Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Koohii, Mar 10, 2010.
Maybe Duncan's a fan of Occam's Razor?
Neffertiri was an Immortal bodyguard to Cleopatra who had herself sealed in a sarcophogus after her queen died. The Sarcophogus is stolen, just happens to drive past MacLeod, who has to bring Neffertiri up to modern times. Her former lover, a Roman General has turned historian and museum currator, wants to put the past behind them. Things do not go well. A couple of Hunters make an appearance. References to Darius.
"Does Rome still rule the world?"
"Not for some years now."
"Don't modern women use sex to their advantage?"
"There was a Roman Catholic Priest in that church who used to be one of Us."
"Darius. Was he a friend of yours too?"
"He was my greatest enemy. I'm joking. It took me a long time to forgive him for leading the Goths into Rome."
"I am in your hands. Dress me."
Deleted Scenes: some of bringing Neffertiri up to modern times, included clothes shopping (see last quote).
Two very interesting characters. I expected the former Roman to pick up the role of mentor for MacLeod once held by Darius. Instead, I don't think he ever shows up again.
Cleopatra was a very unusual woman. Not only did she rule over Egypt with the devotion of her subjects, she spoke more than 7 languages--something generally only done by learned scholars. Most rulers had translators.
Very good episode, even if it isn't essential.
Amanda's Tutor/mentor is killed by one of her students, who is trying to collect all the magic pendants. When combined, they will supposedly make an immortal immensely powerful. Duncan and Amanda argue over who gets to fight the Guest Immortal of the Week.
Interesting idea that Immortals have power-boosting objects (reminded me of Loki and the Nairn stones). The concept does not reappear that I know of--though Amanda does loan Duncan hers as "colors" in Finale pt2.
Deleted Scenes: Didn't see this one when it aired, so don't know.
Good episode, not quite essential, but elements from here do recur.
Guest Immortal of the Week's method is to harrass yound immortals with deaths that will be blamed on them, then follow the young to their teacher. Richie runs back to MacLeod.
Deleted Scenes: Richie's flashbacks to the first bodies planted on him.
OK episode, but not essential
Two Parter which features the return of Horton (again?) and Tessa (from the dead?). OK, Horton sets Richie up with a friend who is too good to be true to keep them distracted while the murderer the Hunters broke out of prison can undergo plastic surgery and ellocution lessons to look and sound like Tessa. Exactly how this is supposed to destroy MacLeod (aside from making him very, very angry) is one of those plots that makes no sense whatsoever.
Remember my comments about the music in Epitaph for Tommy? Well, there is worse. In the "movie" version of this story, the openning credits are done in an acid montage rather than the usual TV openning. The noise (it really can't be called "music" without insulting the concept of music) is very jarring and obnoxious as hell.
Deleted Scenes: I don't remember seeing Duncan's flashback in Part 1 at all. Part 2 has a lot more flashback from previous episodes with Tessa in them.
An episode so bad that I almost stopped watching the series at the time. Nothing important or essential in either part. Skip it and move on to Season 3!
Thus ends season 2, not with a bang, but a wimper.
Season 3: Opening Credits remain the same as seaon 2.
Duncan MacLeod has to fullfil an oath he made to the warrior who gave him his sword and trained him in Jujitsu. Guest Immortal of the Week had bought his way into the family and treated his wife as a possession.
In FreeFall, MacLeod told Felicia that his sword was given to him by another Immortal, and everyone assumed it was Connor. The problem was all the other flashbacks that had him using other types of swords. Well, the katana wasn't given to him by an immortal, but it does otherwise solve the incongruity.
Deleted Scenes: more abuse by the GIotW, and slightly different scenes trying to convince the woman to leave her husband.
OK episode, important details make it pretty essential.
Line of Fire
One of Richies old girlfriends shows up (again!) and claims he's the father of her child. The Guest Immortal of the Week was the one that lead the US troops to slaughter the Souix village MacLeod was hanging out in is back in the Pilot, and now he's after Richie and Duncan.
Deleted Scenes: More flashback in the Souix Village, more hunting/driving around town montage
Decent episode, but not essential.
GIotW is one who leads freedom-fighter independance movements, this time in the balkans. He's even willing to betray his own people to raise money, sympathy, and consiousness.
Deleted Scenes: Don't remember seeing this one first time.
I'd previously said Charlie left the series in Warmonger, but I was confusing that episode with this one--they're very similar. Charlie actually leaves in this episode, and returns in season 4.
Decent episode, important only because of Charlie leaving.
Cross of St. Antoine
GIotW is a greedy avaristic fur trader whose horizons were broadened by religion (stealing from the church). MacLeod has to fight him to take back a holy relic, and avenge Joe's Girlfriend.
Deleted Scenes: lots of the flashback to the old west.
Ok episode. Not essential.
Rite of Passage
Stupid spoiled brat self centered teenager kills herself in a car crash and awakens as an immortal, and Duncan tries to train her. Unfortunately, in spite of the fact that she well and truly deserves it, he doesn't make everyone's life easier by taking her head. The other GIotW likes to use immortal women as bait to "distract" immortal men, then take their Quickening. He keeps the bait dependant on him by not teaching them to defend themselves. MacLeod solves his problems by foisting the stupid child off onto Amanda to train. We can only hope that Amanda had the sence to realize the obnoxious twit was beyond hope and take her head.
Yeah, I really, really, really hated this character.
