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:
Kenny returns, showing up in Dr. Anne Lindsey’s emergency room injured and while being pursued by an Immortal, Kincaid. Anne realizes Kenny is Immortal and calls Duncan, who arrives and then recognizes Kincaid, on the scene, as someone he marooned on a deserted island in the late 1700s. MacLeod does not trust Kenny, but agrees to protect him for the night before putting him on an airplane in the morning. After taking Kenny home, he learns that Kenny and Amanda know each other. Amada was Kenny’s first teacher, eight hundred years ago.
Kenny schemes to help Kincaid take Duncan’s head. His plan is to betray Amanda and also take hers. He leads Duncan into a duel with Kincaid, but aids the other Immortal against Duncan by releasing a steam valve, during their duel, to blind Duncan. Amanda sees that Kenny did this but while she is talking to him, he cuffs her to a railing. Duncan meanwhile wins his duel, despite his impairment. Kenny plans to take his head while he recovers from the Quickening. The plan fails, though, as Amanda frees herself from the handcuffs and promises to kill Kenny if he kills Duncan. Kenny flees.
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:
The episode opens with Joe giving a “previously on Highlander” voiceover explanation for Duncan and Richie’s first meeting with Kenny, a child Immortal. In case we don’t remember that Kenny is evil, the recap includes horror movie music played over the flashback scenes.
In the present, Kenny is running from an adult Immortal ,and he runs right into Dr. Anne Lindsey’s hospital, yelling frantically for help. He bumps into Anne, who recognizes him, and when she sees that he has blood on him, he tells her that he fell climbing through a window. Outside the hospital, the Immortal chasing Kenny uses his sword to cut through a power line which is supplying electricity to the hospital. Inside, the lights go out. She leads Kenny through the hospital, in the dark, and we see that the pursuing Immortal sees Kenny. Anne puts a bandage on the ancient boy and tells him that she will be right back. Anne and Kenny both notice the watching Immortal.
Anne: Kenny, do you know that guy?
Kenny: I’ve never seen him before.
When Anne comes back to check on Kenny’s wound, it is completely healed. She says aloud that he is like Duncan. He plays it off but she insists that she knows he is Immortal and she advises him to hide in a chapel down the hall because it’s holy ground. After she directs Kenny into the chapel, she asks a nurse to look up and contact Duncan MacLeod, and to let him know to visit the hospital because it is an emergency.
Sometime later, Duncan arrives and asks Anne if she is alright. The power is still out in the hospital. She tells him his cousin is here, and when Duncan looks confused, she says it is in the one from Wisconsin. Duncan realizes she is talking about Kenny and confirms that he is in the hospital chapel. Inside the chapel, Kenny tells Anne that Duncan wants to take his head. Duncan denies it and says he will keep Kenny alive for long enough to get him to an airport. Kenny insists he will not go anywhere with MacLeod, which seems to be just fine with Duncan, who smiles, tells him to have it his own way, and then walks out.
Outside the chapel, Duncan sees the Immortal chasing Kenny and seems to recognize him.
South Pacific – 1778
Duncan and a group of people , including the unnamed Immortal, appear to have taken a small vessel, from their larger vessel, to explore an island. The other Immortal is in a Naval uniform of the time. One of them shouts that he has found water. When they get to it, though, they learn it is rainwater. An argument ensues, where the sailors berate the Immortal captain that they cannot live on half rations, while he in turn tells them to be patient.
One of the men curses the Captain. Duncan tries to stop him, warning him that this is not the way to do this, but the man rallies the other men, arguing that they should return to China for fresh provisions. MacLeod calms the man down, and tells the Captain as much. The other Immortal appears to accept this, but then pulls a pistol and shoots the would-be mutineer without warning.
Captain: We have a cargo to deliver and I’ll hear no more talk of turning back, not under my command.
They leave the dead sailor. Later, Duncan berates the other man, tellinghim thathe had no cause to kill the man. The other Immortal counters that alive, that man was a bad influence, but dead he is a shining example. Duncan tells the other man, Terrance Kincaid, that he cannot treat the men the way he is currently because they will not stand for it. Kincaid insists that if a few of the men die, then they die, arguing that he must get the cargo to London and that he will not default for the sake of a few lives.
On the way back to the rowboat, Kincaid is attacked by his crew. They are about to behead him when Duncan intervenes, arguing that they should let him suffer as they have suffered and instead of killing him, they should leave him marooned. Kincaid is not happy about being marooned, and MacLeod tells him that he should be thankful his head was saved at all.
Kincaid: [as the men row away] There’s no food! No water! DUNCAN MACLEOD!!
In the present, Duncan is joined in the hospital hallway by Anne and Kenny. Duncan nods over at Kincaid and asks Kenny which of the two he wants to travel with. Kenny chooses Duncan.
