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"Grief" is the forty-fourth televised episode of the series Gargoyles, and the thirty-first episode of Season 2. It originally aired on December 28, 1995.


Main Plot

Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx stumble upon the Emir's plot to capture Anubis to bring back his son in Egypt, and are captured. Jackal, who is there with what remains of the Pack, has his own agenda, and intercepts the Emir and becomes an avatar of Anubis. He destroys an Egyptian city, and ages the four travelers, but Goliath helps to convince the Emir to use the Scroll of Thoth and become the avatar instead. The Emir is able to stop Jackal and return things to normal before sealing off the underground chamber of the Sphinx so that no one could ever get access to Anubis again.


Xanatos sends Coyote 3.0, Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena along with the Emir to Egypt as part of another plot to try to gain immortality. Obviously, Xanatos had been searching for a way to become immortal since at least "The Edge", when the Emir was first mentioned, but probably much longer.

The gargoyle aging rate (half that of the human rate) is established.

The Pack is split up after this episode.

The Story

Previously on Gargoyles

Act One

In Giza, Coyote 3.0 prepares a dais inside the temple of the ancient Sphinx's head. Wolf is also present, griping how he was unaware that he and the others would wind up 'slave labor' after Xanatos helped them escape the United States. Jackal and Hyena bring a brazier to the dais, and Jackal assures Wolf that they can go their separate ways after they finish their obligations for the night. The dais finally set, Coyote is dogged in his orders to the Emir, explaining that Xanatos won't be happy if their endeavors don't succeed, but he is cut off by the Emir, who puts away a scroll of papyrus. He confidently tells the robot that Xanatos isn't present; He is. Nevertheless, the Emir assures the Pack that by midnight they will have "what man has dreamed of since the beginning of time". More to himself now, the Emir also anticipates for the "healing" to also begin. Wolf barks at the others to get back to work, eagerly looking forward to the end of their duties. As they walk off, Hyena compliments Coyote's new design, asking if the robot wants to "make sparks fly"; Coyote is indifferent to the proposition. Jackal stays behind and observes a hieroglyph of Anubis on a pillar nearby.

Elsewhere in the temple, the Emir reports to Coyote that it is nearly midnight, and orders the robot to bring back the sacred Tanna Leaves.

On the west bank of the Nile, the World Travelers arrive. Goliath and Angela help Elisa and Bronx get off the Skiff. Angela asks where they are and Elisa explains they are in Egypt, after a quick glance of the pyramids in the distance. Angela is curious to visit and check out the Sphinx, remarking that it looks like the world's biggest gargoyle. Goliath shares that the monument was ancient before he even hatched. The four companions begin their walk toward the necropolis.

Finally nearing the Sphinx, they hear a robotic silhouette in the sky. Goliath orders the others to hide behind one of the Sphinx's stone paws, just in time for Coyote to land unaware of their presence. The robot has returned with the Tanna Leaves. Goliath climbs up the stone paw to get a look at Coyote from above. Coyote touches three hieroglyphs, which opens a door into the Sphinx's temple space. Goliath glides back down to the others, sharing with the others that Xanatos must have rebuilt the robot after their last encounter. Elisa wonders why Coyote would even be in Egypt, and if the robot is accompanied by the rest of the Pack. Goliath isn't sure, but now realizes why Avalon sent them: to stop whatever evil they might have planned.

Inside the temple, the Emir sighs heavily at a photograph of a young boy. He puts the photo away and joins the Pack, who are preparing the final touches. Hyena sneezes and complains the Tanna leaves in the braziers are giving her hay fever. Nearly midnight, the Emir tells the Pack to prepare for the "ceremony".

Outside, Goliath successfully attempts to repeat Coyote's pattern of tapping the three hieroglyphic carvings. The door opens and Bronx is the first to proceed. The others follow him up the steps.

The Emir unrolls the scroll he's been carrying. He orders the Pack to ignite the braziers, which Jackal does with a retractable particle beam off his right forearm. As the smoke from the braziers begin to converge, the Emir begins to :

By the Scroll of Thoth,
by the sacred Tanna Leaves,
by the power of Amun-Ra,
I adjure and compel you!
Come forth from your dark domain,
Jackal God,
Keeper of the Dead!

Lightning begins to crack. Beneath the smoke, a tall figure stands in the distance on the dais . . .

Come forth to do our bidding!"

The smoke funnels around the dais, seething in lightning. Jackal and Hyena, watching on initially unimpressed, are absolutely shocked at the sight they see. Red eyes glow from the funnel.

