Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Highlander 4x07 - The Colonel


This is a pretty formulaic episode that feels more like something out of S1 or S2, with a very cut-and-dry caricature of a villain. That said, even an iffy Highlander episode tends to still have some cool moments, so let's go.

We start with Duncan leaving his job at the school, just a normal day, nothing interesting happening this week-

-then he gets ambushed by thugs! He does a pretty good job fighting them off with lots of Wax On parries. Alas, eventually he takes a GOLDBERG STUN GUN and they subdue him.

Back at Joe's Bar, it looks like Amanda has set up a meeting between Joe and Duncan* since they haven't spoken since Charlie's death and the rift it created. However...Duncan is a no-show, and Joe thinks it's all fruitless to even try.

* - She did this by telling Duncan that Joe wouldn't be there, so maybe Joe has a point.

The bad guys put Duncan in a strait jacket and drag him into some cell.

Back at the bar, this scrumptious Melissa lady is scamming an old guy by acting interested when she's really just trying to swipe his wallet.

This draws the attention of Amanda, who has thieving down to a science, and steals Melissa's keys to demonstrate how it's done.

Amanda apologizes to Joe for the whole attempt at reconciliation, then...

...runs out the door with her hot new friend, presumably to hook up since this is a bar and all.

Joe's probably wondering why he was born a dude.

"It's POINTLESS. All I have is this dong and sometimes it doesn't even cooperate!"

Joe then realizes he's thinking out loud and peers around.

Elsewhere, Duncan is trying to get out of the strait jacket, which is REALLY TOUGH. Wonder if Amanda taught him this kind of thing at any point. I'm assuming yes. Would have been cool to have a brief moment telling us that, instead of having to go by headcanon, though.

Amanda and Melissa go to break into a jewelry store just for giggles, then she's gonna introduce Melissa to her man-friend Duncan. In the previous episode Amanda and Anne presumably had a three-way with Duncan and already Amanda is bringing another chick back? What is she, a unicorn?

What am I watching

Anyway they break into the jewelry store, set off the alarm, and leave. Melissa thinks Amanda is the coolest person ever.

Here's the villain of the week, Colonel Killian. Not to be confused with that Captain a few episodes back. That guy was Navy, this guy is Army. Well, British Army to be specific. He's a very angry guy, and you'd be angry too if you had to live for centuries with this face.

Duncan shows us a clinic in how to get out of a strait jacket. Like, I think I actually know how now.


They open fire and a car explodes, setting Duncan on fire. I know Adrian Paul did all of his own stunts for this show, but I think for this one he might have had to tap out and let a professional handle it.

...think that one over, Cody.

Killian and his goons watch Duncan leap into the nearby river. Well, the goons really botched this one. Killian never even got to talk to Duncan, much less carry out his evil plan of imprisoning him.

Back at the dojo, Melissa and her sick midriff are all like "whoa" at all the weapons.

Duncan shows up, beaten-up and with shredded clothes. Melissa stares at his junk (I'm not even making that part up) and very obviously flirts with him before saying she has to go. She'll be in her bunk.

Amanda asks Duncan what happened, and we get a flashback. It's World War 1, and waves of poor people are throwing themselves at each other in trench warfare to enrich the pockets of the Military-Industrial Complex and the war-financiers.

Duncan is a medic by this point, running around trying to save lives. A number of people have added up all of the flashbacks in the series and found that they are remarkably consistent in terms of where he is, how his persona evolved to be more pacifistic, and even how much of an accent he has (it diminishes with each century). The attention to detail in his history/flashbacks is actually pretty astounding. There are however a few discrepancies out of Season 1, like him going to China for like one year at a point where he'd never left Europe for a century before or after.

However, a few Season 1 blips are to be expected because Season 1 is kinda its own thing. Had different writers and a different theme, more of a cop show that hadn't established a continuity and just kinda did whatever with flashbacks. David Abramowitz took over as head writer for Season 2 onward (after doing a number of S1's standout episodes) and the difference really shows. They moved away from "cop show" and references to The Gathering and moved more towards the immortals being cooperative and having a community of sorts. And back to the flashbacks, they must have established a solid history-bible for Duncan for the writers to know where he was and when.

Colonel Killian hobbles up and meets Duncan for the first time. He scoffs and asks Duncan why he's a MERE FIELD MEDIC instead of a commander and all of the glory that goes with it.

"I fought here against Napoleon and Louis XIV! I've seen too many men die over the same nothing to ever want to do it again."


Killian...hides the notice and tells the soldiers to charge, because he wants a WIN on this battlefield. Duncan sees what's going on and freaks the hell out. The messenger agrees with Duncan and says he'll inform the soldiers of the cease-fire, so Killian turns around and shoots both of them.

He then leads his troops in a death-charge against enemy forces who are presumably standing down at this point, to catch them off guard and WIN, DAMMIT. YOU GOTTA GRAB YOUR COMPETITION BY THE THROAT.

Duncan wakes up and runs around trying to stop everyone from charging into a pointless battle, but nobody listens, and tons of death results.

Killian is court-marshalled, and with Duncan's testimony, stripped of his rank and sentenced to a firing squad. Damn! He regrets nothing, because they WON, DAMMIT.

