Saturday, August 1, 2020

Highlander: The Series 3x19 - Mortal Sins

Today on Highlander: Not just a good episode, but a particularly significant one in terms of plot developments. This was also the highest-rated episode in the series up to this point in terms of TV ratings by a good margin. Though it'd be topped a few weeks later for "Finale" and then that'd be topped a bunch of times as it went on. The ratings really shot up during S3 and this is about when they hit their apex.




We start with Father Bernard, local Paris priest. He's conducting a sermon when... 

...a bunch of hooligans bust in, chasing some kid. 

Leading the gang is someone Bernard is shocked to recognize from his DISTANT past... 

...Ernst Daimler, looking not a day over nazi!

No, seriously, I don't just mean that figuratively or the modern nazi definition of "person I don't agree with". No, he's an actual member of the nazi party. Or was. Now he just leads groups of angry, disaffected youth to lash out against the establishment (and the brown people) 

Meanwhile, back at the legs! I mean ranch. 

Duncan sidles up, no doubt to see if Anne needs help...reading?

Anne is all "bro, back off" and Duncan is all "what'd I do" and they go around like this for a minute. She's been irritable lately and Duncan doesn't know why. Well, their happy reunion only lasted...what, two weeks? 

Duncan goes for a walk and laments the lack of elevators or escalators here in Paris. Can we get a handicap ramp around the Quay de la Tournelle one of these years, Macron? 

Duncan is visited by Father Bernard (henceforth just Bernard). Duncan doesn't recognize him because it's been decades. Bernard needed to go to someone about his very specific immortal nazi problem, and that someone ended up being the only other immortal he knows about. 

WW2 flashback to see how all of this came about. Duncan is helping the French Resistance by manning radios for them. Unfortunately the occupying force has detected their radio usage, and an investigation of the area is taking place. 

Leading the investigation is Herr Obergropenfuhrer Daimler, who is a real nazi. I don't just mean that he's a member of NSDAP, I mean he's like that boss you had once who was a douche about everything if it didn't get done exactly his way. That kind of nazi. 

While investigating the town he meets Duncan, and they agree to just leave the whole immortal thing alone for now since there's so much activity. Duncan easily passes for a Frenchman during all of this. 

The bad guys look high and low for the radios, but can't find them. This is because they were cleverly smuggled away by... 

...young Bernard, who I haven't gotten a good picture of yet. But hey, he's on the cover of the post. In any case, Duncan loves this little dude, and he's way too nice of a kid to be involved with a war. 

Later, Duncan and a bunch of resistance members ambush a convoy with some guerilla tactics. 

Gunfire is exchanged! It's the battle of flat caps versus stormtrooper helmets! 

One of them manages to shoot Duncan at the last second before dying. I've never liked Lugers, myself. That weird thin barrel just isn't appealing. I'll take a 1911 any day over a Luger. 

Duncan is shot! The murder was heinous. 

Bernard sees him die and tries in vain to get him to wake up. This is actually sort of heartbreaking except that he DOES wake up. 

Duncan makes Bernard swear not to tell anybody that he saw Duncan come back from the dead good-as-new. 

Bernard is bewildered by this, and we get his face morphing into his modern self in an impressive effect. 

 Bernard explains that Daimler is back. Duncan is surprised, because he didn't hear anything about Daimler for decades and thought someone else got him. Where did he disappear to all that time?

Bernard begs Duncan to stop Daimler before he decides to go after Bernard. Duncan isn't sure what they're dealing with here. 

 "Who knows if he's still evil? And why do you have to go fight this guy? Is it your JOB?" asks Anne.

Oh my God. She totally just pointed out one of the fundamental flaws with this show. Duncan regularly just bestows upon himself the title of judge, jury, and executioner based on people's past misdeeds.

Course, the one time they bring this up, the guy he's going after is undisputably still bad, so...

...Duncan goes to meet with Daimler and confirm his evilness for the record. Man, even French street signs are tiny and nondescript, like their food portions. 

Duncan arrives at Daimler's office to find a bunch of Eastern European hooligans. These are the Youth For Purity, the hottest new trend young people are getting into in Paris. They're all about being pure and righteous.

One of them is Vladimir Putin! That was a shock, didn't know he cameo'd in this show. Regardless, they're pretty confrontational, and between that and all of the nazi slogans on the walls, Duncan realizes it's still the same Daimler. 

Daimler defends all of this by pointing out that they are, in fact, the Youth For Purity, and wonders why Duncan has such a problem with people being pure. 

Duncan requests that Daimler leave Bernard alone. I feel like he goes around this carousel with every bad guy. 

Daimler tells him that he has a legitimate reason to be angry at Bernard, and that Bernard isn't the victim in all of this. Duncan doesn't know what that means, so he takes off. 

Duncan visits Bernard and asks him for the truth. What did he do that was so bad? 

We get another flashback, as Daimler's crack investigation squad has returned to the town in light of the road-ambush that Duncan's crew set up. 

Daimler is such a ponce, I half-expect him to slap the friar with a leather glove. 

Nope, he's actually way worse than that, and breaks out the ol' Luger. If nobody tells him where the resistance crew are hiding, he'll start killing everyone here. 

Bernard proceeds to IMPALE HIM ON A PITCHFORK. 

That's the cue for the resistance crew (minus Duncan, who left for another town already) to ambush the minions. 

Bernard: "I didn't mean to kill him!"

George, the other young guy: "Why not??"

