Highlander (Season 3, Ep 63): Mortal Sins

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:

Daimler, an Immortal who fought for Germany during World War 2, returns to Paris to seek revenge on a pair of French Resistance mortals, both friends of Duncan, who chained him up and threw him into the Seine fifty years earlier. One of the two mortals, Bernard, a priest, knows about Immortality from Duncan and seeks him out for help. Unfortunately, Daimler ends up murdering both him and his friend anyway.

Meanwhile, Duncan finds out that Anne is pregnant from a relationship that occurred for her while she thought Duncan was deceased. He decides to help her raise the baby. However, after Anne and the baby are endangered by Daimler, and after Anne finds herself rooting for Duncan to kill the other Immortal, which he does and she witnesses, she decides that it is best for herself and the baby to return to Seacouver without Duncan.

THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:

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

The episode begins with a priest sanctifying offerings in a church. The audio of this sanctification then plays in the background as we see a chase on foot occurring outside the church. The priest then discussions the Last Supper and the communion prayer as the chase continues.

Just as the priest raises the cup of wine and recites “this is the cup of my blood” the chase enters the church with the pursued man crying out for help as the others run in behind him. The pursued man, who appears to be North African, runs for cover beside the priest. The chasing men stop and ask the priest if he will let the foreign pig inside their church. The priest tells all of them to get out and for someone to call the police, but as he says this, another man steps forward and tells him that will not be necessary. The priest clearly recognizes the newcomer, is shocked to do so, and breaks his communion cup after he does so.

Priest: You!
Newcomer: They get a little carried away sometimes, but they’re good boys. I trust them to do the right thing. [to the priest] I trust you’ll do the right thing.

We see a brief flashback to this same man, many years ago in a military uniform, saying “I trust you’ll do the right thing.” In the present, the young man being chased tells the priest, Father Bernard, that those men wanted to kill him. The priest ignores him and looks once more at the newcomer and exclaims that he has been dead for fifty years.

Newcomer: Little Bernard, is that really you?
Bernard: Oh, God, forgive me. Will you haunt me forever?

The man tells him “not forever” and then goes.

On the barge, Duncan and Anne are in robes as he brings her coffee. She complains that the coffee is too sweet. Duncan is surprised, saying that he thought she liked it sweet. Distracted, she replies that she does not like it that sweet. Duncan gives her his coffee and snuggles up next to her as she reads the newspaper. She grows uncomfortable with this and asks if he wants to read the newspaper and points out that he is reading over her shoulder. Duncan pulls away from her and asks if anything is wrong before suggesting that they go back to the States for a while. She asks him why and when he suggests that she might want to go back to work, Anne tells him that she has already told him she does not want to go back to the ER for a while.

[DustyReviews Note: Uh oh, trouble in paradise?]

She asks if he is fine with that and he says yes but asks her again what is wrong. She snaps at him that nothing is wrong but accidentally spills coffee on herself as she does. Duncan offers to help but she is clearly agitated and insists that she clean up the spill herself.

Sometime later, as Duncan walks through Paris, he runs into Father Bernard. The priest recognizes Duncan and speaks to him, telling him that he needs his help, and reminding him that they fought together during the Resistance. Duncan laughs and asks if he looks like someone who could have fought during World War 2. Bernard interjects that it must have been Duncan’s father, then, and says at least this is what Duncan told George Dalou. The priest then tells Duncan his name and Duncan, without any pretense any longer, addresses him as “Little Bernard” in shock.

FLASHBACK!

Paris – 1943

Duncan is listening to messages and reporting to a priest about his translation. He tells the man that something is coming in tomorrow, that it is important, and the priest says that Duncan must intercept it. Duncan agrees. Just then, someone knocks repeatedly on the door to the room where they are working. Duncan hides something and the priest lets a boy in, Little Bernard, chiding him for not remembering the proper way to knock to announce that he is friendly. Duncan warns him that forgetting the right way to knock could get him killed. Bernard tells Duncan and the priest that *they* are here – the boss, Major Daimler and his men.

