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Recap / Gargoyles S 2 Metamorphosis

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  • Story Arc: The Mutates and the Labyrinth.
  • Characters: The Manhattan Clan, Elisa Maza, David Xanatos, Owen Burnett, Dr. Anton Sevarius and Derek Maza/Talon and the Mutates
  • Enemy(ies) : Xanatos, Sevarius

Derek Maza has remained in the employ of Xanatos as his pilot and body guard since the episode "Her Brother's Keeper". He has seen nothing from the CEO that makes him believe his sister's Elisa's warnings and also accompanies him on a visit to the Gen-U-Tech facilities. Meanwhile, the younger Manhattan Clan members find and encounter a hybrid feline-bat creature.

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The Mutates make their next appearance in "The Cage" while Sevarius returns in "Double Jeopardy"


This Episode contains the following Tropes:
  • The Bad Guy Wins: While David Xanatos has managed to have varying degrees of successes in prior episodes in being able to achieve secondary goals, but the result of this episode is an undisputed victory for him.
  • Downer Ending: To say that this wasn't an uplifting episode is putting it very lightly. For one, Maggie Reed, Derek Maza and two other individuals get turned into animals, and the only person who could help them seems to have passed away. If that wasn't bad enough, it is revealed in the last minutes of the episode that Xanatos and Dr. Anton Sevarius had orchestrated this incident from the very beginning and that Xanatos and Sevarius have no intentions of helping the Mutates regain their human lives. The episode itself ends with Elisa in a Troubled Fetal Position sobbing.
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  • Even Evil Has Standards: Xanatos is repulsed to see what Sevarius has done in the name of his company and demands that he reverse the mutation process. Though it is subverted when it is revealed at the very end that Xanatos's outrage was only an act and that he and the mad doctor had planned this situation out well in advance.
  • Evil Old Folks: Dr. Sevarius is first shown to be a man with graying hair, age lines on his face, and needing the assistance of a cane to walk. However, his last appearance in this episode reveals it to only be a disguise used by the doctor to make him appear more frail and thus present his "death" as being more convincing.
  • Faking the Dead: Dr. Sevarius does this with the collaboration of Xanatos.
  • Foreshadowing: When Xanatos and Sevarius are speaking to each other with Derek in their presence, Sevarius notes that he wasn't able to get any genetic material to create a clone of one to which Xanatos notes in a coded manner "which is the reason we don't have one," so as to avoid revealing anything of that secret project to anyone else, though everyone would know by the episode "Double Jeopardy".
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  • I Just Want to Be Normal: What Derek, Maggie, and likely Claw want. Averted in Fang's case as he likes the new abilities that he has gained from his mutation.
  • Kick the Dog: Xanatos intentionally and irreversibly changes Elisa's little brother Derek into a mutate, and cleverly frames Goliath and his clan for doing so and then keeps them deceived in the false hope of being turned back. In-universe, Elisa certainly treats this as a Moral Event Horizon.
  • Large Ham: Dr. Sevarius. This is also lampshaded by Xanatos when Sevarius speaks to him with the former believing that the latter overdramatized his moment of "death".
  • Scientifically Understandable Sorcery: Used as a way for mildly Doing In the Wizard and providing the gargoyles's biological functions some degree of scientific basis in reality. Xanatos and Sevarious discuss their unique nature, particularly their turning into stone during the day which Sevarious finds to be a way for them gather thermal energy via solar heat. Otherwise, without this theorized ability, the gargoyles would have to eat the equivalent of three cows a day to maintain their fitness. Also worth noting that Greg Weisman has stated that Gargoyles evolved from Pterodactyls.
  • Shout-Out: When Elisa and Derek are speaking to each other, the latter protests that "Xanatos isn't the reincarnation of Snidely Whiplash!" Xanatos certainly isn't as one dimensional and unclever as him, but in regards to being any more or less ethical is up for interpretation.
    • This episode as a whole is something of an allusion to the 1915 Novella The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Derek and the other mutates, like Gregor Samsa, are involuntarily changed into creatures and never get to regain their normal lives, though their fates are not as bleak as what happens to Samsa in that they are at least still alive and eventually gain friends to trust.
  • Something Only They Would Say: After Derek is changed into Talon, he wants to hide his identity from Elisa to spare her the distress of knowing what happened to him. But this comes to naught when the unknowing Elisa is speaking to Talon, and Talon lets slip something that he and Elisa used to exchange with each other as brother and sister.
  • That Man Is Dead: Derek Maza post-mutation adopts "Talon" as his name while the other two male Mutates, Fred Sykes and another unnamed man, took the names "Fang" and "Claw" respectively. Averted by Maggie who continues to use her original name.
  • This Means War!: Non-humorous example. When Xanatos turns Derek into a mutate, Elisa tells him that it's war now, and that she won't give up until she gets him back for it.
  • Wham Episode: This is the first of several that re-shaped the world (or the viewers' perception of it) of Gargoyles. This one particularly not only created the mutates but rubbed the viewer's face in Xanatos' prideful and manipulative villainy.
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