Friday, April 21, 2023

Highlander 4x16 - Methuselah's Gift

Man, worst thumbnail ever. I better cover the next episode soon just to get this one off of the "featured post"


This starts with a pretty cool tracking shot of a late-night Paris neighborhood. That place does get weirdly silent and creepy late at night.

A bunch of goons ambush Amanda in her sleep. They're mortal so she didn't sense them, and was probably 3 seconds away from getting killed when she got startled awake.

One of them is carrying a sword, and they're all wearing skull masks. They're clearly here to kill her off. She ends up jumping off the building to escape.

After that she has new Cody Rhodes hair and runs around completely paranoid that she's being followed. I imagine being almost-killed in your sleep will give one the jitters for a while.

Elsewhere and totally unrelated, Methos is doing research on Luther and the Methuselah's Stone. In the season 2 episode "Legacy" (which this episode is a sequel to), Luther was trying to gather a set of crystals to re-build the stone in question.

If one's got the time for a recap, here's the post for Legacy. It shows us the very first time Duncan and Amanda even met, which alone makes it a significant episode. Rebecca and Luther both should have been around longer, but it is what it is.

The Watchers still have the stone in their archives. Luther very nearly assembled the whole thing, and was only missing Amanda's crystal. This stone allowed Methuselah to live for like 900 years, and supposedly when it's fully assembled it grants immortality. So basically it's the Dragonballs. Except you have to carry it around at all times to keep getting the protection from it.

And, supposedly, with said immortality comes perfect health of course.

"We can them" says this extremely not-shady-at-all Watcher bigwig.

Methos is captivated by the crystal and the possibility of assembling it, because if he can succeed where Luther failed, he can save Alexa's life. She's in a hospital somewhere and this is his only shot. Of course, he keeps all of this to himself. Far as the Watchers know, he's just mild-mannered researcher Adam Pierson.

Elsewhere, at the now somewhat-rebuilt barge (which is now parked at the Eiffel Tower which is awesome)

Amanda tells Duncan about the attempt on her life. She's totally freaked out. He kinda dismisses the whole thing since it sounds like his typical Wednesday... until she mentions that one of the mortals had a sword. That gets his attention.

This very bad at his job Watcher gets apprehended by them and they hold him captive for information. He tells them that the Watchers don't know anything about the masked assailants. The guy is very convincing. He does tell them what kind of van the bad guys were driving, though.

Back at Watcher HQ, the guy reports to his boss. Man, that is the most unattractive bust I've ever seen.

His the shady guy!

The smart money says this guy was behind the attack and wants to assemble the Methuselah's Stone as well. Main question is whether his young Watcher friend is in on it. Or maybe they're all red herrings for... Methos? No, it couldn't be.

Our heroes go around the city checking out every Chevy van that's on record while Amanda freaks out at every shadow.

Amanda: "Is this what it's like to be mortal?"

Duncan: "Only when someone's trying to kill you."

Eventually they find one of the guys who attacked her, but he's already been capped by an unknown assailant in a black trench coat. The unknown guy looked just like Methos from the back, but we don't see his face. He also didn't seem to sense Duncan and Amanda arriving there, since he saw them through the window from like 20 feet away without anything being sensed.

Amanda gets enough info to figure out that someone is after her crystal, the last piece of the Stone that wasn't assembled by Luther.

I'm actually surprised it took this long for the Stone to become a factor again. You'd think an evil Watcher would have gone after her, or Amanda would have gone after the rest of it. Considering it's the single biggest magic relic in this series.

Meanwhile, in the past! Amanda was a hot thief. Look at those firm haunches.

She tries to steal the Methuselah's Stone from Rebecca, who catches her in the act.

Rebecca is painfully gorgeous. And a generally decent person. I hope she found a "better use" for Duncan's head like she said she would in that one episode.

Rebecca tells Amanda that all of her students get a shard of the crystal when they leave. It's the nicest thing she has, and was passed down through the ages. So in theory she once had indestructibility and gave it up.

Amanda wants a shard now, given that she's immature AF. Rebecca says it'll mean a lot more to her when she earns it by finishing her training.

In the middle of the night, Amanda rolls out of bed (...with Rebecca) and sneaks off to go steal stuff.

Rebecca catches her (again) and is actually quite perturbed by her disloyalty. She gives Amanda a choice: Fight her for the stone, or give it back and accept her forgiveness.

Amanda chooses forgiveness, and they note that no one has ever forgiven her before. She'll finish her training. By the end of it, she'd no longer be an insufferable thief.

Amanda decides to go after the Stone in the Watcher archives. Duncan questions whether she's doing this to keep it safe or because she's decided she wants invulnerability and thinks the myths might be true.

She...well, yeah, she's going for the invulnerability. Nothing gets you wanting that like being in mortal fear.

We get a flashback to the fight with Luther from S2. It's just as well, because this episode doesn't actually have an immortal fight.

This was actually a great battle, and Luther was a real match for Duncan. One of 3 actual threats in S2. Others are Xavier in "Unholy Alliance" and Martin Hyde in "Prodigal Son".

I'd say "Legacy" was probably S2's best episode. Either that or "Prodigal Son". Hard to say. They were both great episodes and they were back-to-back. It might come down to something as narrow as who you like more between Amanda and Richie, since each episode had one and not the other. When I reviewed them back in 2014 (...Jesus) I picked Prodigal Son.

Amanda arrives at the Watcher archives, and finds...

...My God! Methos is stealing the crystal!

Methos stumbles over the alarm, setting it off, and they both beat a hasty retreat. Neither of them got the stone, either.

