Highlander (Season 2, Ep 42): Prodigal Son

Welcome back to Highlander: the Series. I am doing an episode-by-episode watch, recap, and reaction and blogging about it here. There will be no spoilers for the series beyond the current episode. You can find my prior recaps HERE.

For those of you that don’t want to read the long recap, I provide a quick episode summary here at the top. You can also just scroll down to the “REACTION” heading below.

THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:

Richie is on the run across Spain and France from an Immortal who is killing mortals close to Richie and making it look as though Richie is the murderer. Richie goes to Duncan for help. Duncan recognizes that the Immortal pursuing Richie is in fact using the young Immortal to track down himself. Not long after Richie arrives in Paris, Immortal Martin Hyde helps arrange for Richie to be arrested for the murder. Shortly after that, Hyde confronts Duncan in an effort to fight him. Duncan runs away.

Duncan is in a bind. He is afraid to fight the much older Hyde and he also knows that Hyde is Richie’s only alibi. If he kills the Hyde, the other Immortal can no longer serve as Richie’s alibi, and Richie will go to prison. He tricks Hyde into confronting him with a sword in front of the Paris police. When the police shoot Hyde, the police examine his sword and find the blood of Richie’s alleged victims on it. Richie’s sword, by contrast, was clean afer an examination. With Richie free to go, Duncan finally faces Hyde and wins the duel.

THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:

Richie’s back! He is riding a motorcycle and stops a gas station. When he takes his helmet off, looking a little worse for wear, he senses the presence of another Immortal. While someone fills up his motorcycle, Richie goes inside to get coffee. The store attendant inside notes that Richie looks like he could use something stronger than coffee but he tells her coffee is fine.

She asks him if he has been riding a while and he replies that he has been riding from Spain.

Woman: On a bike? This time of years?
Richie: Tell me about it.

Richie asks the woman how much longer to Paris and she tells him he can be there in three hours. She says though that with the way Richie rides, he might be able to be there in two. She tells him that there are rooms here he could sleep in and suggests that he should rest and go the rest of the way in the morning. Richie declines the offer. A moment later, he feels another Immortal’s presence.

Richie goes outside and gets his sword from his motorcycle. He calls out to the other Immortal and says that he knows he is out there. Richie calls out to the other Immortal to show his face. However, he instead finds the gas station attendant dead on the ground with a slash wound on his chest. Richie, holding a sword, now looks very suspicious. He runs over to check on the man, sword still in hand.

Richie: Oh no. Not again!

The woman from inside runs outside screaming. Richie tries to tell her that he found him like this but she screams that Richie – still holding his sword – killed him. She runs inside yelling for someone to call the police. Richie gets on his motorcycle and rides away. We see a car, parked not far away, waiting for Richie to leave. It follows him.

Duncan and Maurice are on Duncan’s barge. Maurice says that it is good to be back by Notre Dame. He points out that Duncan, who is working on the barge, missed a spot. Duncan sarcastically tells him that he does not know what he would do without the other man’s help. Maurice says that he was supervising and opines that some men are born sailors and others captains. Duncan suddenly feels an Immortal nearby and then sees Richie’s motorcycle.

Duncan: You look like h***. Trouble?

Richie nods. Duncan introduces Richie to Maurice and he tells his barge neighbor that Richie is an old friend – getting older fast. Maurice tells Richie that he needs vitamins and Duncan that the boy needs iron. Richie says that he will keep it in mind.

Inside the barge, Richie tells Duncan what he has been up to. His travels eventually took him to Madrid, Spain.

FLASHBACK!

Richie wakes up in bed alone, sensing another Immortal. He takes out a flashlight and looks around his room. Finding nobody, he grabs his sword and leaves the room. He descends the stairs and eventually finds another man he has been traveling with, Carlos. However, he puts a hand on Carlos and the other man falls over dead. He continues looking around and finds another travel companion also dead.