Deleted Scenes: more flashback to Paris, more flirting.
Awful episode, ruined by the girl, and not in any way essential.
GIotW is MacLeod's friend who used to be the best swordsman in Europe, but somehow lost his nerve and turned to opium and other drugs, and has the dope fiend's callous disregard for the lives of others. Duncan does the world a favor and finally solves the problem.
There's one really funny effect when the car crashes into the bus from the stoner's perspective that looks like a cartoony explosion jaggy balloon thing. Very funny and cheezy.
Deleted Scenes: didn't see this one back then
OK episode, aside from possiblly explaining MacLeod's hatred of drugs, not essential.
Our token immortal child episode. This one has survived for 800 years by being clever.
"I'll never be big enough to drive or old enough to have a woman!"
Deleted Scenes: a whole bunch more of the Civil war--really a bunch more, like about 8 minutes.
While not essential, this is one of the better episodes this season.
GIotW is a stalker who doesn't know that "No means NO!!!" Pathetic wuss. MacLeod has to hit him with a steel cluestick to the neck.
Deleted scenes have more stalking.
Not essential or that good.
GIotW has devoloped the power to project images into the psyche of others. First in nightmares, then into delusional hallucinations.
Deleted scenes feature more flashback footage.
This is the first immortal to have some bizzare extra power beyond the usual. For some reason, even though The Quickening is supposed to be the transfer of all the immortal's knowledge and power, Duncan never seems to develop any of those powers, or gain additional knowledge he didn't have before.
or Swords, Lies, and Video Tape. So this guy is leaving his girlfriend's house to go back to his wife when he sees MacLeod take a head, and records it. Then he tries to use the tape to blackmail Duncan into killing his wife so he can inherrit his money. The wife finds the tape and watches it.
OK, why do people videotape themselves during bedroom athletics? Honestly? WHY??? What possible reason or enjoyment could you derive from watching yourself doing that???
Secondly, wouldn't a night filter not be a standard item?
Deleted Scenes: Huge section involving a garden maze and an execution
Moderately OK episode, but not essential.
The Revolutionary also introduced Anne, Duncan's new Girlfriend, when he meets her at the emergency room where she works as a trauma specialist.
Schmuck GIotW tries to sell MacLeod's life to the mod to save himself from cement over-shoes.
I guess this is meant to be a comedy relief break, but I find schmuck charaters like this one totally unengaging. People who wanna be connected to the big shot/society/whatever, but don't quite have what it takes. Meh. At least it wasn't like the horrible girl in Rite of Passage.
Deleted Scenes: Didn't see this one originally
Nothing important about this episode, and not very good.
They Also Serve
A Watcher is using her privileged information to help her Immortal score heads. Since her husband and child died, the young GIotW she was assigned ends up being her surrogate. This episode provides a bit of a look inside the Watchers as they are supposed to be (not the Hunters), and there are arguments over whether the Watchers can be friends with their Immortals. Joe takes some flack. Flashback to china, when MacLeod meets the Immortal who taught him Crane KungFu.
Deleted Scenes: more of the Watchers interaction
Good Episode, important details.
GIotW is running a religious center and acting as a cult leader--even rising from the dead in front of his followers. MacLeod remembers him as an utter mercenary from the Spanish Franco revolution and the Kimer Rouge in Korea, and doesn't by the religious conversion.
I've seen this actor in other things, and he looks like about 10 miles of bad road squished together. Don't know whether it was genetic or substance abuse, but he looks old and wrinkled as hades. Anne gets to see someone rise from he Dead, but doesn't put the information together yet. One of the cult leader's followers commits suicied by cop.
Deleted Scenes: more in Korea and Spain.
Not a bad episode, not essential but worth watching once.
I just realized I've been forgetting to grade the episodes numerically. Maybe I'll put together a list after I finish season3.
Song of the Executioner
Introduction of Kalas, the Immortal with the raspy voice who used to be a singer. Anne witnesses MacLeod's fall from a high balcony to his death on the seats below.
Pretty good episode. Vital for the rest of the season.
Deleted Scenes: more of the Flashbacks to the Monastary.
Kalas becomes the elusive Evil Immortal of the Season.
MacLeod goes back to Paris again (always seems to during episode 15.) Maurice just happens to have bought the barge back for him. For some reason. Kalas uses a mortal enemy of Fitzcairn's to make Fitz's life difficult, and thus hurt Duncan. Death of Fitzcairn (Don't worry--he'll be back).
"I've been around. I know a virgin. She wasn't. She even taught me a thing or two."
"Yes. Did you know that--"
"Nevermind. That's beside the point."
Deleted Scenes include an edited version of the dialog above.
Good Episode. Essential.
Kalas discovers the Watchers and tries to use their data to locat Methos, the oldest and first Immortal ever. If Kalas can take the Quickening of Methos, he'll be unstablable, even by Duncan. MacLeod discovers that the Watcher working on Methos' file is Methos himself. Methos has been out of the game for about 500 years, and isn't up to taking on Kalas. During a fight between MacLeod and Kalas, the police show up, brought by Methos, and arrest Kalas for the murder of a bookstore owner (and Watcher archivist).
Deleted Scenes: didn't see this one.
Good Episode, and essential.
Methos eventually takes on the role of Darius: a mentor and source of information for Duncan. Kalas will be back later.
