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Angels in the Night

Synopsis |  Review by Juan F. Lara |  TGC Review Summary by Juan F. Lara





by Juan F. Lara

The last episode of "The Goliath Chronicles", and possibly the last episode of "Gargoyles". Wish the series had a better ending...

Bad Points

A large part of this episode revolved around Margot Yale. But Margot had a one-dimensional characterization. Her lines tended to be over the top, and Tress MacNeille seemed to overdo her dislike of gargoyles. Her big change came in Act 3 in a scene that reminded me of Robin Canmore's amazement at Goliath's heroism in "Hunter's Moon, Part 3". But Margot's reaction was cliched and one-dimensional. ("I...I don't understand.") Her characterisation had a lack of sophistication that has been characteristic of "The Goliath Chronicles" as a whole.

This episode also seemed to lack continuity with regards to Castaway. People treated him like a respected businessman. But everyone knew that he led the Quarreymen. What about those Quarreymen that wrecked the hospital and the P.I.T. Crew meeting in "The Dying of the Light", and did so as Quarreymen? Heck, what about the arrest of Castaway himself for illegally stockpiling an arsenal in "...for it may come true"?? It was as if none of these things had happened in the scenes where he was all chummy with Margot. Margot should've at least viewed Castaway with suspicion if she really was as moderate as Elisa asserted to the others.

I supposed that Castaway WOULD be the kind of villain who would commit as reckless an act as that train attack even when he had succeeded in framing Angela and Bronx. (BTW: Planting a bomb? He could've at least come up with a frame-up that would be in the Gargoyles' style. :-) This illogical characterisation made Castaway such an uninteresting and unappealing villain. Castaway fully acknowledged that the Gargoyles saved people when Goliath confronted him. At that point I would've liked to have heard him explain how he rationallized his hatred of gargoyles then. But he didn't, and so Castaway went through the whole season never establishing a clear motivation for his villainny. (Reportedly, he was supposed to be John Canmore in disguise, which WOULD explain his motivations. So I was shocked when Thomas/Lewald apparently forgot about this.)

In the minutes after the Act 1 explosion I felt convinced that they could not come up with an explanation for the Gargoyles surviving that wasn't contrived. (I was leaning towards Coldstone-style magic, but I must admit that I wondered if maybe Disney went for broke and really killed them all off since this was the last episode...) And the actual explanation they came up was REALLY contrived. Guess Castaway didn't pay enough attention to his project to notice such extensive "modifications".

DYN: At one moment everyone on the train went to the windows to see the Gargoyles fight the Quarrymen. In the NEXT moment they're all casually back at their seats. Attention spans these days...:-)

Good Points

The greatly missed Walt Disney-Japan made one final appearance for this last episode. (and for the first time they actually credited the studio as "Walt Disney-Japan") The episode had a few crummy moments: the stiff way the muggers talked, and that news reporter...But one could see WD-Japan's distinctive character models and sence of solidity in Acts 2 and 3. The train wreck gave them a chance to show off.

I liked the way they handled Elisa's mourning. We didn't see her until apparently hours after she heard the news. And so her mourning is subdued and low key, and very dignified. This I'd call a sophisticated characterisation.

I also liked the episode ending with a summation by Goliath. That summation provided closure to the "Goliath Chronicles" premise.

Brooklyn, too, got some closure when he came up with the way to stop the train. His behavior reminded me of the episodes when he became leader and brought the spotlight back on him.


Maybe that woman's dislike of "giant bats" was a B:TAS reference?

Brooklyn: Other FEMALE gargoyles....[ Sad, isn't it? ] :-)

Matt: Elisa, I...I'm sorry. They deserved better than this.
Elisa: I keep trying to tell myself it's all a bad dream. That it'll go away once I wake up.

The Goliath Chronicals - A Final Summary

by Juan F. Lara

Compared to most superhero cartoons, "The Goliath Chronicles" wasn't all that bad. The quality went up particularly in November when old cast members made reappearances and the series diversified from the Quarreymen storyline somewhat. But compared to the original "Gargoyles", TGC represented an outrageous step down. The series seemed to lose the elaborate continuity that propelled the daily series, and so the TGC storyline felt like it was going nowhere. The characters lost their depth because of simplistic and heavy-handed writing. People slipped into moralistic monologues in "To Serve Mankind", "Runaways", and other eps, and the "chronicles" at the beginning made one yearn for even those "previously on" segments. Currently, "The Dying of the Light" and "Broadway Goes to Hollywood" are the only post Wiseman eps I still enjoy rewatching ( the latter only because it's amusing fluff ). "The Goliath Chronicles" wound up another example of what can happen to a show when it loses the main creative force behind it.

Han-Ho Heung and Akon particularly disappointed me. They turned one of the most beautifully animated TV cartoons into one of the shoddiest.

Reportedly "Gargoyles" will not have a fourth season next year. I wouldn't want the series to have a fourth season as it is. I want to hold out for the chance that Greg Weisman, Frank Paur, and Michael Reaves might somehow get their series back. Then I'd be sure that Weisman's elaborate vision for the series and Paur & Reaves writing talents could raises the series back to its original standards.

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