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Her Brother's Keeper

Synopsis |  Review by Juan F. Lara |  Review by Todd Jensen



by Gabriel Guay

Act I

New York. 11:49 PM. Elisa is in an helicopter with Derek, her brother. They are following Xanatos. Derek is piloting the chopper, but he is getting tired of the same old song about Xanatos being the evil one. He says that unless there is something serious, this is the last time he'll do this.

Meanwhile, in the clock tower, Lex plays with a videogame, but Brooklyn would like to play to. Eventually, the trio ends up quarelling and Goliath has to stop it.

In his limousine, Xanatos asks if the helicopter is still following them, and Owen answers affirmatively. Xanatos decides to go shopping at the Diamond Exchange.

The room is crowded with a lot of rich and elegant looking people there. In the audience are Hyena and Jackal, and they seem to have their sights set on the Coyote Diamond. Jackal is about to steal it when a woman comes and takes the diamond, startling the two. Jackal complains that he was looking at the item, but the girl says that the diamond is being purchased by Xanatos. They start a fight, steal the diamond and escape.

On the rooftop, they unpack their deltaplanes and are preparing to glide off when Derek's helicopter shows up, ordering them to surrender. Jackal fetches a bazooka and aims at the helicopter. Derek tries to avoid the missile, but thanks to Xanatos, it only hits the rear rotor. Derek makes a tough landing and Elisa comes out of the chopper, ordering once again Hyena and Jackal to surrender. They escape without the diamond.

Xanatos, impressed by Derek's landing, offers him a job at his company, and Elisa is shocked that he even considers taking it.

In the Pack studio, Jackal gets a phone call from Fox ordering them "to waste Xanatos for interfering."

Elisa talks to the gargoyles about her dilemna. Goliath tells her to tell Derek about them. Elisa doesn't seem to think that will be enough. When she goes to talk to Derek, she is shocked to learn that Derek has accepted to work for Xanatos.

Act II

In a night club, Elisa and her father are talking. They both can't believe that Derek is quiting the force. They want to make him believe that it would kill his mother if he did so, but his mother encourages him to go forward with the job.

Next day, Elisa comes in the boy's locker room to talk to Derek, and most men are quite displeased. Elisa wants to show him that Xanatos is not good news for him, but he's used to the song and doesn't bother to listen to her anymore.

Elisa goes back to talk to the gargoyles, Goliath in particular. She asks him to keep an eye on her brother. Meanwhile, the trio will go watch the castle just in case.

Broadway and Lexington were just starting to argue when an helicopter departs from Xanatos' castle. They see that another one is taking them in pursuit, and so they decide to follow.

There's a fight between the two helicopters, but Xanatos' one is caught dead in Jackal's sights when the gargoyles intervein in the battle. Xanatos, taking advantage of the situation, decides to flee with Derek, while Hyena and Jackal are thrown out the chopper.

Lexington tries to control the helicopter, but it is very different from the video game, and they are headed for a crash in the street.


Lexington is able to land the helicopter, but it is damaged. The trio decides to hide it before sunrise. Back at the clock tower, Lexington says he should be able to fix the helicopter by tomorrow night. Once again, Goliath asks that Elisa reveals the existence of the gargoyles to Derek. He is convinced that once he's seen them, her brother will have "the proof he needs." However, Elisa now doubts that will be enough.

She pays Fox a visit in prison, and Fox reveals to her that Xanatos created the Pack. When Elisa asks Fox why Hyena and Jackal attacked him, she says that she's the only one who knows he's the boss. Xanatos himself asked it in order to set his own assassination attempt. Elisa asks her why and Fox reveals that he wants her brother, and that "there's not a thing (she) can do to stop him." She ends the conversation saying "he's the most brilliant man on the face of the earth", thus hinting at her obvious admiration towards him. When Elisa is outside, she listens to the last sentences of the conversation recorded on her tape, and is hoping that it'll be the proof that Derek needs. Goliath joins her, because he was unable to keep up with Xanatos' helicopter.

Afterwards, Xanatos and Derek are attacked at the camp by Hyena and Jackal. The gargoyles arrive just in time with the helicopter and the bright light blinds Hyena and Jackal. Broadway knocks Jackal unconscious and Hyena is stopped by Elisa.

Shortly after, Elisa and Derek start quarelling again, and Goliath, unable to bear this, bursts in anger. He reminds them that they're still lucky "to have siblings to fight with", since those of his kind are dead. Futhermore, he reveals to them that there was nothing more important than family. After he's left, Derek and Elisa feel uncomfortable. It's starting to snow and Elisa gives Derek the tape, finally admitting that Derek does have to lead his own life. But before leaving, she reminds him that she wasn't wrong about Xanatos.

Back to the clock tower, the trio reconciles, and then the gargoyles turn to stone.


by Juan F. Lara

At first I didn't like this episode, but it's grown on me after watching it again.