Take Back the Night
Guest Immortal of the Week is from the First Century, and participated in Bodika's attack on Londinium. When she and her husband are shot in modern Paris, she decides to wipe out every member of the streetgang that murdered her man. Richie is working on being a professional motorcycle racer, but has problems with his supposed team-mate. Young punk theif makes the mistake of trying to rob MacLeod, and just happens to be the younger brother of one of the murderers. GIotW convinces MacLeod to tell Anne the truth about being Immortal.
Deleted Scenes: didn't see this one when it aired, so don't know.
lower end of OK episode, only important for the last 5 minutes.
A woman in line behind Anne at passport control collapses from an intestial blockage: she's a drug mule. GIotW is the Russian Cossack in charge of the operation. Anne and the girl are in the way of his business, and Duncan has to rescue them with a katana.
Deleted Scenes: don't remember seeing this one either, though I know I did because I couldn't figure out why Anne was coming to Paris.
Important only in that Anne is in Paris.
Anne admits that she was so broken up about MacLeod's death that she went and got herself pregnant, but that she can't/won't marry the father. GIotW was a Nazi Leftenant who now runs a skin-head gang. Local priest recognizes him and goes to find MacLeod--the only other person he'd met and knew to be immortal. Flashbacks include WWII resistance movements. Return of the resistance leader MacLeod used as a source tracking down Xavier in season 1. Death of same person shortly after he learns that MacLeod and the Nazi are immortals. Anne is so upset that she wanted MacLeod to kill the Nazi that she breaks up with him and goes back to US/Canada.
Deleted scenes: don't know
Good episode, I guess pretty important because of the on again/off again of Anne.
GIotW is using Maurice's niece as bait and forcing her into an even lower class of crime that she was already in while selling her body. In spite of being 99% sure the guy was scum, MacLeod waited until the niece was murdered before doing anything. Perfect Man Syndrome kicks in again, as he is nice to the Madam running the brothel and the other employees there in order to get information.
Deleted Scenes: Didn't see this one originally.
Not a good episode, but not horrible. Not essential.
Two Parter in which Amanda breaks Kalas out from prison, thinking to kill him as a present to MacLeod, but she botches it, barely surviving. The wife of the Archivist Kalas killed during "Methos" finds the Watcher Database and decides to get even with The Watchers organization and Immortals by giving the information to the press to publish, including all the watchers and immortals, who they are, with pictures, and where they are. Kalas intercepts and kills her, and demands MacLeod surrender himself, or he will broadcast the information to the world press and governments via computer (early days, when the Internet wasn't quite up to modern levels).
Guest appearance of Xavier St Cloud (in flashback). Return of Methos.
Kalas, after snapping the neck of one of his minions: "Fetch me another. This one is broken."
Right before the quickening, looking arround: "The Eiffel Tower... the world's tallest lightning rod!"
Excellent 2-parter ending, vital to the future of the series, and what Highlander should be.
Season 3 was a bad year for the Watchers. Not only did several of them join The Hunters, but so many were killed. And one of their best researchers turned out to be an Immortal working within their organization to make sure he wasn't found by them.
The ending of Season 3 felt an awful lot like they weren't sure the show would continue. Most TV programs don't last past 3 season if they get that far. It seem like they were finishing with a party, in case the show wasn't picked up for a 4th season. The title "Finale" seems to support that, as does dragging in as many surviving characters (and a few who were already dead) and guest stars as possible.
So, ratings... In future, these will be part of the actual episode review.
Highlander: The Movie . Essential, 10/10
Highlander 2 . Not Essential . depending on which version, 6 to 8/10
Highlander 3 . Not essential . 7
Highlander 4 . possiblly essential . 6
Highlander The Source . not essential . 0/10
TV episodes, Season 1
The Gathering . essential . 8/10
Family Tree . not essential . 5/10
Road Not Taken . not essential . 6.5/10
Innocent Man . not essential . 7/10
Freefall . Essential . 8/10
Bad Day in Building A . not essential . 5/10
Mountain Men . not essential . 4/10
Deadly Medicine . not essential . 3/10
Sea Witch . not essential . 6/10
Revenge is Sweet . not essential . 7/10
See No Evil . not essential . 6/10
Eye Witness . not essential . 5/10
Band of Brothers . Essential . 8.5/10
For Evil's Sake . not essential . 8/10
Tomorrow We Die . Essential . 9/10
The Beast Below . not essential . 4/10
Saving Grace . not essential . 4/10
Lady and the Tiger . Essential . 8/10
Eye of the Beholder . Essential . 7.5/10
Avenging Angel . not essential . 7/10
No Where to Run . not essential . 6.5/10
The Hunters . Essential . 8/10
The Watchers . Essential . 8/10
Study in Light . not essential . 6/10
Turnabout . not essential . 8/10
The Darkness . Essential . 8.5/10
Eye for an Eye . not essential . 8.5/10
The Zone . not essential . 5/10
The Return of Amanda . Essential . 7/10
Revenge of the Sword . not essential . 6/10
Run for Your Life . not essential . 6.5/10
Epitaph for Tommy . not essential . 6/10
The Fighter . not essential . 7/10
Under Color of Authority . Essential . 9/10
Bless the Child . not essential . 4.5/10
Unholy Alliance 1 . Essential . 8/10
Unholy Alliance 2 . Essential . 8.5/10
The Vampire . not essential . 7/10
Warmonger . not essential . 7/10
Pharoh's Daughter . not essential . 8/10
Legacy . Essential . 7.5/10
Prodigal Son . not essential . 8/10
Counterfeit 1 . not essential . 5/10
Counterfeit 2 . not essential . 3/10
The Samurai . Essential . 7.5/10
Line of Fire . Essential . 7/10
The Revolutionary . Essential . 7/10
The Cross of St. Antoine . not essential . 6/10
Rite of Passage . not essential . 1/10
Courage . not essential . 4/10
The Lamb . Essential . 8/10
Obsession . not essential . 6/10
Shadows . not essential . 8/10
Blackmail . not essential . 6.5/10
Vendetta . not essential . 2/10
They Also Serve . Essential . 8/10
Blind Faith . not essential . 6.5/10
Song of the Executioner . Essential . 8/10
Star Crossed . Essential . 9/10
Methos . Essential . 8/10
Take Back the Night . not essential . 6.5/10
Testemony . not essential . 7/10
Mortal Sins . not essential . 8/10
Reasonable Doubt . not essential . 6/10
Finale 1 . Essential . 9.5/10
Finale 2 . Essential . 9/10
New openning credits, with a new voice over, and a cut version of Princes of the Universe. Probablly the best part of the season. Unfortunately, I hate the end line "In the end, there can be only one. May it be Duncan MacLeod, The Highlander." So now Joe is giving a testimonial? So much for just being his friend who isn't supposed to interfer. I only saw these episodes once, and lost interest in the series somewhere mid-season.
