Deadly Force

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"Deadly Force" is the eighth televised episode of the series Gargoyles, and the eighth episode of Season 1. It originally aired on November 18, 1994.


Main Plot

Influenced by a movie he's been enjoying, Broadway plays with Elisa's gun and accidentally shoots her. Because Broadway is too ashamed to come home and admit what he has done, Goliath believes that Elisa was shot by Tony Dracon, a major player in New York's organized crime scene whom Elisa was trying to connect to the recent theft of a crate of prototype weaponry. While Goliath tracks Dracon to a dockside warehouse, Broadway goes on an anti-gun rampage and ends up at the same warehouse. He admits to Goliath that he was the one who shot Elisa. The two gargoyles visit a recovering Elisa in the hospital and Broadway promises her he will never touch another gun.


Dracon steals the gun shipment from Xanatos Enterprises, and Owen talks to Captain Chavez and Elisa about the theft. Xanatos gets the guns back by purchasing them back from Dracon, (minus those sold on the street). But before Owen has the chance to retrieve them from the warehouse, Goliath destroys them.

Goliath and Broadway tie up Dracon and his men who are later arrested for grand theft.

Elisa realizes she made a tragic error by leaving her gun out in the open, and partly blames herself for getting shot. She keeps her gun locked safely away after the incident.

The Story

Act One

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 onto. 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 Castle Wyvern. Almost the second they are flesh again, Broadway tells the others he's heading out and departs from the castle. Goliath wonders aloud where he's rushing off to. Lexington and Brooklyn explain that their brother is off to another viewing of Showdown - a Western that they had all seen 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 arguing with Captain 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 there isn't sufficient evidence for a warrant. 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. They fire an invisible particle beam and utilize a laser for aiming. He tells Chavez that 322 weapons were in the crate. Angered by the thought of that many dangerous weapons unaccounted for, Elisa heads out "to do her job".

At the movie theatre, 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, 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 theatre Showdown is coming to its climax. In classic Western form, the two cowboys face each other on the town's main street. They draw, they fire, one falls. Still shoveling down popcorn, Broadway remarks, "Cool."

Elisa returns home to her apartment. She removes her jacket and her holstered gun and hangs both up on a coat rack. Her cat Cagney starts meowing at her and rubs 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. As he flies, he playfully shapes his hand into a gun and pretends to fire. Seeing Elisa's apartment below, Broadway lands and opens the 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. Broadway looks around while Elisa cooks, admiring a photo of her family. Then something else catches his attention: Elisa's gun in its holster on the coat rack. He takes out the gun and starts playing with it, spouting Western dialogue in a John Wayne-type voice. He jumps around the apartment, aiming the gun. Elisa's back is to him and she doesn't notice what he's doing. Broadway turns and the gun goes off in his hand. He drops it in surprise and begins to apologize. He kneels down to pick up the fallen gun, casually adding "Hope I didn't break anything." He looks over at Elisa's kitchen. The meal she was preparing is still cooking on the stovetop, but Elisa is not visible. A little concerned, Broadway calls Elisa's name and walks towards the counter that's obscuring his view. As he approaches, he is horrified to discover Elisa lying on the floor in a pool of blood, not moving.

Act Two

Broadway tosses the gun away from him and kneels down, cradling Elisa's head and franticly calling her name. She barely opens her eyes for just a second, but then closes them again. Broadway tells her he's sorry and lifts her motionless body off the floor. He carries her out the window and glides to 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 and they are unable to get a pulse. 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.

Back at the castle, the gargoyles are preparing for their day's sleep. Brooklyn notices that Broadway's pedestal is still empty. Lex is unconcerned, assuming that Broadway stayed to watch Showdown again. With a hint of irritation, Goliath hopes that Broadway has found somewhere comfortable to sleep. Just then, Owen comes up behind Goliath, telling the gargoyle he has bad news. Mindful of the coming dawn, Goliath tells him to speak quickly. Owen reveals to Goliath that Elisa has been shot and that she may not live. Goliath roars in horror, just as the sun rises and turns him to stone.

In a wooded area, Dracon and his men are testing out the weapons they've stolen. Dracon's second-in-command asks him if he's heard about Elisa. Dracon confirms that he has and comments that it's dangerous to leave a gun lying around like that. The men all laugh 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.