Duncan hides things in the room, before leaving, and tells the other two to stay calm. When he leaves, he says that he is sure Bernard knows how to keep a secret and the boy says that he does. Duncan and the priest leave together, leaving Bernard behind. Outside, Duncan walks with the priest and then senses another Immortal. He looks up at the second floor window of the building they are entering and sees that the other Immortal is Major Daimler – the man they are going to visit.

Inside, the priest apologizes to the major for the delay in arriving and blames his work. The officer does not believe him but calmly says that he is sure the man was busy with a lot of work that lies outside of his church. Daimler stands very close to the priest and in just more than a whisper, tells him that they have tracked a radio transmission coming from this area. He says he would hate to learn it was coming from here. He tells the priest that he is going to look around and then we see a bunch of Nazi soldiers running to ransack the church. Outside, Daimler finds MacLeod and tells him that the two of them have business together.

Duncan: You people are good with schedules. Give me a time and place.

Daimler replies that they will meet soon, but that he first needs to see what a little search turns up. In the room where Duncan hid the radio earlier, the search commences. When they find the drawer where Duncan hid the radio, they search and find that the drawer is empty. Duncan looks puzzled as they go and the priest says it must be a miracle. Duncan says it might have been quick thinking and asks Little Bernard what he thinks. The boy, who is pushing a wheelbarrow, shows Duncan that he hid the radio beneath rocks in his wheelbarrow.

Sometime later, we see that the Resistance group led by Duncan has a roadside trap set up for Daimler. They’ve rightly tied ropes to trees, on either side of the road down which his car is coming. When the convoy of Germans arrive, the ropes unseat the motorcycle riders from their bikes. The Resistance fighters then open fire on the rest from hiding spots and a shootout ensues. The Resistance wins the right but MacLeod is mortally wounded in the process. Little Bernard, who is present for some reason, witnesses Duncan wandering off alone to die. As the boy weeps over him, and as the other fighters begin to look for him after noticing his absence, Duncan revives.

Bernard panics about Duncan’s resurrection. Duncan covers his mouth and admonishes him to keep a secret today just as he did the day before. Bernard agrees not to tell anyone about what he just witnessed.

Back in the present, Duncan is no longer pretending not to know Bernard. He tells the now much older man that it has been a long time.

Bernard: I have changed, while you — I kept my promise, you see. I never told anyone.
Duncan: I never doubted it.
Bernard: Now I need a favor in return.

Bernard explains to Duncan that he saw Daimler in his church. He says that while at first he thought he was seeing a ghost, suddenly he realized the man is like Duncan. Duncan nods to him in confirmation. Bernard tells him that he has heard Daimler has a meeting place not far from his church.

Bernard: He’s training Brownshirts all over again.

Duncan asks him what he wants to happen and the priest makes it clear by his silence. Finally Bernard tells him that it is God’s work. When Duncan replies that it des not sound like God’s work, the other man reminds Duncan that Daimler now knows that Bernard knows what he is and what he was. Duncan finally agrees to talk to him, but Bernard says he is afraid Duncan may have to do more than that.

On the barge, Duncan has explained the situation to Anne and she is adamant that Duncan does not need to do anything. When Duncan tells her that he has to stop Daimler, she asks why and if it is his job. Duncan replies by quoting Edmond Burke.

Duncan: ‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’ That still applies.

Anne asks if Daimler is still evil. Duncan tells her that he would have fought the man fifty years ago and explains that the only reason he did not is because the man disappeared.

Duncan goes to the place where Bernard informed him Daimler has a home base. He finds the other Immortal inside with a group of thugs. Daimler instructs his minions to get back to work when they look like they want to fight Duncan. As one of the men leave, though, Duncan tells him that he is halfway there to a sound mind and a sound body. The man looks confused and Duncan smirks at him.

As the two Immortals walk apart, Duncan finds a pamphlet that says “White Power.”

