Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Highlander: The Series 2x14 - Unholy Alliance, Pt I

Time for one of the biggest showdowns in Highlander. Duncan Macleod versus Xavier St. Cloud in a BATTLE WITHOUT HONOR.

Paris. Gay Paree. The epicenter of Immortals. It's like their Hellmouth.

Xavier St. Cloud, the only bad guy to make appearances in almost every season. Oddly enough he (spoiler alert) actually gets more post-mortem development than pre-mortem development, with episodes devoted to him and sweet flashbacks later on.

Xavier (sans hand, thanks to Duncan in their last battle) has been going around on an immortal-killing spree. At least he lost his left hand. Ask Jamie Lannister how bad the alternative is.

Problem is, Xavier is utilizing human henchmen to help him get his kills in a very unsportsmanlike way.

This guy is all "you're breaking our rules!" after mocking Xavier's metal claw-hand. Well if you want Xavier to follow the rules maybe you shouldn't make fun of his handicap. I bet the claw gets mocked a lot. WELL NO LONGER!

I guess technically, the rule is an immortal can't shoot another immortal and finish him off.  But humans CAN shoot an immortal and then if another immortal happens along and finishes him off that's kosher.

Wait, who makes these rules, anyway? And who enforces them? Highlander: Endgame pretty much shows us that there's no actual penalty for breaking the rules. Meaning...uh...guys just don't break them because they're not bad enough? Guys like KURGAN and Xavier here? Really?

What is comes down to is that Endgame actually highlights the complete lack of explanation that the series in general gives for how things work. In that movie we have rule-breaking going unpunished, causing the whole "rules" thing to suddenly seem unimportant. So we question what the deal has been all this time and realize we don't have an explanation. Same goes for immortal power inheritance. Endgame has various immortals who are stronger than others because their total kills are higher, leading us to wonder how the hell power-inheritance actually works. In essence, Endgame highlights all the stuff that we didn't realize we know nothing about.

In any case, back to this episode. Xavier is a fine young cannibal.

Meanwhile, back at the Seacouver Bachelor Pad, Joe Dawson shows up. He's got The Info, as usual. He explains that an immortal has been more or less breaking The Rules and killing other immortals with help. One of the victims is an old friend of Duncan's. Our hero sits there somberly like he has heard this a hundred times before.

We get a flashback to the 17th century as Duncan is about to fight some haughty immortal knight. His friend wants to help him with the fight, but Duncan refuses help.

We don't see the fight, but this knocked-over knight in the present tells the story.

Xavier arrives at the bachelor pad.

"Sorry brother, the opera's on the OTHER side of town" says Charlie.

Duncan is all "Charlie get out of here"

Charlie: "!!!"





We get a flashback to their first battle, in Season 1. Duncan actually smiled back then! It was also one of the rare battles with electric sparks during the clashes of swords. Unfortunately, those were only in S1, and seemed to be completely random as to what battles they'd show up for. Duncan fighting some jobber in S1 might get sparks, but Duncan fighting KRONOS later on doesn't? Weird.

Xavier's human goons proceed to riddle the place with bullets, and our heroes barely manage to duck and cover in time. Just another day at the office if you're a friend of Duncan's, eh Charlie?

Xavier leaves, and our heroes try to pick up the pieces. Charlie is pissed, because Duncan won't tell him anything. For all he knows, those goons were sent by Smokey Bear. HIS REACH EXTENDS BEYOND THE FORESTS.

Duncan meets with Joe, who doesn't understand why Xavier is doing what he's doing. "I don't get it, Xavier never needed to cheat."

Yet he did anyway. First poison gas, now goons with machine guns.

Stuff happens, and Duncan gets accosted by a Sassy Female Cop. It's another dumb subplot, let's just move on quickly.

Time for Duncan and Charlie to go on a TWO MAN SPECIAL OPS MISSION~!

The Metal Gear Solid alert theme should start playing here.

They infiltrate a warehouse that is being used by Xavier and his goons. Actually, Duncan told Charlie to stay home, but Charlie just sorta showed up here. DAMMIT, HE WANTS TO BE PART OF THE TEAM!

He proceeds to knock Charlie out rather than let him get involved. This parallels the earlier flashback.

Xavier strikes without warning. No katana anymore, now he's got some kind of longsword. What, losing a hand also took away his balls? No one else in this show had the balls to use a katana besides Xavier. Go on, steal Duncan's katana thunder!

We see their shadows fight. This battle actually mirrors the one from S1. There's even some electricity in this battle; I think it might be the last time that happened.

Charlie wakes up and sees the fight. Uh oh.

Even with one hand, Xavier gives Duncan a hell of a fight and at one point gets the better of him. Yep, this guy definitely never needed to cheat.

Duncan escapes by leaping to a normal person's death. Geez.

Xavier is right there to try and finish him off. This could go either way, seriously.

But wait! HORTON is here to snipe Duncan with a rifle. The Unholy Alliance is revealed!

Is this the end for our hero? It might well be his closest brush with death yet.

Charlie runs in and gets shot as well! NO!

The distraction allows Duncan to fall down the open elevator to get away, barely.

Charlie survives, barely, and gets taken to the hospital as the bad guys flee.

Charlie wakes up and Duncan is there. He doesn't understand how Duncan is alive, considering they both got shot up.

Duncan does what comes natural and goes to church at this point. It's been a rough day.

Duncan thinks Joe set him up. Joe says Horton couldn't have been there, because Horton's dead.

In response, Duncan goes to Horton's grave and DESTROYS it. ...there's no one inside. The hell?

Horton appears. He's really good at faking his own death it seems.

Duncan can't do anything to him since they're on holy ground. Even though Horton's mortal? So Immortals just can't do anything to anyone on holy ground, huh? Horton says that he tried to bring Xavier here too, but "even Xavier won't kill on holy ground".

Seems that Horton promised to help Xavier become the last immortal in exchange for... I'm not sure what. Xavier being his protector? I don't know. Horton hates immortals (as well as hearing a hoo), so his alliance with one raises a number of questions.

Later, Joe reveals to Duncan that he has known all along about Horton's continued survival, but Horton is his brother-in-law. Well, that explains a few things.

That's right, this is a TWO-PARTER~! The first in the series, if I'm not mistaken.

1 comment:

  1. Xavier is so good at being so bad.

    I think the more mystical parts of the Immortal Rules are better left unexplained. If they had a real explanation with some thought put into it though, I'd be fine with that. Either way, these are things that work when YOU DON'T BREAK THE RULES. Break the rules and everything comes apart.

    If I'm going to say anything positive about Endgame, it's that it's not The Source.