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


by Kieran Dunn


by Leigh Ann Hussey

Act I

"Previously on GARGOYLES" shows clips from The Edge and The Silver Falcon. Goliath tumbles through a trap door in the ceiling of a big, empty room. As steel plates slam down over the windows, a voice over a loudspeaker says, "Welcome to the Hotel Cabal." Goliath breaks out of that room, but the room he escapes into develops a whirling fan of blades on the ceiling as the voice assures him things will only go from bad to worse. The room tilts upside-down to throw him into the fan, which is now moving up toward him, and as he crawls up the wall to escape it, the voice says, "It's going to be a bumpy night."

A hawk-faced old man watches Goliath's struggles on a monitor. "What a majestic beast." He turns to tell Matt Bluestone that the Illuminati will be pleased, that Matt makes an excellent Judas, and Matt's voice-over commences, in true hardboiled detective film fashion, to tell us how he comes to be standing there with a 100-year old gangster "watching a gargoyle fight for his life."

It all began with a visit to Martin Hacker, his old FBI partner, who brings him information on how to find Mace Malone's step-son, though warning him that it's just this sort of thing that got Matt fired from the Bureau in the first place. The step-son is in a witness-relocation program, but Matt can't follow up right away; first he has to work his shift.

Matt waits outside the women's locker room for Elisa after hunting all over the station for her. Captain Chavez emerges and tells him she's been in there for 20 minutes and Elisa hasn't. When Elisa comes out of the little room with the loft access, she tells Matt she was returning a mop after cleaning up a mess in the locker room for the past half-hour, and he is amazed at her lying to his face. He says nothing, however, instead saying that he's found another lead in the Mace case. "Let me guess:" she sighs, "the Illuminati." He decides that he gave her her chance, she passed on it, and he'll check out the lead himself.

At a health club, Matt shows Jack Danforth (the son-in-law) a photo taken at his mother's funeral, including a blown-up section that shows someone sitting in back who might be Mace. Danforth confirms that it might be Mace, and bitterly says he's a bum who abandoned them. Matt gets him to tell that they buried his mother at Pine Lawn, under her real name, Flora Dreidel.

Elisa comes into the little room below the loft and sees the ladder down -- she draws her gun and goes up to find Matt there with many questions about the TV, and other evidence of habitation. She explains that it's her little retreat, and then diverts him by asking him how it went with Danforth as she practically drags him downstairs. Matt says that according to Pine Lawn, an old man cmes by every Thursday to lay a rose on Flora's crypt -- and tomorrow is Thursday.

Cut to: a gnarled hand with a strange tattoo, laying a single red rose on the columbarium shelf. Matt confronts the man, saying that through him the Illuminati had been organized crime's silent partner, but he was thus a marked man who had to disappear, abandoning his wife and family. "Young man," the old fellow asks mildly, "how long have you been plagued by these fanciful delusions?" Matt seizes his hand; "Not as long as you've had this tattoo." It is the eye and pyramid design of the Illuminati. "For a man pushing a hundred, you're remarkably well-preserved. How accommodating of the Society to provide its senior members with rejuvenation treatments." The old man takes off his sunglasses and flashes Matt a smile loaded with impeccable pearly-whites, saying, "You should see the dental plan."

As they walk through the cemetary, Mace tells Matt that the Society have been impressed by his tenacity and might be willing to offer him membership if he passes a loyalty test. Matt demands proof of Mace's good faith first, and Mace says he can give Matt some information, courtesy of David Xanatos, "one of our lower-eschelon members." Matt says, "You've got my attention."

That night, Matt and Elisa are driving on an oceanside road. She asks him why he hasn't said three words all night. He says very deliberately, "Let. Me. Drive." And when she does, he careens along the road in a crazy rage, frightening her and endangering them both, telling her that Mace said there was another conspiracy quite close to him. As she yells at him to stop, he shouts, "This is the end Elisa, the end of all the lies and deception. Only your gargoyles can save us now!"

Act II

Elisa finally gets Matt to stop, and he leaps out of the car demanding that the gargoyles show themselves. Nothing happens. "I know," Matt sighs as Elisa comes up to him. "This is where you shake your head and tell me I'm wasting my time." But Elisa does no such thing, rather, she tells him they don't always follow her everywhere, and she promises to let Matt see them, but because it's sunrise, she can't do it right away, and Matt thinks she's trying to put him off again.

