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The Mirror

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


by Guandalug la'Fay


by Adam Cerling

Act I

It is night at the museum. On a rooftop across the street, Demona watches through binoculars as a guard turns the sign on the door from "open" to "closed", then leaps from the building.

Inside the museum, the head security guard briefs a new recruit on proper procedure, then sends her in amongst the exhibits. In the darkened display room, the new guard briefly strikes a pose before a spotlit, full-length mirror. She hears a screech. In an antechamber, Demona throws aside another guard. The first guard flees the mirror, hiding behind a pillar just as Demona walks in. Demona runs to the mirror, swiping away the guard ropes around it.

"Halt! Police!" the female guard shouts, stepping into view and fearlessly shining a flashlight into Demona's face.

Demona cries out in recognition--it is Elisa. "You, most useless member of a craven, puny race! You think you can stop me?"

"Possibly not--but I can," says Goliath, stepping into the light behind Elisa.

Demona wrenches a heavy exhibit from its stand and hurls it at Elisa. Goliath dives to catch it from the air. Demona flees. Goliath and Elisa give chase. In the next room, Demona pushes over a second artifact, once again forcing Goliath to save the piece. Goliath distracted, she smashes through a display to grab a spear. She continues into an adjacent room, where Goliath catches up to her. She dives through a window and escapes into the park. Goliath follows, and a moment later Elisa arrives to chase them both.

Inside the museum, two darkly-dressed men slide down a rope from the ceiling. One remarks favorably upon the planning done by his client, "the Lady." Soon the two have wrapped the mirror in a sheet and carried it off.

Demona runs toward a large, hieroglyph-covered obelisk in the park. She stops and cocks her arm to throw the spear at Goliath. Elisa arrives, taking a stance next to Goliath and aiming her gun at Demona; Demona throws the spear at Elisa instead. Goliath pushes Elisa out of the way and grabs the spear from the air. Demona climbs the obelisk, leaps, and soars away shrieking. Goliath moves as if to pursue her, but Elisa stops him.

"Let her go for now," she says. "It's not like we could take her to jail without answering a lot of complicated questions."

Goliath sighs and acquiesces. "At least Demona didn't get the mirror."

A red van pulls up to a gate marked, "Keep out".

"Oberon sent me," the driver replies to a questioning voice--he is one of the men who stole the mirror. The gate opens and the van pulls up to the front stairway of a tall, spooky-looking manor. The two thieves carefully take the mirror up the stairs.

"Who lives here anyway, Dracula's daughter?" asks one.

A snarl from a gargoyle-shaped figurehead on the front door silences him, and the first thief reassures him--he's dealt with this client before. An envelope slides from the figurehead's mouth.

"Take your money and go," says the voice. "While you still can." The thieves take the envelope and leave.

Inside the building, Demona stands before the mirror, her reflection a silhouette. Chains are draped over the mirror.

"So far my plans have been thwarted," she says, "one after the other. But tonight--I take control."

Facing the mirror, Demona employs a bell and a feather in an incantation which invokes a brilliant flash of green light from the mirror. When the light dies down, a child-sized being with pointed ears kneels enchained upon the floor. The being raises its head: it wears an elfin face, long white hair, and a displeased frown.

In the clock tower, Elisa debriefs the Gargoyles on the theft of the mirror. She is unsure of the gravity of the situation: "What can she do with an antique mirror?"

Hudson turns off the television to explain that the mirror is "Titania's mirror--Titania, queen of the third race."

This puzzles Elisa. Broadway offers, "You know--gargoyles, humans and Oberon's Children."

"I thought everybody knew this," interjects Lexington, and Brooklyn adds, "Yeah--that guy Shakespeare wrote a play about them. A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Goliath turns to Elisa and says, "Scotsmen called them the Fair Folk. The Vikings called them Dark Elves. They are changelings, shapeshifters, creatures of pure magic. And their possessions, like the mirror, are vessels of great power."

Elisa shakes her head in disbelief. "You mean they're real?"

"As real as I am," says Hudson, "if the stories be true."

In Demona's manor, the "elf" struggles in his chains. "Is this how you welcome all of your guests?"

Demona makes it clear that he is a servant, not a guest, but he is of the opinion that "serving humans is fun. They have a sense of humor. You have none."

