Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Highlander: The Series 2x20 - Prodigal Son

While the previous episode was quite good, THIS one takes the prize for best episode in Season 2.

It's a fitting title, as this episode features the return of the feckless young Richie.

Just realized that the best episode of Season 2 of Miami Vice has this same name. Weird.

Motorcycle Richie! Cowabunga!

Richie is on the run from someone. But who? Last time we saw him, he dispatched Mako. Did Mako have friends?

Richie senses another immortal. And this isn't just any buzz... it's the Super Evil Laughter Buzz. Something that only a couple of immortals get. Xavier and Kronos both get it, if I'm not mistaken, but that's it... aside from this episode.

Whoever this vile evil power is, they're stalking Richie and killing random passerby just to freak him out further.

Course, Richie is also TOTING AROUND A SWORD, so people think he's the murderer. He better get the hell out of there.

Richie goes to see Duncan. This is the first time they've had any contact since Under Color of Authority, which seems like ages ago.
Richie tells a harrowing tale of being stalked by some uber-evil. Duncan actually remembers an immortal who would do the same thing, stalking other immortals over time and playing mind games by leaving corpses around them.

FLASHBACK TIME! In Duncan's early days, he continuously sensed an immortal who would disappear before he could confront them, usually leaving a dead mortal around.

Big Evil is unmasked. This is "Lionheart" Martin Hyde, and he's one of the baddest dudes in this entire series. He's stronger than Xavier, stronger than Luther. Might be Grayson-level. Point is, he isn't someone to mess with.

A rare horseback fight!

Hyde easily dispatches Duncan, then leaves him humbled and beaten.

Duncan repeatedly challenges Hyde due to having his honor bruised, and Hyde repeatedly defeats him. Finally, Hyde gets mildly annoyed with Duncan's insect-like attempts to hurt him. However, he still spares our hero, only because he wants to give him a couple hundred years to get more powerful. THEN he'll be worth killing.

So why was he bothering with Duncan at all? He was trying to scare Duncan into running back to Connor, because he wanted to kill Connor.

Duncan is SHAKEN UP. We don't see him like this...well...ever.

In the present day, Hyde is trying to get Richie to lead him back to Duncan. ...and it just worked.
Oh shit, it's Maurice. He gives away that Duncan is indeed on that there barge.

Hyde is frightening in a Clockwork Orange sort of way. Or for people born after 1992, The Purge sort of way. I'm old.

Richie appreciates Duncan allowing him to stay here, even though they had a falling-out. "Just because friendships change doesn't mean they end" says Duncan. That's true, and I wish more people subscribed to that notion.

Hyde calls the police on Richie. Turns out Richie has a warrant out for him for killing all those people that have been popping up dead around him.

Richie tries to flee, but to no avail.

Detective Stacy Kiebler is having NONE OF THIS SHIT.

Duncan shows up at the police station to try and Charm School his way into Stacy Kiebler's undergarments Richie out of jail. She COMPLETELY no-sells him. Wow, this is already an amazing episode. I like this woman.

Jailbird Richie won't be doing any creeping for a while. Keep your head down, Richie. Be sure to knock out the biggest dog in the yard right away, and be sure to claim a bitch before someone claims you. Once you claim a bitch, you're set. Reminds me of my time in D-Block with Julio the drug kingpin. I've paid my debts to society!

Duncan puts up with Maurice some more and wow, what a great sky. I wonder how practical it would be to live on a barge like this in real life. Miami Vice had Sonny Crockett live on a boat for a large portion of the show too. As these were my two favorite shows as a kid, it's a wonder I haven't looked into barge-living as an adult. Especially since I just lived near the ocean for four and a half years.

Hyde finally shows up to face Duncan. All right, Hyde! Time for you to get whooped, ya bully!

...huh? Duncan is actually visibly wary of Hyde, and doesn't want to fight. At all. Rattled Duncan is such a bizarre thing to see. Between him being rattled by danger and no-sold by women, this is the most human Duncan has ever been in an episode.

Hyde is willing to fight Duncan even if Duncan won't fight back, and goes on the attack while Duncan RUNS FOR HIS LIFE.

