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


by Kieran Dunn


by Adam Cerling

Act I

Leaving one night after closing their restaurant, a man and a woman discuss threats made to them by thugs demanding money. The couple hasn't paid, and the woman is worried. The man notices an abandoned briefcase in the room, but dismisses its presence; he and the woman leave. They are barely yards from the restaurant when the bomb in the briefcase explodes, destroying the building. "Dracon," mutters the man angrily, staring into the wreckage.

Anthony Dracon relaxes in his limousine as it cruises the streets of New York. The limo pulls over to pick up Dracon's henchman Glasses. Dracon congratulates him on the execution of the bombing and expounds the foolishness of those people unwilling to pay the "protection money." Glasses reveals bad news: A rogue cop, a woman, is attempting to set up her own protection racket in Dracon's territory.

At the demolished restaurant, a news team attempts to interview the man and woman, but they are afraid to accuse Dracon of the bombing. Nevertheless, the newscaster is aware of the rumors of Dracon's involvement.

In the clock tower, Broadway watches the news on television. He explains the concept of a protection racket to Goliath, who is outraged at the idea. Goliath wonders where Elisa is while such things occur--she has not visited the Gargoyles for days.

Downstairs in police headquarters, Matt Bluestone is bringing in Joey, another of Dracon's flunkies, for interrogation about the bombing. Captain Maria Chavez asks Bluestone if he has seen Elisa; he has not. Chavez looks worried.

In the middle of the interrogation--during which Joey denies all knowledge of the bombing--Elisa barges in, interrupting Bluestone. She rudely orders him outside. Alone with Joey, she tells him to tell Dracon that she is taking over Dracon's territory. Chavez then enters and demands a word with Elisa outside the interrogation room. Joey listens at the door. In the presence of Bluestone, she accuses Elisa of attempting to begin her own protection racket. Elisa angrily denies the charges. Until the matter is resolved, however, Chavez decides to relieve Elisa of her gun and badge.

Upon the tower, Broadway and Goliath see Elisa leave the station. Her failure once again to visit has aroused their suspicion; they follow her.

Dracon, in his penthouse, receives a call from Joey, who reports how Elisa has crossed to the wrong side of the law. Dracon is shocked. He receives another call, now from the proprietor of a pool hall. Elisa is there, demanding money. Dracon tells him to stall.

Elisa, clad in a blue top and fetching black leather, brushes off the proprietor's weak attempt at small talk and gets down to business. "You want protection?" she asks dangerously. "I want money."

Act II

Knocking the lighting from the ceiling with a pool cue, Elisa points out the fire hazards of frayed wires to the proprietor. She demands payment in weekly installments. Glasses and Joey arrive to escort Elisa out to their car.

Glasses tells Elisa that she's becoming a problem. Elisa offers a solution, and Goliath tackles the windshield of the car. The driver panics; the car skids into a streetlamp, flinging off Goliath. The driver steps out of the car but Broadway levels him. "Oh, not now!" Elisa mutters. Broadway captures Joey and Goliath gets Glasses. Elisa steps out of the car, infuriated. She spurns the Gargoyles' "help." "I told you to stop following me everywhere," she tells Goliath. "What are you, a puppy?" She tells the two to release Joey and Glasses; she has business to conduct with them. Goliath and Broadway are confused when Elisa and the three thugs drive away. Goliath suspects sorcery, but Broadway offers another explanation.

Dracon is astounded as, in his penthouse, Glasses relates Elisa's control over the "monsters." Dracon sends his henchmen off to work, and Elisa is sent in. She explains how the temptation for money and power became too great for her to resist, and accepts Dracon's advances.

In Mr. Chapman's neighborhood supermarket, Bluestone, disguised as a clerk, expresses his determination to lock up Dracon. Glasses walks in and demands the protection money, but Bluestone brushes him off--he has heard that a lady cop has been making the same pitch. He's willing to pay--but only once. Bluestone asks for Glasses's boss to stop by to confirm his control of the area.

At a nearby dry cleaner, Joey demands the payment, but the owners refuse and order him out. The owners are Chavez and Officer Morgan, also disguised. Chavez believes Dracon must fall for at least one of the police's many traps.

Over a hot dinner with Dracon, Elisa expresses a love for Jalapeno peppers. "Keep the jar," Dracon offers. He then asks her about the Gargoyles--if they will do as Elisa orders, a partnership could put them in control of the entire city. Elisa tries to discourage Dracon, explaining that the Gargoyles don't understand money and power; but then Goliath and Broadway enter from the balcony. Money and power sound good to them.


Broadway expresses a love for Jalapeno peppers. "Keep the jar," Elisa offers. Dracon is impressed by Goliath and Broadway. He is sure a partnership with Elisa will lead to big things. Goliath is prepared to do some bone-crunching toward those ends. Glasses and Joey enter, and Dracon reassures them about the Gargoyles' presence. The thugs explain the problems they had at the supermarket and the dry cleaner. Dracon sends Goliath, Broadway and Joey to the dry cleaner; He and Elisa will make an appearance at the supermarket.

