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A Bronx Tail

Synopsis |  Review by Juan F. Lara




Author's note: I'm actually afraid to watch this one. It's the version with all the retakes in place (rarely aired!), so at least most of the technical errors are gone, but it's still a horrible, pointless episode. But I must hold on... I must be strong. Heck, I survived To Serve Mankind; I can survive this! I just hope I haven't gone mad by the time the episode's over. Well, without further ado... here's A Bronx Tail! Wish me luck!

Opening Monologue

"Humans love adventure. What, they wonder, lies over the hill? Across the ocean? Beyond the stars? Perhaps they believe that they will discover answers there; wisdom too elusive to be uncovered near to home. But within the unknown, lies great danger, and with every new adventure, an anxious loved one is left praying for a safe return."

Act I

The episode opens with a freight yard at night. There are guards with flashlights wandering around, pointing their flashlights in the direction of any noise. One guard in particular briefly points the flashlight at the fourth wall when Goliath says "lies great danger" in the monologue, then looks around madly for a few seconds until he gives up and goes to meet another guard.

"Anything?" says a guard, poking his head out of the train.

"Not yet," says Fourth Wall Guy, "But it's like before! I could feel 'em! They're here! Just waiting to pounce!" He points his flashlight at nothing and finally notices Lexington, sitting on top of a train. He pulls out his nightstick and tosses it at Lexington. Lexington dives out of the way and in front of the nightstick, which somehow misses him. He glides away from the possessed nightstick, then toward the guards. They move away and Lexington glides off.

"Don't worry, I've got him!" says the other guard, but Bronx appears from out of nowhere, jumps on the guard's back and sends him to the floor. Fourth Wall Guy points his flashlight at Bronx, who promptly makes a run for it. He aims for Bronx (now in exciting First-Shooter Game Mode!) and shoots at absolutely nothing. Bronx is now hiding in the cargo storage area of one of the trains. Lexington is frantically gliding all about and calling for Bronx.

The guards shoot at Lexington and he's forced to glide to safety. Bronx is still in the cargo hold, whimpering, and standing there being absolutely helpless instead of, say, jumping out of the cargo hold.

Lexington frantically glides after the train, trying to grab on as Bronx whimpers. Finally, he grabs on, looking behind him and smiling for no apparent reason. He climbs on to the train and walks over to Bronx's car. "Stay Bronx, stay!!" yells Lexington, even though he wants him to do the exact opposite, but I guess having Bronx jump wasn't working either. The sun is rising. Bronx notices and howls like it's the end of the world, still not moving from his spot.

Lexington yells that he's coming, and tries to climb into the cargo hold, but as he moves his arms, the air fills his wings and he's sent flying off the train and into the air. Lexington screams for Bronx, watching helplessly as the train goes over a bridge and over a lake. Finally, he catches himself and notices the sun that's about to rise (his arms are down and he couldn't possibly glide like that, but who's paying attention?).

Once again, he dives for the train, which is now miraculously over the bridge again (at the speed it was going earlier, you'd think the train would've disappeared from sight). As he lands, he trips and goes rolling away. He grabs on to the train again and climbs, screaming, "I'm coming!!" The sun is now appearing in front of the mountains. I repeat, in front of the mountains, which has the unfortunate (but still quite hilarious) side effect of the sun being half a circle in the sky. Let that sink in for a second.

Lexington screams, "Not now!" and it sounds like it was voiced by someone else [?!], and he turns to stone with his claws digging into the roof. He rakes the roof with his talons as the wind starts to push him off the train. He finally goes flying off the train and plummeting toward the lake. Miraculously, his talons don't get torn off.

Bronx sees the sunlight come through the window and he moans and whimpers until he finally turns to stone. Lexington crashes into a frozen lake, breaking the sheet of ice and crashing to the bottom (how come he's still in one piece?) Finally, the scene mercifully ends with the train speeding away, with Bronx still in the cargo hold (and I'm still trying to figure out what the point of this scene was.)

Back at a considerably shorter-looking Eyrie Building (the Mini Eyrie!), Elisa is standing next to the frozen gargoyle statues. Broadway looks considerably thinner and Brooklyn appears to be either completely bald or with extremely thin hair.

