Monday, October 3, 2022

Highlander 4x10 - Chivalry

 

Today on Highlander: Richie gets laid! Methos returns! And the story of how Duncan learned to dress respectably!


Normandy! 1659! Duncan stumbles across a bunch of highwaymen while roaming around in the woods mumbling about Shakespeare.

He senses an immortal in the carriage they were about to assail, and gets mad when the mystery carriage immortal doesn't help him scare off the robbers.

Wait a minute, this is the exact same scene as the Edge one in Highlander Endgame, pretty much. Just missing Connor.

The immortal in the carriage turns out to be Kristin, who instantly decides Duncan will be her new boyfriend.

Well, that happened. Duncan gave out a hilarious "ooh!" when he discovered that the mystery immortal was a girl.

Back in the present, Richie wonders what life is gonna be like 400 years from now and if he'll be around to see it. Then he wonders if we'll ever have warp spaceships or if it's impossible.

Duncan points out that back in his day, they thought flight was impossible unless you were a bird.

I mean, that's a great point, because for a long time (even as late as the 1800's) the greatest scientific minds of their eras went on record that the technology for flight of any kind wouldn't exist for at least 800 to 1000 years if it was even possible at all. ...then they all turned out to be wrong.

Later, Richie is going with his ludicrously hot friend Maria to a modeling audition. ...for her, not him, though the audience being confused is understandable.

The modeling agency is ruled over by Kristin, alive and well in the modern era.

Richie has the same reaction Duncan had back in 1659. So...they make girl immortals too, do they?

Then he brushes his eyebrows with a comb while locking eyes with her intensely.

Maria discusses her modeling career with Kristin. Surprisingly to Maria, Kristin is all about bringing her on board. Unbeknownst to Maria, it's mainly because Kristin is into Richie.

Richie meanwhile is letting his mind wander, to say the least

Also, what is this, a miniskirt convention? How is Richie supposed to THINK?

Maria (seen here being incredibly gorgeous) gets accepted with a modeling contract.

I wish Maria were in more episodes. It's another Simone situation. Though unlike Simone, Maria doesn't die or anything. She pops up here and there, in very short doses. This is probably the only episode where she has much to do.

With the deal signed, Richie sticks around to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

That's right, he takes the red pill and disappears into The Matrix, aka Kristin's la-la-land where guys go through puberty a second time. We won't see him for a few days.

Duncan gets a visit from Methos. He's been gone for a bit. Is this his first appearance in Season 4? Damn. It's definitely his first visit to Duncan's pad.

Duncan: "Mi casa es su casa. How's Paris?"

Methos: "A LOT quieter since you left."

In the past, Kristin talks about how Duncan is a vision of perfection, but must be molded in her image. Or something. She's fun enough, but ultra-controlling.

For that reason, she has gotten him fine silken garments befitting a dandy lad. No more Scottish rags for him!

Now we know why he's so well-dressed when he goes to Italy and meets Fitz for the first time, a few years after this, compared to the earlier flashbacks where he's always wearing ragged garb.

Back in the present, Methos (who is a Watcher and has access to all their files, mind you) informs Duncan that Kristin is in town...and putting the moves on Richie.

Duncan: "He hasn't told me anything about that."

Methos: "Maybe he just hasn't gotten out of bed yet."

Well, Methos sure called that. GET 'EM, RICHIE!

After lots (and lots) of banging, they have to get going because she has like, work. She's about 50x busier than Richie is.

We go back to Normandy of the past to find out more about why this Kristin is a menace. So far she seems awesome.

Duncan is frustrated and tired, after weeks of her trying to remake him by teaching him manners and proper dressing and the differences between all of the different clarets and cabernets.

Duncan: "I am not some silken fop!"

He has a point that all of the clothes and etiquette has little deeper meaning and largely only functions to ingratiate yourself to the foppish gentlemen of the era, something Duncan has little interest in doing.

Back to the present (this episode is like half-flashback, like the previous one) Duncan confronts Kristin and tells her to stay away from Richie. He knows her track record of getting men wrapped around her in a weird co-dependent thing, then trying to kill them if they ever leave her. He isn't gonna let that happen to Richie.

Kristin basically tells him off and asks if he's planning on killing her the way he gets so many of his lovers killed. Jeepers!

