Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Highlander: The Series 2x19 - Legacy

This episode is really good. Really really good. Outstanding. One of those episodes that I'd recommend to someone who has never watched the show before, to see what the big deal is.

This extremely Irish woman is walking through some ruins(?) with a very Sean Connery esque fellow. Going by series conventions, you might expect that this guy is immortal and that's his mortal wife, but that would be incorrect. SHE is the immortal and he's her mortal husband.

Unfortunately, their walk is cut short by... a black gentleman! Quick, honey! Give him your wallet! We don't want any trouble!

Actually, this guy is Luther, a dastardly immortal who has achieved a high level of fame among series fans. Not sure why, as he really isn't that interesting compared to other major immortals in this season like Xavier and Hyde.

Instead of getting out of the way, the hippie liberal husband is all "lets work this out like civilized adults".

Luther jumps down and demands that Rebecca surrender in exchange for the life of the hippie liberal, who still thinks they can work this out.

Yep, this is Rebecca, the famed teacher of Amanda. She immediately throws down her weapon in response. These people are so dumb. How has she lasted for 1200 years?

"I LOVE BLACKS! I VOTED FOR OBAMA!" screams Rebecca's hippie liberal husband.

...Luther offs him anyway.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Duncan is putting up with Maurice.

A visitor shows up at the barge, and... the hell? Is it ever actually sunny on this show? There's like no direct sunlight in any of these episodes. Spike and Angel could walk around with impunity on this show. Or for readers born after 1992... Bill Compton and Eric Northman could walk around with impunity on this show.

I'm old.

The visitor in question is... Amanda! We haven't seen her for a whole season. Come to think of it, season 2 has been lacking on supporting cast for the most part.

Maurice takes off. It seems like his only purpose on this show is to hang out with Duncan until someone else shows up. He's about as vital a character as Oolong.

Amanda brings news of Rebecca's demise. She's sad because Rebecca was her teacher, and Duncan liked her too. Wait, Rebecca DIED? So the aging hippie liberal gave up his life for nothing? Man, Luther really took those two to school.

We get a flashback to the "Bring Out Yer Dead" times of the Dark Ages.

Rebecca is...quite pretty.

Amanda, not so much. Once upon a time she was a poor street urchin, and Rebecca taught her how to be something more. Here's Amanda waking up from her first death.

Amanda starts fooling with Rebecca's books and stuff. "Those are words" says Rebecca. Amanda mumbles something about schools being for elitist liberals.

Damn right. You won't force MY kids to get a free education, OBAMA.

Rebecca offers Amanda a hand of friendship. Presumably after this flashback ended, Rebecca taught Amanda how to luxuriously bathe like a lady. Yep, they were both all naked and soapy.

Back in the present, our heroes go to Rebecca's grave.

...and George Lucas here is still alive? I guess Luther spared him. If I were an evil immortal, I'd never spare mortals who have a grudge against me. Much like Endgame characters, they aren't bound by The Rules. There's nothing stopping this guy from shooting Luther and taking his head.

Another flashback, as we find the boorish and crude Young Duncan milling about for food like a barn animal.

This is several hundred years (and several thousand hot, soapy baths) after the previous flashback, and these two are now musketeers. This is Duncan's first meeting with Amanda, who quickly assesses him as not being a threat.

Duncan is all "hello there, tee hee"

Amanda says she can think of some much better uses for his head (.....nice) and then she grabs his sack.

...of coins!

Duncan turns out to not be as dumb as they think, and catches up a minute later to get his sack of doubloons back.

And then they all lived happily ever after. Joke-but-not-really about three-ways here.

Later, our heroes go to a jewelry auction. Amanda wants to steal stuff, and Duncan isn't having it.

But wait! It turns out that Rebecca was in possession of a crystal that Luther wanted. It's part of a larger crystal that, when assembled, grants the wielder infinite power. Or something. Luther is trying to get all of them so he can become God-King or whatever. That or wish Yamcha back to life, I'm sure he died this week.

Our heroes talk to Mustadio, who recently had one of the crystals in his possession.

They sense Luther and chase him off, but meanwhile his goon squad Beats Mustadio Up.

Those bastards! Why?

I noticed something in this episode. Duncan sensed Luther before Amanda did, and that seemed to be the case frequently. He usually sensed foes approaching before Richie did, too. However, Methos and Duncan generally had the sense hit them at the same time. Wonder if that means anything or if it's just a quirk of the show.

Maurice talks to Amanda and says he thinks she loves Duncan. Maurice is astute!