That day, however, on a cruise boat on the Hudson, Matt tells Mace he's been promised a meeting with the Gargoyles, and Mace tells him that his test of loyalty will be to bring the Illuminati a gargoyle. He hands him a key, whose tag reads "Hotel Cabal - 13".

Matt is still uncertain when Elisa takes him onto the tower ledge at dusk. "You brought me all the way up here to show me statues??" But he is quickly silenced as the sun sets and he witnesses the gargoyles' transformation. Matt promises to keep the secret in exchange for a favor. "Trust is not a commoddity to be bartered for," Goliath growls, but Matt takes him outside to talk. The upshot is that Matt and Goliath are going to break into the Hotel Cabal, ostensibly to get to Malone's office and the proof Matt needs to expose the Illuminati. Over Hudson's and Elisa's objections, the two go alone.

They break into the hotel through a rooftop entrance, but suddenly the stairs under them flatten out into a slide, and they're separated as each goes through a different chute. Goliath ends up in the room where we first saw him fall.

Mace opens a door for Matt, saying, "Why didn't you use the key I gave you?" Matt explains that he lost it on the way down and demands to know why Mace didn't warn him about the stairs. Mace says that it was to prevent any hesitation on Matt's part that might have tipped Goliath off. Then he turns back to the screen and says over the loudspeaker, "Welcome to the Hotel Cabal!"


That, as Matt's voice-over says, brings us to where we left off. Goliath rips a table off the floor-turned-ceiling and jams the blades with it. Mace tells him that the Cabal is designed "to decimate one's grip on reality," leaving the victim's mind open to Illuminati probing. After running a gauntlet of nasty traps to get at what looks like an open window but isn't, Goliath pulls Matt's lost key out of his belt. Mace hasn't noticed this, as he turns away from the monitor to tell Matt that without a key to deactivate the automatic mechanisms in the rooms, anyone caught in one of them "would be bouncing off the walls forever." (Nice touch here: he shows his own key, and its number is 23...) Matt suddenly notices that Goliath isn't on screen any more -- Mace quickly discovers him navigating the rooms in safety and correctly deduces that Goliath must have Matt's key. He wastes no time hauling out a B.F.G. (big f*ing gun) -- he can't let Goliath be the first to escape the Cabal, or "that flushing sound you hear will be me and my 75-year pension plan going down the drain."

They leave that room for one adjoining the elevator shaft up which Goliath is climbing, which they can view through a one-way mirror. Mace tries to kill Goliath by dropping an elevator on him -- Goliath jumps to the top of the adjacent car only to have it start rising toward a set of spiked rollers. He jumps off that car just before it's ground to wreckage (nice effect of his claws on the wall here) and recommences climbing.

As Goliath passes the mirror, Mace makes to shoot him through it, but Matt prevents him with a flying tackle that sends the laser shot wild, the two of them hurtling through the mirror, and Mace's gun and key plummeting down the shaft. Goliath rescues Matt and starts climbing the shaft ladder again; Mace stops his own fall by grabbing the elevator cables, which he climbs back up to the mirror room. As Matt and Goliath pass by, Mace accuses them of being in cahoots all along, and Matt confirms. Mace vows to see that Matt gets what's coming to him, saying "Nobody crosses Mace Malone!" as he storms off down the hall. Goliath continues up, Matt wondering how long it'll take Mace to realize he dropped his key.

Matt's voice-over says that to save Goliath he forfeited his chance to infiltrate the Illuminati and bust them open, but as Goliath hands him the key with a warm smile and a thanks for the loan of it, he figures he still came out ahead. "Which is more than Mace can say," he finishes, as we see Mace, sweating and twitching, running down and endless hallway of doors that open onto brick walls.

Dawn breaks; Matt, with Elisa, watches amazed as the gargoyles transform to stone. Then he asks Elisa why she kept him in the dark for so long. She says it wasn't that she didn't trust him, but that she didn't want to share them, because as long as she was the only human who knew, she felt special. Matt says he understands; as long as he chased the Illuminati, people might've thought he was crazy, "but at least I stood out."

