Monday, March 11, 2019

Highlander: The Series 3x02 - Line of Fire

 Oh boy. This is gonna be one of those episodes.


 The episode starts with a basketball falling directly at the camera! EVERYBODY GET DOWN!

 Richie is playing basketball with Young Arsenio Hall and absolutely getting obliterated.

 "If only I were a bit blacker!" yowls Richie as the ball gets stolen again. "Why was I born in this SKIN?"

 Richie is momentarily distracted by the arrival of...

What? No! Jesus!

 Richie is momentarily distracted by the arrival of Random Person From Richie's Past, seen here. Who?

Okay, her name is Donna, and...

 It's Richie's "Oh Yeahhh? Not sure if creeping yet" face.

 Young Arsenio: "Are we still playing?"

Damn, she's got a Young Sarah Connor thing going on.

 Richie just takes off, leaving his friend to play basketball alone on this...dock? Wait, why are they playing on a dock? Is there even a hoop?

 Donna: "Oh my! You're so sweaty and gross!"

 I'm pretty sure this woman is going to turn out to be evil because Richie can never be happy. Gotta say though, she keeps doing this crinkled-nose face and it's SO ADORB you guys.

She then whips this baby out of literally nowhere, the same way immortals just materialize swords out of nowhere all the time.

 That's right, it turns out that the lad is a father. My God. Well, back to robbin'! That baby food won't pay for itself!

At the very least, it's nice that she wants him to be around and came out to...this random basketball pier to talk to him.

 Back at the dojo, Charlie is pumping iron. Get swole, bro!

Duncan is super-unimpressed by Richie's news of being a dad and his response is basically to lol.

"Immortals can't have children!" he bellows.

Richie is all like "Maybe I'm the first!"

And Duncan is all like "We don't get to live happily ever after!"

Yeah, except that ya'll get to live forever and be all good-looking and roll in the hay with women everywhere you go without worrying about pregnancy, the hiv, or death by icepick. I guess what I'm saying is... shut your yapper Duncan! For the rest of us, life is short and hard, like a bodybuilding elf.

Here's our first look at the villain of the episode, Kern. This guy is such an evil caricature that Slan Quince looks at him and goes "dude, you need to tone it down"

In his very first scene he motorcycles through a bar window for no reason, then beats up the most 80's bouncers this side of Tech Noir.

Meanwhile, Duncan visits Richie at the Domain of Donna, and he's afraid he's got some bad news. You're being hoodwinked, kid. Well, he holds off from saying as much, instead somberly pawing the various toys strewn about. No doubt ruminating on his own inability to have kids.

Flashback time, as we go back to Duncan's years living with the Sioux. Much like his time in Japan (waaaaay before this), it's a formative moment that had a lot to do with shaping the modern version of him.

Specifically, 1872. Here he is with his adoptive son. You see, the father was killed in a battle and asked that Duncan be the one to take care of his family.

The family in question also includes the boy's mom, Little Deer, who Duncan has

She wants to have more kids...and Duncan's like "about that tho"

There's one important thing to note here, very important to the series: Duncan says he's totally at peace living here with them, and that like never happens for the guy anywhere else. Except maybe Tessa, maybe.

Little Deer: "Sometimes I forget that you're a white man"

Well, he does tan super-well for an IRL British guy.

Back in the present, our heroes are talking about Richie's new kid when they get ambushed by this random priest who tells them about how he went to Paris in 1972 and had lots of wine and women. Who? What? Did this guy win a contest or something? Are we in the Mandela Effect universe and this guy has been a character on the show before even though I've never seen him?

 The priest then mocks Richie's haircut. Don't go after him, Richie! It's holy ground!

Actually, Kern shows up, the biker maniac from earlier. Richie is instinctively ready to go after the guy in Duncan's defense, which is pretty cool on his part even if it's foolish as hell.

 Duncan battles Kern in a violent brawl right here in a residential neighborhood. Duncan gives NO fux.

They crash through the door of the church mid-wedding, shocking everybody.

 Kern is all like "HOLY GROUND, MACLEOD" and leaves...after furiously licking the bride's face. Well... that happened.

 Duncan is quite pissed, and takes some time to practice with a staff. The dude is clearly super-adept with a staff, which is one of the best weapons to be adept at. Just about anything can be used like a staff.

 Flashback time. Duncan's out in the woods and runs into Kern. An interesting note here is that Duncan thinks it's Connor for a second. Was Connor in the area around this time? He only figures into a few parts of Duncan's history.

 Kern is all polite-like and has some of the food Duncan's been cooking. Duncan is super-wary of this guy.

Kern finally notices that Duncan is wearing an "injun getup".


Duncan's foray into Sioux lands brings to mind one question: What does a person have to do to just be left alone?

Kern explains that he's a scout / bounty hunter for the military, and that he just took out an entire nearby village. Uh oh.

 They battle. It's an interesting, if short, skirmish. He's dual-wielding a sword/knife while Duncan is using a tomahawk. Duncan knocks Kern over into some bushes and runs for it, only to find...

 ...the village completely in shambles as "Who Wants To Live Forever" plays. This is probably one of the darkest shots in the whole series.

 Duncan finds his family and cremates them before putting his American clothes back on and leaving for parts unknown, closing the book on his Sioux chapter.

 He suits up for battle. This one isn't going to be pretty.

 He visits Joe Dawson, who is absolutely not supposed to help immortals or give them an unfair advantage, to find out where Kern is. Joe reluctantly gives him the info before asking him to stay away from the guy because he's a killer. An interesting thing about this is that Joe doesn't know anything about Duncan's Sioux era.

