The Thrill of the Hunt is the sixth episode of Gargoyles, and the sixth episode of Season 1.
"The Pack" is a popular television show that the Gargoyles enjoy, not knowing the difference between television and reality. Lexington makes contact with them in hopes of finding allies. But to his surprise, he finds that they are far from heroic in real life.
To her surprise Elisa is welcomed back to the Eyrie Building; as Owen remarks, Xanatos is not one to hold a grudge. Owen escorts Elisa up to the Castle just before sunset. The Manhattan Clan awakens from their stone sleep and Owen departs. The clan greets Elisa, then the Trio and Hudson leave. Goliath tells Elisa that the rest of his clan is fascinated by the television and hurry every night to watch it. Seeing that Goliath considers Xanatos defeated and the castle theirs, Elisa tries to explain that Xanatos's sentence will be up in six months and that he is still legal owner of the castle. She argues that the gargoyles need to find a new home before Xanatos returns. Goliath refuses to consider leaving the castle.
In the castle's TV room, Hudson and Bronx are settling down to watch television. Hudson finds that The Pack, an action TV show that he and the Trio enjoy, is on all the channels, which has apparently happened before. The Trio enters and Hudson expresses his irritation at being unable to watch anything else night after night. The three young gargoyles, however, seem happy to watch it. As the show ends, an announcement informs the gargoyles that the show's stars - Fox, Wolf, Dingo, Hyena, and Jackal - will be appearing live at Madison Square Garden that very night. Lexington seems particularly enthusiastic. He believes that the TV heroes are real warriors like himself and his clan.
Meanwhile, at Pack-Media Studios, the five members of the Pack are working out. Wolf and Dingo in particular are becoming bored with television stardom and want some real action in their lives. In answer, Fox presents them with an unexplained set of photos that was supposedly delivered to the Pack by mail. The photos of Goliath pique the Pack's interest and they consider the possibility of hunting down a gargoyle.
Later, Madison Square Garden is filled with fans waiting for the Pack's arrival, including the Trio concealed in the rafters. The Pack make their appearance and battle with their TV show foes, the "Evil Ninjas". Brooklyn and Broadway leave once the show ends, but Lex remains behind and goes to meet the Pack in person. The Pack is startled when Lex appears and introduces himself as a fellow warrior. Fox seizes the opportunity and tells Lex she's heard rumor of another creature like him only bigger. Wolf adds that they would love to meet this other gargoyle. Lex tells the Pack that he will arrange it.
Sunrise is coming, and Lex still hasn't returned to the castle. Lex arrives shortly before dawn and announces that he has befriended the Pack. Goliath isn't happy that Lex allowed humans to see him. Lex argues that Goliath befriended Elisa, but Goliath thinks they are different situations. Hudson points out that the sun will soon end their argument. Goliath warns Lex that "this isn't over".
Lexington continues the argument the next night. Why is it all right to befriend Elisa, but not the Pack? They fight injustice like she does. The rest of the clan backs Lex up, drawing on what they know of the Pack from television. Lex points out that he hasn't revealed where the clan lives or that they sleep in stone by day. He tells Goliath that they need to seek out kindred spirits in this new world or face life hiding in the castle, alone. Goliath reluctantly agrees to go with Lex and meet the Pack. The two gargoyles arrive at a darkened Pack Media Studios. Goliath is wary as the Pack are not in sight and a sudden spotlight's glare, followed by a grenade and gunfire, confirm his suspicions that they have been tricked. Goliath and Lexington flee, but Hyena jumps out and attacks Lex. He charges after her and nearly falls prey to a trap with spikes coming out of the walls before Goliath pulls him out of the way. The gargoyles bash the spikes aside and continue on until metal doors slam shut in front and back of them. From above them, Fox tells the pair that they're in the Gauntlet, a series of traps that the Pack has made lethal in anticipation of the gargoyles' arrival. Goliath smashes through two metal walls and finds an exit to the roof. The Pack sees the gargoyles escaping and rushes outside to begin the hunt.
Goliath and Lexington glide over to a rooftop. They see no sign of the Pack. Lex is furious that the Pack betrayed his trust and calls them nothing more than animals. Goliath feels they're even worse; they hunt not for food, but for the sport. Lex vows to never trust anyone again. Goliath hears something whizzing towards them and a bladed boomerang explodes in front of them. Goliath goes to help Lexington, but Dingo ropes Goliath. Goliath is briefly dragged backwards, but he soon snaps the rope and grabs Lexington. Lex irritably protests that he's all right and the two glide away. As they fly, Jackal tosses a knife at a nearby power line, which breaks and collides with the gargoyles, electrocuting them. Goliath manages to grab hold of a ledge and catch Lex's hand. They climb up the side of the building, but are immediately caught in another explosion. Stunned, they fall to the ground below and lie stunned in the rubble. The Pack creeps in towards the fallen gargoyles and the hunt appears to have ended.
