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The Cage

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


by Kieran Dunn


By Guandalug la'Fay

The story starts in Elisa's apartment, with her having a family meeting - Beth and her parents are there. Beth mentions Derek - and Peter Maza uses the moment to ask Elisa about news of her brother. She of course denies having heard news of him. Right then, Diane Maza thinks she'd have seen somebody at the window - somebody with wings. Elisa just jokes about this (obviously trying to steer away from those thoughts), and they drop the topic.

Later at the clock tower, Elisa talks to Goliath about her problem: How to tell her parents that her brother ain't dead, but mutated. Goliath then informs Elisa that the mutates are back with Xanatos. Elisa decides that she needs to talk to Derek right away, to possibly get him away from Xanatos.

Over at Wyvern castle: Goliath brings Elisa to the castle, they get attacked by the mutates (who think they're just defending their home). Elisa tries to intervene, but Talon doesn't want to leave Goliath alone, seeing him as an enemy. Only after Maggie talks some sense into Talon (and reminds him that Elisa is his sister), and Xanatos appearing, stating that Elisa and Goliath are always welcome, they agree to talk. Elisa instantly tries to get the mutates to see that Xanatos is behind their mutation and thus their enemies, but Maggie and Talon disagree. Talon blames Goliath and Dr. Sevarius for his current situation - Sevarius for mutating him in the first place, and Goliath for interrupting Sevarius in giving Talon the (possible) antidote and killing Sevarius. Elisa informs her brother that Sevarius is not dead, but he doesn't believe her at all. As Goliath and Elisa leave the castle, Talon threatens Goliath, warning him to watch his back, as Elisa won't be there to protect him all the time. As Maggie brings up the possibility of Sevarius being still alive, he answers "If he is, he won't be for long." Inside the castle, Xanatos and Owen see Goliath and Elisa glide away. Xanatos orders Owen to "tell Sevarius to disappear for a while."

At the Gen-U-Tech parking lot, Vinnie is sitting in a guard booth, reading a newspaper. Dr. Sevarius walks by, greeting him. Right as Sevarius reaches his car, a winged shadow glides in, and the doctor is carried away, leaving his suitcase behind. Vinnie didn't notice a thing, of course. Shorty after, Elisa drives up to the guard booth, flashing her badge and asking for Dr. Sevarius. Vinnie tells her that she just missed him, as he just headed home. We see a winged shape on the nearby rooftop. Elisa is allowed on the company parking lot to look around, and finds Sevarius' suitcase.

Switch to an underground laboratory. Sevarius is locked in a cell and tells his winged captor (only shown as a silhouette from behind) that he won't work for him.

Wyvern Castle: Owen informs Xanatos that Dr. Sevarius is "unreachable". Xanatos concludes that "Talon got to him first." Outside, the mutates are eating and bantering, as Talon returns and confirms that Sevarius' death was faked. He still blames Goliath: "Goliath kicked him into the eel tank, he must be in on it." Maggie disagrees, telling the other that the Gargoyles were more trying to help her than harm her. She accidentally slips and lets Talon know that she knows the Gargoyles' home - Talon notices this.

At the clock tower, Maggie lands in front of the clock and calls. Hudson comes out to greet her - and gets attacked. Bronx tries to help Hudson, but gets electrocuted by Claw, as Hudson gets electroshocked by Fang. As Hudson's going down, we hear Maggie say "I'm sorry."

Back in the underground lab, Sevarius is still unwilling to cooperate, but his captor is relentless. Finally, Sevarius agrees to make the attempt.

At the clock tower, the mutates and a chain-bound Hudson talk, and Fang tells Hudson that Talon just "wants a few words with Goliath." Hudson replies that they're in for a long wait, as Goliath said he'd be gone for a couple of nights.

Within Wyvern castle, Owen informs Xanatos about the latest news regarding Dr. Sevarius' vanishing, as Talon storms into the room, angry at Xanatos having lied to him. Xanatos plays the betrayed man and blames all on Goliath, stating that "the Gargoyle wanted Sevarius to create more creatures like himself." Xanatos continues to sweet-talk Talon, telling him that Sevarius nearly finished a cure, and ask Talon to release Dr. Sevarius. Talon's face shows big surprise.

Meanwhile, the trio is returning to the clock tower from a rock concert, encountering the mutates. The trap doesn't work, as Hudson warns them from inside, and a fight breaks loose. Fang is hunting Brooklyn, who's busy dodging the lightning bolts shot at him. At one point, Fang angrily shouts "Come back here, fight like a man!" Brooklyn replies "I'm not a man - I'm a Gargoyle!" and smashes Fang to the floor, with him on top. At the same time, Broadway manages to throw off Claw before getting shocked, and together with Lexington he wraps Claw with an iron fence. After the fight, Claw and Fang are bound and watched by Bronx, as Brooklyn talks to Maggie, trying to show her that not Goliath but Xanatos is behind all of this. Of course, Maggie doesn't buy it. Brooklyn sets both Fang and Claw free, telling them: "You're free to go. Return to Xanatos if that's what you want. But don't turn your back on him."

