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Blaise writes...


Ahhhh...a new ramble! Glad to hear your thoughts on the episodes again, Greg!

Anyway, as soon as I saw Una and Leo I kind of figured them to be gargoyles--I don't know why, exactly, but it just seemed so obvious. I love the idea of the magic shop, too--I know it's the type of shop I'd like to visit.
While I'm talking about the London clan (or at least, the three that we've met), I just want to talk about their designs. Not just their physical designs mind you--their clothes and such as well. I'll admit, I didn't know much about "heraldic animals" at the time I saw this, so I didn't quite pick up that layer of it. I still liked it, though--helped make them unique, even from Raven's illusion clan. The feathered wings were also quite beautiful. Their tails, though, don't look like they would be as strong as those in the other clans we have seen. Griff's and Leo's maybe, but I doubt Una would be able to wrap her tail around someone's gun and jerk it from their grasp. Their attire is similarly unique, with them wearing quasi-medieval armor and dresses (I especially like Una's dress; very elegant). Griff's is different, yet still evocative of armor, which IMO makes him seem more "modern" than his cohorts. Leo and Una's cloaks are nice, and color-coded as well--green for Leo, violet for Una. Other small things: Leo's eyes seem to have a yellowish tint while Una's have a blue one, Leo's mane is tied back in a pony tail (never noticed that before...). And, even after your ramble, Greg, I look at Griff and cannot see a bit of Foghorn Leghorn in him.
Okay, long digression. Anyway, seeing Leo and Una's coldness to the plight of the man from the street made me feel a little cold to them myself. Leo seems to be a bit more aware than Una is though. By that I mean, he's the one who looks out the window and says "There goes the neighborhood." This sort of thing leads me to believe that Leo's final "revelation" in ACT 3 is something that he's been pondering over for quite some time. Sure, he still doesn't do anything, but I can't help feeling there's something there.
The weary travelers arrive in London, and spot the memorial. I instantly recognized Goliath's statue and became intrigued, as for Griff's...I think I had some vague recollection of his portrait, but I didn't really dwell on it.
Elisa apologizes to the cabby for the "American money." It's a little touch, but I really like it.
Then the thugs show up. I think I've finally figured out the actors who did the voices of the three who talked:
Jeff Bennett--Baldy.
Neil Dickson--Red Mohawk.
Gregg Berger--Big Guy with Torn Green Shirt.
(I could be wrong, though...)
Anyway, the gargs show up and make short work of them (I especially love Angela's disdain over her foe). Leo and Una arrive on the scene, and Goliath (and this audience member) start to become confused. Elisa, noticing the growing crowd, suggests that everyone go inside the shop.
When it comes up that Goliath met the London clan in 1940, I remembered the "Previously on..." segment with Goliath saying he's going to make sure nobody uses the Gate again, and kind of figured out what would happen.
Maybe I really am cold, but I don't feel much sympathy towards Leo and Una at this point. Even in hindsight, I still feel cold. They don't even bother to listen to Goliath's story--I would have thought the mention of "being frozen in stone hibernation" would have at least piqued their curiosity in some way. Instead, they just feel like doling out punishment--even if it means shackling up an innocent third party in the dungeon for no other reason than their association with Goliath. I never noticed the parallel between Una and Demona before you mentioned it, Greg, but I definitely see it.
I didn't think Goliath's "inner monologue" was terribly awkward. I mean, Matt Bluestone, a supporting character, got pretty much a whole episode to do it. Who are we to begrudge the series lead just one line.
I like Griff's reaction to Goliath's "You saved my life--it was suppossed to work the other way around." I also like Goliath's tentative "Pleased to meet you" when he "first" meets Leo and Una.
Back on the London Clan designs again--I really liked how the artists aged them (or "youthened" them as the case may be). Lines on the face, the grey in Leo's hair. Also the voice actors did a good job (I especially liked Sarah Douglas).
I never heard the name of Douglas Bader before this episode. And even then I didn't know he was a real person (nor how exceptional he was) until I read about it in one of your responses to something. I'm glad you got the chance to meet someone like that (hell, you got to go to DISNEYLAND with someone like that--that's got to be an honor). Even in this ep, he was the one who stood out, and (knowing who he is now) it makes his dogfight with "the Skull" all the cooler.