In the dojo, Duncan tells Kenny that he will be on the first plane out of the city the next morning. Suddenly they both feel another Immortal. Kenny is immediately furious and accuses Duncan of setting him up. Duncan tells Kenny that *she* is a friend and is not like that.
Kenny: We’re all like that MacLeod and you’re a fool if you don’t know it.
When Duncan enters the apartment, Amanda is angry with Duncan, asking where he has been. Then she lays eyes on Kenny. They recognize each other and they embrace joyfully as Duncan observes with disbelief.
Sometime later, while they are all eating, Amanda is gushing about how having Kenny there with them is like having a real family. When he only glares at her, she notes that this is as close as it will ever get for her, to having a real family, so she asks him to lighten up. Duncan leaves the table. She and Kenny talk after Duncan goes. He comments that he goes by Kenny now, rather than Kenneth, and she decides that it suits them. He tells her that he was afraid he’d never see her again.
England – 1182
Kenny stares down at dead people, crying, as we hear the buzzing sound of flies. Outside, Amanda is walking by and feels another Immortal. Kenny feels her presence also and they meet each other just outside his family’s door. She asks him where his people are, and he answers that the Normans came, and his father could not pay the taxes. She looks inside to see the rest of his family lying dead. She asks his name, and he answers, adding that his family found him when he was a baby. He shows her a spot on his chest where he’d been stabbed and adds that the wound is gone. Amanda explains to him that he is Immortal and all that entails.
Amanda explains to him that despite his size, he can survive for a long time, as she has done. She encourages him to be quick and clever.
Amanda: We use the weapons we have.
Kenneth: But I don’t have any weapons.
Amanda: Yes you do, you just don’t know it yet.
Kenneth: What are they?
Amanda: [wipes off grimy mirror and holds it up to his face] Your innocence.
Kenny thinks – and we see a flashback – of the brutal death of his family and of himself.
One Year Later
Kenny watches from a distance as Amanda is under arrest. One of the armored men orders that she be searched while telling a comrade that the wench and the brat have been waylaying tax collectors for a year. One of the men finds a bag of gold.
Amanda: Wages… I’m a baker.
Soldier: And you sell a lot of bread?
Amanda: I’m a very good baker.
Soldier: No… but you’re a comely little thief.
The soldier tells her that they still plan to hang her, but only after he and his men have taken their pleasure. Amanda tries to fight them off, but in vain. They lead her away and hang her. Kenny runs away after they spot him and give chase.
In the present, Amanda tells Duncan that she never saw Kenny again after that and notes that he has been running ever since. She begins trying to seduce Duncan, asking him to let Kenny stay with them for a little while. She limits her request to at least until Kincaid leaves. Duncan tells her that Kenny’s not helpless. Duncan, under, uh, pressure, agrees. Duncan goes to sleep with his sword within reach.
We see that Kenny is awake and has been listening to them. The episode flashbacks to a scene from Kenny’s previous episode – and we see him bashing an old mortal man on the head, with a brick, in order to steal his food and rob him. We flash to the scene of Kenny trying to murder Dr. Anne by running her over with a car.
A little while later, Amanda is lying in bed with Duncan and begins pestering him to talk to her, because she cannot sleep. He agrees to talk to her, though he is obviously sleepy, and she asks him, after three hundred years of knowing her, how he would describe her to someone else. She asks if he would describe her as a nurturing person. Duncan sleepily replies “definitely” but she asks him to be honest. He tells her that she is beautiful, intelligent, and fun, adding that nurturing is in there, but not high on the list.
Amanda: Well, do you think that I would have made a good mother?
Amanda: Really, because I could take it if you don’t think that, you know, I have itin me.
Duncan: You would have been a wonderful mother.
He appears to be sincere, and she appreciates it. The next day, Amanda and Kenny discuss their parting. He explains that he found a ship to stow away on and in turn she tells him that she looked for him, for three years. They both admit that they wish she had found him, though Amanda adds that the important thing is that he is here now. Kenny begins telling her that Duncan hates him and will force him to leave. Kenny abruptly leaves her, over her protests regarding Kincaid, and he tells Amanda that he will be back soon.
Kincaid is on the Seacouver docks, overseeing the unloading of cargo, when he feels another Immortal. It’s Duncan. He asks MacLeod if he has taken the boy’s head, yet, and when Duncan suggests he is saving it for a rainy day, Kincaid asks what stops him.
Kincaid: Is it the fact he won’t put up a fight or is he not noble enough for you?
Duncan: That occurred to me.
Kincaid: But a mutiny is?
