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



by Lori Summers

"Previously on 'Gargoyles'" shows clips from "Outfoxed," "Vows," "Upgrade," and "Grief," letting us know we'll be seeing the Pack, Fox, and Reynard or related threads.

Act I

The travelers appear in a rainforest river. Elisa, spotting a kangaroo, surmises that they're in Australia. They beach their boat and are walking along the shore when trouble finds them, in the form of a flowing matrix of a silvery material which covers the land and shapes itself into spikes and towers. The travelers split up, running from the matrix. Goliath and Angela each climb different land mounds only to glide off just as the matrix covers the rock. They swoop down and rescue Elisa and Bronx just before they are overtaken by the matrix. The four watch helplessly from the top of another outcropping as the matrix flows up the side, then recedes, leaving the land covered in its smooth metallic sheen.

Meanwhile, Dingo sits in front of a campfire with an Australian shaman, who tells him that to find himself he must go "walkabout" and seek the "dreamtime," a dimension that exists in the mind and the heart. This sounds good to Dingo, who sets off on his walkabout after activating his armor and pocketing a remote control device.

Goliath and Co. are roaming the landscape, looking for any sign of the matrix, which seems to have retreated to wherever it came from. Bronx senses someone approaching, and Goliath and Elisa are stunned to discover it's Dingo, who is equally surprised to find gargoyles in Australia. He, Goliath and Bronx fight briefly as Dingo summons his armor by his remote control. It arrives momentarily, knocking Goliath out of the sky and opening itself up for Dingo to step into. As the fight seems about to escalate the scene cuts away to a scientific installation.

Fox Xanatos is discussing the matrix, visible in a containment field in the foreground, with an older female scientist, who is expressing doubts about their ability to control the matrix. She and Fox are evidently testing this matrix, and after a moment Fox calls the woman "Mom." Fox reassures her mother that she has a man in the field keeping civilians away from the testing area and that should the matrix get out of control the magnetic containment field will keep it in check.

Back at the rumble, Goliath and Dingo are still fighting, but suddenly the matrix intervenes, bursting from the ground as rods and spikes and crystalline towers. Bronx rescues Elisa from atop a huge prism-like tower, and a large slab of matrix appears ready to fall on Goliath and Dingo.

Act II

Dingo blasts the slab into pieces with his armor blaster, but the matrix keeps erecting obstacles, at one point imprisoning Angela inside a dome which Dingo blasts a hole in, freeing her. All five run from the expanding matrix, which eventually recedes as before. Elisa marvels at the coincidence of Dingo being in the same area as this strange matrix. Dingo is incredulous. "You're the one a long way from home, this is MY country," he exclaims. "And by the way, you're welcome." Goliath grudgingly accepts Dingo's story, citing his rescue of Angela and himself.

Meanwhile at the laboratory Anastasia Reynard is persuading Fox to blank the matrix's program and start over, thinking the current program is too flawed to control. Fox is reluctant, eager for she and Xanatos to use the matrix to reshape the world to their liking, but she finally agrees. We see the containment field around the matrix's container drop to zero, and the matrix begins to leak out as Fox and Anastasia leave the room.

Goliath and the others inspect a puddle of the matrix. Angela suspects sorcery, but Dingo, able to zoom in closely with his helmet, disagrees. As Elisa looks at it through his helmet, he describes nanotechnology. The matrix is actually billions of tiny robots that are programmed to replicate themselves and take any shape you want them to.

Back at the lab Fox and Anastasia leave the room to check in with Fox's man in the field as we see the matrix begin to escape its containment and take over the lab.

Goliath and the others rejoin the shaman at his campfire. Seeing the gargoyles, the shaman says that they are from the dreamtime.

Fox and Anastasia return to the lab. Fox is saying that a remote camera spotted gargoyles in the test area. The enter the lab to find the matrix run amok. They run from it as it breaks through the contaiment to flood the hallways.

At the campfire, the shaman says while all things come from the dreamtime, this new matrix is not welcome and must be stopped...but in the dreamtime.

