Highlander (Season 4, Ep 83): The Immortal Cimoli

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.


Duncan meets Danny Cimoli, a brand new Immortal who has made his Immortality a part of his circus magician’s act. Duncan tells him about the Game, and tries to teach him, but Cimoli is unwilling to give up his newfound fame to learn the sword.

Eventually, another Immortal, Damon Case, comes along and wants to take Danny’s head. Duncan fights Case on Danny’s behalf, but is rewarded for that by Danny betraying him and trying to kill him in return. Duncan fends him off easily and turns him loose. Danny dies soon after, in Las Vegas, just after his career really takes off.


A man is sitting alone in a dark rom when a woman knocks and enters. The young man calls her “mama” and she asks him about his job interview. He tells her that he did not get it, adding that they wanted someone more experienced. She suggests that maybe they wanted someone who would show up for the interview. They then begin to argue, with the older woman saying that she knows he wants to be a magician, and do tricks, and the young man telling her that he cannot take a regular job because he has to be available for auditions.

She opens the window and starts to throw his magician things out the window. The young man, Danny, announces that he is leaving and he storms out of the room. She shouts at him that grown men do not play with toys and proceeds to throw some of his toys out of the window as well. Outside, Danny is gathering up his things – which include a hat, masks, and an assortment of other magician props. Danny’s mother calls for him from the window to come back inside. He ignores her and distractedly continues picking up his things – until a large truck flies down the road and hit him, with his mother watching helplessly from the window.

♫I am Immortal. I have inside me blood of kings.♫

With a crowd gathered around him, and someone commenting that he is not breathing, Danny revives. He mother hugs him and weeps that it is a miracle.

Duncan and Amanda visit a carnival in Paris. Amanda is exhilarated by all of it, while Duncan comments on the smell of the animals’ wet fur. He then talks about the low pay, the long hours, and the truck-dwelling of carnie-life, like someone who apparently lived at a carnival worker at some point in his long past.

Amanda: You know you loved every minute of it. Come on, MacLeod, loosen up, it’s the circus. Be a kid again.

Amanda meets a man in a tall blue hat – who appears to be the circus master. She greets him, as though she hs worked for him, and vice versa. He asks Amanda where she is working these days and tells Duncan confidentially that she was the best high wire act he ever saw. Amanda tells the man, Marco, that she is retired, but Marco tells Duncan that there is something he knows she cannot resist.

Duncan: Money?
Marco: Moscow.

Amanda’s eyes light up when he begins selling her on playing Moscow, and she in turn begins trying to sell Duncan on the idea.

Amanda: Can you imagine?
Duncan: Yeah! Bad food, bad weather, nice mafia.

Amanda sighs and agrees with Duncan, telling Marco that she is just here to say hi, not to work, so he suggests that they go check out his newest headliner act – The Immortal Cimoli. Marco admits that even he does not know how the performer does his tricks. The two leave and sit down to watch a show. Duncan comments that one of the gags, with a clown was old when they played Oklahoma in ’26. A little while later, Marco introduces an act, who he says an survive gunfire. He demonstrates by firing a gun at a piece of glass. Then he introduces the Immortal (Danny) Cimoli.

Cimoli comes onto the stages and senses Duncan and Amanda, though he appears not to have experienced this feeling before. Amanda cannot believe an Immortal would do what he is about to do, publicly. But then she and Duncan watch him be shot on stage, die, and then revive. As the crowd roars, they look concerned and Duncan says that they should probably have a talk with Mr. Cimoli.

After the show, as Danny is signing autographs, Duncan and Amanda approach him. Danny tries to brush them off, but Duncan starts telling him about what he is, explaining the headaches, and accurately predicting that he must have died somewhat recently.

Danny: How did you know?
Duncan: Because it happened to me. Four hundred years ago.

A little while later, Danny is excited to understand that he is Immortal, and he starts suggesting that his act needs to be bigger and more spectacular. At this point, Duncan tells him that sooner or later, another Immortal will find him and try to kill him.