"They're in trouble, Xanatos, I can feel it!" says Elisa, oblivious to the fact that Brooklyn's having hair issues. No one seems to notice, in fact, when it would've made for an infinitely more interesting episode.

"Don't worry. I think he knows to find a safe place if they can't make it back by dawn," says Xanatos, sounding heavily medicated because that line had no emotion whatsoever (maybe the voice actor is bored of this episode, too.)

"And where would that safe place be?" asks Elisa (in the background, Brooklyn's statue now has a full head of hair), "Anti-gargoyle hysteria keeps getting worse!" We're briefly shown a wall elsewhere, with the words "Smash Gargoyles!", "humans only" and a stick figure next to it, and something that looks like a cross between Goliath and Xanatos with a NO symbol on top. People are yelling in the background and someone throws a soda can at the graffiti (wait, are they against gargoyles or not?)

Elisa, looking at Goliath, says, "Even the strongest gargoyles are easy targets during the day," and let us all thank Elisa for stating something that Xanatos already knows and the fans figured out in the first episode.

"I'll use all my resources to search for him, Detective," says Xanatos, heavily medicated and looking like he's about to fall asleep where he stands, "But we have to keep a low profile." Elisa says that she'll check with "every precinct in the city," hoping that whoever finds Lexington and Bronx is a friend.

The scene ends with the sun rising behind all the buildings like it's supposed to.

Elsewhere, a man is polishing his sport utility truck. Isaiah (never named on-screen) is driving a horse-drawn buggy with his son, Matthew. The kid is looking at the truck with fascination. "Wow, look at that! I've never seen such big wheels!" he says. His father notices a comic book sticking out of his pocket, and he pulls it out and holds it angrily.

"Matthew, what is this?" His son is flustered, and meekly says that it's nothing. "More rot!!" the father cries, and I can't blame him one bit. Who would buy a comic book called "Mega Mutants"? This comic book was produced by a company called "G." It has a green mutant on a yellow background. He's wearing a red shirt of sorts with light-blue sleeves, and a golden wristband. He has long, white hair and his face is brown. He has light-blue claws and a monkey tail. I'm seriously wondering if this is an inside joke on the animator's part... but moving on!

"But father... they're just stories!" argues Matthew.

"What am I to do with you, Matthew? The outside world draws you, like a moth to a flame!" Matthew just slumps and touches his belly (maybe he has taste for moths.)

Isaiah sighs deeply. "You are a great child to me, my son," and the horse-drawn buggy rides on. Suddenly, Isaiah throws the comic book on the ground, and you can see that the green monster also has hooves. In the back of the comic book is what appears to be a clown. Oh yeah, inside joke indeed.

The sun is setting behind the mountains (after the mistake from earlier, of course I have to point out when the sun rises or sets correctly!) It's another freight yard. What appears to be a homeless man is wandering around, wearing a silly red hat. I'll call him Gimli because he looks like a dwarf. He's looking at the cargo hold of the train. As he climbs on, he notices Bronx's statue.

Gimli just stands there, whimpering, then finally screams and leaves the cargo hold. I watch helplessly as precious seconds of my life melt away as he stares at the statue, continuously saying "what?" then he slowly creeps up to the statue and bangs on it with a fist. "A statue!" he says, relieved, "Phew! Getting jumpy in my old age!" And slow. Don't forget slow.

The sun finally sets (behind the buildings, but is it behind the mountains, too?) and Bronx comes to life. Gimli hears the noise, then starts whimpering incoherently. Finally, he turns to look at Bronx, who's stretching, then turns around again. Bronx yawns loudly, and Gimli cries out in terror, then covers his mouth, probably thinking he shouldn't have screamed like that.

We get a close-up of Bronx's foot, and creepy music starts playing (maybe it's the most... scary... foot... ever.) Gimli is terrified by this foot and Bronx's growls, and finally, he screams hysterically and runs away (he'll have to hitch a ride elsewhere, the poor thing). Bronx watches as Gimli speeds away, then jumps out of the cargo hold and looks around, whimpering and growling. Great, now he jumps...