As the Pack closes in on the unconscious gargoyles, they are spotted by Billy and Susan, two of their young fans. They run over and start peppering their heroes with questions. The distraction gives the gargoyles enough time to recover and they begin to rise from the rubble. The kids' parents call them away, assuming that the Pack is filming a movie or something. Wolf picks up the kids and returns them to their parents, telling them the gargoyles are monsters sent by the evil ninjas. He attacks Goliath, uttering some cliched TV dialogue. Lex confronts Dingo, who throws a weapon at him that explodes in a flash of bright light. Billy and Susan try to help the Pack by tossing some discarded cans at Lexington. Lex growls at them to stop it and the kids recoil into their parents' arms. The kids' father brushes it off as a publicity stunt and the family leaves. As they do, their mother remarks that the "stunt" looks awfully real.
As Goliath and Wolf battle, Fox tells the others to finish the gargoyles while the street is deserted. Jackal and Hyena run at Goliath, but he pulls the plug off a nearby fire hydrant and they are forced back by the spray. Lex points out a fire escape and the gargoyles head up it. Dingo tosses another exploding boomerang at the gargoyles, but fails to hit them. The Pack uses grappling hooks to scale the building. Dingo is startled by a stone gargoyle as he reaches the top and blasts its head off. The Pack quickly realizes that the entire rooftop is covered with stone gargoyles, making their hunt much more difficult. As they search, Jackal realizes Hyena is missing. They turn around as one of her gloves drops behind them. Lexington grabs Dingo's gun and kicks him. Jackal decides to abandon the hunt, but is attacked by Goliath as he leaves. Fox and Wolf try to run, but Goliath catches up with them. He pins them against the roof, which gives way and all three of them fall onto a set where a photo shoot is taking place. Fox grabs one of the models as a hostage. The photographer snaps some pictures of the action. Fox and Wolf make their way out the door with their hostage while Goliath cautiously follows them. As they all exit the building, Lexington dives down at Fox and pins her, knocking her gun away. Wolf grabs Lex off of the unconscious Fox, but tosses him aside in favor of taking on Goliath. The two fight hand to hand and Goliath is victorious, knocking out Wolf. Hearing police sirens approaching, Goliath and Lex leave the scene.
Back at the castle, Lex is ashamed of trusting the Pack and endangering Goliath. Goliath consoles him, telling the younger gargoyle that his earlier wish to seek out kindred spirits in this new world was correct. Brooklyn and Broadway return from their night out. They've seen on the news that the Pack was arrested, thanks in part to photographic evidence of Fox taking a woman hostage. Hudson notes that perhaps the clan should not believe everything they see on television. The gargoyles take their places on the castle tower and turn to stone as dawn comes.
Visiting Xanatos in prison, Owen tells him that he adjusted the gargoyles' television to only show The Pack, as Xanatos had requested. Owen also provided the Pack with the photographs of Goliath. He remarks to Xanatos that it's too bad that his plan didn't work out, but Xanatos isn't concerned. He was able to test both the Pack, which he created, and Goliath by pitting them against each other. He finds the results of their encounter very "informative".
- Keith David as Goliath
- Thom Adcox-Hernandez as Lexington
- Jeff Bennett as Brooklyn and Owen Burnett
- Bill Fagerbakke as Broadway
- Ed Asner as Hudson
- Frank Welker as Bronx
- Clancy Brown as Wolf
- Jim Cummings as Dingo
- Matt Frewer as Jackal
- Cree Summer as Hyena
- Laura San Giacomo as Fox
- This episode introduces the Pack and sets up Lexington's animosity towards them, which will continue in later episodes that feature the characters.
- David Xanatos is still in prison, following his arrest in "Awakening: Part Five". He will eventually be released in "Enter Macbeth".
- Hudson's comment at the end of this episode, that "We shouldn't believe everything we see on television", is turned back on him by Angela in the episode "Hunter's Moon" Part One.
- Fox and Wolf are sent to prison at the end of this episode. They will remain there until "Leader of the Pack" in the second season.
