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Deadly Force is the eighth televised episode of Gargoyles, the eighth episode of Season 1 and is arguably the show's most controversial episode.
Broadway accidentally shoots Elisa with her gun. Racked with guilt, he takes her to the hospital and then goes off on his own to take his frustration out on any criminal he can find. When the others hear, they assume it was the work of a gangster Elisa was investigating, and set out to take him down - permanently.
Near a docked ship, Owen Burnett is supervising the unloading of a crate. A guard tells Owen that it looks like he's been worried for nothing, but Owen is not convinced. It seems he is right to worry, as figures wearing gas masks emerge and fire canisters of gas at Owen and the guard. The men run over and pull the driver from the truck that the shipping crate was loaded on to. One of the guards, still coughing, attempts to stop them, but the apparent leader of the group punches him out. Owen grabs one of the men and pulls off his gas mask, putting it over his own face. Two of the men help the leader onto the back of the truck as it drives away. As the group escapes, their leader removes his gas mask and laughs. Owen chases after them, but is not fast enough to catch the truck.
The sun sets and the Manhattan Clan awakens atop their roosting place on the top of the clock tower. Almost the second they are flesh again, Broadway tells the others he's heading out and flies away from the clock tower. Goliath wonders aloud where he's off to in a hurry. Lexington and Brooklyn explain that their brother is off to the theater to see another viewing of a movie called Showdown - a shoot 'em up Western movie that they had all seen two days previously. Shaking his head, Hudson comments that between movies, television and video games, it's hard to tell reality from fantasy these days.
At the 23rd Precinct, Elisa is having a small argument with her superior, Captain Maria Chavez. Elisa is convinced that Tony Dracon - a prominent figure in the city's organized crime scene - is behind the recent theft of a shipping crate owned by Xanatos Enterprises. She wants to go after him, but Chavez says she cannot get a warrant for his arrest as there is not enough evidence against him. Elisa asks what exactly was in the stolen crate. Chavez tells her the crate contained "non-projectile weapon prototypes". At that moment, Owen arrives and explains the missing weaponry further. He tells them that they fire an invisible particle beam and utilize a laser for aiming. He then tells Chavez that 322 weapons were in the crate when they were stolen. Angered by the thought of that many dangerous weapons unaccounted for and left on the street, Elisa leave Chavez's office and sets out "to do her job".
At the movie theater, Broadway slips in through the roof and lands on several large bags of popcorn, just in time for the movie to start. He rips open one of the bags and munches on popcorn as Showdown begins.
Dracon and four of his men are walking down the stairs of the Park Manor and we see that he is indeed the leader of the group that stole the crate of guns. Elisa runs up and confronts him, but he feigns ignorance of the hijacking. She asks him about his alibi and he tells her he was out partying with his "associates". They all walk past her defiantly. Elisa tells Dracon that he will slip up sooner or later and she'll be there when he does. Grinning arrogantly, he tells her that even if he was the person she was looking for, she wouldn't be able to do a thing about it, even if he were to tell one of his men to go and sell off some "merchandise" right in front of her. "Face it, sugar," he tells her cockily, "You've got nothing."
Back at the theater Showdown is coming to its climax. In classic Western form, the two gunslinger characters on screen face each other on the town's main street. They draw, fire, and one falls. Still enthusiastically devouring popcorn, Broadway remarks, "Cool."
Elisa returns home to her apartment. She removes her jacket and her holstered gun and hangs both up on her coat rack. Her cat Cagney starts meowing at her and rubs lovingly against her leg. She picks him up and tells him to be glad he has a home; "the streets just got a whole lot meaner."