In the clock tower, Brooklyn, Lex and Broadway expound on the benefits of being a shapeshifter. They could fit in anywhere, find new friends, "maybe even love," Broadway remarks dreamily.

Hudson gives Broadway a sideways look. "Be careful what you wish for, lad."

Puck is cavorting around the room in Demona's manor, and he inquires about his method of service. "I'm too vulnerable during the day," Demona muses. "I don't want to turn to stone anymore."

"Of course, you want to stroll down Fifth Avenue in the sunshine," Puck smirks. "I'm sure you'll fit right in."

"I could if there were no blasted humans!" Demona explodes, then smiles. "Yes, Puck! I want you to get rid of the humans--all of them."

"Does this look like Aladdin's Lamp?" asks Puck, indicating the mirror. "I have limits, after all. What is it you really want?" He touches the mirror, and its surface fills with an image of Goliath. "How quaint. After all these centuries you're still carrying a torch. Well, if that's what you want, I can make him love you again. Piece of cake, given your charming personality." Puck rests his head against the mirror, and Elisa strolls into the scene to lean on Goliath.

"That's it!" says Demona, "that's what I want! If you cannot get rid of all the humans, then at least rid me of that human!" She points at the image. "Elisa Maza!"

"Did you say 'that human' or 'that human'? Oh, never mind, I'll figure it out. This just might be fun after all." Puck floats closer to the mirror and recites, "Thy sight Demona doth offend / So Puck will hasten to amend / Begone, Elisa, human born / And be no more as you were formed!"

In the clock tower, Elisa is reassuring the Gargoyles and constructing a plan when she is enveloped by an aura of green light. As the Gargoyles look on, helpless, Elisa is pulled to the center of the room where the green aura flares blindingly, turning every face of the clock tower into a beacon over the city. When the light fades, Elisa has become a Gargoyle!

Act II

The Gargoyles are shocked. Recovering, Elisa looks up at Goliath and smiles, expressing her delight that Goliath has been "changed into a Gargoyle".

Puck reassures Demona that "the human, Elisa Maza, is no more". Demona wants to do the same to every human in the city. Puck tells her that it can be done, but not from Demona's manor.

Goliath brings Elisa out onto the balcony of the clock tower to convince her that her perceptions have been changed. He uses their first meeting as a point of reference--if she had then been a Gargoyle, she wouldn't have needed Goliath to save her from her plunge off the skyscraper. She denies the ability to glide with the wings she possesses, but Goliath leaps with her from the tower to show her otherwise.

Lightning cracks the sky above the World Trade Center. One bolt, striking the roof of the tower, leaves the mirror standing there in a cloud of smoke. Puck flies out of the mirror, followed by Demona holding his chain.

"Ah, what a lovely view," he remarks, then claims the need to "marshal" his "forces".

"I never realized, when you were human, how beautiful you are," Goliath tells Elisa as they glide over the city.

"You mean, you thought I was ugly?" Elisa asks on a wry note.

"Well... uhh... Careful! Updraft!"

Elisa enjoys gliding, and can't imagine why she never did it before. The two glide closer to the ground, and Elisa expresses shock upon seeing all the humans. Goliath suggests they land.

When they land on another rooftop, the other Gargoyles join them. Elisa is shocked--all the people of Manhattan have been turned into humans!

"No, no, no, no, no," Goliath sighs, clapping a hand to his forehead.

Hudson directs their attention to one of the World Trade Center towers, upon which a bright, unnatural light can be seen.

Clad in green fire, Puck is spinning. He comes to a stop facing the mirror. "All humans on this concrete isle / Demona finds your presence vile / So do you now as I command / And be not woman, child, nor man!" The magical flame bursts from Puck, bounces off the mirror, scatters from a satellite dish, and lights up the sky.

The Gargoyles hypothesize that Demona is the source of the disturbance. They all take off from the rooftop and head toward the tower. Elisa stays behind--the notion of leaping off the building makes her dizzy.

As Demona gloats over her "empty" city, Puck lies on his back, eyes closes, unmoving. Demona prods him with her tail. Hudson arrives and tackles Demona, knocking her from her feet. She throws him off, telling him it's too late. The other Gargoyles arrive as Hudson picks himself up.

