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When I saw the title The Silver Falcon for the first time, I immediately thought of The Maltese Falcon and other sundry black and white detective movies. And, as well as playing homage to (and keeping close to) that sort of genre, The Silver Falcon acted as a sequel to Deadly Force and a precursor to Revelations. We got to see more of Elisa's partnership with Matt and her friendship with Broadway, and I found that I didn't miss the rest of the clan. Shoehorning them in would have, in my opinion, detracted from the episode instead of adding to it.
Points of Interest
(As usual, I’m just pointing out a few interesting things. Feel free to give your opinions on what I’ve said or add points of your own. Or, better yet, both!)
In case the name didn’t give away the fact that this episode was going to be a detective story, the opening does it’s best to hammer it home. Not a bad thing, since I love the way the opening sequence and the black and white movie sort of … bleed into each other. It’s quite an effective move. Did you like it? And a lot of other things in the episode kept the theme going. Which were your favourites?
From the sound of Greg’s memo, it seems as if a lot of changes were orchestrated during this episode’s writing process. Elisa was originally set to be a Mace Malone expert, for example. (I’m really glad that bit got cut. She’s good, but she isn’t that good, and it’s all to easy for an ‘awesome female character’ to step over the line and become a ‘damn annoying Mary Sue’.)
I’m also glad that more secondary suspects were added. I think the use of the Illuminati worked well, and the fact that Matt was totally wrong about them, given how important they’ll be later on. It makes their eventual reveal – and Matt’s vindication – all the better.
What about Martin Hacker? Did any of you pay attention to him? Because I didn’t. At the time, I thought he was just there to push the plot along. I had no idea that there might be more to time. But I suppose that’s the mark of a really good detective story, isn’t it?
Elisa and Matt (and Broadway)
“We pulled it off, partner.”
The theme of partnership is obviously central to the episode, so the relationships between Elisa and her two partners – Matt and Broadway, both of whom she was initially unwilling to have along – is central as well.
In this case, I don’t blame her for being a bit hostile when Broadway declared his intentions to join in. It wasn’t a case of wounded pride, as it was when she and Matt were paired together. Being a detective it her job. She loves it. She’s damn good at it. Although Broadway is a good friend, his own knowledge of police works comes purely from television and film. (Did you notice the expression on her face when he started chasing the bad guy down the hallway in Matt’s block? I just love it.) Elisa points out that the case is “too dangerous for an amateur detective playing out a movie fantasy”. I don’t think it’s until things get dangerous – and Broadway realises that things are dangerous – that he begins to prove himself as a partner and actually play an important role. Being in an explosion probably helped with his sense of perspective.
Broadway’s role in the episode also gives me reason to mention a few other important things. Elisa now keeps her gun in a locked both. A nice example of continuity, and something I always love about the show. Everything links to everything else, and past events aren’t just forgotten. Similarly, Broadway is still learning to read and is far from fluent when he reads out the note. And he turns to stone underground, showing that it’s a biological mechanism rather than sun-related mysticism. I really like that, and not just because I’m a bit of a biology geek. Did you ever consider them a mystical race, or just another species? (I thought they were just another species. We haven’t really met Oberon’s children at this stage of the show, after all, apart from Puck. The principle magical wielders – Demona and the Magus – have been a gargoyle and a human respectively, and we know humans aren’t magical.)
And now, on to Matt. I’ve always had a bit of a softspot for him – and his suspicious looks and his occasional dorkiness – and it was nice to learn a bit more about him. Like the FBI background, for example. What did you think about that? (You don’t get shafted from a bureau for having a conspiracy theory hobby, do you? You get shafted when you get a bit too close to something.) Did you think you’d had Matt all figured out beforehand?
One of my favourite moments of the episode - in hindsight, at least - is when Matt and Elisa are talking after being captured by Dracon. He's apologising for keeping her in the dark, and Elisa looks just a little sheepish when she says "it happens". Refering to the gargoyles in general - and the gargoyle buried under the rubble nearby - in particular. She trusts him, but she still doesn't mention them. Why? Well, you'll have to wait for Revelations for ... well, the revelation.
Dracon and Company
I’m always happy to see Tony Dracon cropping up in an episode. I know he isn’t the most exciting or mysterious villain the show has to offer, but I think that’s actually why I like him. His appearances remind us that Elisa’s world doesn’t necessarily centre on the gargoyles. She has a life as a detective, with goals and enemies and achievements of her own. He’s a big part of that.
Did anyone notice the appearance of Dracon’s white streak in this episode? I have to admit that I didn’t realise that he didn’t have it in Deadly Force. I was either distracted by the fact Elisa had just been shot or so convinced that it seemed right for the character that I assumed it had been there all along. I’m going for the latter, because it sounds a bit better.
According to Greg’s ramble, which is linked below, the white streak was given to make Dracon a bit more distinctive, and Glasses was toned down for a similar reason. He was apparently suffering from ‘Owen Syndrome’ – his design, and the performance of the voice actor, made him stand out far more than he should have. That’s why we ended up with Joey – slightly more nondescript, although I can’t be the only person who thinks he looks a bit like Matt? - as well.
Dracon is a very different villain to the likes of Xanatos. A bit more normal, for a start. He’s rich, but not excessively so and he doesn’t have any access to high technology. It seems fitting that Elisa tangled with him before being thrust into the world of the gargoyles, and it seems equally fitting that that part of her life didn’t simply shut down when she met them.
Gargoyles Defying the Laws of Physics: 1
Star Trek Voices: None (Who’d have thought it?)
Dramatic Awakening Scenes: None!
New Minor Returning Characters:
- Martin Hacker
- Mace Malone (in photograph form, anyway)
- ‘My Pal’ Joey
- Greg’s Episode Ramble
- The Silver Falcon Memo