"So," Capt. Chavez says as they emerge into the hall, "I see you two finally found each other." Elisa blushes, and Matt says, "Yeah, I guess you could say that." They wish her a good day and she smiles gently at their retreating backs.

Outside the station, Matt runs into Martin Hacker, who pins an Illuminati pin on Matt's lapel. Matt is first shocked, then angry. Hacker explains that Matt was never supposed to get to Mace, and that he (Hacker) had been set to partner Matt all those years ago so as to keep Matt on wild goose chases. Hacker misjudged, thinking that Danforth was another dead end. Matt is not amused, but hacker says the Illuminati aren't laughing either -- they were impressed, and the pin makes it official; Matt is Illuminati now. It was Matt's job to get Goliath to them, and not his fault that Mace couldn't hold him. "See you again soon, Matthew," Hacker calls over his shoulder as he walks away. "Yes you will!" Matt calls, then adds under his breath as he fingers his lapel, "And that's a promise!"


by Juan F. Lara

Matt Bluestone finally gets a clue in this good if flawed follow-up to "The Silver Falcon".

Good Points

Matt Bluestone got his focus episode, and the creators did an excellent job of taking his perspective. Bluestone was in every scene, and the charac- ters were characterized only in terms of how they related to Bluestone. And Bluestone developed distinctive personality traits such as dedication and impatience. Up to "The Silver Falcon", Bluestone had been a minor character that I didn't expect much from. But here the creators gave Bluestone the character development and sympathy he needed to make the Illuminati thread compelling. Also, "Gargoyles" took a storytelling approach new to the series by taking only one perspective. The ep spent a lot of time on two gargoyle transformations like in other episodes, but the transformations seemed freshly awe-inspiring when seen through Matt.

I liked some of the plotting of the story. I didn't like how "Vows" started in mid-fight, but "Revelations"'s mid-action beginning was an intriguing set up for Bluestone's flashback. While I never believed that Bluestone was a traitor, I expected him to still be pretending to be one to the Illuminati by the end, which didn't happen. The end instead had a series of false endings that kept me off balance.

As always, the episode had a strong theme. I could understand Matt's feelings of betrayal in Act I when he contrasted Elisa's deception with his mistakes in "The Silver Falcon." Then the ep ended with a contrast to Martin Hacker's deception in a very dramatic scene.

Bad Points

On occasion, the dialogue fell into exposition mode. Matt regurgitated Mace's background when he first confronted him, and then shoehorned a reference to "rejuvination drugs" to explain how Mace has lived so long. This and other instances tended to mess up the episode's pacing. Cary Bates wrote a more evenly paced script for "The Silver Falcon". Also Matt's narration sometimes sounded like he was talking to somebody else, or is that the way he thinks? :-)

The episode also had a couple of overly melodramatic moments. Matt's stunt with Elisa's car was absurd, and he looked ridiculous screaming at the air later on. Also, I thought Mace getting trapped in the Hotel Cabal could've been handled better.

When did Bluestone give Goliath his key? (He seemed to be reaching for it when Goliath pulled out the door.) I also wondered why Mace didn't suspect Matt of giving Goliath the key from the start.

The woman at the health club: Can't possibly be any more subtle, can they now? :-)

I'm getting really tired of the canned music. Sometimes the music didn't fit the scene well, like when they played Puck's theme in Matt's first meeting with Hacker. I hope they have new music in upcoming eps.

Quotes and Dyns

Alfred goes bad. :-) Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. guest stars as Mace Malone.

DYNs: the M.C. Escher room in the Cabal. Also, another room had sharks swimming in it.

The rejuvination drugs must also greatly increase muscular endurance. Mace grabbing those cables looked painful. (Similarly, Goliath and Bluestone should take their acrobatic act on the road. :-)

Matt: So what am I doing here with a 100-year old gangster watching a gargoyle fight for his life?
[Y'know, sometimes I wonder about that myself. ] :-)

I'm really looking forward to finding out more about how the Illuminati Society works, and am intrigued by the Society's attempt to bring Bluestone into their fold. I think the Illuminati thread could become as compelling as the Wierd Sisters thread.

