To Serve Mankind (review)

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Story edited by: Eric Lewald
Written by: Len Wein

Summary

By --GregX 05:39, 28 April 2010 (CDT)

Introduction

I could never actually ask anyone else to watch and review this, so, for the first time since 1996, I will watch this infamous episode. I'm throwing myself in front of the bullet for you all.

If only, if only...

Anyway, "To Serve Mankind" is not a cook book. That would make this episode much cooler. No, we're in for something much lamer than that.

Deep hurting - noun. 1. An experience so painful on an intellectual level that it causes physical pain, such as listening to talk radio, conversing with Paris Hilton, reading the novel "Shane", or watching the movie "Hercules Against the Moon Men."

Act One

We open with another one of Goliath's monologues, that could only have been the result of a Washington Square Park hash rally. I think the P.I.T. Crew likes to throw those.

"Courage. Virtue. Struggling to do what is right. Gargoyles and humans want to believe that we are always in control; that we can aid our loved ones in any crisis. But there are times when life mocks our pride. That is when we learn humility and that the greatest of our strengths is the simple will to persevere."

How much do you want to bet that has nothing to do with the episode?

Okay, we open with Goliath and the trio approaching a building in midtown Manhattan. Broadway points out that there are no signs of any new gargoyles, and Elisa's tipster must have been jerking her around. But Goliath insists they must investigate, since if there are more gargoyles out there, alone and unprotected they must be found before the Quarrymen find them. This is me with my eyes bugging out and asking "what the hell, TGC? What the hell?" More gargoyles in Manhattan? Gargoyles that the Manhattan Clan never encountered? That Demona never encountered? That Xanatos never found? Did Goliath trade his brain in for Paris Hilton's?

As they arrive at the building, they spot several winged silhouettes running inside. Brooklyn exclaims that "they've got wings!" and one can assume he's hoping for more tail to chase. The silhouettes run inside the building on a rooftop that is pretty well lit, and Goliath needs to examine claw marks to tell him with direction they ran in when even Jeffrey Robbins could tell him. Brooklyn then, correctly points at the large open door with the light on, three feet away that Goliath didn't notice.

This episode is going to hurt, isn't it?

They descend the staircase and Brooklyn again hopes for new female friends. Yup, that's the Brooklyn we'd expect in a universe where Katana doesn't exist. They enter what appears to be an artist's studio and Lexington flips on the lights to see two gargoyles. Weren't there several before? Lex and Brooklyn are in awe, and Goliath approaches proclaiming himself a friend.

The gargoyle laughs and says he's not a friend, pulls off his mask revealing a redneck looking human, and calls Goliath a monster before he and his comrade disappear in a hidden elevator shaft. Goliath proclaims that they've been tricked as steel walls close down around them. Brooklyn uses his magic powers of stock footage to proclaim that "the steel is two feet thick!"

The room fills with green gas as the gargoyles collapse and two shadowy figures approach them, one musing "so far, so good." While I sit here musing "so far, so stupid."

Broadway wakes up alone in a room, being watched on a monitor by a mysterious man in a red, hooded robe. The room is flooded with water.

Lexington wakes up in a chamber and is attacked by a cheetah with glowing red eyes. A robot, perhaps?

Brooklyn wakes up in a chamber as the red robed guy turns up the heat, literally. Then he blasts the air conditioning. Because no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin is greater than central air. Oh, and he never jokes... coulda fooled me.

Jay Leno.

The red robed dude pulls back his hood revealing... A CHIN LARGER THAN JAY LENO'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yup, he was telling the truth, he never jokes.

Okay, from this point onward, I am calling this guy Jay Leno until his name is mentioned.

So, Leno wants to study the gargoyles and how they react to extreme conditions. Couldn't he have called Anton Sevarius? Goliath asks how Leno can be so cruel (Goliath is a Conan O'Brien fan), and we see Goliath chained up with some weird helmet covering his skull. Leno explains that he is executing the will of Egon Pax who's "visionary experiments will transform the world." I can only assume that Pax is the president of NBC.

Leno then opens the window allowing the sun's rays to enter and turn Goliath to stone. Obviously the TGC writers didn't know how Stone Sleep was supposed to work. Leno then muses that he has special plans for Goliath while affectionately stroking his stone cheek.

Act Two

We begin Act Two in another dark room, as several figures in hooded cloaks sit around a table. The guy at the head of the table congratulates "Chair 5" on the bankrupting of a major munitions competitor. Someone called Chair Six started a revolution in some fictitious country who's name I can't be bothered to remember.

Wait, wait, wait. Pardon me, but I have to.

Who controls the British Crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do, we do.
Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do, we do.
Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
We do, we do.
Who robs cave fish of their sight?
Who rigs every Oscar night?
We do, we do!

