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



by Adam Cerling

Act I

The skiff brings the travellers [cf. Avalon, Part III] this time to the shores of Easter Island. Goliath and Angela are astounded by huge stone heads guarding the shoreline. Elisa is asleep, so Goliath sets her on the shore and orders Bronx to watch her while he and Angela investigate the island. Unbeknownst to them all, something else is monitoring them.

While Goliath and Angela study statuary, Bronx senses the approach of a stranger. He places himself between the sleeping Elisa and a nearby hillside, where light pours out of a portal sliding open. Elisa wakes up just in time to see a tall figure blast the protective Bronx with an energy beam.

Goliath and Angela return to find Elisa missing and Bronx only half-conscious and disoriented. They split up to look for Elisa.

Elisa, walking aimlessly along a dirt road, is found instead by two archaeologists--Prof. Lydia Dwayne and Dr. Arthur Morwood-Smith--in a jeep. When they stop and question Elisa, Elisa professes to have no knowledge of who or where she is.

Alone, Bronx is hunted down and captured by the energy-wielding figure from the hillside.

Elisa accepts the archaeologists' aid and rides to town with them in their jeep. Goliath sees this and follows the vehicle by air.

Angela is the next to be captured, as a bolt of energy knocks her from the sky.

At a hotel in the city, the archaeologists and a doctor try to determine Elisa's identity and the cause of her amnesia. The identification in her wallet tells them her name and her job as a New York police officer. Prof. Dwayne then remembers that they have met before [cf. A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time]. The doctor suggests that a severe emotional trauma could have caused Elisa's amnesia, and he refers her to a Honolulu neurologist. Before Dr. Morwood-Smith can book a flight for her, however, Goliath steps inside from the balcony. Elisa completely fails to remember him or even the existence of Gargoyles. When Goliath reaches for her, Elisa draws her gun on him.

Act II

Elisa tries to shoot Goliath, but she has long been out of bullets. Goliath picks Elisa up, brushes off the weak attempts of the others to stop him, and swoops off with Elisa into the night. Elisa stops struggling once they become airborne. Goliath urges Elisa to try to remember everything, but she just tells him to land. They come to earth near the shore: "We have been friends for over a year, good friends! We've been... travelling together with my daughter Angela. And Bronx?" Goliath implores her to remember, but she does not. "Whoa, Tiny," she says. "You mean there's more than one of you?" Goliath, frustrated, swears vengeance upon whomever created Elisa's amnesia.

Angela, Bronx and one other watch the entire conversation on a video monitor. Angela, imprisoned like Bronx in a sphere of energy, pleads with her captor to believe that they mean him no harm, but he will not. He has been expecting them for a long time; he knows they were sent to "take this world." Behind a control panel beneath a huge, futuristic machine, he uses a tool to scan Angela's image in order to capture Goliath.

Goliath continues to tell Elisa of her life. "Gargoyle clans, mutated brothers, magic spells," she reacts. "You threw in everything but King Arthur and the Holy Grail!" "Yes, well," Goliath replies, "we haven't encountered the Holy Grail yet." Elisa can't remember. Goliath tells her to trust her instincts, but all she has are doubts. Above, Angela appears and drops to the ground, curling up beside a stone. As Goliath runs to Angela, Elisa flees Goliath--but after a moment she decides to turn back and stay with him. Goliath finds Angela to be only a hologram, and a trap. A ball of energy appears and knocks Goliath to the ground. As Elisa, astounded, looks on, a column of light heralds the arrival of the mysterious figure--a tall being clad in futuristic green armor. "You are mine, alien," he proclaims.


The tall green man asks after Elisa's well-being; he sought to protect her from Goliath, the alien. His name is Nokkar, and he is the cause of Elisa's amnesia. Nokkar imprisons Goliath in an energy sphere as he explains: Elisa had obviously been brainwashed by Goliath--she had insisted, after being taken from the shore by Nokkar, that they were her friends--so Nokkar had cleansed her mind of memories. In a few days, her true memories would return, unaffected by the Gargoyles' "false programming." "And to think," Elisa muses, "I was starting to trust this Goliath." The hillside slides open again, and Nokkar, with Goliath in tow, invites Elisa inside.

Goliath awakens near Angela and Bronx while Nokkar is away giving Elisa a tour of the premises. Angela tells Goliath that they are inside a spaceship, hidden beneath the island, placed there for the defense of Earth during a war centuries ago. Nokkar, an alien sentinel, captured the Gargoyles because they were obviously alien spies. Elisa returns then with Nokkar, who has removed his helmet; his face look like the statues on the island, which were a tribute paid him by natives he befriended long ago. Goliath tries to convince Nokkar that Gargoyles are native to Earth, but Elisa tells Nokkar that she remembers no such race. Nokkar then delivers the Gargoyles' sentence: execution by means of a laser-flinging metal tongue that emerges from the bowels of the machine behind him. Elisa is horrified. Before the tongue can fire upon Goliath, Elisa seizes Nokkar's hand weapon and shoots the sphere enclosing Goliath. Freed, Goliath dodges the laser and leaps at the tongue. Elisa frees Angela and Bronx as well, and the three wrestle the tongue until they destroy it. The spaceship is torn up from the stray laser fire, and Nokkar is pinned beneath some rubble. Goliath helps Bronx, Angela and Elisa climb to the surface through a hole opened by the laser. Before Goliath himself can depart, however, Nokkar frees himself and attacks the Gargoyle. During the fight, Goliath destroys the control panel of the huge machine, which violently explodes. Nokkar, too close to it, is thrown across the room and defeated. Goliath departs.