I don't remember the Barge ever being parked at the Eiffel Tower, so this is pretty cool. I wonder how many episodes this lasts. Gives the show a different mood. I'd have just kept it here through S5 to further set the later parts of the show apart.

Duncan meets Methos in a park to ask if he was behind the attacks on Amanda. She certainly thinks so.

Methos says that the stone was handed down from Methuselah to Noah, who survived the great flood.

The great flood is an interesting topic. It's found in a bunch of myths, and while some take it as gospel, some think it's just a fable. Yet in recent years a lot more evidence has been found indicating that it was real, and may have "reset" a number of Atlantic civilizations circa 12,000-8,000 years ago. Further science and excavation is needed.

Anyway, regardless of all of that, Methos doesn't know if any of the Methuselah's Stone story is real, as all of those things/people pre-date his time. But By God he has to at least try to save Alexa, and the crystal might be the only way.

Methos refuses to answer the question of whether he was behind the attack on Amanda or not. To him, Duncan should well know the answer already.

Back in the past, Amanda talks to Rebecca at an actual castle. Man, stuff like this is awesome. Turns out she's being hounded by an immortal who wants to fight her, and doesn't know what to do. She's gonna hide in holy ground forever. Or maybe Rebecca can fight him for her!

"Hark Hark" harkens this guy on a horse. Feels like a Monty Python bit is going to break out at any moment.


Rebecca tells Amanda she can't just hide in holy ground forever, at some point she'll have to fight someone.

They should pelt him with eggs and pebbles until he goes away.

Except no, Rebecca's gonna make Amanda fight.

Rebecca: "So get out there, and give it your all! Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta go take a shit."

Somehow Amanda survived the battle with Monty Python guy. Unfortunately we don't see how. We almost never see her actually fight, even in her own show.

She leaves the crystal with Duncan and goes out to meet Methos.

She ends up in this trainyard where a giant truck tries to run her over!

::holds earpiece:: Sorry, I'm being told this is actually a screenshot from Final Fantasy XIII. Not sure how this got in here.

Then she runs into Methos, who just wants to talk. She's ready to fight, though, thinking he was behind everything.

They have a brawl, and neither of them seem terribly capable at the moment. Methos looks like a guy who is terrified of fighting. He's very under the weather right now which might explain it. Amanda is also terrified of fighting, and not very good at it. If she was gonna get her own show, she should have been shown to be a real threat at fencing, like, at all. (Yeah, I know that it wasn't planned beforehand and they just sort of defaulted to her when they couldn't find anyone else)

Under the weather or not, Methos wins, and very nearly finishes her off before he exasperatedly throws his sword down.

He tells her about Alexa's current state, and why he needs the stone. Right now Alexa is hospitalized and has weeks to live.

"YOU TRY BEING HER" he says.

Amanda gets it, and she'll help him get the stone assembled. Powerful scene here though.

They sneak into Watcher HQ...again. This time not as rivals, but as friends.

"Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an elf" he says as he readies his axe.

They hear a meow. ...wait, what the hell is a cat doing in the Watcher sacred archives?

Here it is, knocking things over and randomly hissing. Seriously, who let this little bastard wander around here when it's full of security sensors and whatnot?

While Methos goes after the cat, Amanda finds the assembled stone.

But wait! This guy is afraid he can't let them do that.

Amanda escapes with the stone, but Methos is captured. The middle-management guy shoots him in the resulting struggle, so when he pops back up they realize he's an immortal. Luckily it's just a couple of guys in this room who know about it.

Amanda is ready to put the stone together and Duncan reminds her that they have to save Methos. Just then, the phone rings, and middle-management guy proposes a trade. Methos for the stone.

They meet on a bridge, and the B-Rank Rookie Watcher is standing guard with a sword.

Middle-Management Guy doesn't want to be immortal or anything, as it turns out. He just wants their priceless artifact returned to the archive where it belongs. No immortal should have it, as imperviousness would totally disrupt the balance of everything.

Amanda presents the crystal. Of course, her piece isn't here.

BUT WAIT! Rookie shoots his boss!

Yep, turns out he was behind everything, and has the goons with them bribed. He's also the one who shot the goon earlier. He DOES greatly resemble Methos so now it all makes sense.

He's all evil now, and demands Amanda's crystal so he can make himself immortal.

Also, now that he's gone from unconfident rookie to sure-of-himself villain, he just became like 30x more attractive to all the women watching this.

Glass shatters as Duncan Macleod's music hits.

He's all "looking for this?" and tosses them the crystal.

The Rookie drops it onto the rest of the stone and it suddenly transforms into a globe. Alright, safe to say it really is magical.

Everything breaks down, and we get a rare shot of Duncan killing bad guys with a shotgun. Maybe the only time you'll ever see this.

Amanda manages to blast The Rookie. Even though he's holding the Methuselah's Stone, he dies just the same and the crystal shatters.

Not sure what happened. The crystal might have gotten clipped by the bullets? That or it didn't actually work and just fell apart after a minute. It's un-clear.

Rookie falls off the bridge, along with a bunch of crystal shards. Well, that's it for the Stone.

Still, they did it, they saved Methos and got rid of the guys who were menacing Amanda, and had fun doing it.

Methos goes to fly back to Switzerland to be with Alexa in her last days, so our heroes see him off. They don't know if the Stone would have actually worked or not, but at least he tried.

Good episode, not a great ending though. Un-clear about what happened to the crystal or whether it worked or not. Seems like it didn't work, because otherwise the Rookie would have shrugged off getting shot. Unless the Stone did indeed break apart from gunfire. Still, the episode was fine, particularly the Amanda flashbacks and any time Methos talked about what he's going through.

Next episode soon.

1 comment:

  1. ""Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an elf" he says as he readies his axe." - LOL. Great episode!