Back in the present, Duncan asks Richie if he is certain the killer was Immortal and Richie says that he is positive. Duncan asks Richie about the police and Richie tells him that he did not stick around. Duncan tells him that is not good and then Richie tells him it gets worse. He says that the other Immortal also killed a hotel clerk in Marseilles after he checked in. Richie says that he did not know what to do so he came here. Duncan asks if the Immortal followed him and killed again and Richie says yes, at a gas station on the way here this morning. Richie asks Duncan if he knows what is going on here and asks why the other Immortal does not come right out and fight him.

Duncan: Maybe it’s not you he wants.

FLASHBACK!!

Duncan, wearing fur, riding a horse, and looking like a young Immortal finds a dead mortal on the side of the road. He bemoans the death saying “not again!” and yells out for the Immortal to show himself. He rides farther up the road and asks a pair of mortals if they have seen Connor MacLeod. They tell him no. Duncan rides on. Suddenly, a voice calls out to Duncan asking if he has found him yet.

Duncan: Who are you?
Immortal: Martin Hyde.
Duncan: What do you want?
Hyde: I want MacLeod.
Duncan: [draws his sword] Then you have found him!

Duncan charges at the other Immortal. Hyde knocks Duncan off his horse. He asks Duncan where Connor MacLeod is and Duncan tells the other man that he must face him, first. Hyde tells Duncan that he is not worth the time. Hyde tells Duncan that he has hunted and killed worse than him for exercise.

Hyde: I don’t want the cub. I want the wolf. Run away.

Duncan tries to fight him but is quickly beaten up, disarmed, and knocked to the ground. Hyde tells Duncan that they can fight in a century or two if Duncan is still alive. As Hyde rides away laughing, Duncan shouts at him that he will be alive.

In the present, Hyde is watching Maurice, from a distance, as Duncan’s neighbor leaves his barge. Maurice ascends some stone stairs up toward the street where he is then intercepted by Hyde. Hyde calls out to him and Maurice is alarmed that someone has come to collect a gambling debt. Hyde smiles and assures him that he just wants to know who owns the barge. Maurice tells him the barge is no for sale and Hyde says everything has a price. Maurice replies that MacLeod does not seem to care about money. Hyde smiles and asks if that is Duncan MacLeod. Maurice says it is and tells him that another old friend of Duncan’s just arrived earlier that morning. He offers to introduce Hyde but the Immortal declines and hands Maurice somethin to give Duncan instead. He then walks off as Maurice calls out to him asking how long he will be in Paris. Hyde does not answer.

A moment later, we see Hyde on the phone with the police saying that he has information to share with them.

Inside the barge, Duncan explains to Richie that right now the other Immortal wants him running and scared.

Richie: What good does that do him?
Duncan: He finds out where you’re going.
Richie: But Mac, all I did was come straight —
Duncan: to me.
Richie: So this is all a setup to find you?

Richie bemoans the fact that he did exactly what the other Immortal wanted. Duncan tells him that there is no way he could have known. As they are talking, we see the police surrounding the barge from the outside. They find Richie’s motorcycle. Inside, Richie asks Duncan if he knows this guy. Duncan replies that if it is who he thinks it is, they met a long time ago.

Duncan advises Richie to go get some sleep and notes that even Immortals need rest. Richie tells him that after he left the last time, he did not know if he would be welcome here again. Duncan lets him know that just because a relationship changes does not mean that it ends.

Duncan: Even the best of friends don’t always have to agree on everything.

Duncan lets him know that when he is Paris he can stay with him… on the couch. Richie says that it means a lot to him and he tries to say more. Duncan interrupts him.

Duncan: I missed you too, tough guy.

Richie says that he feels safe for the first time in weeks and notes how much he is looking forward to sleeping. Duncan sees the police outside and tells him that he would not speak too soon. Richie grabs his helmet and jacket, sneaks out of the barge, and rides away on his motorcycle before the police can enter the barge.

Richie does not get far. Duncan watches from the barge as police cars cut Richie off and then surround him. Richie wrecks his motorcycle and is arrested. One of the officers confiscates Richie’s sword which is sheathed on an attachment to his bike.

