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I really like this ep. I liked it when I first saw it and I still like it now.
It's nice to have Hudson in the spotlight again, and Xanatos' quest for immortality is expanded upon while, just for good measure, we get a greater glimpse into Owen's character. Yeesh! Quite a lot stuffed into this ep.
I didn't begin to guess that "Macbeth" wasn't the real deal until the second time he appeared. His "Trophies" line, though not in character for the old Scottish noble, as Todd pointed out, seemed to me like it could have just been something of a joke. But when he showed up the second time, and repeated a line he had said before, in the exact same way, I began to figure out he/it was a robot. I did love how it "died"--Goliath punching his arm straight through its gut, and then the eye-pop, as the voice runs down, followed by a final explosion! I loved it.
When "Hudson" didn't wake up along with the other gargoyles, I was completely convinced that we were seeing the real Hudson under another magic spell. I had not read the Disney Adventures comic by Mr. Nordling, and consequently suspected nothing. At the end of Act I, I did indeed see Hudson's appearance in the cage as taking place within his mind. It wasn't until Act II had begun, and I saw the strange floor underneath the cage (not to mention the appearance of Xanatos and Owen), that I realized here was the real Hudson, and the one the other's were looking after was a decoy.
Hudson and Xanatos did have some great interaction here. I don't know about them being better adversaries than Goliath and (David) Xanatos, but there is something there. I think Hudson can figure out what really scares Xanatos because he himself is already there (the possibility that he was the last survivor of his generation even before the massacre leads to a certain viewpoint on the inevitability of death). Also, they throw their own quips and insults back and forth quite a bit.
Then too, there's Hudson's attitude towards Xanatos' plans. When X takes the stone skin, Hudson just asks "So, are ya through with me?" This is interesting because Goliath's most probable reaction, IMHO, would be to ask what game Xanatos was playing now. And at the end, Goliath would have probably destroyed the cauldron to keep Xanatos from any power it might bestow (and possibly just to spite X as well). Hudson, however, doesn't see any point to destroying the cauldron, and just wants to go home. He even shares a profound thought with Xanatos. And Xanatos, for his part, let's Hudson go in a rather honorable fashion. As I said, I don't know if they're "better natural adversaries" than Goliath and David, but Hudson and X do have an undeniable dynamic here.
Somehow, I knew that Goliath would suggest trying to seek out Demona at some point. I mean, she is the only sorceress they know of. I liked how that was worked in--a last resort sort-of thing.
Broadway's turning to stone in mid-air was something I had been waiting for. Well, not Broadway specifically, but one of the gargoyles, of course--it had to happen sooner or later. I kind of figured the box on the crane had something in it to save BW from shattering, but personally, I would have preferred "Extra Comfy-Soft Mattresses" (sp?) to the rolled up Persian rugs. Eh, minor quibble.
I didn't much care that the Hudson statue was blown up because I already knew about Hudson's being alive. I did, however, like the way the various reactions were portrayed. Goliath's rage was awesome. One of his most chilling moments in the series.
The "semi-Wind Ceremony" for Hudson, was nicely done, and nicely undercut by the old codger himself. I also liked his little remark about the head. On that track, I always enjoyed the way Hudson escaped from Xanatos and all ("Swordless maybe, helpless NEVER!"--too cool).
Although I thought Owen was cool, this episode was the one that really impressed me in regards to his character. I was completely stupefied when Owen just went up and dunked his arm into the Cauldron, resulting in it turning to stone. He had been permanently changed. Another one of the cool things about GARGOYLES: changes occur and cannot be reversed. I silently applauded the episode for daring to do this with one of its characters.
Of course, this aired out of order in my area, and although I missed THE CAGE, I saw DOUBLE JEOPARDY after this and noted that Owen's left hand was still flesh. Although I considered this a possible oversight, maybe somewhere at the back of my mind I realized that this just aired early, so I didn't mind too much.
OTHER NOTES: Lot's of fun lines and exchanges here. All those already mentioned, as well as the following between Brooklyn and Lexington:
LEX: "The city sure is different when it snows."
BROOK: "Yeah. It's colder."
I still laugh at that.
When Macbeth's guns were manned by Banquo and Fleance, the old man's mansion got pretty shot up in the ensuing fight. This time however, run by a computer, the mansion did not seem to sustain a single hit. Still, the cannons did shoot each other, so...nevermind.
I don't think I even realized that Brooklyn had said the word "Jalapena" until after I had watched PROTECTION (which had aired after this) and this one a second time. The first time around, I guess I just ignored it because I couldn't really understand it.
When "Macbeth" dies the first time, and Goliath says "I had no choice," Hudson calmly brushes the incident (and some of the dust) off. I like this sort of reasonableness about Hudson. He shows he's defintely more of the "old soldier," the 10th century warrior even, than the younger gargoyles in the clan. Incidentally, I never thought Hudson was going to die in this episode. That might have been me being tv-savvy...or just in denial.
And I thought the animation was spectacular (though the shadows in the beginning did make it look almost as though Goliath had a moustache (sp?).
At any rate, a wonderful episode.
Thanks, Blaise. I'm glad you liked it.
It's always cool to get an in depth read on what individual fans thought of our shows.