- Billy, Susan and their mother are introduced in this episode. Billy and Susan are fans of the Pack, which is referenced later in "Masque". Their mother's concern over the gargoyles scaring her children will lead her to join the Quarrymen in "Nightwatch".
- This is the only episode in which Fox is an active member of the Pack. The closest she comes after is in Her Brother's Keeper in which she relays orders to Jackal, and Hyena from her prison cell, where she spends the remainder of Season 1. Even after getting out of prison in Leader of the Pack she never works directly with the Pack again.
- Elisa begins her attempts to convince Goliath to move the clan to a new Home . She will not succeed until Enter MacBeth.
- Alone among the cast of Gargoyles, Fox's voice actor (Laura San Giacomo) was never listed in the ending credits; Laura's agent was afraid that her acting career could be hindered if it was known that she had done voice acting on an animated series.
- This is the first of three episodes that each feature a member of the Trio. Lexington, Brooklyn, and Broadway are each led to trust someone or something (the Pack, Demona and her view of humanity, and a sanitized movie version of gun violence, respectively), and then have that trust betrayed, leaving the gargoyle in question with a strong hatred of the episode's antagonist (the Pack, Demona, and Dracon and guns).
- Goliath's belief that defeating Xanatos makes his clan the rightful owners of the castle reflects his tenth century thinking. Back in 994, a military victory would have won Goliath the castle for as long as he could defend it. The idea of a defeated foe retaining ownership of a castle he does not currently inhabit is foreign to Goliath.
- The scene where the Pack searches for the gargoyles on a rooftop full of stone gargoyle statues is similar to a scene near the end of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, where Gaston tries to find the Beast among the many gargoyles on the castle's roof.
- Dingo blowing the head off a stone gargoyle at the beginning of the rooftop scene was edited out of the Toon Disney broadcast of the show.
- Hudson: Maybe we shouldn't believe everything we see on television.
- Elisa Maza: I have to tell you, Mr. Burnett. I'm still surprised at being asked back seeing as how I busted your boss.
- Owen Burnett: Mr. Xanatos is not the sort to harbor a grudge, Detective Maza. And he wouldn't dream of denying you the opportunity to see your friends.
- Goliath: But welcome to our home, especially now that Xanatos has been defeated. And this castle is truly ours once more!
- Elisa Maza: That's what I wanted to talk you about. You know that Xanatos was only convicted of receiving stolen property.
- Goliath: Convicted?
- Elisa Maza: He was accused of that specific crim and that's what he got sent to prison for. But he only got a six month sentence, and we're lucky it wasn't suspended. His lawyers will probably get that time cut down. The point is, it's not safe here for you guys.
- Goliath: What are you saying?
- Elisa Maza: I'm saying you have to find a new place to sleep during the day, a new home Goliath.
- Elisa Maza: [to Goliath] I think your head stays rock hard even at night.
- Wolf: When we took this job, we were promised fame, money, and action. I'm not complaining about the first two. But I could use more of the third.
- Wolf: Birds gotta fly. Fish gotta swim. Wolves gotta hunt!
- Wolf: Well another day, another half million dollars.
- Goliath: [Angrily] You let them see you?
- Lexington: Yeah. Yes I did. And why not? You made friends with Elisa.
- Goliath: That was different!
- Lexington: We can't hide from the whole world up here. There are kindred spirits out there for us, but we've got to look for them and we've got to give them the chance. Or else, we'll always be alone.
- Goliath: [after they've been attacked by the pack] I think they planned to do so from the moment they first met you.
- Lexington: But *why*? We're not their enemies! They're no more than animals!
- Goliath: Worse than that. An animal hunts because it's hungry. These hunters do it for sport.
- Lexington: I'm never trusting anyone again!
- Lexington: I was so totally wrong!
- Goliath: No, Lexington! You were right. We can't hide from the world, we must live in it. We must search for allies, kindred spirits, and sometimes, we must take chances like we did tonight. To do so otherwise is to remain forever alone.
- Lexington: It's nice to know there are still some heroes left.
- Owen Burnett: Everything was done as you stipulated, sir. The Cable TV was adjusted so that the only program the gargoyles could see was the Pack's. The Pack received a mysterious envelope of photographs, and reacted just as you predicted. A pity nothing else happened according to plan.
- David Xanatos: Oh I wouldn't say that Owen. Though they didn't know it was me, I created the Pack to be far more than a TV show. I had to see how good they were. And having underestimated Goliath once before, I had to see what he was capable of as well. All-in-all, I'd say the test was most informative.