Highlander (Season 1, Ep 17): Saving Grace

Welcome back to Highlander, Season 1. Spoilers (and brutal combat to the death) lie ahead.

THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:

Grace, an Immortal doctor, goes to Darius when her mortal husband Paul is murdered. She runs into her old flame Duncan when she arrives. The murderer of her husband is her Immortal former husband, Carlo Seandaro.

Duncan helps Grace obtain a new identity so that she can go on the run from the police – who believe she murdered Paul – and from Carlo. Carlo kidnaps Grace from Holy Ground, though, and Duncan tracks the two down. He duels with Carlo in the Paris subway and gets Carlo’s Quickening after Carlo accidentally electrocutes himself during the fight, leading then to his decapitation via subway.

THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP AND REACTION:

Our episode begins in some kind of doctor’s office or lab. An older looking gentleman is concerned that the attractive brunette woman speaking with him is interested in another (younger) man. The older looking man, Paul, is mortal and the woman he is speaking with, Grace, is apparently Immortal. Paul believes that Grace will eventually leave him for a younger man so he tells Grace that he is leaving her first.

Grace takes off her white lab coat and leaves the room. A moment later we see Paul again, still in the office. Someone walks in wearing black, with black gloves, and that someone shoots Paul. As he is bleeding, the newcomer pours what appears to be a fire accelerent on Paul’s body and lights a match.

In the next scene, Duncan is playing chess with Darius. As usual, Darius is wining. The two men are discussing Pickett’s Charge and Napoleon – as one does with a friend. Suddenly they feel the presence of another Immortal. Grace walks into the room. She tells Darius that she has been walking alone all night not knowing where to go.

The three Immortals walk together down the Parisian street speculating about who Paul’s killer may have been. Duncan abruptly asks “what about Carlo Seandaro?” Grace says that she has not seen him in years. Darius departs for work leaving Duncan alone to speak with Grace. Duncan invites Grace to stay with him and with Tessa and he assures Grace that her staying there will be alright with Tessa.

We see Duncan alone on the barge when Tessa comes home from work. She is excited about taking a trip with Duncan this coming weekend. Suddenly they both hear a woman’s voice asking Duncan where he keeps the towels. Tessa does not look pleased. Richie then comes in and notices the tension in the air. Duncan lets them know that they have company. His old friend Grace Chandel is staying with them.

How old?

Ruh roh.

FLASHBACK!!

Duncan is riding a horse and looks like he might be one of the Three Muskateers I would guess we are in the 1600s? Maybe the 1700s? While he is riding, he is beset by a pair of would-be robbers. The two thieves manage to knock Duncan from his horse before they learn the error of fighting someone who has been training to fight for a couple of centuries. When Duncan re-mounts his horse, he hears a woman screaming and also feels the presence of an Immortal.

He rides closer to the sound of the screaming, ties his horse up, and then enters the room from where the screams are originating. As he pulls his sword to announce his name, he sees Grace working as a mid-wife and that the screaming woman is giving birth. As the music score plays “Amazing Grace” the baby is born alive and well. Duncan sees himself out and waits for Grace to emerge. She does.

Grace: You don’t want me head?
Duncan: Wellll…. no. Only to admire.

Grace emerges from bathing and Duncan introduces her to Tessa and Richie.

Later, Grace finds Duncan painting the barge. She tells him that he and Tessa are lucky to have found one another. She bemoans that the world around them dies while they live on. She also cautions MacLeod not to go looking for Seandaro.

Tessa comes outside with coffee. She interrupts Duncan hugging Grace. After Grace declines and goes back inside, Tessa asks Duncan if he still loves her. He says no.

Tesa: That’s all that needs to be said. She’s your friend and she’s been hurt. You help her. I’d expect you to do no less.
Duncan: Thanks.
Tessa: I think she’d feel more comfortable with some of her own things.
Duncan: Yeah. We’ll, I’ll stop by her apartment. I love you, Tess.
Tessa: I know.

It’s always good to see Tessa remind Duncan that none of the women before her, nor none of the women who will inevitably follow her, will be her. [I also suspect that Grace handled her off camera conversation with Tessa quite well.]

Tessa asks Duncan who he thinks Paul’s killer might be. He tells her about Carlo Seandaro. “They were lovers for a century and then fell apart. He couldn’t handle it.”

Duncan goes to Grace’s apartment and finds Inspector LeBrun there. The good Inspector finds a 9mm handgun in her apartment – the exact type of gun used to kill Paul. Duncan tells the Inspector that Grace did not commit the murder. LeBrun tells him that an anonymous caller insisted that Grace was the murder. He says that if ballistics match, she will be charged with murder. LeBrun also says, as he is leaving, that “there is such a thing as an accessory to murder.”

Back at the barge, Duncan updates everyone about Grace’s new situation with the police. Grace says that she does not own a gun. They realize that Grace can no longer stay on the barge. Moments later, LeBrun arrives proving that fact. Duncan sends Grace, Tessa, and Richie out the backdoor of the barge, to the speed boat, while he talks to LeBrun outside, in front of the barge. As Duncan lets LeBrun in to talk, we see the speed boat moving down the river without notice from the Inspector.