Methos: "Round one to Kristin."

Next up is one of the better scenes in the series. Methos drops in on Duncan practicing, and asks if he can hold the katana.

Yeah, that thing is pretty nice. You can buy one straight from the smithing company that made them for the show, too.

Oh Yeahhhhh. Nice.

Methos goes to make a point, telling Duncan that not only is he naive, now he is weaponless.

He thinks Duncan is such a boy scout that he lets dangerous people like Kristin get away when he should be putting them down, and eventually one of them is going to come back and take advantage of his weakness.

They square up for a duel. This is one of two times they ever fight, I believe, with the other time being in the final episode of the show.

But first! Flashback!

Back in 1661, Duncan is being painted.

This gorgeous painter has been commissioned by Kristin to paint her beloved Mac. However the painter kinda has feelings for him and vice-versa, so the painting is...taking way too long.

Kristin basically says that Duncan would be handsomer if he smiled more and tells the painter to make him look happier.

Man, between the painter and Maria, this episode is a beautiful woman smorgasbord. Kristin is alright too except for the whole being controlling and/or murderous part.

Duncan talks to her about how they both have feelings for each other and need to act upon it. When the painting is done, he's taking his leave of Kristin to be with her instead. The painter is reluctant since he's "taken", but also knows how unhappy he is in his relationship.

Duncan tries to break things off and Kristin goes Full Psychotic Breakdown, saying she has NO REASON TO LIVE NOW.

This leads to her actually trying to kill him, and failing. She's one of the weakest immortals in this entire series, hands-down.

Back in the present, we get THE DUEL. This fight is really good and worth seeing. Duncan is stronger but it's closer than one would think.

After Methos keeps pace with him for a couple of minutes (putting up a better fight than most of Duncan's opponents), Duncan one-ups him with a quick combination. Methos did pretty well for not knowing how to wield a katana (or at least not having nearly the practice).

Jesus H. Christ

That was very nearly a THISH ISH THE QUICKENING.

Methos must really trust Duncan, given how completely risk-averse he is at all times normally.

Richie walks in, wondering if this is a friendly duel or not.

This is the first time they've met. Yeah, just for having all of this trio on screen at once, this episode is great. I didn't realize how uncommon it was for the gang to all be assembled in any given episode.

Interesting note: When Duncan goes to introduce Methos to Richie, Methos cuts him off before he can say a name, then introduces himself as "Adam Pierson". There's that risk aversion.

Richie tells Duncan about how he just met this amazing woman. Duncan already knows.

...and Methos' adrenaline is wearing off so he's probably starting to internally question himself, seen here rubbing his neck where it nearly got slashed.

Duncan and "Adam" explain that Kristin is bad news, and Richie doesn't want to hear it. Something nice is happening for him for a change and it's gotta be wrong or bad in some way.

Well F that! He's outta here! Duncan shrugs at all of the expected reactions, looking at Methos (who really pushed Duncan into having this talk with Richie to begin with).

Back at the pier, Kristin and Richie are having a smooch-fest. They just saw each other like 2 hours ago. My God.

Duncan appears to break up the proceedings while Kristin lurks in the background doing leg things and rolling her eyes like The Rock listening to Faarooq.

Duncan: "I've been wrong about a lot of things in my life, but this isn't one of them."

Richie: "You know, I think this is because she wants ME and not you."

You tell him, Richie! You get hanky-panky ONCE IN A WHILE and you gotta get lectured about it?

Duncan gives up and walks off while Kristin rubs all over Richie like a flirtatious cat.

We get another great Duncan/Methos scene, as they paint Duncan's new house and discuss the situation. Also it's raining, which is pretty cool.

Methos points out that Duncan hasn't told Richie the whole story about what happened back when.

Flashback again. Turns out Kristin actually drowned the painter, out of jealousy and fear that Duncan was going to leave her. Which he was, not that it makes any of this okay.

Duncan goes into full rage-mode and is ready to kill her.

She tells him to do it because she has nothing to live for if he's not around. He can't do it, no matter how much he wants to.

Methos: "If she were a man, she'd have been dead 350 years ago!"

Nope, for whatever reason, Duncan still just doesn't want to fight her.