MacLeod finds a bracelet that he buried with his first girlfriend on display at an antique shop and takes it home to rebury. Seems that someone is graverobbing.
First time we've had an Immortal not worshiping an accepted modern deity. GIotW is an Odin fan.
Same McKennet song from Highlander 3 played here.
I think this is also the first time we actally see blood on a sword in the entire series.
"Since when is a MacLeod a stranger in Glen Finnan?"
Mediocre. Not essential. 7/10
Brothers in Arms
Episode shows how Joe Dawson was injured, how he first met Immortals, and how he was recruited into the Watchers. GIotW is an arms merchant who sells defective merchandise when the other side pays him to. Unfortunately, one of the buyers was the movement Charlie DeSalvo joined. GIotW kills Charlie. Duncan tells Charlie about Immortals as he dies. Duncan kills GIotW. MacLeod and Dawson have an argument about how being Watcher/Immortal and friends has become a problem. Duncan storms out.
Essential, but not very good. 5/10
Or "Of Mice and Immortals." Only with trains instead of fluffy animals. First Mentally deficiant Immortal.
Any specialized institution could have taken care of the guy. How many immortals are going to troll around mental institutions looking for heads? Even if they did, that sort of place would have a chapel, so really, this major dilemma at the beginning doesn't make much sense.
Not Essential. 6/10
Now, I'm watching these episodes on NetFlix using instant download. Up until this point, all of the episodes have played opening credits, then start of the episode. This one plays openning segment, title credits, rest of episode. Not sure if that was an actual change in the format, or if the previous episodes were altered for DVD release so that they'd flow better. Seems to me like the latter, as I vaguely remember the opener/title/rest of episode format being the broadcast. Anyone else know/remember?
At this time, I'd like to point out that I Flippin' hate having insomnia.
Leader of the Pack
Richie finds the punk that first killed him and murdered Tessa. Somehow, the fact that the loser was stoned out of his mind and has no memmory of the incident, and that he is now married and his wife is pregnant, makes it all better. MacLeod forgives almost instantly, but Richie takes a little longer. GIotW like to use dogs to weaken his targets. Once again, even though he takes the knowledge and power with the Quickening, Duncan does not seem to have this Immortal's preternatural ability with canines in any future episodes.
Not essential. 6/10
Amanda is back, as is GIotW, a high-stakes gambler who lost everything to Amanda during a gold-rush era poker game. He hates Amanda for taking away his life, and she hates him because the club burned down a couple weeks later. It turns out that he didn't do it, and MacLeod provides proof. The bulk of the episode a stupid French Farce of trying to keep two people who hate each other from realizing that they are visiting the same mutual friend at the same time.
Worse still, the scenes are transitioned with a badly CGI'd flipping coin.
Even with Amanda, this is still a lame episode, and in no was essential. 4/10
Kenny the Kid Immortal is back. And it turns out that he was a student of Amanda's. Somehow, in just a few short decades, Amanda went from a street-smart urchin to a stilted archaic noblewoman. I guess the lessons with Rebecca covered bad ellocution. GIotW is hunting the kid down for the easy score, but hates MacLeod enough to make a bargain. Kenny tries to sell both MacLeod and Amanda to the GIotW.
Essential episode, but not great. 7/10
In several episodes, Duncan is wearing almost translucent thin shirts. I guess they're intended to show off his muscles, but it looks daft. Worse still, late in season 3 he started wearing a light brown coat that flaps in the slightest breeze, billows out behind him, and generally looks dorky. He continues to wear the jacket until season 4 ep 14.
one more note on Leader of the Pack. There have been some awfully silly Quickenings before (Duncan floating in midair, MacLeod getting to wave goodbye to the Souix woman and child, etc) but this one, where he picks up the whole house and make it hover, then drops it, is the biggest stretch of credulity. After all, he doesn't break a single water pipe or gasline? Oh, because it's an old house and doesn't have either, and he's going to add them. Or... ???
GIotW is a psychotic warmongering Colonel that MacLeod had confined to a mental institution for 70 years after the GIotW lead an attack against German forces after the WWI was over.