Grace and Tessa are walking down a street, presumably toward Darius’s church. Grace feels an Immortal presence and tells Tessa that they need to hurry. On the barge, LeBrun is talking to Duncan and Richie. MacLeod tells LeBrun that Grace has visited the barge before because they are friends. He sees LeBrun out. The episode cuts back to Grace and Tessa nearing a run as they hurry to the church. They round a corner and find Carlo Seandaro standing just outside the church.

He introduces himself to Tessa as Darius approaches. Carlo asks if Grace is looking for Darius or trying to get to Holy Ground and Grace says both. Carlo then walks with her into the church. When Tessa goes to follow the two of them, Darius grabs her by the arm and suggests that it would be better if the two Immortals speak alone for a while.

Carlo tells Grace that he could make her love him again. She says that he could not and then she accuses him of killing Paul. He denies it and she tries to strike him, repeatedly, and he restrains her.

Carlo: Who put those lies in your head?
[Duncan enters the room.] Oh, I see.

FLASHBACK!! #2

Duncan is wearing a top hat and looking like someone out of a Charles Dickens novel. So… we must be in the 1800s. He sees Carlo , who bares his blade an inch or two at the sight of Duncan, before Grace emerges and introduces them. Grace and Carlo are set to leave for Carlo’s plantation in the Amazon jungle. She plans to do research there. Grace tells Duncan that the plantation is as large as Paris, to which Carlo replies, “it’s much bigger. I’m not exaggerating.”

Duncan asks to speak privately with Grace. When they are far enough away for Seandaro not to hear, Duncan tells her that he has “heard things” about him from others. MacLeod warns her that he is possessive and will not give her up if she ever decides to leave him.

Carlo: She is mine now and always will be. If I see you again…
Duncan: If you don’t take care of Grace, you will.

Back in the present, Carlo tells Grace that he loves her. He offers her an opportunity to continue her research in the Amazon. Grace has a choice word or two to say about the arrogance of murdering her husband and still thinking she would leave with him. Duncan and Grace make it clear that Carlo needs to leave. He says “this does not end here” but then he leaves.

Later, Duncan and Grace are talking about the past while on a park bench. Duncan wonders aloud a question about the baby she delivered when they met. Grace talks about how she may have had children, whose children have had children, and maybe the child they are seeing in the park is a descendant. She bemoans again how they (Immortals) linger while the rest of the world does not.

The conversation shifts to their own past. At one time, the two of them might have done the 1700s version of Immortal dating, however, Grace recognized that Duncan would have been miserable staying in one place and let him go.

My wandering Knight charging off to right all the wrongs of the world.

The conversation ends with Duncan stating that they need to find Grace another new identity. She says that she wants a nice name this time.

We see a police officer telling another police officer that LeBrun is going crazy. He is having the barge, the Church, and Darius personally watched.

Richie is at a cemetery looking at headstones. He eventually finds Isabelle Pontand – a baby who was born, and who died, in 1964. Grace has a new name and from someone who would be about thirty years old had she lived. Thirty is roughly the age the centuries old Immortal appears to be. Richie seems to have a look of introspection on his face.

Eight days on planet earth. You missed a hell of a party.

Richie re-enters the barge. MacLeod asks if LeBrun’s man is still out there and Richie says that he not only is outside, he is doing an unsuccessful job of not appearing to be obvious. Young Mr. Ryan has a couple of forms for Duncan. The two men have not decided, yet, how to get past LeBrun’s men and get Grace the paperwork for her new identity.

We see Grace and Tessa next, talking at Paul’s headstone. Grace confesses that every time she loses a mortal love, she tells herself she will never fall for another mortal, “as if love was something you had any control over.” The two women talk about Grace’s history with Duncan. Tessa seems as though she wants to tell Grace not to feel awkward about her history with Duncan, but Grace cuts her off and says “We had a moment, that was all, though I wanted it to be more. Please don’t hold that against me.” Tessa says that she does not. She also confesses that she knows there were others, before herself, but she never expected to meet one of them. “And here you are.” Tessa changes the subject and asks what happened between Grace and Seandaro.

She says that he changed. He went from being an explorer to a conqueror. When he started terrorizing the people she was treating, including demands that the worship him as a god, she left him. At she is telling this story, she feels Carlo’s presence and he approaches the two women. The cemetery is on Holy Ground so Grace tells Tessa it is safe for her to leave so that the two of them can talk.

In the next scene, Tessa returns to the barge. She tells Duncan that Grace left the cemetery with Carlo. She believes that Grace left with him to protect her. Duncan states that he will find them and that he does not want Tessa to come with them.

He goes to the property in Paris where we met Carlo in the 1800s flashback. I guess Carlo still owns it? Carlo even comments on how good Duncan’s memory is. Carlo believes that Duncan loves Grace. The two men begin fighting. Grace screams at them both to stop. They stop and Duncan leaves with Grace.

