Character Spotlight: Matt Bluestone
Matt first appeared in Episode c08, "Deadly Force" driving in a car with Captain Chavez, a deliberate cameo confirmed when she introduces him to Elisa in c10 "The Edge" as her new partner. "He helped us close the Dracon Business." Matt had run into Elisa a few minutes earlier, holding the door for her as she was entering the precinct carrying a television set (a gift for the clan now living in the clock tower above the precinct) and now hands her the remote she had dropped. Elisa is less than thrilled to be "saddled" with a partner, and she tells him so from the get-go. He takes it in stride, saying "Hey, I understand. The problem is, you have a partner - me. I guess we just... have to...make the best of it." How he was animated looking at Elisa in that moment leads a viewer to surmise that Matt thinks he won't find it very difficult at all to make the best of any situation with his attractive new partner. After finally accepting the fact she's stuck with him, Elisa mutters that there must be some kind of conspiracy going on to make her life difficult; Matt replies "It wouldn't surprise me." More than a mere throwaway response, this line soon proves to be an indicator of one of Matt's defining personality traits - his obsession with conspiracy theories.
He's explaining to Elisa about the Illuminati, an organization so powerful it is supposed to control even the president, when they get a call on the police radio - there's a 10-31 at the Museum of Modern Art. Upon arriving, the viewer finds himself agreeing with Elisa's sarcastically-meant gripe, for no sooner do the pair get out of her car than a figure breaks out through the museum's third floor, and launches itself into the sky. Silhouetted against the moon it is clearly a gargoyle. Matt takes aim with his gun and fires a shot even as Elisa yells for him to stop, but the bullet clangs harmlessly off the form as it speeds out of sight. Matt is surprised that Elisa tried to stop him, but accepts her reasoning that it might have "blown up" if he hit it. Naturally Matt wants to know what it is he was firing at, and Elisa looks him straight in the eyes...and lies. "Not a clue." It's still the main thing on his mind the next morning, as he shows Elisa and Captain Chavez a news clip showing security footage from the museum; when the Captain asks the pair to speculate on what the thing is, Elisa again claims in front of both of them that she has no idea; Matt is clearly bothered by the fact it took a .38 slug and didn't so much as slow down.
Given both Matt's already-implied tendency to investigate the strange and unusual and Elisa's connection to the Gargoyles, it is obvious that when the truth comes out there is going to be a confrontation between the two partners. ...............next -->
He sees Elisa running off, and is quick to take action; he assumes that it is work related, when Elisa says what she is up to is best handled alone, he says no way. "Not with those Stainless Steel monsters out there." Whether he's afraid for her safety or missing a chance to see one up close again isn't clear. He's not so easily shaken, either, replying to Elisa's assertion that this is one time she doesn't want a partner with, "Yeah? Well that's usually the time you need one most." His tone and expression imply that maybe this is something he learned the hard way... it is amazing how good voice acting and proper animation can turn a single sentence into a world of back-story.
Matt has a brief cameo in "Her Brother's Keeper", when Elisa charges into the men's locker room to speak to her brother (this is the source of the infamous "Matt in lilac-colored undies" screencaptures) but his next real appearance is in c13 "Re-Awakening", commenting on a shopkeeper he knows who has been robbed repeatedly; Matt wishes that they could protect him better. (we learn in c-31 Protection that Matt knows the store owner and has been coming into this grocery store since he was a little boy, suggesting that Matt Bluestone was raised in New York.)
He doesn't have reason to be suspicious of his partner yet; when she says she wants to wait outside to think for a bit, he jokes that she's afraid her brain will overheat if she comes out of the cold, shrugs, and heads into the store without a backwards glance. That's about to change with the all-units bulletin about some kind of attack in Times Square. He's right with Elisa behind the cover of a bus, at her side when they pull their guns and fire on what turns out to be a "real monster" as it heaves a car at them. And so Matt is also close by when Goliath intercepts Coldstone, right in the middle of the street and in front of many of witnesses.
