Monday, April 1, 2019

Highlander: The Series 3x05 - Rite of Passage

In this episode, we learn that The Heart-Break Dunc! Lays down! FOR NOBODY!

This episode begins with Duncan talking to this guy who looks like a physical manifestation of The Patriarchy. 

He's upset because his 18 year old daughter is COMPLETELY CRAZY. Today on Dr. Phil! 

She just got back from being gone all weekend with some guy whose last name she can't remember, HOPE YOU LIKE THAT DAAAAD. The Patriarchy is INCENSED while Duncan chews an apple amusedly. How does he know these people, anyway?

 Mom: "Why didn't you call??"
Lass: "Let's just say I can't talk with my mouth full, MOM."
Mom: "Well you could have emailed!"
Lass: "My hands were busy TOO, MOM. GEEZ."

The Patriarchy is very disappointed by all of this. And by that I mean the guy on the right, they aren't both authoritarian monsters. Anyway, it turns out that they AREN'T HER PARENTS, TODD.

"You know why I listen to Duncan, DAD? Because he's young and hip. But you know what YOU make me, DAD? You make me sick."

She drives off in a huff. She's really mad about how her parents weren't honest with her that they found her as a baby and aren't her real parents. She and Richie should go bowling. ...wait a minute. 

The Lass, whose name is Michelle, roars off in a car. 

And right off a cliff, because she gives NO Fs about watching the road. I'M TELLINYALL IT'S SABOTAAAAAAAGE! DOOT DOOT DOOT!

We jump to the hospital, where Michelle is in dire straits. Luckily, trumpets play to herald the arrival of Doctor Anne. If she can't do one can. 

"Okay which one of you non-diverse oppressors has my defibrillator!" 

"Ex...CUSE me. I don't remember asking for a MAN's help! I'l put on the defibrillator goo myself thank you!

"She's flatlining! This is what happens when you let Ronald Reagan run the medical system! Cis Males everywhere!"

The mom is apoplectic at this turn of events and barely even responsive. Duncan knows what they don't: Michelle is immortal, but he can't tell the parents and it really sux. Well, we're going to find out all of that in a second here.

Anne walks out looking Feminine AF in scrubs, which is really difficult to pull off. After barely noticing Duncan, she gives the parents the bad news: Their daughter is dead. It gets worse, too, as she informs the mom that her husband is The Patriarchy.

After being kicked out of Anne's office for being heteronormative, they're thankful to our hero for being there as they get into a taxi to leave...without their daughter with them. That's pretty wrenching considering they don't know what we know. 

In the morgue, Duncan finds Michelle before that weird morguekeeper can propose.

As she springs to life, Duncan's like "put on some clothes, we gotta go"

She's all "Like, what the actual fuck?" and Duncan is like "please put on some clothes"

They go through the "come with me if you want to live" routine.

Anne rounds a corner and nearly sees this charade until Duncan ushers Michelle into a closet and acts natural. 

Anne and Duncan talk about how broken-up he is about the girl's death. 

Anne is pretty gorgeous. When I was a kid I wasn't into her, but I think I was just auto-rejecting the idea of Highlander women who weren't Tessa.

Anyway, Anne is wondering why Duncan's hanging out down here by the morgue.

He's all "I uhh" and she's all "Here to see the dead bodies?" and he's all "That's right" while laughing awkwardly. 

"Thank God! I thought I was the only one! The dead are so much more soft, and supple. And better listeners too!" 

"Most people don't understand." 

Well, she didn't say any of that. They just both sorta chuckled awkwardly when he couldn't answer the morgue question, and then she walked away shaking her head.

Back at the bachelor pad, Duncan has explained the whole immortal thing to Michelle. "So I get to be young and hot forever?" she squeaks. 

She immediately starts singing about all the adventures she's going to go on, and how she can drink and do all of the drugs in the world and it won't affect her.

Yeah, about that... the next episode is going to cover that subject. Suffice to say, she's wrong. 

Duncan gets a call from her despondent parents while she skips around. Her body is missing from the morgue. 

The Patriarchy asks Duncan if our hero can go look at some Jane Doe corpses so the hospital can fix their mistake. He can't bear to see his daughter.

Duncan tells her not to go anywhere, and he'll be right back. Don't leave the building, don't let anyone in. He's still got more immortal stuff to tell her, like how she actually CAN die and how there are evil immortals running around who have radar.

Back at the morgue... 

Morguekeeper: "So, whaddaya think about this one? He's a real beaut. For you, half off!" 