Hyde cackles a lot and calls Duncan a nobody, belittling him further as Duncan runs away.

Duncan is legitimately freaked out by Hyde's onslaught. Guy can't even go out for groceries anymore without dealing with somebody giving him shit, I guess.

Duncan visits Jailbird Richie, and continues to be rattled. He isn't sure if he can defeat Hyde, and even if he DOES defeat Hyde, he can't kill him because he needs Hyde to exonerate Richie in those murders. It looks like our heroes are, to quote Shakespeare, up shit's creek at the moment.

Duncan challenges Hyde to meet him on a rooftop. When Hyde shows up, Duncan runs away again. Hyde wonders if this is some kind of joke.

Nope, IT'S A TRAP. The police are here, and they have their culprit. Now they just need to get Hyde's sword and they can do the DNA swabbing or whatever it is that they do on all those CSI shows where they need to find out if the DNA matches the semen or whatever.

Hyde plays right into this, enragedly going after Duncan with his sword up until the cops blast him.

The cops find that Hyde's sword is indeed the murder weapon, and Richie is free to go. With that, all of their problems are solved and wrapped in a neat bow! It's like the ending of an episode of Doug.

Richie: "Glad to be out of there. I think the guy in the next cell wanted to go steady."

HAR. Gay jokes can actually be pretty funny... when they're a rare occurrence. Something that Every Comedy Released In The 00's might have taken a note of.

Hyde wakes up in the morgue, beats up the mortician, and gets his sword back from the evidence locker. Oh yeah, so... this guy's immortal, and stuff. This isn't like Doug at all!

Duncan has to go take on Hyde while he can. Hyde doesn't give up once he locks someone in their crosshairs, and this won't end until one of them is dead.

...Not necessarily. Sounds like Hyde and Connor both got on with their lives after whatever confrontation they had.

Another flashback! One of Duncan's early teachers lectures him about the benefits of immortalness, and Duncan isn't convinced.

Hyde shows up. This guy again? Crap.

Duncan's mentor takes this one. Duncan is totally freaked out by Hyde's mere presence.

The teacher gives Duncan a bottle of France's finest cognac. He says they'll meet on a specific bridge in an hour to drink it together. Duncan says he doesn't like to drink alone. Hyde is all "whatever" at all of this.

Duncan heads to the bridge...and waits. And waits.

And waits. He kept the bottle, and never opened it.

...until now. He tells Richie to meet him at that same bridge in the morning and they'll drink this. First, he needs to fight Hyde.

Just had a thought. Duncan's U-Haul bills must get insane if he moves very often, given the massive amount of things he has collected over the years. Maybe he keeps all of it in a warehouse. Lord knows the barge is fairly empty and tidy.

Duncan goes to Hyde's evil lair, which is apparently a taxidermy museum.

Hyde is more than ready to finish this, since Duncan has been ducking him all episode and getting him shot by cops.

The battle is joined! Again!

They battle from pillar to post, and it's very even.

That is, until Duncan gets intimidated by Hyde's ferocity. Once he gets intimidated, Hyde starts battering him all over the place.

Duncan is on the retreat for 90% of the fight after that, fleeing from Hyde all around the bridge. Wait, this is the same bridge from the flashback. The same one he's gonna meet Richie at. Shouldn't he have chosen a different bridge, in case he lost?

In any case, Duncan finally lands one lucky stab, after getting owned for most of the fight. Don't see that every day.

Duncan (w/ bleeding face) wins the battle. That was the closest we've seen him to losing since Band of Brothers.


A super-quickening of sorts. It's big.

A little later, the sun comes up and Duncan meets Richie here for that 400 year old cognac. Things have come full circle now.

One of the more iconic shots of the series has these two back on the same page, friends again. This would be a great ending to the season, and it's unfortunate that it isn't. This episode is a ten out of ten.

1 comment:

  1. Jailbird Richie is like the frame after Creepy Richie.

    What's worse, after running away from Hyde our hero came back to his barge to find an angry note about how it was "abandoned" and needed to be moved.

    The episode ends on a high note... and then Duncan and Richie are immediately arrested for drinking in public.