Thursday, January 27, 2022

Highlander 4x02 - Brothers in Arms

Season 4 does the same thing Season 3 does and has a really relevant second episode. Either of these could have been the season premiere. While 3-02 deals with Duncan's Native American time period, this one deals with Joe Dawson's history.

Duncan and Joe are just arriving back from Scotland. I HOPE NOTHING GOES WRONG.

They're right off the plane and breathing that fresh Vancouver air when... assassin appears!

At the same time, Duncan senses an immortal...

...and it's this guy, Andrew Cord, seen here giving his best O-Face right before being shot multiple times by the sniper.

Duncan goes after the sniper and they have a brawl, which the sniper does well in before ultimately getting choked out by Duncan.

Duncan yanks off the mask and it's Charlie DeSalvo. MY GOD. We haven't seen this guy least a season. I don't think he was in S3 at all.

Duncan is just confused. Charlie reassures him that the guy he shot was "a really bad guy", not knowing that the guy isn't actually dead.

What are the odds that all of these coincidences would happen RIGHT outside the airport RIGHT after Duncan and Joe get back from Scotland?

It gets better too: Cord, the now bullet-ridden immortal, is Joe's old commander from Vietnam.

These are like Divine Intervention levels of coincidences now.

We go back to the past, to 1968. A turbulent election year, where a bunch of federal agents posed as protesters at the Democratic Convention to incite riots.

Heres's Cord with Young Joe Dawson.

Joe has a general "get me the hell out of here" look the entire time, as he finds out one of their squadmates raped a Vietnamese woman.

Cord looks the other way on it and tells Joe to do the same because it's "one of ours". Joe is PISSED, and doesn't know what to do.

Moments later, Vietcong shred their camp with bullets, blasting Cord to smithereens. Also the rapist catches one in the head, just to tie that up.

Joe runs for his life as guys drop all around him, only to step on something. Uh oh.

That's right, it's a land mine.

That's it for Young Joe, in a legitimately painful scene to watch.

It detonates and he goes flying into a river, only to later wake up in the hands of...

...Cord, who is back from the dead and makes sure Joe gets to safety.

Back in the present, they catch up a bit, with Joe now older and wisened.

Cord asks who Joe's friend was that he sensed, and Joe says "Duncan Macleod". Cord gets an "oh shit" look, seen here. Joe says not to worry, he'll make sure they leave each other alone.

Meanwhile! Back at the ranch! Joe explains to Duncan that Cord is his friend from 'Nam, and he doesn't know why someone was trying to kill the guy. Duncan doesn't let on that the shooter was Charlie...because he doesn't have any answers either.

Charlie shows up at the dojo (that he used to run) to comment on the decor while Duncan tries to get him to explain what's going on. Charlie keeps being vague, frustrating Duncan. NOT SO FUN WHEN OTHER PEOPLE DO IT, EH?

Flashback to...months ago in the Balkans. More war!

Charlie is with that Mara lady he ran off with, and they're running tactical on some sort of rebellion. Turns out the guns they were sold (by Cord) are all defective, and they lost a bunch of troops.

After Charlie goes out to find Cord, the man shows up himself.

Cord is all "lol" at guns. He points out that the gun she's holding is one of it might not fire.

Charlie returns to find Cord standing over Mara's corpse, before Cord makes himself scarce.

Charlie is, obviously, out for blood now. The good news is, he got his revenge, so he can stop.

...or so he thinks. In other news, I want whatever that mural is over the bed there.

Duncan goes to Dawson and explains that he needs to talk to Cord. Joe REALLY doesn't want the two of them to be around each other, probably because he knows what happens to every immortal Duncan "talks" to.

Flashback. It's another painful one, as doctors tell Young Joe that his legs are gone. He doesn't even know this because he can still feel them via phantom limb syndrome.

He's completely defeated by this revelation, and after the doctor leaves, he contemplates shooting himself then and there.

However, just in time, he gets a visitor.

It's Young Ian Bancroft (great name), the leader of the Watchers. Well, not yet. In any case, while everyone else dismissed Dawson as crazy for going on about Cord saving him, Bancroft here knows he's telling the truth.

He tries to convince Joe to become a part of the work that they're doing, observing Cord and others like him. Joe will mull it over...what else is he gonna do.

Duncan points out that while Joe knows him better than anybody, he knows very little about Joe. Well, he never asked or expressed any interest, so...

Joe: "You never asked"

Yeah, see?

After Duncan explains that Charlie was the shooter and that he needs to talk to Cord for Charlie's sake, Joe realizes the situation. Cord might go after Charlie for revenge and Charlie won't see it coming.

Everything so far would be much easier if everyone would just communicate!

