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:
Morgan D’Estaing, a protege of Xavier St. Cloud, begins committing murders in Paris using techniques taught to him by his former teacher. This draws the attention of American CID agent Renee Delaney 9who we met previously in Season 2.) She and the local police recruit Duncan to help them with the new case.
Duncan already knows D’Estaing, via St. Cloud, and decides to help. He eventually tracks down the other Immortal and defeats him.
THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:
A young man and woman are in a jewelry store. They look at one o the diamonds and the man insults the quality of the cut to the store owner. Perceiving that the young man is wealthy, or knows diamonds, he brings out something much better. After discerning that this is the best diamond in the story, the man releases a gas that incapacitates everyone but himself before leaving with the diamond.
♫No man can be my equal.♫
We see Duncan following a French soldier, who has apparently dragged him from bed at 5 o’clock in the morning, telling him that it is for national security reasons. Duncan arrives in an office with a French man and an American woman. The woman is Agent Delaney from the American CID (who we last saw in Season 2’s episodes Unholy Alliance Parts 1 and 2.) Duncan tells her, Renee, that if she wanted to talk, she should have come by the barge, but she answers that this concerns French police business. The French man introduces himself as Inspector Dufay, and explains that Delaney is here to assist in a serious criminal matter. He tells Duncan that he hopes that he will be able to assist as well.
She explains to Duncan that there have been a series of robberies and murders in the Paris area that fit a pattern she has investigated before. Duncan asks if he is a suspect, and she answers that he is not at this point. He asks if they brought him in for moral support.
Delaney: In going through the files on the suspect, your name kept coming up, too. We were hoping you could tell us something about him.
Duncan: That depends on who you have in mind.
Delaney: His name is Xavier St. Cloud.
She explains that the criminal has a passion for rare jewelry, he kills to get it, and he uses gas to do the killing. Duncan tells her that he has nothing to tell them. When he asks if there is anything else, and they say no, he leaves. Delaney follows him out, chasing him down to say that Dufay is the one who dragged him down to the station. She insists that she tried to keep him out of it.
Delaney: Just give me a hand here, you know I wouldn’t screw you.
[Duncan stares at her]
Delaney: I — I didn’t mean — not that I — I do this around you.
Duncan tells her that it’s okay but adds that they are after the wrong guy because St. Cloud is dead. She asks what makes him so sure and he answers that he has a reliable source.
We see Duncan fight and behead St. Cloud.
In the present, Delaney apologizes for giving him the cold shoulder in the station and says she figured Duncan would not want the police to know about their prior relationship. Duncan says that they do not have much of a prior relationship as he remembers it.
We see Duncan’s first meeting with Delaney from Season 2, where she tries to trick him into getting close to her by feigning engine trouble in her car.
In the present again, she tells Duncan that whatever their past is, it is over now because she is engaged to a man named Paul in Washington who might run for Congress.
Duncan: Oh, I thought you took an oath to fight crime.
He congratulates her and leaves. Some time later, he senses an Immortal outside his barge. He sees who it is, but not his face, so he gives chase. He follows the man into a warehouse, however, just inside the door the Immortal has taken refuge on a landing while Duncan steps out into the room where there is no floor below. Before Duncan falls multiple stories to the ground below, he recognizes the jewelry thief from the intro – Morgan D’Estaing — and says it is nice to see him again.
Duncan finds stairs and climbs back up to the ground floor level. He finds the other Immortal and they begin to duel, however, after a few exchanges, Morgan drops a cannister on the floor that begins emitting gas. Duncan flees and manages to escape by swinging a wide distance away, hanging onto a chain, and then crashing through a window
Later, Duncan finds Renee and offers to help her with her case. She asks why and he says merely that he changed his mind and asks to see her files on Xavier St. Cloud. She gives them to him, and explains that St. Cloud comes and goes like a ghost.
Duncan: Until two years ago.
Delaney: That’s not in the files.
She tells Duncan that she thinks Xavier came out of retirement, but he says it’s not him. She then notes that the current crimes have the same targets and the same M.O.s, asking who else it could be. She says her gut says something is happening her, and then clarifies again to Duncan that if they work together on this that it will be strictly professional.
[We see a partial flashback of them kissing during their previous encounter.]
Duncan suggests that she pull a file for a man named Morgan D’Estaing.
