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THE GATHERING, PART TWO
I'm having a difficult time figuring out where I want to start with this episode.
The revelation of "Owen-is-Puck" is, of course, the high point, but I also find myself thinking about the battle with Oberon.
Oberon is, without a doubt, the most powerful adversary the gargoyles have ever had to face--and this time he's at full power! However, I find his more subtle uses of said power to be the most effective. I mean, he became a giant and while that's definitely threatening and awe-inspiring, it didn't help him much in any practical sense. But when he actually calms down ("Anger...clouds my judgment.") he really does become unstoppable. Even drained and withered, he proves more than a match for our heroes. The thing with the cape absolutely rocked, of course, but my favorite trick is when Goliath leaps at Oberon...and goes right through him (a trick that will be repeated in VENDETTAS). Oberon then hurls Goliath with a gesture (and a pretty cool line, "This altercation is OVER."). Even at the end, Fox's magic blast doesn't stop Oberon by overpowering him (in fact, when he comes flying back in he seems about ready to kick everyone's ass and take names--actually, I find his "I...have had...ENOUGH!" kind of funny as well as foreboding). In the end, Oberon isn't really defeated...he just changes his mind (thanks to said magic outburst and some choice words from Goliath).
One thing I really thought about here was that, despite banishing Puck and giving a rather curt/foreboding farewell, Oberon seems willing to let bygones be bygones. Partially due to your thoughts on Oberon, Greg, I've actually started to see the more magnanimous side of Ol' Blue Skin.
Over the years, I've come to think better of Oberon than I did during the initial airings. Now I think he's pretty cool.
This viewing, during the gargoyles's battle with Oberon, I noticed how quickly Lex and Hudson got taken out. Especially Lex, he didn't get off a single attack. At least Hudson got to whack at Oberon's hair with his sword (for all the good that did).
I can see one of those "cartoon" moments you mentioned, with Oberon swatting at the gargoyles like flies. I actually think it works as a "comic relief" moment before Oberon brings the statues to life.
That "stone figures" bit was actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, I liked the guy with the hammer and he destroys himself to take out Broadway (speaking of which, for Broadway that must have hurt!).
Count me as another who loves Xanatos's weak attempt to cover his saving Broadway.
"It's incredible how often that move works." I LOVE inside jokes like that.
The Iron Clan was a nice variation on the Steel Clan. I mean, we (my brother and I) knew they were bulkier than the SC, but only occasionally did I really notice just how much BIGGER they were (during the chase down the side of the Eyrie Building, you see a now human-sized Oberon go by, followed by the Cybots and a gigantic Iron Clan robot). I'm also absurdly pleased by the "launching points" for the Iron Clan...it makes me wonder how much of the buildings surrounding the Eyrie Xanatos owns or rents.
I loved seeing Renard come to the rescue. Renard sounds stronger here, to me, than he has since OUTFOXED. His words aren't as broken apart as they were even in PART ONE. I like this touch. I'm a little sad that the last we see of Renard in this is "I've failed him." It would have been nice if he were a part of the little "victory celebration" at the end. Heck, it would have been nice if Petros could have been a part of it--and his exit wasn't as dignified as Renard's. Petros just got knocked out and forgotten.
I always figured that while the iron harpoon hurt Oberon, the iron bell would basically rip the very fabric of his being apart. After all, at the right pitch, sound can shatter glass.
And finally we come to the big revelation. Any disappointment I felt at my brother being right was curtailed by my delight at this excellent little twist. And Puck's explanation for playing the straight man made perfect sense to me.
When I first saw Vogel, I thought he was just an in-joke, even after he became a character in his own right. Little did I know you guys had strong reasons for his similarity to Owen.
It still surprises me that Puck actually had his creations rough up Oberon. Dang, but the little guy's ballsy.
I just love "Oberon does not compromise...Oberon COMMANDS!" Mostly, I love it for Terrence Mann's reading of it. It's just...wow.
We all kind of figured that Fox would display some magic at the end. It was practically a given. However, Puck's reaction to it (which you've already quoted) is priceless.
I was a bit surprised when Oberon banished Puck. I have to admit, I hadn't expected that. And I actually kind of felt sorry for the little elf afterwards, but...he did kind of ask for it.
I was surprised and pleased when Xanatos thanked the clan like he did. Of course Goliath (ascribing to the "Fool me once..." school of thought) is suspicious. I like the actual sad look on Xanatos's face when Goliath snubs him. But then Goliath smiles as he talks about "the transforming power of a child's love." Xanatos may have been the "main villain" for the first season and most of the second, but already that title doesn't fit him as well as it once did.
Other little things:
-I love Oberon's exasperated "Now what?" when the Air Fortress shows up.
-I also liked seeing Oberon's giant footprints in the street (who's going to explain THAT?).
-You guys had Petros notice Oberon's "shrinkage." Only after we the audience had seen it happen twice. I like that, although the characters notice something quickly, they don't see it the instant it starts to happen.
-Hudson's "You've had quite an influence." I find Ed Asner's reading of that intriguing. I like it. I can't say why...it just struck me.
-After having been a major part of the World Tour, Bronx just sits this one out. He probably missed his soup bone.
I'll admit, I believed Titania when she indicated things had gone according to her plan. I don't know what she whispered to Fox (and have never asked), but I do start to see Fox smiling before the camera cuts away.
And yes, Greg, this is the first, last, and only time that Broadway calls Angela "Angie."
Okay, I think that covers THE GATHERING. Next...
I'm glad you like Oberon. I like him too. You just have to walk a mile in his shoes to begin to understand him. NOTE: I'm not being an apologist for him or approving of everything he did. But I think it's worth trying to understand him, see things from his PoV.