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My own ramble on "The Price".
You mentioned in the course of your ramble a number of misconceptions that first-time viewers of this one could have had; I'll confess that, the first time that I saw "The Price", I fell victim to all of them!
1. I thought at first that Hudson might actually die in this episode, between the name of it and Goliath's line in the "Previously on Gargoyles" section about how Hudson had years ahead of him to live. I was relieved to see that Hudson doesn't actually pay the price (although Owen does, in a different sense, but I'll get to that later).
2. I thought at first that Macbeth really had turned Hudson to stone (and, when you stop to think it over, it probably wasn't too difficult to dupe the audience into believing it, thanks to the fact that we already knew that it was possible to trap a gargoyle in his stone sleep, with the Magus in "Awakening").
3. Since I knew that only Demona could kill Macbeth, I wasn't surprised at all by the fact that Macbeth "returned from the grave", to battle the clan again, and thought that he'd survived because it was Goliath who "slew" him rather than Demona.
4. And when I first saw Hudson in the cage, I thought that it was a metaphor for the spell imprisoning him. Even after Xanatos and Owen showed up, I initially thought that they were just "metaphors", like Xanatos being the shape of the Xanatos Program in "Legion". But I soon understood otherwise.
I did get suspicious about "Macbeth" in this episode, though, not so much from the "only a few lines", as from the fact that he appeared to be acting out-of-character here. I found it hard to believe that Macbeth really would go gargoyle-hunting just for the sake of a few trophies; that motivation was more appropriate to, say, the Pack. I could buy the notion of Macbeth going after the gargoyles again, but for a cause much bigger than just something to have stuffed and mounted. (Especially since, after "City of Stone", I'd become quite fond of him). So the "robot revelation" worked for me.
I also get a kick out of the scene where Xanatos acquired a bit of Hudson's stone skin. Just one of those moments that makes it so hard not to have a sneaking admiration for the man. "There, that wasn't so hard now, was it?"
This is the episode where we learn about Xanatos's desire for immortality, but it occurs to me that we also get a hint of it in "City of Stone", where Demona dupes Xanatos into thinking that the effect of her spell is to steal one minute of life from everybody who watches it, which she can use to augment their life-spans.
I very much enjoyed the interplay between Hudson, Xanatos, and Owen (I honestly hadn't thought that "The Price" helped lead to Puck's use of Xanatos and Hudson slaying each other in "Future Tense" prior to your ramble, I must admit), which certainly had some fine moments there. Like many viewers, I particularly found interesting the fact that Hudson wasn't interested in destroying the Cauldron of Life, but just in regaining his freedom. And also how Xanatos lets him escape from the castle on the grounds of "he's earned it".
Of course, the biggie here is Owen getting his hand turned to stone. That was one bit that definitely got my attention, because of the permanent change to a major character. (Interestingly enough, I didn't pay that much attention to the characters' response to the stone hand, maybe because I was too busy dealing with the mere physical change to pay attention to the fact that Owen was just staring at it. In fact, it wasn't until "The Gathering Part One" that I started to really suspect the truth about Owen, but that's another story.) Still, you've got to admit that it beats being turned into an anthropomorphic aardvark. :)
That's quite true. So Owen gets off easy.