Carlo: You should have killed me when you had the chance. There is no way you can escape me.

Tessa, Grace, and Duncan are dining at a cafe. Duncan wants to take her to the airport but Grace prefers to say goodbye where they are.

Grace decides to say goodbye to Darius as well. On her way into the church, she is spotted by LeBrun’s lookouts. After a short goodbye, she is arrested outside of the Church. Carlo interrupts the arrest. LeBrun steps in to place cuffs on Grace and Carlo begins approaching him with a sword. LeBrun shoots him. The Inspector calls for an ambulance while Grace tells him that the dead man is the one who actually murdered Paul. Carlo revives, attacks LeBrun, and uses his sword to remove Grace’s handcuffs in the most menacing way possible.

Back on the barge, Duncan hangs up the phone. He puts on his jacket and is quickly heading out the door. He tells Tessa that Darius has called him and that Carlo “did a number” on LeBrun and two of his detectives. He has Grace.

Duncan arrives back at Carlo’s place in Paris and tries to pull Grace out of his car. She has apparently decided to leave with him to protect lives. Duncan has decided that he will not allow her to prevent a fight between himself and Carlo anymore. Carlo sucker punches Duncan and knocks him to the ground while MacLeod distractedly argues with Grace. But Carlo and Grace do abandon the car and run toward the street. Duncan gets up off the pavement and gives chase.

Carlo pulls Grace down stairs and toward the Parisian subway system. Grace jumps off the platform and down onto the track. Carlo follows her and Duncan follows them both. The two men are finally in a somewhat secluded place (the dark of a train tunnel) so they draw swords and begin a grand dance of the blades.

Carlo is minding his surrounding quite well. He sees that Duncan has stepped into a place where the lines can switch, with the pull of a lever… so he pulls the lever and traps Duncan in place by his ankle. By the way, a train is coming. Duncan tells Grace to get out now. Carlo attacks Duncan, again, and we find out that Duncan is also minding his surroundings. He baits Carlo into swinging his sword into an electrical line – where Carlo electrocutes himself. He then uses his sword to pry open the track that had trapped him by the ankle and gets out of the way of the oncoming train.

As the train passes, it decapitates Carlo. Duncan gets the Quickening once the train passes.

We see Grace back on the barge with Richie, Duncan and Tessa. Oddly, she and Tessa seem to have struck up a strong bond. She allows Duncan to say goodbye to Grace privately.

Grace tells Duncan that she is beginning to understand how Carlo felt and she tells him goodbye.

REACTION:

I enjoyed this episode. We rarely get to see Immortal women and Grace provides a plausible example of how a non-fighter might survive for centuries (i.e. she relies primarily on stronger people to protect her.)

Grace is not the first Immortal we have met who focuses her life on healing, and talks often on the nature of Immortality, but unlike Kiem Soon (“The Road Not Taken”) she is not driven mad by the thoughts. She focuses her time and effort on healing mortals, instead. Nevertheless, a lot of her dialogue does lean into Immortal Melancholy over the fact that everyone around them dies while they linger on.

Tessa’s interaction with Grace is fascinating to me and probably the best part of this episode. Imagine meeting your significant other’s former love interest from… the 1600s. Instead of finding Grace to be a threat, Tessa seems to view her as a window into Duncan’s past and possibly into her own future. (Grace’s temperament and class probably allows Tessa to view her that way.) Nevertheless, Grace struggles with not having children – as Tessa does. Grace has recently dealt with the death of her husband, via Immortal. Tessa worries about that for Duncan almost daily. Grace – despite being Immortal – is largely defenseless against them, again, much like Tessa. I also suspect that Tessa is pleased to see evidence that Duncan’s core character has not changed very much over the centuries. Grace confirms that Tessa really does know him.

One area where the Duncan that Grace knew seems to differ from the Duncan that Tessa knows is his sense of adventure. MacLeod had a wandering streak earlier in his life. Recently, he seemed reluctant to even move to Paris – though perhaps he knew that more Immortals would be found in the City of Lights than in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Or it might be that by the 1990s Duncan MacLeod has seen almost all the world.

Carlo Seandaro was kind of a one-note bad guy but he was played in a believable way. Georges Corraface is a well known actor in Europe and it is easy to understand why. His charisma jumps off the screen. It is too bad we will not see Seandaro returning to cause more problems for Duncan in the future.

This episode did not give Stan Kirsch a lot to do, however, the moments he had were good. Richie’s scene at the cemetery was well acted and it has played into a very subtle arc the show has been giving him for a while. The 18 year old Mr. Ryan is subtly developing character depth. He is learning to care about art, the world (he works at a refugee relief center), and he is having more introspective moments – such as his audible talk with the tombstone in the cemetery. I think Duncan is rubbing off on him a bit.

All in all, this was a good episode. I thought the fight scene at the end was… strange. Seandaro accidentally electrocuting himself to death, before collapsing in front of an on-coming train, was a weird way for him to go. But the sword fight before we enjoyable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s