Amanda convinces Joe to make the first move to bridge the gap in his friendship to Duncan.
So, during this Quickening, MacLeod jerks and twitches his way through a presentation of arms, and looks like a broken Terminator robot trying to break-dance.
Essential episode, but unsatisfying. 6/10
Duncan and Richie witness an assassination, but won't testify because Duncan wants to take the GIotW's head for killing a friend of his 200 years earlier, which he can't do if the GIotW is in prison. GIotW has an ace up his sleeve: the Federal Agent tracking him down is his girlfriend, who is covering up for him. It all ends in tears.
Not Essential, ok episode. 7/10
Wrath of Kali
Statue of the Hindu Mother Goddess, Kali turns up at the university where MacLeod is teaching. GIotW is a high priest of the Thuggee, and wants to take it home to his people at any cost, even strangling dozens of people who are in his way. He befriends Richie and teaches him some staff kata. Big swordfight is in a planetarium between 2 people wearing black. Obviously this show lost the swordfighting choreographer, because this is the first of many fights fought under these conditions, where the action cannot be seen because it is in the dark, between two people wearing black. Shakey cam is also used in some episodes to confuse and disorientate the viewer. The situation here is so bad that I didn't realize the Thuggee was using a rumahl in his off-had until 1/2 way through the fight. The Quickening effect is like the last few minutes of 2001, very jarring and an assault on he eyes with hokey acid-trip drug effects. Might have been an experimental idea, but they should have re-filmed it with a more traditional set of explosions and lightning.
There's a movie starring Pierce Brosnan called "The Deceivers" about the Thuggee that is far, far better at showing India of the time and how the cult worked.
Not Essential, but probablly the best episode of the season so far. 7/10
"Are you making fun of me?"
"Well, someone should."
on swordfights in the dark: During "Song of the Executioner", MacLeod and Kalas are on a black stage, with black backdrop, and both wearing black. But appearently Kalas had 2 assistants working the spotlights, or some remote system that automatically focussed the lights on any movement, because the lights track both of them nicely. OK, this is a gimick so that we can see both men fighting. But it's easily overlooked. When both people ARE fighting in the dark, with little-to-no lighting, fight choreography is pointless, because we can't see it. Considering the build up and earlier practice scenes with the GIotW in "Wrath of Kali", the actual fight is rather a let down.
GIotW is a possessive, manipulative codepentant psycho bitch who runs a modelling agency. MacLeod dumped her 330 years ago. Now she's setting up Richie to be her play thing. Richie openly and laciviously ogles her backside when they meet. Richie and Duncan paw the earth like two bulls too stupid to know how to deal. For someone who has mentorred so many, Duncan isn't very good at it. Even Methos makes fun of them both. Methos attributes a lot of the attitudes to chivalry, when really they're more victorian. Since Duncan and Richie are too wussy to do the job, Methos has to step in.
"Who are you?"
"Someone who was born a long time before Chivalry."
"A bunch of poets and song writers come up with this romantic idea, and you buy into it. If she were a man, you'd have killed her 300 years ago."
The code of Chivarly varies in origin from 5th to 16th centuries, and varied considerablly. In some, it was acceptable for a knight or nobleman to force himself on a woman, so long as he acknoledged the potential heir and paid for the upbringing. Hardly romantic.
Weak episode, not essential. 6/10
GIotW is a renaisance Thesbian who wants to kill a woman to trigger her Immortality because she's such a talented pianist. Of course, once he succeeds, she isn't afraid of getting old and dying, and her playing has no spirit, soul, animus, or passion. Once she's under threat of dying again, everything is ok. Methos gets a date with a woman who has a depressing secret. Everyone leaves and lives happily ever after (for now).
Thesbian Immortal is like a lower-division english professor. The sword fight is ok, so obviously the actor had training, but he totally hammed up the character into a charactiture.
Token Childbirth episode. Return of Anne (obviously). Flashbacks to WWII. Very badly written episode. The dialog is just awful. Gee, you're trapped under a bunch of rubble and there's a gas leak. What makes more sense: try to dig your way out, or use up all the oxygen sitting and talking. She doesn't even TRY to help MacLeod dig. Anne and her assistant go down into the wreckage. Never mind the stupidity and inaccuracy of an ER doctor being out in the field like that, or a dozen other procedural points--we're just going to pretend that it makes perfect sense for them to do something so stupid. They find a woman 1/2 trapped under rubble. More cave-ins/collapsing stuff. The assistant is pinned under rubble and his back broken. Anne starts having contractions. Flashback scene. Next modern scene, the woman is out from the rubble with no explanation whatsoever how she got out. WHAT!!! After the baby is born, Richie is sent to get a blanket, and to hurry. OK, the foil sheet was probablly in the medical kit. They sell them for about $5 at tech museums and NASA shops and such, so they are effective. But I ask you, if you're delivering a baby, and the only other people present are the person at the receiving area and someone who has helped you practice "Summon Stork 1/2", what 'modesty' do you have to preserve. OK, this is because TV still has to be PG rated, but it is silly. Getting back to Richie sent to hurry for a blanket: what's wrong with using one of the shirts MacLeod is wearing? They're big enough, mostly clean, and soft enough--moreso than an emergency blanket.
absolute mess of an episode. I can't write a review similar to the others because this episode is in no way similar to any other. For example, every time they show an immortal on screen, the first appearance has the immortal's name, date of birth, and country of origin typed up underneath a paused image, completely unlike any other episode. After that, this whole thing goes downhill. Basically, this one immortal builds up so much evil inside himself that they take over. Joe, Richie and MacLeod talk about a "Dark Quickening" where the evil personality takes over the good person that won the duel. During season one, after finding out about Darius' conversion to good, Richie asks if it can work the other way, and Duncan dismisses it as impossible. Yet here, he's the first one to leap to the conclusion. He kills the magic native american GIotW and goes evil. In order to save his friends, the last vestige of his personality gets on a freightor to France.