Switch to Gen-U-Tech, Vinnie and Elisa are reviewing the security tapes of the night Sevarius got kidnapped, and see a winged figure scooping up the doctor. Elisa tells Vinnie to enhance the image of said figure, and is shocked: "I don't believe it."

The underground lab again: Sevarius tinkers with chemicals and complains about the "primitive conditions". His captor states "just get back to work, before conditions really do get primitive." With these words, he steps out of the shadow, and we learn his identity: It's Goliath.

In Xanatos office, Talon tells Xanatos that he doesn't hold the doctor captive, and that he learned about Sevarius being alive because he followed his sister and heard Vinnie tell her that she just missed the doctor. "You can't 'just miss' someone who's been dead for weeks." Owen then shows Xanatos and Talon the same video feed Elisa and Vinnie just had seen. Xanatos tells Talon that this obviously concludes that Goliath and Sevarius are still working together - and Owen guesses the whereabouts: The old Gen-U-Tech underground facilities. Talon stomps out, pass his comrades, and they all leave the castle.

In the underground lab, Sevarius is his grumbling self again, as Elisa appears. Elisa and Goliath talk, while Sevarius is ordered to keep on working. Asked for his motives, Goliath says to Elisa: "You were in so much pain, I couldn't stand by and do nothing." She acknowledges this, but tells him that his behavior in this was more like Xanatos than himself, and that she doesn't think they can trust Sevarius. Right as Sevarius claims that he found the cure, Talon blasts in, shocked to see not only Goliath and Sevarius, but his sister as well. Not listening to his sister, Talon blindly attacks Goliath, who shoves Elisa out of danger's way before engaging Talon. Sevarius tries to flee, but is stopped by Fang. Talon throws Goliath against a wall and blasts the wall and ceiling above him, making it collapse partially, the pieces burying Goliath. "Bring Sevarius. They can die together." Talon commands. Sevarius smugly grins and holds up the vial, sure that Talon won't kill him if he's offering the antidote. "It's only enough for one, but I can make more." Sevarius says, trying to trade the antidote for his life (and safety). Talon and Fang state that they're no longer interested in the antidote, and Talon just wants revenge. Maggie thinks otherwise, though - and asks for the antidote. Sevarius tries to make Talon take it, as he'd deserve it more - a comment that brings Elisa and Talon to the realization that the claimed cure is indeed poison.

Right then, Xanatos shows up, clad in his customary red Gargoyles Battle Armour, and accompanied by some Steel Clan robots. Talon finally realizes that Xanatos, not Goliath, was behind all this, as Xanatos rescues Sevarius and leaves. Sevarius just admits that "this could be a vile poison" as he's leaving, stating that "there's only one way to find out". Maggie, still holding the vial, opens it, going for the risk, as "any risk is better than living as a monster". Talon stops her, admitting that he likes her very much. Goliath then offers the mutates to return with him to the clock tower, but Talon declines - thankful for the offer.

Elisa finally introduces Talon (and the rest of the mutate clan) to her family, revealing what happened to her brother. After an initial shock, both parents rush over to their lost son.


by Juan F. Lara

This episode started out weak, but had a superb final act.

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING (Another review that I'd recommend you read only after you've seen the episode.)

I wasn't too impressed with how the episode started. The creators set up the situation awkwardly by having Goliath reveal that the mutates have been with Xanatos for some time. I felt like I was dropped in the middle of the story. I also winced when Elisa didn't immediately tell Derek of their run-in with Sevarius in "Double Jeopardy", thinking that it was a contrived way of keeping Derek in the dark about him.

But the story improved considerably as the episode progressed.:

Good Points

I was surprised when I found out that Goliath had kidnapped Sevarius. I had biases about him because he was the star hero, and thought that Goliath would never do something like this. But I soon realized that Goliath's actions fit into his personality very well. He's come close to taking the law in his own hands in eps like "Deadly Force", and he's made errors in judgement because of naivete. So his behavior here was an excellent character elaboration. His behavior was also a logical follow-up to his not telling Elisa about the mutates in Act I.

The plot took a lot of twists that I thought would lead to a tragic ending. Xanatos's assertions to Derek blaming Goliath for his transformation felt ironic because Goliath is so unlike how Xanatos characterized him. But then Goliath inadvertantly set himself up to look guilty to Derek, and I thought that the ep would end with Derek completely convinced by Xanatos. Then when Xanatos faced Derek down I was expecting him to kill Derek then and there. I also thought that Maggie would drink the potion and die of poisoning. These twists made the final act very suspenseful.

We had another instance of Xanatos not being in complete control of the situation from the start. But in Act III Xanatos seemed especially chilling and menacing when he admited the truth. Act III was a reminder of what Xanatos can be capable of.

The final scene had closure with the opening scene that I didn't expect. The scene of the mutates and the Mazas all together is one of the most memorable images from the TV series.

Brooklyn got an opportunity to take the lead, showing good judgement in letting the mutates go. Act II also had references to his crush on Maggie.

Sevarius was not just comic relief in this ep. :-) His ambiguity about whether the potion was poison or not added to the episode's suspense.

