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The (currently) new ramble! Here's my own (which I also posted in the Comment Room).
After watching the "Previously..." recap and hearing Sevarius' mention about cloning, and then seeing the title, I pretty much figured out what the episode was going to be about. Consequently, I kind of knew that the gargoyle on the battlements at Xanatos' place wasn't really Goliath. Still, I was not quite prepared for Thailog, but we'll get to him later on.
The prologue is well written, and does fit in well with the established continuity...except for the date it's given in the computer files. Even allowing that Xanatos did not get released from prison until after Oct. 31, when did Elisa get shot, and how long before she was able to walk on crutches? Still, I'm willing to let it slide. Besides, it was cool how Goliath smashed the robot's head (you can see the red eye-bulb pop out).
The coloring error you saw, Greg, concerning Thailog's arm in the attack on Lex and Broadway, seems to have been corrected in later airings (at least it's black on my tape).
That was one thing that surprised me--seeing the flash in Elisa's windshield NOT being a copy of Goliath, but something with black skin, red eyes, and a white something (hair of course, but I only saw a glimpse).
I was curious as to what Sevarius was doing with the mercenaries, and why he seemed to be stealing from his employer. I think I may have decided to wait until the end to draw any conclusions.
When Owen mentioned the Emir, I remembered THE EDGE. I didn't expect the dude to actually show up in the series (I was still a bit naive (sp?)), and instead thought more along the lines that this would be a running gag in the series. A sort of background business thing that Xanatos would always be dealing with.
It is interesting to see Xanatos in a semi-vengeful attitude. It's just something you're not used to seeing from this guy. I liked hearing the list of his "enemies" for some strange reason. Just nice to know that Xanatos isn't so untouchable.
And Owen even gets to make a couple of digs at Xanatos--not just the one at the end, but the "plan you've neglected to mention" and cryptically referring to Xanatos Enterprises as "a certain large consortium" (sp?).
Even though Goliath laughed maniacally well-enough in ENTER MACBETH, I still got a kick out of Hudson's line. A little nod to the fact that Goliath has a tendency to be...stoic, perhaps.
And then we get another glimpse at Thailog. And he actually managed to look scarier than Goliath, IMHO. Not a bad trick. I hadn't thought until reading the memo that something...unpleasant may have happend to the mercenaries here. This new thought rather intrigues me (in a morbid sort of way).
The Gen-U-Tech traking bracelet makes a reappearance. Gotta love continuity.
Seeing the electronic log of Thailog's creation proved to be quite fascinating for me. Mostly because of the mention of "accelerating (sp?) the normally slow gargoyle growth process." I liked the added explanation here and the nod towards the coloring change. On the whole, it made everything easier to except, and allowed me to sit back and have fun watching the episode develop.
Like many folks, I loved the whole Xanatos-Sevarius confrontation. Neither is really aware of what the other is thinking, but believes they are. And when Sevarius started to cut loose (and then undercut it with the whispered question of his quality of performance) I laughed out loud. That and the look on Xanatos' face are still amusing (vengeful, confused...you see a lot of sides to Xanatos that you normally don't in this episode).
When Goliath finally meets Thailog...I did not expect Thailog to turn out quite the villain he was, despite knowing that he learned everything from Xanatos. Consequently, I was not expecting him to jump Goliath like that. But this made him a lot of fun. And I love the way Thailog sort of hisses out the "s" at the end of "All the old blocks."
When Thailog is talking to Xanatos and Sevarius in the hold of the oil rig, there is a loop of repeated animation that is very noticeable. The odd thing is, the lips actually remain more-or-less in sync with the dialogue.
I love Thailog's lines here. "And waste my life playing 'guardian angel' night after night to a decrepit city, infested with inferior humans?" Just his choice of words says a lot about this guy's outlook on the world. And to this day I keep playing his other line to Goliath in my head from time to time: "I considered caring about you. It took some effort, but I arranged for you to join this party because I planned to share the money with you. But our little...'family reunion' disappointed me, *father*! So I've decided to *hate* you, too." I just love how that throws some of the blame for what happens on Goliath. Man, with this and OUTFOXED, Goliath's been faced with a lot of his shortcomings.
I had no problem with Elisa slipping out of the manacles. I mean, those things weren't like police cuffs that could close in diameter to conform to a prisoner's wrists. Besides, Xanatos' comment was rather fun.
Actually, there were a lot of fun lines in this sequence, and the episode as a whole (of course, they've already been pointed out, so...).
I get a strange kick out of the fact that it's Sevarius who picks up on the idea that could save them all. It's always fun when the villains and heroes wind up on the same side for some reason.
Something I find very interesting whenever I watch this episode: when Elisa and Xanatos think Goliath might be dead, Xanatos actually moves to comfort Elisa! It's just endlessly fascinating to me that in a potential moment of loss, the proferred shoulder to cry on comes from the antagonist. That's one great thing about this series, character was never subverted for the sake of conforming to traditional "roles."
I actually did think that Thailog had died in the fire. I of course would have regretted it--he was a great character, and Keith David's mannerisms were so distinct from Goliath's that I half-wondered if maybe Thailog was voiced by someone else (a thought I had also had concerning Jim Cummings' differnt sound as Darkwing and Negaduck). However, it wasn't until the "reverse-Xanatos tag" that Thailog took an even greater leap upward in my estimation. Learning that Thailog probably survived and was (in Owen's words) "still out there, has the money, is as powerful as Goliath...and smarter than [Xanatos]." That was one of those "shock" moments, and immediately followed up by "Owen, I think I've created a monster." It felt to me like not only had a new villain been unleashed upon the world, but one greater than any that had come before. I actually like seeing the image of Thailog laughing (although recently, I've wondered what the effect would be if his transparent-face suffused the whole screen).
Rambling on Thailog for a moment--it was great how he moved beyond the stereotypical "evil twin" bit. Although his contrast with Goliath is a very compelling aspect of him, he is not confined to that one dimension. He has the tics that are very much his own, and he manages to assert his independence even more when he takes to wearing the armor.
I know, Greg, that you feel every villain should seem, in "that particular encounter" the hero's unltimate enemy. Still, I can't help but feel that the true rank of "archfiend" seems made for the likes of Thailog.
This is another one of those episodes I really enjoy!
My plans for Season Three would have had Thailog really emerge as the Gargoyles primary antagonist. I really wanted to give him a chance to come into his own. Still do.
As you know, Keith, of course, DID perform both roles. In fact his talent was one of the main inspirations for doing Thailog in the first place.
You had questions. Maybe this will clear some of them up. Then again, maybe not.
Friday, October 28th, 1994
Xanatos may anticipate being released by October 31st, the date of his coming pre-trial appearance. [NOTE: The calendar in Xanatos' cell matches neither 1994 nor 1995. It may not even be his.]
Monday, October 31st, 1994
In part, ironically, because both Xanatos and Elisa wish to conceal the gargoyles' existence, Xanatos' lawyers and the D.A.'s office agree to a plea bargain. He pleads guilty to the sole count of receiving stolen property. He is sentenced to six months, including time served, with every possibility that the sentence will be reduced in three months for good behavior.
Tuesday, November 15th, 1994
Owen acquires a DNA sample from Goliath.
Friday, November 18th, 1994
Elisa is shot.
Tuesday, January 3rd, 1995
Elisa is on crutches when Macbeth first attacks castle.
Wednesday, January 4th, 1995
Xanatos is released from prison. Goes home to the castle first. And then stops by Gen-U-Tech.
Hope that helps.