We see D’Estaing at a fancy ball a coule hundred years earlier, and everyone gets quiet as he arrives after celebrating and toasting moments before. An older man named Phillipe tells D’Estaing that while they were childless, they adopted him to carry on their ancient family name. However, he says that with a naturally born son, Bernard, D’Estaing will no longer be the heir. D’Estaing is furious, makes a scene, and storms out.
That night, D’Estaing tries to kill Bernard in his bed. Phillipe, their father, hears the fight that ensues and intervenes, taking the knife from D’Estaing and then stabbing him with it. Sometime later, we see Xavier St. Cloud ride by where D’Estaing is buried and free him from his coffin. Xavier takes him on as a student, with D’Estaing stating all the while that his family would pay for what they did to him.
In the present, Duncan and Renee Delany are out at night. He comments on how she has changed, noting her haircut and nicer clothes . She is both flustered by him, and flattered. They go to dinner and she comments that she has not eaten on a boat since she was a child. A moment later, Dufay arrives and surprises Duncan with his presence. She defends giving the French policeman an invitation by noting that she works with him. Dufay tells them both that they are checkin gfor records on D’Estaing, but as he is talking, Duncan senses another Immortal.
D’Estaing boldly approaches their table, saying MacLeod’s name. Renee asks if Duncan is going to introduce them, but he declines and tells D’Estaing that they need to go outside to discuss things. As he goes, though, D’Estaing promises Renee that he will be seeing her again. Outside Duncan asks him who he is going after next, and D’Estaing comments that Xavier taught him well.
France – 1806
Phillipe and his wife are fleeing their estate, noting that the English will be there any minute. As they prepare to leave, they find D’Estaing with a dagger to Bernard’s throat. Phillipe asks aloud if he is seeing a ghost.
Phillippe: It cannot be you. You’re dead.
D’Estaing: Then this is all a nightmare that will end when you die.
Xavier then enters the room and tells the other Immortal to go gently, assuring him that he will have what is coming to him. St. Cloud states that the family, over many centuries, acquired land, titles, and wealth, however, he says the revolution took their titles, Napoleon took their land, and the English are about to take their wealth. He supposes that the family likely has jewels or precious metals packed with the possessions they are fleeing with. Phillipe says he has nothing, but St. Cloud threatens to torture his wife and daughter. Finally the older D’Estaing relents and tells them to search the cabinet.
Once the two Immortals have acquired the jewels, St. Cloud insists that the family drink with him. Unbeknownst to them, the wine is poisoned. As the two Immortals leave, the English troops arrive. Duncan is with them, instructing other soldiers to secure the ground. He senses Xvier and D’Estaing. Duncan asks why they are there.
Xavier: Perhaps you’ll think me sentimental but I couldn’t bear to think of the treasures of France in the hands of hte English.
Duncan: So you decided to liberate them.
Xavier introduces D’Estaing and says the treasures belong to him. As they are talking, a soldier tells Duncan that the family has been found, all dead. Xavier says that this is a tragedy and instructs D’Estaing to come along.
In the present, D’Estaing asks Duncan if he thought Xavier was back from the dead and if he feels the hate.
Duncan: You know it’s funny Morgan, there’s a difference between hate and fear. I hated Xavier. You’re just a cheap imitation.
D’Estaing: I’m not an imitation MacLeod, I’m an homage.
Inside the restaurant, the waiter serves Dufay with wine from the Chateau D’Estaing. As he drinks, he pours Delaney’s glass. Duncan suddenly realizes that D’Estaing is keeping him occupied outside, for a reason, and runs back inside shouting at them to not drink the wine and screaming for a doctor. Dufay dies but Delaney doesn’t drink her wine.
Later, she asks him how he knew about the wine, and he explains that Xavier did not like to kill face to face. She says that Duncan told her Xavier is dead, and he replies that Morgan D’Estaing worked for Xavier. She asks why Duncan did not say anythin about him when he showed hs face at the restaurant. Forensics brings a report that the wine was poisoned through the cork and that it was an expensive vintage that should not even still exist. Duncan suggests that they trace the wine, and she quips that it would be easier to trace a handgun in Los Angeles. He recognizes the D’Estaing chateau on the lable, though.
