Her Brother's Keeper

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"Her Brother's Keeper" is the twelfth televised episode of the series Gargoyles, and the twelfth episode of Season 1. It originally aired on January 27, 1995.


Main Plot

Xanatos concocts an elaborate plot in order to get Derek Maza to work for him. Through the instructions of Fox, Xanatos has Jackal and Hyena attempt to steal the Coyote Diamond while Derek and Elisa are following him to the Diamond Exchange by helicopter. Xanatos saves the Maza siblings when Jackal attempts to kill them, then relies on the Mazas to protect him before offering Derek a job as his pilot and bodyguard. Despite Elisa's efforts to dissuade him, Derek takes the job, insisting that his sister keep out of his life. Elisa seeks the clan's aid in watching over Derek while he's at the Eyrie Building. The clan prevents Jackal and Hyena from killing Xanatos during two different assassination attempts, and the twins are arrested at Xanadu. Elisa admits to Derek she was wrong in not letting him lead his own life, but right about Xanatos. Unable to persuade Derek further, she leaves after giving him a tape recording of Fox admitting Xanatos's scheme.


The trio are at odds with each other, fighting over a helicopter simulator game, and later arguing while on surveillance of the Eyrie Building. Lexington just wants to track down Jackal and Hyena, Broadway thinks that helping Elisa with her brother is more important, and Brooklyn tries to keep them in line. They hijack the Pack's helicopter from Jackal and Hyena after they stop the twins from shooting down Derek and Xanatos, and Lexington crashes it into an alley while trying to land it. The trio work together to fix the helicopter and get it airborne so that they could keep up with Xanatos and Derek and follow them to Xanadu, where Jackal and Hyena's assassination plans are foiled for the second time. Later, the three gargoyles form a truce and congratulate each other on fixing the helicopter, which mysteriously disappears for the rest of the series.

Goliath tells Elisa to bring Derek to the clan so that they could prove to him Xanatos's bad intentions, but Elisa keeps finding excuses not to reveal the gargoyles to him. In the end, Xanatos tells Derek about the gargoyles, which annoys Elisa greatly, making it harder for her to tell him the truth about Xanatos.

Elisa speaks to her father at the Pool Hall about Derek, who agrees with Elisa about Derek taking a job with Xanatos, but for different reasons. Meanwhile at the Maza House, Derek talks with Diane, who agrees with him that he must choose his own path in life, unaware of Xanatos's malicious intentions. Elisa goes about trying to dissuade Derek in the wrong way, nagging him to turn down the job while not offering any real reason why he should, even approaching him in the men's locker room. Derek accepts the job in part to prove to Elisa that she is wrong.

Elisa visits Fox in prison to get information about Xanatos's plans for Derek. Fox gloats that Xanatos had her instruct Jackal and Hyena to hit the Diamond Exchange while Xanatos was there so that they would come after him. She reveals that Xanatos created the Pack, and that he told her to tell Elisa his plans since he knew she wouldn't be able to stop him.

The Story

Act One

Elisa Maza and her brother Derek Maza, a fellow cop, are following David Xanatos's car from above in a police helicopter. Derek feels this is a waste of time and that his sister is overly focused on a man who has paid his debt to society. Elisa insists that Xanatos is up to much more than what he was jailed for, but can only offer "cop intuition" as an explanation for how she knows this. Derek tells her that as soon as they get a real call, they're done tailing Xanatos. Down below, Xanatos and Owen are fully aware of the helicopter following them. They make a turn into the Diamond Exchange.

Inside the Diamond Exchange, Jackal and Hyena are eying the Coyote Diamond, a precious stone that Fox has told them is the most valuable on Earth. Hyena wants to obtain it with a quick, smash, grab, and shootout, but Jackal prefers a more stylish approach. Their plans are briefly thwarted, however, when Xanatos purchases the stone, remarking that it will look nice next to the Star of Arabia. Jackal and Hyena switch gears and plan to steal the stone from Xanatos instead. Another patron of the Exchange recognizes Hyena from the Pack TV show and she offers to autograph his face with a knife. Figuring that their cover is blown, Jackal tackles Xanatos and sends the diamond flying. Hyena catches it and the two make their escape to the roof. Xanatos tells Owen to call the police.