It isn't clear what Matt saw or heard; Elisa's interaction with Goliath is mostly hidden behind an overturned bus. At least until Coldstone levels a blast at them and Goliath has to carry Elisa to safety before leaping back into the fight. Elisa calls Goliath by name twice and the second time was while Matt had her by the arm, keeping her from going back towards the scene. It's a toss-up whether he wasn't paying attention to what she was saying or if he didn't understand the significance, but if he had a clear recollection of what happened in those shocking moments Elisa's attempting to get *back* to the fighting pair would have come across unusual at least. ....next -->
Or perhaps what he witnessed next caught his attention and held it- first another trio of gargoyles show up to back one gargoyle, and then another shows up with a pair of gargoyle-looking robots to back up the one who'd been attacking Times Square. His reaction? "Man, oh man, this CAN'T be happening!"
Matt and the rest of the crowd miss the ensuing discussion between Demona and the gargoyles on the ground- except Elisa, who is listening in through the receiver on Goliath- as he asks to no-one in particular as the two groups leave to continue the fight elsewhere, "And its over, just like that?" Not hardly, Elisa replies. Somehow she manages to ditch him in the ensuing confusion; Matt isn't with Elisa when she meets up with the clan at the bridge.
In c15 Metamorphosis, Matt is with Elisa when they go to check out Sevarius and Gen-U-Tech, and there when she discovers the paper trail leads back to Xanatos as owner of the company. But any theories he has on gargoyles, mad geneticists, and Xanatos aren't voiced in this episode; he doesn't speak once in it. But he has plenty to say in the next episode, c16 - Legion. Highlights are that he spent six months reading RECAP manuals, and Elisa never lets him drive the squad car; somehow he's given her the impression he doesn't handle the car well.
"It was just like the monster we saw in Times Square last winter. The city's crawling with them," he adds offhandedly about what he saw attacking the complex. He's upset when he finds out that RECAP's visor and hookup have disappeared; but not to worry since they have a homing beacon. "And don't be surprised if it leads us straight to our creature." He gets five speedboats and two helicopters to follow the signal, and probably found it suspicious when his lead boat and two of the helicopters all suffered mysterious navigation problems on the way out to the source.
Matt is pretty excited at the expectation that he'll be seeing what the creature looks like up close, and is upset when they find the visor abandoned except for an inquisitive rat. "Creature", "Monster"...Matt has not yet attached the term "gargoyle" to what he's seen; whatever the tabloids have to say about gargoyles coming to life in New York, Matt isn't automatically assuming those stories are right, or that what he has seen were "living gargoyles."
He's with Elisa in episode c17 "A Lighthouse on the Sea of Time" to escort the archeologists with the scrolls of Merlin into Manhattan. Matt is around just long enough to get hit by door that is blown off of its hinges onboard the ship.
c19- "The Silver Falcon" gives us a fair chunk of Matt's history, even though he is missing for most of the episode. It starts with Matt, alone, picking a padlock on a warehouse in the rain and entering the building to find Tony Dracon and one of his thugs. Two days later Matt hasn't checked in with the precinct, and Elisa is asked by the captain to track down her missing partner; she walks in on a man ransacking his apartment. The place is shortly blown apart when Broadway trips a booby-trap by turning on Matt's computer. From Elisa's meeting with Martin Hacker we learn several tidbits - He used to be Hacker's partner in the FBI, and that he never told Elisa he worked for them. And that Matt's obsession with the Illuminati was what got him pulled from the Bureau.
Also, he's been in touch with Hacker enough to show him Elisa's picture and declare her to be the best partner he's ever had, and to mention a lead he was chasing down on the Illuminati. This doesn't strike Hacker as strange- either Matt's obsession or that he called about it for help, leading one to believe that they have known each other a pretty long time and that they've kept in touch.