Fox and Anastasia escape in the helicopter, but the matrix erects large towers in their way. One of the towers strikes the helicopter and they are forced to land, running towards the shaman's campfire. Anastasia recognizes Goliath, and Fox introduces the others to her mother, Anastasia Reynard. Goliath is stunned to learn that Fox is Halcyon Reynard's daughter. "I thought you had this matrix under control!" Dingo exclaims. Elisa pounces on him, vindicated that he is working for them after all. He concedes her point, but says he never expected all this. Fox says that if the matrix can absorb the reactor at the facility, it will be unstoppable. Anastasia adds that the matrix will cover the entire planet in a matter of days if that happens.


Fox explains that the original experiment was to create order out of chaos in a landscape, but that the matrix has evolved far past its original parameters. Anastasia produces a data cartridge, which if it is input directly into the matrix could blank its program and render it inactive. The transmitter in Dingo's armor could do the trick, and he, Goliath and Angela set off to fly over the matrix and transmit the program. The shaman is skeptical, and with good reason. Just as Dingo begins the transmission the matrix sends up tendrils which imprison Goliath. Angela and Dingo free him and the three beat a hasty retreat.

Anastasia surmises that the matrix is no longer just an experiment, that it has evolved into an artificial intelligence and a force to be reckoned with. The shaman reiterates that the only way to stop it is to talk with it. Fox points out that it thinks a billion times faster than they do and they could never communicate with it in real time. The shaman has the perfect to it in dreamtime.

Goliath and Dingo agree to attempt contact with the matrix, grasping each other's arms over the campfire. The shaman tosses some powder into the fire, reminding them that the dreamtime is not what it seems to be, but what you make it seem. Dingo and Goliath snap into a trancelike state...they have entered the dreamtime. The matrix absorbs the reactor and advances, energized.

They materialize in a rather Dr. Seuss-esque dream landscape where the matrix appears as a large sun hovering over the horizon. Goliath sets off after it, and after a moment Dingo joins him. The light of the matrix almost overwhelms them. "What are you?" Goliath asks. "We are the matrix," it replies. "We create order out of chaos." Goliath remembers the shaman's words and realizes that they can do anything they like here, all they need do is will it. He waves his hands and a large dome materializes over the matrix. Goliath looks pleased with himself until the matrix breaks out of the dome easily. Dingo gets into it, scooping up a handful of flame from the ground. "I like it!" he exclaims as he throws the fire at the matrix. The matrix fires back; Goliath summons up a shield to protect himsef. "You are introducing random elements into the program," the matrix scolds them. Dingo wills himself some souped-up armor with more firepower as Goliath conjures up images of Brooklyn, Lex, Broadway, and Hudson to fly up and battle the matrix.

In the real world, the matrix has slowed its advance. "Our champions have reached it," the shaman exclaims.

The matrix retaliates, crushing the dream-gargoyles and imprisoning Goliath and Dingo in robotic arms and encasing itself in a huge protective shield. Goliath tries to reason with it and get it to stop its advance. "Order is not frozen and perfect, it is dynamic!" he exclaims. "Your peace is that of the grave!" With that the matrix releases them and coalesces into a humanoid shape, insisting that it must create order. "There are different kinds of order," Dingo says. " and order! You'd be real good at that!" Suddenly the matrix dissolves and Goliath and Dingo awaken from their trance. The matrix in the real world takes the same humanoid shape and approaches Dingo. "Tell us about this law and order," it implores. Dingo explains that once he and Fox were heroes to millions, and he misses that. He'd like to be a hero again, but for real. "Maybe you and I could work together!" he asks the matrix. The matrix shakes his hand, then flows over him, creating a silvery new armor around him. "Now we are joined," it says. "Teach us about law and order." Dingo is unsure of his ability to shoulder this new responsibility, but speculates that perhaps this country has a new kind of hero.


by Juan F. Lara

Silly, silly episode. But still one that was fun to watch.

