Highlander (Season 3, Ep 59): Star-Crossed

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 plot 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:

After Anne sees him die, Duncan moves to Paris and reunites with Hugh Fitzcairn (Roger Daltrey.) Fitz is teaching at the Cordon Bleu and is in love and planning to settle down with a woman named Naomi. Unfortunately, Kalas follows Duncan to Paris and sets out to wreck Fitz’s life – framing him for the murder of a colleague and deceiving Naomi into believing that Fitz is guilty.

Fitz duels Kalas, with Duncan looking on from a distance, and loses. After the Quickening, Kalas leaves before Duncan can challenge him next.

THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:

♫Heeeere we are. Born to be kings. We’re the princes of the universe.♫

After a recap of last week’s episode, Duncan arrives in Paris and is greeted immediately by Hugh Fitzcairn. Fitz asks Duncan why he is in Paris and when Duncan tells him he just needed a change of scenery, Fitz does not believe him.

Fitz; Come on, you’ve seen the sights. What happened.
Duncan: I died.
Fitz: Yeah, been there, done that. Never fun.

Fitz points out that it is not as though it has not happened before and asks why he left the country. Duncan replies that this time a friend saw him die. Fitz takes it that Duncan means a woman and adds that is a good enough reason.

As Fitz drives Duncan around, at an alarmingly fast speed, MacLeod asks him why he is staying in Paris and points out that Fitz never usually stays in one place very long. After Fitz starts talking about the history and restaurants of Paris, Duncan asks what her name is and is told that her name is Naomi.

Fitz tells Duncan he met her at the Cordon Bleu and Duncan is shocked that Fitz is learning to cook. Fitz laughs and says he is not learning, he is teaching and also writing a cookbook. This causes Duncan to burst out in laughter.

Fitz: What’s so funny, come on?
Duncan: You writing a cookbook! I remember when you couldn’t even read and write.
Fitz: [laughing] Well neither could you.

Abruptly their conversation is cut short as another car attempts to run them off of the road. Eventually their car is flipped upside down and slides down the road for several meters before coming to a stop.

Fitzcairn: Welcome to Paris, MacLeod.

After getting out of their cab and arriving at Duncan’s barge, Duncan pesters him to learn what he did and who he did it too. Fitz replies that Duncan is the one with enemies on every continent. Duncan tells him that it was not an Immortal running them off the road and Fitz replies that the French hate Italian cars.

The two Immortals are greeted by Duncan’s barge neighbor, Maurice, who tells them that lunch was ready over an hour ago and asks what took them so long. Duncan tells him that they had car trouble and then introduces Fitz and Maurice to each other. We learn that Maurice got Duncan’s barge back at a price Duncan was not made aware of before Maurice spent it.

Fitz and Duncan discuss Naomi, and Fitzcairn tells Duncan that he never realized until meeting her how lonely he is. He asks Duncan if he ever feels lonely and brings up Tessa to say that he has been thinking a lot lately about how it might feel to lose her. After bringing up Tessa, Fitz starts quizzing Duncan about Anne, the woman who saw him die, until Duncan finally asks him why he is so interested, and Fitz tells him he is only trying to make conversation.

Fitz: Do you love her?
Duncan: It doesn’t matter now.

He asks if Duncan told her (about Immortality) and Duncan turns the question back around on him as to whether he ever told Naomi. Fitz responds that he is waiting for the right time. Fitz returns the conversation to Anne and asks why he does not tell her and Duncan, growing agitated, tells him to leave it alone. Fitz does not give up though and says he would have told Anne and he asks Duncan what he’s got to lose.

In a restaurant, a female chef is fending off romantic advances from a male chef, telling him that they have been through this often and that it is over. He tells her it cannot be over as she is his life.

Duncan and Fitz arrive, with Fitz in chef’s regalia, extolling Naomi’s virtues. Duncan finally asks him if she is all of those things why she is with him.

Duncan: Hugh Fitzcairn, settling down, what do the women of the world have to look forward to?
Fitz: Boredom.

Fitz and Duncan arrive to where Naomi and her unwanted suitor are arguing, at which point the unwanted suitor attacks Fitzcairn and says he is not wanted. A scuffle occurs and Duncan takes a punch in the face before things are broken up and the other man leaves. Fitz apologizes to Naomi after and asks if she is okay. Duncan and Naomi are quickly introduced before she runs off to teach a class. After, Duncan points out that Fitz has been run off the road and then punched in the face. He asks Fitz what is going on.

FLASHBACK!

Verona, Italy 1637

Duncan is speaking with a man who wants a “monster” disposed of – said monster having ruined the virtue of his daughter. He tells Duncan to do it as painfully as possible.

Abruptly the daughter runs up to tell her father that there is no man and that nothing is happening. Her father suddenly produces a piece of paper and asks who wrote this. She turns and runs away as he asks Duncan what more proof he needs. Before storming off, the man tells Duncan that he must see to it that his daughter’s virtue is protected.