The scene mercifully ends with Lexington's arms sticking out of the ice sheet, gasping for air even though his head's still underwater. He breaks the sheet of ice and climbs out, coughing and gasping. A part of me wonders why he didn't shatter when he crashed through the ice and hit the ground, or how he could survive underwater for so long, but I'm just glad that scene with Gimli and Bronx is over.

We catch a glimpse of the moon, and it's the only beautiful thing in this episode, so I love the moon. Unfortunately, the scene changes to Matthew wandering in the snow (moon, how I miss thee!), carrying a backpack and muttering angrily to himself, "It was just a book!" He walks to a log and sits on it. "We are to see nothing, to try nothing, to hear nothing! There must be more to life!" Let us ignore the fact that Matthew is insulting everything his Amish community believes in.

Wolves are howling in the background, and Matthew looks nervous. He sees a wolf over the hill, and stands up. "It's getting pretty late. I'd better get home!" He starts to calmly walk away to the sound of wolves howling. The wolf he saw earlier is sniffing him out, and Matthew starts to walk faster. Another wolf appears. Matthew looks over his shoulder and walks away a little hurriedly. A third wolf appears, and he finally makes a run for it (and here I am, still waiting for the plot to start.)

And this thrilling sequence goes like this: Matthew running, a close-up of Matthew's feet, the wolves charging him, Matthew running slowly, the wolves running, Matthew running faster, the wolves' feet, Matthew's face, the wolves' faces, Matthew's face (again), the wolves' faces (again), Matthew jumping over a log, Matthew trying to run faster, the wolves jumping over a log... and I start falling asleep until Matthew finally stumbles and lands headfirst in the snow.

He looks behind him and gasps when he notices the three wolves, barking at him. The act fades to black on this thrilling cliffhanger.

Act II

Matthew is still lying in the snow as the wolves bark at him (with a reused shot of the wolves barking). The three wolves start charging again (again, with a reused shot from earlier). Just when all hope appears to be lost for Matthew (and here I am, hoping the episode will end here, but no such luck for me), Bronx appears from out of nowhere and head-butts into a wolf that was in mid-jump.

The wolf goes flying and crashing into the snow. Bronx runs into another wolf, sending him flying. Another wolf tries to attack, but Bronx swats him away. Matthew watches helplessly as wolves try to bite Bronx (conveniently in shadow). All the wolves are surrounding Bronx now, who's menacingly swiping his claws left and right for them. Another wolf tries to get the jump on him, and Bronx grabs him and slams him into the ground. Yet another wolf tries to attack him, and once again, we watch in shadow as the two animals fight, snarling and roaring. Matthew is terrified by this and finally makes a run for it, which he should've done ages ago, but for some reason, he falls to his knees on the snow.

The three wolves are circling Bronx. He swipes his claws at one, then growls at the other, and the wolves finally run away, yelping. Bronx howls to the moon, and the wolves run for their lives. Bronx looks over his shoulder and sees Matthew, who's cowering.

"Nice... whatever you are!" stutters Matthew as Bronx walks over to him, "You weren't saving me for your own dinner... right?" Bronx is sniffing at his backpack. "Hey! I've got something you'll like. My mother baked it!" He pulls a huge loaf of bread out of the backpack and offers it to Bronx. He sniffs it out, then chomps on it, making Matthew cry out in fear.

"Oh, you must be hungry!" he says, watching as Bronx devours the bread. Bronx suddenly whines and holds up his paw as if in pain (uh, when did this happen?) "You're hurt! You'd better come home with me!" he says, promising to give him all kinds of food to eat. He leaves and Bronx follows him. Finally, this long scene has come to an end and the plot has truly begun. Great, now I want it to end.

(Note: In the original version of this episode, this scene had serious problems with everyone's footprints. They would disappear and reappear, making it look like a ghost was following the characters, or sometimes, the footprints weren't there at all. This was all fixed for later airings, which, unfortunately, don't air on Toon Disney.)

After a shot of Castle Wyvern that looks like it was taken from Awakening: Part III (you can tell because it's actually touching the clouds), everyone's watching Goliath worriedly. "I warned Lexington about his constant exploring!" he yells (because, believe it or not, exploring is bad for you!!), "If anything's happened to him, it's my fault!" He bangs his fist on a parapet and you can tell that everyone's keeping their distance.