As the credits to Showdown roll, Broadway slips back up to the roof and glides away for the clock tower. As he flies away for home, he playfully shapes his hand into a gun and pretends to fire. Seeing Elisa's apartment below, Broadway lands and opens the already open window. He calls out to see if Elisa is home and she answers, recognizing his voice. He hops in the window and she tells him to make himself at home while she throws on a few steaks for him. Broadway looks around at Elisa's house while she cooks, admiring a photo of her family. Then something else catches his eye: Elisa's gun in its holster on the coat rack. He takes out the gun and starts playing with it, spouting old Western dialogue in a John Wayne-like voice. He jumps around the apartment, aiming the gun. Elisa's back is to him and she doesn't notice what he's doing, assuming that he is just fooling around. Broadway turns toward Elisa when the gun goes off in his hand. He drops it in surprise and begins to apologize. He kneels down to pick up the dropped gun, casually adding "Hope I didn't break anything." He looks over at Elisa's kitchen, and sees that the meal she was preparing is still cooking on the stove top, but Elisa, herself, is not visible. Feeling concerned, Broadway calls Elisa's name and walks towards the counter that's obscuring his view. As he carefully approaches, he is horrified to discover Elisa lying on the floor in a pool of blood, not moving.
Broadway tosses the gun away from him and kneels down, cradling Elisa's head and frantically calling her name. She barely opens her eyes for just a second, but then closes them again. Broadway tells her he is extremely sorry and lifts her motionless body off the floor. He carries her out the window and glides her to the nearby Manhattan General Hospital. An ambulance is waiting outside with an empty gurney next to it. Broadway lays Elisa on the gurney. He gasps as he sees that her blood is quite literally on his hands. Two EMTs exit the hospital and are surprised to discover Elisa there. They confirm that she has been shot but are unable to get a pulse on her. One of them presses a cloth to her wound as they wheel her inside. Broadway watches from the shadows at the side of the building before flying away.
Back at the clock tower, the gargoyles are preparing for their day's sleep as usual, when Brooklyn notices that Broadway's pedestal is still empty. Lexington is initially unconcerned about this, assuming that Broadway just stayed at the theater to watch Showdown again. With a small hint of irritation in his voice, Goliath hopes that Broadway has found somewhere comfortable to sleep for the day. Just then, Owen comes up behind Goliath, telling the gargoyle he has bad news. Mindful of the approaching sunrise, Goliath tells him to speak quickly. Owen does so, and quickly informs Goliath that Elisa has been shot and the doctors are unsure if she will live. Goliath gives a growl of horror and shock at the news, but then the sun rises and turns him to stone.
In a wooded area outside the city, Dracon and his men are testing out the weapons they've stolen. Dracon's second-in-command asks him if he's heard about what happened to Elisa. Dracon confirms that he has and callously comments that it's dangerous to leave a loaded gun lying around like that. The men all laugh equally as callously and Dracon fires a handgun sized weapon, which blasts holes through two trees and destroys a large rock. Dracon tells his men they'll make a deal with a buyer interested in the weapons that night. He asks his right hand man if he had to sell off many of the weapons to cover their expenses. He replies that he didn't need to sell many, but they may need to unload a few more for extra cash.
At the Manhattan General Hospital, meanwhile, doctors are performing surgery on Elisa's gunshot wound with difficulty. That evening, back at the Eyrie Building, after the son goes down and the gargoyles return to their nightly flesh and blood state, Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn, and Lexington all burst into Owen's office. Goliath asks how Elisa was shot and Owen reveals that they are not quite sure yet. He tells Goliath about the stolen particle beam weapons and how Elisa was working on the case against Dracon. When Hudson asks where Elisa is now, Owen tells him she's at Manhattan General before slipping some papers into his briefcase, and heading out the door. Goliath moves to leave, but Brooklyn and Lexington stop him for a moment. Brooklyn tells Goliath that Broadway still hasn't returned home yet and he is starting to feel worried about him. Goliath tells Brooklyn and Lexington to search the city for their brother while he goes to check on Elisa. Hudson stays behind to guard the castle until Goliath returns.