My God, is there ever any sunlight in this show? Ever?

It looks like Duncan and Amanda had Reunion Sex. He brings her breakfast in bed, because By Jove he knows how it's done.

...wait, it turns out it's Maurice. Duncan asked him to fix her breakfast while he ran off. Outsourcing jobs to the French, is he?

Paris looks a lot like Boston in some areas. The show could have been shot in some parts of the Aquarium/Waterfront district and we'd be none the wiser.

Here's a particularly Paris-esque part of Boston.

Here's the waterfront. Actually, maybe this wouldn't work for the show, since there's actual sunlight.

They also have places to park a barge in Boston.

Somewhere in this harbor, a bunch of John Cena merchandise is floating around. Thanks a lot, The Rock.

But I digress. Back to the show, Duncan goes to Luther's evil lair. It's the very definition of "evil lair".

Luther is expecting Amanda, and he's surprised to see that isn't the case. Meanwhile, Duncan is surprised to see that Luther lives in an RPG dungeon.

Luther escapes via smoke bomb, and Duncan returns to Amanda. Who is having neck pains. Presumably from, uh, whatever they were doing last night.

After an argument between Duncan and Amanda about how to deal with Luther, we get a flashback to Amanda brawling with Rebecca.

The castle in the background is awesome. I wonder if this is intended to be the same castle as the one we saw in ruins at the beginning of the episode?

Rebecca, it turns out, gave Amanda one of the crystals. She still has it, and it's the only one Luther doesn't have. Seems Rebecca gave one to each of her students to keep them safe from evil, in case they really did have the power that legend foretold.

After a dance with Duncan, Amanda sets out to find Luther. She meets with his Goon Squad, and says she's got the last crystal. Which she does. Which Luther already knew, and this is one way to get a meeting with him.

The Goon Squad just doesn't know when to leave stuff alone, and proceeds to go ambush Duncan. He, of course, obliterates them in a flurry of Judo Throws into the Seine.

Duncan is such a nice guy that he asks the goon "wait, can you swim?" after throwing him in, just before the guy pops up and swims away. I'm often tough on Duncan, but moments like that remind me that he's an okay dude.

Amanda faces off with Luther at the ruins from the beginning. She brought him what he wants, so he'll fight.

The battle is joined!

It's obvious that Luther is a lot stronger than she is, and...wow look at that rad scenery.

When your opponent is -laughing at you- mid-fight, it doesn't bode well.

But wait! Duncan is here, and he isn't impressed. Seems HE has the crystal.

Luther: "Give me the crystal and she lives!"
Amanda: "Don't do it!"
Duncan: "I wasn't about to."
Amanda: "...you weren't?"

The battle is joined! And this isn't just any old immortal fight. Luther is a total bad-ass. ...so is Duncan.

When both guys finally lose the overcoats, you know things have gotten serious.

While the fight is very competitive, Luther never really gets the advantage over Duncan the way the greatest villains of the show tend to do.

Luther finally makes a mistake and Duncan catches him with a vicious swipe, as BATTLE ATOP THE HAY '95 rolls on.

Duncan looks legitimately pissed in the later stages of the fight, and beheads Luther without a second thought. Still don't know exactly what Duncan's relationship to Rebecca was.

Day turns to night as we get a fairly massive quickening out of the deal. Wonder what the locals thought was going on.

Duncan and Amanda walk and argue.

...though it ends with them hugging. She'll be back later. These two never fight for long. They're best friends, though that expression oversimplifies them a bit.

One thing I'd like to mention is that this particular episode had a REALLY GOOD BGM that popped up a couple times. Sounds like something out of Miami Vice. In any case, great episode.

Since Amanda is back for this episode, it's worth noting that I just finished watching Highlander: The Raven. It has Amanda as the main character for 22 episodes of awfulness. It's the sort-of seventh season of this universe, though it barely counts. Amanda loses all of the gorgeousness that she has here, sporting a super-short blonde haircut for the whole show. Her battle with Luther here was better than any fight Amanda has in the entirety of Highlander: The Raven. Which was, you know, her show. All of her battles in that show are either fought for her by men or fought by her with a man's assistance. It takes until the FINAL EPISODE for her to fight and win a battle on her own. In closing, this sole episode, Legacy, is better than anything in The Raven by far.

1 comment:

  1. That is definitely Duncan's "life with Maurice" face.

    If Maurice was really Oolong he'd be showing up in all of the movies for no reason.

    I liked him checking on if the guy can swim too.