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Recap / Gargoyles S 2 A Lighthouse In The Sea Of Time

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  • Story Arc: Macbeth's Vendetta
  • Characters: The Manhattan Clan, Elisa Maza, Macbeth, Banquo and Fleance, Jeffrey Robbins, and Owen Burnett.
  • Enemy(ies) : Macbeth, Banquo and Fleance.

Macbeth steals a set of scrolls, supposedly written by Merlin himself. Meanwhile, Hudson befriends a blind writer named Jeffrey Robbins who teaches the value of reading to the illiterate old warrior. When the gargoyles confront Macbeth for the scrolls, Goliath threatens to burn them; however, Broadway and Hudson convince him and Macbeth though there are no spells in the scrolls, they contain a magic all their own - "when you read them, they take you there." Later, Jefrey finds himself inspired by the news of the scrolls, beginning a new book; the episode ends with Hudson listening in on the beginning of the book, which contains wisdom about books themselves.


Macbeth returns in the four episode long "City of Stone".

This Episode contains the following Tropes:
  • Book Dumb: Broadway and Hudson, while mildly alluded to in prior episodes, are shown to be this. They are both still stubbornly illiterate while Brooklyn and Lexington (and in Goliath's case, could already read prior to being under the thousand year stone sleep as shown in The Thrill of the Hunt) learned how to read. Though Hudson and Broadway do start to make an effort to subvert this after this episode's conclusion.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Jeffrey's guide dog barks and growls when Macbeth arrives at the house. On the other hand, the dog happily licks Hudson's hand when he awakes from stone.
  • Foreshadowing: Macbeth acknowledges he's quite old, but not old enough to have known Merlin.
    • Additionally, he clearly finds Merlin's loyalty to Arthur (and Arthur's ability to unite the people of England) particularly admirable, hinting at his relationship with Demona.
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  • Gender-Blender Name: Fleance (a henchwoman of Macbeth) and Gilly (Jeffrey Robbins' guide dog named after Gilgamesh) are females who have names that were given to men.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Macbeth's minions Banquo and Fleance demonstrate the tropes of Blonde Guys Are Evil and Evil Redhead respectively.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: Admit it, you never expected Arthur to show up when you first saw this episode. Additionally, the researchers Elisa meets will reappear later in the season.
  • King Arthur: The Legendary King of Britain and associated people, particularly Merlin, are discussed of throughout the episode. Even Macbeth is in awe of him.
  • Never Learned to Read: Broadway is initially boastful of never wasting his time with reading, only to realize his error when Macbeth reads Merlin's scroll. Hudson, however, considers his illiteracy shameful, but Robbins tells him the only shameful thing about is not trying to change it.
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  • Not Me This Time: Goliath at first believes that David Xanatos is behind the theft of the Scrolls of Merlin. Owen Burnett corrects him and states that the only person who would fit the descriptions based on his choice of henchpersons and transport would be Macbeth.
  • Pet the Dog: When Macbeth realizes that the Scrolls of Merlin did not have anything he wanted and also that Broadway wanted them to be saved rather than destroyed, Macbeth is willing to let the Manhattan Clan leave in peace with the Scrolls.
  • Previously On…: An infamous example. The segment features scenes of Macbeth. Weisman said he had hoped to refresh the audience's memory about the guy since he hadn't been seen since Season 1, but some viewers complained that this spoiled the twist of him being the episode's antagonist instead of Xanatos. Weisman copped to this and said it was something he kept in mind for future episodes.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: To quote Jeffrey Robbins: "The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors we are cast adrift; neither teaching, nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflecting all possible futures. Books are lighthouses erected in the dark sea of time."
  • Really 700 Years Old: Macbeth alludes to this. After he gives a stirring monologue about Arthur and his effort to unite the disparate inhabitants of Britain to resist the Saxon invasion, Broadway then asks Macbeth if he was there to which he responds in an Affably Evil manner that "I'm old, but I'm not that old!"
  • Retired Badass: Robbins is one as demonstrated by his purple heart he received while on duty during The Vietnam War.
  • Shout-Out: To The Epic of Gilgamesh. Robbins wrote a book called "Gilgamesh the King" based on the legendary King of Uruk and also named his seeing eye dog "Gilly" after him. Taking this allusion to this mythological figure further is that Robbins meets and forges a friendship with a sapient non-human being, Hudson, much like Gilgamesh does with Enkidu.
    • There are also more allusions to the play Macbeth in this episode. In addition to the aforementioned henchpeople's names, Macbeth also responds when encountered by Robbins that his name is "Lennox Macduff". Robbins is savvy in telling that the alias is a phony name derived from characters in the Shakespearean drama.
    • This is Averted in regard to the library scene. When Goliath mentions that the public library adjacent to the clock tower contains several books on Merlin, it was originally planned that he would list a few of these, such as Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave. However, the production team was unable to secure legal permission to name these books, and so dropped the list.
  • Show Within a Show: "Celebrity Hockey" is one such TV show that Hudson was watching.note 
  • Title Drop: Downplayed in that the title of episode is not said word for word but is expressed nonetheless.
  • Very Special Episode: This episode teaches the importance of reading and literacy.
  • Warrior Poet: Warrior Author might be more accurate in this case, but Robbins as a Vietnam Veteran who is an author of books certainly qualifies.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: Subverted. Macbeth dismisses the scrolls as having no value after he learns they contain Merlin's diary, not his spells. But as Broadway points out, they still hold value, even if it's not the kind Macbeth was after.

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