Matt is good at thinking on his feet- after Dracon's men bring the roof down on Elisa, Matt keeps from panicking and instead points out that they have no way of knowing the letter they'd been told to get rid of was actually on her, and suggests that their boss will be pretty pissed if they say they handled it and it turns out they didn't. It has the desired impact- the goons dig Elisa back out of what would otherwise be an early grave. He's able to crack jokes in Tony Dracon's face even with his hands tied behind his back and guns pointed at him. (Matt seems to be able to keep his sense of humor while under fire literally as well. "Do you think they're starting to see it our way?" he asks after dodging a round of particle beams fired down at him and the other cops from a female terrorist in the beginning of c22 "City of Stone" part 1 after he's failed to talk the woman into giving herself up.)
Detective Bluestone is not an easily intimidated man, nor does he have
a problem admitting he is wrong. He tells Elisa he jumped to the wrong
conclusion about Mace's letter having Illuminati connections, and then
goes on to say that it wasn't his biggest mistake in this case- leaving
Elisa out of it was. He apologizes, and Elisa strives not to look guilty
as she tells him not to worry about it; "it happens sometimes."
Matt has great confidence in Elisa; while on the helicopter he remarks
that, "She hasn't let me down yet." His confidence in her still
We don't get to see how Elisa explained away to him how she survived jumping off the building and how she got down, nor what caused Tony's helicopter to spiral out of control, but obviously he buys them because it's clear several episodes later that he had no idea she was hiding something as big as a clan of gargoyles from him.
In c28 "Revelations" Matt learns a lot- starting with that he was right about Mace Malone's connection to the Illuminati and the existence of that organization. But that's actually the least of what he learns in this episode (which he narrates.) He had found a lead on Mace Malone's stepson and brought it to Hacker, who has results for Matt. They meet and Hacker passes on the information Matt asked for after trying again to get Matt to give up on his search.
Matt goes looking for Elisa and has some trouble finding her, and ultimately runs into her coming out of a maintenance closet. She lies about where she was for the last half hour, claiming to have been cleaning up after a stopped-up sink in the woman's locker room when Captain Chavez had already said she'd been in there for twenty minutes and hadn't seen Elisa.
"She was lying right to my face- I couldn't believe it." Matt still asks her to come along to check out Jack Dane, but she passes. "Bottom line: she didn't believe in me either."
After talking to Jack Dane- Mace Malone's stepson- and following the information trail to Pine Lawn Cemetery, Matt comes back to the precinct to tell Elisa. When he can't find her again, he checks out the maintenance closet he saw her exiting earlier, and discovers the set-up inside the clock tower. Elisa shows up and he confronts her about it- the TV he helped her bring in the day they became partners is here, the one she said was for a friend. All the books, videos, and food? He finds her claim that the place is her private get-away spot to be suspicious; he doesn't know what is going on, only that it has suddenly become clear that his partner lies very easily, and has been lying to him about who-knows-how-much since the day they met.
The next morning he confronts the man he believes to be Mace Malone at
Flora Driedle's grave, and learns that his interest in the Illuminati
isn't one-sided: They have an interest in him. He takes it in stride to
learn that the Society has deliberately been throwing roadblocks in his
path, and doesn't seem too surprised to hear that David Xanatos is a lower-echelon
Illuminatus, but what Mace has to tell him next leaves him "...feeling
hurt, betrayed, and most of all angry."
He spends the rest of the day and night in a funk; Elisa asks him if he's feeling okay, commenting that their shift is almost over and he hasn't spoken three words to her all night as they drive along an empty coastal Manhattan roadway.
"Let. Me. Drive." Matt responds. He insists, and Elisa pulls over and swaps seats with him. Matt starts speeding while he vents to Elisa about what he learned that day. "This is the end, Elisa! The end of all the lies and deception. Only your gargoyles can save us now!" He almost drives them off the road and over a cliff as Elisa tries to wrest control of the car away from. After they come to a stop he gets out and screams at the night sky, demanding the gargoyles to come out. But since there aren't any gargoyles out there just then, he gets no response.
"I know, I know. This is where you shake your head and tell me I'm wasting my time." He says to Elisa as she approaches him, his resigned tone indicating this is something he's clearly used to hearing, both from well-meaning friends and perhaps people who know he lacks any proof to back up what he knows. But Elisa gives him a different response. "They...don't follow me everywhere."
