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When it comes to writing up City of Stone, I’ve definitely got the easy job. The revelations about Macbeth and Demona are, without a doubt, the main points of the episodes, and I’m willing to bet that they’re the parts you focused on most when you were watching it.
That said, I am very fond of the way the past and present sections of the episodes linked together to tell the story. The sections in Manhattan aren’t just there to fill up time. Would Demona’s attempt to destroy New York have packed the same punch if we didn’t get to see what had driven her to that point? Would Macbeth’s vendetta against her have made as much sense if his back story hadn’t been seen onscreen? No, of course it wouldn’t.
So, although we’ve divided the episodes up like this for ease of posting, don’t forget to keep both sections in mind when you’re commenting. And, of course, have fun!
“I will never be like this terrorist!”
“We were not talking about this terrorist.”
The episode opens fairly ordinarily. Matt is playing the role of negotiator as a hostage situation unfolds. (As an aside, I just have to mention how much I love seeing the police officers doing their job. Yes, the gargoyles save the day, but we still get the impression that the police are in control of the situation. Which is something that is sure to be mentioned again in Protection.) I love Brooklyn’s exchange with Brendon and Margot. He sounds almost resigned to the fact that they won’t be thanked. Which can’t really be easy.
(As another aside apparently, the terrorists would have cropped up in Bad Guys. Greg has picked out the cause they were fighting for, but he’s keeping tight-lipped.)
How quickly did you spot the Weird Sisters? Did you notice anything particularly unusual about the creepy children during the heist? I did, largely because eerie triplets making prophecies never ends well. There was no time to wonder who they were talking about, though, because we immediately get a lovely shot of Demona sweeping down towards Pack Media Studios. Not the change in soundtrack – it’s almost whimsical. Whatever she’s planning, it’s bad news for the city and a bit of fun for her.
By the time we get back to the present after the flashback, the music has changed again. This time it’s the dark ‘something bad is about to happen’ music. Even Xanatos, Demona’s ally, doesn’t trust her. Owen – who Demona refers to as the tricky one, hinting nicely at his true identity – is left behind to keep an eye on her. Sure, it doesn’t work, but you tend to get points for trying.
I really, really enjoy the ending of this episode, Elisa is turned to stone while she rushes to warn the gargoyles. Xanatos is hurtling towards the ground when Fox is turned to sound. Owen’s attempt to explain what is going on it cut short. Episodes so often end with sunrise and the gargoyles turning to stone that seeing it subverted was a very nice touch indeed.
“It’s a pretty good likeness.”
“I don’t think so, the nose is all wrong.”
I love how calm Xanatos was when Fox transformed. He lands the helicopter and exchanges some nice banter with the statue before he sets off to confront his former alley. It’s probably because he was expecting something from Demona. And, of course, because he was confident that he’ll be able to do something about it.
The clan were a bit more confused by their statue, although they didn’t expect the truth about Elisa. Why would they? It is Robbins – yay, Robbins! – who explained the situation to him some time later. We don’t get to see him much, but I’m always very happy when he appears. I love the way he and Hudson greet each other. It definitely suggests that they’re meeting up fairly often off screen.
Demona’s smashing of the statues was a little less jovial. In fact, the way that she chatted to them before destroying them made her seem both sad and mad. Given that she was murdering people, the background music was very cheerful. (I’ve definitely noticed the importance of the soundtrack in the episodes.) Brooklyn’s comparison with the massacre at Castle Wyvern was unavoidable, and probably what Demona was aiming for. I think the flashbacks prove that the destruction of the clan – and the humans she blames – are always at the front of her mind. To her, it would have been the perfect revenge.
Of course, I have to mention the fact that she apparently destroyed Brendon and Margot, since it’s something that is often mentioned by the fans. Just remember, they’re only people that look like Brendon and Margot.
What did you think of the creepy stone Weird Sisters? I think the word ‘creepy’ sums it up for me. Did you spend much time wondering who – or what – they were? Personally, I don’t think there was time to dwell on it for long. Although there were four episodes, they were all very fast paced.
This episode had another great ending – an alliance between Xanatos and Goliath. Demona’s plot was described as “bigger than anthing any of us has ever faced.” For Xanatos, it’s bigger than the clan. For the clan, it’s bigger than Xanatos. For the viewers, it’s a very good TV show.
