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Kaylle writes...

Way back in October 2005, the day they released the cover art for the second DVD set, I watched a bunch of episodes instead of doing my homework and typed up my musings on them (mostly on Hunter's Moon and the Goliath/Elisa relationship) in my livejournal. Today I'm *still* trying to avoid my homework, and the queue is open again, so I thought I'd dig up those old musings and get your opinion on them (I may have posted something like this in the CR once as well; my apologies if you happened to catch it there). So here they are. I wrote:

"At the end of HM3, Elisa and Goliath finally get some "resolution" to their relationship. The infamous kiss it took us (and them) 65 episodes to get to. I hate to call it resolution at all because it doesn't really resolve anything; their relationship is still in a pretty uncertain place and kissing hardly changes that. But it's the first time they both admit what's going on between them and do something, however small, about it. And it provided some small measure of satisfaction for the fans, who were just beginning to realize that was all we were going to get. I remember being so hopeful, so excited, 13 years old, watching in awe as finally, *finally* the two of them "got together." I hadn't realized it was the season finale, although really it was pretty obvious (I didn't know cartoon shows *had* season finales). And I certainly hadn't realized it was, for all intents and purposes, the end." [Of course, I know now what I didn't know in October 2005-- it wasn't the end! We have a comic book!]

"But I digress. Anyway, I noticed two things today. First, in HM1, during the scene on the subway: after he dispatches the muggers, Elisa goes to Goliath, lays her head down on his chest, and says, "Nobody messes with my best friend." I always thought that was kind of a dangerous thing to say in public, although sweet. But I noticed today the way that Goliath reacts to it. Maybe I never noticed before, or maybe I just don't remember, but he reaches to touch her hair and then stops himself, grimaces, and pulls away. It happens so quickly it's easy to miss it. But something about that aborted gesture of affection really intrigues me.

"Did he stop because he thought she wouldn't appreciate the sentiment? Haven't we seen him touch her that way before? It's hard to remember because the two of them get so very few explicitly affectionate moments. There aren't a lot of episodes that deal with them. (The most obvious is The Mirror, but that was so long before this that it's hard to use it as an indication of their relationship now. Although there is that moment, while Demona and Puck are spying on them via the mirror, when Elisa sort of nuzzles her face into Goliath's shoulder. I'd love to know what the conversation was that led her to do *that*...) Their relationship is very clear to the viewer, but it's also very understated. Any romantic moments like that are part of some larger scene, some larger conversation, etc. (I was half-convinced, when I was a kid, that it was because Disney didn't want to deal with the xenophilia aspect. Now I can see that it's in character for them to act that way; both of them know what's going on but they can't admit it, can't act on it because they're certain there's no future in it. But when you're 12-13 years old you miss some of the subtler points <g>.) So, while I can think of romantic moments between Goliath and Demona, MacBeth and Gruoch, etc, Goliath and Elisa are much more subtle than that.

"So then I went picking through episodes looking for Goliath/Elisa moments. (Aren't they cute in Eye of the Beholder, dancing in their Halloween 'costumes'? Even the trio notices. "They should have Halloween more often.") As early as Awakenings 5, we see Elisa take his face in her hands. The closest embrace I can find is in Heritage, after Elisa's disappearance. They both look pretty happy to see each other there, and she doesn't show any reluctance to touch him or be held by him.

"So anyway, it could be because he thinks she won't appreciate the gesture. She has shied away from discussing their relationship in the past. Or it could be because they're in a train full of people (although, again, she's pretty much given them away to everyone on the train already).

"Or it could be because he doesn't want to let himself touch her? Because letting himself caress her hair (the gargoyle equivalent of a kiss, even if Elisa doesn't necessarily know that) means pretending, if only for a moment, that they have a relationship? And because he can't stand doing that to himself over and over again? Something to think about, anyway.

"The other thing that I noticed was that, although Goliath saw Elisa kiss Jason and heard what she said about her feelings, she doesn't know that. As far as she knows, nothing between them has changed since HM1. Obviously they're both happy to see each other after Jason rescues her (although Goliath is probably "happier" than Elisa is; at least, she didn't think he was dead). But nothing has happened, to her knowledge, to bring things between them to a head. So why does she finally decide to admit her feelings to him? Her dialogue doesn't really tell us anything, either. He says, "So... Things have come full circle," and Elisa replies, "Somehow, they always do. You know how I feel about you, right?" She brings it up apropos of nothing. (He doesn't seem startled by it, either. Why is that? I sure as heck was!)

"Is it her relationship with Jason? The realization that, even when presented with someone human who seems to be everything she's looking for (at least at first), she still wants Goliath? When offered the normal life she thinks she wants, she still chooses Goliath and the clan, and all the uncertainty and upheaval they imply. Is that it? Of course, they've had a traumatic couple of days, and that could be a reason all by itself."

At that point I decided that I'd spent way too much time analyzing things and that I really ought to be doing work, so I stopped. But I'm still intrigued by it all. I guess if I had to distill it down into a few questions, they would be:

1) Is there a reason for Goliath's gesture (or lack thereof) on the train, or am I thinking too hard/paying too much attention to tiny details?

2) Does Elisa know that touching hair is the gargoyle equivalent of a kiss? (Maybe not in so many words, since I doubt the gargoyles think of it in terms of how their gestures of affection are equivalent to human gestures, but does she realize the sort of underlying meaning of a touch like that?) And if so, how does she know? Just from observation and intuition? Did someone tell her?

3) Why does Elisa finally speak up at the end of HM3? What changes her mind about keeping quiet?

Thanks for listening to me ramble on a bit, and for taking the time to answer our questions. It's only out of love that we analyze every aspect of things :)

Greg responds...

1. I think all your thoughts are right on target, and the gesture (or lack thereoff) was certainly intentional on our part.

2. She does by now, yes. Whether she did then... I'd have to look again.

3. Events. Momentum. Passion. Change. Or whatever you decide.

I liked your ramble, btw.

Response recorded on May 11, 2007