Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Highlander: The Series 3x22 - Finale, Part Two

One of the high points of this entire show...literally.

Previously on Highlander: The widow of Kalas' Watcher decided to expose the entire network of Watchers and Immortals.

How? By getting ahold of the Watcher Database, which has the info on all of the Immortals and their Watchers. Now she's gonna doxx everybody.

Worth noting: Joe's history here is interesting, putting aside the "1071" typo. He's been watching Duncan since 1979 and been friends with him since 1993 (we're in 1995 at this point). Before that he watched two other immortals, but neither lasted longer than a presidential term. It's a subtle nod to how dangerous life is for an immortal. He was a historian before they entrusted him with watching, and starting with the organization in 1968 syncs up with what we know about Joe getting injured in Vietnam.

Adam Pierson here is in the database as a Watcher... what better way to cover his own tracks than to be his own Watcher? It helps that he's one of the people who made the database.

But wait, why would the Watchers want there to be a database to begin with? Seems like a terrible idea to have evidence exist of their activities. Well, the episode addresses that in a bit.

She flipped through a lot of immortals, most of whom we've met. Here's Xavier, the coolest immortal. 22 February 1994 is almost the actual airdate of the episode where he bit the dust (Feb 26). 



Finally, the episode begins. Duncan and Amanda are visiting the Eiffel Tower. They could have probably done quite a bit with this area in the series, but they saved filming here for this particular episode. They went all-in with it to the point that I'm wondering if it was ever in consideration to be the series finale and go out on a strong note. It's good that they didn't because S4 and S5 are tremendous.

They're having a fun day out, knowing that their world might come crashing down soon.

They're been watched by Super-Creepy Not-Richie, some guy taking pictures. I dunno

We get Eiffel Tower Sunglasses, as Duncan wonders aloud what the governments of the world are going to use them for once they're outed.

Elsewhere, Christine is meeting with the editor of The Tribune, Clancy (nice reference to Clancy Brown). He doesn't buy any of this stuff about immortals running around, and tells her as much.

She whips out the Watcher Database (and this site just got banned in Germany) and shows him Heinrich Greich, who is the spitting image of a well-known modern CEO.

Wonder how many European immortals were nazis for a few years in the 40's. Probably a substantial number. This series has quite a few good WW2 episodes and most are still to come.

The guy in question even gets his own database entry on the DVD. Would like to see this guy in a future episode but I don't think they did that.

After looking through more pictures of Graydon Hammer through the ages under different aliases (including a painting from 1812), including one alias that he read about in school, he realizes that there might be something to this.

Elsewhere, Joe and Methos are getting yelled at by Jacques, head of the Europe division of the Watchers and Lawrence Fishburne look-alike.

He gives Joe grief for not killing Christine, Joe ends up socking him, Jacques responds with a much-meatier punch that floors our hero. Methos Adam Pierson is just kinda there. Jacques then gives HIM grief for being an "idiot grad school student" who helped create a Watcher database without the approval of high command, saying that they'd never allow such a thing to exist. Welp, that explains that.

Joe and Dawson leave somewhat dejectedly, and Methos suggests that he go talk to the guy at The Tribune. He could put some spin on this by answering questions and being a friendly face for the immortals. Weird that the exceedingly-private Methos is willing to put himself out like this, but if he's going to be outed anyway, he may as well get in front of it.

Joe: "Be careful, people have been known to kill the messenger who waltzes in with a new version of the truth."

Methos: "Why would I tell the truth?"

Elsewhere, Amanda is trying to get Duncan to jump off of the Eiffel Tower. WHY NOT, RIGHT? Except for the whole risk of getting decapitated on the way down, and also the fact that it'd really, really, really hurt.

A large crowd of Highlander fans Parisians has gathered to see this.

Amanda wins Duncan over, with the maxed-out charm and all. Not to jump though... DANCE.

Ah yes, another of the great scenes of this series.

Duncan manages to dip Amanda a few times, giving us vertigo-inducing shots of the Eiffel Tower platform.

Turkey, 1753. Duncan is being entertained by the Sultan, who needs a westerner in his military to help him strategize against Europe. The Sultan is doing all kinds of things to impress him, and Duncan seems thoroughly unimpressed by most of it...except the grapes, which he likes.