He goes on to say that they should have pushed onward all the way to Berlin and crushed the Germans once and for all. "YOU THINK WE WON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM AGAIN?" he screeches.

Duncan points out that Killian is clearly mentally insane, and it would be unfair to sentence him to death by firing squad. The court should show mercy...and give him life in a psychiatric ward, watching him so he can't commit suicide.

So they do, and there he rots...for 75 years.

Back in the present. Amanda: "I think I'm taller than you!"

Much like in wrestling, heels are cheating.

They're meeting Melissa for a lunch date, and...she has made herself look exactly like Amanda.

Amanda seems to like having a clone a little too much, and even gives her some of her clothes.


The face of "what have I gotten myself into...but also, this is a bit hot"

Elsewhere, Killian is enjoying the company of his army of pet tarantulas. This guy is such a generic villain, he even has a gravelly voice.

His goons kidnap Melissa, thinking she's Amanda, as a way to get back at Duncan. She does LOOK like Amanda, but if these guys were smart they'd notice that Melissa has much nicer legs. Less bony knees, better thigh proportion due to not being as tall, etc. However, they clearly didn't notice any of this, because they're savages and have no taste.

Elsewhere, these two are shagging about it. Duncan says he isn't sure if he can handle two Amandas, and Amanda says something about not wanting to share him anyway. So...they don't have three-ways? This "relationship" seems tailor-made for some three-ways. Well, it was USA Network in the 90's, maybe they can't handle two women.

Melissa is dropped off at the dojo, poisoned by spider venom. It's potentially deadly and we don't know if she'll recover. This is also THE LAST TIME WE EVER SEE HER. Damn.

Duncan goes back to Killian's place willingly to deal with this before he hurts anyone else. Of course, the goons jump in and shoot him. It begs the question of why more immortals don't just surround themselves with armed goons. I assume there's a belief that if they behead an incapacitated opponent, they'll cause a Vesuvius type eruption from going against nature/God/fate/time.

Killian has something worse in mind: He'll trap Duncan in this cell in his basement... with nothing besides canned liver rations. Duncan hates liver.

Killian says Duncan will do 75 years... AS HE DID. The lightbulb will stop working in around two years, and madness will set in around year 3.

Duncan is like "yeah whatever" and doesn't give the guy any satisfaction by acting upset or scared. However, internally he's trying to figure out how the hell he can get out of this.

Also I think he's pretending to still be in a strait jacket that he got out of before this.

Back at the bar, Joe thinks Duncan lost the fight with Killian. Amanda doesn't think so because she hasn't sensed anything and she'd "know" if he lost. Also losing to Killian is like losing a fight to Dodoria. Of all Freeza's goons...Dodoria? Really?

Duncan has a can-opener for the liver rations, and uses it to start sawing at the concrete around the door. This could work...in a few months. And I'm pretty sure the can-opener will go dull way before he makes any real progress, and then he won't be able to eat anything. Unless he finds a way to smash the cans open. I'm thinking way too much about this.

Killian's watcher visits Joe and informs him that Duncan isn't dead, Killian is keeping him in a cell. Joe is blown away by this tremendous news, but has to act like he isn't due to that pesky Watcher Code of not interfering. The woman is all "you're not thinking of INTERFERING are you?"

Well, next thing you know, Amanda breaks Duncan out of jail. However, she couldn't do it without the help of...

...Joe, who is pretty thrilled to see his buddy again.

Duncan grabs his katana (which Killian helpfully left on the other side of the jail room, I guess to taunt Duncan with its presence) and heads up to find Killian.

The battle is joined! Killian is old and decrepit, and Duncan pretty much has his way with this foe.

Good shot of the handle, before Duncan goes for the SHIIING.

California Governor Gavin Killian (there's a large resemblance in this shot for whatever reason) is stunned at this turn of events. He should have stayed in London. Wonder how he got out of that psych ward to begin with. Judging from the timeframe, he headed straight for Duncan once he did.

Duncan gets the quickening, etc, and...

...this is a huge one that goes on for a while and destroys part of this bunker, or whatever this place is. Weird that this Killian jobber gets a big quickening, but whatever.

Back at the ranch, Duncan has had a rough couple of days. Amanda says that Melissa got better from the spider bites, so that's good. She's still GONE FOREVER though.

Amanda: "You're my best friend. But I have to go away."

Duncan: "Door is always open, I'll always be there for you."

Internally he's going "thank GOD, a break"

She asks him to make amends with Joe, because life is too short...for Joe. Amanda then takes off, wonder when she'll turn up again.

Duncan listens to her and visits Joe. Things are all tense and weird, so instead of talking about it...

...Duncan pours them some shots.

Well, good episode from an angle development standpoint, pretty average one from a "villain of the week" standpoint. Follows up on the Brothers In Arms episode with Charlie pretty well.

And speaking of Brothers In Arms, prepare to have your mind blown.

Remember the guy who played Young Joe in Vietnam? Here he is now, some 25 years later:

That's absolutely crazy. They sure got the casting down for the kid. If this show got a reboot for some reason, this guy could play Joe Dawson. Though it'd be pretty hard to replicate the gravitas and honesty that Jim Byrnes brings to the role.

1 comment:

  1. "Much like in wrestling, heels are cheating." LOL

    All the USA Network could handle back then was La Femme Nikitas.

    Good post here.