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Gargoyles Watch

Episode 2x06 [The Silver Falcon]

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Gargoyles Watch 2

Episode 2x06 [The Silver Falcon]

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I’m sorry things are running a bit late this week. I hope that won’t put any of you off joining in the discussion about The Silver Falcon. Just take your time, reply whenever you like and, above all, have fun!

If you have any problems or any questions, don’t hesitate to let one of the moderators know. You can leave a comment on this post, or you can contact us via PM or our Bronx-guarded mailbox if you want a bit more privacy. In the meantime, enjoy the discussion.

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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!)

Detective Stories

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“You made one mistake, Louis. You messed with my partner.”

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)

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“You pulled it off.”
“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

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“Maza, don’t play with me.”

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.

Episode Roundup

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

Handy Links

- GargWiki
- Greg’s Episode Ramble
- The Silver Falcon Memo
  • (no subject) -
    • Re: I'ma natter about Broadway here

      Broadway looked all set to be the Stupid But Nice Fat Guy that I had hated on Recess (does anyone else remember that show?) until he got some damn good character development. By the time A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time rolled around, I think I was ready to forgive him. This episode cinched it.

      Unlike Transformers: Animated, where the same voice actor is stuck with a Stupid But Nice Fat Guy role that never, ever seems to get any smarter... I swear he's modeled on early-S1 Broadway, they're both greenish, both the 'Big Guy', both not known for their patience... they've even got the similar prominent underbite.
    • I didn't dislike him, as such. I certainly thought of him - and, indeed, the rest of the Trio - as comic relief at first, though. It wasn't until they started to flesh the characters out in later episodes that I actually paid a decent amount of attention to them.

      Oh, his geek out mode really was adorable, definitely! And the balance is very important. He wouldn't be him if he became too jaded.
  • I've always been a sucker for noir homages. Strangely though I don't like regular film noir.

    I really liked the fact that it showed Elisa not trusting Broadway at first. It's one thing to deal with superhero type stuff that the regular police can't handle. But it's another thing entirely to try and do regular detective work.
    • I can't say I'm an expert in film noir, so I probably didn't appreciate some of the homages as much as I could have. I still managed to enjoy the episode, though.

      Likewise. It wouldn't have been ... I want to say normal, and I suppose that's right. It wouldn't have been normal and it certainly wouldn't have been professional of her to just invite him along.
  • After claiming only moments ago on my comment to "The Mirror" that THAT was probably my favorite stand-alone episode....ironically, "The Silver Falcon" probably comes in at close second. And for very different reasons.

    I'm a an aspiring filmmaker and I have a fondness for film noir. I've always said that I actually prefer "The Maltese Falcon" to the legendary "Casablanca." Being that "Falcon" is unofficially considered the first of American film noir, I've always thought it was extremely innovative and a landmark film. But, I digress.

    I mention all that because what I found so remarkable about this episode is that it really captures the visual qualities of film noir. The sharp and often minimal lighting, the extreme camera angles, etc., all really make the thing feel authentic, without being cliche, not as a whole. You get the cliche aspects, certainly, when Broadway is watching the movie in Elisa's apartment, but in the big picture, the episode as a whole feels, as I say, authentic and believable. Some of the sequences are practically black and white, even. And I like this episode on a very different level than I do with others, like "The Mirror." I actually respect this one for their ability to handle this genre so well.

    I'm with you on dropping Elisa's being a Mace Malone expert. That in particular wouldn't have just made her annoying as a character, but it would have made the whole of the story seem a lot less credible. Detectives hit a brick wall sometimes and have to do their research in the middle of a situation; they haven't always already done the homework or know instantly what the backstory is.

    Martin Hacker didn't stand out to me in any other way at first other than I thought he seemed cool - I was really happy with the way he turned out; I almost wish he showed back up in more than one episode. Not as a recurring character, but maybe just once or twice more.

    Also, looking back, I really like the dynamic between Hacker and Matt. They seem like people that would have known each other. Again - Gargoyles has a real talent for giving their characters chemistry; this is another fine example of it.

    I, too, am always pleased when Dracon appears. And I liked what you said: "She has a life as a detective, with goals and enemies and achievements of her own." Very good point. I hadn't really thought of him in that way before, but I think that you've definitely hit the nail on the head about that.

    I think what I like about Dracon is that, no, you're right, he's not really all that unique or diabolical, but I like that, in this episode especially, you get that he comes from a long line of criminals. This is the family business, and that he's used to this line of work because of the long history he has with it. (A nice reference to the Mob in a lot of ways, without being overt or direct about it. Plus, there aren't many characters like Dracon in the show, because there's so much else going on. So even though Dracon seems so normal and even stereotypical sometimes, in this particular context, he actually stands out. Perhaps that's why he's so engaging. :)

    I like, too, that he gets caught. And more than once, both in the past and yet to come. As you say, it's part of Elisa's world, so he's arrested and subjected to justice completely separated from the Gargoyles.

    And, lastly, Matt. I was so happy to see Matt come into the foreground again. I really have nothing more to say other than there's something about Matt that I have always liked. And, as I said before, I like the relationship between Matt and Elisa. For me, there was never any question as to a romantic spark between them - they're partners, colleagues, and friends, even, but it ends there. And I think that to create a pair of people where it's that clear there's no romance is extremely difficult. At some point, you think that eventually something might happen with most couples, but not them. And yet their relationship is always very satisfying.
  • Sorry I've been go so long but real life has intruded. I loved this episode just because of Broadway. I thought he was cute when he wanted to help Elisa and I loved her annoyance because he is an amateur living out his fantasy. It was a great episode.
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