Xanatos, still looking high (this is what happens when you emasculate a villain; they turn to drugs!), says, "I'm monitoring all broadcasts, Goliath, if anyone's seen him --" he's cut off by Lexington arriving and perching himself on a parapet.

Goliath looks relieved. "Thank goodness," he says.

"I'm sorry!" starts saying Lexington, and we dive head-first into yet another monologue, "But you know how much Bronx loves trains! I never thought we'd get in trouble just watching them! And the next thing I know, he's speeding away, and there was no way to get him off!" Throughout the monologue, we get an agonizingly slow zoom-out pan from Lexington to the other gargoyles (I guess this is supposed to be the most emotional scene ever).

Back at the rail yard, Gimli is talking to a guard. "There's nothing here!" says the guard, annoyed, pointing his flashlight at the cargo hold Bronx was in.

"Oh, but there was, I tell ya!" yells Gimli, sounding hysterical, "A regular monster! Maybe it's one of them 'garglers' -- it's out to destroy mankind!" The guard corrects him, and tells him that they're only in New York. "Oh, they're sneaking in by the hundreds! They're going to grab us all in our sleep!!"

"I'm telling you, there are no gargoyles in... Pennsylvania..." The guard trails off when he notices Bronx's footprints in the snow. "That is, until now."

One trademark claw-swipe later...

Back at the castle, (is it just me, or are they going back and forth in this episode?) Xanatos appears behind Goliath and starts speaking, which seems to unnerve him a little. "According to the station master, a train left the New Jersey Yard just before midnight, headed for Pittsburgh. I have an unmarked jet copter fueled and waiting!" (It's an unmarked helicopter, right? So it shouldn't have a logo, right?)

Back in Pennsylvania, Matthew is taking Bronx to a barn. Bronx is nervous and sniffing out the place. "It's okay; you'll be safe in here!" Bronx still isn't sure. "Look, you've got to stay out of sight. Whatever you are, I know my father won't let me keep you." Bronx walks in and curls up in a corner, moaning. "Good boy!"

The scene fades to later in the day. Matthew is sneaking out of his house (and the sun is actually behind the mountains again!) with milk, bread and sausages. He runs into the barn. "Wake up, boy!" He gasps when he notices the statue. "What did I do wrong?" he whispers. He tries offering Bronx milk, bread and sausages, but as every fan could tell you, offering a gargoyle food during the day won't make them wake up. He hears an engine outside and gasps.

Isaiah's horse is upset by the noise. "Easy, easy!" yells Isaiah, trying to calm his horse, but it still manages to break one of the wheels of the buggy. Matthew's mother, whom I'll call Rachel, leaves the barn and, seeing the commotion, looks upset and then freezes (really, she actually freezes on the spot and doesn't move again until later). "Quiet, Jacob!" (Can you believe that the writers bothered to name the horse but not the wife?) He notices the truck pull over in front of his farm.

The sports utility truck from earlier charges into the farm, tail pipes blazing. They pull over in front of Isaiah and the two passengers are revealed. One of them, whom we saw polishing his truck earlier, is carrying a sledge hammer. I'll call him Jethro. The other's really quiet and has a huge nose, so I'll call him Bubba for no reason whatsoever.

"We're here to search your farm, pops!" says Jethro, who appears to be a wannabe Quarryman, and doesn't appear to have much of a brain. Rachel finally starts moving again and looks distressed. "We've got monsters on the loose, mean ones, from Manhattan! We're checking every barn in the area!" We shall never know what these people have to gain out of hunting gargoyles. I'll just go ahead and file these two under "TGC Losers"...

Matthew, still hiding in the barn, looks over at Bronx's statue and whispers, "Monsters?"

Jethro walks up to Isaiah and holds the head of the sledge hammer in his hand. "There are no monsters here!" says Isaiah, holding his hands up. Jethro just smirks and says that they're here to help. "Your help is not needed!" yells Isaiah, and Jethro's smirk turns into a grimace. "We have seen your help before!" Finally, some background on these nameless guys. Now, how about a flashback? Or heck, I'll settle for a name. "Now go!" he yells.