Matt smiles, and goes with Elisa back to the city- but by the time they get there the sun is already up and it is "too late" to introduce them. He says her claim that he has to wait sounds like a stall, but Elisa swears he won't be disappointed if he meets her back at the clock tower that night. Matt meets with Mace Malone again, admitting that he'd found what Mace had told him about the connection between Elisa and the gargoyle conspiracy was true. Malone says now that the society has proved their faith, it is Matt's turn- the Illuminati want him to bring them a gargoyle.
A few hours later finds him with Elisa back inside the clock tower minutes before the sun goes down. Matt doesn't quite believe it when she takes him out onto the balcony. "Statues? You brought me all the way up here to show me statues?!" he growls, and takes her request to give them room with further disbelief...until the Gargoyles wake up.
Getting to meet the clan, hearing their story, and learning that Elisa has told them many good things about him seems to mollify Matt but little. He says that he'll keep their secret but that he wants a favor in return. Goliath narrows his eyes at Matt and says that trust is not a commodity to be bartered for, and Matt takes him aside to speak privately.We don't hear the conversation that follows, but by the end of the episode it is revealed that Matt tells Goliath everything, and asks him to play along in the supposed "capture" scenario while giving him the key Mace Malone supplied. ..................................................................... next -->
Elisa approaches them with Hudson and asks what is going on; Matt tells them he needs Goliath's help to get into Mace's headquarters, an abandoned hotel that has all of its street entrances sealed off. Hudson and Elisa offer to come as backup, and Elisa is upset when Matt turns them down, saying he and Goliath will be going in alone. Matt adds to that if Elisa she really trusts him, she'll stay out of it- and she backs off right away.
Entering the building from the roof, the two are separated. Matt winds up in a sliding tunnel that dumps him out in a room with Mace and a video monitor, and Goliath ends up inside the guts of the Hotel Cabal- a place "designed to decimate one's mind of its grip on reality" and to make it easy for the Illuminati to extract information from a subject. Mace tells Matt that he makes an impressive Judas- and ironic comment since Matt has actually betrayed Mace's trust, not Goliath's.
Matt talks to Mace, distracting him from watching Goliath's progress through the maze of disturbing hotel rooms and allowing Goliath a chance to use the key to make it through undetected for a little while. When Malone finally notices, he says he can't let the first prisoner of the hotel escape on his watch and pulls a large and advanced-looking rifle out of a cabinet. Matt tries to talk him out of shooting Goliath by suggesting the Illuminati won't be happy with Mace for killing a gargoyle, but Mace insists letting him break free would be much worse, at least for his reputation and pension.
Trailing after Mace, Matt watches in horror as he tries to first shred Goliath with a contraption involving an elevator, and when that fails, aiming the rifle at Goliath through a one-way mirror. When the moment comes, Matt throws himself at Mace, knocking his shot off and sending them both crashing through the mirror into the elevator shaft. Goliath catches him and climbs with Matt back to the roof, leaving Mace raving at them.
"To save Goliath's life I had to waste my chance to get in good with the Illuminati" But his goal was never to become a member; rather, he intended to "bust their organization wide open" from the inside. Clearly he decided that Goliath's life (and Elisa's trust) were worth more than this opportunity.
Confronting Elisa about why she kept him in the dark about the gargoyles, he learns that it wasn't an issue of trust; Elisa just wanted to have something that she felt was special to her and her alone. He says he understands, and seems to forgive her. "That might be why I've chased the Illuminati for so long. People may have thought I was a nutcase, but at least I stood out." ..........................next -->
The revelations don't end there- with just a couple minutes left in the show Martin Hacker returns to reveal that he is a member of the Illuminati. Matt is extremely upset to learn this, and that Hacker had been partnered with Matt for the purpose of keeping him on wild goose chases. The person he thought he could trust turned out to be railroading him the entire time they were partnered, and the one he doubted was willing to put her biggest secret into his hands to prove herself trustworthy.
