If you don’t like Disney’s Gargoyles – I don’t like you. Plain and simple. No one with such bad taste in media deserves to continue enjoying life. For everyone else – WELCOME! If you’re like me, then the first thing you watched when Disney+ dropped was Gargoyles. If you’re new to the series, or just want to binge the best of it, I’ve compiled some ‘must-see’ watches.
This list is in no particular order because it’d be like choosing my favorite child (…Reagan…). Each of these stories is important, impactful and should all be respected, enjoyed, and given the same number of cookies (yeah, right!). Let’s start with some honorable mentions!
Reawakening – Season 1 Episode 13
We aren’t too familiar with the doomed members of Goliath’s destroyed clan in Scotland. In Reawakening, we’re introduced to Coldstone – an amalgamation of the remains of several gargoyles brought to life by technology and sorcery.
Outfoxed – Season 2 Episode 14
The twists and turns came early in the series. Viewers had to keep on their toes when faced with the idea that the characters they’d come to know had hidden connections to each other. Goliath is forced to come to terms with the attack on the hovercraft he participated in during the series premiere.
Pendragon – Season 2 Episode 36
When Goliath and company journeyed to Avalon, they did more than help their clan’s progeny – they awakened King Arthur. The episode “Pendragon” follows Arthur as he visited New York in search of his lost sword Excalibur. By episode’s end he made an ally of a would-be foe and even knighted a hero under his banner.
The New Olympians – Season 2 Episode 38
If Greg Weisman ever says that he never planned on a spin-off – he’s a liar. During the ‘World Tour’ phase of the second season of Gargoyles, Goliath, Eliza, Angela, and Bronx land on the isle of New Olympus – A highly technology developed society populated by the descendants of mythical beasts and monsters of Greek mythology.
1. Awakening – Season 1 Episode 1
Speaking of ‘proof of concept’ without this one hundred some-odd minute feature, we wouldn’t have Gargoyles to celebrate at all. The first five episodes of the series are often considered a movie due to being first presented to viewers as a single effort.
In it, we’re introduced to the Gargoyles and at least partially learn about their ancient culture. Especially how they interact with humans. By the end of the first episode, viewers are submerged in lore, drama, and can’t help but empathize with the ‘protectors of the night.’
2. Deadly Force – Season 1 Episode 8
Unlike the rest of the Disney Afternoon, Gargoyles wasn’t afraid to raise the stakes. While Dark Wing Duck was bumbling his way to victory and Uncle Scrooge went treasure-hunting – the gargoyle, aptly named Broadway, was learning how dangerous guns were.
Keep in mind, the gargoyles are fish out of water. They hadn’t had time to fully acclimate to their new world. That included the danger of firearms. After enjoying a movie, Broadway stumbled upon (Detective) Eliza’s firearm and accidentally shoots her with it. The incident would go on to have lasting effects on both characters.
3. City of Stone – Season 2 Episode 9
While both the X-Men and Batman shows were known for their serialization -neither took it to the heights that Gargoyles did. ‘City of Stone’ was one of the series’ most impactful and important stories. In it, we saw not just the lengths that Demona would go to for revenge, but how/why she became the monster she was.
With unintentional help from David Xanatos, Demona cast a spell that turned all the humans into stone during the night. While the Gargoyles and Xanatos raced to undo her work, we learned how Demona survived to the present day. It revealed her connection to MacBeth and the origination of the Hunters – a clan of gargoyle-killers that had plagued the species for centuries.
4. Shadows of the Past – Season 2 Episode 24
Similar to what we saw in the single episode “Deadly Force,” in “Shadows of the Past” the showrunners demonstrated how much respect they had for their young audience. When the two humans responsible for the obliteration of Goliath died, we assumed it was the last we’d see of them.
However, the two died within range of an ancient mystical site that trapped their spirits in a state of purgatory. Filled with rage and hatred over their thousand-year entrapment – when they encountered Goliath, they attempted to murder and drive him to suicide. Yeah. It was an after-school show.