"Or what? Your kind doesn't believe in violence!" Then, to show Isaiah just what he thinks of his beliefs, he pushes him to the ground for no reason. He lands in a heap on the ground and Matthew gasps in horror. Jacob, faithful horse that he is, goes to his side. Rachel goes to help him and yells, "Leave him alone!"

Bubba walks up to Jethro and yells. "Come on, man, we don't need the cops coming down on us again!" Wait, again? Why can't they be bothered to give us background info? I guess we'll just have to keep guessing... and I'll keep calling them Jethro and Bubba.

Jethro threatens Isaiah, "I'll see you later!" He and Bubba get back on the truck and speed away. And if you were wondering if Jethro was going to keep his promise, then you can rest easy. It's never going to happen. Rachel helps him up and Matthew says, "It's all right, Mother. They're leaving." (Mother? Please tell me that's Amish tradition...)

Matthew, who had been watching the entire scene unfold, looks back at the statue. "He isn't a monster! I know he isn't!" whispers Matthew.

Rachel helps her husband back to his feet. "Why didn't you just let them search the barn?" she asks, "They might have hurt you!"

"Because they have no business on our land!" he replies, "Whatever it takes, a man must do what is right!"

The scene fades to sunset (this episode just keeps going and going...) Matthew, who's still holding the milk and food from earlier, is watching as Bronx's stone skin starts cracking and he finally awakens. He is obviously impressed by this display. Then he pours him some milk and gives him the sausages and bread. Bronx walks over to the bowl of milk and starts drinking, then he eats the sausages. "Hey, you're not limping!" exclaims Matthew, "Now we can go on an adventure!"

Cut to Matthew riding Bronx in the snow. "If Manhattan's where you're from, then Manhattan's where we're going to go!" He kicks Bronx in the ribs gently and Bronx runs faster. "We'd better hurry up, if we want to make it by daylight!" (So, you want to ride from Pennsylvania to New York on a gargoyle beast. ...Yeah, makes sense to me.)

And here is the single most tedious sequence in the entire series. It easily overshadows the brainwashing sequence in To Serve Mankind. This sequence is so terrible, so agonizing, that young children and people with weak stomachs should leave the room. It's a sequence of Matthew and Bronx playing in the snow!

Bronx trips over a rock and he and Matthew go flying high into the air (people sure trip a lot in this season...) Matthew's backpack goes flying and lands in the snow. Bronx lands face-up on it. Matthew lands in a sitting position on Bronx's belly and he proceeds to use his hind legs as a steering wheel (please kill me now). The two slide down a cliff, with Matthew using Bronx as a sled. He's having a great time, but Bronx is absolutely terrified, wailing mournfully. They slide down a cliff and are heading straight for a tree, and now I understand Bronx's look of horror.

They slide past the tree, then... slide down the cliff again and toward the same tree? Bronx is absolutely terrified of hitting the tree while he's in that position, so he finally rolls over and Matthew goes flying and landing headfirst in the snow.

Bronx goes sliding toward the tree on his back (wait, wasn't he... ah, forget it), howling like it's the end of the world. He finally crashes into the tree. The look on his face is a mixture of exhaustion and relief, and to top it all off, snow falls on him and covers him completely. He stands up and shakes it off. Matthew, who is sliding down the same cliff, laughing, crashes into Bronx. "Now that's how you make time!" No, that's how you kill time in this episode!

The scene dissolves to later. Bronx and Matthew are walking away, leaving their footprints on the snow. The truck pulls over with Jethro and Bubba. Jethro is grimacing for no apparent reason. He looks at Bubba and laughs and woops. "We're going to bag us a monster!" he yells, holding up his sledge hammer, and Bubba just smiles a little (gee, he must be so excited to be in this episode!) The truck speeds away, sputtering and smoking. Finally, the act fades to black, after what seems like years of watching this thing.


There's a truck cruising down the highway, carrying hay. Matthew, still riding Bronx, takes him to a bridge. He sees the truck, which is taking those sharp turns dangerously fast, "Wow, I always wanted to ride on one!" he exclaims, then sighs and adds, "But it's forbidden." Bronx, apparently understanding his plea, jumps over the railing of the bridge and lands in the bed of the truck, conveniently landing in the hay.

