Sunday, September 29, 2013

Highlander: The Series 1x10 - Revenge is Sweet

Tonight, the world sweats and trembles with suspense, awaiting a milestone in television.

What? Breaking Bad? Naw, I'm talking about the latest Highlander post.

Is it weird that every brightly-lit "Happy New Year" sign now reminds me of Bioshock?

This flashback transpires a few years before the show. 1989, so three years by my count. We begin with Duncan locking horns with Reinhart, a particularly nefarious immortal.

Sparks fly as their swords clash. I really like how early episodes have energy sparking during the swordfights; almost no later episodes have that and it gives things a mystical feel.

Pretty cool to have an episode just start with a pitched battle like this.

Reinhart nearly defeats Duncan, but as is tradition when he's about to lose, Duncan knocks him into a river. He's pretty upset that he nearly died, obviously.

Reinhart died a couple years later, so they never got to have a decisive rematch. Duncan did make off with Reinhart's saber from this fight, at least.

After all of that, here's the title. Whoa.

We see a sexy lady walking down the street while being accosted by a gang of hooligans. What is this, Detroit?

She backhands one of them and they scamper off. Riiiight.

Her name is Rebecca, and after she gets to Duncan's shop she goes around handling his swords.

Rebecca: "I can handle myself around... dangerous objects."

Duncan: "I'm sure you can."

Man... don't get me wrong, this is a great show. However, after watching most of Breaking Bad over the past month, this show is incredibly one-dimensional in comparison. Then again, so are most other shows.

Richie in a suit! THE BOY HAS BECOME A MAN! ...or a used car salesman. Yikes.

Oh, right, the plot. Rebecca challenges Duncan to a duel before she'll buy any swords from him. He, not at all wary of potential traps, obliges. Probably because she's a sexy lady, and even though he's taken, he enjoys the sexy ladies.

She has very firm haunches.

They fight, and she tries to kill him. Kind of. I'm not sure if she hates him or wants to do him.

...she hates him. But why?

Flashback time! Here's Reinhart, the deceased villain of the intro. He was once a dashing rogue.

Macleod intervenes and saves some noble-folk from being railroaded by the nefarious highwayman. And thus, a rocky acquaintance began. least, I assume so. This show develops entire histories of characters within a couple of scenes, and most of them don't make it out of an episode. Gustavo Fring, they are not.

Rebecca (with highly biteable shoulder) uses Reinhart's signature attack on Duncan. And she's only interested in buying Reinhart's sword from him. Could it be?

...that's right. Reinhart got a sex change operation.

...well, no, because she's mortal. In any case, later a guy dies right outside of Duncan's shop. He was killed with a sword, and he was one of the gentlemen sassing Rebecca at the beginning. Well, she turned full evil quick. No shades of gray on this show!

Duncan drives all the way back to her place to ask if she killed that guy, and- NIPPLES!

Our hero is ticked off, because it would appear that she tried to set him up in some way by leaving a dead-by-sword corpse outside of a sword merchant's shop.

Meanwhile, back at the subplot!

Richie sells a used car to his cute lady-friend, the one I liked before.

Someone tags one of Tessa's sculptures with graffiti. That damn Rebecca is everywhere!

Finally, the truth comes out. She used to be Reinhart's fiance, thinks Duncan murdered him, and now she wants Duncan's head., not like that. Well, maybe a little bit.

Duncan refuses to fight her, and proceeds to drive the streets Miami Vice style.

In perhaps the only scene from this episode that I actively remembered years later, Rebecca mails a dress to Tessa. She puts it on, only to discover that it's laced with ACID.

Obviously it burns like hell, and she has to jump in the shower.

And on that note! Back at the subplot, it turns out that Richie's cute friend bought a lemon. The dealer is all "hawr, such is life" while likely counting money in his mind, so Richie quits. Well, that didn't last long.

Duncan explains to her that he didn't kill Reinhart. She doesn't believe him, of course.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch! ...My God! Richie has been taken hostage... by REINHART. Seems he faked his death.

While it'd be easy for an immortal to fake their death to unsuspecting mortals, it must be really hard for an immortal to fake their death to another immortal. No electricity = no sale. Say you're being stalked by someone you have no chance against, and want to feign death to get out of it. Well, you're SOL unless you have some sacrificial other immortal to die in your place while somehow not leaving a body. Seems like more trouble than it's worth.

Fast forward a bit. Duncan decides the only way to draw out Reinhart is to "kill" Rebecca, so he makes it look like that's about to happen.

The sly Reinhart appears when Rebecca is in dire straits. He then proceeds to blurt out everything like some sort of Bond villain.

An infuriated Rebecca goes on the attack. She's been living a lie!

Reinhart is all "How fickle women ahh!" in a thick accent. This guy has some promise as a particularly nefarious villain... if only anything lasted longer than an episode.

Time for him to battle Duncan mano-a-mano! you think you could lose the scarf first?

The battle ensues, but it doesn't stay inside for long as they both crash through a second story window.

They battle on the lawn, surrounded by autumn leaves. Man, this show does some great fight backdrops.

They continue the fight all the way around the house grounds. This is almost without a doubt the best fight in the first half of season 1. Only real competition is Caleb from Mountain Men.


What follows is a quickening that shatters every flower pot in the area.

Probably the biggest quickening on the show so far. Wow.

The episode ends with Rebecca, angry at being used, wishing she had met Macleod first instead of Reinhart. Well, that's nice.

Episode ends with Duncan walking away by himself, as usual.

Interesting guy here.

This episode... is weird. It's like a really good later season episode trapped in a season 1 episode's body. Everything happens far too fast and there's a lot of potential that just sorta goes to waste. It shows flashes of what later episodes would bring to the table, however. The battle at the end, in particular, is outstanding.

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