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:
An old Immortal lover of Duncan, Kristin, who turned out ot be psychotic in the 1600s, arrives in town and starts seeing Richie. Despite Duncan’s warnings, Richie refuses to see the danger in her until she nearly kills him.
Methos returns to help Duncan and warn him about Kristin. He knows Duncan is reluctant to kill women, so when MacLeod again refuses to do it, he steps in and takes Kristin’s head.
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:
Normandy – 1659
Duncan is riding along, muttering about Shakespeare, when he hears a gunshot nearby. He rides to find a pair of men trying to rob a coach. He senses an Immortal inside and decides to prevent the robbery. After sustaining an injury, he complains to the person inside about not helping him with the bandits. He is surprised to see a woman emerge from the coach, sword in hand. She kisses Duncan. He kisses her back.
♫Heeeere we are. Born to be Kings.♫
In the present, Duncan is still renovating his house. Richie is with him and asks about when the project will be finished. Duncan tells him that it will be done in three weeks. Richie commends Duncan for the progress and admits that when Duncan started, he thought MacLeod might be going through a mid-life crisis. Richie says that he hopes he rebuilds an old Harley or Corvette when he’s 400 years old, and asks Duncan what he thinks it will be like four hundred years from now. Duncan replies that he has no idea.
Richie: You know, whenever I get bummed out about not being able to have a regular life or kids or the fact that anytime, someone’s gonna come along and try to whack my head off, I start to think of all the things I might be able to see and do.
Duncan tells him that Immortality has an upside and suggests that four hundred years from now he might be racing starships instead of Harleys. Richie asks if he thinks things could change that much, and Duncan reminds him that when he was a kid, the fastest way to travel was by horse. Duncan starts to hang a door, but when Richie offers to help, Duncan refuses. Richie banters that Duncan does not think he can hang a door, and MacLeod does not disabuse him of that idea. Richie tells his friend that he will be better than him, at something, someday, and Duncan replies that he already is. When Richie asks what, Duncan just smiles but says nothing. They smirk at each other before Richie leaves to go have dinner with his former foster mother and her family.
Later we see Richie with a young woman as she goes to interview for a modeling position with someone named Kristin. Inside, Richie senses another Immortal, who turns out to be Kristin herself, the Immortal Duncan was kissing in the episode’s opening. Kristin likes Richie’s friend and agrees to sign her, all the while she also begins flirting with Richie. She tells Richie that she thinks the two of them have a lot ot explore, and he replies that they can do so whenever she wants.
At his house, Duncan gets a knock on the door and finds Methos, who informs him that Paris is now a lot quieter since he left for Seacouver. Duncan asks what he should call him, and Methos tells him that only he and Joe know he is Methos the Immortal. He says everyone else still knows him as Adam Pierson, mild-mannered Watcher. As Methos comments on Duncan’s home renovation project, MacLeod asks what brings a 5,000 year old man to his door. Methos replies that Kristin is in town. When Duncan tells him that it’s over, and history, Methos replies that from what he knows, Kristin is not the type that anyone forgets.
Kristin appears while Duncan is bathing. He sits up abruptly and asks where his clothes are, while she in turn describes Duncan as a work of art. She tells Duncan tha the servants took his clothes.
Duncan: To clear?
Kristin: To burn.
Duncan: To burn!? What am I to wear, I have no others!
Kristin shows him the new clothes she has acquired for him, deeming them more appropriate for a gentleman. Duncan asks her to hand them to him, but she refuses, and says that she is hoping he will get out of his bath to come get them.
Duncan: Have you no shame?
Kristin: [pauses] No. None whatsoever.
Duncan gets out of the bath.
[Note: And…. now I’ve seen Adrian Paul’s rear end.]
In his new and fancier clothes, Kristin asks him if he prefers the feel of silk and lace to the muddy rags he wore previously. Duncan, still naïve, defends his previous clothing but says he likes the new clothes as well. She says that he will be presentable with the proper tutoring, as she runs her hands over his body, and when he protests that he can read, she puts her hand beneath his skirt (?) and replies that there is more to life to learn than reading.
Back in the present, Methos tells Duncan that his friend Richie Ryan met Kristen yesterday morning. Methos suggests that the reason might be that Richie is not yet out of bed with her.
