Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Highlander: The Series 3x21 - Finale, Part One

Today: A Highlander Thanksgiving Special! Featuring Kalas!

We start the episode with Kalas in prison, tilling vegetables. Hard to believe this guy is in FIVE episodes. Only he and Xavier St. Cloud pulled that off, and two of Xavier's five episodes have him only appearing in flashbacks.

Kalas gets shiv'd by this other inmate for some reason, then revives and chokes the guy out. Now the guy is his devout follower.

Kalas plots a prison break, with some help from an unknown benefactor on the outside who sent him word that they'd help him get out. His new ally doesn't understand what they're doing.

Kalas shushes him, and this silhouette shot is tremendous. After that, a harpoon flies over the wall and the duo climb out.

After climbing the wall, he finds himself face-to-face with... Amanda? That's right, Amanda is the unknown benefactor who threw the harpoon. And she didn't do it for Kalas, she did it because she figured he'd be easy pickings without a weapon and she could get rid of the guy who kept menacing Duncan.

Kalas has a moment of realization and thinks that Duncan sent her to do his dirty work.

Her assassination attempt doesn't go so hot, and Kalas manages to get her into a wrestling match. The fact that they seem pretty even doesn't make a lot of sense when this guy beat down Fitz, Methos, and Duncan himself with little trouble at various points in the past. He is rusty and unarmed. But yeah, Amanda hasn't been shown to be a huge threat in this series before now. She's better at escape, like Methos.

Kalas' Goon stabs her in the back. That's right, Kalas had to cheat to beat Amanda. Though honestly they've been pretty inconsistent with the threat level of this guy as well. He "needed Methos' power" to defeat Duncan...two episodes after he was shown to be able to beat Duncan as he was.

"Oh, darn!" says Amanda as Kalas runs off and police sirens begin to blare. AND THAT'S HOW KALAS ESCAPED FROM JAIL.

The Amanda Apology Tour begins as she shows up at the barge with all kinds of expensive French dinner ingredients. She's got three bottles of expensive wine, all kinds of bread and cheese, and her favorite, smoked goose.

Duncan hasn't seen her in a bit and his immediate reaction is "Wait, what are you after"


Amanda: "What happened to that lady friend you had? The doctor?"

Duncan: "Her name's Anne! And... none of your business."

Amanda: "Aww, it didn't work out. Shame!"

They have A Highlander Thanksgiving Dinner.






The only thing missing is a '68 Camaro.

Elsewhere, Kalas and Kalas' Goon spot a random immortal walking down the street. Kalas briefly explains to his goon that it's another guy like him and says to RUN HIM DOWN.

Try swerving left! "I can't!"

Try swerving right! "I CAN'T, JON!"

After the guy gets plowed over, Kalas steals his sword and that's all she wrote for that guy.

Kalas makes a big scene, and now he's got a weapon. It's a wonder more immortals don't cheat and bring human goon squads with them to break the rules and run people over / stab them in the back / whatever during fights. Now supposedly the destruction of Pompeii was caused by an immortal breaking the rules, but who knows.

Back at the barge, Duncan is silently tapping a glass while Amanda generally feels terrible. I mean, Kalas would have escaped eventually either way. The main issue here is that he could have killed Amanda in the process, and her risking death just to do a favor for Duncan DOESN'T WORK FOR HIM.

After Duncan yells at her, she literally runs away.

Algiers, 1653. Duncan is SUPER young at this point. He left Scotland and traveled around Italy for about 20 years after his first death, then ended up in what's now Algeria.

Here he is with his mentor, 1000-year-old Hamza El Kahir, who bought him from a slave auction after he got caught by corsairs. That's right, Duncan was THIS close to becoming the man-slave of some Algerian lord. I feel like there's an entire great episode that could exist covering this story.

To jump ahead a bit: Season 5 had 18 episodes instead of the customary 22. Season 6 has 13 episodes, and four of them are great, 9 out of 10 type episodes while the rest are terrible. If I could remake time like Doctor Strange, I'd lop off the not-so-good 18th episode of Season 5 and add the four good episodes from Season 6, getting rid of the rest of it.

