as he was in "Eye of the Storm".


by Todd Jensen

Goliath and his friends discover a second gargoyle clan, this one in Guatemala and dating back to Mayan times. In the process, they also discover that gargoyles do not have to restrict their protection to only fellow gargoyles and humans; this clan protects the local rain forest from invaders.

Such a concept could easily risk producing a preachy episode, almost a "Gargoyles" equivalent to "Captain Planet", and one could say that "The Green" does come close to degenerating into such an episode at times. However, it does handle the conservation issue well enough. The story establishes in the first act one of the strongest reasons for the need to protect the rain forest; so many of the plants can be used to heal injuries (such as Bronx's foot wound), and their blessings would be lost forever if they were uprooted alongside the forest itself. And the Mayan gargoyles' protective function is needed all the more, as Cyberbiotics has started a logging operation cutting down numerous trees (led by Preston Vogel, behind Renard's back - Renard obviously would not have tolerated such activity), and has even hired Jackal and Hyena to handle the gargoyles.

Jackal and Hyena are once again (as in "Her Brother's Keeper") acting on their own, and once again the story clearly displays the difference between them in terms of their respective "fighting styles". Hyena still wants to just charge in and engage in senseless violence, while Jackal believes in coming up with a plan. After discovering the case of the Mayan Sun Amulet, he instructs Hyena to seek it out and destroy it; that way, he can simply walk in on the Mayan gargoyles (and their Scottish allies) during the daytime and smash the lot of them without resistance. (Jackal has to modify this plan a little, however, when Vogel displays his own ingenuity in pointing out to Jackal that any damage that the gargoyles cause the logging operation will be coming out of his paycheck - meaning that Jackal no longer has the option of just sitting back and waiting for sunrise!)

The terrible twins continue to display, also, their blend of wisecracking with chilling bloodthirstiness. In the case of the former, we get such incidents as Jackal grumbling over how Goliath seems to follow them wherever they go ("First Egypt, now Guatemala"), to which Hyena replies, "Hey, he's a fan!" In the case of the latter, we see Jackal fantasizing about shattering all the petrified gargoyles - except for Goliath, whom he remodels to bear his features! (It's possibly even more disturbing than his actions in "Grief", which is saying a lot.) The two of them also continue to show off their attachments; Jackal now has an actual digital watch built into his wrist, while Hyena converts herself into a bowling ball while battling Lexington and Broadway in New York.

This was probably one of the biggest highlights of the episode for the audience, of course, seeing Lexington and Broadway back again, thanks to the fact that Hyena's search for the Mayan Sun Amulet takes her to New York. In fact, the story finds a way to add to the suspense factor in the New York scenes, even after Lex and Broadway defeat Hyena; while they correctly deduce that the Amulet is magical and that Hyena was after it for that, they initially believe that its powers were designed to kill gargoyles rather than to protect them, and seriously consider destroying it to keep it from falling into the wrong hands - a truly ironical moment. Fortunately for the Mayan clan, they decide to keep it in the clock tower instead.

Alongside this is another piece of fun dialogue (if one that I may be reading a little too much in):

HYENA: Didn't your momma ever teach you boys to take a hint?
BROADWAY: Leave our mothers out of this!

As I mentioned above, I may be overanalyzing these lines, but I very much like the shift from singular to plural here, as a possible allusion to the gargoyle concept of group parentage (meaning that all of the adult females in the Wyvern clan would have been Broadway's "mothers"), something which Hyena obviously would not be aware of (and wouldn't be the least bit interested in even if she was).

Returning to the rain forest issue, one nice touch in the episode is Goliath and Elisa's different approaches to the problem. Goliath is ready to help out the Mayan gargoyles in their defense of their protectorate, understanding how important their life-mission is. Elisa, while sharing in Goliath's belief that the rain forest needs to be protected, is concerned about the gargoyles' methods. For one thing, not all of the people cutting down trees are major conglomerates like Cyberbiotics; some of them are local farmers who are doing so merely to clear enough land to grow crops to support themselves. She also feels that the gargoyles' actions are close to vigilantism (one of the rare occasions in the series where she displays such an outlook, if not the only occasion; most of the time, she presumably understands that the gargoyles don't have the option of joining the police force in order to battle crime), and argues for finding other means of saving the rain forest. In the end, she finds an inventive solution for helping to preserve it, suggesting that the Mayan gargoyles transport some specimens of the rain forest plants to Avalon, where human loggers will never be able to reach them and they can survive, a solution which Goliath is impressed by. (As Greg Weisman commented in his ramble on this episode, it is pleasant to see that Goliath and Elisa can disagree on an issue while still respecting each other.)

"The Green" isn't one of my all-time favorites in the Avalon World Tour, but it has some fine touches, and the message is certainly a good one.


Zafiro's serpent-like design is modelled after the figure of Quetzalcoatl the Feathered Serpent in Mesoamerican legend, suggesting yet another mythical being inspired by gargoyles.

Greg Weisman had further plans for the Mayan gargoyles' adventures in the series. They would have eventually gotten the Sun Amulet back from the Manhattan clan (it survived the destruction of the clock tower in "Hunter's Moon"). Also, a namesake descendant of Zafiro would have been one of the regulars in "Gargoyles 2198".

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