Duncan protests that he gave the other Immortal his life, but Kincaid tells him that what he actually provided was one hundred years of starvation and thirst. Kincaid says that he starved to death, over and over again. Duncan says he left the other man there, because he gave him no choice. Kincaid draws his sword and tells him that he should have killed him on that island. They begin to duel. Someone hears them from a distance and asks what is going on. Both men hide their swords and Duncan leaes, giving the other man a warning to stay away.
Duncan senses Kenny as he leaves, but does not find him. Kenny finds Kincaid, though, and offers to help the other Immortal get MacLeod.
Kenny arrives back at Duncan’s loft apartment shortly after Duncan. The child Immortal tells Duncan that he ran into someone downstairs. MacLeod is skeptical, but then a moment later we see that he is with Dr. Anne. She apologizes to Duncan, but says she visited to check in on Kenny. She adds that Kenny insisted she come up to say hello.
Amanda coughs, so Duncan awkwardly introduces the two women. After some awkward silence, Amanda finally offers Anne some coffee. Duncan tries to pull Kenny aside to ask what he was doing at the docks, and Kenny pulls out a bouquet of flowers, telling him that they are for Amanda. After he gives them, Duncan pulls him into the elevator and insists that they talk. This leaves Anne and Amanda alone.
Downstairs in the dojo, Kenny tells Duncan that if he kills him, Amanda will kill Duncan in turn. Duncan says he doesn’t want Kenny’s head, just the truth. He points out that he knows Kenny was at the docks because he sees the tar on his shoes.
Duncan: Now I don’t know what you’re up to, but I’m through treating you like you’re a little kid. You come after me and I’ll kill you.
Kenny: You’re like the rest, just looking for an excuse.
Duncan insists that this is just fair warning. Kenny runs off.
Upstairs, the two women are sitting quietly, not knowing what to say to each other.
Anne: This is really awkward.
Amanda: Only for about the first 100 years or so.
Anne: [laughs] He seems really different around you.
Amanda awkwardly replies that she is sure Duncan really likes her, too, but then Anne says she was talking about Kenny. Amanda embraces the awkwardness and laughs. After a pause, Amanda tells Anne that Kenny is really special and that she gueses she is the closest thing he will ever have to a mother, adding also that Kenny is the closest thing she’ll ever have to getting a kid. Anne is pregnant, so Amanda asks how far along she is. When Anne tells her five months, Amanda asks awkwardly if she can feel the baby. Anne lets her, happily, and when Amanda asks what it is like, she answers that it has matched all the cliches. Amanda asks if she’s scared, and Anne replies that she’s terrified, noting that she will be a single mother with a demanding job. Amanda tells her that she’ll do a great job.
That night, Kenny calls Duncan’s apartment phone, and Amanda answers. He tells her that Kincaid is coming after him and that he’s scared. He asks her to tell Duncan that he’s sorry. Amanda cautions him to remain hidden until she arrives.
After they hang up the phone, Kincaid reprimands Kenny, saying he is not interested in the girl. Kenny informs him that MacLeod wll arrive with her.
Kenny: MacLeod’s yours. Just remember one thing – Amanda’s all mine.
Early the next morning, Amanda arrives on the docks, and unbeknownst to her, Duncan followed her. He warns her that Kenny is a con man, and that he will try to take her head if he can. She replies that whatever Kenny is, she helped to make him. They hear Kenny yelling for help from some distance away and she runs toward him, with Duncan following.
They split up and Duncan immediately finds Kincaid. The two begin to duel. Meanwhile, Amanda finds Kenny watchin their duel from up above. When MacLeod approaches a spot near a steam valve, during his duel, Kenny releases steam from above, burning MacLeod’s face – and hindering his ability to see.
Amanda looks at Kenny, as if for the first time, as he laughs. She announces out loud that he set Duncan up, causing Kenny to turn. Kenny immediately switches demeanor, and tells her that he had to do it, because Kincaid made him. Duncan, now blinded, begins losing his fight and receives a cut.
Kincaid: My only regret MacLeod is that you will only die once.
Kincaid does not take his head right away, telling the other Immortal that he wants him to know what it feels like to die slowly. This is an obvious mistake. MacLeod is much better than Kincaid and when he recovers a bit of his vision, he takes the other Immortal’s head quickly.
Amanda sees this from above and is relieved. While she is distracted, he handcuffs her to a railing. He kisses her, creepily, and goes downstairs, apparently to attack Duncan as he recovers from his Quickening. Kenny lifts a sword to strike Duncan but Amanda, who is now free and also downstairs, warns him that if he does it, he will be next. She tosses the handcuffs onto the ground.
Amanda: That’s kid stuff.
Kenny decides that his best course of action is to run away. Amanda tells Duncan that he was right about Kenny, and he replies that he’s sorry.