Sometime later, Richie is part of a police lineup. The gas station attendant from just outside of Paris identifies Richie as a murderer. We learn in this scene that the man killed at the gas station was this woman’s husband. The person in charge of the investigation is a beautiful young woman, Inspector Bardot. Duncan arrives at the police station and introduces himself to the Inspector. She remembers him as the man from the barge and tells Duncan that his friend is in serious trouble.

Duncan and Bardot discuss the case, the murders Richie is wanted for in Spain and Marseilles, and the fact that he ran. Duncan argues that Richie’s presence at these crimes does not mean Richie is guilty. We learn that Bardot is having Richie’s sword tested for blood. Duncan asks what his motive could be and Bardot says that it could be as little as free gas, or nothing, because people can kill for any reason. She tells Duncan that if he wants to help his friend, he should tell him to confess.

Duncan finds Richie inside the jail and speaks to him through bars. Richie tells Duncan that he needs to get him out of there and Duncan tells him that he is working on it. Richie verifies that they do not still use a guillotine in France, causing Duncan to laugh, and assure him they do not. Richie says that all he has to do is serve life and he says he is happy that at least the other guy cannot pin anymore murders on him. Duncan assures him that there will be no more murders because the other Immortal has already found what he wants.

Richie: You can take this guy, right?
Duncan: Hope so.
Richie: Gee, your confidence is overwhelming.

Back on the barge, Duncan is carryin groceries and Maurice asks Duncan how his friend is. Maurice comments on the police and asks what Richie did. Duncan tells him that Richie was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Maurice: Ah, that happened to me once. They claimed I stole a chicken.
Duncan: But you’d never do that.
Maurice: Of course not. It was a duck.

Duncan asks Maurice if anyone was around the barge while he was gone. Maurice says that he almost forgot and he pulls a card from his coat pocket. Maurice realizes something is amiss and asks Duncan how he knew. Duncan asks Maurice if the man said anything and Maurice tells him that he wanted to buy Duncan’s barge. Maurice tells Duncan that he told the man Duncan would not sell. Maurice asks if he was right about Duncan not selling the barge.

Duncan: Don’t worry, Maurice. Mr. Hyde doesn’t want my barge.
Maurice: I knew it. Lucky for him he said he was a friend of yours.
Duncan: He’s no friend of mine.
Maurice: A liar, too!

As Maurice explains to Duncan what he will do the next time he sees Hyde, Duncan senses Hyde’s presence. Duncan sees Hyde from a distance through some fog and asks Maurice to take his grocery bags inside for him. Maurice cheerfully says that he will. Hyde walks away and Duncan follows.

They reach a tunnel and begin to talk. Hyde comments on the reputation that Duncan has acquired over the years. Duncan says that he has kept busy. Duncan then says Hyde has too, tormenting young Immortals and killing their teachers. Hyde smiles and says that the strategy works. He noes that young Immortals always run back to their teachers.

Hyde tells Duncan that he has gone to a lot of trouble to find him. He says that he has hunted and killed just about every creature that walks the earth but that it is nothing compared to the kill of a seasoned Immortal. Hyde pulls his sword and tries to start the duel. Duncan tells him that if he wants a fight, he will have to help get Richie out of jail. Hyde says that he cannot wait. Duncan… runs away. He does it in a cool way though using a rope pully to lift himself up and away from danger. Hyde shouts at him that he cannot run forever. He then laughs maniacally while swinging his sword at the air.

Duncan returns to the police station to talk with Richie. He tells him that Hyde came by. Richie asks Duncan if that means Hyde is dead. Duncan tells him no and that he ran.

Richie: This is a joke, right?

Duncan tells Richie that Hyde is his only alibi and that if he kills Hyde, they will convict Richie of the murders.

Richie: [laughing] If you win, I’m convicted. If he takes your head, I’m still here. Either way, Mac, we’re both screwed.

After he talks with Richie, Duncan runs into Inspector Bardot again. She asks if there is something she can help him with.

Duncan: How about finding the real killer?
Bardot: We did.
Duncan: No you didn’t and you already know that.

Duncan gets Bardot to admit the sword was clean but she says that does not mean he did not use something else. Duncan says that maybe it means Richie is innocent. She says that we all like to prove our friends’ innocence and Duncan tells her that he will be in touch.