Elisa: You O.K.? Our shift's almost over and you haven't said three words all night.
Matt: Let. Me. Drive.


by Todd Jensen

Matt's investigation of both the Illuminati and the gargoyles finally reaches its climax as he encounters both in this episode.

The story is told from Matt's point of view, mostly in voice-over, and begins near the climax as Goliath finds himself trapped in the Hotel Cabal by Mace Malone (it turns out that Matt was right about Mace being connected to the Illuminati - he'd merely focused on the wrong aspect of the old gangster's career), with it appearing as if Matt has actually betrayed him to the Illuminati. After this immediate opening scene, we then are taken through the events leading up to this moment, as Matt finally contacts Malone and learns from him about the gargoyles, then maneuvers Elisa into introducing him to them.

When I first saw the episode, I thought, to my shock and disbelief, that Matt really had betrayed Goliath to the Society, but was relieved when instead he helped Goliath to escape. It took me a few more viewings, however, before I realized that Matt had actually slipped his key to Goliath all along, and even alerted him to the fact that the Illuminati were after the gargoyle.

Just why the Illuminati were after the gargoyles in the first place is not explained in the episode (not surprisingly, given that this was supposed to be only the beginning of the Society's interest in the clan - in fact, the Illuminati wouldn't start getting seriously involved in the gargoyles' adventures until the beginning of the third season with the foundation of the Quarrymen). It is doubtful that they wanted to use the gargoyles in the same way that Xanatos had used them in "Awakening" (Xanatos would most likely have informed the Illuminati about how his efforts to exploit Goliath and his clan had failed, and it is doubtful that even the Society could hope to succeed where Xanatos had not, particularly in light of the fact that after "Revelations", the gargoyles could hardly be deluded as to the nature of the Illuminati's intentions towards them). A more likely explanation comes from two lines of Mace Malone's: first, when Goliath, after landing in the Hotel Cabal, bellows, "I want answers!", Malone replies, "So do we, gargoyle", and second, Malone comments that the Hotel Cabal's purpose is to so break down the resistance of anyone imprisoned in it that the Society will be able to worm out all of that person's most valuable secrets. Could the Illuminati believe that the gargoyles have valuable information, information that could be useful or even vital for their plans? Unfortunately, at present, this must remain a guess.

Matt is given additional character development beyond just meeting Goliath, and helping him escape from the Hotel Cabal. He discovers for the first time what he had apparently not even suspected up until now, that Elisa knew the gargoyles and had been hiding them from him, something that makes him feel, understandably, betrayed. (One of the funniest lines in the episode at this point when Elisa comments that Matt hasn't said three words to her during their entire patrol and he replies, "Let. Me. Drive," - the way that he says it demands the punctuation used here.) We learn a little more about why Elisa had not shared the gargoyles with anyone as well, even her family and partner - she liked the sensation of being the only human friend that the gargoyles had, something that gave her a certain special feeling. (This, incidentally, casts a new light on her actions in "Her Brother's Keeper", and will also crop up again in "Mark of the Panther".) Matt, reconciled with her at the end, admits that he can see the parallel with his own pursuit of the Illuminati.

We get an unexpected twist at the end when it turns out that Matt's old FBI partner Hacker had been a member of the Illuminati all along. The one pity about this revelation is that the arc involving Matt's investigation of the Illuminati ended abruptly here; I wanted to see what would happen now that Matt had discovered the truth about Hacker. Unfortunately, it was not to be - though that may change in the upcoming revival of "Gargoyles" in the comics. The lack of further episodes to resolve the issues in this arc is perhaps the only serious flaw of "Revelations".


Originally, the episode was considered as a tie-in with Disney's "Tower of Terror" ride, and the Hotel Cabal went by the name of the Hollywood Tower. Disney later on changed its mind, however, while the script was being worked on, and the "Tower of Terror" references were promptly dropped.

For this episode only, Captain Chavez was voiced by Elisa Gabrielli (who also played Obsidiana in "The Green"), rather than her usual voice actress Rachel Ticotin.

Mace Malone's hotel key has the number 23 on it, a number that has frequently featured in conspiracy theories. Matt's hotel key has the number 13 on it, an ironic touch, since it certainly does not bring him or Goliath bad luck.

The Illuminati's pyramid-and-eye symbol appears again (Mace even has it tattooed on his hand).

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