Duncan: You never get tired of this, do you?
Daimler: You haven’t changed, either.

The two Immortals talk and Daimler tells Duncan that he wants to leave the past in the past. He acknowledges that Duncan’s side won the war and he says he now works within the system, though he admits some of those in his movement are over-zealous. Duncan tells him that he wants him to leave Father Bernard alone. The other immortal asks why he would not and Duncan says that they both know that Bernard knows what Daimler is, what he was, and what he is capable of.

Daimler: MacLeod, it is not the fear of my sins that drives the good Father but the guilt from his.
Duncan: What are you talking about?
Daimler: Ask him.

Duncan meets with Bernard at the church, tells him he met with Daimler, and asks what Bernard is not telling him. Bernard tells Duncan that Daimler returned to the monastery the day after Duncan left for Versailles and says he was coming for Father Guillaume.

FLASHBACK!!

As Little Bernard watches from a distance, Daimler finds Father Guillaume and asks for the names of the men inolved in the ambush of his soldiers. The priest says he has no names and could not give them if he did have them. Daimler tells him that if he doe snot give the names, he and his men will shoot ten people outside of his church at random. The priest argues that this is murder and Daimler tells him that he can stop this from happening. The priest says he has no names to give. Daimler suggests that perhaps the priest will change his mind when they shoot the next ten and then he starts pointing at people he can see standing around them, including members of the clergy.

Suddenly, Little Bernard stabs Daimler with a pitchfork and men with guns begin shooting from the perimeter. As Resistance fighters shoot the Germans, the priest takes young Bernard inside. Daimler is lying on the ground outside, dead. One of the Resistance soldiers finds the two of them together and congratulates Bernard. The priest tells the soldier that when the other Germans find out, that they will destroy the city and kill everyone. The soldier insists that they will not find out. Later, we see a Resistance soldier and Little Bernard tossing chained and wrapped bodies into the river. When they get to Daimler, they realize that he is not dead. The soldier tells the boy that it does not matter now and they push him into the river anyway. After Daimler lands in the water, and as we hear him moaning in misery, the soldier tells the boy that now he is dead.

Little Bernard: I’ll go to h*** for this. No one should die like that.
Soldier: The only one going to h*** is Daimler. Don’t ever forget that!

In the present, Duncan tells Anne about everything and she repeats how terrible a story it is a couple of times while looking horrified. She asks Duncan what happens now and he tells her not to worry as the incident is in the past and that he is going to keep it that way. Duncan kisses her but she tells him to stop.

Anne: I know I haven’t been very easy to live with lately.
Duncan: Let’s talk about it.
Anne: I’m pregnant.

After a few moments to take in the news, Duncan asks if she has told the father. She says that she has and that he is an old friend. She apologetically explains that it happened after he was gone and while she was such a wreck. Duncan tells her that she does not have to explain. Anne is surprised and relieved that Duncan is not angry but he tells her he is not. He asks what they are going to do. Anne tells him that she is going to have the baby.

Anne: The question is what are you going to do?
Duncan: I honestly don’t know.

She seems disappointed but he tells her she has a chance at a normal life, with a husband and a family, and he reminds her that those are things he cannot give her. When she tells Duncan that she does not love the father, she loves him, he tells her that it is not as simple as that. Anne leaves.

Father Bernard enters a café and sits down with an older man. After declining a drink, Bernard tells the other man that Daimler is backc. When the other man replies that Daimler died fifty years ago, Bernard tells him that he wishes to God that this was true. Bernard insists to the man, George, that he saw Daimler, and he says that Daimler was exactly as he was fifty years earlier. Bernard tells George that Daimler is Immortal and George laughs and recommends a doctor that Bernard can see. Bernard recommends to George that if he does not believe him, he can go ask MacLeod. George continues laughing and asks Bernard if he believes MacLeod is Immortal, too. Bernard seems to realize that he has betrayed a promise and begs George not to repeat any of them. George suddenly looks more serious in his concern for his friend when he realizes Bernard believes MacLeod is also alive.