Danny: But I can’t die!
Duncan: Well, you can – if they cut off your head.

Danny is incredulous, thinking that this is a gag, but Duncan and Amanda convince him otherwise. Duncan warns him that he is in the game now and says he needs to learn how to fight. Just then, Danny’s mother enters his trailer and hugs him, telling him how wonderful he was.

Some time later, we see Duncan attempting to train Danny with a sword. Amanda arrives and thinks Duncan is pushing him too hard. She tells Duncan that it’s Danny’s life and asks why he cares so much.


England – 1795

Duncan is sparing with someone named Jean-Philippe. Duncan disarms him, but instead of continuing their lesson, the other man sets down his sword, saying that the ladies await. Duncan tells him that they can live without him, but Jean-Philippe replies that he cannot live without them. He reminds Duncan that he was the finest swordsman in Normandy when they met, causing Duncan to interject that he was only the finest mortal swordsman. Jean-Philippe answers he is now thirty times better now than then. They argue some more about whether he is ready for what comes his way, but they part company.

Later, while Jean-Philippe is at a tavern, flirting with several women at once, he ends up in an argument with another male patron, which then turns into a sword duel. While Philippe is fighting with the mortal patron, an Immortal enters the tavern. He cuts the other man, who begs mercy, and is granted mercy. Jean-Philippe asks the bartender to give the other man a drink. As that is happening, he begins speaking with the Immortal, who introduces himself as Damon Case. Case is angry with Jean-Philippe and tells him that the act of combat is a holy duty for their kind. The young Immortal tells Case that he is ready to fight him, but the other man says it will not be today. Arrogantly, Jean-Philippe suggests that when Case is ready, he will be also.

In the present, Danny is at the circus, preparing his act, when he senses an Immortal. Outside, Damon Case is there waiting on him. Danny tells him that he already has a teacher, but Case answers that he is not a teacher, and sneers that Cimoli has chosen to be very public about his status. Danny tells him that he needs to go get ready for a show.

Case: I want you to know Danny I gain no pleasure from what must be done.
Danny: What are you talking about?
Case: You must be very new. But no matter. I’ve come to take your head.
Danny: I’m still using it right now.
Case: I’ll make it quick. You won’t suffer.

Danny calls out to a couple other circus workers, causing Case to put his sword away. He instructs Danny as to where they will meet at dawn. Danny tells him that this is insane and that he doesn’t even known a sword. Case tells him that he better get one before leaving.

Duncan is lying awake while in bed with Amanda. She asks what he is thinking about, and he tells her “Danny.”

Amanda: I must be losing my touch.
Duncan: No, you’re not losing your touch.
[kisses her]
Duncan: What are you thinking about?
Amanda: Moscow.
Duncan: I must be losing my touch.

She tells him to thinking about it, touting the great circus audiences in the city. He says that he’ll se her when she gets back. She suggests he needs more coaxing, but then they both sense an Immortal.

Danny calls out from the door and Duncan tells him it’s open. He barges in, frantic, telling them about his encounter with Case. Finally he notices they are wearing nothing but a sheet.

Danny: Sorry.
Amanda: It’s alright Danny. You’re all we talk about anyway, you might as well be here in person.

Duncan tells him that Case is serious.


Sometime after their first encounter, Jean-Pierre meets Case again in a pub. He approaches the other man, who informs him that he has prayed, and is now prepared to fight him. Jean-Pierre jokes that a man should spend his last hours seeking pleasure, but Case answers that he takes no pleasure from what must be done. They leave together.

Duncan arrives shortly after and finds the two Immortals gone. He asks about Jean-Philippe and is told by one of the women that he left with a quiet man who had said their fight is not one for prying eyes. Duncan goes outside and senses a Quickening. He finds the young Immortal’s body shortly thereafter and leads his horse back to the village. He finds Case inside a Church, praying. Duncan states that he killed Jean-Phillipe.

Case: He is Immortal, as we are.
Duncan: That is no reason.
Case: That is the only reason.