Later, in the loft, Amanda and Duncan are kissing when Anne arrives to return Duncan’s key. She tells Duncan that she and Amanda discovered that they have a lot in common. The two women then leave together.
This was an entertaining, yet very strange episode.
Kenny returns, probably for the last time, because he is already visibly older-looking than his prior appearance. He still gets the 80s horror movie music from the show, which I enjoy. There really is something horrifying about murderous children.
The episode kind of makes it seem like Kenny decided mid-stream to play Kincaid against Duncan, but it makes more sense to me that Kenny planned all of this out in advance. The events from the episode makes *much* more sense if Kenny intentionally targeted Anne at the hospital to bring Duncan into the open for Kincaid. He may have been planning to take the head of the winner of that fight, either way.
Speaking of Anne… it was abundantly clear in this episode, with her and Amanda on camera together, that the two women look strikingly similar to each other. Duncan apparently has a type. (Or he dated Anne as something like a physical stand-in for the feelings he has developed for Amanda, though maybe he didn’t quite realize that this is what he was doing.) Anne and Duncan never had great relationship chemistry beyond an obvious physical attraction. Who does Anne actually have great chemistry with? Amanda. I think what the writers were going for here was something that resembled character growth for Amanda (i.e. she is warm to Anne, and befriends her, rather than acting jealous.) Anne looks like Amanda, is pregnant, and Amanda has centuries old insecurities about not having children of her own. I think that’s what they were going for.. .but it almost felt like the episode was trying to hint at sexual tension between the pregnant Anne and Amanda – especially with the way the two left together at the end of the episode (with Duncan shirtless and sheepishly grinning.)
It’s a difficult plot to think through, though, from Anne’s perspective. She clearly went by MacLeod’s dojo, looking as good as she can look, with *something* in mind. When there, she runs into an Immortal who is near-doppelganger of herself. Amanda is over 1,000 years old. Does she try to compete with Amanda? No. She can’t and she knows it. Does Amanda’s existence shape the way Anne views her own relationship with Duncan? It has to, right? She now knows Duncan was *with* Amanda both before and after her own relationship with Duncan. She knows both of them will be around long after she is dead. Amanda has to make her feel kind of small, in that respect, and I guess that a doctor who looks like Anne is not used to that feeling. As a doctor, she also had to be intensely intrigued to meet an Immortal woman. Anne is also very cerebral, so it would have been out of character if she’d responded to all of this emotionally (in the way that passionate artist, Tessa, would have.)
Anyway, that dynamic was strange, though it also provided a lot to think about.
The episode is mostly centered on Amanda’s thoughts and desires concerning motherhood. She views Kenny as something close to a son. Seeing him again makes her wonder if she’d have been a good mother. Seeing Anne, pregnant, only increased those thoughts. The episode’s plot is designed to make Amanda more relatable, I think, and it largely works.
This was a much better Kenny episode than the previous one, largely because Kenny is less of the focus. The episode is about Amanda. Whatever hold he had on Amanda was lost after he cuffed her and then kissed her (very much like a man kissing a woman, not a son kissing his mother.) BTW, that was super creepy. The characters are hundreds of years old, but that was still an underage kid actor kissing an adult Elizabeth Gracen on the lips. Eww.
On the whole, Kenny – as horrible as he is – completely makes sense. He is simply surviving in the best way that he can, with the tools at his disposal. If his weapon is to use his innocent face against people, how can he possibly turn that weapon off when he is around non-threats? I don’t think he can. It’s not like the worst of their kind are going to care that he’s a kid. His weapon has to be used to take heads, as many as possible, and thereby strengthen himself for when he encounters the evil Immortals who won’t care that he looks ten years old. He has to be ruthless to survive.
In a jam-packed episode, I liked that Kincaid had such powerful motivation. He starved to death, over and over, on a deserted island, for a century. Would it have been better if Duncan had taken his head instead of marooning him there? Kincaid seems to think so. Of course, if Duncan had let the crew take the Immortal’s head, Duncan would have received his Quickening (as the Immortal standing nearby), in full view of the other sailors. That would have caused major problems for Duncan. He really did have no choice. That said… what a horrific fate. I get Kincaid’s fury.
No Dawson. No Richie. This show is really unique is that it really only has one full-time member of the cast. Everyone else – however they are billed – are recurring guest stars.
There is a lot of creepy in this episode, but on the whole it was thought-provoking in a number of areas. I cannot remember if this is the last we see of Dr. Anne. If so, then her farewell was an attempt by the writers to set Amanda up for some character development. Did her character deserve more than that? If so, then perhaps we’ll see Anne and her baby at some point and get some more of Duncan’s thoughts about fatherhood (those are always solid episodes.)