The Sultan whips out his secret weapon: Bellydancing women. And one of them is Amanda?

Duncan is now super-enthused by all of this.

Amanda clumsily bellydances about. Unf, nonetheless.

Here she frowns as Duncan talks about how "the pale one's a bit clumsy" and The Sultan explains that while she's terrible at dance, she has "a couple" of other talents.

But wait! He's just been informed that she's also a thief, and has been stealing his jewels. So she's going to have her hands lopped off! Well, the fun just died.

Amanda gets dragged down to the jails, where the prisoners (who haven't seen a lady in weeks) are beside themselves.

Duncan rescues her from the scimitar, and they're outta there. Unfortunately their attempt at stealth failed, so now they have to fight...

...the ENTIRE PALACE GUARD. This is like in a game when you try to do the slow stealthy approach, inevitably get spotted, and then end up brawling with way more guards than you thought were there.

Later, Amanda has to pull an arrow out of Duncan's buttocks, and he says he'll be happy if she doesn't get anywhere near him again since she always leads to trouble.

He already unscrewed the arrowhead (which went all the way through, apparently) and it's completely beastly.

As mad as he is, Amanda turns on the charm and he forgives her in like five seconds.

Back in the present, they're now having a make-out about it while the crowd cheers.

Duncan: "If all of this ends..."

Amanda: "You love me, I know."

Hey, remember Kalas? That guy who has been menacing our heroes for half of a season? He's really taken a backseat to this Watcher Database B-Plot.

Speaking of...back at The Tribune. They're really mining the immortal list now, going back to Season 1.

Clancy: "I know her! That's rock superstar Joan Jett!"
...well, no, but it would have been hilarious if he did say that.

Kalas arrives, and he'll be needing that Watcher database.

Kalas' Goon also fades into view (he was there the whole time) and takes out Clancy.

...and Christine. All he needs is permission from Kalas and he can go into "murderer mode" at any time.

Kalas uses the database to find out who the head of Watchers is, as the menace theme from Terminator plays.

Amanda suggests that they just lay low for a few decades and find some island to live on. They could spend literally all of their time rolling in the hay. If they were mortal, they'd have six kids. She'd like that.

Methos startles them, and I don't think I've mentioned yet how Methos gives off a different "buzz" than any other immortals. His buzz is a malevolent laughter that absolutely sounds like the buzz of a villain. Wonder if they were planning on him eventually becoming a bad guy at this point. He's definitely got some, shall we say, skeletons in the closet.

The only other time an immortal has had a different buzz than the usual, at least that I can recall right now, was Xavier St. Cloud having this weird menacing "dogs barking" noise accompanying his arrivals. That was only in a couple of his episodes, though, and later Xavier episodes he has a normal buzz, so I don't know. The dogs barking sound was very similar to Methos' laughter buzz.

Elsewhere, Kalas shows up at Jacques' palatial estate to take him out. Jacques, however, is the most prepared human on Earth and proceeds to blast Kalas with an uzi.

He also RUNS HIM OVER. Jacques' beat-up car is completely incongruous with his attire and living-space, to say the least.

After taking down Kalas, he goes after him with an axe. I actually thought for a second that this dude was going to KILL KALAS.

But nope, Kalas recovers and takes him out. That's that for the European head of the Watchers...literally. This'll have some implications later on in the series as his replacements aren't so nice. That said, the Watcher organization itself has a lot less of a role in the second half of the series, which we're into now.

Duncan arrives and confronts Kalas on a bridge. They're going to have it out right now.

But wait! After Nino (aka Kalas' Goon) fails to ambush Duncan, Kalas kills him without a second thought. As murderous and awful as Nino was, this was pretty sad. He clearly just belonged in a psych ward and needed professional help, and Kalas used him up.

Even Duncan is caught off-guard by Kalas' cruelty to his own ally.

Kalas warns him to not take another step, because there won't be a fight today. He's set it up so that if he dies, the Watcher database will be released to every newspaper on Earth. He wants Duncan to think about this. They're already a match for each other, so if Duncan is afraid to win because he'll be dooming everyone he cares about, it'll put him at a distinct disadvantage.