Bad Points

This episode had a ludicrous premise comparable to "Star Trek" episodes like "Genesis" and "Threshhold". Fox sounded like a mad scientist when she went over the purpose of the Matrix project with her mom. I just couldn't picture David Xanatos trying to take over the world by unleashing such an instrument of mass destruction. The Matrix itself had a cliched characterization. Its rantings about its need to form order sounded like lines for the Borg, or that robot in ST:TOS that thought that Kirk was its creator.

But the silliness reached its peak at the end:

Dingo: Listen, mate. There's another kind of order. LAW and order. Hey? Now, that's stuff that you'd be real good at.

I ROTFL at the Matrix's reaction to this line. I'd never realize that Dingo's words would be so very meaningful. :-) And so the Matrix formed an alliance with Dingo in a scene done in the same way as debut stories of cheesy Mainstream-Comic-Book heroes.

The Dreamtime also seemed very familiar. The landscape looked like the world inside the Dali in DWD's "A Brush With Oblivion". Also, the characters' manipulation of reality made the Dreamtime seem like another Virtual Reality world, like the one in "Legion". Actually, the Dreamtime did have some interesting moments (See below), but I would've preferred a more original conception.

DYN: How could the Matrix compress its huge expanse into the size of a humanoid?

But these bad points had a "so-bad-it's-good" appeal that I couldn't feel very negative about this episode. The silly moments made me laugh, while the bad moments in "Kingdom" just ticked me off.

Good Points

The characterizations saved this episode. The interaction between Fox and Anastasia was very endearing. Anastasia was a research partner and an overly concerned mother at the same time, and Fox got mildly annoyed but never angry. Dingo completed the change of heart that began in "Upgrade" and wound up a very likeable character by the end. So right alongside the Matrix's overblown reaction to "law and order" Dingo had some very touching reminiscences of how people looked up to him when the Pack were TV heroes. That good moment balanced out the bad moment for me.

Koko and Dong Yang also did an excellent animation job. The episode had gorgeous-looking artwork from start to finish. In particular, the characters came up with some imaginatively rendered manipulations of the Dreamtime. I liked the Matrix's robot arms, and the golden Gargoyles that Goliath conjured up.


I'd thought we'd never see a pregnant Fox. So I was glad that she made an appearance before giving birth. Fox's hairstyle reminded me of Belle's.

Cast: Kate Mulgrew played Anastasia. So now "Gargoyles" has featured stars from all four "Star Trek" series. James Avery ("The Fresh Prince of Bel Aire" and "Aladdin") played the Shaman.

BTW: Do the Xanatos's know for sure that they're having a son?


Fox: Huh?
Anastasia: Anything wrong?
Fox: Your grandson just kicked me.

Anastasia: I'd just feel better if we restarted with a clean operating system.
Fox: Mother, It's just a test! If we're successful, David and I can use Matrix to reshape the entire planet to suit us.
Anastasia: Fox, humor your mother.

Anastasia: You must be...Goliath.
Fox: Heh. Where are my manners? Goliath, Dingo, Detective Maza. Meet Anastasia Renard, my mother.

Goliath: Come. We have no time to lose.
Dingo: Eh, why not? Always did fancy a trip to Disneyland.

Dingo: Looks like Australia's got a new kind of hero, mates.

I wanted to dislike this episode because of its premise. But I just couldn't. I rank it Fair bordering on Good for now, higher than "The Hound of Ulster" and "Kingdom".


by Todd Jensen

One particular species of antagonist that I have a hard time accepting in fantasy/sci-fi stories is the notion of the computer/robot/artificial intelligence turned evil. The reason for this is that I find it too far-fetched to imagine a machine that could become evil; like Goliath in "Outfoxed", I believe that it takes a living being to be capable of moral actions and choose right or wrong. I can accept the notion of a robot or machine doing bad things because it has been programmed to do them (such as the Steel Clan), but a machine actually developing the emotions needed to be a true villain, such as power-hunger, hatred, greed, paranoia, etc., I find unbelievable.