"Curse you, Puck, this is no time to sleep!" Demona picks up the limp Puck and hurls the mirror off the building.

Hudson follows the mirror and catches it before it hits the ground. The others follow Demona.

As she soars over the city, Demona is enraged at what she sees below: the entire populace of Manhattan has been changed into Gargoyles! She tucks her wings around Puck and glides into the subway. The Gargoyles following her are unable to follow her well. Demona escapes on a subway train.

"This is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!" Broadway exclaims. He, Lex, Brooklyn and Goliath stand amidst the crowds of humans-turned-gargoyle. Three fetching young female "gargoyles" choose this moment to stroll by. All smile, and one winks at the three.

"It's too weird," says Lexington, smiling hesitantly. "Kinda fun--but weird."

In an alley, Puck is perched upon a ruined car while Demona rants at his ineptitude. She demands that he change the Gargoyles into humans. Puck pleads weariness, but Demona snarls down his excuse.

"Okay, okay, I was just catching my breath." Puck looks annoyed, but he nonetheless smiles into the car's side mirror and does as Demona asks.

The Gargoyles are gathered back with Elisa on a rooftop, with Titania's mirror. They discuss Puck's presence and identity. Goliath decides that the search must go on--he leaps to the edge of the roof.

"I'll never get the hang of jumping off rooftops," Elisa says, looking at the street below.

"I'll always be there to catch you," Goliath replies, and jumps off.

Emerald flame lashes out of the mirror, striking Lex, Brooklyn, Broadway, Hudson and Goliath. Suddenly, Goliath is human, and tumbling helplessly to the street below.


Elisa leaps from the rooftop, swooping down to catch Goliath. Brooklyn and Broadway, both human (Broadway sporting a mop of blond hair), help them back up. Hudson covers the mirror with a sheet.

Goliath is bewildered, but once he sees Elisa, delighted--she's back to normal! Elisa, still gargoyle, convinces all the others quickly that their perceptions have been altered, that they have been changed.

Leaving the alley with Puck on his chain, Demona quickly discovers that none of Manhattan's populace are human again, as she intended. Puck claims he thought she meant the other Gargoyles. Demona is infuriated, but Puck reminds her that, as humans, Goliath and the others are at her mercy.

Bronx--untouched by Puck's magic--leads the former Gargoyles down a street, but the "Gargoyle" pedestrians run in fear of the humans. Goliath believes their only chance at defeating Demona is my keeping the battle on the ground. This in mind, the six descend to a terrace with a massive fountain. There, they uncover the mirror. Demona and Puck burst out of it, Demona now toting a large laser. Her first shot misses, and she tells Puck to take care of them.

Puck floats to the top of the fountain: "Humans love a battle hearty / So does Puck. Come on, let's party!" Viridian fire shoot from his eyes, entangling Lex, Brooklyn, Hudson and Broadway in various unusual ways. Bronx leaps for Puck, who turns Bronx into an unfortunately big dog. "Oh--Should've tried the Chihuahua." As Bronx chases Puck, Broadway, Lex and Brooklyn manage to free themselves.

Demona holds Goliath by the neck, gloating, but Broadway, Lex and Brooklyn gang-tackle her. "Gargoyle" onlookers from above rush down to help Demona, seeing a woman attacked, and her three assailants are forced to back away.

Demona retrieves her laser and faces Goliath. "You're no match for me as a pitiful human."

"My strength has never depended on brute force, Demona," Goliath explains as Elisa swoops down and drives Demona into the pavement with a flying kick, "but on true friends."

Lex, Brooklyn and Broadway back away from Demona's civilian rescuers until they realize that they, themselves, are the monsters. Shouting and clawing at the air frightens the city-dwellers away.

"What does it take to destroy you?" Demona demands, recognizing and lunging at her attacker. She and Elisa struggle. Elisa decorates Demona's face with a right hook. Demona retrieves the laser again, fires, and misses. Elisa kicks the laser from her and Goliath grabs her from behind. Demona hurls Goliath away like a discus. Intending to finish him, she goes to him, but Elisa takes out an overhang with Demona's laser. It falls, crushing her senseless.