Back at the Eyrie Building, Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn, and Lex all burst into Owen's office. Goliath asks how Elisa was shot and Owen reveals that they are not sure yet. He tells Goliath about the stolen particle beam weapons and how Elisa was working on the case. Hudson asks where Elisa is now. Owen tells him she's at Manhattan General, slips some papers into his briefcase, and heads out the door. Goliath moves to leave, but Brooklyn and Lex stop him for a moment. Broadway isn't home yet and Brooklyn is worried about him. Goliath tells Brooklyn and Lex to search for their brother while he goes to see Elisa. Hudson stays behind to guard the castle.

Broadway is huddled atop a building, hidden and sobbing. Goliath arrives at the window of Elisa's hospital room. He pulls back from the window 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 is not good: Elisa's heart, one of her lungs, and her spine were all damaged. The next several hours of surgery will be critical. Peter asks if they should call Elisa's sister and have her fly out. Derek tells him not to talk like that, that Elisa will be all right. Frustrated, Peter asks what they can do. Stroking her daughter's hand, Diane tells her husband that they can pray. Dr. Sato goes to the door and lets Maria Chavez in. She offers her condolences, but Derek just wants to know who's responsible for shooting his sister. 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 shoot her. Peter asks if they found any prints on the gun. Chavez tells him that the only prints they found were "so badly smudged they don't even look human". She promises the family that they will find whoever did this to 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. Taking Elisa's hand. he tells her to keep fighting and promises to avenge her.

Goliath leaves the hospital and lands outside a window at Dracon's mansion. 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. The mugger holds up a strange-looking handgun and demands the man's wallet. As he threatens his victim, the mugger hears a low growl. 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", 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; she has no pulse.

Act Three

Dr. Sato gives Elisa a shot of epinephrine, but it has no effect. He has one of his doctors use the paddles to try and get her heart pumping again. The monitor beeps back to life as her heart rate returns to normal. Dr. Sato sighs in relief and tells the other doctor to bring Elisa's family back in.

Chavez and a 23rd Precinct detective are driving, trying to follow Tony Dracon. Dracon's driver notices them and points them out. "You know what to do," Dracon tells him. He speeds up long enough for the cops to lose visual contact. 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. 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 isn't listening; he wants vengeance for his friend. At last, Broadway admits that he - not Dracon - was the one who shot Elisa. Goliath turns to him in disbelief. Broadway explains 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. He then breaks the remaining weapon in half and places it near Dracon and his men so they will be tied 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 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'll never touch another gun. 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.

Featured Characters and First Appearances

Gargoyles Humans Others

Places Media


  • "It must be good, he didn't even have his dinner first." - Goliath
  • "Movies, television, video games. These days it's hard to tell what's real and what's not." - Hudson
  • "Face it, sugar, you got nothin'." - Dracon
  • "Let's go pilgrim, and don't forget the horse!" - Broadway
  • "No one hits a cop and gets away with it." - Chavez
  • "I will find the man that did this to you, and I will make him pay!" - Goliath
  • "You can't kill him!"
"You think not? Elisa will have her revenge, through me." - Broadway and Goilath
  • "Mr Xanatos isn't going to like this."
"I'll be happy to discuss the matter with him." - Owen and Goliath


Bruno, the leader of Xanatos' commandos in "Awakening", has a brief cameo as the head of Xanatos' security team in the opening scene.

Tony Dracon and his gang are introduced in this 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.

Jay Sato first appears in this episode and will not make another appearance until "Bash".

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.


Showdown is described as "a new western", but appears in black and white on the movie screen. This can be explained, however, in one of two ways: in the modern world, anything made since 994 would seem new to the gargoyles (in "Enter Macbeth", Lexington would refer to Shakespeare as "some new writer"), or Showdown may have been deliberately shot in black-and-white for artistic effect.

Owen, when reporting that the stolen particle beam accelerators were produced in various "power ranges" pronounces the latter word in such a way as to sound strongly evocative of a certain competitor to Gargoyles (and one which unfortunately helped kill it in the ratings wars), in a negative way.

Peter and Diane Maza, Elisa's parents, were named after Peter Morwood and Diane Duane, two of the writers on the Gargoyles production team.

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.

VHS/DVD Release


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