Bernard: When you ambushed the German courier and couldn’t find MacLeod, I found him and he had a bullet hole through his heart.
George: You were just a boy.
Bernard: I remember. And I remember Daimler. And I’m telling you he’s back. And we are not safe until he dies again.

George tries to dissuade him from this belief but Bernard warns him that Daimler is in Paris and that he will come for both of them. Bernard leaves and George shakes his head as the other man goes.

Later Duncan meets with Anne outside of Notre Dame and she tells him he has no obligation as this is not his child. He tells her that he knows that but that he also knows he has an opportunity. She asks if he is telling her this or convincing himself. He admits he is trying to get used to it, adding that after 400 years it is the last thing he expected to happen. She asks him why and we see a quick flashback from another episode of Duncan telling a flapper, Nora, in the 1920s that he can never have children. We then see another flashback to another prior episode of Duncan and Tessa discussing children, with Tessa telling him that watching a young girl felt nice because it felt as though the girl was hers just for a moment.

In the present again, Duncan explains to Anne that for all of his life, he has had to come to terms with the fact that he is not supposed to have children. He then tells her that now this has happened and he feels different, like maybe there is a chance.

Anne: Then what’s the problem?
Duncan: That the way that my life is, someone may come for me, and win.

She tells him that she might get hit by a bus tomorrow or develop a strange type of cancer. She says she cannot live her life worrying in that way. She asks if he wants a child and Duncan tells her yes. As they are hugging, Duncan looks up and sees Bernard’s friend George. The old man sees Duncan and acknowledges him in return. When Anne asks who that is, Duncan tells her not to worry that the old man is a friend. He then asks her if he can see her back at the barge later. She says yes and goes.

Duncan and George Dalou dine together. George explains that Bernard has come to him with crazy stories sand he asks Duncan to confirm whether or not they are true. After George tells Duncan that he would take anything to the grave, Duncan finally admits to him that he is the same man he knew from the Resistance. They hug and George tells him that it is good to see him again.

On the barge, Duncan and Anne leave to go convince Bernard that the war is over.

We see Daimler walk into a room where George is reading a newspaper. Daimler is carrying chains – the same chains he was wrapped in when George and Bernard threw him into the river – and asks the old man if he recognizes them.

Daimler: I spent forty years at the bottom of the Seine in them!

Daimler beats George with those chains before leaving the room. We see that Bernard hears someone coming and begins yelling for the intruder to get out. Duncan tries to comfort him by telling him who he is and in turn Bernard tells Duncan that George is dead and that Daimler is coming for him. Duncan is surprised as Bernard explains the police were just at the church and told him that George’s bodyguard was found dead in his car and that George was found dead in his living room.

Duncan tells Bernard to stay in the church and not to leave for any reason. He explains that Daimler cannot hurt him on Holy Ground. He then leaves to go find Daimler. Anne calls out to Duncan and he tells her not to ask him not to go. She replies to him that he cannot ask her not to worry.

At his headquarters, Daimler gets a phone call that MacLeod is on his way there. Daimler leaves but tells his men to make sure Duncan waits for him until he returns.

Anne and Bernard discuss the incident where Bernard killed Daimler. The old man explains why he did it. He says seeing the man die in the river was worse. She reminds Bernard that he did not kill Daimler – as he is still alive – but he reminds her in turn that the immortal is now herein Paris to kill him. She tells him that Duncan will not let that happen. Bernard says that Daimler is the only man in his life that he has ever tried to hurt and hten muses on what it is like for MacLeod.

Bernard: I wonder how he stands all the death, all the wars.
Anne: Me too.

Duncan is ambushed by Daimler’s men at their headquarters. After he wins the two on one fight, easily, he forces one of the men to tell him that Daimler has gone to the church.