Duncan, who is illiterate, takes the note to a man and pays for him to read it. Duncan asks the man to tell him who wrote it and he replies that he find out and will let Duncan know at Villa de Fortuna at noon. Later, Duncan follows the daughter in question to a secret rendezvous with Fitzcairn. She warns Fitz that he is in danger. He kisses her neck and tells her that he would die a thousand deaths for her. Suddenly though, he feels Duncan’s presence and MacLeod tells Fitz that one death should do it.

Fitz tells Duncan, not yet knowing him, that this does not concern him. Duncan tells him that it does and asks the girl to confirm. She tells Fitz that her father hired Duncan to keep the two of them apart. Duncan tells the girl that she can rejoin her classmates willingly or over his knee. Fitz assures her that he will dispatch this fop in only a few moments. The girl asks both of them if they are going to fight over her and Duncan replies that it depends on how smart her friend is. Fitz tells Duncan that he is surprised that the prince would hire a Scot. Fitz notes that there is good Celtic blood running through both of their veins. Duncan tells him that this is no sight for the prince’s daughter – and at that moment she runs to Fitz and asks him not to fight. She speaks to him in Italian, he answers, and then she runs off.

Once she is gone, Duncan tells Fitz that his orders are to keep her innocence intact so he suggests that if Fitz leaves her alone that they do not need to fight. Fitz tells Duncan that he is sorry but this is a matter of love, and then he draws his sword. Just as their duel begins, a soldier yells at them to stop and tells them that dueling is forbidden in the city.

Guard: Can’t you fools read?

Duncan and Fitz see a posted sign and it becomes apparent that neither of them can read it. Both proud Immortals feign an ability to read that neither possesses and then they leave in separate directions.

In the present, Fitz is kissing Naomi as she tells him that she needs to bake a cake. Just then Patrick, the chef who scuffled with Fitz earlier, enters the room holding a handgun. He tells Fitz that if he does not leave Naomi alone that he will kill her. Fitz walks right up to him and tells him to kill him. When Patrick does not pull the trigger, Fitzcairn disarms him and turns the gun on him. He tells him stupid boys should not play with dangerous toys and then unloads the gun. He empties the chamber by firing it adjacent to Patrick, calling him a stupid man as he does so.

As Patrick leaves, humiliated, he runs into Kalas who calls out to him. He tells Kalas that he does not know him and Kalas replies that he will.

Sometime later, Fitz tells Duncan about this incident.

Fitzcairn: It’s not my life I’m worried about. It’s my life. It’s always dangerous being the center of someone else’s attention.

Duncan asks him what Patrick might find out and Fitz says that the person he paid to create his fake credentials had to leave the country and did not complete them. Duncan smiles knowingly as Fitz tells him that he knows what it is like creating a new identity.

Fitz: Records, information, degrees…
Duncan: You lied to get the job?

Duncan asks what he is going to do about it and Fitz says he will asks his oldest friend for help. Duncan laughs and says no, but that night we see Fitz and Duncan in front of a computer keeping a look out for a guard. When the guard appears moments later, they hide together under the desk until he leaves. Once he is gone, Fitz complains about how hard it is in modern times to create a new identity. Finally Duncan gets into Fitz’ personal file and notes that he has more credentials here than most of the chefs in Paris. He asks him why he needs more.

Fitz: Well, I told Naomi some things.
Duncan: [angry whisper] You got me to break in here so you could impress your girlfriend?

Duncan insists to Fitz that he make a promise to learn how to use a computer. Fitz reminds Duncan that he learned to read.

FLASHBACK!!

Duncan tells Fitz to read the second line on the posted notice about the illegality of dueling inside the city. Fitz tells him curtly that it says no dueling. Duncan asks him ot read something else and Fitz tells him that it is a note to the girl. Fitz finally admits Duncan has discovered his secret and he says he paid a scribe to write it. When Fitz bursts out that the scribe charged him a ducket to write it, Duncan indignantly tells him that the scribe charged him two duckets to read it. Fitz now knows Duncan cannot read, either.

Fitz: We are warriors. What do a few chicken scratches on pieces of paper matter to men like us?
Duncan: It matters to me.
Fitz: Aye, and me.

Fitz asks him if they are forgetting something and Duncan tells him that he will not fight him. They finally tell each other their names and make plans to drink ale together. Before they drink, Duncan asks for Fitz’ words that he will not go near the girl again and Fitz gives Duncan his word.

In the present, Kalas and Patrick sit at a computer together and learn that Fitz changed his credentials earlier that night.

Patrick: The man is a fraud. I knew it. I have him.

That night, Kalas calls Fitz and tells him that his life in Paris is over. When Fitz asks who this is and what he is talkin about, Kalas tells him that records are easy to fake.

Kalas: You know what you are. Soon everyone will know, even Naomi.

Fitz asks again, angrily, who this is, and Kalas hangs up instead of answering. Fitz gos to the school, and the computer where Patrick just learned his secret, and he finds Patrick in the room with his back turned to the aforementioned computer. Fitz asks Patrick if there is some way that they can discuss this sensibly. When Patrick does not reply to him, Fitz touches his shoulder and learns that Patrick is dead.