The special effects in this episode are even more hokey and stupid than the ones from the planetarium. The "Evil Influence" is shown by putting in a negative overlay on people. It looks stupid, and they do it over, and over, and over again, because we the audience are appearently too stupid to get the point.
This is really a 2-part episode, but part 2 (unlike previous seasons) has a different name.
not essential. 0/10
Continuing last story, MacLeod is now in France. The freightor he signed onto pulls in, and all his pay has been docked because of being a total jerk, picking fights, and generally causing damage. Not only is he evil, but he's a short-sighted, petty, stupid evil. We have more negative/inverse image effects. MacLeod performs some more petty-minded evil against the captain of the freightor, then goes and kills GIotW who specialized in Psychology (why didn't the GIotW from "Shadows" go to see him?). Quickening has more dopey fire effects like last time. This and a magic pool of water Darius brings him to drains the evil out of MacLeod after he has a fight with himself, very much in the flavor of SuperMan 3. So all his friends rally around him, and MacLeod is forgiven for all the people he injured, maimed, and killed, and all the other things he did. And we have a happy ending. BLah, blah, blah. Methos goes back to Alexandria to rejoin his dying girlfriend.
Not Essential aside from being back in Paris, 1/10
Now I remember why I stopped watching the show when it was on. Looking at the season so far (2/3 over) the highest ranking is a 7, and most of them were below a 5. I watched a couple more, but these were so bad, so flawed, that I just gave up on the show. Even the episodes in Paris, which are usually better (maybe because filming costs or more, so they want to make sure they get something good for the $?), but even these aren't very good. Whoever the script editor was, s/he did not do a very good job this season.
I don't remember which episode now, but one of these had immortals walking into each other constantly, only the sound and script people kept forgetting to give them The Buzz. Buzz sound effect has changed again.
GIotW expects MacLeod to fulfull a promise made 300+ years ago and repay a favor by killing his country's current president so that the decendant of his ancient master can rise to power and rule the country more wisely. Flashback has one of the most horrible fake beards I have ever seen--for about 1/2 second you can actually see one of the strings tieing it on.
Not essential, average episode. 7/10
The Methusela Crystal
The supermystic gem that was the plot point in Legacy returns. The Watchers have all the parts except the one Amanda owns. A hit squad shows up in Amanda's place but she escapes. Somehow, Amanda knows where Watcher Headquarters is. (Maybe it became public after Spike massacred them in the Buffyverse?). Methos wants the crystal to save his girlfriend, but one of the Watchers wants it to become immortal. No ones plans work out.
In "Legacy", the crystals looked like flatened slices of a geode. Now they're more like quartz.
Amanda's escape is nicely remeniscent of the Silver Cup battle from the original movie.
So, the pieces are assembled, it turns into a big round diamond, the barer becomes immortal, unless he's shot, at which point, the whole thing shatters.
Why didn't Methos just rent some diving gear and troll the bottom of the river for a day? It's not like the rocks would drift far. He should have been able to find them easily. But that would require using a little logic and brainpower--obviously both of which are lacking in someone over 5000 years old.
Amanda, likewise, joins the list of incrediblly stupid people who tries to outrun the car that is chasing them rather than use nifty terraign features like train cars or concrete pillars to make being in a car a disadvantage. This has happened several times now, but usually to people without 1000 years of combat training or the need to otherwise make a career of fast escapes.
Not vital, but decent. 7/10
The Immortal Cimoli
Wannabe magician gets himself killed, only to find out he's immortal. Duncan and Amanda catch his act, but he's too busy trying to improve his performances to be interested in something as petty as survival. GIotW is a slightly twisted religious fanatic, but mostly honorable. When they give up on the kid, he goes to Vegas, and Duncan & Amanda join a circus headed to Moscow.
Silly Quickening Effect Experiment of the Week is a ring of smoke generators.
Actually, this is probablly the best episode of the season.
Not Essential. 8/10
Through a Glass, Darkly
Methos' girlfriend dies. MacLeod runs into an old friend GIotW who now has amnesia. By helping him get his memmory back, Duncan uncovers that his friend plays host to the romantic delusional history of The 1745 uprising of Scotland, rather than the reality. The delusional view cost another Immortal his head.
Whoever sings "Will ye No Come Back Again" utterly tortured and destroyed the song. They should be tortured and beheaded, as should whoever chose that recording. It is awful.
Not Essential, mediocre. 6.5/10
Two Immortals get married in the 1600s and renew their vows every century, but this time they're having marital troubles, so MacLeod and Methos set about to get them back together.
I gave "Rite of Passage" low marks because I hated the character introduced. I gave "The Blitz" low marks because it was badly written. But this... This ... this episode is awful beyond belief! Seriously, this is almost as bad as The Sorce! This travesty, this mockery, this foul, lothesome object of an episode... I can't even just give it a 0/10 ranking--that would be too high a praise. The episode is only 48 minutes long, and I couldn't sit through that. Worse still, the actors themselves destroy the shoddy material with the most pathetic performances I've seen since my last JrHigh play.