The temple door slides open and Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx enter. The Pack immediately notice, with Wolf relishing their arrival. The Emir commands the Pack to deal with the uninvited guests. Jackal and Hyena's cybernetics are in full display – Jackal sporting razor blades from his claws and Hyena brandishing buzz saws from each of her forearms. Coyote admits to being curious how Goliath came to be in Egypt, but admits he's "programmed to shoot first and ask questions later". Missing them just barely with a blast from Coyote's particle beam, the four companions are sent careening about the temple. While Elisa nearly falls into some canopic jars, Goliath is thrown towards a pillar and pushes off it in time to attack Wolf mid-glide. Jackal takes on Angela, who jumps out of his way and slaps him away with her tail. As she lands, she dodges one of Hyena's buzz saws, but not the debris the buzz saw does hit. Angela is knocked unconscious. Elisa notices Coyote taking aim at Goliath, who is still preoccupied by Wolf. She runs toward the robot and forces Coyote to miss. Coyote takes one of her legs and throws her to a pillar, knocking her out. Bronx jumps onto Coyote's back, ripping off his metal casing and biting into the machinery. Nearly defeated, Coyote electrifies the gargoyle beast off his body. Wolf continues to work on Goliath, the two knocking blows into one another. Goliath manages to knock Wolf to the ground when Coyote lassoes the gargoyle. Wolf gets back on his feet and delivers a final punch: "Nighty-night!" While Hyena helps Jackal to his feet, the Emir cheers from the dais . . . the spell was a success. Trapped on the dais is the Lord of Death, Anubis.

Act Two

Now chained up, the World Travelers remain unconscious. The Pack stands by the Emir looking at the imprisoned Anubis, impressed with the results. Hyena even remarks how "Dingo's gonna be sorry he missed this!" As Anubis stands silently, Jackal can't help but observe that he's looking at the "original model". The Emir becomes impatient with the Pack's presence, ordering them away. Before leaving Coyote reminds the Emir that Xanatos will want a report on whether immortality has been secured for the billionaire. The Emir tells the robot that Xanatos will get his report when the Emir is ready to give it, not before. Jackal takes one last look at Anubis before he and the others walking away.

Finally alone with the Guardian of the Gate, the Emir tells Anubis that he demands a favor. Anubis dismisses the request before he even hears it, explaining that he grants "but one boon" to everyone, death. The Emir explains that his son was killed in a pointless car accident two years ago. Anubis is curt: "Death is always pointless. That is the point." The Emir grows impatient, demanding and threatening the Jackal God to return his son. Anubis explains his demands are unthinkable. "Death comes to us all," he asserts. But the Emir informs Anubis that while he is imprisoned, "Death has no sting. No one can die." The Emir's threats cannot be simply dismissed.

In the Sphinx's antechamber, Jackal looks at a statue of Anubis. Wolf meanwhile tells Hyena and Coyote that should just finish off the World Travelers. "I'm tired of them giving us grief!" Hyena seconds the motion with a cackle. Coyote agrees with the others in principle, but was not programmed to expect them. "Without definitive orders, they get to live." Wolf insists that he's giving the order to kill them, but Coyote reminds Wolf that he doesn't "qualify". Jackal is silent on the matter at hand, merely pointing out that someone should be in the temple with the Emir to ensure "Xanatos's interests". Coyote asks if Jackal is volunteering, but the cyborg merely points out the obvious: "You're not exactly Mr. Subtlety." Coyote agrees and Jackal returns to the temple.

Meanwhile, Elisa and Bronx comes to, followed by Angela and Goliath. Jackal sneaks by them and listens to the Emir demand reparation from Anubis for his son being unfairly taken away from him. Anubis is not convinced, and tries to explain the consequences of the Emir's actions. With only birth and no death, the planet cannot sustain so many lives. But the Emir's only concern is his son. Still chained, the World Travelers watch the two spar. Anubis stands silently.

The Emir is done with negotiations. He explains to the Jackal God that the Scroll of Thoth contains a spell to make the reader into an avatar. Elisa is unsure what the implications of that are, and Goliath explains that an avatar is a mortal who becomes a "vessel" for a supernatural being. "I don't like the sound of that," Elisa laments. Jackal meanwhile overhears the Emir's threat to "command life and death" himself. Before the Emir can cast the spell, Goliath (still chained) rises to his feet and pleads with the Emir not to go through with it. The grieving father is unconvinced, explaining how he never had a chance to say goodbye. The very hope of holding him again is enough motivation. Anubis matter-of-factly explains that the Emir cannot comprehend the forces he's about to unleash. Goliath and Angela begin to struggle against the chains, cracking the pillar the chains are bound to. The temple roof's support from pillar begins to give way, and the Emir implores them to stop, or the whole temple will come down. The rest of the Pack enter the temple wondering what the commotion is, where they are quickly ordered to dispose of their captives. Coyote blasts at them with his particle beam, searing the ropes and chains off the World Travelers. They are escorted out of the temple. Jackal remains in the temple, out of sight behind a pillar.