Bad Points

Animation by Toon City. Generally O.K. for Toon City. But some of the characters were off-model. Especially Maggie, who looked too simplistically drawn. Also, the final scene had some editing problems: I wasn't sure where everyone was in the apartment, and how Goliath suddenly appeared.

The flashbacks took too long. I'd prefer that the creators not use flashbacks too often.


Was that supposed to be Derek on the rooftop as Elisa was talking to the guard? It couldn't be, because that shadow had a tail.

Derek no longer had tufts of hair on his head, and Maggie got a new hairstyle.

So who else thought Thailog was holding Sevarius? :-)

"Maggie the Cat"? I hit myself for not figuring this out. :-)


Fang: Come back here. Fight like a man.
Brooklyn: I'm not a man. I'm a gargoyle.

Brooklyn: Maggie, you know I wanted to be...your friend.

Xanatos: Oh, hello, Goliath. Didn't even notice you there.

Xanatos: He's the scientist. You're just the experiment.

I'm looking forward to future stories featuring the mutates. I wonder how Brooklyn will react to Maggie's relationship with Derek. By the time the series ends I hope that Derek and Maggie have found a cure for their mutation.


by Todd Jensen

I'd been wondering what had happened to the Mutates after "Metamorphosis", particularly not just Derek/Talon, but Maggie as well. I'd developed a good deal of sympathy for her, a person pulled into a struggle that she hadn't even anticipated when she left her home in Ohio to go to New York, and now finding herself transformed into a sort of winged lioness with the ability to shoot out blasts of electricity. Would she and the other Mutates ever find a cure? This episode closed the door on that possibility for the moment, but advanced the Mutates' story in other ways, happier ones by the end.

Talon and Maggie are given further development as characters. Talon is by now more interested in getting his revenge upon Sevarius and Goliath for turning him into a Mutate than in finding a cure; Maggie, on the other hand (a gentle if somewhat timid soul), is far more concerned with obtaining a cure, and even serves as a restraining influence on Talon in his vengeful rages. Just as importantly, she and Talon develop feelings for each other in the course of the episode, until Talon is reaching out to her at the end, urging her not to take Sevarius's "cure", and revealing to her that he needs her with the words, "We're not strong separately. We're strong together." (So much for Brooklyn's hopes in "Metamorphosis" - which are alluded to again here, as he says to her, "You know I wanted to be - your friend".)

Claw and Fang, mere extras in "Metamorphosis", are fleshed out here. Fang now emerges as a comically obnoxious loudmouth and bully, the only one of the Mutates who wants to stay a Mutate because he is delighted with his new powers. Claw, on the other hand, remains constantly silent, due to his horror over what has happened to him. It serves as the foundation for his characterization (and also saved the production team some money on hiring a voice actor for him).

"The Cage" engages in another case of deliberately misleading the audience by making it appear as if Sevarius was abducted by an angry Talon; even Xanatos is initially deceived into believing this to be the case. It soon transpires, however, that the real abductor was Goliath, acting out of a well-intentioned hope that by doing so he could force Sevarius to provide a cure for the Mutates. Elisa correctly points out to him that Sevarius isn't the best choice for such a job, in light of his utter lack of a moral compass, and even if he was, kidnapping isn't the right way to go about it. Unfortunately, by this time, Talon has learned of Goliath's act, and is thereby convinced all the more that Xanatos was telling the truth about Goliath and Sevarius being in cahoots. Only Xanatos's intervention prevents Talon from killing both of them.

Xanatos and Sevarius are their usual amoral selves here, of course. Xanatos gets off one of his best comments near the end, when he says to Talon about Sevarius, "He's the scientist. You're just the experiment." Then, noticing Goliath stirring, he adds, "Hello, Goliath, almost didn't see you there." Sevarius displays his own scheming nature in leaving it uncertain whether he'd come up with a genuine cure or poison. He also provides his own memorable lines as he comments indignantly to Goliath about how annoying it is to have someone looking over his shoulder and then, seeing that Elisa has just arrived, "Oh, wonderful! Now there's two of you."

We get to meet Elisa's family again (including her younger sister Beth, who appears on stage for the first time). And it is truly a heartwarming moment when they are reunited with Derek/Talon at the end and (after a moment's shock at seeing his new form) happily welcome him back, even including the other Mutates in their embrace, as Goliath watches in secret with a smile. Likewise as Goliath extends a hand out to the Mutates, revealing in the process (the first time that it is explicitly stated) that Elisa has already become one of his clan. After the somber ending of "Her Brother's Keeper" and the altogether tragic one of "Metamorphosis", there is something pleasant about finally seeing a Mutates episode conclude on a happier note.


Talon and Maggie assume new character designs here which the production team liked better than the "Metamorphosis" ones (the in-story justification used was that they hadn't finished mutating by the end of "Metamorphosis").

Vinnie gets in another appearance as the Gen-U-Tech security guard (with the full consequences of his being the one on duty during Goliath's kidnapping of Sevarius surfacing in "Vendettas").

Maggie's nickname, "Maggie the Cat", is a reference to Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Two flashback scenes were used from "Metamorphosis" to bring the story up to full length: Goliath's 'killing' Sevarius, and Maggie waking up to find herself at the clock tower.

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