Utterly worthless suckage of talent, certainly not essential. -10/10
Xavier St Cloud's pupil is the GIotW who picks up his former teacher's grudge against Duncan MacLeod, using all the tricks Xavier taught him, with his own variations added.
Appearance by St Cloud. Intelligence officer from last season is also back.
Very silly ending, but otherwise good episode. Not essential though. 8/10
The Watchers, having noticed how badly their numbers have been depleted in the last 3 years, put Joe Dawson on trial for betraying the secrecy of the organization. The episode quickly becomes a winebottle episode, with flashbacks for several earlier episodes. The trial scene are shot on gritty stock with color bleached out for a noir effect.
The trial itself is a feeble mockery that anyone who watched a couple episodes of Perry Mason should have been able to destroy.
GIotW is a South African hunting MacLeod who desides to mow down the execution squad (and most of the higher-ranking Watchers) for fun. End episode on cliffhanger as MacLeod kneels over Joe's body.
Essential because of the Watcher Slaughter, moderate episode. 7/10
One Minute to Midnight
Part 2 of Judgement day. Several weeks seem to have passed. The Watchers have decided to hunt & kill Dawson and MacLeod. Meanwhile, the GIotW continues to hunt and kill Watchers. His wife was killed by Horton, so, without other information, he assumed that all Watchers were evil murderers and decides to kill them. MacLeod and Dawson try to make peace, but both the GIotW and Watcher leader are too short-sighted and fanatical. GIotW looses his head. Duncan puts the leader in a coffin. Dawson is re-admitted to the Watchers, possiblly with a promotion. Feeling totally alienated by both sides, Methos wanders off to disappear again.
Funky Quickening effect of the Week is a FireStarter figure 8.
Essential episode for explaining the rift between Immortals & Watchers
So, the year in review. The total rating is 107.5 of 220, or an average rating of 4.8/10. By comparison, season 1's total was 141 of 220 (6.4/10), Season 2's were 152/220 (or 6.9/10), and season 3 was 149.5 (or 6.8/10). It might be interesting to go through the credits and see exactly which members of the creative team left at the end of season 3 and who was brought in, just to see who was responsible for the massive downhill plummet in quality.
It's also easy to see why Hercules and Xena became much more popular. They had better fight choreography (even if it was cheezy and over the top) if nothing else. Oh, and you can actually SEE the action. Also better CGI work.
I never saw these episodes before, as I'd given up on the show partway through season 4, so these are brand new to me.
MacLeod is an idiot, and GIotW has a super-power that Duncan never develops, inspite of taking "all his knowledge and power". Why is Duncan an idiot you ask? For someone who has read The Illiad, The Oddessy, and any other classic work that he's had 400 (ok, 350) years and 4 centuries of practical experience to develop, why does he need a spiritual vision to figure out that the way to beat a vocal-based power is ear plugs? Hell, I had the answer 5 seconds into the episode. Yes, the GIotW has the Voice of the Shadow, as does Guest Babe of the Week, Tracy Scoggins, Oracle of Delphi and Crete, now Witch in the Woods. Episode is painfully like Young Hercules or Young Indianna Jones Chronicles.
Probablly end up being essential, as I see Scoggins is in 3 episodes.
End of Innocence
Richie has put the events since the horrible "Dark Quickening" story to good use, hunting and killing as many as he can. MacLeod doesn't approve for some reason (talk about Hypocrit--that will have to be a post season6 discussion). Richie kills the student of the Immortal who killed one of Duncan's teachers, so they fight over who gets to challenge whom. Richie's sword breaks, and MacLeod gives him a replacement. Richie and Duncan make piece. Joe leave the Watchers and gets his tatoo removed. Duncan tells him to rejoin, and that everyone can be friends.
Connor, Kurgan, and Ramierez all get mentioned--maybe the writers decided to actually try to get back to the root movie.
The Ex-slave from an earlier season is back. We get his origin story. His baseball career is ended when witnesses see him receive a Quickening. Something about lightning bolts striking the roof of a stadium and a headless body falling to the parking lot seems to attract people's attention. He runs to MacLeod for help, and meets Joe Dawson and learns of the watchers. Guest Token Babe of the Week is someone I hope doesn't return, a New Yorker interior designer who sounds awful and nasally.
At some point between season 4 and 5, Amanda died her hair back to black, though it is white in her offshoot Highlander:The Raven series.(to be discussed after I finish this show--if I still have the stomache for it)
MacLeod has to deal with a teenage punk who decided that being a bigshot mobster was more important than learning the rules to being an Immortal. GIotW figures even basic rules never applied to him (except he does actually refrain from trying to pull off anything on Holy Ground). Dawson has a fling with his high-school sweetheart who hasn't seen or heard from him since before he left for Vietnam.
Pretty good episode. Probablly won't be essential. 8/10
After breaking up with her Immortal boyfriend, a woman starts a series of tawdry romance novels retelling his story. Events are twisted and distorted to goad him.
Episode starts off as a parody of romance novels, becomes a parody of highlander, then becomes a parody of itself. When you insult the source material, you cease to be 'creative' and become a prick. That's what this episode does to the series and the original movie. It stops being funny, but doesn't realize when it goes too far. And the music cues for the catfight scenes between the author and Amanda are annoying as hell.