On the surface, Goliath urges the others to quickly head for the skiff. Elisa doesn't remember it; she still has amnesia. Goliath is confused; he asks her why she freed them from Nokkar if she still remembered nothing. The ground shakes then, and Nokkar's entire spaceship rises out of the earth. A gigantic cannon aims at Elisa and the Gargoyles, then emits Nokkar's voice: He forgives Elisa her lapse in judgment, and he asks her to step away from the Gargoyles. Elisa refuses; she may not have memories, but she does have her instincts, and her instincts tell her that the Gargoyles are her friends. Nokkar steps out from behind the cannon, having no choice but to believe Elisa. His mind-cleansing process destroys only false memories, not honest feelings. Elisa's loyalty to the Gargoyles must be genuine. Nokkar expresses loneliness about being a sentinel; he wishes he had someone to trust as well. Just then, The archaeologists and the doctor pull up on the hillside in their jeep. Elisa tells Nokkar that they are trustworthy.

In the morning, Elisa and the Gargoyles leave the island while Nokkar looks on.


by Juan F. Lara

They've got to be kidding.

Bad Points

I know that aincient-astronaut legends are commonplace. But the premise of Nokkar was just too much for me to accept. The revelation that the Earth was once a strategic outpost in a galactic war, if it was actually true, seemed to me like a very drastic alteration of the "Gargoyles" reality. It would feel weird if the main characters just shrugged off this significant historical event. But the alternative approach would be making the galactic war thread as significant a thread as the Illuminati or the Demona/MacBeth thread. I didn't think that such a thread would fit into this series very well. So the Sentinel premise was a no-win situation.

Anyhow, I thought that the creators mishandled the premise completely. They should've revealed Nokkar immediately and then spent the rest of the episode gradually setting up his background. The galactic war premise would then become easier to accept, and viewers could've learned how to understand Nokkar. Instead, the creators had Angela regurgitate Nokkar's entire background in one big monologue that left me stunned. Then Act 3 had an interminable and pointless fight scene. An explanation as to who were Nokkar's enemies would've made much better use of the time for all that fighting.

Nokkar himself was poorly characterized. He asserted that his war experiences made him distrustful. But I still couldn't give him leeway for acting so thoughtlessly and stubbornly. I never developed any sympathy for him. The episode predictably ended with him reconciling with the Travellers. But that scene felt unsatisfying. You'd think he'd be more distressed about coming so close to killing innocent beings.

How can just one person protect an entire planet from a galactic invasion? Was there a nearby battle station that Nokkar was supposed to alert? Nokkar should have technology that could monitor the whole planet. But if he did, how could he never discover the existence of gargoyles?

I would've loved to have seen the professors' reaction to suddenly being the caretakers of a centuries-old alien. :-)

Good Points

Well, it wasn't as bad as "The New Olympians". I did like the "Elisa's amnesia" thread. That premise led to some some interesting interaction between Elisa and Goliath. The episode had the poignant moments of Elisa turning against Goliath ("And to think, I was starting to trust this Goliath." ) and her not remembering what gargoyles were. ("I'm not sure, but I always thought gargoyles were nothing more than stone statues.")

Also, Koko/Dong Yang did a great animation job. When teamed up, they're the only studios working on this series that can rival WD-Japan's best work.


WD-Japan has the slash marks. Now Koko/Dong Yang has the swooping wing. :-)

I was hoping that Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko in "Deep Space Nine") would have a role, but not like this.

Goliath: Elisa. Please. We have been friends for over a year. Good friends. We have been...traveling together with my daughter, Angela, and Bronx.

Elisa: That's some story all right. Gargoyle clans, mutated brothers, magic spells. You threw in everything but King Arthur and the Holy Grail.
Goliath: Yes, well, we haven't encountered the Holy Grail yet.


by Todd Jensen

"Sentinel" is one of the very few Avalon World Tour episodes where I recall my initial response to it. The first time that I saw it, I excitedly thought, thanks to the footage from "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" in the "Previously On" section, that it would involve King Arthur and Griff's quest for Merlin that had been announced at the end of "Pendragon", which I was eager to find out more about (at that time, it had not yet occurred to me that such a quest would be better handled in a spin-off). Instead, its background mythology involved Easter Island and Erich von Daniken's ancient astronaut theories, though (in one of my favorite moments in this episode), there is a brief allusion to not only Arthur, but the Holy Grail as well. This disappointed me, though I've become reconciled to that since.