Amanda asks Duncan if he's seriously considering letting Kalas win. Interestingly enough, this exact concept will come up a couple more times in the future: In an S5 episode and then again in the final episode of the series. Duncan has an undercurrent of regret and a sense that the world would be better off without him in some ways, and occasionally it has a reason to manifest like it does here.

Methos sneaks up on them again (w/ menacing buzz and menacing illumination). They're gonna need to put a bell on this guy.

Gotta say, these Finale episodes have done so much for the series. Kalas is the bad guy, but they expanded the overall mythology with the Watchers, set up Methos as a potential threat down the line, and even revived Xavier as a person of importance which elevates the earlier seasons.

Methos and Duncan go for a walk. I don't know where this is because it looks far from downtown Paris. And it occurs to me that immortals may not want to get so comfortable going for quiet walks like this in the middle of nowhere with other immortals that they just recently met, even if both of these guys feel like they know each other (and in Methos' case, he actually does know all about Duncan).

Methos tells Duncan about the time he saw Christians being fed to the lions in Rome. They felt good about themselves dying for their faith and were happy to throw themselves to their deaths, but after that the only ones who were actually happy...were the lions.

In other words, plz don't go lose to Kalas, you dolt.

Methos: "Also remember, with you gone, Amanda will be free to date."

Well, that got him. Funny thing is, Amanda is already free to date the majority of the time. She and Duncan are only together, what, 10% of the time at best?

Meanwhile, back at the barge... Amanda gets a call from Kalas asking for Duncan to meet him on some rooftop. Basically Duncan has to go throw the fight by a certain deadline or everyone gets exposed. Instead of relaying the message, she just goes there.

She ambushes Kalas (of course) WHO WAS EXPECTING DUNCAN. WHO IS THIS WOMAN

The battle is joined! And it's a damn good one, probably the best fight Amanda has on the program. She uses her swashbuckling cape to block his attacks and disorient him and so forth.

Yep, this Amanda is awesome. If Highlander: The Raven had starred THIS Amanda instead of the weirdly-different one we got, it might have done a lot better than it did.

Wonder if I'll ever cover any of that series. Your guess is as good as mine. It isn't on the agenda, and that's a ways off even if it is, but ya never know. Unfortunately the chances are low as of now.

In any case, Kalas gets the better of her again, and she beats a hasty retreat by jumping off the roof via power line.

Kalas is all "Who??" like that one guy in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Back at the barge, Duncan yells at Amanda AGAIN for interfering with this feud. Not only is she risking her life, but now even if she DOES win it'll spell doom for everybody. Amanda runs off, AGAIN. Have some empathy, Duncan!

Duncan shows up at Watcher HQ and everyone stops what they're doing to look at him like "teh legend"

Joe yells at all of them to get back to work, and yeah it's Duncan Macleod, enough gawking.

Lot of yelling in this episode.

Super weird to have an immortal just show up at Watcher HQ. You'd think Joe would get into trouble over this, but he's the interim CTU director since Jacques got got.

Note: Joe's flagrant violation of the Watcher Code of Conduct here and his friendship with Duncan aren't going to just go unanswered. Season 4 is the last one that really features the Watchers prominently and Joe will have to face up to the consequences of his actions during that season.

Joe thinks Duncan needs to take out Kalas and let the chips fall where they may. Duncan is still uncertain. The fight could go either way even if Duncan fights to win, so if he doesn't fight to win...

Elsewhere, Creepy Not-Richie has followed Kalas to his base, and is going to try to get the Watcher Database from the computer.

Kalas returns while he's doing this, so he hides in the coat closet...and makes a phone call to tell Joe where he is.

Kalas hears him and just IMPALES THE COAT CLOSET.

Well, that's it for Creepy Not-Richie.

RIP, Episode 3x22 - 3x22

Duncan heads out to meet Kalas and DO THE JOB, BROTHER. Amanda lets him know that she loves him too. They're really saying a lot of things they haven't said in 400 years lately thanks to the threat they're dealing with. Are they going to be an item after this? Well...I mean, kind of? They'll still be on-and-off at best, though a bit closer.

Finally, Duncan arrives at the appointed spot: The Eiffel Tower. No relation to noted band Eiffel 65.

Kalas is up at the top, ready for Duncan to lay down so he can win the world title, Jack.

The battle is joined!