We cut to Richie in a very racy scene, with Kristin. They are finally broken apart by Kristin’s work obligations. She has to leave to prep for Maria’s photo shoot. Richie in turn realizes that he needs to pick Maria up (this is the name of his friend.) Kristin notes that Richie and Maria are good friends and Richie explains that they have known each other since they were children and that Maria’s mom was his foster mother.
Richie: Getting this job means an awful lot ot her.
Kristin: As well it should. I’m sure you’re going to find many ways to thank me.
Richie: Oh, well, I’m certainly gonna try.
They part company outside, and guess what? Fred Savage is still unhappy.
RIchie rides away on his motorcycle, just before Kristin gets into her chauffeured car. Before she leaves, Duncan arrives, approaches her car, and knocks on the window.
Normandy – 1660
Kristin is having Duncan taste test things to demonstrate his refinement. She asks him to differentiate between a Burgandy and a Claret and he tells her that he does not care. She preses him about being Duncan MacLeod, a Highland barbarian for the rest of his life.
Duncan: Duncan MacLeod is who I am, not some silken fop.
He tells her that the silk and the win has no meaning, and she asks if she has meaning. He says that is not what he meant and she states that she thought she brought him pleasure. He tells her that she has, but says the rest is not him and is not right for him. She says she’ll make it right.
Later, Kristin is wearing Highland garb. Duncan is clearly uncomfortable with the change. She confesses to Duncan that she thought she would remake him in her image, but he has remade her into his, instead. She wants Duncan to sit for a portrait. He agrees, but then he states he wants to go. She tells him that he will not leave her.
In the present, Kristin asks Duncan if he missed her, and he replies that she needs to leave Richie alone. She asks if he is jealous. Duncan replies that he was never jealous, but adds that Richie is his friend.
Kristin: And now he is my friend. He’s a big boy. He wants me and I want him.
Duncan warns her again to stay away from Richie. She asks him what he will do if she does not, and continues on, asking if he will kill her and if he kills all of his lovers when he is through with them. They both get into their cars and leave. We see that Methos was in the car with Duncan.
Methos: Round one to Kristin.
Later, as Duncan is practicing his sword in the dojo alone, Methos enters and asks if he can look at the katana. When Duncan hands it over, Methos places the blade against his neck.
Duncan: Not funny, Methos.
Methos: Not meant to be. Now not only are you naïve, now you are weaponless.
He asks Duncan how he has lived this long and asks again if Duncan would like a list of all the Immortals Kristin has killed. Duncan says that he has made his point, but Methos asks fiercely if he has. He points out that Duncan is stronger, and better with a sword, but if he continues letting Kristin walk away, one day she will take his head. When Methos relaxes the sword, Duncan pushes him on his back, walks past him, and grabs another sword.
Duncan: You know what she was to me.
Methos: Yes, and I know what she is. A killer. Treat her like one.
Normandy – 1660
Duncan is standing for his portrait painting. The painter is a beautiful young woman. Kristin comments that Duncan does not look happy enough, but the painter replies that perhaps Duncan has nothing to be happy about. Kristin disagrees and tells teh woman that Duncan has her. She instructs the painter to paint it as she wishes.
Kristin walks away and Duncan walks over to look at the progress. He comments that he does look sad, and the painter tells him that it’s his eyes, adding that Duncan has seen much more than Kristin thinks. She turns from Duncan and he asks her why they cannot speak about it. She replies to Duncan that he is not free while he is with a Lady. He tells her that Kristin does not own him.
Painter: Do you not love her?
Duncan: How could I when I love you?
That night, Duncan tries to break up with Kristin. She asks him about the painter, and he admits to it. He tells her that he does not love her and says the other relationship just happened. He asks if they cannot be friends.
Kristin: You rip my heart from my breast and you ask me to be your friend? You are mine, do you not understand? You were nothing when you came to me. Nothing!
She throws herself at Duncan and tells him that she will decide when he leaves, not some stupid little sow with a paint brush. Duncan throws her on the ground. She gets a sword and charges at him. Duncan draws his own sword and they duel briefly. After he disarms her, she tells him to take her head, repeatedly, until he replies that he cannot. When he goes, she slashes his portrait with her sword.
In the present, Duncan and Methos duel ferociously in the dojo. Duncan finally gets the upper hand and puts his blade on the other man’s neck. Methos jokes that he needs to practice more.
Methos: new guys come along, new moves.