This episode focused on Eliza the same way other eps focused on each Gargoyle. Most of the scenes were about how Eliza deals with trying to get Derek away from Xanatos. She was visibly frustrated in scenes like when Fox blows her off about her struggle with Xanatos, but was strong-willed enough to perservere.

I could understand Derek's reaction to her. Since he didn't know about the Gargoyles, Eliza's actions didn't make any sense to him. So he probably thought Eliza was being overly protective of him. Then all he heard was Xanatos's side of the story. I'm sure he's not naive enough to just take Xanatos's word for everything, but I think he was taking his side at the end more from being fed up with Eliza's leaning than anything else.

The Gargoyles themselves had only supporting roles. The young ones were wrapped up in their bickering. Goliath was pretty marginalized. And Hudson and Bronx only appeared in the background, with barely any interaction with anyone else.

I didn't find Jackal and Hyena particularly interesting. Hyena in particular seemed too one-dimensional to me. Too much of a loose cannon to seem threatening to me. So I didn't get as involved with the story as I did with other episodes.

The bickering - I guess it was about time that the young ones got sick of each other's faces. :-) At first, I found most of their arguing dull. But when I wrote down their quotes, I noticed they had a lot of good lines, and stayed in character when they bickered: Lex was overconfident, Brooklyn was spouting wisecracks, and Broadway was worried about Eliza.

I liked that Derek was still with Xanatos at the story's end, instead of having-learned-his-lesson-and-seen-Eliza-was-right-all-along. Once he listens to that tape, though, I don't see how he can stay with Xanatos.

And I liked the ending. The snowing matched Eliza's somber feelings about Derek still being with Xanatos and not being able to do any more about it.

Animation was by WD-Japan's secondary studio. They did a great job depicting Eliza's emotions. The Gargoyles themselves looked a bit too cartoony, though.

Quotes and Dyns

Lexington: Aw, you wouldn't understand.
Broadway: Right. I'm just a big, dumb gargoyle with his brains in his stomach.
Brooklyn: Couldn't have said it better.

Broadway: Guess I'm a little worried about Eliza. If cops were meant to fly they'd have wings.

Lexington: I can't see how we're doing any good here. We should be looking for Jackal and Hyena.
Broadway: Oh, give it a rest. It's more important that we help Eliza.
Lexington: You wouldn't know what's important if it bit you on the.....
Brooklyn: Knock it off, you two!

Xanatos promised Derek that working with him would be safer than police work. And on the first day on the job he gets in a dog fight. :-)

Broadway: You sure you can fly this?
Lexington: Hey, it's just like that simulator game back at the tower.
Brooklyn: Famous Last Words.

Broadway: Feel the air currents. Use them, just like you do with your wings.
Brooklyn: Yeah, use the force, Lex.

Brooklyn: Smooth. Real smooth.

Brooklyn: What do we do with it? Use it for a planter?

Lexington: Don't worry. I'll tell you what has to be done.
Brooklyn: Oh, yeah? You and what Starfleet?

Fox kept calling Xanatos by his first name. She was completely adulatory about Xanatos, like a cult follower. I kept thinking the crazy guy in Coppola's "Dracula". :-)

Lexington: Still think the armor looks dumb?

I didn't find this episode as compelling as the better episodes of the series. But it was good overall.

Xanatos: Never a Gargoyle around when you need one.


by Todd Jensen

This episode, while complete in itself, was designed, in fact, as a means of paving the way for "Metamorphosis" at the beginning of the second season. Fortunately, "Her Brother's Keeper" works well as a story even without the sequel that it was meant to prepare for.

The focus returns to the human characters, with Elisa's brother Derek, who had had minor roles in "Deadly Force" and "The Edge", now coming to the fore as Xanatos does the unexpected and offers him a job. To make matters worse (from Elisa's perspective) Derek is willing to accept, and all of Elisa's efforts to talk him out of it only make matters worse. Although our favorite detective has legitimate reason for concern, in light of her awareness of Xanatos's true nature, she repeatedly uses the wrong tactics in trying to dissuade Derek from this course, behaving like a bossy older sister (which is just what she is here). Thus, all of her efforts to talk Derek out of working for Xanatos only encourage him to take the position, if for no other reason than to display his independence and show her that he can make his own decisions. (It especially doesn't help when Elisa barges into the men's locker room to speak to him, to the embarrassment of not only Derek but all the other males there!) By the end, fortunately, Elisa recognizes that she had gone about it the wrong way - though she still remains firm in her position that becoming one of Xanatos's employees is a bad idea.

Elisa's situation becomes more complicated over the fact that her best hope of convincing Derek that Xanatos is not to be trusted is to inform him about the gargoyles, something that she is reluctant to do. Even when Goliath gives her permission to bring Derek in on the secret, even urges her to do so, she refuses repeatedly. (As it turns out, Xanatos had anticipated this possible tactic and neutralized it in advance by informing Derek about the gargoyles and admitting that "he'd made a few mistakes in dealing with them", rendering the issue moot by the end.) This is the first use of an aspect of Elisa's character that will become more prominent in "Revelations" and "Mark of the Panther"; she wants to keep the gargoyles her secret, and not only to protect them from a city that may not be ready yet to receive them in a friendly manner.