Art by D.Taina.

I can only assume that this is "The Goliath Chronicles" version of the Illuminati. What in Judas Priest is this? What is with those hokey looking robes? Where is that Duval guy mentioned in "The Journey?" Could you imagine Thailog wearing one of those???

But... um... I can't call them the Stonecutters, that's too obvious a joke. In keeping with the Jay Leno theme, I'll call them General Electric.

Leno talks about his experiments and pulls out some magic glow sticks from the table which he hovers his hands over while showing Broadway fight a snake, Lex get a whiff of Green Goblin gas, and Brooklyn looks like he's spinning inside a dryer. Yes, this is exactly as amusing as one of Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" skits.

Hell yeah!

Did I mention I'm with Coco?

Finally, a hologram appears of Egon Pax, who isn't the president of NBC after all. So, he's a peacemaker from some eastern European country called Latvonia, and is trying to end a war there. General Electric sells munitions to all sides of the war, and they're afraid of a guy called Egon Pax. Why couldn't it be Egon Spengler?

The boss, voiced by Jeff Bennett asks if Leno's assistant is ready, and Leno says his new brainwashing equipment has reduced the time needed to hours. And that the assistant will be ready.

Goliath, ticked off because his hair is purple in this shot roars as Leno makes him watch some bad comedy routines. "Yes, your friends are suffering terrible torments." So is the audience, Jay. So is the audience. "And who is responsible for this madness," Leno asks. My guess is Dean Valentine.

"He is! Egon Pax!" Oh. Okay. If we kill Egon Pax, will Greg Weisman be allowed to remake season three? Make a spin-off? More comics? More "Spectacular Spider-Man?"

"To save your friends, you must eliminate Egon Pax" ... yeah, keep saying it, maybe we'll get behind this idea.

"Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax!"

.... me and my big, fat, stupid mouth.

Goliath accuses Leno of lying. Leno can claim he was screwed over too till he is blue in the face, Conan got the boot.

Leno proceeds to threaten Goliath's friends while the big lug struggles with his chains. But Goliath refuses to listen, as the trio are tortured with re-runs of Leno's prime time show.

"For your friends to live, Egon Pax must be destroyed!" Leno says as he sticks his Illuminati brainwashing device on Goliath's neck.

Oh no, not again.

"Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax!"

This is how John Lennon was killed, wasn't it?

"Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax!

"Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax! Egon Pax!"

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

I'm feeling disoriented, as is Goliath. "Egon Pax," Goliath mumbles. But it is too late, Leno's "Man on the Street" segments killed the trio, and Goliath is unleashed to kill Egon Pax while he rides to his Park Avenue hotel.

Leno releases Goliath from his manacles and opens a passage to the open air. Goliath roars to the heavens that he will tear Egon Pax's head off, while Leno smiles under his hood.

Act Three

We cut to Broadway still alive, as he exclaims that someone is going to pay for this. We're all paying for this Broadway, we're all paying for this. But suddenly, the water drains and a door is opened by one of the robed guys who can't possibly be David Xanatos. Broadway assaults the man who claims he is there to help, but Broadway won't listen until he pulls back his hood revealing that he is Xanatos... in a red dress. Xanatos works for General Electric and wears a red dress?

"Xanatos? You did this to us!?" Broadway shouts. "Shut up and listen, Broadway," Xanatos snaps. Sadly, that's the one thing in this review I didn't make up. Xanatos explains the Illuminati is an ancient order who only accept the most powerful as members. He finds his membership distasteful, but today it proved useful. Um, since when does Xanatos find his membership distasteful? How did it prove useful?

Xanatos wants to get them out before his "lodge brothers" return. Wouldn't the Illuminati have better security than this? They know Xanatos harbors the gargoyles. They trust him to watch them? This is asinine!

They release Lex, who Broadway is afraid is being torn apart by a jungle cat, but Lex, being a gargoyle had no trouble. Oh, and the jungle cats aren't robots, but their eyes glow red. Just like in real life.

Brooklyn, however, can't even stand. Guess he doesn't like extreme temperatures. Hey, don't laugh. Ever been in the desert and in a snowstorm the same day?

Xanatos then mentions they need to hurry if they're going to save Goliath from himself. Yay, old school scene changing claw swipes! They're the best part about this episode.

Egon Pax' motorcade is on its way to the hotel, and a police officer beats us over the head with exposition about wars if this guy is hurt. So, if Pax stubs a toe, some Ukrainians will be gassed, or something. But, little do they know, Goliath is stalking them by air.

Inside the limo, Egon Pax asks his aide, Boris for some American radio. I can only imagine he heard Rush Limbaugh going on a diatribe about how Pax himself is a communist and that Bill Clinton must be impeached for allowing commies into the country. Pax also hates being inside the car, he wants to experience the city and it's street vendors selling hot dogs, and that urine smell that no one knows the source of.