In "Walkabout", however, "Gargoyles" presents one exception to the rule, in the form of the Matrix. The Matrix is threatening to convert the entire planet into a sea of nano-machines, extinguishing all life in the process, but it is not doing so out of malign intent. It merely believes that it is its duty to do so out of its programmed instructions to bring about order, and at this stage in its development, while it is still so new to the world, it probably does not even understand that the completion of its goals would mean the doom of every living thing on Earth. The Shaman's very words about the Matrix bring this point home; he repeatedly speaks about the protagonists' need to "convince it of its error", a choice of words that makes it clear that the Matrix's actions stem from a misunderstanding rather than from deliberate malevolence, that this is not, say, a power-drunk Jackal as Anubis's avatar that we are dealing with here. So, also, do the Matrix's responses to Goliath and Dingo when they confront it, repeatedly saying to them (in words which, near the end, become almost desperate, as if it is beginning to understand what they are saying, but trapped by its programming), "We must have order". Thus, the Matrix works as a "mechanical adversary".

Dingo also comes to the fore in this episode. In "Upgrade", we had seen him becoming increasingly unnerved and horrified by the degeneration of the rest of the Pack, and so it is no surprise that he has parted ways with them here (if still working for a former Pack-member, namely Fox) and returned to Australia, not just to serve as a security guard for her Matrix project, but also to undergo a change for the better. He still clearly has some initial difficulties getting along with the gargoyles (and vice versa), but recognizes at once the danger that the Matrix poses and willingly teams up with them to thwart it. Most moving of all is the scene at the end where he remembers aloud how he and Fox had once been heroes to the audience of "The Pack" when it had been a television series, and reveals a longing to become a hero this time, only a real one rather than just an actor playing the part. After having begun to like Dingo in "Upgrade", I enjoyed seeing this further transformation of his here.

Fox is back as well (and shown as visibly pregnant), and the series introduces her mother Anastasia for the first time (though she had been mentioned in "Outfoxed"). Fox displays her usual breezy nonchalance that she had earlier shown in "Outfoxed", eagerly embarking on the Matrix Project for the thrill of coming up with a way of reshaping natural terrain according to her desires (a goal that does seem surprisingly ambitious, even for her), in contrast to Anastasia, who shows from the start an uneasy awareness of the consequences of the Matrix getting out of control. (Anastasia's arrival on the scene also leads to Goliath's realization at last that Fox is Renard's daughter.)

The Shaman (as Greg Weisman has himself admitted) is a one-note character, repeatedly talking about the need to show the Matrix the error of its ways, but he gets a particularly good scene when, after Dingo and Elisa approach him alone without the gargoyles, he immediately asks them to let their friends join him around his fire. (Despite his perceptiveness, however, he proceeds to misidentify the gargoyles as being from the Dreamtime.)

Another highlight (particularly for those members of the audience missing the rest of the clan during the World Tour) comes when, during Goliath and Dingo's battle with the Matrix in the Dreamtime, Goliath conjures up images of the trio and Hudson to join him in the assault. It's a brief moment and they don't do anything but open fire upon the Matrix, but it's great to see them again.

Dingo's "law and order" line works perhaps a little too pat as a way of stopping the Matrix (as Greg himself has admitted), but the ending with Dingo and Matrix preparing to team-up as Australia's own pair of heroes is otherwise a good one, bringing the former Pack member further along on his path to a change for the better.


As knowledgeable fans have pointed out, the script misused the term "Dreamtime" here, treating the Dreamtime as if it was another dimension. In fact, the Dreamtime of actual Australian Aborigine legend was a time, the time when the world was newly created and going through the processes that would shape it into its familiar form.

Greg planned to cover Dingo and Matrix's adventures further in a spin-off entitled "Bad Guys", where they would be recruited as part of a team of "semi-reformed" antagonists from "Gargoyles" by a mysterious personage known only as the Director, to be sent on trouble-shooting missions. (Other members would include Fang, Yama from "Bushido", and Robyn Canmore from "Hunter's Moon".) All that exists of "Bad Guys" is a leika reel that Greg plays at the Gatherings, which shows, among other things, Matrix shaping one arm into a boom box and listening to its music!

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