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(Note: My ramble is a little patchier this time, most likely the result of spreading it out over a few days).
Puck gives Alex his first magic lesson, and Coldstone gets his personality problem resolved.
The opening in the Himalayas is pretty neat (I love how Coldstone takes out one robot by burrowing through the snow), and, personally, I'm kind of glad you guys didn't do the "Yeti" thing with him here (of course, I have no idea what would have happened in your lost "comic book story" set in the Himalayas (and all you've told us about it so far is that it takes place during the World Tour and features Coldstone) so I have no idea if you were going to do the "Coldstone-pretending-to-be-Yeti" thing or not).
One thing I noticed: the Steel Clan's POV shots are very different from how they were in the first season (there it was green night vision, here it's some sort of red vision). I guess I kind of like the style of the first season better there--just a personal preference.
One thing of note, this is the last appearance of the Steel Clan robots and Xanatos's gargoyle armor in the whole series.
Loved the "Bewitched" reference. Also loved the "gargoyle-teddy bear."
It would have been nice if the mention of the opera "Otello" had made it into the episode, but there's only so much time available.
Somehow, I kind of figured out who "Goliath" and "Hudson" really were before they revealed themselves. Although Puck may do a better Goliath than Proteus, he still doesn't sound quite like Goliath (and he smiles way too much). And, as soon as I guessed who "Goliath" was, it was fairly easy to deduce who "Hudson" was (and notice that he didn't say a word at all the whole time).
Actually, I was able to guess a lot about where things were going, especially when I heard about the "soul transference" bit. And as soon as Coldstone started working without any of his three souls, I kind of figured Puck was the one pulling the strings. Lex getting possessed I hadn't expected, but as soon as it happened, there was really only one character it could have been. And when Coldsteel and Coldfire were revealed, I kind of figured what the ending would be.
So, for me, this became more about character than plot. It was also a great way to listen to the actors performing a different character with the same voice. Kudos to the cast members for their wonderful work.
I, too, noticed that Desdemona seemed more reluctant than Othello to remain in their new bodies. Here, as in HIGH NOON and even in LEGION, she sometimes takes on the role of conscience and voice of reason for Othello. She compliments her mate very well.
And, as in those previous episodes (and RE-AWAKENING) Othello shows himself to be a little more selfish. In the end he tends to make the right decision (albeit with a fair amount of prodding). Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if most people in the world aren't like Othello.
Great little moment: Othello/Broadway: "I had forgotten the warm touch of your hand…the sweet scent of your hair."
Angela/Desdemona: "But…it is not my hair."
And then Iago/Brooklyn arrives to whisper in their ears (isn't that what all Iagos do?). I love his little "Oh, yes, that's a plus" after Othello/Broadway talks about "the evil one" being gone.
Another note: at both the Clock Tower and Lady Liberty, when Broadway/Othello mentions "the evil one," the camera is on Brooklyn. I just noticed that here.
I love it how the ensorcelled Bronx just trots away and plops down next to the bound and gagged Lexington. It's just one of those cases where you can almost feel Lex's frustration.
Looking over your outline, Greg, I find myself rereading the ultimately discarded scene of Iago/Brooklyn hooking Lex up to a death trap and "telling his evil plot." Mostly just because of the brief bit of how he would "use his position as Goliath's right hand to destroy Goliath and rule the clan." I thought this extra bit of plotting was rather interesting because we know so little about Iago's goals beyond taking Desdemona.
Truth be told, he has always intrigued me because, in many ways he is the only "natural-born" evil gargoyle we've met so far in the series. I mean, we see Demona's tragic past and how she was "made a villain" so to speak; Yama was only misguided and foolish, but tries to repent; and Thailog (and even the rest of the clones) were more-or-less created to be what they became. Iago is the only gargoyle we know of who has been evil without any real explanation and for this reason (as well as the fact that he was a villain in their "old life" along with the Archmage) he fascinates me. I would have loved to see more of him in the "DARK AGES" spin-off, and I am hoping to see more of Coldsteel in the comic.
Overall though, comparing the outline to the episode, I'm kind of glad you guys just simplified beats 15 and 16. That added business about the Coldstone shell developing its own personality--while admittedly intriguing--was a bit superfluous (especially since we the audience already know Puck's behind it).
I love Lex's groan, "Twice in one night…". I feel sorry for the poor little guy-ensorcelled, jumped from behind, trussed up, and jumped from behind again! And after all that, he gets possessed himself! Of course, in this case, the new tenant is a pleasant one.
Iago/Brooklyn: "I'm sure she'll be heartbroken at first, but these new bodies should help ease the pain." For me, that is one of the most suggestive lines in the series. And hey, Iago knows how to say "good-bye" in French!
"By the Dragon!" This is the closest we get to any sort of "oath" in the series (well…there's "Jalapena" but I'm not counting that… ;-)). I still wonder what exactly this phrase is referencing.
Alex/Lex unties Hudson and Goliath, dropping them on their heads. Goliath's response: "Well, that's one way to do it." This stands out to me because it's one of the few times Goliath makes a joke or other humorous statement.
Othello/Broadway confronts Iago/Brooklyn by saying, "Brooklyn's body does not belong to you. Give it back!"
A rather hypocritical statement since he himself was seriously considering keeping Broadway's body a bare few moments ago. Now that I think of it, I wonder if Iago might not be referencing that when he retorts, "So that I can return to cyberspace or fade away into nothing? Is that the choice *you* were leaning towards?" Othello/Broadway looks like he's about to hit him, but then just drops him instead.
I love how Iago complains about Brooklyn's "fighting skills." If Iago's in control, shouldn't that mean it's Iago's fighting skills that are being used?
I was very pleased you guys got Coldsteel and Coldfire's voice-actors (Xander Berkeley and C.C.H. Pounder) to do the one or two lines each character had in their actual voice.
Brooklyn: "And this 'scrawny gargoyle' will be waiting!"
Reading over the outline, I was pleased you guys decided to have Brooklyn remember the experience. His line "I remember every creepy thing that jerk made me do" kind of highlights the sort of violation he must have felt at that. As a result, I'm left wondering how much the others remember of their possessions. Lex obviously seems to remember being inhabited by Alex, but what about Broadway and Angela? They did seem at least mildly surprised to "come back to themselves" while in an embrace (not that they seemed upset…).
Lex about Alex passing his lesson: "He had a little help."
I always took this to mean that Alex used Lex's language facilities (as well as motor skills) to properly cast the spell. But I wonder how well Alex understood what he was saying. As a child, I learned the Pledge of Allegiance word-for-word, but for years they were only a collection of words in a certain order. I never really thought about what they actually said. I wonder if it's the same for Alex and the spell.
I love Goliath's tired "Let's go home."
Going back to the outline again, beat 17 has Xanatos being momentarily surprised and/or confused by Owen's explanation that "the Coldstone dilemma has been solved." I never saw that in the actual episode myself. Actually, I've wondered if Xanatos's earlier "Bewitched" reference might not have been just a long shot by Xanatos of planting an idea in Owen's head. Of course, maybe I'm just giving Xanatos way to much credit on that score.
This is a good, solid ep all-around with great characters and performances.
Always take the outlines with a grain of salt, at least. Only the final episode is canon.