They throw all of the bodies into the river, and Bernard is shocked when... 

...Daimler wakes up, and he's PISSED. Bernard doesn't want to throw him in the river. Not sure if he realizes that Daimler is immortal, or if he just thinks the guy is lucky to still be alive and doesn't want to re-kill him. 

They throw him in anyway, which George assures Bernard is what they had to do. This, however, haunts Bernard for the rest of his life, as he is in no way a murderer. His deep shame over this is presumably why he went into the priesthood.

Back in the present, Anne is bewildered by all of this. Turns out Daimler was missing for decades because he was chained up in a river for FORTY YEARS. It's a wonder he isn't completely mental. So basically, this is a little more complex than Duncan would like. 

Duncan then pulls a Joe Biden Maneuver! Look at him slyly sidling up! 

Anne is like "okay we were just talking about death and murder this isn't really the time" 

Duncan just left hanging. Yeah, I've been there. 

As if all of this other seriousness wasn't enough, Anne has an announcement.

That's right, she's a lesbian.

Actually, she's pregnant. Wait, what? 

Duncan knows he can't have kids, and she must know too because she doesn't even suggest that it might be his. Turns out she got together with a friend of hers while she thought Duncan was dead. It's why she's been so hormonal lately...because it's literally hormones.

Duncan accepts all of this but isn't sure if he wants to be a father to someone else's child. On the other hand, it's the closest he can get to having a child...but do they really want a child to have to deal with this immortal world where Duncan could get offed at any time? 

Meanwhile, Bernard meets with George, the other kid who is also now elderly. Bernard explains the situation, and George doesn't believe any of it. The problem is, they both threw Daimler into that river.  So if one of them is F'd, they're both F'd.

Elsewhere, a pensive Anne meditates over church bells.

Duncan has decided. He's gonna give this fatherhood thing a shot if that's what she wants. He points out that he could die at any time and isn't exactly a stable figure for anyone's life, which Anne counters by saying she could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but can't live her life based on things like that. 

Duncan flashbacks to that cute flapper lady who wanted to have kids with him... 

...and Tessa, who also wanted kids, but accepted it wasn't happening. 

Yeah, he'll give it a go this time. But first, he has to deal with this current situation. 

He meets with George, who now believes this immortal hoopla. Weird thing is, George has this mafioso-looking bodyguard, and while they're talking the bodyguard is outside apparently giving instructions to a couple of French ladies of the night. 

Europeans Love Tights. Seriously though, what kind of business is George running here? 

Later, Daimler shows up and announces that he's reclaiming his forty lost years. 

He then bludgeons George with the same chains that they tied him up with before throwing him into the river. 

Bernard informs Duncan that George was killed. This is the part of the episode where everything rapidly accelerates from "relative calmness" to "super high threat level" 

Duncan has Anne stay with Bernard while he goes after Daimler. 

Daimler pulls a sleight of hand and when he hears Duncan is en route to his office, he takes off for Bernard's church. 

Duncan arrives at the office and beats up all of the goons! 

At the church, Daimler menaces Bernard and Anne. He can't do anything to them on holy ground (the rule doesn't just apply to fighting other immortals) 

Anne is like "he can't hurt us here!"

Anne has not seen Highlander: Endgame. She also hasn't seen Highlander: The Source to find out who the fuck Anna is and why she basically got her name stolen.

Bernard flees from the church, which is exactly what Daimler was hoping they'd do. 

He gives chase and guns Bernard down. He's so angry that he runs out of bullets from making sure Bernard is completely dead, and doesn't have any left for Anne. 

She still gets shoved, and Duncan arrives just in time. 

Gotta say this is one of the better immortals in the program. He's despicable and all that but he's also full of this seething rage that makes him even more dangerous. 

They battle it out! This fight suffers a bit for being at night, but it also wouldn't have felt right during the day given how dark it actually is. Both guys fly into a rage here. 

Sword sparks make an appearance, and it's called-for in this case. 

This is a brutal, Mountain Men level fight, where Duncan gets stabbed and Daimler gets his arm broken before it's all said and done. 

Duncan is straight-up rabid by the end of the fight as he pushes the sword into Daimler. 

After the SHIIIING, he limps away. 

Huge quickening here, maybe the biggest in S3 so far. It also has ghostly spirits that push their way to Duncan, something that you only see with the most tormented of quickenings. 

Seriously though this one is huge. I don't even think Kurgan had a quickening this huge. 

Anne is shocked to see all of this.

...heh. Shocked. 

Duncan tries to fight it off and clutches his head. We now know that during these quickenings, the entire life of the person who lost flashes before the person getting their essence. So Duncan is presumably getting to see all of the bad things Daimler did to people, and it's so unpleasant that... 

...he ends up in a fetal position. 

And speaking of fetal, at the hospital Anne checks out, no injuries from getting pushed. Duncan still looks shell-shocked from his ordeal. 

Anne stops them right there in the hallway and says that actually, she can't do this. After what happened with Daimler, she can't raise a kid around this kind of life, with those kinds of immortal menaces out there. 

Shell-shocked Duncan gives her a hug. 

And that's adieu for these two, as they break up AGAIN.

Maybe for good this time.

Definitely one of the better immortals of the season here. The fact that he lived for a hundred years before WW2 means he probably did a lot more awful stuff even before that point. The guy was a menace, and 40 years in river-prison was a fair tradeoff for the safety of everyone else on the planet.



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