At that moment, Goliath tears his way into the limo, and is spotted by Matt Bluestone, the only Illuminatus not invited to the meeting, it seems. Pax's bodyguard fires and misses Goliath when he could only have been inches away. Cobra had better aim than this. Goliath throws the bodyguard into a dumpster, from a moving vehicle, which most likely shattered every bone in his body.

Goliath grabs Pax and tells him that for all the evil he has done, he must be destroyed. Hallelujah! Hearing that guy's name has driven me insane too. Kill him, Goliath! KILL!

Goliath drops Pax on a nearby rooftop, and Pax pleads for his life, claiming to be a man of peace. But the voice of Leno in his head urges him to turn Egon Pax from a man of peace to a man in pieces. Was that joke lame? I think it was.

Goliath calls Pax a liar, and blames him for his friends' deaths, and for being forced to watch Leno re-runs. Kill him, Goliath! The cops show up, and fire, but miss. Matt calls them off, saying they'll hit Pax.

The trio land, and urge Goliath to release Egon Pax, but the voice continues. EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX! But Goliath claims they are trying to confuse him.

"I know only one truth, Egon Pax must be destroyed!" Come on, Goliath. Do it! Please!

Egon Pax tells Goliath that he doesn't want to do it, that violence solves nothing. And his last name is Pax too. Wow, get it? Get it? I totally would never have gotten that!

"DESTROY EGON PAX!"

Matt Bluestone whispers a plead to Goliath from the street to release Pax. The trio regain their footing, and Brooklyn levitates inches off the floor as he says "Goliath, don't!" and hovers over like he's Magneto.

Goliath knows he only has two chances to silence the voice of Leno.

"DESTROY EGON PAX!" que the dramatic music. "EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX! EGON PAX!"

But, instead, Goliath tears the brainwashing chip off his neck and crushes it, before sighing that he failed. Yes, Goliath, you failed. You are a gigantic failure.

Egon Pax rises to his feet and tells Goliath that he succeeded by choosing peace over violence. Goliath asks "what did I almost do?" Goliath, you almost killed the most annoying and useless character ever, that's what you almost did.

The police then threaten to shoot, but Egon Pax begins preaching peace. Two FBI agents enter the roof, and take Pax away, before the cops open fire.

Hey, Egon, couldn't you have, oh, I don't know TOLD THEM NOT TO SHOOT?!

Finally, in a scene not directly lifted from "Hunter's Moon Part Three," Xanatos arrives at the last second and rescues the gargoyles in his helicopter.

Jay Leno is watching from the street in a suit and tie, and is about to leave when his boss, who's face we never see grabs his arm and says "we need to talk." I can only assume, he was given control of "The Late Show With David Letterman" at this point because Leno fails upward.

Back at the castle, Xanatos informs Goliath that the world pretty much thinks gargoyles are douchebags. Broadway claims it's not Goliath's fault, but Elisa (making her first appearance in this episode) says there is nothing they can do about it.

Goliath sighs that all their efforts were destroyed in one moment of madness. See, Goliath, you should have killed him. The truth is, no one likes Egon Pax. Lex asks what they will do now.

"The only thing we can do, tomorrow we start over."

Goliath and the Trio turn to stone. Angela, Hudson and Bronx were lucky not to be in this one.

Final Thoughts

This episode has the reputation of being the worst of the worst. "The Goliath Chronicles" at its lowest. And, that's quite an achievement, but not one to be proud of. That's like winning the Guiness Book of World Records' award for being the world's fattest man.

The only thing I will give it is that Jay Leno's brainwashing technique must work, because all fans of "Gargoyles" hate Egon Pax, and it's an unwritten rule that his name never be spelled out in the forums. So, one can believe that this would cause homicidal desires. Hmm, let's try this out:

"Imma let you finish, but "Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain" was the worst executive meddling of a cartoon of all time."

KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST! KANYE WEST!

But, why? Why was this episode made? Why were the Illuminati reduced to a plot this stupid? Thank god we had the recent SLG comic books which depicted the Illuminati in a cool, menacing, and mysterious way. Gave us characters like Shari, Fleur, Duval, Peredur, Falstaff, Fiona Canmore. This was just... ass. It was ass!

Sigh... thank you, Hit-Girl.

Like Greg Weisman, I haven't watched any TGC since they first aired. So, why did I do this? Because I couldn't ask anyone else to. It's terrible.

I hate this episode. Now, I need to make myself feel better. I'm going to go drown myself with some Merlot, and I am unleashing Hit-Girl on those responsible for this turd.

See Also

Deep Hurting
The Truth About Kanye West