Broadway is huddled atop a building at the other end of the city, hidden and sobbing over his accidental misdeed, and apparently wanting to be left alone. Goliath arrives at the window on the roof of Elisa's hospital room. He pulls back from the window and stays out of sight as the doctor who has been treating Elisa enters. He is followed by Elisa's family: her parents Peter and Diane Maza, and her brother Derek. Peter asks Dr. Sato about his daughter's condition. The news does not sound good: Elisa's heart, one of her lungs, and her spine were all damaged by the bullet's impact on her back. The good news is she has been able to survive 10 hours of surgery. The next 12 to 24 hours of surgery will be critical for her. Peter asks if they should call Elisa's younger sister and have her fly out, but Derek tells him not to talk like that, confident that Elisa will be all right. Frustrated, Peter asks what they can do. Stroking her daughter's hand, an almost sobbing Diane tells her husband that they can pray for her. Dr. Sato goes to the door and lets Captain Maria Chavez in. She offers her condolences, but Derek just wants to know who's responsible for shooting his sister, wishing to avenge her. Chavez tells him about the stolen weapons and Elisa's confrontation with Dracon. The police believe that one of Dracon's men - or possibly even Dracon himself - broke into Elisa's apartment and used her own gun to try and kill her. Peter asks if they found any prints on the gun. Chavez tells him that there were some prints, but they were "so badly smudged that they don't even look human." However, she promises the family that they will find whoever wounded Elisa. Diane suggests that they let Elisa get some sleep and they all leave the room. Once they are gone, Goliath enters through the window, and, taking Elisa's hand in his, tells her to keep fighting and promises to avenge her.
Goliath leaves the hospital and lands outside a window at Dracon's mansion. There, he overhears Dracon and his second-in-command discussing the terms of the deal. They have a buyer willing to pay top dollar for their stolen weaponry. He's arranged to meet them on the docks at midnight.
A man walking through a darkened park is suddenly confronted by a mugger. He holds up a strange looking handgun and demands the man's wallet. As he threatens his victim, the mugger hears a low growl behind him. Broadway has been watching the scene from the trees above and drops down on the mugger. He lifts the mugger off the ground by his shirt collar, then notices his gun. Furious at seeing this "new kind of gun to kill people", Broadway crushes the weapon in his hand. He demands that the mugger tell him where he got the gun. Terrified, the mugger spills that a guy called "Glasses" was selling them on Canal Street, near the docks. Broadway tosses the mugger aside and takes off.
At the hospital, an alarm is sounding and one of the doctors is calling a code blue in the intensive care unit. Elisa's heart monitor readout is flat and she has no pulse.
Dr. Sato gives Elisa a shot of epinephrine, but it has no effect. He then has one of his doctors use the shock paddles to try and get her heart pumping again. This time, it works. The monitor beeps back to life as her heart rate returns to normal. Dr. Sato sighs in relief and tells the other doctors to bring Elisa's family back into her room.
Meanwhile, Captain Chavez and a 23rd Precinct detective are driving, trying to follow Tony Dracon. Dracon's driver notices them and points them out. In response, Dracon tells him "You know what to do,". He speeds up long enough for the cops to lose visual contact with him. He pulls into a garage and the door shuts behind the car. Once the cops drive past, the garage opens again and Dracon's car drives off in the other direction. Again, Dracon has successfully eluded the police, but Goliath, perched on the rooftop above, is still following him.
Down at the docks, Glasses - Dracon's second-in-command - is selling off a few more of the particle beam weapons. He's in the process of making a sale when his buyer looks up and cries out in fear. Broadway has landed on the van behind Glasses. The buyer runs away and Broadway lifts Glasses up by his head and demands to know who he is working for.
Nearby, Goliath lands on the roof of a warehouse as Dracon and his men enter. They have the stolen guns and are just waiting for the buyer to arrive. Broadway glides over and joins Goliath on the roof. Goliath is surprised to see him, but wants his help in dealing with the humans he believes shot Elisa. Broadway is confused, but Goliath mistakes it for ignorance of the event. He explains that Elisa was shot and that he is about to confront the human who did it. Before Broadway can say anything, Goliath leaps down to enter the warehouse.