Below, Hudson slams a steel drum over Puck as the changeling faces Bronx. "Party's over," Brooklyn says.

Atop the World Trade Center, Goliath offers to free Puck if Puck will change everyone back. Puck accepts, and first returns every true human to his or her own form. Goliath and Elisa are near each other one moment as humans before Puck returns the Gargoyles to their original shapes. Then, freed by Goliath, Puck seizes an enchained Demona and drags her through the mirror, which disappears behind them.

They reappear back inside Demona's manor, where Puck makes plain his delight at the night's romp. Demona is sick and tired of him; she would have him go, but Puck would not dream of leaving without repayment for the entertainment. "Fearsome creature who would stay / Unchanged by the light of day / Remain thou thus throughout the night / And be thou flesh by dawn's fair light."

Atop the clock tower, the Gargoyles await dawn.

"Elisa, I--" Goliath begins.

"Yeah, I know," interrupts Elisa. "You're as relieved as I am that things are back to normal."

"That's not what I was going to say--" The sun rises, and Goliath turns to stone.

"I know... but that's the way it is."

Demona is a shadow against the dawn. She had never known the sun was so warm. But when she retreats into her house and glances in a mirror, the sight of a human face there draws from her a scream that shatters glass.


by Juan F. Lara

I ROTFL all throughout this VERY fun episode.

Good Points

Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data of ST:TNG) played Puck the fairy, and he was HILARIOUS! I loved how he always found clever ways to twist Demona's orders around. The writers also give him excellent lines, especially his chants, and Spiner gave a dry delivery perfect for the character. Puck came off like a particular wise-guy of a genie. :-)

Demona was her usual one-note self, with a brain that apparently stays stone ALL the time. :-) But her personality made her the perfect foil for Puck. Puck and Demona's rapport was exactly like that between a Warner heckler and his/her dim-bulb antagonist, and I laughed whenever she let by an opportunity to get Puck to work for her advantage. I particularly remember her blowing off Puck at the end. She DESERVES seven years bad luck. :-)

This episode featured a lot of absurd-situation humor used in "The Thrill of the Hunt". Connie wondered if the young ones were going into puberty, and so I laughed at that scene where those gargoyle-girls flirt with them. :-) Equally funny was the scene where those gargoyle-people come to Demona's rescue. These scenes and Puck's wisecracking gave this episode an "Aladdin"- like tone that's a nice change of pace from the norm (though I hope not too common a change of pace.)

The series explored the possibility of romance between Elisa and Goliath for the first time. Goliath's sudden interest in Elisa felt a little out-of- the-blue. But his faux-pas in Act I had him showing a side of personality that we haven't seen before. I was moved by his tenderness in the scenes where he tries to show Elisa how to fly, and his awkwardness at the end of the episode.


The animation by WD-Japan was schizophrenic, and so I can't put it all either in the “Good Points” or “Bad Points” section. The episode had many moments of breathtaking imagery, especially whenever Puck cast a spell. Sometimes we got great character movement, such as when Demona ordered Puck to destroy Elisa. Characters also sometimes had that great WD-Japan shading that made them look very vividly three-dimensional. But at other times the characters were really off-model, and moved in a too-cartoony fashion. That was espec- ially true in the scene of them fighting Puck's creations, where characters moved like they were made of rubber. The three gargoyle people trying to save Demona also looked wierd. Still, I found the animation more watchable here overall than the Sunwoo style.

The scene where the thugs stole the mirror stood out in my mind. WD-Japan put in all the little details of movement not found in most other studios. I especially liked all the noises on the soundtrack. But the scene got tedious quickly. Maybe if they changed the camera angle a couple of times.

I liked the character design for Broadway, Brooklyn and Lexington in human form, but Hudson and Goliath somehow didn't look right. I couldn't really say why. Elisa I felt so-so about. She basically looked the same except for wings and feet. In fact most of the gargoyle people looked like humans with gargoyle wings tacked on, but I found that a minor problem.

Bad Points

The plotting was weak. The story seemed to jump from one situation to another, dropping story threads quickly. The episode also had a jarringly fast pace. With less interesting characters, this episode might've come off as a mess.