The writers of this episode have only 6 other credits to their names: so far all of them episodes of Highlander I've hated.
Doubt it's essential. 3/10
Money No Object
Amanda's bonny&clydesque partner show up, robbing banks still. But instead of robbing a regular bank, he robs a mob bank, and then wonders why he ends up in trouble.
GIotW reminds me of some of the people I went to highschool with. The sort who figure that so long as they have fun, and no one is seriously hurt, it's just a practical joke. "What do you mean, you're mad? Why are you trying to put your fist through my face? It was only a joke?" Why someone didn't take this twit's head during the last 70 years is beyond me. Some level of maturity and responsibility should have sunk in. Appearently not. Both MacLeod and Richie have more than ample reason by the end of the episode.
The flashback sequence is a very tiresome, repetative clipshow designed to look like a 20's film with a ragtime piano piece. In fact, it is so repetative that they literally used the same sections of film 3 or 4 times. Another comedy episode that seems to be going out of it's way to insult the source material. Two in a row. Wow. There better be a really fine, multi-episode dramatic worldbreaking arc to make up for this garbage.
So, the wife of an immortal thinks she's haunted by her dead husband because she was brainwashed by his nutso religious beliefs which he made up to cope with his last wife dying. Our big catch is that instead of the GIotW having killed her husband, Richie was the one. What is life. What is death. Do the spirits of the ancestors/loved ones watch over us. Blah, Blah, Blah. And, like most bad TV, this one doesn't bother to commit to any notion.
Poser immortal recruits (first kills) immortals, convinces the gullible dweebs that he is their god, and they his chosen angels/warriors, and sets them out against Vertran immortals without teaching them the rules. Actually a pretty clever scheme--all you have to do is find the gullible pre-immortals. Not quite Highlander, but at least interesting. The new Quickening effect for the season seems to be custom-tailored burn patterns in the ground based on symbols appropriate to the decedent.
Imposter of Methos is trying to convince Immortals to abandon violence and give up the game. The real Methos thinks its funny to have an imposter and mocks him. Richie starts to follow him as a converted deciple. MacLeod is annoyed when he falls for a psych ploy. And the real Methos laughs at everyone. GIotW decides to take advantage of everyone being idiots by collecting heads.
Up until the Psychotic acid trip spinning in front of a greenscreen Quickening, this is actually a pretty decint episode--one of the best I'd seen in a good while. The ending 5 minutes, however, are incrediblly stupid as a wrap up, and utterly destroy all the effort of the beginning. I was going to give this a 9/10. With that ending, however,
There were these people called "Nat-zees", m'Kay? They were bad, m'Kay? Racism is also bad, mm'Kay? Facism is really bad, mm'Kay? Bigotry is bad too.
So, this is our morality lesson episode with a "what if someone had succeeded in killing Hitler earlier in the war. Can you tell that the show is running out of ideas?
Comes a Horseman
OK, so this is the bid dramatic vision for the series: Duncan MacLeod vs the Four Horsemen of the Appocolypse? Really? Wow, that's almost as stupid as the Three Musketeers vs Satan (don't laugh, they actually made that movie). As a "twist", Methos was one of the Horsement. As a bigger twist, he was one who found and first killed the Oracle/Witch Tracy Scoggins character. And because he is the most practical, pragmatic character, he sides with the GIotW (Pestilence?) Cronos to get the team back together.
OK, we're going to France early this season, probablly because we're our of ideas. Chronos and Methos pick up War and Famine and go to a secret lab to put together a plan to poison Fance's water supply (like anyone would notice? Don't all the Frence drink Evian and Perrier?).
The results are pretty predictable. MacLeod kills Famine. Methos kills War. MacLeod kills Pestilence. The Oracle Scoggins doesn't kill Methos.
We get to see a simultaneous Quickenting, which is sort of a weird swirly thing arround the eyes. Methos and MacLeod look kind of embarrassed--like spotting a friend while you're both in the lobby of a "house of dubious repute".
And now, for another gripe about fight choreography. What is the point, if you're filming actors wearing all black, against a black background, with hardly any lighting? In short, if we can't see it, what's the point? What little we have been able to see for the last season and a half shows a clear lack of talent in the choreography department.
It is very easy to see where Highlander:The Source came from, based on how bad these episodes are.
The Ransom of Richie Redstone
"What comedy element shall we try this week? How about a Highlander James Bond spoof?" Only lame.
Establishes Richies new fake ID, since his official death on the race track previously. No GIotW.
Wow. Someone actually bothered to learn something about sword fighting. What's more, someone actually bothered to write it into the script in such a way that the choreographers actually had to display some knowledge and skill. This is the best episode I've seen in a long while. It's actually... pretty good. Not great, mind you, but comparred to the rest of the last 2 seasons, certainly noteworthy.
The Stone of Scone.
Imagine if Monty Python were writing episodes of Highlander. Wow. That would have been an improvement over this.
OK, I'm going to say it right now: There are only 3 episodes left of season 5 (short season--18 episodes). Unless there is a major, major, huge improvement, someone else is going to have to review season 6. I'll skip to THe Animated Series, which is significantly LESS painful.
As I have said in previou Highlander topics, I think that each series or film are set in parallell dimensions and the only good ones is the first film( and the mako scenes in the 3rd film) and the television series, but not the films set in the tv series universe the animated stuff.