Monday, April 24, 2023

Highlander 4x17 - The Immortal Cimoli


Hold on, two Highlander posts in a row? What is this sorcery? In any case, it's another Amanda episode, as we learn about her history as a circus clown. I mean trapeze artist. If she were a clown, we'd already be dead.

We meet Danny Cimoli, a young immature guy who really wants to be a stage magician. He just doesn't have the talent for it, though. So he spends his time brooding in a dark room.

His adoptive mom? charges into the room. "What kind of person sits alone in a dark room?" she says.

I dunno, pretty much all Gen Z'ers who have laptops?

Then she turns on the lights and says she wouldn't have to see this messy room either. Apparently a friend of hers pulled some strings to get Danny a job interview, and he didn't show up.

That's a real "I don't give a care, MOM!" face.

Danny is too good for a regular job. "I wanna be a famous magician NOW!" he says while stamping his foot.

Well no, he isn't quite THAT immature

His mom boots him out of the house and starts throwing all of his stuff out the window. Including a rubber chicken for some reason. "What kind of man plays with toys?" she yells down.

I don't know...all Millennials? 40 is the new 20.

Danny then gets RUN OVER BY A TRUCK.

He was 28.

Good episode, a bit short though.

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Just kidding. So it just so happens that these two are visiting the local circus, where Amanda is friends with everyone. The proprietor sees dollar signs when he looks at Duncan and wonders if they'd both join as a duo.

They check out the circus itself and get blasted with confetti by clowns. No one has ever looked this happy to see clowns.

Then they sense... The Buzz.

A guy in the shadows is about to get gunned down on stage. He is...

...the Immortal Cimoli, the hottest new circus act in the nation. He gets killed and gets back up while Chumbawumba plays. Or at least, it should.

After the show, they pull Danny aside and explain why he gets a headache every time he's near them. That's the Buzz, and he's an immortal.

He wasn't sure what was going on, and figured his inability to die would "wear off" at some point.

He's overjoyed at being an immortal, and wants to be a huge celebrity with his new-found power.

Obviously our heroes can't really let him do that. Also, he has to learn how to fight and start taking seriously the fact that other immortals are gonna go after him.

Duncan trains him to fight. I recognize these flat-topped trees from France, haven't seen them anywhere else.

"Princes of the Universe" should play during this training montage, but it doesn't, 'cause Danny is just too lame for that.

Duncan easily (and I mean easily) beats him as they spar. Danny can't even block two attacks in a row without freaking out.

Since Duncan is being all intimidating and "LEARN DAMMIT" with the guy, this would be a great time for Richie to train somebody. He'd definitely be a lot nicer about it and also be a bit closer to the guy's level (though still well beyond it). Unfortunately Richie is nowhere to be found since Duncan ran him off.

1795 England! Duncan is sparring with his young apprentice, Jean-Phillipe. This guy just recently became an immortal, and apparently he was a pretty damn good fighter even before that. Still, he's studying with Duncan to get better.

Duncan has his katana by this point, which seems like an unfair advantage over European swords. It isn't, though, most of the time. English longswords, like the kind Jean-Phillipe is using, were pretty damn good too. It's just the big slow swords that the katana has a huge advantage over, or the small puny swords.

Jean Phillipe is totally overconfident now that he's immortal, and spends most of his time at the tavern romancing various way-too-cute-for-1795 women.

That all changes when he is visited by a non-Duncan immortal. This is Damon Case, and he's here to do what they do. Jean-Phillipe takes him lightly, of course.

This guy is serious as a heart attack though. When he hears word of a new immortal showing up on the scene, he makes it his purpose to destroy them.

Back in the present, he shows up at Danny's circus. He says he takes no pleasure in having to kill their kind, and will make it quick. He wants to meet at a specific location at dawn.

Danny finally Gets It that this is serious business, and actually gets scared finally. Luckily, a couple of clowns come over and Damon Case runs away.

...yeah, he ran away from these clowns. That's how dangerous clowns are, even immortals are like "hell no"

Elsewhere, these two are in bed and Duncan is "thinking about Danny" which certainly makes Amanda wonder if she's lost her touch or something.

She goes to do something about it, when they both get buzz'd. For whatever reason the door's unlocked so Danny waltzes in. Isn't that a bad idea when one episode ago we had rogue humans running around trying to kill Amanda? It isn't like they can count on the buzz to wake them up if someone sends humans to do their work.

Amanda: "It's okay Danny, you're all we talk about anyway, you might as well be here"


Danny reveals that Damon Case is after him, and we go back to the past to Jean-Phillipe and his well-endowed friend.
This guy is actually pretty cool, shame it's very predictable that he's gonna have the lifespan of a gnat here.

Damon Case returns, demanding a fight. Jean-Phillipe is really amused by this for some reason, and decides he'll quickly dispose of this guy before returning to beer and wenches.

Duncan arrives, looking for Jean-Phillipe...and sees a quickening taking place in the nearby woods.

Yep, that's all for young Jean-Phillipe and there's nothing he could do about it.

Duncan finds Damon in a nearby church, where he's saying prayers for Jean-Phillipe. It's the least he can do after slaying him. Turns out Damon is a crusader, and means nothing personal by any of this. He's immortal and he's playing the immortal game, simple as that. He says if Duncan wants revenge for his friend so badly, he'll meet him here at dawn the next day and they can battle.