The truck driver, whom I'll call Large Marge (Marge for short), feels the rocking and looks annoyed. "Lousy highways!" she mutters, and with that one line, she has become my favorite character in the entire episode. Matthew sits on the hay and looks worried. Suddenly, the sports truck flies out of nowhere, with Jethro having a great time and Bubba holding the sledge hammer, and lands on the bridge. They speed to the other side and drive down to the road, going after the hay truck, swerving on the icy roads.

Matthew sees them. "Oh, no! It's those monster hunters!" he says, hiding behind Bronx.

Jethro's having a great time. "Ha-ha! We've got them now!" Bubba's just hanging on to the windshield. Jethro catches up to the truck and slams the car into it, making the truck swerve effortlessly and even tip to one side. Surprisingly, his truck comes out of it without a scratch. Matthew holds on to Bronx. "Hey! Pull over!" yells Jethro at Marge.

Large Marge looks at him and screams, "Get outta here!!! Local yahoos." She's instantly likeable. Really, she is! She told those TGC losers to get out! My hero!

Jethro is infuriated by this, and charges forward to slam into the truck again (with a reused scene from earlier, but what else is new?) Large Marge just honks her horn and Jethro just stares at the steering wheel. "You'll hurt the kid!" yells Bubba. Wow, a bad guy in TGC that actually cares about a kid? I... am stunned... just... stunned... "I'm calling the highway patrol!" he says, and pulls out his cell phone (wow, it's huge... ah, the 90's!)

Jethro glares at him, then mutters, "Gutless." Yeah, he's your typical TGC bad guy. I'll just go ahead and remove Bubba from the "TGC Losers" file, because he actually cared about the kid. Jethro, you're still a loser.

A helicopter appears with Xanatos, Elisa and Goliath aboard. Remember Xanatos' line, about having "an unmarked jet copter fueled and waiting"? This helicopter actually has the Xanatos Enterprises logo on it. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that Xanatos himself is flying the helicopter, even though XANATOS CANNOT FLY A HELICOPTER! Sure, he can land one, badly, but that doesn't mean he can fly one!

Hilariously, Goliath is in the back seat, looking incredibly uncomfortable. I don't know why that amuses me so. "Pennsylvania HP's setting up a roadblock," says Elisa, "They say a gargoyle snatched a little boy!"

"Let's go!" says Goliath, (but maybe he's really desperate to get out of that uncomfortable helicopter. He looked incredibly uncomfortable in Her Brother's Keeper, too. Maybe he just hates helicopters.)

Indeed, there's a roadblock of about two cars. Large Marge is just cruising along, until she sees the pitiful roadblock and policemen with large guns. "Oh, now what?!" she yells, and starts slowing down. Why is this woman so likeable?

Matthew, still riding in the back of the truck with Bronx, yells, "Oh, no! We're slowing down!" Jethro's truck gets closer and closer, and you can tell that Bubba's holding the sledge hammer again (this guy is coming dangerously close to landing in the TGC Losers file again.)

Matthew quickly mounts Bronx and yells, "Jump boy!" Bronx jumps without hesitation, lands on Jethro's truck, and jumps away. (So, let me get this straight... He can jump off a bridge and on to a moving truck, and he can jump from one moving truck to another... but he can't jump out of a train?!)

Jethro promptly slams into the back of Large Marge's truck, which has now come to a complete stop, and totals his truck in the process. Of course, Jethro and Bubba suffer no injuries whatsoever, and the cops quickly gather around them.

Bronx leaves the bridge and slides down the snow, with Matthew panicking the whole time. The scene abruptly cuts to the police, asking Jethro and Bubba if they're okay. "Yeah, yeah, but get him!!" yells Jethro, rubbing his aching head. "Look what he did to my truck!!" It's nice to know that you care more about your truck than your friend, who was also in the accident. Hey, at least we know more about this guy! Oh, it's too late. He'll never show up again, and we still don't know his name. Ah, well.

