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City of Stone, Part III

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


by Guandalug la'Fay


by Lori Summers

Act I

At sunrise, Elisa wakes from her stone sleep, naturally puzzled because as far as she knows, a second ago it was sunset. Meanwhile, Owen also awakens in the castle to find Goliath and Co. there as well as Xanatos, who informs him that Goliath has agreed to help them end the spell. Since they don't want to chance using magic, they must set the sky ablaze...since the spell is designed to end "when the sky burns." The populace is woman approaches a reporter doing a live broadcast to announce that everyone was turned to stone. The reporter is skeptical, and we see the Hunter watching the screen, frustrated that Demona has slipped once again through his fingers.

Scotland, 1040 A.D. While walking with his son Canmore, Macbeth and MacBeth's son Luoch, Duncan slips and falls. MacBeth saves his life, which reassures Duncan about MacBeth's loyalty to him. They come upon a cave full of sleeping gargoyles. Duncan raises a rock to destroy them, but MacBeth stops him, recognizing one of the gargoyles as Demona.

The four head back to the castle, but en route they encounter a dense fog and a trio of what appear to be witches around a bubbling cauldron. It is the Weird Sisters, and they speak the first words of "MacBeth," referring to both Duncan AND MacBeth as "king of Scotland and father of the king hereafter." MacBeth insists that Duncan is the rightful king, not him. The witches vanish into the mist, and MacBeth dismisses their words as meaningless. Duncan appears to accept this, but as he seems suspicious.

Act II

Later, near dusk, Duncan and some of his men return to the cave to destroy the gargoyles. Duncan dons the Hunter's mask, and they descend upon the cave. They destroy several of the gargoyles, but the sun sets and the others awaken. Demona and the three remaining gargoyles defend themselves but are forced to escape to the air. Demona expresses frustration at their fugitive life and wishes for her youth back so she could defeat the humans once and for all.

At Castle Moray, Bodhe advises MacBeth that Duncan's forces are moving against him. MacBeth is shocked and angry. Bodhe urges MacBeth to surrender, hoping that if he does Gruoch and Luoch will be spared. MacBeth relucantly agrees. He kisses his wife and son and rides off to meet his cousin. He encounters the same fog, and then spots Demona lurking behind a rock. He begs her to help him defend his castle and his clan. "What about MY clan?" she rages. He promises that if she helps him, he will protect her and her kind. She is skeptical, having heard this song and dance before. At that moment the Weird Sisters appear. To seal the partnership (which they are all but forcing MacBeth and Demona into) they magically join the two, saying that they will be forever linked, feeling each other's pain. MacBeth's beard and hair turn grey while Demona's withered face regains its youth, her hair turning from white to its familiar red. Before the Sisters depart, one of them hands MacBeth a magical globe, telling him that Duncan ordered his father's murder.

MacBeth and Bodhe prepare for battle. Duncan's forces attack, and the fight begins, with the gargoyles aiding MacBeth's troops. MacBeth is tricked into a swordfight with Duncan. Demona stops anyone from interfering as the cousins face off. As Duncan is about to run MacBeth through, MacBeth tosses the magical globe at him. Duncan's sword hits it and it engulfs him in flames. After he is dead, Demona finds the Hunter's mask inside Duncan's helmet.


MacBeth's troops celebrate, hailing their new king. Canmore refuses to acknowledge MacBeth's claim to the throne, saying he should be king. He blames Demona and attacks her. She fends him off easily, and MacBeth orders Canmore exiled to England. As he is led away, he secrets the Hunter's hood in his pocket.

MacBeth is crowned king in a glorious ceremony. He gives Demona her name (cf. "Enter MacBeth"), having observed during the fight that she "fights like a demon." He announces that she will be his primary advisor. The people cheer her, and the Weird Sisters, disguised as servant girls, seem pleased with themselves.