Case explains that he does not enjoy combat, but adds that it is what must be done and what God has ordained for their kind.

Duncan: Then God has ordained that you will fight me.
Case: Not yet. I must give thanks to God for my survival and pray for the soul of my foe. Return in the morning. I will fight you then if you still desire it.

Case asks Duncan to join him in prayer for the soul of his friend, but Duncan storms out and tells him to pray for his own soul.

In the present, Amanda notes that Duncan never went back. MacLeod says that Case was not evil. He describes Case as decent and reverent, just playing the Game by the rules as he understood them. Danny speaks up and says he does not care about the game. He says he will run, take his mom to Sicily, and wait for Case to give up. Duncan just tells him that itwill be someone else, then.

Amanda: Or you could become a monk and live in a monastery for the rest of eternity.

Duncan tells Danny to go home for tonight, at least, and implies he will meet Case instead. Danny says that Duncan does not have to do this, but Duncan tells him that nothing is going to happen. Danny promises to do whatever Duncan says, regarding traiing, from now on. After Danny goes, Amanda angrily asks Duncan what he is up to and Duncan says he cannot face Case yet, and adds that he can barely even pick up a sword. She tells him that is not his problem.

Duncan: I don’t want to fight Case, I just want to talk to him.
Amanda: Well, what if he doesn’t want to talk?

Duncan goes to the meeting place and finds Case. He makes an appeal to the other man, asking if he killed every life and innocent he came across when he was fighting during the Crusades. Case replies that the mercy Duncan is calling for has no place among their own kind.

Case: Besides, what is he to you?
Duncan: He is defenseless. Innocent. That’s enough.
Case: Not in our quest.

Duncan tells him that he does not want to fight him, but adds that he will if he must. Case says that Duncan can die where he stands, in that case. Before they can duel, the police arrive. Case asks if Duncan called them, but MacLeod who seems surprised, too, says that someone did. Case suggests that they can fight another time then and soon.

Sometime later, Duncan finds out that Danny is the one who called the police. Danny tells him that he did not want him to die for him.

Duncan: Our fight is outside the law. You protect yourself with a sword.

Danny tells Duncan that he is not afraid of dying, but he says he does not want to kill anyone. Duncan replies that he has no choice. He suggests that Danny will need to change his name and his identity, adding that he knows a swordmaster in Okinawa who might take him on as a student. Danny protests and says he cannot go to Japan. He tells Duncan that his agent just booked him a show in Las Vegas and that he will be bigger than David Copperfield.

Duncan: Oh yeah, Danny Cimoli, the headless magician.

Danny asks him what he is supposed to do about his mother. Duncan has no good answers, but admits that he knows this will be hard. That night, though, his mother throws him a surprise party for booking the Las Vegas gig. She says that his agent called and told her. He is very distressed by the party, and she notices, asking if she did anything wrong. He tells her no, but adds that he needs to go out for a little while.

Danny goes immediately to Duncan’s barge where he meets with Amanda. He tells her that he cannot run out on his mother. She advises him that if he continues with the status quo, he is advertising himself to Immortals to get killed. He tells her that it might be worth it.

She tells Duncan about this later and they both feel for him. Duncan suggests that he has not been to Las Vegas in a while, but Amanda immediately rebukes the idea and tells Duncan that he cannot fight every Immortal that comes Danny’s way.

Amanda: Life isnt’ fair. It’ snot my job or your job ot make it fair.
Duncan: I just love it when you’re angry.

Duncan meets with Case again. He asks him to leave Danny alone, but th eother man refuses. They duel. Duncan disarms him and asks him again to leave the boy alone and walk away. Case again refuses, so Duncan tells him that he leaves him no choice. He takes Case’s head.

Sometime later, Duncan is with Amanda and she asks him when he will snap out of it. He says there is nothing to snap out of, so she points out he has been reading the same page iin his book for thirty minutes. She asks if it’s Case, and he tells her that he thinks he made the wrong decision. He tells her that Case was not his enemy. She hugs him and says it must be difficult having a conscience.