We'd have a tight five-season show that ends on a strong note that way. S5 would still be a 21 episode season, though, so something would need to be slotted in between 5x17 and the four good S6 episodes. I'd have that something be an Algiers backstory episode that takes place entirely in flashback. This would actually fit well, because the next episode (i.e. the first of S6's good episodes) is also a flashback-only episode (Unusual Suspects).

Back to the episode. Duncan is perplexed by their weird customs here, like drinks that are hot. WHY NOT COLD, he asks.

Hamza is equally perplexed by Scotland's "vile concoctions" and the way Duncan's tribesmen "eat grass off of the ground"

They'll agree to disagree. Duncan is such a boorish boor here. Everywhere he goes, people think he's a barbarian. Fun Fact: "Barbarian" originated with people making fun of the speech of other people, like all of their words sounded like "Bar Bar Bar". Just think, a future civilization could refer to entire groups of people as Deedeedians because of Carlos Mencia.

The horseman draws near, and it's... My God! Xavier St. Cloud.

Xavier has followed them from Morocco, and wants to fight Hamza, who "moves swiftly for an old man". Hamza was about 45 when he suffered his first death (compared to Duncan being in the 30-35 range) and if 45 is considered an "old man" then woe to immortals who die north of 40.

Duncan mouths off to the stranger and Xavier is like "who is this kid lol"

Duncan is ready to fight and Hamza is like "whoa whoa WHOA, stay out of this" knowing who they're talking to.

Hamza: "This is Xavier St. Cloud."

Duncan: "A Christian name for a moor?"

Hamza: "He has been many things."

Xavier responds to Duncan's challenge with a tremendous line, as he notes that "I don't sleep with virgins and I don't kill children."

Xavier is going to wait for them at the bus stop after school, politely giving them time to finish their afternoon. Duncan has no doubt that Hamza can dispose of Xavier, since Hamza is quite good himself. Instead, Hamza suggests that they flee and continue towards Tunis. Duncan says Hamza can run if he wants, but he'll stay and fight in his stead. Hamza leaves, saddened by Duncan's refusal to listen.

Duncan meets Xavier later in the day, and announces that it is HE who Xavier will fight, not Hamza. Xavier is displeased by this.

Xavier with another tremendous line, as he asks Duncan what god he'll be sending him to. "Do your kind pray, or do they just paint their faces blue and bay at the moon?"

Duncan is unsure what to make of all of this, as Hamza suddenly reappears.

Turns out Hamza couldn't in good conscience run away, knowing Duncan was going to get murdered in place of him. Xavier accepts Hamza's challenge and it's an honorable duel.

Duncan asks Hamza what the meaning of all of this is, and Hamza says that he can't let a friend of his put themselves on the line for him.

The battle commences off in the distance, and it isn't much of a battle as Xavier quickly dispatches Hamza.

Duncan looks on and has to accept this.

Back in the present, he's looking at the watch that Hamza gave him and mulling over Amanda's attempt to fight Kalas for him.

That scene is hands-down one of the best flashbacks in the whole series and worth seeing this episode for on its own. Unfortunately, it really makes you wish Xavier were the villain of the episode instead (and, like, alive)

Joe and Methos show up. That's right, Methos is finally back after his debut episode. This is his first time at the barge, so when he walks in he immediately looks around at the place amusedly. Just a subtle detail.

Elsewhere, Kalas has asked Kalas' Goon to assemble a Goon Squad.

No, it's worse than that: It's a French Goon Squad.

"Lemme hear you holla French Goon Squad in this bit-bit" says Eminem when reached for comment.

Kalas lurks at Maurice's restaurant, knowing Duncan will show up sooner or later.

Duncan does indeed show up, and wants to go settle this RIGHT NOW.

Kalas' Goon has Maurice hostage, and Kalas informs Duncan that they're going to fight when Kalas feels like it and not any sooner.

After they take off, Duncan gives Maurice a wad of cash and tells him to get out of town for a bit.