Jackal and Hyena attempt to escape from the roof using hang gliders they had stashed there, but are stopped by Elisa and Derek in their helicopter. Jackal aims a large gun at the helicopter, but Xanatos tackles him as he fires it, causing the shot to hit the rear rotor. Derek lands the helicopter on the roof and Elisa orders Jackal and Hyena to surrender. They instead run for their hang gliders and make their escape, losing the Coyote Diamond in the process. "Never a gargoyle around when you need one," Xanatos comments as he picks up the diamond. Elisa glares at him. Turning his attention to Derek, Xanatos says how impressed he was by the emergency landing. He offers Derek a job as his pilot and bodyguard. Xanatos leaves and Elisa tells her brother that Xanatos is only trying to rile her. Derek is angry that Elisa doesn't believe Xanatos's interest in him is genuine.

Back at the Pack's gym, Jackal tells Hyena that they have new orders from Fox: kill Xanatos for interfering in the diamond heist.

Elisa meets up with the gargoyles at the Clock Tower and expresses her fears that Derek will take Xanatos's job offer. Goliath advises Elisa to tell Derek everything, even if it means revealing the existence of the gargoyles. The trio are more divided in their opinions. Broadway thinks Derek should trust Elisa while Brooklyn counters that trust is meaningless without honesty. Lexington, still holding a grudge against the Pack, is more concerned with finding Jackal and Hyena.

Elisa finds Derek and says that there's something she needs to tell him. Derek interrupts with news of his own: he has decided to accept Xanatos's offer.

Act Two

At a pool hall, Elisa and her father try to figure out how to convince Derek not to quit the police force. Peter Maza suggests that they could tell him the decision would break his mother's heart, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Back at the Maza family home, Diane Maza is actually encouraging Derek to take the job with Xanatos if that's what he wants to do. Later, Elisa bursts into the men's locker room and tries one last time to convince Derek that Xanatos is bad news. Derek responds that he doesn't care what kind of evidence she might have against him; Xanatos saved both their lives by diverting Jackal's shot. Derek finishes cleaning out his locker and leaves. Elisa asks the gargoyles to keep an eye on her brother. Goliath tells the trio to keep a watch on the Eyrie Building and keep their increasing bickering in check.

The trio watch for signs of trouble from a rooftop, but can't seem to get along. Lexington is annoyed that they're stuck here and not chasing down Jackal and Hyena. Broadway argues that helping Elisa is more important. Brooklyn yells at the pair to knock it off as he spots Xanatos's helicopter taking off. The vehicle is almost immediately intercepted by the Pack's helicopter and begins taking fire. The three young gargoyles glide over. Derek maneuvers Xanatos's helicopter to avoid the gunfire and missiles aimed at it. Hyena is about to fire a second missile when Broadway lands on the Pack helicopter and causes her shot to miss. Broadway throws Hyena out of the helicopter and she parachutes down. Brooklyn and Lexington join in and remove Jackal from the helicopter as well. Derek and Xanatos depart in their helicopter while Lex takes control of the Pack's now abandoned one. He hopes that the flight simulator game he's been playing means he can pilot it, but he soon realizes that he's out of his league. The Pack's helicopter spins and plummets towards the streets below.

Act Three

Lexington barely manages to avoid a high-speed collision with the ground and several street-level obstacles. He brings the helicopter to a bumpy landing in an alleyway. Lexington believes he can fix it and the three gargoyles hide the damaged aircraft. Back at the Clock Tower, Elisa agrees with Lexington that fixing the helicopter is a good idea to help them keep up with Derek and Xanatos. Goliath instructs the trio to work on fixing the helicopter the following night, much to Brooklyn and Broadway's dismay. Before they take their perches for the day, Goliath tells Elisa to bring Derek to see the gargoyles. Elisa fears that revealing the gargoyles' existence will not be enough to convince her brother that Xanatos is trouble. She needs proof of what Xanatos is up to.