Later, the two of them visit the circus again. Amanda goes to talk about Moscow with Marco, while Duncan visits Danny. As Duncan talks to Danny, the young IMmortal tells Duncan about his idea for a new trick. As he does this, he demonstrates by putting handcuffs on MacLeod. When Duncan asks him what comes next, Danny pulls out a sword.

Danny: Now nothing. The trick’s over. I’m sorry, MacLeod, I’m sorry it had to be you.

He tells Duncan that he cannot run, hide, or desert his mother, but he says he could face everything, including a little fame, if he had the strength of Duncan MacLeod.

Duncan: [disgusted] You’d kill me for that?
[Danny swings at Duncan who immediately trips and disarms him]
Duncan: Houdini was a friend of mine and you, Danny, are no Houdini.

Danny asks him to make it quick, but Duncan tells him to stand up and that he came to tell him that Case is dead. Danny cannot believe it and shouts that he alost killed Duncan, asking why the other man did not say something before. Duncan answers that he needed to know. He tells him to go to Vegas. He tells Danny to get his fifteen minutes of fame, adding that he hopes it is worth it. Danny shouts back to Duncan, as he is leaving, that he will hear about him.

Duncan runs into Amanda and she tells him that she is going to Moscow. When he says that he will miss her, she says that he won’t.

Sometime later, in Las Veas, we see Danny on the phone with his mother as he exits his car in the parking garage. He senses an Immortal and gets off the phone. We hear a blad slash sound and see a quick lighting burst.

In Moscow, Amanda and Duncan perform a knife throwing act. He mutters that he has not done this in decades, but she assures him that she will heal. As she spins on a giant wheel, Duncan throws, and the crowd gasps before applauding.


The fight with Case was pretty anticlimactic considering how old Case was. However, it was a strange but interesting Quickening, with the smoke pattern rising up from the ground and the Medieval choir music in the background.

So what happens when you’re an Immortal and you take on a student who is vain, wimpy, and just generally terrible? We find out here with Danny Cimoli. He contrasted with Duncan’s flashback student who was vain and over-confident. I suspect this is intended to let us know that Richie Ryan types are rare. Cimoli was pretty sympathetic for much of his story, though. He says that he just cannot bring himself to embrace the idea of killing someone else. That’s relatable. We learn though that he can embrace the idea. What he really cannot give up is the fame.

Case is an interesting villain. His outlook on Immortality was pretty different than anyone else we’ve met on the show so far. He views their combat in religious terms and is not obviously evil. He coped with what he is by framing what they do in that manner. He does not hurt mortals and was angry that Jean-Pierre would fight a mortal at all. However, his lack of compassion for a brand new Immortal makes him difficult to sympathize with. Maybe I’d feel differently if I hadn’t spent so much time in this university with the two MacLeods. Case certainly seems to have a strict moral code. Is the Immortal universe better or worse off with guys like Case no longer out there? It’s probably worse off. Case is much better than the usual Psycho Immortal of the Week we usually run into. It might have been better to leave him out there, reducing the number of genuine baddies.

So… I completely understand why Duncan is so uneasy after killing him. I’m sure he felt even worse about it after Danny tried to kill him. Duncan cannot really even justify killing Case on Jean-Philippe’s behalf, since 1) J-P was much better trained than Danny and far from defenseless, and 2) J-P instigated the fight with Case.

On the plus side, taking the head of a guy who has been around since the Crusades is probably another relatively big power boost for Duncan. He was already extremely formidable, but now even more so.

Overall, I liked this episode. Crispin Bonham-Carter (distant cousin of Helena) did a great job as Danny Cimoli. There were a bunch of funny lines, from Amanda in particular. I liked the moral wrestling that Duncan had to do concerning Case. I liked that they let us know Danny didn’t make it long after making it big. I liked the scene in Moscow, too. It would be fun if this show had spent some more time in other large old architecturally interesting cities.