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



by Renee

Act I

We open with this episode with a rainy view of the Castle Wyvern area slowly following the path of a police car. The police officer sees a man walking down the road and asks whether he needs a ride. We see that it's Wolf. After driving a double headed axe through the hood of the car, Wolf steals the car and leaves the officer standing in the rain.

Then we meet Vinnie, who buys a cannon he instanly names Mr. Carter. He lugs the cannon the down the sidewalk as he remembers the first time he saw a gargoyle. It turns out that he was the cyclist Lexington startled and took his bike, crashing it into the wall. Apparently, when Vinnie told his story to the judge, they thought he was drunk and took away his driving privelages.

As Vinnie turns the corner, a red splotch of magic speeds behind him and into a the axe on Wolf's hip. The axe tells Wolf that he found Goliath and that the 'old one' was with him. Wolf attacks Goliath as he and Hudson are gliding over the docks. A battle ensues in which Hudson intervenes causing the axe to be imbedded into the docks. Goliath then continues his battle with Wolf.

Vinnie reappears on a forklift. "I found the big one" he says as he remembers the second time the gargoyles entered his life. He was a Cyberbionics guard the night Goliath and Demona stole the disk from the air fortress in "Awakening IV". While he's pulling his Mr. C out of his bag, the forklift gets thrown into reverse (without him knowing) and he ends up in the water, forklift and all. Meanwhile, Wolf is thrown through a metal box. The axe gets upset, the red blotch leaves the axe, becomes the spirit of Hakor, and then possesses Wolf.

Act II

Wolf, now imbued with the spirit of Hakor, breaks free of the box - which is part of a crane that is destroyed in the process. He summons the axe to him and uses it to destroy a good portion of the dock they're standing on.

Vinnie reappears telling Mr. Carter that he was the GenU-Tech guard on duty the night Servarius was abducted by Goliath, costing him the job. As he turns back, he realizes that he's lost sight of the big one.

The gargoyles fall into the water, followed by Wolf leaping after them. Wolf reappears a few seconds later, looking for the Gargoyles. They have swam away with Hudson's "Since when do werewolves fly?" the first thing asked as they surface. They seek shelter in a warehouse. Wolf finds them however and the battle resumes. The spirit leaves Wolf to take control of Hudson during the battle.


Hudson and Goliath battle for a bit, pretty much evenly matched. Goliath reminds Hudson that he is a friend, and the spirit takes off, moving Wolf to a nearby safe location. Wolf and Hakor argue - Wolf wants the spirit out of his body and threatens to destroy the axe. Hakor lets us know that to destroy the axe would destroy his link to the Earthly plane, so he leaves Wolf's body and returns to the axe.

Scene cuts to a car scrapyard where Hudson and Goliath are walking through. The worker thinks he's hallucinating, blaming it on cold medication.

Wolf gets the jump on Hudson, rendering him unconscious. Vinnie suddenly has a clear shot of Goliath, but Wolf knocks Goliath down with engine blocks. Using a stack of cars to get airborn, Goliath dodges a thrown motor which strikes the water tower near Vinnie. Vinnie's shot is no longer clear.

Wolf and Goliath continue to battle. For a moment there is an arguement between Wolf and Hakor about who would kill Goliath, but they settle it by agreeing to do it together.

Hudson deflects the axe with his sword, thus drawing himself into battle with it. They battle for a few moments, before Hudson is forced onto the conveyor belt for the car crusher. Hakor leaves his axe, becoming a semi solid spirit. (I mean, he is holding a physical axe, so he has to be somewhat solid.) When they hit the floor of the crusher, Hakor embeds his axe in the floor as he misses Hudson. The crusher starts, crushing the axe, and severing the only tie Hakor had to Earth. Hakor screams in defiance, but vanishes in what appears to be a very painful display.

Meanwhile, Goliath and Wolf have been battling. It's not a long fight as it is ended when Wolf is buried under a stack of cars. Goliath clears the cars off the unconcious mutate and prepares to take him to justice. However, his path is blocked.