In the present, Captain Chavez tells Elisa that Demona's broadcast was traced to Pack Media Studios. Meanwhile, Xanatos and Owen are busy modifying the Steel Clan robots for their plan to end the spell. Elisa arrives, accusing Xanatos of being responsible for the entire thing. "Mr. Xanatos is trying to help," Owen says. "What are you doing?" The sun sets, catching Elisa and Owen in mid-confrontation. The gargoyles awaken. Goliath is surprised to find Elisa there. Xanatos explains his plan: he, the robots, and the gargoyles will fly over the city wearing packs that dispense a harmless gas into the atmosphere. At a preset time, the robots will detonate and the gas will ignite, setting the sky ablaze. "This has to work," Goliath says, glancing at the stone Elisa. They take off, spreading the gas over Manhattan.

Back at the castle, Demona steps out from behind a tapestry. She chuckles evilly a few times, then sets the detonation countdown back ten minutes. The gargoyles and Xanatos won't be back to the castle in time and will be caught in the explosion. That done, she turns to the statue of Elisa, raising a mace to smash it to bits.


by Juan F. Lara

I thought the flashbacks in this part were the most memorable of the multi-parter.:

Duncan hanging onto the ledge had parallels with the fights at Moray in the previous parts, and I liked how MacBeth instantly jumped to save him.

Neil Dickson conveyed a strong sense of tension in his reading of Duncan's lines in the scene inside the cave. The writers highlighted the tension by having him use the royal "we".

I loved the scene when the sisters cast their spell on Demona and MacBeth. That scene was the highlight of Part 3 in terms of artwork, with mesmerizing imagery such as the sisters taking different forms for each person, and Demona and MacBeth spinning around in that beam of light.

Canmore had a powerful scene when he grabbed the Hunter's mask for him- self. The mask took a life of its own, with several characters willingly adhering to the vindictiveness that it symbolized.

But my favorite moment was MacBeth's coronation. I was still expecting MacBeth to turn out to have been a villain all along. But his pledge to pro- tect Demona's clan made me believe that he had a sense of honor and open- mindedness. Demona added some tension to that scene in still showing contempt for humans ( "I would rather they feared me." ). But then she showed sur- prised at the humans cheering her. I found that moment exhilirating, and heartbreaking when I considered how Demona ultimately wound up.

DYN: They didn't follow up on the people Demona killed during the night. I would've liked the reporter to mention hearing reports of people suddenly waking up with hideous injuries.


MacBeth: YOU are the answer!
Demona: I am uninterested in the question.

Goliath: What is Elisa doing here?
Brooklyn: She doesn't look happy.
Xanatos: Owen sometimes has that effect on people.


by Todd Jensen

The backstory of Demona and Macbeth now moves into its most Shakespeare-evocative moment, when Macbeth and Duncan encounter the Weird Sisters in their crone form on the "blasted heath" and hear their prophecies (complete with the famous "Double, double toil and trouble/ Fire burn and cauldron bubble" line). At the same time, "Gargoyles" here reverses Shakespeare's play, for the Weird Sisters' words, instead of motivating Macbeth to move against Duncan and murder him for the crown, motivate Duncan to move against Macbeth out of fear that Macbeth will overthrow him. (There is also a parallel - though whether intentional or not, I do not know - between Duncan's waging war upon Macbeth after the encounter with the Weird Sisters in the television episode and Macbeth's assassination of Banquo - and attempted assassination of Fleance - in the play. For that matter, the Duncan of "Gargoyles" is perhaps closer to the Macbeth of Shakespeare than Macbeth himself is, in the sense of being a suspicious, murderous tyrant, though without the qualms of conscience and internal torment that Shakespeare's Macbeth suffers from.) Duncan's unreasonable suspicion is played up all the more since, only shortly before the encounter with the Weird Sisters, Macbeth had saved his life.

Duncan's actions now force Macbeth and Demona to join forces, with the Weird Sisters providing the final touch by magically binding them, aging Macbeth and rejuvenating Demona in the process to their familiar modern-day appearances. (This scene is especially dramatic and awe-inspiring - and helped all the more by the subtle touch of showing how both Macbeth and Demona perceive the Weird Sisters in their hag-forms, while allowing the audience to see their "true form".) Together they overthrow Duncan in a fine battle sequence (culminating in Duncan's fiery death and the revelation that he was Gillecomgain's successor as the Hunter), and Macbeth is crowned King. We get a hint of trouble to come, however, as the young Canmore slips the Hunter's hood into his jerkin.