Later, Duncan is speaking with a man at a reception desk. There is a sign at the desk that says GUN & HUNT CLUB. Duncan asks about Martin Hyde and the man says that he does not know anyone by that name. MacLeod points out that even if he did, he would not tell him, and the man at the reception desk looks sheepish. Duncan hands the man a piece of paper and tells him to give this to Mr. Hyde in the event he does see him. The man says that he will.

In a dark room, an Asian man hands Hyde a pistol from atop a pillow. Hyde takes it. The Asian man bows himself away. Hyde takes aim at a human skeleton some distance away and demonstrates to the audience that he is an excellent marksman. When the camera shows the skeleton again, it no longer has a head.

The man from the reception desk knocks on the door to the room and hands the Asian man Duncan’s note. He whispers that it is a message for Mr. Hyde. The silent Asian man hands Hyde the note and we see that it says “The Rooftop 1:30.”

Hyde smiles and starts firing his gun rapidly at an unknown target.

We see Bardot get a phone call and she asks MacLeod what he wants.

Later, Duncan meets Hyde on the rooftop per their arrangement. Hyde draws his sword and starts swinging it at Duncan. He asks Duncan where his sword is. Duncan asks him if he has always been this anti-social. He suggests that they get a pack of playing cards and play gin rummy or something. Hyde asks if this is joke. Hyde tells Duncan that he will kill him, even if he does not fight back. Just then, Bardot and Paris police arrive and yell at Hyde to drop his sword.

Hyde: What the h*** is this?
Duncan: All part of the game, Hyde. {louder] Here’s your murderer, Inspector, with the murder weapon.
Hyde: You son of a b****.

Hyde rears back to swing his sword at Duncan and is shot by Bardot. He drops the sword and falls off a roof to his apparent death. Bardot asks Duncan if he is okay and he tells her that he is glad she was not stuck in traffic. He picks up Hyde’s sword and hands it to her saying that here is her real murder weapon. She says “we’ll see.”

At the police station, Hyde’s weapon is being examined. The examiner says that the sword is remarkable and is nearly four hundred years old. Duncan says that Tomas de Ayala made only six hundred like it around the year 1600. Bardot asks Duncan how he knows so much and he replies that he is in the antique business. Duncan asks her about the blood. She says that the sword was well cleaned but says they found traces of blood from the gas station attendant and the man in Marseilles. Duncan says that this means that they need to let Richie go. She says that he is free.

Bardot: How did you know about Hyde?
Duncan: You have my statement, Inspector.
Bardot: Which left out as much as it told.
Duncan: Such as?
Bardot: Why two men would be carrying swords around.

Duncan tells her that Hyde was a collector and that he wanted what Richie had. She replies that collectors normally do not murder to obtain what they are after. Duncan tells her that Hyde was not a regular collector.

Bardot: The victim had no sword, what’s his motive?
Duncan: Who knows? Sometimes people kill for nothing.

Duncan meets up with Richie and tells him that he is free to go. Richie says that it’s about time because the guy in the next cell was looking to go steady. Bardot asks Richie to sign for his sword. Richie and Inspector Bardot both tell each other that they hope they do not see each other again.

Sometime later, in a gown and probably fresh from waking up in a morgue, Hyde descends a staircase to a room in the police station where his sword was examined. The examiner sees Hyde grab his sword and his clothes.

Hyde: This can’t be happening can it? It must be a dream.

He punches the old man in the face and walks out of the room with his belongings.

That night, Richie and Duncan are outside the barge waiting for Hyde to arrive. Richie tells Duncan that this is his fight and that he owes Hyde. MacLeod tells him he owes Hyde a lot more.

FLASHBACK!!!

Duncan, dressed in garb from the early 1700s, is attending a funeral. Duncan is taking the loss quite hard, noting that he saw this man born, wed, and now dead of old age. An Immortal with Duncan, Segur, tells him that this will happen to him again and again.

Duncan: Is that why we exist? All our friends, our lovers, they all die and we remain?
Segur: We are Immortal and their loss is the price we pay.