 Oh, also...Joe has a bar now. Yep, it's a thing from here on out. He's still renovating it for the grand opening.

 Duncan tracks down Kern at a nearby hotel, where he has to beat up this dwarf to get access to his hotel room. Duncan is acting very un-Duncanlike here.

 He then proceeds to completely trash Kern's room when Kern isn't there. Yeah, he isn't himself at all here.

It's almost like we're getting flashes of Evil Duncan here, because he's a scary individual when he loses it.

 Meanwhile, Richie is livin' it up with the fam! This having a kid stuff is awesome!

 ...until Donna finds his sword. Richie's got some splainin' to do.

 ...he doesn't do any 'splainin, and tells her there's stuff he can't talk about. They have a big fight, and he goes to...

 ...Joe's Bar, asking for advice. Joe tells him that there's zero record of an immortal having kids, even before they turn immortal.

 Donna, meanwhile, talks to that priest guy about her issues while Kern lurks in the background.


 Kern sits down for confession with the priest. It's been about 500 years since his last confession, he growls.

 "What is your sin?"

"Well, I really like torturing."

 He yanks the priest through the confessional wall and demands to know where Duncan lives, which the priest has no idea about. So immortals can freely beat up mortals on holy ground, just not each other?

Back at the ranch, Duncan tells Richie that he needs to let his family go. "You can't protect matter what you do, they'll always be in danger."

 Speaking of, Donna runs into Kern on the street and he takes an interest in her toddler. THIS IS SO UNCOMFORTABLE

She quickly gets away from the guy and goes home to find Richie steeling himself for a breakup talk. ...then again, Donna looks hot as f*** here. What will Richie do?

...stay with her, that's what! Though he knows he isn't the father now. Also, it turns out that she really did think he was the father, because the timing worked out and the kid even looks like him. So she was being honest with the guy. something good happening for our lad, finally?


 Donna flees to the dojo to get Duncan, while Richie tries to hold off Kern, who just smashed their door down. The prognosis isn't good.

 Richie very quickly loses the fight and smashes a window out with a chair to get away.

 They live next to a highway, so he leaps out onto a passing tomato truck while Kern rains taunts on him.

 That's right, people: Wash your produce, because it might have had Richie on it.

Donna and Richie both arrive separately at the dojo, and Duncan is ready to go fight Kern.

 Instead of a sword, he brings this Sioux spear. I don't think he uses this for any other fights in the series, so this is pretty cool.

 He uses it like a staff to block Kern's dual-wielding viciousness. Kern is one of the few immortals to actually overpower Duncan in their fight, knocking him through fences.

 We get a sweet kip-up here though.

 Gotta say, this is one of the better fights up to this point. The series is really stepping it up in Season 3.

 Seacouver may not make for as good Highlander episodes as Paris, but it can be a great setting when used right. Here we see the Canadian Rockies in the background.

 After getting slashed and knocked down, Duncan goes into full warrior frenzy...

 ...smearing his own blood on his face and chanting in Sioux.

 He follows that with a charged-up Musuo attack with the spear, impaling Kern in a flurry of strikes.

 That's it for Kern. And man, for once I'm so glad a bad guy is done after one episode.

 This might be the most unusual quickening in the season. Instead of getting blasted with electricity, Duncan levitates and sees the spirits of his Sioux friends.

 Now that the threat of Kern is gone, Richie and Donna are safe to have a makeout sesh. Except...

 ...Richie can't do this anymore. They'll be in too much danger if they hang around with him and Mac. Since he won't explain himself, Donna slaps him in the face. That's it for these two.

 Duncan saw the whole thing. Well, that's embarrassing.

Duncan assures our lad that he did the right thing. Not the most cheerful day for either one of them, and they go off to have a drink.

Here's our villain of the week. This guy was such an irredeemable monster heel that he actually stands out from the pack a bit for that.

Tune in for the next episode, which will actually be posted on here very soon. That's right, no more two and a half month waits.


  1. I guess holy ground is only the church itself and not the grounds right outside of it.

    Ever since they started the whole Watchers thing with rogue Watchers, their deal has always been a bit tough to figure out.

    Do all of Richie's immortal feuds involve his girlfriends?

    1. It seems like every time Richie gets a girlfriend, there's an immortal feud to go with it and then he has to begrudgingly end things. The guy never gets to have anything nice.

      As good as Highlander is, it can be redundant. I think you could divide like 90% of the episodes into one of five categories:
      -Awful villain immortal from Duncan's past shows up, Duncan kills him
      -Not-so-bad immortal shows up, Duncan tries to be their friend because he sees their potential, they do bad thing, Duncan has to ultimately (usually) kill them
      -Friend of Duncan's from the past shows up, friend turns out to now be evil, Duncan kills him
      -Friend of Duncan's from the past shows up who is still good! Evil immortal shows up and kills him, then Duncan kills that guy
      -Richie gets into trouble~!

      Later seasons you get a few of the last, best category:
      -Duncan and Fitz flashback episode where they get as silly as possible while stealing things, sometimes includes Amanda

      There are a few outliers, like the (great) episode that's just Methos and Joe on a road trip.

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  3. Duncan called out Connors name in the flashback because this is the same massacre referenced in the pilot. You can see when Duncan burns the body. In the pilot Conor was in that scene. Maybe the didnt want to pay Cristopher Lambert royalties for this episode

    1. Good call. Yeah, I wish we'd gotten Connor in a few more episodes. One of the reasons I like Endgame is because of the flashbacks featuring Connor.