Protection is a very interesting episode in terms of the cast. A lot of the show’s supporting characters feature heavily, from the police officers to Dracon and his gang. Gargoyles has always had a knack for character development, and that includes the characters that tend to stay in the background. I was genuinely pleased to see Officer Morgan and Captain Chavez again, for example. I can’t think of many other shows that encourage that.
This episode is also the episode that hearlded the arrival of ‘jalapeña!’. Whether or not this is a good thing is up for debate. (A long debate, probably.) It’s certainly distinctive, though, right? (If you don’t know the story behind the jalapeñas, I suggest reading Greg’s explanation. It always amuses me.)
Points of Interest
(Here are a few things I found particularly interesting. Feel free to comment on them. Or, better yet, feel free to add points of your own.)
Elisa and Dracon
Ok, even Greg Weisman admits it. The writers didn’t think that they would be able to convince regular fans that Elisa had actually been corrupted. (I I certainly wasn’t convinced. I knew something was up, but I didn’t know what. I knew there’d be a simple explanation – or an explanation, at least – to sort it all out.) So, in order to keep up the suspence, they tossed out a few more red herrings.
I remember noting how hurt – how defensive – Elisa sounded when she was asked to turn in her badge, but I didn’t think anything of it until I was scanning Greg’s episode memo. Did anyone think that she was being set up by someone else?
(As an aside, the same memo raises another possible excuse for Elisa’s behaviour. Apparently, Greg’s daughter thought she was a clone and Greg put this down to the “problem of introducing too many concepts”. Personally, I’ve always liked the diverse plot lines in Gargoyles. I like the fact that you can watch an episode like this – ordinary police officers and ordinary criminals – and find yourself watching magic or the darker side of science a week later, without any break in continuity. In the Gargoyles universe, it works. What do you think? Is it a problem or a positive?)
I think Elisa’s conversation with Dracon is my favourite scene in the episode. It’s very convincing, too. Although it isn’t a trap I can see Elisa falling into, I can see why the temptation would be there for others. It’s a problem that genuinely affects the justice system today. All too often, the criminals manage to get away or manage to get off lightly. It doesn’t seem fair. And, maybe, for some people, it does seem hopeless.
Broadway and Goliath
As soon as he hears it on the news, Goliath bristles at Dracon’s abuse of the word ‘protection’. His actions don’t fit in with gargoyle sensibilities. (After all, gargoyles genuinely do protect.) He’d have thrown himself into the fight anyway. The fact that Elisa is already involved complicates things, but the proverbial wheels had already been set into motion.
I can’t help but wonder if Goliath would have worked out what Elisa was doing without Broadway’s encyclopedic knowledge of films to help him along. (And I can’t have been the only who thought the latter was adorable when he started using quotes he’d obviously lifted from his favourite old movies? “Plenty of lettuce”, really?) They know something is wrong as soon as Elisa storms out of the police station following her fight with Chavez, but it takes a while for the pieces to fall into place.
When Broadway and Goliath were flying off to obey Dracon’s orders, Broadway commented that, “if you can’t beat them, join them”. Goliath replied that he would do what he had to, as long as Elisa was safe. Did you think, even for a moment, that they had been corrupted in order to protect Elisa?
And, speaking of Elisa, what did you think of her reaction to their interuption? At first, I was a bit surprised that she didn’t tell them about it. (Later, they suggest that she didn’t have time to tell them. But an elaborate undercover plot like that must have taken a while to put together, right?) But then I remember that it’s her job and she’s good at it. She doesn’t need to run everything past the gargoyles first. Although she obviously exagerates her irritation – and turns it into anger for the benefit of her audience – I think a bit of anger would have been justified. They meant well, but they also jeopardised months of hard work and lots of careful undercover work.
Human Justice versus Gargoyle Justice
This is an issue that crops up quite a few times in the series, and this is the first time – in my opinion, at least – that Goliath really demonstrates how much he’s learned since waking up in the modern world. There is a fine – barely discernable – line between his concepts of ‘revenge’ and ‘justice’, but, despite his feelings for Tony Dracon, he returns him to the pavement and police custody.
Or maybe this isn’t a sign that he’s been learning? It could be that he knows Elisa has put a lot of work into apprehending him. It could be that he wouldn’t drop Dracon because he doesn’t have enough of an emotional investment in his death. What do you think? After all, when he learns what a protection racket is, he wants to stop it immediately, with no thought for the judicial process or evidence gathering. (At least Goliath waits to speak to Elisa before heading off, I suppose.) Gargoyle justice is a lot less … complicated than human justice.
Gargoyles Defying the Laws of Physics: 3 or 4
Star Trek Voices: None!
Dramatic Awakening Scenes: None!
New Minor Returning Characters:
- Lois and Art
- Greg’s Episode Ramble