::Anne walks in and drops her papers:: 


They have their first amiable interaction here, with her saying he must be a really good friend for the parents to send him over. She then whips out a stack of 1's for the morguekeeper and shuts the door. 

Back at the dojo, Michelle feels the buzz for the first time. Weird thing is, she gets it multiple times in a row (no, really). I'd ask if that's a female immortal thing, except as far as I know this is the only time that ever happens.

Anyway, she's sensing the arrival of... 

...This nearby immortal, who can best be described as "one of the Hobbit actors who didn't make the cut when they found out he was a Nazi".

Expecting Duncan, he lies in wait for an ambush. The only problem is... 

...that's not Duncan he's sensing. For him, it's something way better. This is Axel, and his thing is younger female immortals he can manipulate. 

Luckily, he's met his match with Michelle! She won't be manipulated by some slick guy in a trench coat!

...annnd she fell for it, all of his "let's go on adventures together and explore the world like your DAD Duncan won't let you" talk. 

Back at the ranch, Duncan is upset that she didn't listen and went out. He's even more upset when he finds out she talked to Axel and wants to run away with him instead. He explains that Axel is a bad guy who is going to exploit her and lie to her.

Duncan gets fed up with how she doesn't get ANY of this and draws katana on her to scare her straight. Geez, this is NOT very Duncan-like. Not cool. 

Of course, she continues to not listen and meets with Axel in the woods. "It's just like Twilight!" she muses. 

She asks why it is that Axel wants to take her all over the world. "I want to experience all of it through your eyes, through the freshness of youth" he says.

That makes some sense. At the same time, I'm wondering if this is going to turn into a weird swingers thing where he teaches her all of men's weak points, then lives vicariously through everyone she bones while lurking nearby.

 "Scram, Axel! This was my window first!"

At the funeral, the mom blames the dad and yelling ensues. Duncan stands around awkwardly, watching The Patriarchy crumble before him in a hail of shrill shrieking. It's like attending a protest at Emerson College. 

Axel shows up, practically wrapping himself around the cross (no longer only a tool of politicians!)

Duncan immediately recognizes him, and it's flashback time. 

Boston in 1896 is notable for several things... 

...including this singer because JESUS H. That's some raunch for the 8 PM hour on USA Network! And it gets better, this singer is actually Duncan's date to the party. Happy times are in store for both participants, except... 

...he gets cornered at a table by this woman who bears a striking resemblance to a Female Conan O' Brien. Her name is Sharon, and she's a feckless young immortal with no idea what to do.

She tries to get him to go to bed with her, but he's got a date he isn't planning on standing up. She turns that into "well I need help and I thought throwing myself at you was the best way to get it" which makes him sad.

"I'd like to help, but I have to meet my date" says our hero. He's still gonna try to make a few minutes for her though. This can't possibly go wrong!

Oh God, his date is sashaying her way down the steps as we speak, no doubt eagerly awaiting having Duncan sashay down her steps. ………...they had different dirty talk back then. 

Since Duncan is taking so long to get to her, she gets swarmed with admirers. Finally he arrives and authoritatively moves past the other guys to take her hand. The guy does everything pitch-perfect with women.

Once time permits at the party, Duncan takes a few minutes to go see Sharon, only to find Axel laying in wait to leap out of her closet and attack. She was supposed to drag him into bed while Axel cheated2win. And Duncan is missing time with his singer friend for this??

She even grabs ahold of him while Axel escapes, which... 

...prompts a disappointed look from him that cuts more deeply than any words.

 His swordfight with Axel travels down the hallway and results in Axel crashing through a table a floor below, ECW-style. Duncan just sorta leaves, too many witnesses.

In the present, Duncan fights with Michelle about whether or not Axel is a good guy. Duncan is like "I've encountered him many times and he always does the same shit every time and is evil plzlisten" and Michelle is like "But...when I'm with him...I feel something amazing!"

You've met him like...twice, for like...a minute each time. But sure, don't listen. 

Duncan has done what he can, and it's time for another flashback.

After the previous fight, Axel threatens Sharon's life for failing to sufficiently distract Duncan into letting down his guard. 

After getting away from Axel, Sharon now really does need Duncan's help, and it's "boy who cried wolf" syndrome as he refuses.

"You don't understand! Axel taught me how to be!"
"The only thing he taught how to be bait."

Luckily, there's a passenger boat leaving for London this afternoon, and Duncan is going to make sure she has a spot on it.

Duncan returns a couple hours later to a Quickening in progress. Uh oh. 