Gaffe: Elisa's reflection didn't changed when she turned away from the mirror in the beginning. Or was that a magic reflection? :-)

The Gargoyles should not have just abandoned Elisa on that rooftop in Act II, as she didn't know how to fly/glide yet.

Goliath in human form didn't seem all that vulnerable: He got thrown a GREAT distance into a store window and apparently suffered no lasting injuries. Also, that store was apparently using shatterproof glass. :-)


So now we know about the "third race" Brynne Chandler Reaves mentioned at ConFurence 7. And we probably know now some background of the Magus, and Owen......:-)

And now we know where Demona has been hiding out. I liked the arrangement she had in dealing with her cronies without facing them. I guess Xanatos put up the money for her hideout and underlings.

At first, I thought Puck was switching people with their counterparts from a mirror universe dominated by gargoyles. But apparently all he did was reverse some of their memories. I ROTFL whenever the characters had to deal with their illogical memories.

Quotes (Lots of them. :-)

Elisa: Third race?
Broadway: You know. Gargoyles, humans, and Oberon's children.
Brooklyn: Yeah. That guy Shakespeare wrote a play about them. "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Elisa: Wait, wait, wait. Shapeshifters? Elves? Fairies? You mean they're real?
Hudson: As real as I am, if the stories be true.

Demona: You served the human. Now you can serve me.
Puck: Serving humans is fun. They have a sense of humor. You have NONE.

Demona: I want you to get rid of the humans. ALL of them!
Puck: Does this look like Aladdin's lamp? I have my limits after all.

Demona: If you cannot get rid of all of the humans, then at least rid me of that human! Elisa Maza!
Puck: Did you say "THAT human" or "that HUMAN"?

Elisa: Did you see?! Everyone in Manhattan has been turned into a...a human!
Goliath: ( frustrated ) No, no, no, no.....

Lexington: It's too weird! Kinda fun, but wierd!

Puck: Humans love a battle hearty.
So does Puck. C'mon. Let's party!

Puck: Let's improve your looks ( Zap! ) Uh, oh. Should've tried the chihuahua. ( Where did Bronx come from though?)

Goliath: My strength has never depended on brute force,
( SLAM! )
but on true friends.

Goliath: I never realized when you were human how beautiful you are.
Elisa: You mean you thought I was ugly?
Goliath: Well, uh,....Careful! Updraft!

And there were lots more that I didn't have time to take down.

As you can tell, I loved this episode. :-)


by Todd Jensen

One of the wildest episodes in "Gargoyles", "The Mirror" introduces Puck (and through him, Oberon's Children) into the series, as well as further developing Goliath and Elisa's feelings about each other and (at the end) providing a new complication in Demona's life. Greg Weisman considers it his favorite one-parter, and it is not hard to see why.

Puck provides the perfect initiator of the comically chaotic events that plague Manhattan in this story. Admirably voiced by Brent Spiner, he delights in mischief and a good laugh, and always finds a way of perverting Demona's demands upon him in such a way as to provide himself with even more amusement. As is natural for a trickster, he gets many of the best lines in the episode, such as "Wait a minute! Did you say, *that* human or that *human*? Never mind, I'll figure it out. This just might be fun after all", or (after transforming Bronx into a very large and fierce dog), "Whoops! Should have tried a chihuahua." The episode carefully leaves it open as to whether Puck actually did misunderstand Demona's commands (as he claimed, particularly with the "Change the gargoyles to humans!" order), or whether he was doing so on purpose (though, knowing Puck, one suspects the latter; he would certainly find these mass transformations far more entertaining than destruction).

The comical masterstroke in Puck's transformations is that the people transformed have their memories subtly rewritten so that they believe that they had always been gargoyles or humans - which results in utter confusion for those who hadn't been transformed! It begins when Elisa, immediately after being changed into a gargoyle, cries out in delight to Goliath (who is already astonished enough at her metamorphosis) about how wonderful it is that he's become a gargoyle - followed a few minutes later by her alarmed report to the rest of the clan that everyone in Manhattan has become a human, and Goliath's sigh of "No, no, no." It reaches even greater heights when the gargoyles have become humans, and thereby find themselves striking terror into the hearts of the gargoyle populace - particularly when the trio face off a group of gargoyles coming to Demona's rescue following Brooklyn's strategic suggestion of "We're the monsters, remember?" The reversal of the normal concept of humans being afraid of "monsters" was wonderfully funny.