Duncan visits the D’Estaing estate and immediately senses the other Immortal. Duncan asks why he brought mortals into this situation and the other man sayd he did it because he could. He draws a sword and says that Xavier gave him his revenge and that he will now give Xavier his revenge in return. After Duncan draws a sword, the other man pushes a button and the lights in the room go off. Duncan carefully leaves to an outer room where light is entering through the windows, and as he gets there, the other man jumps out at him from behind the curtains. As they duel, we hear police sirens. D’Estaing flees but Renee arrives too soon and makes them both stay where they are, at gunpoint.
D’Estaing is arrested and she notes later that there is enough evidence present to connect him with the robberies. After he’s gone, Duncan notes that she followed him, and she asked in turn how he knew where to find the man. Duncan tells her it was intuition and she replies that is not good enough.
Later, when Delaney arrives to question D’Estraing, he appears to have killed himself.
She visits Duncan to tell him what happened and shares that somebody stole his body from the morgue.
Duncan: Well, maybe nobody stole him. Maybe he just got up and walked away.
He walks her home, and as they arrive, she says that they should not see each other any more now that the case is over. Just then, Duncan senses an Immortal and suggests that he should probably come up. She says taht she does not think it’s a good idea, and he tells her it’s just to talk. She does not put much resistance and they go up together.
In her room, they stand around awkwardly and Renee decides to get Duncan some coffee. They talk together about Paul and she says he is a normal guy with no secrets and no danger. Duncan tells her that he hopes they will be very happy together. She gets flustered and spulls coffee on her own shirt. As she is changin gfrom the other room, she asks him about the nature of their own relationship, and their prior history. While they are talking, he senses D’Estaing again. She confesses that she has a thing for him, while he searching for the other Immortal.
As Renee tells Duncan that she has spent the last few nights thinking that they should go to bed together, or else she will spend the rest of her life thinking about what she might have missed out on. She notes that this would not be fair to Paul. She finally emerges from her room wearing a flimsy night gown, only to realize that Duncan is now gone.
Duncan finds D’Estaing outside. The other man promises to take good care of Renee after he kills MacLeod. They duel on the roof, during a snowfall, and D’Estaing throws a dagger at Duncan. After he pulls it loose, he tells D’Estaing that this move will not do much good. The other man counters that there is a curare on the tip and that Duncan only has thirty seconds to live. Struggling, Duncan tells him that is fifteen more than he needs. Duncan feigns being worse than he really is, bating the other man to lean close to taunt him. At this moment, Duncan bursts up, slices him, and then beheads him. He collapses and dies just before he receives the Quickening.
Later, we see Renee visiting Duncan’s barge. She tells him that she is returning to Washington and that Paul is running for Congress, so they moved up the date of the wedding. She thanks Duncan for leaving the night before and not taking advantage of the situation. Duncan kisses her on the cheek and wishes her luck. She starts to leave, but tosses down her umbrella and kisses him vigorously – so vigorously that they fall over into the river below.
Our second episode of the season with “Double” in the title was okay. I am a big fan of Roland Gift’s Xavier St. Cloud, so any chance to bring him back in a flashback is appreciated. One benefit of a show like this is that dying doesn’t have to mean we don’t see you included in the story anymore. I just wish he had been given a bigger part within the story.
Marc Warren’s Morgan D’Estaing was not a great villain. I don’t know what the director and actor were going for here but it just did not work. Duncan did not help, either, because he did not sell the potential danger of this guy to the audience. If you’ve ever watched professional wrestling, this was a confrontation where the star did not put the jobber over, at all. The strange thing was though, that this is as close as we’ve seen Duncan come to dying in a long while.
The return of Stacey Travis’s Agent Delaney was actually pretty entertaining. She has obviously spent the last two years thinking about Duncan and imagining that their relatively chaste dalliance two years ago was a BIG DEAL and as we know as the audience, it was not. That was an unusual dynamic for this show and the two pulled it off really well. Travis had to be charming while also being kind of clueless. Adrian Paul had to find a balance between familiarity with attraction for her characater, and also giving the impression that their prior encounter wasn’t as big a deal to him as it was to her. They made it work.
I guess it’s impossible to be the guy that follows Duncan. MacLeod, even if you are successful and powerful.
My favorite part of this episode was the Quickening. Duncan was lying there dead, as he received a Quickening at night, in the snow, with the Eifel Tower in the background. The whole thing looked amazing.
All in all, this episode was okay. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. I assume we will start picking up toward the finale sometime soon as we are now getting close to the end of the season..