"Finally, I will have my revenge" comes to mind here. Vinnie confronts Goliath and takes aim with his cannon to fire... a pie at him. It hits Goliath squarely in the face. Vinnie drops the cannon and walks away humming the Gargoyles theme song.

"Who was that, lad?" Hudson asked, apparently confused by the human's actions.

Goliath, with pie still on his face, replies with some variant of "I don't know."

Hudson uses a talon to taste a small bit of the pie. "Banana Cream" he announces.


by Juan F. Lara

Drat. And I was hoping for a GOOD Wolf episode.

Wolf has generally been a shallow and obnoxious character. But I thought that all he needed was an episode that would developp his personality and give him some background, like how "Grief" made Jackal more interesting. And I would've expected any rematch between the good guys and Hakon to be a significant event that affects the good guys very personally. Goliath had to confront his memories of the pivotal events of "Awakening" when he fought Hakon in "Shadows of the Past", and I loved Hakon's characterization in that particular ep.

But both characters are wasted in this episode. Both Wolf and Hakon came off very bland. Wolf still didn't have much characterization beyond making sarcastic remarks. ("Dream on, Casper.") Hakon is stuck with long lines of expository, making him sound dull. Hudson does get angry when he first hears the name Hakon, but beyond that Hakon and Wolf seem like just another pair of adversaries. Also, they should've spent some time elaborating on the connection between Wolf and Hakon. But instead we got one quick scene where Hakon mentions in passing that he's Wolf's ancestor and regurgitates how Wolf found him and his connection to the axe. (So how did Wolf get Hakon out of his trap at the end of "Shadows"?) The rest of the ep is some of the most boring fight scenes in the series.

And then there's Vinnie. How could anyone have thought that such a broadly caricatured character (Save the cultural referencing for "Animaniacs".) and such stupid slapstick could fit into this series? The astonishing ending (see below) is perhaps the worst single scene in the series.


Hudson: I still can't see why they call it a Big Apple.
Goliath: Some questions, old friend, are best left to humans to resolve.

Hudson: Who in the world was that?!
Goliath: I haven't the slightest idea.
Hudson: ...Mmm. Banana cream.

So far, "Vendettas" is my personal pick for the worst episode of "Gargoyles". But at least one can see "Shadows of the Past" to see a good use of Hakon, and "The Mirror" to see "Gargoyles" comedy done right.


by Todd Jensen

"Vendettas" is generally considered to be one of the weakest (if not the weakest) episodes in the first two seasons of "Gargoyles", and it is not difficult to see why. The chief problem with the story is the return of Hakon's ghost. The conclusion of "Shadows of the Past", with Hakon seemingly condemned to an eternity of solitude "without anyone to hate" was such a dramatic one that it felt like a pity to have him return at all. But even more significantly, the manner of his return was a letdown. In contrast to "Shadows of the Past", where we had seen Hakon in conjunction with the Captain gradually wearing Goliath down through a series of psychological attacks, exploiting his troubled memories about the Wyvern Massacre in an effectively subtle fashion, accompanied by a very moody atmosphere, here he and his new partner Wolf merely engage Goliath and Hudson in a half-hour punch-up. The result is a distinct feeling of anticlimax; even when Hakon deceives Hudson into mistaking Goliath for Wolf, it's just another battle stratagem.

The one noteworthy feature of Hakon and Wolf's alliance is the revelation that Wolf is Hakon's descendant. While this feels a little contrived, it does lead to some fairly amusing interaction between them, with Hakon's increasing disgust over Wolf's stupidity and incompetence, to the point where he winds up possessing Wolf at one point with an attitude of "If you want something done right, you should do it yourself!" This helps to break up what otherwise comes close to being a monotonous battle.