The transformations allowed the production team to come up with other entertaining incidents and twists. Most noticeable among these are three young female gargoyles flirting with the appreciative trio, and (in a particularly delightful reversal) Elisa as a gargoyle swooping down to rescue the newly-made human Goliath from falling.

Demona's savage fury is emphasized over her tragic complexity again, as in "Long Way Till Morning" (which is just as well; the latter quality would have clashed with the light-hearted atmosphere in "The Mirror" far too much). Indeed, she develops an almost comical tone here via her increasing exasperation over how Puck repeatedly twists the intention of her commands, to the point where she is almost on the verge of ripping him to shreds - and her exhausted dismissal of him at the very end: "Please, just go." Still, the episode becomes a turning-point for her thanks to Puck's gift at the conclusion. Never again will Demona turn to stone in the daytime (meaning that Hudson's delaying strategy in "Long Way Till Morning" cannot be reused against her), but now she has to undergo the indignity of becoming a human while the sun is up instead! Small wonder that she shatters Titania's Mirror in her fury.

The crucial development in "The Mirror", however, is for Goliath and Elisa, as they for the first time find themselves members of the same species. We had received occasional hints of the potential for feelings between them from the beginning (such as the smile that they exchange when Goliath lifts Elisa into his arms just before their tour of the city in "Awakening Part Three"), but now, it comes to the fore. Elisa, after her transformation, embraces Goliath warmly as she cries out in joy over what she believes to be his transformation. The moment is followed shortly afterwards by one of the funniest (and yet most touching) moments in the episode, as Goliath takes Elisa gliding:

GOLIATH: I never realized, when you were a human, how beautiful you are.
ELISA (amused rather than offended): You thought I was ugly?
GOLIATH: Well, I - uh - careful, updraft!

And when, briefly, Goliath and Elisa are both human at the end, they smile fondly at each other just before Puck turns the clan back into gargoyles. Afterwards, Goliath wants to discuss the matter further with Elisa, but she hurriedly cuts him off, making it sound as if they're both simply relieved that everything's back to normal. Goliath begins, "That's not what I was going to say", before the rising sun interrupts him. Elisa replies with a sigh, "I know. But that's the way it's gotta be." While Goliath and Elisa have taken a step forward to being more than simply friends, it is clear that there are obstacles down the road, particularly in the form of Elisa's concerns over the matter. And those will not be cleared away for a long while.


This is the first time that the Third Race, also known as Oberon's Children, is mentioned in "Gargoyles". Greg Weisman is not entirely happy with the name "Oberon's Children", as it has been taken too literally by many members of the audience, who interpreted it as meaning that the Third Race are the biological offspring of Oberon. (They are "Oberon's Children" in the sense that the subjects of a ruler might be seen as his children.) He considered many other names for them, all of which were rejected, including "Oberati" (which was discarded on the grounds that it sounded too much like the name of an Italian car).

Brooklyn and Elisa both allude to A Midsummer Night's Dream, the play by Shakespeare that was the source for Puck (and also Oberon and Titania, who are mentioned in the dialogue but do not appear on-stage until "Ill Met By Moonlight" - unless you count Titania's alias as Anastasia Renard in "Walkabout").

We get our first hint about Puck's alter ego as Owen (a notion that occurred to Greg Weisman and a few other members of the production team independently and simultaneously) when Demona says to him, "You serve the human; you can serve me." The "human" in question, of course, is Xanatos, though Puck immediately says "Serving humans is fun", shifting the word to plural so as to prevent the audience from becoming suspicious too early.

The production team briefly considered calling Puck by his Shakespearean alias of "Robin Goodfellow" instead, out of fears that the name "Puck" might be misheard as a certain four-letter-word that rhymed with it. In the end, however, they decided to simply be very careful about how they pronounced it.

Puck's line to Demona, "What does this [Titania's Mirror] look like to you, Aladdin's lamp?" was an in-joke reference to the then-running Disney animated series Aladdin, based on the movie.

The gargoyles' human forms were modelled partly on their voice actors, with appropriate changes for their most distinguishing characteristics that would cross over during the transformation (such as Hudson's beard).

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