“She doesn’t look happy.”
“Owen tends to have that effect on people.”
When we return to the present and to the daytime, the city is in chaos. Rather understandably. The gargoyles often carry out amazing feats that saved the world/the city/a few random innocent bystanders. The difference is that the people they save are often entirely unaware of the fact that they were in danger. This time, the city can’t possibly remain oblivious and remain realistic. I like getting a glimpse of the public reaction, even if it’s only a brief glimpse. The news report – mass hypnosis and a nice heap of denial – is a particularly good touch.
Did you spot the second hint of Owen’s origins? Xanatos says “I’m told that mixing magics is dangerous.” Maybe he was told that by Owen himself, during a past scheme? It certainly suggests that mortal magic can’t be mixed with … something else.
And, just in case you hadn’t guessed that the ‘Hunter’ was Macbeth, we get a nice shot of him bleeding into a flashback. Did anyone think it was him straight away? I wasn’t sure. After all, the reason I’m still watching Gargoyles now is because it doesn’t take the easy, conventional route. The bad guy could, potentially, be anyone.
Speaking of which, Elisa headed off to see Xanatos as soon as Pack Media Studios was mentioned. She must have recognised that magic was involved, which is why she had to go and meet Xanatos alone. She still can’t talk to matt about that sort of thing.
The spell, we soon discover, can only be ended by setting the sky ablaze. Something that seemed impossible when the spell was written, linking nicely back to Awakening and how Xanatos broke that spell. And the ending is a link back to other episodes as well. It definitely amused me to see the traditionally gargoyle method of ending an argument used on Owen and Elisa.
Bronx to the rescue! More or less, anyway. I actually remember being a bit confused when I watched this episode for the first time. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t attack Demona properly. Now, of course, I realise that it’s largely because he and Demona were, back in Scotland, very close. He’s intelligent for a dog, but he doesn’t hold grudges and he doesn’t understand English. As long as she sounds civil, and stays away from Elisa, he’ll let her be. I like the residual loyalty there, although it wouldn’t have worked out well if the others hadn’t returned.
Now, I have to ask, did you ever think that the Weird Sisters were the good guys? As the background memo points out, they help Demona and Macbeth against Gillecomgain and Duncan and they help Goliath and Xanatos against Demona and Macbeth. If you consider nothing more than that, then they’re practically benevolent figures. I, personally, thought that they were a bit too good to be true, but nothing hinted really hinted at the role they’d eventually play. They have “written their stories” – did you wonder why?
Rewatching this episode, I was struck by how calm Demona was when it came to Macbeth. She knows that she can’t kill him without killing herself, and, as she definitely isn’t prepared to die, she doesn’t anticipate his suicidal behaviour.
Although the episodes features a lot of characters, in the end, it really comes down to Demona and Macbeth. The former proves consistently that, despite handing over the access code, she hasn’t learned anything from her experiences. She blames everyone but herself, with increasing venom and desperation. Macbeth, on the other hand, is sick of life. He’s wearing the mask as a symbol of Demona’s betray and, to her, it must be a symbol of his. They’re entirely focused on each other. They punch Goliath together, and even the plan to destroy the city is forgotten. (Macbeth is more interested in destroying Demona than in letting her fix things.)
When Demona and Macbeth are taken away by the Weird Sisters, we’re left with Xanatos and Goliath and an ending that Greg, apparently, wanted to use for a very long time before finally getting around to it. Xanatos says “I always wondered why I allowed you gargoyles to live. You come in handy now and then.” We learn a lot about all of the show’s major villains during City of Stone, don’t we? Xanatos isn’t the cliché cartoon villain. Why waste their gargoyles, when he could find a use for them later on?
Gargoyles Defying the Laws of Physics: Far, far too many to count.
Star Trek Voices: 2
Dramatic Awakening Scenes: 3
New Minor Returning Characters:
- Phoebe, Selene and Luna
- The Terrorist
- City of Stone Memo
- GargWiki for Episode 1
- GargWiki for Episode 2
- GargWiki for Episode 3
- GargWiki for Episode 4
- Greg’s Episode 1 Ramble
- Greg’s Episode 2 Ramble
- Greg’s Episode 3 Ramble
- Greg’s Episode 4 Ramble