Duncan takes JP's horse with him and goes on his way, without much else to do here. And nope, he didn't show up for the anointed duel.

Back in the present, Duncan shows up to meet Damon where he expected Cimoli to show up. Damon recognizes him and says he's about 200 years late for their own meeting.

Duncan is surprisingly generous about all of this, and says he knows Damon isn't actually a bad guy. He isn't good either, he's just like...full Lawful Neutral.

Regardless, Damon isn't willing to back down. He's going to fight Cimoli, and if Duncan stands in his way, then they'll fight first.

Case wields a Crusader Broadsword and it's freaking gorgeous.

One problem I have with immortals in general in this series is that most of them didn't change AT ALL over time. Like whoever they were 100 years ago (or even 1000) is who they are now, still following the same patterns over and over again. Now admittedly, a huge amount of people are the same way. They're making the same mistakes when they're 60 that they made when they were 20. It would still be nice to see more immortals that learned from their mistakes / are different in the modern era compared to the flashbacks. Think of how much Duncan changed from century to century. It's abnormal for a guy like Damon Case to still be doing the same exact thing he was doing way back when.

Duncan is ready for battle, only to have the cops pull up nearby. That's right, someone called the cops on them! The duel is off for now.

That someone is Danny, who didn't want anyone to get hurt because of him. Duncan tells him that he can't just put this off, it's an inevitable part of their lives that they'll have to fend off other immortals who are drawn to them.

Duncan seems to really like Cimoli's mom, at least. He definitely cares about this bunch. Unfortunately there might not be anything he can do.

Danny consults Amanda on what to do. Duncan wants him to skip town and change his identity, but he can't run out on his mom.

Amanda explains to him that the real problem here is that he keeps putting his name out there and making such a big show out of things. She says that unless he can get some quickenings, or training, he isn't gonna last a week out there.

Duncan now suggests maybe they tag along to Vegas with Danny and let him pursue his fame and fortune while Duncan protects him from bad guys. Amanda thinks this whole idea is nuts.

Finally, we get the big duel. Duncan vs Damon! Samurai vs Crusader! Duncan asks Damon to leave the rules behind this once and walk away.

Good lighting effects for this one, and Duncan takes it seriously. I don't think this is one of his greatest opponents or anything but it's a very good fight. Most notable about it is the BGM which sounds like something out of a Secret of Evermore boss fight or something.

Duncan gets the upper hand before too long and asks Damon to let it go. He doesn't want to kill the guy and knows Damon is a man of principle.

Damon tells him he can't let it go. He lives and dies by those principles and that's it. Once he walks away from here, he resumes hunting.

So...that's it. SHIIIING!




Duncan mopes around the barge now and talks about how he feels like maybe he made the wrong decision killing Case. "He wasn't my enemy" he says.

Later, a still-mopey Duncan visits Danny, who wants to show him his latest trick.

It involves handcuffing an audience member! Sexy!

Then he picks up a sword and tells Duncan he's sorry. Maybe if he had the quickening of Duncan Macleod he'd gain some strength or wisdom or abilities and be able to defend himself.

Duncan is pissed. It's one thing to betray his trust, it's another to do it right after he killed someone who didn't deserve it, on your behalf.

He had the cuffs undone pretty much as soon as they were on, and ducks the slash to easily knock Danny over.

"Harry Houdini was a friend of mine" he says.

That or he just did that "dislocate thumb" trick from John Wick. I mean it'd heal right back up anyway.

Danny begs for mercy and Duncan tells him to get up.

Duncan (even more sadly now) says that Case is dead. Danny is overjoyed, then Duncan tells him to go to himself, and get his 15 minutes of fame.

Elsewhere, Duncan doesn't tell Amanda what happened with the attempted murder, for some reason. Since Danny is going off on his own, Amanda wants Duncan to go with her to Moscow and headline a circus act there.

Later, in Vegas!

Danny brags to his mom about how he's the greatest ever, better than Houdini! He's one show in and the papers love him!

I think he's overselling himself a bit here with the Houdini comparisons. All he does is get shot and stabbed and get back up. He's basically a Jackass guy who happens to be immortal.

Wait a that how Steve-O is still alive?

Then some unknown guy shows up. Danny tells his mom that he loves her, then hangs up and gets beheaded.


Guy was doomed from the start.

Later, in Moscow!

Our heroes are all dressed-up. Apparently they've done this particular act before, but not for about 70 years.

What is the act, you ask? The knife-throw! ...while Amanda rotates on a spinning platform!

He'll try not to impale her.

Episode ends right as he throws. Well, good to see they're having some fun after what a downer the whole thing with Case and Cimoli was.

RIP Damon Case. He was just playing The Game, that was his thing.

Pretty decent episode here. Here's a link, why not? Used to not like this one for some reason but it's fine. I really didn't like the next one so we'll see how that goes.

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  1. Damon Case was a surprisingly nuanced and interesting opponent for a villain-of-the-week who isn't even the central focus of his episode.

    Another interesting tidbit -- in the original Highlander movie, The Kurgan was originally going to be a character called "The Knight," who was a sympathetic villain who played The Game because it was the only thing he had left after outliving everyone he ever knew for centuries. Sounds a bit similar to Case, IMO.

  2. Good review, thanks, but where did you get the dates for Damon Case's biography? Surely his first death did not come in battle at age 107 ;)