Inside the warehouse, Dracon receives a confusing call from Glasses. He tells his men to move the weaponry out, as something has clearly gone wrong. Goliath and Broadway burst through the warehouse wall. Dracon orders his men to shoot them, but the two gargoyles dodge and only Dracon's car is hit. Goliath locates the building's fuse box and destroys it. As Dracon and his men try to get their bearings in the darkness, Broadway leaps down from the rafters behind them. He tosses one of the men aside and strikes another down with his wing. Dracon backs away and tries to disappear amongst the shipping containers, but Goliath sees him. Dracon's remaining thugs try to shoot Broadway, but he dodges until he's close enough to attack the first one and grab the other one's hand from above with his tail and fling him into a crate. Turning, he sees Goliath pursuing Dracon up some scaffolding. Dracon reaches the landing and fires a few shots down at Goliath. He loses sight of the gargoyle until Goliath's tail reaches up, grabs the gun from Dracon's hand, and tosses it away. Goliath breaks through the floor of the scaffolding and chases Dracon. Dracon nearly falls to the ground below, but Goliath catches him by his leg. Goliath accuses Dracon of shooting Elisa. Broadway begins to climb up to Goliath and yells to him that he can't kill Dracon. Goliath contradicts him, saying that Elisa will have her revenge through him. At last, Broadway admits that he - not Dracon - was the one who shot Elisa. Goliath turns to him in disbelief, but Broadway confesses that it was an accident. Goliath looks back down at Dracon dangling from his grasp. He breaks off a metal rail from the scaffolding, hauls Dracon up and twists it around him, securing his arms. He tells Broadway to come with him; they have much to discuss.
After the two have Dracon and his men all secured, the warehouse door opens. Owen Burnett enters and Goliath realizes that he was the buyer. Unapologetically, Owen tells Goliath that Xanatos had to get the stolen guns back somehow. Goliath asks if all of the weaponry is still here. Owen tells him that roughly 37 weapons of varying types are missing. Goliath picks up one of the larger weapons. Owen asks him what he's doing and Goliath fires at the remaining guns, destroying them and ensuring that they will never again fall into the wrong hands. "Mr Xanatos isn't going to like this," Owen remarks. Goliath tells Owen that he would be happy to discuss the matter with Xanatos later. He then breaks the remaining weapon in half and places it near Dracon and his men so the police will tie them to the theft of the weapons. He tells Broadway to come with him; they have a sick friend to visit. Broadway is relieved to realize that Elisa isn't dead, although a hard glare from Goliath is all the reminder he needs that she is in a critical condition and that he is responsible for nearly killing her in the first place.
The two gargoyles look through Elisa's hospital window, where her family is gathered around her. Elisa slowly begins to stir and wakes up. Her family crowds around her and she asks them what happened. Peter admits that they don't know either. Derek tells his sister that Captain Chavez just called and told them that Dracon was arrested after he was discovered in the warehouse with the destroyed guns, babbling about some kind of monster attack. Elisa smiles. One of the nurses tells Elisa's family that they have to leave. Though Elisa will recover, she still needs rest. Elisa and her family wave goodbye to each other. The Mazas and the doctor exit, leaving Elisa alone. The window opens and Goliath and Broadway enter. Broadway admits that he was playing with Elisa's gun when it went off. She reaches out a hand to him and he takes it, promising her he won't touch another gun ever again. She tells him that they both made mistakes and she should have been more careful about where she left her gun. They both agree that they will not repeat those mistakes. Broadway heads out the window. Elisa calls to Goliath. He takes her hand and tells her that she is safe and needs to rest now. He strokes her hair gently, then heads out the window himself. As dawn comes the two gargoyles are perched outside of Elisa's hospital room window, watching over her as stone figurines.