5. Avalon – Season 2 Episode 21
Up to this point, the Gargoyles have had little to celebrate. One moment their clan is thriving – the next, they number less than a dozen and are ripped from the world they knew. When an old knight visited Manhattan to tell the clan that their eggs survived and required help – it was all Goliath needed to journey to the mythical isle of Avalon.
What they found wasn’t a clutch of eggs, but fully-grown gargoyles. The story introduced a villain known as “The Mage,” which turned out to be an enemy from Goliath’s distant past. We also meet the daughter of Goliath and Demona – Angela, who went on to join the cast.
The story kicked off what’s known as the “World Tour.” It saw Goliath, Eliza, Bronx, and Angela magically wander the globe discovering new gargoyle clans as well as new and old threats.
6. Vendettas – Season 2 Episode 46
Gargoyles is not a show for people with short attention spans. Like any prime time drama, the writers weaved each episode together, with little space for much “filler.” If someone wanted to enjoy the show, they’d probably be lost if they took a couple of weeks off. This is as close to a “clip-episode” as you’ll get from the series.
In “Vendettas” two villains are shown to have a connection. Wolf (The Pack) was the descendant of Hakon, one of the humans that betrayed Goliath and destroyed his clan. There’s also a HILARIOUS subplot that had a man pursuing the clan leader to enact his form of revenge.
7. Future Tense – Season 2 Episode 43
As the World Tour section of the 2nd season of Gargoyles ended, it was penultimately capped off with a vision of the future. When Goliath and the others finally reached Manhattan, they were shocked to discover that 40-years had passed. Without his leadership, the clan was less than equipped to thrive.
Hudson was dead, Broadway blinded, and Lexington had become a cyborg after losing much of his body in battle. Brooklyn was still leading but had since mated with Demona who had since rejoined the clan. The whole of New York City had become a ruined, lifeless wasteland.
8. The Mirror – Season 2 Episode 5
The universe of the Gargoyles is tremendous. In the series’ twenty-first episode we began to see just how big it could be. The showrunners included aspects from the Shakespearean play; A Midsummer Night’s Dream – namely the character of Puck, a fairy-trickster and child of Oberon.
Demona, as usual, up to ‘no good,’ stole a magical mirror that housed the being. Operating much like a genie, Punk granted Demona several wishes in the form of carefully worded spells. Including “getting rid of all the humans” in Manhattan by turning them into gargoyles. Doing that, it introduced the concept of Goliath’s attraction to Eliza with a very amusing scene.
9. The Gathering – Season 2 Episode 43
Just as Goliath and company’s journey began in Avalon, it made sense that they had to go back and face the music. Avalon is the magical home of Lord Oberon, Lady Titania, and their ‘children.’ As shown in the episode, ‘children’ is a relative term.
Every magical being the gargoyles had encountered up to this point was ‘a child of Oberon’. When Oberon returned to the isle for the Gathering and discovered it infested with gargoyles – he sought to exterminate them. We also discover more surprising connections between characters within the series.
10. Hunter’s Moon – Season 2 Episode 50
In what is the end of Gargoyles for many fans, the Hunters – a threat created by none other than Demona, herself – returned in force. In the past, there was only a single masked-assailant to deal with – but in Hunter’s Moon, we’re presented with a family of them. Three, to be exact.
The siblings wage war upon the Gargoyles with the eldest brother going undercover as a detective alongside Eliza. The situation got even hairier as he not only wished for the defeat of the gargoyles at all costs, but also fell in love with Eliza. The story ended in tragedy and was a turning point in Goliath and Eliza’s budding relationship.
If your a fan of the series or just looking at the Disney Plus screen, you might have noticed that I haven’t included any episodes from the third season. That was on purpose. There’s nothing worth checking out there past the first episode. Seriously. Ignore its existence. Did you enjoy the list? Got some more recommendations? Let us know! Go binge Gargoyles!