Duncan: It’s called progress.
Just then Richie walks in and says he takes it that this is not for real. Methos introduces himself to Richie as Adam Pierson. He tells Richie that Duncan speaks very highly of him. Richie starts to tell Duncan about the new woman he met, and Duncan tells Richie her name before Richie shares it. He asks Duncan how he knows.
They talk and Duncan is almost apologetic, but says as Richie’s friend, he wants him to know where he stands. Richie tells Duncan that he is wrong about Kristin.
Richie: She’s beautiful, she’s smart, she’s generous.
Duncan: That’s how it starts. She’ll end up trying to kill you.
Richie wants to make his own decisions and his own mistakes. He leaves, annoyed at Duncan. Methos suggests after he goes that they should let Richie make his own mistakes.
Duncan: Even if it gets him killed?
[Note: Duncan now quite obviously sounds like Methos earlier.]
Richie shows up at the photoshoot. He tells her that he spoke with a mutual friend, Duncan, and she tells him that they were together long ago, but that Duncan was too young, too possessive, and htat it came to swords between then. She tells Richie that she sent Duncan away and asks if Duncan is jealous. Before Richie can answer, Duncan arrives. He pulls Richie aside.
Duncan: Richie, I’ve been wrong about a lot of things in my life, but this isn’t one of them, you have to believe me.
Richie: Mac, you are not my father.
Duncan: No, I’m your friend.
Richie: Then do me a favor, friend, and go away.
Duncan warns him again that Kristin is disturbed and that she’ll try to kill him. Richie does not care, so Duncan tells Richie he is a fool and Richie walks away.
Later, Methos is helping Duncan paint his new place. He tells Duncan that this must be what it’s like having kids. Duncan asks what else he could do, and Methos says he could have told Richie the rest of it.
As Kristin watches vindictively from a distance, Duncan finds the dead body of the painter, Louise. He goes to find Kristin.
Duncan: Louise is dead.
Kristin: Oh, I’m so sorry.
Duncan: What kind of devil are you!?
She pleads her innocence and asks how he could think her such a monster. He draws her sword to make her swear, but she drops to her knees and tells him to go ahead if he thinks she is capable of such a thing. Duncan walks away.
In the present, Methos chides him for letting her walk away. He says that if Kristin had been a man, she would have died 350 years ago.
Methos: A couple of medieval songwriters come up with the idea of chivalry one rainy day…
Duncan: This isn’t about chivalry.
Methos: …and you embrace it as a lifestyle. You live and die by a code of honor that was trendy when you were a kid.
Duncan: Would you rather I had no code of honor at all?
Methos: I would rather you survived.
Richie and Maria, his foster mom’s daughter, meet up. She tells him that she has been given a jeans modeling contract for half a million dollars, but the problem is that the jeans company will not work with Kristin. He reminds her that she signed an exclusive contract with Kristin and asks if she wants him to talk with Kristin for her. She asks if he would and he says yes.
When Richie asks Kristin about it, that night, Kristin tells Richie that she will have to turn it down, even though – as Richie points out – that she has no work for Maria at the moment. Richie asks her to give Maria a break, for him, as a favor.
Kristin: Absolutely not. Nobody leaves me.
Richie: You want her to blow the chance of a lifetime because your feelings are hurt?
Kristin: Richie, I am trying to run a business here. If you pay a little attention, maye you’ll learn something.
Richie becomes angry, and Kristin gets angry in turn. She tells him that she only signed Maria because of him, and that both she and Richie owe her. Richie seems to suddenly realize that Duncan’s warnings about her were accurate. She suggests that they go have dinner, but he says he is not hungry.
Kristin: Not even for me?
Richie: Kristin, please, some other time.
Kristin: You are sleeping with that little b****, aren’t you?
Richie: Don’t be stupid.
Kristin: You are not leaving me.
Richie: MacLeod was right about you.
She draws a sword and stabs Richie. Before she can take his head, he throws himself through a high rise window. Later, Richie meets with Duncan and Methos and tells them both that Kristin went nuts and tried to kill him. Methos mocks him for breaking up with her, and then turning his back on her. Duncan says he thinks Kristin will go after someone he cares about, so Richie leaves to go find Maria. Duncan and Methos leave to find Kristin.