Segur tells Duncan that he will have a long time to get used to this. He also states that he has a remedy for what Duncan is feeling- Cognac de Capucins. Suddenly they both feel another Immortal is nearby.

Hyde calls out the the wine is wasted on Duncan.

Hyde: He doesn’t know the difference between cognac and urine.

Segur discerns that Hyde has come for him. He will not let Duncan fight Hyde in his place, hands the bottle of wine to Duncan, and promises to meet him on the steps by the bridge in one hour.

Later, by the bridge, Duncan waits for Segur. Segur never joins him. Eventually Duncan gives up waiting but carries the bottle away saying that he hates drinking alone.

In the present, Duncan gives Richie the bottle of cognac and tells him that it is the best bottle in all of France. He tells Richie to meet him by the bridge in an hour so that they can drink it together. Richie asks what he should do if Duncan does not come back. Duncan tells him that will be up to him but advises him to be certain he is ready if he tries to go after Hyde.

As Duncan is walking away, Richie yells out ot him that he hates drinking alone. Duncan says “me too.”

Duncan finds Hyde at the Gun & Hunt Club. Hyde says that this has been a good hunt and that he almost hates to kill him. Their duel begins.

After a fight that saw Hyde mostly with the upperhand, Duncan surprises him and runs him through with his sword. Hyde falls to his knees. Duncan tells him that he will see him in h*** and viciously beheads him.

Sometime later, Duncan and Richie are drinking together. Richie comments on how strong the drink is and Duncan says that it was a lot younger when Segur gave it to him 250 years ago. Duncan says that he wanted to drink it with a friend and did not want to wait another 250 years. MacLeod sees that something is bothering Richie and the younger Immortal says that he should have whacked Hyde himself.

Duncan: Yeah. But I saw him first.

REACTION:

Richie’s back! Yes!

In case you do not remember why Duncan ended his mentorship of Richie, it was because Richie killed an overzealous Immortal police officer who was essentially a good guy if more than a bit rough around the edges. It’s good to see that fences are mended here. The show really missed Richie, in my opinion.

Hyde is basically a big game hunter – but for Immortals. He even has a big bombastic personality with a head of hair and a face that were vaguely reminiscent of a lion – at least in my opinion. If someone is good enough with a sword to limit his targets to only those who are “seasoned” then he is good indeed. The show does not tell us specifics of his age (you can look that up online here) but from context we can assume that Hyde is somewhere around 1,000 years old, at least. His age and his combat habits probably make him one of Duncan’s better opponents to date on the show.

Duncan was visibly nervous about fighting Hyde. He played off some of those nerves as needing to rescue Richie from a wrongful conviction. But you could see that he genuinely believed that this might be his last fight. The only other Immortal we have seen on the show so far to get this reaction from Duncan was Grayson in Season 1 and he was more than 1,500 years old.

I did not have much in this episode to complain about. The plot mostly made sense. The duel was good. Duncan being nervous to fight another Immortal was fun. I even enjoyed Maurice telling the story about wrongly being accused of stealing a chicken – when he in fact stole a duck. I think even Maurice is starting to catch on that Duncan runs in some very dangerous circles. He likes Duncan and wants to be near him. He cannot resist the opportunity to live vicariously. But he is growing more aware.

I did find it odd that they cast the Inspector to be such a young and beautiful woman. I wonder if the writers were leaving open the possibility for a romantic relationship to form between Duncan and Bardot later. If so, she would then fit the mold of Renee, who we met in Unholy Alliance Parts 1 and 2. I guess we can keep an eye on that for future episodes.

The other odd thing in this episode is Duncan’s level of concern over Richie going to prison. Richie can always just make sure he dies in prison, right, so that he can escape via the morgue (we see Hyde do that very thing in this episode.) Of course, any time an Immortal is in prison, it’s potentially a bad thing for all of them with respect to potential exposure of their existence. I guess I’ll buy Duncan’s concern putting it that way.

All in all, this was a really solid episode from start to finish. Hopefully Richie sticks around a while.

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