Fitz returns to the computer trying to fix his records but to no avail. Just then Naomi enters the room and tells her that Patrick called and told her they were both here. She turns her head and sees that Patrick is in the room, dead. Fitz pleads with her that Patrick was already dead when he arrived but she tells him not to touch her. The police enter the room a moment later. Fitz runs to the room’s window and jumps out, improbably surviving by landing on a pile of cardboard boxes. Kalas watches from a distance as he sees Fitz escape.

Richie arrives in Paris and is watching one of his motorcycle races with Duncan. The older Immortal points out to Richie that racing is a very public life but Richie reminds him that he has nothing to hide and says he thinks he can race for five or ten years before anyone notices anything. Duncan gives his blessing just as they both sense Fitz arriving.

Duncan: Shouldn’t you be chopping carrots or something?
Fitz: I am up to my ears in it, laddy.

Duncan asks if it’s the guy with the gun again and Fitz tells him it is the police.

FLASHBACK!!!

Duncan meets with the prince who angrily tells him that he failed and that his daughter is gone with an Englishman. Duncan is shocked as the prince tells him that he was supposed to kill the foreign dog. He then orders Duncan to find the girl and bring her home.

Duncan finds Fitz, with the prince’s daughter in his bed. He tells him that there will be war over this and that men will die. They go aside to talk and Duncan chides him for taking the girl’s innocence. Fitz tells him there was none to take and that he is old enough to know a virgin when he meets one. When Duncan tells him that she has been under guard for half of her life, Fitz informs him that the prince should not have trusted some of her guards. Fitz apologizes to Duncan and tells him that his job was finished before it began. Duncan tells him the job is not done yet.

The three of them return to see the Prince but are stopped on the street by the Prince’s guards. THe leader of this group informs them that he is to bring Fitz’s head to their boss. Duncan intervenes arguing that Fitz has stained his own honor and that he demands the right to retribution. Most of the guards escort the princess back to her father but one of them stays to see that Fitz dies.

Duncan and Fitz duel in the street. Fitz believes that at some point they are planning to run but Duncan informs him that they are not going to run. He then kills Fitz but leaves his head intact. When the watcher tells Duncan that his orders were clear about bringing Fitz’ head, Duncan warns him that if he takes the head, then he will take his. Disgruntled, the man and the princess return to the palace.

When Fitz revives, he tells Duncan that killing him was a rotten trick. Duncan reminds him that he still has his head. Fitz expresses surprise that Duncan did not take his head while he was down. Duncan tells him that it occurred to him but that he has better things to do.

Fitz: Like what?
Duncan: Learning to read and write.

Fitz laughs that they are not paid to read. Duncan responds that they are not paid to be stupid, either. Fitz then declares that they will do it together.

Back in the present, Fitz tells Duncan that the police, and Naomi, think he murdered Patrick. Duncan asks Fitz to tell him about the phone call and Fitz descries the person on the other end as having a cold voice, and raspy like gravel. Duncan tells Richie that *he* is here. When Fitz asks who he means, Duncan tells him Kalas. Duncan explains that Kalas set Fitz up because he knows Duncan.

Just then the police arrive and Duncan tells Fitz that they need to get out of there. He tells Fitz to leave out the back of the barge and to meet him at the tunnels under the Bastille. Duncan then lets the police inside and when they asks where Fitz is, he pretends not to know who they mean. He asks the young beautiful Inspector why she thinks Fitz came to visit him and she replies that they have informants. Duncan leaves and tells Richie to give the Inspector all of the help she needs in searching the barge.

Kalas finds Fitz in the tunnels before Duncan does. Duncan shouts to Fitz while they are fighting and he tells Duncan that this is his fight. Kalas wins the duel and takes Fitz’s head as Duncan watches from a distance. Duncan approaches after the Quickening.

Kalas: [tired] You find me at a disadvantage, MacLeod. I’m not at my best.
Duncan: Well, take your time. I’m not going anywhere.

Kalas tells him that he is going, for now, and cuts a water valve. In the ensuing fog, he disappears.

After, Richie expresses his condolences to Duncan on the barge. Duncan says he will miss Fitz. Just then, Maurice enters the barge and greets Richie.

Maurice: It will be just like old times, no?
Duncan: No.

REACTION:

Imagine the absolute arrogant confidence it takes to fight an 800 year Immortal just to mess with a different Immortal. I’m not sure how or why Kalas is so skilled given his centuries hiding out in a monastery. But I guess the drive it takes to be a master scribe translates to becoming a master swordsman. Alternatively, centuries of ambushing other Immortals with their guards down ratcheted up his skillset via Quickenings considerably – despite there not being a lot of skill in fighting people with their guard down.

Either way, as Highlander villains go, Kalas is very near the top.

Fitzcairn is my favorite of Duncan’s Immortal friends and the chemistry between Roger Daltrey and Adrian Paul is STRONG. This translates to a believable friendship. The story’s foundation for that friendship works, too. I suppose the bond forged by learning to read alongside another proud adult is one that is pretty strong. The good news from here is that in a show where flashbacks occur in every episode, we will see Fitz gain. That said, I hated to see Fitz die so soon.

This is a great episode and it is fun to see the show back in Paris again, too. I love that the show can use historical landmarks as fighting locations.

The Kalas Saga continues onward. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

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