The following evening, Elisa visits Fox in prison. Fox is more than willing to share what she knows. David Xanatos created The Pack, but only Fox knows that he is in charge. Fox gave Jackal and Hyena the orders to target the Diamond Exchange and Xanatos because Xanatos told her to. Xanatos's real objective is Derek Maza. Elisa assumes that Fox is turning on Xanatos by telling her this, but Fox scoffs at the idea. Xanatos told Fox to reveal everything to Elisa, confident that she couldn't stop his plans. Fox continues to gush about Xanatos's brilliance. Elisa leaves the prison with an audiotape she has secretly made of her conversation with Fox. As she heads to her car, Goliath lands on the roof of the adjacent car and tells her that Xanatos and Derek are heading north in Xanato's helicopter, faster than Goliath could follow. Elisa assumes they are heading to Xanadu, Xanatos's upstate property. Sometime later, Goliath, Elisa, and the trio are heading north in the rebuilt Pack helicopter. Broadway disparages the new design and Lex shoots back that Broadway would have preferred one covered in food. Goliath tries to reassure Elisa that they will catch up to Derek and Xanatos in time.

At Xanadu, Xanatos praises Derek's flying the night before. Derek hopes that such attacks won't be a regular occurrence. Jackal and Hyena approach the two and Jackal shoots out a nearby light. Hyena prepares to fire at Xanatos, but is interrupted by the arrival of the gargoyles' helicopter. Jackal fires at the helicopter. The shot bounces off harmlessly and Lexington mocks Broadway for criticizing the new armor earlier. A light from the helicopter temporarily blinds Jackal and Hyena. Lex fires a projectile which releases a net, briefly trapping the pair. Jackal and Hyena quickly cut their way free and split up. Broadway pursues Jackal and quickly knocks him unconscious. Brooklyn chases down Hyena, who is still partly dazzled by the bright light and firing wildly into the woods. She hits a branch which falls and pins Brooklyn to the ground. Lexington brings the helicopter around and fires a precise shot, destroying Hyena's gun. Broadway lifts the branch off of Brooklyn. Cornered by all four gargoyles and Elisa, Hyena surrenders with a smile.

Xanatos thanks Elisa for her help, though he asserts that Derek could have handled the situation without assistance. He leaves Elisa and Derek to talk. Derek reveals that Xanatos had already showed him a video of the gargoyles and claimed that he tried to help them but made "a few mistakes" in dealing with both the gargoyles and Elisa. Elisa insists that Xanatos is using Derek and he needs to quit his new job. Derek still feels Elisa is trying to run his life. They argue and Goliath interrupts them with a roar. He tells them how lucky they are to have one another, even when they disagree. All of Goliath's rookery siblings are dead. "There is nothing....more important than family," he tells Elisa and Derek. Goliath walks away as Elisa, Derek, and the trio watch.

As a light snow begins to falll, Elisa admits that she has been trying to make Derek's decisions for him this past week. She knows that was wrong, but she isn't wrong about how dangerous Xanatos is. She hands him the audiotape she made of her conversation with Fox and gives him the choice to listen to it or not. She walks away and Derek ponders the tape recorder in his hand.

Elisa and the gargoyles return to the Clock Tower as the snow falls harder. Broadway and Brooklyn compliment Lexington on the helicopter design and he thanks them for helping him fix it. The gargoyles turn to stone for the day, leaving Elisa standing alone.

Featured Characters and First Appearances

Gargoyles Humans Others
  • Satan (Mentioned Only as "Prince of Darkness")