Kristin is with Maria already, telling her how much she puts on the line when she signs a new girl. Maria apologetically says that she knows. Kristin says that if she had just stuck with her, she would have been famous. Kristin again says that nobody leaves her. Maria begins falling asleep, and apologizes, saying that she cannot keep her eyes open.
Kristin: There’s nothing to be sorry about. It’s the drugs.
Kristin says that young models with drug problems drown all the time. Duncan and Methos arrive as Kristin throws Maria in the swimming pool. They leave Kristin to look for Maria and find her in the pool. After CPR, she revives.
Duncan finds Kristin. After a very brief attempt to seduce Duncan, that fails, they duel. Duncan disarms her but again refuses to kill her. He tells her to stay away from him and his friends.
After Duncan walks away, Methos arrives. He tells her to pick up her sword. She asks who he is.
Methos: A man who was born long before the age of chivalry.
They duel and Methos takes her head.
Later, Duncan and Richie are hanging out. Richie shares that Maria is overseas with her jeans modeling contract. Richie asks him if he is always going to be right. Duncan says that he was 75 years old when he first met Kristin and he was still a kid. Methos arrives as Richie leaves. Duncan seems irritated and Methos says that she would have kept coming and that one day she might have one. Duncan agrees. He also admits he would not have killed Kristin given the chance again. Duncan then quotes Mencius.
“I dislike death. However, there are somethings I dislike more than death. Therefore there are times when I will not avoid danger.”
Methos knows the quote and he knew Mencius. He sys death before dishonor and MacLeod says that is true for some.
I have mixed feelings on this one. Methos episodes are usually good episodes. It’s nce to see Duncan in situations where he is not the wise elder statesman in a group of other Immortals. Amanda is five centuries older than Duncan but he occupies that role even with her. Not so with Methos. I enjoyed the philosophical debate between the two, throughout, about chivalry (honor) and survival. Methos seems to conclude at the end that Duncan is who he is.
I really liked Richie’s comment about how he deals with being Immortal at the open of the episode. I think that’s how you have to cope with stuff like that. Who knows.. maybe in four more centuries people really will be flying starships.
I did not like the fact that Richie completely ignored Duncan’s warnings about Kristin. If my good friend and life mentor of four years warned me earnestly about someone I met yesterday, I would listen. Richie’s reaction felt like a Season 1 or Season 2 type of reaction from him. It felt out or character at this point. He’s seen too much.
The episode was a lot racier than it needed to be. I had no desire to ever see Adrian Paul’s bottom. The love scene with Richie and Kristin was… extensive. I just didn’t think it added much to the story.
I have a really hard time believing that Kristin survived for as long as she did. She had to be piling up Immortal enemies left and right, for centuries, she’s not good with a sword, and most Immortals do not share Duncan’s aversion to killing women.
How are we in Season 4 of this show and just now learning that Richie has a budding supermodel foster care sister? Or a foster mom that he cares about enough to regularly check in on? Did she hear about him becoming a mildly famous motorcycle racer in Europe, and then dying? How will he explain to them that he’s not aging?
There are some very interesting inferences which can be made from this episode. Methos is keeping *very* close tabs on Duncan. He knows MacLeod’s history extensively. He knows when an old enemy that might pose a threat to him is nearby. He knew Kristin and Richie slept together before Richie had told anyone. He intervenes and kills Kristin. He also duels Duncan again and probably picked up more fighting technique from him, without doing anything to damage Duncan’s trust in him. He didn’t just kill Kristin… he did it without batting an eye.
You know, in hindsight, he might have been tracking Kristin as potential prey and viewed this entire situation as one where he could kill her (she’s very old except compared to himself) while building a greater rapport with friend/potential threat Duncan simultaneously. He told Duncan he had been out of the game for two centuries when they met previously. If that was true, then he needs to take some heads and power up. He also studied how Duncan reacted here, getting to know him better, and perhaps also learning his weaknesses emotionally, too. The consummate survivor might be doing survivor-y things.
A third option is that bored ancient Methos became a Duncan fan during his time as a Watcher. He might have even influenced Joe in that direction.
Perhaps all three are simultaneously true. The fun part of Peter Wingfield’s portrayal of the character is that you can believe all of the above. Methos is fascinating.
Overall… I guess this was okay, due to Methos returning, but there were a lot of weaknesses to this storyline. We’re approaching the midseason finale so I expect the larger story to be picking up soon.