Funny you should mention using the Goliath/Una/Leo/Griff scene in your voice seminars, Greg--I remember reading that scene in the one you held at the Gathering 2001. I was Goliath, as I recall (very hard trying to follow in Kieth David's footsteps), and Crispan Freeman was Griff. What a fun time!
I like how Goliath doesn't say a definite "Yes, let's fight" or "No, stay here" but just states a simple truth. He's trying to stay out of trouble, of course, but it also just seems, to me, like the most intelligent and even-handed thing to say. And in the next 55 years, Leo and Una apparantly twisted the whole darn thing around in their heads....
Leo expresses some doubt even at this point, asking if Griff thinks less of him and Una for not going out to fight. I like the arm clasp, too.
By this point I had definitely realized that Una and Griff were an item this far back. I also kind of guessed that during the interrum (sp?) she and Leo got together.
The Battle of Britain. I had never made the connection between the wee lad running with his sister, and the old cab driver in the present. Makes the scene even cooler now, though.
Nor, I must shamefacedly admit, did I single out the skull-and-crossbones plane ("the Skull" as I have already called him) as unique. I feel like an idiot now though--it just seems so obvious. Heck, even after the pilot's gone the PLANE continues to be a threat; the last thing Goliath and Griff have to escape. It's an old trick--you have a lot of similar enemies (planes, in this case) you give one a distinguishing (sp?) mark to set it apart and mark it as the "alpha enemy" (kind of like Stripe in "Gremlins.")
Speaking of gremlins, I kind of like the connection with the gargoyles (come to think of it, I always saw Lexington as being gremlin-like--greenish-brown with a prediliction for tinkering and all that). I also like that Bader notices them, and instead of being frightened, actually becomes a sort of ally.
The "no-dying" rule...I have to admit I get kind of sick of that sometimes. Several other animated shows I've seen (western animated) actually managed to have planes explode and no parachutes shoot out. Heck, at least they should have had "the Skull" be stuck in his plane. (And maybe I'm sadistic, but I would have liked a shot of his screaming face just before his plane crashed....)
Goliath's wound. Ouch. I still say that every time I see him get hit. He still manages to pull off some great ariel manuevers on that injured wing, though.
And talk about a tough time getting home. First they're nearly shot out of the sky by friendly fire, then a building nearly falls on them, then a truck nearly hits them (and rudely interrupts Goliath while he's speaking).
And finally Goliath realizes what we the audience already knew--that time is immutable--and to avoid the final danger ("the Skull's" plane) Goliath sends both he and Griff back to the future (pun intended). Pretty much what I expected would ultimately happen.
Leo and Una look in on their captives in the basement (the fact that Elisa and the rest are in chains lessened my respect for them another notch), and after Elisa figures out what Goliath's plan is, both of the London gargoyles pause. Una recovers and continues to rant and rail against Goliath, while Leo closes his eyes and realizes the truth. I love Leo's speech here. And how he admits that while protecting their home may have been "the right thing to do" it's still their own guilt they've been feeling. I find this scene even more fascinating with the revelation that Una is the leader of the London clan. A leader is a person, too, with all the foibles (even Goliath shows that from time to time).
Goliath and Griff show up and Griff experiences major culture shock. I love the punk playing the gameboy--he just walks right by these two huge, winged monsters and doesn't even notice. In fact, Griff is the one who nearly faints (into the path of an approaching car). I just love Goliath's "Let's not start that again." Keith David just delivers it so well.
The reunions commence. I already started warming up to Leo and Una after the cellar, but now it really is great to see the joy on their faces. Griff is also joyful, but it's easy to sense a bit of awkwardness as well.
Goliath tries to explain the time loop, and Elisa does the "smile, nod" thing and asks for the explanation just one more time. "And take it slow."
The thugs pester the "foreigner" again--it wasn't until now that I realized they were racists as well--and then find themselves reaquainted with the fact that there are people out there even more different from them. Leo and Una kick two of them away (and Una has HOOVES--triple OUCH!), and stand proudly...in front of a crowd of humans. I thought that was rather interesting. I especially like the shopkeeper (the guy in the apron). He has his arms folded almost as if in pride.

Well, there's my ramble (and a long one, too). Can't wait for your next one (though I may have to--but I'll do so gladly).

Greg responds...

I still use that Leo/Una/Griff/Goliath scene, because it illustrates the point of "intention/motivation" so well.

Great Ramble!

Response recorded on July 13, 2005