Places Objects Miscellaneous


  • "If cops were meant to fly they'd have wings." - Broadway
  • "Excuse me, weren't you on that TV show, The Pack?"
"Why yes! Would you like an autograph? How about I write it across your face!" - man at Diamond Exchange and Hyena
  • "Never a gargoyle around when you need one, huh?" - Xanatos
  • "Close your eyes boys, I've got business in here." - Elisa
  • "You wouldn't know what's important if it bit you on the--" - Lexington
  • "You sure you can fly this?"
"Hey, it's just like the simulator game back at the Tower."
"Famous last words." - Broadway, Lexington, and Brooklyn
  • "Feel the air currents. Use em', just like you do with your wings!"
"Yeah, use the Force, Lex!" - Broadway and Brooklyn
  • "What do we do with it now, use it for a planter?" - Brooklyn
  • "Don't worry, I'll tell you what has to be done."
"Oh yeah? You and what star fleet?" - Lexington and Brooklyn
  • "He doesn't have to hide his plans from you, there's not a thing you can do to stop him. He's the most brilliant man on the face of the Earth." - Fox
  • "You don't know how lucky you are to have siblings to fight with! All of my rookery brothers are dead. And there is nothing...nothing more important than family." - Goliath


Matt and Officer Morgan have cameos in the men's locker room scene.

Lexington displays his grudge towards the Pack from "The Thrill of the Hunt" again, showing himself to be more concerned with hunting down Jackal and Hyena than with resolving the Derek issue.

Derek Maza is properly introduced in this episode, although he had previously appeared in "Deadly Force" and had a cameo in "The Edge". At the end of the episode he quits the police force and takes a job as David Xanatos' personal pilot and bodyguard, a job that he will have until "Metamorphosis".

Fox and Wolf are in prison after being seen holding a woman hostage during the events of "The Thrill of the Hunt." Jackal, Hyena, and Dingo escaped incarceration because there were no human witnesses to their crimes.

Fox's statement that Xanatos is "The most brilliant man on the face of the Earth" foreshadows the revelation in "Leader of the Pack" that the two are a couple.

Fox also reveals in this episode that the Pack was put together by Xanatos, and that the other Pack members do not know this. Ironically, Xanatos uses the Pack's ignorance in order to take it over in "Leader of the Pack".

Jackal and Hyena are sent to prison in this episode, and will stay there until "Leader of the Pack". Their dislike of Xanatos, started in this episode, is also referenced in "Leader of the Pack" when they prepare to attack Coyote.

Elisa's reluctance to bring her brother to the gargoyles comes to light in "Revelations", when she admits to Matt that she liked being the only human the gargoyles confided in.

Snow begins to fall at the end of the episode. In the next episode, "Reawakening", the snow has settled.


The title, "Her Brother's Keeper", is derived from the biblical story of Cain and Abel; Cain, after murdering Abel, is questioned by God as to the latter's whereabouts and indignantly protests, "I know not; Am I my brother's keeper?". (Genesis 4:9) Elisa's concern (if overzealous) for her brother's well-being, of course, contrasts with Cain's fratricide. The original title was to be "Brother's Keeper", which would have displayed more clearly the focus on sibling relationships in the story (including alongside Elisa and Derek, not only the Trio and Jackal and Hyena, but even Goliath's lament over the deaths of his rookery brothers and sisters in the Wyvern Massacre).

The "gargoyle-copter" rebuilt by Lexington from the Pack's chopper was designed (like the motorcycle in "Temptation") as another potential toy for Kenner's Gargoyles line – however, Kenner rejected the idea altogether.

Brooklyn has clearly been acclimatizing himself all the more to the modern world, delivering such sci-fi-related quips as "Use the Force, Lex!" and "You and what Starfleet?" (references to Star Wars and Star Trek respectively).

Another hint of things to come is planted in this episode through the name of the Coyote Diamond; only two episodes later, an actual Coyote will enter the series with strong links to Jackal and Hyena (and the Pack in general), and to Xanatos. This is probably not a coincidence. The Coyote Diamond itself will reappear in "The Rock", where Xanatos uses it to improve the performance of Coyote 5.0.

This is the only episode in which Xanatos's upstate retreat of Xanadu appears. (The name was reportedly inspired by both the Xanadu of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's unfinished poem "Kubla Khan" and that of the movie Citizen Kane.)

On the Voices from the Eyrie podcast for this episode, it was revealed by the show's guest, animator Roy Sato, that he animated a hidden Mickey on Hyena's helicopter controls. It was soon found three days later. [1]

Toon Disney/Disney XD Edits

A single scene with Hyena slicing the bow tie off the Star-struck Pack Fan was edited out of the episode.

VHS/DVD Release


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