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Thanks for the "Cloud Fathers" ramble, Greg!
I will confess that I can't remember from my first-time viewing whether I was surprised or not by the revelation at the end that Carlos Maza had passed on. However, I do find myself wondering, whenever I watch it on tape now, whenever either Elisa or Beth asks Peter if he wants to "go visit grandfather" while he's in town, how many first-time viewers did suspect that Carlos was dead, and how many were surprised.
Arizona, incidentally, now has a little more personal significance to me than it did when the episode first aired; my mother and stepfather moved there a few years ago (they live in the Phoenix area). They've sometimes mentioned Flagstaff in conversations with me, but haven't as yet mentioned anything about sand-carvings of Coyote or Kachina dancers. :)
Xanatos's "cliched villainy" line is a particular favorite of mine; only Xanatos would make such a remark! Though the bit where he admits that he has no desire to kill Goliath or any of the other gargoyles - this is just a necessary part of his coyote-trap - definitely stands out to me as well. You don't see the main antagonist saying that to the hero too often in an animated adventure series!
I liked the touch of the Cauldron of Life being incorporated into Coyote 4.0. (As I mentioned once in chat, it reminds me a bit of the scene in "Camelot 3000" where Mordred incorporates the Holy Grail into his armor.) The mention of the iron obviously was a foreshadowing of what was coming in the very next episode. (Was Xanatos's follow-up remark of "Ironic" intended as a pun, by the way?)
I also got a kick out of the mild confusion over "Which Coyote are we talking about here?" - the best part of all being when Coyote the Trickster threatens to sue Xanatos for trademark infringement. (And Xanatos's response that he's a "trickster at heart" rings true to me - the man's living proof that you don't have to be a Child of Oberon to be a trickster. He fulfills the archetype just as surely as Puck, Raven, and the rest do.)
I hadn't noticed the similarity of the Coyote robot to Wile E. Coyote until you mentioned it here at "Ask Greg" (not in this ramble, but in earlier answers to questions), but I certainly see it now. (Though, judging from the name of a certain merchant in "Vendettas", Coyote the robot isn't the only "Gargoyles" character to be influenced by Wile E. Coyote!)
So the multiple trickster story was what you'd originally planned for the Puck-and-Alex story before you decided to merge it with the Cold Trio for "Possession"?
Thanks for another enjoyable ramble, Greg.
I'm not sure the iron/ironic thing was an intentional pun. But it was so long ago, I may have forgotten.
The Multi-Trickster story was indeed slotted for our 64th episode... with Reckoning planned as our 65th. Then at some point, we learned that Hunter's Moon would not be a direct to video, but would instead have to be folded into our regular series. So HM1-3 became episodes 63-65. Reckoning was moved back to 61, so that we'd have at least a little Demona distance between Reckoning and HM. And then we had to combine a few springboards to make room for Hunters Moon. (For example, Vendettas was a combo of two springboards: (1) Vinnie's Vendetta and (2) Hakon & Wolf's Vendetta.)
So another couple of springboards we combined were the Multi-Trickster story and the Coldtrio story. Cary Bates and I worked the combo for some time, but we finally RAN OUT OF TIME. We were on deadline, and we just couldn't crack a story with so much going on. So we simplified back down to one Trickster, i.e. Puck.