Notes and Continuity
- Tony Dracon, and his criminal organization is revealed.
- This is the first episode in which "ordinary" crime is the main focus of the episode.
- Matt Bluestone is introduced in a non-speaking role, serving as Captain Chavez' driver during her pursuit of Tony Dracon. This is also the first time we see Captain Chavez.
- Elisa's family background is first revealed, as part Native American, part African-American - a background that was inspired by that of her voice actress, Salli Richardson. (Salli's physical appearance also strongly influenced Elisa's character design.) Peter, Diane and Derek Maza all appear for the first time and Elisa's sister, Beth, is mentioned for the first time and appears in a family photograph.
- This is the first appearance of Cagney and our first glimpse of Elisa's apartment.
- In the next episode, "Enter Macbeth", Elisa is still recovering from the gunshot wound received in this episode. In later episodes, it is also revealed that Elisa has started locking her gun away safely following the events of this episode.
- This is the third episode of a triptych featuring each member of the Trio.
- It is preceded by The Thrill of the Hunt, and Temptation.
- Though it was initially pulled from rotation due to the sensitive subject matter of gun safety which was the theme for this episode, it was later allowed to be re-aired, but with a censorship edit made by digitally removing Elisa's blood when she was shot.
- Toon Disney/Disney XD Edits: From the point where Broadway discovered that he shot Elisa, instead of showing the original wide shot of her lying in a pool of her own blood, they go to a closeup of her face instead. Also after the commercial break when he picks her up to carry off to the hospital, there is a split second edit to cut out any glimpse of blood.
- Broadway: What's this? A new kind of gun? A new way to kill people?
- [after Goliath has destroyed a cache of Xanatos's weapons]
- Owen Burnett: Mr. Xanatos isn't going to like this...
- Goliath: I'll be happy to discuss the matter with him.
- Owen Burnett: [as the sun's about to rise] I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.
- Goliath: What is it? Speak quickly!
- Owen Burnett: Your friend, Elisa Maza, has been shot. They're not sure if she'll live.
- [Goliath gasps, the sun rises and he turns to stone]
- Elisa Maza: Sooner or later you're gonna slip up Tony, and when you do, I'll be there.
- Tony Dracon: Hey, I told you... I'm not the guy. And if I *was* the guy, you couldn't do anything about it. In fact, if I were to tell one of my associates here to sell off some... merchandise to raise some operating capital, you couldn't do anything about that either. Face it, sugar... you got nothing.
- Hudson: Movies, television, video games... these days it's hard to tell what's real and what's not.
- Broadway: Sorry, my fault. I was playing with the gun. Stupid of me. Hope I didn't break anything... Elisa? [Finds Elisa lying on the floor bleeding from a gunshot wound]
- Goliath: Keep fighting Elisa. Don't give up. Come back to us. Know that I will finish what you started. I will find the man who did this to you and I will make him pay!
Cast and Credits
- Supervising Producer: Frank Paur
- Co-Producer: Greg Weisman
- Written by: Michael Reaves
- Story Edited by: Michael Reaves
- Directed by: Kazuo Terada, Saburo Hashimoto
- Animation by: Animal-Ya
- Backgrounds by: Animal-Ya, Jade Animation Productions
- Additional Production Facilities: Jade Animation Productions
- Keith David as Goliath
- Ed Asner as Hudson
- Jeff Bennett as Brooklyn
- Thom Adcox-Hernandez as Lexington
- Bill Fagerbakke as Broadway
- Rocky Carroll as Derek Maza and Glasses
- Salli Richardson as Elisa Maza
- Nichelle Nichols as Diane Maza
- Frank Welker as Bronx
- Michael Bell as Pal Joey
- Richard Grieco as Tony Dracon
- Michael Horse as Peter Maza
- Robert Ito as Dr. Sato