Elisa and Derek are not the only ones with sibling troubles in this episode, however. The trio engage in their own frictions, forming a comic-relief sub-plot that interweaves with the main plot not only thematically, but also in a more direct fashion when they have to work together to keep Derek from harm. Lexington, for once, takes the lead (a position usually filled by Brooklyn), eagerly giving orders to the others over such matters as converting the Pack's helicopter into a "gargoyle-copter", much to Brooklyn and Broadway's annoyance. Fortunately, the trio are able to sort out their quarrels by the end (as is appropriate for a comic-relief dispute, as opposed to a serious one).

In a story so strongly focused on sibling interaction, it is appropriate that the antagonists are Jackal and Hyena, the terrible twins from the Pack. Since they are working on their own now as opposed to a larger team (except for the fact that they are taking orders from Fox, who's directing their operations behind bars), we now have more ample time to see them up close than we did in "The Thrill of the Hunt". The episode concentrates on the leading difference between them, their grasp of strategy. Hyena clearly favors the direct approach of just charging into fights, while Jackal, although just as fond of senseless violence as his sister, shows a preference for thinking things out first and having a plan. When the two of them are plotting to steal the Coyote Diamond, Hyena is in favor of just snatching it, while Jackal prefers a more stealthy approach. When the diamond is purchased by Xanatos before Jackal can finish setting up his equipment for secreting it out of its display case, Jackal immediately takes care to find out who the buyer was, pointing out to an enraged Hyena that this twist hasn't disrupted their plans that much; they'll merely steal the diamond from Xanatos rather than from the Diamond Exchange. Hyena throws caution to the winds shortly afterwards, anyway, when she responds in a typical bloodthirsty fashion to a would-be autograph hunter, at which point Jackal takes part in the ensuing fight with equal gusto, on the grounds that since Hyena's blown their cover anyway, there's no longer any point in holding back.

Fox gets her own character development, on an even larger scale than Jackal and Hyena (especially in light of its impact on the future of the series), when Elisa visits her in prison. Fox taunts her with the knowledge that Xanatos has already worked out his scheme to acquire Derek's services so thoroughly that there is nothing that Elisa can do to prevent it - that he is, in fact, so secure in this knowledge that he even instructed Fox to inform Elisa of this. Throughout the conversation, Fox calls Xanatos "David" and speaks admiringly, even enrapturedly of his cleverness. This moment sets the stage for major developments in the second season.

Although Jackal and Hyena are off to join Fox and Wolf in prison by the end and the trio have made up, "Her Brother's Keeper" does not close on a cheerful note. Derek is still, so far as we can tell, working for Xanatos, and we do not know if even Elisa's tape-recorded conversation with Fox will be enough to open his eyes. (Judging from "Metamorphosis", it clearly didn't.) In the final scene, Elisa stands silently by herself on the balcony of the clock tower as it begins to snow, the gargoyles already turned to stone for the day, then turns and heads inside. It is a sign of ominous things to come.


The title, "Her Brother's Keeper", is derived from the biblical story of Cain and Abel; Cain, after murdering Abel, is questioned by God as to the latter's whereabouts and indignantly protests, "I know not; Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). Elisa's concern (if overzealous) for her brother's well-being, of course, contrasts with Cain's fratricide. The original title was to be "Brother's Keeper", which would have displayed more clearly the focus on sibling relationships in the story (including alongside Elisa and Derek, not only the trio and Jackal and Hyena, but even Goliath's lament over the deaths of his rookery brothers in the Wyvern Massacre).

The "gargoyle-copter" rebuilt by Lexington from the Pack's chopper was designed (like the motorcycle in "Temptation") as another potential toy for Kenner's Gargoyles line - however, Kenner rejected the idea altogether.

Brooklyn has clearly been acclimatizing himself all the more to the modern world, delivering such sci-fi-related quips as "Use the Force, Lex!" and "You and what Starfleet?"

Another hint of things to come is planted in this episode through the name of the Coyote Diamond; only two episodes later, an actual Coyote will enter the series with strong links to Jackal and Hyena (and the Pack in general), and to Xanatos. I seriously doubt this to be a coincidence.

Matt and Officer Morgan get cameos in the men's locker room scene.

Lexington displays his grudge towards the Pack from "The Thrill of the Hunt" again, showing himself to be more concerned with hunting down Jackal and Hyena than with resolving the Derek issue.

Xanatos's upstate retreat of Xanadu appears only in this episode. (The name was reportedly inspired by both the Xanadu of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's unfinished poem "Kublai Khan" and that of the movie "Citizen Kane".)

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