When the gargoyles and Elisa arrive on Easter Island, Nokkar, the mysterious alien Sentinel posted there long ago, mistakes the gargoyles for agents of his people's ancient enemy, the Space-Spawn, and believes them to be duping Elisa into believing them friendly. In a desperate attempt to counteract this, he erases Elisa's memory, leaving her confused about her very identity, and certainly unable to recognize Goliath when he comes looking for her. Her situation becomes all the more a crisis when Nokkar captures Goliath, Angela, and Bronx, and prepares to execute them.

Nokkar has received much condemnation from "Gargoyles" fans for his hasty judgment towards the gargoyles, so much so that, while I certainly can agree that he has made the same mistake as the Banshee in "The Hound of Ulster" in jumping to conclusions about the protagonists and not considering - until the end - the possibility that he might be wrong, I find it imperative to point out a few things in his favor. The chief of these is that he shows genuine concern and love for the planet that he has been appointed to protect. He immediately asks Elisa, after taking Goliath prisoner, if she's all right. He trusts her enough to personally give her the guided tour of his spaceship. Even after Elisa frees the gargoyles, he asks her why she did it instead of shooting first, and listens enough to her answer to realize that her instincts about the gargoyles were correct and that his initial assumption about them was faulty. And he remembers his old friendship with the natives of Easter Island whom he had shared his mission with, clearly missing their company, and is happy enough at the end to find new friends in the form of the two archaeologists and Dr. Arnada. He forms a pleasant contrast to so many of the gargoyles' adversaries elsewhere in the series who, even when genuinely misguided into believing the gargoyles to be evil monsters, show themselves to have no concern about the human bystanders, and make it clear that their acts are motivated out of hatred and malice rather than a sense of duty towards the people in the area. (It might be added also that Nokkar is only preparing to execute the gargoyles because his people's laws forbid him to take prisoners, and that he set his weaponry to give them as painless a death as possible.)

On a related note, many "Gargoyles" fans have also mistakenly assumed from this episode: a) that the gargoyles actually were aliens, and b) that the Space-Spawn either look like gargoyles or might actually be gargoyles. A closer inspection of the dialogue, however, makes it clear that Nokkar's belief that the gargoyles are aliens stems from the fact that he's never seen gargoyles before during his long Sentinelship on Earth and therefore jumps to the conclusion that they must not be native to the planet. Furthermore, the way that he talks about them suggests that he believes, not that the gargoyles are Space-Spawn themselves, but members of some hitherto unknown (to Nokkar) alien race that has formed an alliance with the Space-Spawn. What the actual Space-Spawn look like is still unknown (the name suggests something out of H. P. Lovecraft, though I doubt that the Space-Spawn would necessarily resemble, say, Cthulhu or the Mi-Go).

The real focus of the episode, however, is on Elisa and her amnesia. Greg Weisman has commented recently that the core inspiration for that part of the story was this: the way that humans respond towards gargoyles - or the unknown in general - often relates to how much at peace they feel about themselves. Elisa knew who and what she was when she met Goliath, and so, after the initial shock of meeting a living gargoyle, could accept the fact that he was friendly. But what happens when Elisa is feeling confused and even frightened over the fact that she can't remember anything that's happened to her, that her entire life has been erased from her memories, and then meets Goliath? And indeed, she responds differently towards him then. Nevertheless, fortunately for our heroes, Elisa's instincts towards Goliath and the other gargoyles have been preserved and - much to her own surprise - when they are placed in genuine danger, she finds herself going to their rescue, something which saves their lives in the end.

The episode could have been improved a little if Nokkar had been more apologetic over almost killing the gargoyles and now realizing that they were not enemies, and it could be argued that the interstellar war may be a little much for "Gargoyles". (Since my own tastes extend more towards fantasy and the medieval than towards sci-fi, I wasn't as interested in the struggle with the Space-Spawn as I was with, say, the various adventures involving Oberon's Children, Macbeth, or King Arthur.) Still, it makes a decent World Tour story, and allows us to see just how strong Elisa's loyalty is towards the gargoyles underneath it all.

(And I hope that Goliath and Elisa really will get to encounter the Holy Grail later on.)


Although Elisa muses, at the end of this episode, over the possibility that the Space-Spawn War could be long since over, that (naturally) is not the case. Greg Weisman had, in fact, planned a "sequel series" to "Gargoyles" entitled "Gargoyles 2198", in which the Space-Spawn would finally reach Earth in the year 2198 and conquer it. Nokkar, chagrined over having failed to spot their approach (the Space-Spawn's technology had become so advanced by this time that their ships couldn't be picked up by his monitoring systems) throws himself into the struggle to free Earth from the Space-Spawn, joining with a handful of other characters (including Demona, Owen, a time-travelling Brooklyn, and descendants of Goliath, Delilah, Natsilane, and Zafiro) to form a resistance movement.

In a particularly noteworthy animation nit, Elisa's black t-shirt is shown to be long-sleeved while she's taking the tour of Nokkar's spaceship. However, in the immediately preceding episode, "The Green", she was wearing a short-sleeved shirt instead.

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