Bronx jumps back on to the road and starts skidding around the ice. The policemen notice them and yell, "There they are!" Bronx takes a few steps and promptly breaks the sheet of ice and lands in the water. Every time he tries to get up, he just breaks more of the ice and falls back into the water. He tries about four times, until some unknown force pulls him back into the water. Matthew rushes to his aid and holds his hand over the water. "I can't reach you!" he yells, with his hand still not touching the water.

Bronx tries to swim back to the surface, but this unknown force keeps holding him back. Matthew finally realizes that waving his arm over the water isn't going to help, so he sticks his hand in the water and tries to reach Bronx, but to no avail. Bronx sinks, and Matthew just leaves his hand underwater, apparently not feeling even the slightest bit of cold.

A policeman grabs him by the back of his jacket and pulls him back to his feet. "It's okay, kid! You're safe now!" says Clueless Cop, dragging a struggling Matthew away, while Bronx is swept away by a current.

"Let me go!!" yells Matthew, and finally breaks free and rushes to Bronx's aid. Clueless Cop slips on the ice and lands on his butt.

Matthew runs away and, instead of helping Bronx, he just stands there and cries. But here comes the "unmarked jet copter" to the rescue, complete with the Xanatos Enterprises logo!! Matthew is blinded by the intense light, and out comes Goliath, wearing a transmitter around his neck! He swoops down toward Matthew, takes him into his arms, and then flaps his wings and swoops back up! How heroic! He defied the wind currents!

"Don't be afraid," Goliath is quick to tell him, "I'm here to --"

"I know!" says Matthew, interrupting him, "He's down there!" He points at the hole in the ice. "Under the ice!"

"Did you hear that?" says Goliath over the transmitter.

"Loud and clear!" says Xanatos, and swoops down to the rescue even though he can't actually FLY A HELICOPTER! I need to let that go.

"It's another gargoyle! He's got the boy!" yells the Clueless Cop. The helicopter appears and dumps some kind of smoke on them that is meant to distract them long enough for Bronx to be rescued (or maybe I'm giving the writers too much credit). Goliath defies the wind currents once again by swooping all the way to the ground, dropping off Matthew, and swooping back up just to gain enough momentum to dive into the ice and rescue Bronx, who's miraculously still conscious!

Finally, Goliath grabs Bronx and bursts out of the ice. He pulls Bronx halfway out of the water and lets him catch his breath (even though poor Bronx should've drowned by now). The helicopter's still flying around, doing absolutely nothing, while the policemen run toward Goliath and start shooting at him.

Goliath calmly climbs out of the water while bullets fly through the air, at him. He becomes annoyed by the sound of bullets and his eyes glow fiercely. He stands up, growls some more, with all the bullets miraculously missing him, and he pounces on a policeman, taking him off-camera. The other policemen scream in terror and run away, and all we can see of Goliath is his tail lashing up and down uncontrollably, making him look like a hungry beast who's feasting on the Clueless Cop. This series is doing a horrible job in portraying the gargoyles in a positive light...

Matthew runs toward Bronx, who's still lying there on the ice, unable to move. Matthew struggles to help Bronx up, but to no avail. He's surprised when Bronx is suddenly lifted by something and he finally sees Goliath, who effortlessly puts Bronx on a rescue lift. "Where are you taking him?" asks Matthew.

"Home," says Goliath, "Thanks to you." He tugs on the rope and they're lifted back to the helicopter. I almost expected him to glide back to the helicopter since he kept defying the wind currents earlier...

Matthew waves at them, and yells, "He likes sausages!!" Bronx smiles and whines at Matthew from up high. The policemen gather around Matthew. He starts crying and whispers, "Thanks for the adventure," then they take him away. If you think that's the last we'll ever see of Matthew, then think again. The horror isn't over yet.

Back at the Mini Eyrie, everyone's gathered around Xanatos' office. Lexington is petting Bronx. "I'm sorry, Bronx. I will never lose you again!" And Lexington actually... brace yourselves... he actually winks at us. This episode just keeps getting better and better!! Bronx just licks his chin a few times and Lexington laughs.

This is my favorite part in the entire episode, but for all the wrong reasons. "Most humans fear us so," says Goliath with a big smile on his face, "I wonder if there ever can be peace between us." And Elisa actually smiles back. (What are they smiling about?!)