In the air, Goliath and Broadway split up. Goliath follows Elisa to ensure her safety. Broadway continues to the dry cleaner.

In the dry cleaners, a canister of sleeping gas takes Chavez and Morgan by surprise. Joey leaves a bomb in a briefcase with them and leaves via the back door. Broadway plummets into the alleyway and grabs Joey, but another of Dracon's thugs shows up with a laser rifle. Broadway flings Joey away and dodges the shots. He uses a dumpster as cover to get close, then subdues the pair and ties them with a steel beam. Checking on the people inside the building, Broadway finds the bomb. He flies with it out over the river and gets rid of it just before it explodes.

Back at the supermarket, Dracon testifies to a disguised Bluestone the details of noncompliance in the protection racket, all under the surveillance of a security camera. Proof secured, Bluestone pulls his gun on Dracon. Elisa takes Dracon's gun and begins to arrest him, but Dracon quickly seizes the weapon back and holds Elisa between him and Bluestone. Glasses and another thug walk in and start shooting with laser rifles. Bluestone and Mr. Chapman take cover. As Dracon and his men back toward the door, Goliath arrives to dispatch one of the riflemen. Glasses fires at Goliath and misses. Elisa knocks away Dracon's gun. Bluestone tackles Glasses. Elisa and Dracon exchange blows (one of which, a beautiful roundhouse kick, is delivered by Elisa) but Dracon reaches the door. Goliath swoops in and carries Dracon into the air; once high enough, he drops him a few hundred feet and catches him again to teach him a lesson. Dracon passes out. Goliath delivers him to Elisa and departs. The arrests proceed smoothly.

Upon the clock tower, Broadway and Goliath explain how they fathomed Elisa's assignment. Goliath is nonetheless confused how Dracon would be so foolish as to believe Elisa would join the ranks of the lawless. Elisa speculates that the corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted--not that it's impossible. Elisa claims no perfection. "That's why we need protection," she says, "even from ourselves, sometimes." Goliath then resolves to protect her, even as she protects him, and they together protect the city. That said, Broadway offers Goliath a pepper. The result is deafening: "Jalapeno!"


by Juan F. Lara

Bad Points

The plot felt like every other undercover police drama. I might've enjoyed it more if Dracon had more charisma. But he's always come off for me as no more than a two-bit hood. I figured that his banality is part of the creators' point, but I still didn't care a bit about his activities. The plots in "Deadly Force" and "The Silver Falcon" had very compelling premises that didn't depend on Dracon, but I found nothing very interesting in "Protection".

The creators should've started the ep by giving a context that would make Elisa going bad seem plausible to the audience. Then I would've had doubts about Elisa's integrity like I did with Matt in "Revelations". But Elisa seemed to just wake up one day and decide to go bad. On the other hand, the creators might've revealed the undercover plot at the start and bring the audience into it with scenes of Elisa planning the sting with her colleagues. I thought that either approach would've made the plot more interesting.

I didn't see any point in keeping the Gargoyles in the dark about the undercover work. Elisa should've been able to take a few minutes to tell them what she'd be doing. But I was glad that Goliath and Broadway quickly caught on.

Did Elisa have other cops working undercover as her muscle? She seemed to be running a one-person protection racket, which didn't strike me as very credible. :-)

Animation by Sae Rom. I disliked SR's drab artwork here like I did in "Vows".

Goliath came off as too melodramatic. I particularly disliked his hokey stunt with Dracon in Act 3, which felt staged.

And I cringed at the joke that ended the ep. :-P The creators should poke fun at Goliath often so that he isn't taken too seriously. But I thought this ep's gag was really cheap.

Good Points

Dracon's underlings were more interesting than their boss. Glasses has always been very appealing, and Joey got character development through the uneasiness he felt in working with the Gargoyles.

I also enjoyed the brief moments when Dracon thought that Elisa was "Goliath's woman". They should've spent more time on that thread.

Through the first half I wondered how Dracon got out after "The Silver Falcon". But they did answer that question in Act 2. I suspected that Dracon got help from the Illuminati.

And Elisa finally got a change of clothes! :-)

But none of these good points were enough to save the episode.


Elisa: Let's drop the act, Tony. I'm moving in on your operation. You can't be too happy about it.
Dracon: Actually, I hate it, sugar.
Elisa: And I hate it when you call me "sugar"!

Broadway: Didn't even wait for us. Why are bad guys always in such a hurry?

