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Heh, well, after my last question about Xanatos and Fox being swingers, I figure I'll make a slightly deeper post about our favorite Machiavellian industrialist.
Throughout the entire series, we've really only seen Xanatos' armor penetrated twice. The first time was in "Eye of the Beholder" when he admitted he had lost control of the situation and practically begged Goliath for help. The second was in "The Price" when Hudson made a very sharp observation.
Demona and Castaway are both driven by repressed guilt and self loathing that they project on to their scapegoats of choice. Thailog is driven by an inferiority complex, so he feels he has something to prove. What drives Xanatos? I think it's fear.
Now, I'm not saying Xanatos is a coward, we know he's not. But let's look at the two above incidents.
"Eye of the Beholder" starts with Xanatos cool and confident as always, he thinks he's in control. But quickly loses it, and has to beg his enemy for help. There was even a moment when he looked like he was on the verge of a total breakdown while pleading to Goliath.
In "The Price" Hudson observes that Xanatos is terrified by the prospect of growing old and dying, and damn, for the first time that we've seen, Xanatos loses his temper, and retorts with a jab that's beyond petty. I will admit, I can't help but wonder how many conversations Xanatos had with his father that were like this.
Granted, both of these episodes end with Xanatos regaining his cool. But still, this guy is obviously a control freak. Nothing terrifies him because he feels he controls everything already, and when he knows he's not in control, he frets.
I suppose "The Gathering" could be another example, but that was very brief in his scene with Owen, but he quickly regained his cool when Owen showed him the security measures he had already implemented.
I'd be interested in know what you think, Greg. Is Xanatos driven by fear? That does seem to have been his most consistent weakness.
I guess. I'm not sure we've EVER seen Xanatos "lose it" as you put it. But he's clearly afraid of things he cannot control (Gargoyles, death, etc.) and quickly attempts (and often succeeds) in co-opting them.