At the church, Bernard tells Anne that he thinks George went to heaven despite the older man being no saint, but that he thinks the other man went to heaven. When he suggests that he will see him again, Daimler announces that he will see him sooner than he thinks. Bernard draws a gun. Anne continues reminding Bernard not to run and to follow Duncan’s instructions to remain at the church while Daimler simultaneously goads him to flee the premises. Eventually Bernard runs, with Anne chasing him to shout that he should come back and that this is what Daimler wants.

Bernard crosses the barrier of the church and Daimler yells that Anne is right. Daimler punches Anne, knocking her out, then shoots Bernard multiple times. Duncan finally arrives and attacks Daimler. As the evil Immortal is down, Duncan asks if she is alright. She is but expresses worry about the baby. They have no time to talk, though, because Daimler draws his sword.

Daimler: HIGHLANDER!
Anne: Kill him!
Duncan: You will die for this!

The two men have a brutal duel with Duncan winning. Anne watches in awe and fear as she sees Duncan receive a Quickening for the first time.

Later, Duncan reports to Anne that the doctor says he and the baby will be fine. Duncan also confirms that Anne knows the baby will be a girl and she says yes. Something is clearly wrong, though, and Anne finally tells Duncan that she wants to go home. When he says the car is outside, she clarifies that she means her home in the U.S. He says that they can go together and she tells him no and that she has to go alone.

They talk. Duncan says that she knew what he was and what his life was like. He asks if she wanted him to let Daimler walk away. Firmly, she tells him no and says he had to kill the other Immortal. She says that she understands Duncan’s life but that she cannot live her life like this.

Anne: Duncan, I’m a doctor, I save lives I don’t take them. I can’t start wanting to take them.

He takes a moment before nodding. They hug and the episode ends.

REACTION:

Goodbye, Anne. Officially.

This episode is – in the big picture – about the dangers of running into people who recognize you from fifty years ago. I’m surprised Duncan does not have this problem more often given his desire to live in Paris.

Bernard and George were interesting side characters. I always love when Duncan interacts with older people who remember him from decades past.

I’m a little annoyed with Duncan in this episode. He was way too casual about dismissing the threat that Daimler posed to Bernard and George – almost in an out of character way. As a result, both men, and George’s bodyguard, were murdered.

We met George previously in the episode “For Tomorrow We Die.” Duncan allowed the old man to believe in that episode that he was a descendent of the man George knew from their days in the Resistance. In this episode, George learns the truth.

Duncan’s casualness notwithstanding, this was a good episode and a good send-off for Anne. Daimler was not a credible threat to Duncan but he was a serious and menacing threat to Duncan’s friends as it turns out. This episode also does a good job of reminding the audience (and Duncan) of the bitter loneliness of his own existence. Adrian Paul does a great job communicating how desperately Duncan wants children… in the subtle way you might expect Duncan to show that desperation outwardly after centuries of it not being possible. In fact, the last time Duncan attempted this – that I know of – was in his time living with the Lakota and it was probably his most painful experience in his long life to lose that family. This unfulfilled desire is crucial to an understanding of Duncan as a character. That’s why even the pilot episode highlighted this.

All in all, this is a good episode. We’re near the end of the season now with Richie and Anne both exiting. I’m not sure who Duncan’s co-stars will be the rest of the way. I’d guess Joe will be coming back soon.

4 thoughts on “Highlander (Season 3, Ep 63): Mortal Sins

    1. Whose sin is it when a mortal chains and drowns an extremely evil immortal at the bottom of the river for 40 years?

      Not a lot of levity in this one. Lol.

      1. Yeah, I’m kind of surprised the show went into something like this. It seems a bit deeper than what they are truly willing to deal with, especially in a 45min show.

  1. Yeah. This show is surprisingly dark sometimes, especially as to dark religious imagery. Despite the Holy Ground edict of the show, there is a lot of killing in and around churches. And I mean… just this episode alone begins with Father Bernard doing a communion voiceover as we see a hate crime occurring. At some point I’m going to get bored enough to do some research on the writers and their other work.

    Highlander was also completely unafraid to kill off *anyone* (other than Duncan) which made it pretty unique for its time.

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