Joey: I don't need any monsters to do MY job. Knock out the people. Blow up the building. Simple.


by Todd Jensen

I'll confess that this is one of my least favorite episodes, largely because the opposition here doesn't entirely match the stature of the gargoyles. Once Goliath and his clan had taken an oath to protect Manhattan and its inhabitants, they obviously would be battling mundane crime on a regular basis, but the series had generally handled such activities through their either taking place off-stage (as in the trio's crime-fighting in "Upgrade") or as an opening scene to set the mood before the real antagonist for the episode showed up (as in the fight with the bank robbers at the start of "City of Stone"); their main adversaries were generally figures of the same stature as the gargoyles (either relatively mundane but larger-than-life people like Xanatos or the Pack prior to "Upgrade", or outright fantasy characters like Demona or Macbeth). Here, however, the gargoyles are dealing with a simple protection racket that seemed more within the police's field than their own (in which light, it seems significant that Elisa never got around to informing the clan about her going undercover to masquerade as a corrupt cop). Obviously, the series would need to do such episodes from time to time for the sake of variety, but it still does seem almost small-scale by comparison to the gargoyles' other adventures. (It might be added that in the case of the first two stories featuring Dracon, "Deadly Force" had focused more on Broadway inadvertently shooting Elisa and its consequences, and "The Silver Falcon" was designed as a detective story where Elisa and Broadway were focused on tracking down the true nature of Malone's silver falcon.)

This said, "Protection" does have a few good moments in it. One of my favorites is Goliath's disgusted response to his discovery that Dracon (like other organized crime bosses) calls his extortion rackets "protection"; such a term would indeed appear blasphemous to him. And the story quickly gets some very entertaining moments out of Dracon and his gang's interaction with Goliath and Broadway. The first comes when Goliath and Broadway, attempting to get to the bottom of the mystery about Elisa, intercept the car taking her to Dracon's headquarters, only to be angrily told by her to leave, while Glasses and his fellow gang members are staring at her in astonishment and awe. Even better is when Goliath and Broadway feign joining Dracon's gang, complete with Glasses and Pal Joey's alarm at finding them in their boss's suite (Pal Joey screams, "They're everywhere!"), followed by even more panic out of Pal Joey when he finds himself paired up with Goliath and Broadway for the attack on the dry-cleaning establishment. And, to top it off, Dracon picks up on Goliath's feelings for Elisa, asking the large gargoyle, "So she's your woman, eh?" and patting him on the shoulder in a very familiar fashion - until Goliath utters a small warning growl, that is.

The real focus of the episode, of course, is on the question over whether Elisa had suddenly decided to go bad, as appears to be the case at the start. Of course, it is doubtful that the audience would have ever bought it - it would certainly be an unbelievable 180 degree turn around for her - though it still works if you approach it more from an issue of "Since I can't believe that Elisa really would turn into a crooked cop, something else must be going on here, but what?" (Of course, from that angle, Elisa's undercover work would be the obvious answer, one which Broadway figures out early on. Goliath, on the other hand, as would be typical for someone from his time period, believes that she has been somehow placed under a spell.) One nice touch that does help to keep the audience from becoming too suspicious of the truth too early is when Chavez (during the conversation staged for Pal Joey's benefit) comments to Elisa, "You have been acting awfully strange lately". Anyone wondering how long it would be before Chavez suspected that Elisa was covering up something in the clock tower (just as Matt had done in "Revelations") would certainly be lulled by this statement into believing that there was a genuine confrontation at work here.

We get to see a little more of Matt's friendship with Mr. Jaffe from "Re-Awakening" (he looks almost hopelessly geeky in his grocery clerk disguise), and find out why Dracon keeps on showing up out of prison after each successive exploit (he has enough influence to ensure that he'll be out on bail).

And we are also treated to another moving scene between Goliath and Elisa back at the clock tower at the end, in which they pledge once again to protect each other and the city (as much from their own dark temptations as from external threats).


The very first scene (the man hailing a taxi) is re-used from "Awakening Part Four".

This is another good episode for guest appearances; Travis Marshall, Officer Morgan, and Mr. Jaffe all turn up in this story. Art and Lois are introduced (they would later on re-appear in "Hunter's Moon", as would Dave, the owner of the pool hall whom Elisa goes through the motions of intimidating in Act I).

Goliath pronounces "dry-cleaners" in the same slow and careful fashion that he had pronounced "detective" in Season One.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of "Protection" is its introduction of the famous (or infamous) cry of "Jalapena!" into "Gargoyles". Keith David (who did the voice of Goliath) had the habit of using it as a periodic exclamation (having picked it up from a female jazz singer). Voice Director Jamie Thomason bet Greg that he couldn't write into a script; Greg took him up on his bet and put it into "Protection" (introducing the set-up for it with the jalapena peppers being brought into Dracon's suite and which Broadway helps himself to). Greg remained fond of the cry, though it drove almost everyone else on the production team up the wall. (I wonder if we will see "Jalapena!" return in the upcoming comic book.)

Incidentally, Broadway uses "Jalapena!" as an expression during his clash with Pal Joey and his bomb, before Goliath's own encounter with a jalapena pepper that would provide the precedent for such an exclamation.

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