Joe meets up with Cord at a paintball range and asks him to talk to Duncan. Cord has no interest in doing this, but Joe tells him it'll be alright, so he reluctantly agrees.

Waiting for Cord to show up, Joe plays some guitar. Duncan asks him how long he's been playing, and Joe says that after his injury he had a huge amount of free time to learn something new.

CHARLIE shows up, wanting to talk to Duncan and Joe. not good. They tell him it's a bad time and try to usher him out, but it's too late.

The door swings open, and...


Just kidding, it's Cord, here for the meeting and pulling his best Blue Steel.

Charlie is like "the...fuck is this?"

Joe is just bewildered. First crazy coincidences, now the worst timing ever. It's like some sort of divine comedy.

Duncan drags Charlie outside and tries to explain-without-explaining that he needs to let this go because Cord is too much for him to deal with. Charlie storms off and presumably Cord does too.

Later, Cord wants another meeting with Duncan, and this time he wants Joe to help him because he owes him. It sounds like he wants Duncan's head, or thinks Duncan is gonna come after him and wants to pre-empt it.

Joe with a tremendous line here: "I owe you MY life, not his"

More discussion. Cord is going to track down Duncan, and he might be on his way to fight.

Sure enough, he shows up at the dojo.

This guy is really good with a sword, and Adrian Paul seems to have a blast fighting with him.

The fight goes all over the dojo and Cord holds his own pretty well. His main strong point is that he has zero fear of death whatsoever, so he doesn't hesitate or make mistakes.

Finally Duncan gets the better of him...and spares him.

Duncan says he's sparing him for Joe Dawson's sake, and won't do it a second time.

Back at the bar, Joe tries to talk Charlie out of chasing Cord down. Just let him go on his way, it's over. Charlie disagrees, and won't stop.

Joe tells Charlie straight-up that Cord is going to kill him if he continues this pursuit. Charlie thanks him for the drink and takes off.

And who is right outside? Cord, waiting for Charlie to emerge. He doesn't care much about Duncan giving him an extra life, and decided it'd be fun to kill Charlie anyway.

A battle follows, where both guys break out knives and go all Krav Maga. This is the kind of brawl you rarely see on this program.

Cord is pretty much two steps ahead the entire time, and manages to disable Charlie.

Much stabbing follows, and that's it for Charlie.

Yeah, they brought him back for one episode, just so he can be GONE FOREVER. I'd rather they just let him walk off into the sunset than this, TBH.

Duncan gets there and finds Charlie bleeding out, and there's nothing he can do.

Charlie still wants to know why Duncan is so mysterious, and Duncan decides to finally tell him.

He explains that he's immortal...and so is Cord. So he never had a chance.

Charlie: "the...fuck"

Duncan breaks up pretty hard at this, but it's more anger than sadness because the whole thing could have been avoided.

We see a CHARLIE MONTAGE, complete with his very first scene...

...and his last one before he went away for a while. Yeah, this would have been a better last shot for the guy.

Instead it's this.

Duncan goes full-warpath and ORDERS Dawson to give him Cord's location.

Cord is at the weird paintball compound again, where he practices his shooting all day every day.

Now that Cord is in his element, he's much more dangerous, and manages to get some good hits on Duncan in the rematch.

...but wait! Duncan was playing possum!

THE BATTLE IS JOINED! And yeah, again, these two clearly had a damn blast filming this.

Duncan with a SUPERKICK.

The fight ends nearly on a fluke, when Duncan stumbles and raises his sword just as Cord is diving after him.


Duncan absorbs the essence of the guy with massive amounts of PTSD and general mental illness. Good thing Duncan is able to absorb all of that without ever completely flipping out.

Joe is pretty goddamn sad at the whole thing, and it's about to get worse.

Duncan says they shouldn't be friends anymore, that Joe's alliance with Cord made things more complicated than they needed to be. It's true, if it weren't for that, Duncan would have finished Cord in the first fight, and Charlie wouldn't be dead.

Joe is dejected, and leaves. That's right, Duncan broke up with him.

It kinda sucks, because Joe and Duncan were finally getting along again in the end of the previous episode and the beginning of this one, now it's out the window.

Note that it doesn't say HOW he was deceased like it usually does.

Kind of a rough episode to watch. A good one for sure, but definitely on the depressing side. With Duncan now in full Loner Mode again, here's hoping for Richie and/or Methos to return sooner than later.

Other Highlander Posts


  1. I felt like Cord's Quickening was too small. Even weenie villains like Tarsis and Devon Marek had bigger Quickenings than he did.

  2. "I owe you my life, not his" is indeed tremendous.

    Highlander "we can't have anything nice* The Series.