Maurice: "You are a good man, yet you seem to have a lot of enemies"

Go figure.

Elsewhere, in the B-Plot, Joe and Methos talk to this Christine lady whose husband was Kalas' watcher (and got killed by him). She thinks all immortals are evil and must be exposed, and she's going to the press. Their attempts to talk her out of it fall short.

Good thing she doesn't have any proof! ...currently.

Joe says that her husband believed in the cause of Watching, and that immortal history is a rich thing that must be preserved. She disagrees and says they're an evil secret society cult, and immortals are monsters. Methos tells her that HE is an immortal, thinking that it'll help her understand since she has known him for years.

...instead, she immediately turns on him, disgusted that he is "one of those monsters"

They...don't really know how to react to this.

They leave, and Methos says maybe they don't have anything to worry about. Who would believe this crazy story about people cutting each other's heads off and living forever? Then they both turn and wink at the camera.

Christine goes to her husband's bookstore, which I'm now remembering is the legendary Shakespeare And Company.

It's very close to where the barge is parked, 14 minute walk.

In any case, she finds her husband's Watcher Files hidden in his bookstore, and these Windows 95 compatible discs have ALL OF THE INFO. ...well, now she has proof. I guess. It's still asking a lot for people to believe this stuff.

Duncan heads over to the Nosferatu bar that Kalas frequented, looking for info on Kalas' wherabouts. Instead he just talks to the bartender, who is le gorge.

Amanda shows up, also looking for Kalas, and Duncan has just about had it with her putting herself in danger for him.

They go for a walk, and both notice at the same time that they're being surveilled. Gotta say, this team-up is solid. It's like Bruce Wayne and Catwoman.

They split up to chase down goons, only for Amanda to end up in a trap sprung by Red Scarf. Or as he would be known in French, as I know a bit of the Francais myself: Rouge.....Scarf.

Amanda is completely unbothered by 3-to-1 odds...until one of them manages to jab her with a knockout syringe.

The French Goon Squad escapes with an unconscious Amanda. Son of a frick!

Back at the barge, Joe and Methos show up to tell Duncan that things have gone south in the B-Plot as well.

Not only is Amanda kidnapped, they're all about to be exposed to the entire world by a widow with an axe to grind.

Elsweyr, Amanda is now a prisoner of Kalas. Unbeknownst to them but knownst to us, she has a storied history with ropes and bondage.

Amanda tries to cast Charm on Kalas with her maxed-out charm stat, doesn't work!

"You're wasting your talents on me!" he says. "...that's right, I'm gay. A gay opera singer! Nobody ever saw THAT coming. Your charm spell does NOTHING."

Kalas heads out, leaving the French Goon Squad to guard Amanda. He warns Red Scarf to not touch her or go anywhere near her or even let her talk to him. "She has a maxed-out charm stat" he grumbles.

Duncan is a bit of a mess worrying about Amanda.

Back at the base, Red Scarf doesn't listen, and gets suckered in by Amanda's maxed-out charm stat.

Amanda then single-handedly dispatches the entire French Goon Squad. I thought for sure she wouldn't escape in this episode and it'd be part of the cliffhanger.

Joe tries one last time to talk Christine out of going to the press.

After she refuses and heads for the entrance of the newspaper building, Joe is forced to shoot her. Duncan leaps in front of the bullet in a scene that actually made it into the opening credits.

This has significantly more impact than that scene in Highlander: The Source where Joe just shoots Duncan unnecessarily like 2 seconds into an argument.

Duncan's got a pretty bad backache now, and he still has to go deal with the Kalas situation. Everything has just gone from bad to worse today. At least Amanda escaped, though he doesn't know that yet.

Joe: "Why did he save her?"

Methos: "He didn't save her, he saved you."

And we get the rare To Be Continued! By Gawd! Tune in for part two very soon.


  1. Calling a season finale "Finale" is kind of on the nose.


    Oh, this is my favorite Xavier St. Cloud scene in the series.

    Ha, that might be Maurice's best line.

  2. David Robb (Kalas) looks almost unrecognizable with different facial hair.