Fortunately, the b-plot makes up for it. In it, a man named Vinnie, who has had the particular misfortune of having one humiliating encounter with the gargoyles after another, has finally had all that he can take, and sets out to hunt Goliath down with an enormous high-tech gun, almost the size of a small cannon. During his search, we find out that he was: a) the motorcyclist whom Lexington encountered in "Awakening Part Three", b) one of the security guards on board Fortress-1 when Goliath and Demona invaded it in "Awakening Part Four", and c) the security guard at Gen-U-Tech when Goliath kidnapped Sevarius in "The Cage". While the notion that all three of these figures were really the same person also seemed a little contrived to me at first, Vinnie's narration accompanying the clips made up for it, particularly when it showed how his description of his past encounters with the gargoyles clashed with what really happened (as when he states that he did everything that he could to stop Goliath from carrying Sevarius off into the night, while we see him reading the newspaper at the time of the abduction, completely oblivious to the event). Added onto it is Vinnie's general incompetence as he keeps on inadvertently landing himself into one humiliating situation after another even while hunting Goliath (such as being washed off the roof of the building that he's standing on thanks to a demolished water tower, and landing in the back of a garbage truck which immediately drives off, or even spending so much time explaining his story to his gun, which he has named "Mr. Carter" and speaks to as if it was alive, that by the time he's done, Goliath has already left the scene). Vinnie's haplessness injected a little much-needed variety into the story, culminating in the scene where he finally opens fire on Goliath and reveals the true significance of the statement that whoever ends up on Mr. Carter's receiving end "is gonna get creamed". (It is an amusing irony that of all the people who ever sought revenge on Goliath throughout the series, Vinnie was the only one who ever achieved this goal. The fact that his form of revenge was carried out with nothing more lethal than baked goods probably had a lot to do with that.)

Perhaps "Vendettas" works best if seen as a direct comedy episode, since there is some humor even in the main plot of Hakon and Wolf's joining forces. Much of this comes from Hakon and Wolf's annoyance with each other (it almost evokes the friction between the two Archmages in "Avalon Part Two"), but there are a few other examples alongside it. Probably the best of these comes when Wolf, standing his ground as Goliath and Hudson come swooping towards him, announces that he'll make short work of them both - and then is sent flying through the wall without even getting an opportunity to attack. Another highlight is when a worker at the auto yard where the final battle takes place, seeing Goliath and Hudson, frantically tries convincing himself that it's just a hallucination from his cough medicine. (One hopes that he stopped operating the heavy machinery there after that, if he seriously believed himself to be in such a condition.) Maybe it was Hakon's earlier, much more serious role in "Shadows of the Past", that kept the episode from working completely as a comedy. At least with his battle-axe destroyed and his connection to the human world severed, there was no possibility of his ever returning again.


This is the only episode which ends with an iris-out (another sign that it was designed as primarily a comedy).

Brendan, Margot, and the Jogger are among the passers-by who stare at Vinnie as he lugs Mr. Carter along.

Greg Weisman realized too late, after making this episode, that the weapon that Hakon was joined to should have been the mace that he used in the Wyvern Massacre rather than a battle-axe. (Though I can say one good thing about the choice of an axe; it led to Wolf's line of "Tonight is battle-axe night!" "Tonight is mace night!" wouldn't have had as good a rhythm.)

Vinnie's name, and Mr. Carter's, were both references to the television series "Welcome back Kotter" (1975-79) - Mr. Kotter and Vinnie Barbarino, to be precise.

Mr. Acme's name was a reference to the Warner Brothers classic Roadrunner-and-Coyote cartoons, derived from the numerous Acme products that Wile E. Coyote used in his unsuccessful attempts to catch the Roadrunner. (Obviously the Coyote robots aren't the only Wile E. analogue in the Gargoyles Universe, and Vinnie's own self-caused humiliations parallel Wile E. Coyote's perfectly.)

Vinnie hums the "Gargoyles" theme music as he walks off after finally pieing Goliath (with no explanation as to how he became aware of it).

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