After walking through a narrow passageway lit by a lantern held by Wolf, Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx are brought to the Sphinx's mastaba, a burial chamber filled with antiquities. Coyote quips it will be the perfect resting place for the four companions. Elisa comments how she isn't ready to rest just yet, and kicks the lantern out of Wolf's hand. The lantern is shattered against the chamber wall. The burial chamber is briefly dark before Coyote's own lights turn on. The four companions spread out, distracting the Pack. Coyote fires wildly into the semi-lit room, destroying a canopic jar. Hyena is eager to slice her enemies with her cybernetic razors, only to be briefly pinned by Angela from behind. Wolf goes straight for Goliath, but is knocked around by Bronx, falling into Goliath. Goliath grabs him by the forearm and throws the mutate over his shoulder, but Wolf manages to recover quickly. Goliath pins him to a wall, hands around Wolf's neck, but Wolf kicks him away. Elisa finds a spear and Coyote goads the detective to take her best shot. She impales him and the robot keels over, before firing back at her. She jumps out of the way and the particle beam blasts a hole into another passageway. Angela and Elisa exit through the hole, hoping to stop the Emir. Goliath and Bronx follow after Goliath stuffs Wolf into a sarcophagus. Wolf smashes out of the stone tomb and he and Hyena chase after them, with Coyote trailing behind, limping.

Back in the temple, while Jackal continues to observe from behind a pillar, the Emir casts the next spell:

In the names of Osiris, Isis, and Set,
let Anubis and I now be one!

Light from the braziers' fires envelops the smoke and radiates around the imprisoned Anubis. The Jackal God suddenly disappears in a wisp of light and aims toward the triumphant Emir. But before the two can become one, Jackal knocks the Emir out of the way and stands where he once stood. The wisp of light strikes Jackal just as the World Travelers arrive. Jackal transforms into Anubis's avatar, laughing maniacally in his new supernatural body and might.

Act Three

Jackal as Anubis's avatar continues to laugh, their voices ebbing around one another. The Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx surround him just as the rest of the Pack enters the tomb. Wolf and Hyena are surprised to see what has become of Jackal, and Coyote reasons that this latest development isn't "what Xanatos had in mind". The Avatar Jackal agrees that it isn't, and destroys Coyote in a pile of rust. Wolf is happy to see the robot go, unlike Hyena. Mocking her, the Avatar Jackal proceeds to reverse Hyena and Wolf's age, turning them into a child cyborg and mutant puppy. While the Avatar Jackal amuses himself with these antics, Goliath charges toward him, but is aged forward into an elderly gargoyle. He falls to his feet, diminished and unconscious.

While he is relishing his newfound power, the Avatar Jackal is confronted by the Emir, who insists he was supposed to be the avatar. The Avatar Jackal is unconcerned, and threatens to keep the grieving father alive to see the whole planet die before promising to reunite him with his son. Angela tries to attack shortly after, but the Avatar Jackal ages her as well. Elisa cries out for him to stop, but is rapidly as well. Bronx manages to leap on the Avatar Jackal before he is the last hit into senility.

With no one left to confront him, the Avatar Jackal begins his purge. The Avatar Jackal's powers emit from the Sphinx's eyes, bringing death and destruction to a nearby town. Vehicles, plant life, animals . . . all fall victim to the Jackal Avatar's untethered whims.

While the Avatar Jackal continues to revel in his might, an elderly Goliath begs to the Emir to do something. The Emir remains silent. Slowly getting up on his feet, the elderly gargoyle insists then that he and the others will stop the evil being done without him. He commands to Angela to attack while the Avatar Jackal is distracted. They knock him to the ground, but are unable to pin him. "You can't stop me, you fools! I am Death!" he proceeds to annihilate an entire nearby town and its population into ruin. Goliath takes the opportunity to throw the Scroll of Thoth to Emir, who realizes he can use it once more to make himself an avatar for Anubis. The Avatar Jackal notices the ploy and prepares to finally kill the Emir, but the Emir manages to say the words of spell just in time:

In the names of Osiris, Isis, and Set,
let the spirit of Anubis flow into this vessel!