Duncan still seems uncertain, like he doesn't have a plan, and isn't sure if he should fight to win.

The rare and always-welcome sword sparks make appearances during this fight, intermittently.

At the base of the Eiffel Tower, some shadowy figures are looking on creepily. Don't worry, it's just Amanda, Joe, and Methos.

Boy, Richie is missing all of the exciting stuff in this season isn't he?

This fight is a real banger, as they clash all around the upper deck of the tower with Paris in the background.

Duncan finally scores a good hit on Kalas, hobbling him momentarily, and his confidence quickly returns.

One good riposte later, and the fight is won! But will Duncan finish him?

Kalas still thinks Duncan is going to have to let him live...until they both realize that the Eiffel Tower is the world's biggest lightning-conductor. So maybe...maybe there's like a 5% chance it'll knock out power in the area around it, so Kalas' file transfer will get interrupted? His base IS right near the tower, after all. None of this occurred to him, seems a bit unlikely.

A thunderstorm rolls in as they have this realization, and...


Kalas thought Duncan was going to throw the fight, right up until the end.

Evil spirits slam into Duncan as THE QUICKENING begins. This is the kind of Quickening you don't want too many of, cause eventually you might turn evil or something. I mean, in theory, maybe. ...nah it'll be fine.




"You are one with all things Highlanda!"

The Trio still don't know who won. One thing is for sure, this is the longest Quickening so far in the series, maybe ever in the series. It goes on for an age.

Just occurred to me. Given the massiveness of this Quickening, and Kalas' throat injury, and the episode being called Finale... was this at one time planned to be the final battle/episode of the series, and was the fight supposed to be a retelling of Connor/Kurgan? Because on the drawing board, they planned for Connor to be the main character of the series. It was only late in development that they decided to have Connor and Duncan be two separate characters. It stands to reason that if the show was conceived as a retelling of the movie with Connor, that the final fight would have been with Kurgan. Thus, the Kalas series of episodes uses a lot of the ideas that were originally intended for the final arc between Connor and Kurgan? Just a wild theory.

Duncan has the idea to latch onto the Eiffel Tower's structure while the Quickening is still going on, really spreading the lightning around.

...and it works. Somehow it works. Lightning zips all over the place... windows shatter in nearby homes and vehicles...

...businesses are obliterated...

...and basically everything electronic nearby gets fried, including Kalas' computer.

Finally the power goes out, one section of the Eiffel Tower at a time. What a visual.

Everyone hugs it out, and Duncan is completely exhausted.

They all take a moment to toast and remember Fitz and Paul. To old friends and new ones.

Joe finally found Kalas' lair, and the Watcher Database is completely fried.

Also, numerous aspiring Parisian future Soundcloud rappers had their careers ended that day.

Amanda mentions how sleepy she is all of a sudden and Methos gives her this priceless look before chugging his wine and ushering Joe away so Amanda and Duncan can go to bone-town.

Methos is amazing.

Elsewhere...there is another disc at the bookstore. What a cliffhanger! ...except I don't think this ever comes into play, so we're good.

The vile Roman himself. What a villain.

Great pair of episodes we just had, among the best in the series. I have no trouble saying that the Kalas arc is the series high point so far. Here's hoping Season Four maintains that high level and is as good as I remember.


  1. The Eiffel Tower looks bendy in that title screen.

    Amanda, a thief? NO.

    I wonder if the Methos buzz is supposed to be literal and not just for us. If that were the case then Duncan would always know it was Methos. I doubt it, since this show likes to do the bait-and-switch with the buzz, often with a "oh it was just Richie."

    Man, it's hard to top an Eiffel Tower quickening.

  2. Even Adrian Paul has a hard time taking the "Kalas vs. Vemas" scene seriously. If you listen to the DVD commentary, he starts chuckling about how Vemas has a convenient Uzi laying around in his car. Not to mention, Vemas comes at Kalas with a car and an Uzi and still loses.

    But then, Kalas beat down Fitzcairn, Methos, Amanda, and even Duncan himself a few times, so Kalas is pretty badass.

    1. Vernas is one of the baddest humans around, at least, with a hell of a right cross.

      I'd say Kalas is probably the most formidable bad guy in the entire series outside of maybe Kronos.