He's too late, Sharon's already dead. Looks like she told Axel what her plan was.

Axel, of course, is nowhere to be found.

Rumor has it that Axel went on to adopt an "Axelmania" gimmick where he went around insisting that he'd never been eliminated from The Game and could pop up to challenge the eventual winner of the whole thing. Then he realized he really was kaput and his spirit was pulled into the netherworld by those shadow-arms from Ghost.

Duncan tries again to convince her that she needs to be patient and learn the rules of the immortaling. Soon, they're visited by... 

...The Patriarchy, despondent over losing her. He says some pretty wrenching stuff about how much it hurt him when she'd lash out at them, and he'd lash out too, and he wishes they could take it all back. 

Listening in, Michelle weeps and fights the urge to run out and see him. Duncan escorts him out, knowing there probably isn't much time left before she does. 

After Duncan consoles her, she goes in for the kiss and he tries to dodge it. 

Michelle: "What? I know what I'm doing. I've done this lots of times before!"
Duncan: "I remember when you were like, 11"

Duncan escorts her off to the couch, where she'll be sleeping.

In the elevator she goes for the serious moves, reaching under the shirt. Duncan is like "hlep" 

She refuses to take no for an answer, bounding off the couch to go hop into bed with our hero. He's like "nope nope nope nope" 

"See anything you like?" she says while twirling her hair. 


The next day they go on their first adventure as immortals, and travel to The Gas Station.

"Axel promised me PARIS" she screeches as she runs off. 

Next thing we know, she takes off with some random catcalling guy on a motorcycle. WTF. Somehow that leads to her ending up on Axel's Yacht, because we're running out of time on this episode:

…and they immediately have a fiery makeout sesh.

Damn, woman. He must have bought her that dress and had it here awaiting her arrival.

They make all kinds of fun plans for the future. There's only one problem: Axel doesn't think she needs to learn how to use a sword. Duncan told her she absolutely does need to learn. Axel says he'll protect her so she doesn't need it. She finds this suspicious. She also asks him what'll happen if she breaks up with him and doesn't know how to defend herself. I like this line of thinking. She's actually notably smarter now than she was earlier in the episode. 

They're soon interrupted by the arrival of THE BIG DOG:

Michelle briefly wonders if Duncan is here to kill her when she sees his sword, then thinks better of it. After having to choose between him and Axel, she does the right thing and goes to leave with Duncan. 

Axel with a surprise attack! He'll never stop doing that shit, will he?

Meanwhile, Michelle is like "you don't have to fight over me!" and viewers at home are like "lol" 

This is actually a really good fight. These two have a ton of fighting chemistry, and go at it with FURY. Duncan did not mess around on this one. It's also over quickly, with both guys falling in the water at the end. 

Duncan emerges first and AQUA SWING 

"THISH ISH..."::cough::"This is the quickening, Michelle. It's totes cray cray, am I rite or whatever the young people say?"

Our heroes wait in the graveyard for the arrival of her new teacher, someone who can handle her attitude.

"You'll see the world" says Duncan. To which she says "I kinda wanted it to be with you." Aww. 

Amanda walks up and immediately says this girl reminds her of somebody. Duncan's like "that's what I'm afraid of". So Amanda is going to be her teacher from here on out. That said, I don't think we actually see Michelle again, but I might be wrong.

Michelle asks if Amanda will actually teach her to use a sword like Axel wouldn't, and Amanda goes off about sexist oppression. No, she really did! If Anne had been around she would have turned into one of those excited reaction gifs. 

Michelle asks if these two have ever "done it", Amanda is like "Oh, we'll talk" and Duncan's like "………" as they take off.

They WILL talk all about it, too. When chix talk about sex they get WAY more into the details.


Well, that was a surprisingly good episode, had some April 1st fun with it but it has my respect.


  1. Occupation Playboy?! I wonder what kind of salary that pulls in. I also wonder how many Watchers have lost their jobs as a result of all of Duncan's beheadings.

    1. Supposedly there are around 2-3,000 immortals in the world at the time of the show, and Duncan's canon kill count is like 220 (over 400 years). Only around 70 of those take place during the time of the show, which means Duncan kills around 70 of the 2-3000 immortals worldwide in show canon. Not quite the Sarlacc Pit of immortals but still a lot of the total population.

      Also means Duncan did about a third of his immortal killing in 1992-1998 and the other two thirds in the previous 400 years. I wish the show had fewer immortal kills, more recurring villains (some of these guys are way too interesting for one episode), and that it could share canon with the original movie. They did their best to connect it at least.