Jackal is returned to his usual self as Anubis's energies flow into the Emir. Now as the Avatar Emir, he finally understands: What is dead cannot be restored, but stolen energies can be restored. He returns Goliath, Angela, Elisa, Bronx, Hyena, and Wolf to their previous ages. As the temple begins to crumble, Goliath asks the Avatar Emir if he will bring back his son, but the Avatar Emir realizes that not only must the Jackal God not play favorites, but that no one else must have access to this kind of power. With that, he proceeds to bring down the temple himself. The four companions escape as pillars and debris fall about them, running out the Sphinx's door just in time. Angela asks what happened to the Pack, but Goliath admits that he would rather not think about it. Elisa wonders how Goliath and Angela managed to even attack Jackal when he was Anubis's avatar – Elisa admits she could barely move. Goliath figures that Jackal was unaware that gargoyles age half as fast as humans. With dawn approaching, Goliath, Angela, and Bronx begin to rest in front of the Sphinx, but not before Elisa asks what Goliath thinks happened to the Emir. Goliath hopes that he is with his son, at rest.

Featured Characters and First Appearances

Gargoyles Humans Oberon's Children Others

Places Objects Miscellaneous


  • "Well, shave my chest and call me Baldy!" - Wolf
  • "I grant but one boon, mortal. And it will be given to you as it is given to everyone; when your time has come." - Anubis
  • "Death is always pointless. That is the point." - Anubis
  • "Without definitive orders, they get to live."
"I'm giving the order!"
"You don't qualify." - Coyote and Wolf
  • "I demand reparation! My son was cruelly and unfairly taken from me!"
"On the contrary, death is the ultimate fairness. Rich and poor, young and old . . . all are equal in death." - The Emir and Anubis
  • "You would not like to see the Jackal God play favorites." - Anubis
  • "Every time I meet a guy I can go for, you have to ruin it!" - Hyena to the Avatar Jackal
  • "I know you grieve for your son, but we've all lost souls we care for. Must I lose my daughter to prove that this is evil?" - Goliath to the Emir
  • "You can't stop me, you fools! I am Death!" - The Avatar Jackal


With Coyote's literal half-robot head destroyed by Goliath in "Upgrade", this trademark feature of the robot now becomes a video image (which would also be incorporated with Coyote 4.0 in "Cloud Fathers" and with Coyote 5.0 in "The Rock").

The Pack appears for the first time since "Upgrade", although Dingo is no longer a member. This is the final episode in the original series featuring the Pack as a team. Coyote will reappear in "Cloud Fathers", Jackal and Hyena will reappear in "The Green", and Wolf will reappear in "Vendettas". Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena would join forces off-screen to attack Times Square at the end of "Phoenix", before their return to the page breaking into Rikers Island in the issue "Mayday".

The Emir is introduced, having been mentioned previously in "The Edge" and "Double Jeopardy".

Anubis is introduced. He will appear among other Children of Oberon, in cameo, in "The Gathering" Part One.


Michael Reaves introduced a few elements into the script for "Grief" rejected from a story that he had written for Batman the Animated Series entitled "Avatar" (such as the Tanna leaves burned as part of the ritual to summon Anubis, and the mentions of such other Egyptian gods as Osiris, Isis, Set, and Thoth), which also involved the uncovering of a being of almost godlike powers over life and death native to ancient Egypt.

While Greg Weisman came up with the idea that both Anubis and Jackal (and later Anubis and the Emir) speak simultaneously, he credits the execution of blending the voices out of sync to Jamie Thomason's direction with the actors involved, as well as the those who then worked at Screen Music Studios and Advantage Audio. [1] This vocal effect would later be incorporated in both The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice. [2][3]

Weisman regards this episode as one of his biggest missed opportunities. [4] During the episode, he had the Emir state that, while Anubis was being held prisoner, nobody on Earth could die. Unfortunately, he then failed to do anything with the idea. After making the episode, he realized that he ought to have used it, by proceeding to have the Pack "kill" Goliath and his companions, only to discover that, because of Anubis' captivity, none of them could die. [5] Since then, Greg Weisman has often spoken of his regret of overlooking this bet. [6][7][8]

Animation nit: Elisa's jacket is missing from one of the scenes near the end (as the protagonists stand in front of the Avatar Emir, in a grand sweep past).

Wolf's grumbling at the beginning of the episode about having to serve as "slave labor" seems almost prophetic now, in light of the name of the company that published the comic book from 2006 to 2009 – though obviously nobody on the production team could have possibly foreseen that!

Tanna is a fictional plant, created for the 1940 film The Mummy's Hand and its many sequels. In the movie, tanna leaves are important for the survival of the undead mummy Kharis, and are used for in various ways to control the mummy. Tanna leaves (sometimes spelled tana) have been used in mummy stories ever since. The name was invented by Griffin Jay, one of the writers of The Mummy's Hand, who initially intended to call them tanya leaves, after his wife. [9]

DVD Release


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