The battle scene and Macbeth's subsequent coronation also reveal how Macbeth bestowed Demona's name upon her - and in so doing, skewer the audience's expectations. It turns out that Demona's name was meant as a compliment to her fighting skills from an ally, rather than a terrified comment on her appearance or nature by one of her human victims. As another effective touch, Demona is portrayed as both astonished and pleased when she is cheered by the human crowd after Macbeth appoints her his "primary advisor", for once savoring what it is like to be admired rather than hated and feared by humans. It makes the coming events in her life all the more tragic, when we see how she came so close to turning away from her path.

In the present-day scenes, we see New York reeling from the mysterious phenomenon of everyone having blacked out during the night (except for those who don't watch television). Xanatos and Owen, aware that searching for a way to magically reverse Demona's spell would be both difficult to achieve and dangerous, decide to follow the same strategy that Xanatos had used before in breaking a spell from the Grimorum - study the terms of the spell and use modern-day science to achieve them, in this case, by finding a way for the sky to burn. But as Xanatos, the Steel Clan, and the gargoyles leave the castle with their jet packs to set this plan into motion, leaving Bronx behind to guard a petrified Elisa and Owen, Demona enters in secret (via a secret passageway that had somehow escaped the attention of Xanatos and his workmen when they were transporting the castle from Scotland to New York - admittedly a not very convincing concept), with murder on her mind....


Travis Marshall makes another guest appearance here, delivering a news report on the mysterious events of the previous night. There may be a second guest appearance in this episode as well; the man pleading with the Weird Sisters (in their policewoman disguise) to explain to him about his "lost night" looks very much like Billy and Susan's father from "The Thrill of the Hunt", though I am not certain as to whether their designs are identical.

Duncan's red-haired second-in-command is left nameless in the dialogue, but called "Macduff" in the ending credits - a reference to the "Macduff, Thane of Fife" in Shakespeare's play who slays Macbeth.

Macbeth and Gruoch's son Luach is introduced in this episode. In actual history his name was Lulach (the second l was somehow lost during the creation of "City of Stone"), and he was really Macbeth's stepson, the product of Gruoch's first marriage to Gillecomgain. Greg Weisman has mentioned seeing Luach's actual parentage in the Gargoyles Universe as uncertain; his father might have been Macbeth, or might have been Gillecomgain, but nobody knows for certain.

Macbeth anachronistically calls the Weird Sisters "three old bedlams"; the word "bedlam", associated with madness, derives from the mental hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem - which did not become a mental hospital, however, until 1547, a little over five hundred years after Macbeth's victory over Duncan.

"City of Stone Part Three" provides the only scene in "Gargoyles" where one of the Weird Sisters acts separately from the other two, when Selene gives Macbeth the glowing ball that will bring about Duncan's doom, while informing him that Duncan had employed Gillecomgain to murder Findlaech. (Since Selene represents the Weird Sisters' vengeance aspect, it is appropriate that she should be the one to take on this role.)

Duncan's fiery death was designed to provide some variety from the "falling off a great height" deaths that had already befallen Hakon, the Captain of the Guard, Findlaech, and Gillecomgain, while being still acceptable to Standards and Practices (in the way that Macbeth running Duncan through with a sword would not). Ironically, in his death-throes, Duncan falls off the ledge upon which he and Macbeth were standing; apparently some habits are hard to break.

Macbeth is crowned upon the Stone of Destiny (also known as the Stone of Scone), according to ancient Scottish custom. The Stone would make two more appearances in the series, the second one of particular note.

Xanatos's remark that "mixing magics is dangerous" is another hint about Owen's true identity (the "mixing magics" part deriving from the fact that Puck's magic comes from his being one of the Third Race, while Demona's spell came from a source of human magic, the Grimorum).

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