...come to think of it, how many times in this series DOES he kill a woman? I almost can't think of a single time. I never even realized this before now. The only one that comes to mind is Nefertiri.

Methos: "A couple of medieval songwriters come up with the idea of "chivalry" one rainy day, and you embrace it as a lifestyle. You live and die by a code of honor that was trendy when you were a kid."

Duncan: "Do you think it's easy killing a woman who you've held in your arms?"

Methos, incredulously: "Take it from me, it's a lot easier than DYING!"

You really get the sense throughout this conversation that Methos is trying to help Duncan be less naive in how he looks at things, before it costs him in a fight. It's possible Methos already sees Duncan as one of the best of them, and has a vested interest in seeing him survive.

Duncan gets him with the ol' paint to the nose, however, and that's it for this discussion.

Elsewhere, it turns out that Maria is getting more lucrative offers from another modeling agency, but already signed on with Kristin. And now Triple H is running her old modeling agency and dammit she's just not sure if she made the right move!

Richie is gonna talk to Kristin and see if she can let Maria out of the contract, or at least work for someone else for a bit.

Kristin: "Absolutely not!"

Welp.

When Richie gets upset about this, she goes ballistic.

"You're sleeping with that LITTLE TART!" she screeches.

"WHAT DOES SHE HAVE THAT I DON'T?"

Well, for starters...

I mean, look at her

Richie turns his back on her and walks away, so she RUNS HIM THROUGH.

She actually goes for the decapitation strike and he somehow ducks, despite being nearly incapacitated by the sneak attack.

Richie manages to throw himself out the nearest window with what energy he has.

..........annnnnnd plummets to his death. That must have felt horrendous. I remember when Duncan had a massive fall back in S1 and his bones had to like, re-locate back together and it was a few minutes of abject suffering.

Methos: "You dump her, and then you TURN YOUR BACK ON HER?"

"Talk about the blind leading the visually challenged!"

One of my favorite lines from this entire show.

Kristin calls Maria over for a meeting at her palatial estate. Tens of thousands of square feet, 12 bedrooms, and she's done it with Richie in all 12.

She drugged the champagne, and Maria quickly falls over into the nearby pool.

Duncan arrives (with Methos trailing behind at a safe distance) and wants to know where Maria is.

Methos spots her in the pool. She was laying in it for a good 2 minutes or so, she should probably be dead.

They get her out and get her revived. I was totally certain she was done.

Methos with a compassionate moment. He has these. Wouldn't surprise me if he's been a doctor in a bunch of his lives.

Duncan is beyond done with Kristin.

Kristin gets all sexy about it and tries to get out of fighting. Your tricks won't work, foul succubus!

They battle it out, and Duncan quickly wins. Wouldn't surprise me if this were the same beach he fought Joan Jett on in S1. She was one of a bunch of early bad guys who he spared. I kinda wanted to see those few return as a DEADLY ALLIANCE to take Duncan down at some point, but nope.

He goes to finish her off...and can't do it. Again. He spares her and walks off.

Methos shows up now. I think seeing Maria's condition gave Methos whatever nudge he needed to intervene.

Methos orders Kristin to stand up and fight, and Duncan realizes that she's really going to die here.

Kristin: "Who the hell are you?"

Methos: "A man who was born long before the age of chivalry."

Methos and Kristin battle it out, and he defeats her just as easily as Duncan did.

SHIIIIING!

"Someone had to do it" Methos says to Duncan.

Not much of a quickening because it happens in the background while Duncan mulls over it.

Back at the ranch, Duncan is happy the whole thing is over and happy Richie isn't dead.

Richie has to eat some crow here and tells Duncan that he was right.

We close off with Duncan talking to Methos and quoting a student of Confucius. "I dislike death, but there are things that I dislike more than death."

Methos: "Therefore there are occasions where I will not avoid danger."

Basically, death before dishonor, that's where Duncan is. He'll spare a dangerous foe if he thinks it'd be dishonorable to end them. Methos on the other hand will fully avoid death/danger, nothing else is consequential in comparison. And I think Methos is the one with the right idea here.

A lot of the evil immortals had an unfair first death. Like, a LOT of them. They were killed for some BS reason, and it shaped their entire personality from that point on.

REALLY good episode, worth spending a little more time than usual on.





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