But apparently the Illuminati aren't as all-knowing as they claim, because the knowledge that Matt betrayed them never made it to light. They seem to be laying the blame of Goliath's escape entirely at Mace's feet, assuming Goliath got the key to escape off of him, unaware that Matt lent the gargoyle his copy. Hacker assures Matt that he did his part by bringing Goliath to the hotel- and attaches an Illuminati pin to Matt's lapel. "You passed the test. You're Illuminati now". Matt seems more angry than pleased with this development, but by the determined look on his face as he watches Hacker leave he fully intends to take advantage of his new position for whatever information on the Illuminati it gives him access to.
c31- "Protection" (main) -- Another mark of Matt (and his VA Tom Wilson)'s acting abilities is when he and Chavez set up Pal Joey to think that Elisa is moving in on the protection racket- a cop gone bad. He seems genuinely confused and hurt at Elisa's attitude and dismissal of him in the interrogation room, and wears the "good cop offended by the presence of a dirty cop" attitude like a shirt when the Captain calls Elisa out and demands she turn over her gun and badge. He's also passable in his undercover role as a bagboy at Mr. Jaffe's grocery store later in the episode as the ruse to draw out Tony Dracon continues; certainly Glasses, who he's been face to face with before in "The Silver Falcon", doesn't recognize him.
In c39 "Kingdom" Matt comes home to his apartment- a different one than the one that was blown up in "The Silver Falcon" and opens his curtains to find his balcony occupied by Broadway. "I'm still not used to you guys," he comments after he regains his balance, and welcomes him in. At Broadway's query Matt mentions whole squad has been looking for Elisa, but Matt assumed she was with the Gargoyles and hadn't been worried. He is now, especially since neither her nor Goliath mentioned any plans that would cause their absence. Matt looks like he intends to get into the matter immediately now that he knows there is a problem; perhaps he found his partner's disappearance too distracting, because he forgot to check his messages- Elisa tries to call him in the next episode (c40 "Monsters") but his answering machine is full........................................................... next -->
In c60 "Turf" He's there at the beginning with Captain Chavez when they interrupt Tomas Brod's attack on one of Tony Dracon's chop shops, and he questions Brod about it both at the restaurant and at the precinct house.
Matt hears people streaming off the train complaining about monsters, "it was those gargoyle creatures," in "Hunter's Moon" part 1. He comments to Elisa; "have a little help on this operation I see." Matt is pretty pissed when Elisa is reassigned to day shift temporarily to show a transfer the ropes, but he shakes his head and grins at Elisa's near-drooly reaction to "Jason Conover" when he's shown in. Whatever affection he has for his partner, he displays no jealousy over her apparent attraction to the new guy.
Matt interviews David Xanatos over the attempted theft of the DI-7; he refers to him as "Mister X", and suggests that Xanatos ought to use some of the super cleanser to make sure "his own house is clean."
When braced by reporter "Jon Carter" in c64- Hunter's Moon part 2 and asked "any thoughts on all these gargoyle sightings?" Matt says, "[I] don't believe in them. But UFOs? Did you know the Easter Island statues were modeled after space aliens?" and appears to be about to launch into a full account of his theory. Clearly Elisa has told him at least some of her world tour adventures.
During c65 "Hunter's Moon" part 3 he wasn't hurt in the blowing up of the clock tower, and is the one who presents a folder with the truth about Jason Canmore/Conover to Captain Chavez in the hospital. Matt is also on site at St. Damien's Cathedral- between Travis Marshall reporting that the new Gargoyles Task Force has the building cornered off, and officer Morgan telling Matt that "It's your call", we can assume that Matt has already been appointed head of this Task Force. When the fleeing clan upsets all the onlookers, Morgan tells Matt "It's now or never detective," and Matt grudgingly agrees to let the choppers give chase. "But I want them alive!" he adds, giving orders for the men on the ground to hold their fire- trying to save the clan without giving away to anyone that he is on the Gargoyle's side.
How Matt will handle this balance as leader of the Gargoyles Task Force (and entry-level Illuminatus) in the continuation of the story in the new comic has already started to play out, and Bluestone fans are happy to see him continue to have a prominent role in the Gargoyles' universe.