Hudson's too busy staring at nothing until he hears a voice coming from the TV, so he moves out of the way (was there a point to this?) There's a woman interviewing Matthew. I think this woman is the reporter from Bushido, but she also looks like the woman from Diamond Exchange, the one who doesn't watch television. It doesn't make sense either way, so let's move on before my brain explodes!

"Tell me, Matthew," says the Japanese reporter who has no reason to be in Pennsylvania, "weren't you frightened?"

"At first I was because... he looked so scary!" says Matthew. His parents are there, and they look happy for Matthew even though they're supposed to hate anything modern and wouldn't have let their kid go anywhere near the cameras in the first place. But who cares? They'll never be seen again! "But, once I got to know him... I knew he was good inside. And that's what counts, isn't it?"

"Something for all of us to remember!" says the reporter. Yes, thank you, TGC writers... for beating us over the head with the moral of the story!!

Bronx is still licking Lexington, who's still laughing his head off. The episode ends with everyone laughing and a final shot of the Mini Eyrie.

The End

Closing thoughts:

Now, in all seriousness, this episode wasn't so bad. It was dull, boring, pointless, and it had plot holes you could fly a blimp through, but it was still a harmless episode. At least the writers tried to give us a heartfelt story about a boy and his dog, and even though they basically beat us over the head with the moral of the story at the end, it was still a decent attempt. Maybe if they'd had more time, they could've polished the script a little more and given the characters more depth.

You could tell this episode was rushed. There were many dangling plot threads, like the conflict between Isaiah and his son that was never resolved, and many nameless characters that contributed very little to the story. The timing of certain things also made no sense, like Bronx holding his breath underwater for what seemed like ages.

Did I like anything about the episode? Yeah, I liked that it tried to tell a good story. I liked the fact that it had no Quarrymen and no ridiculous villains. The bad guys seemed human in this episode, as proven by "Bubba's" concern for Matthew. You really don't see that kind of depth in other TGC episodes.

So yes, I do think that this was one of the best TGC episodes. When you compare it to episodes such as Genesis Undone (which killed off Thailog and all the other clones for no reason), Generations (which all but ruined Demona's character and made a mockery of the Quarrymen), To Serve Mankind (which turned the Illuminati into a joke), and Angels in the Night (which came terrifyingly close to ruining the entire series), this episode doesn't seem so bad.


by Juan F. Lara

I've joked that "Gargoyles" should make an episode with "A Bronx Tail" as its title. But I was expecting the episode to be better....

Matthew had the generic Disney problem of a person bored with his/her current life and thinking he can find something more in an "outside world". His arguments with his father should sound familiar to those who've seen "The Little Mermaid" and other Disney stuff. (I reacted with a groan.) Matthew's supposed to be Amish, but his being Amish mattered very little into the story, IMHO.

Actually I felt that this episode had a very simplistic portrayal of Amish life, and using Amish beliefs as the "old life" the lead wants to escape from might be disrespectful.

Act 2 also had a long and boring scene of cutesy antics between Bronx and Matthew, with the score way overusing Carl Johnson's "playfulness" theme.

Gaffes: Flying off a speeding train, the stone Lexington should've been shattered from the impact when he hit the ice. And Lex was really lucky he didn't drown. (It must've been really unpleasant to break out of his shell at the bottom of a river. :-) It must've hurt for Matthew to put his bare hand into ice water. I wondered why Isiah allowed his son to be interviewed for television. And using a helicopter with the name "Xanatos" written on it to rescue Bronx didn't seem like "keeping a low profile" to me. :-)

Animation: What's up with Hanho Heung-Up? They did excellent work on the second season of "Darkwing Duck". But "A Bronx Tail" was characterized by very stiff character movement and poorly drawn facial expressions. The wolves sometimes moved like "Jungle Cruise" animatronics, and the bum's reaction to Bronx's awakening was poorly handled.


Jan Strnad is the writer. He's written some of the better episodes of "Darkwing Duck" and "Aladdin". So I hope he came up with better scripts in any upcoming episodes.

"A Bronx Tail" was a pointless episode that had nothing interesting or original abou it.

Matthew: He likes sausages.

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