Highlander: Revelation 6:8


Kronos: "The four of us. Reunited."
Methos: "Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'dream team'."

After frantically playing both sides as hard as he could, Methos finally had to make a choice. He made the right one, of course. But we knew he would.

Did Methos change his mind about protecting Duncan from Kronos? Did he actually set up that final duel? I don't think so. (Or maybe he did. Methos is a mystery; it's part of his charm.) I think that maybe Methos thought he could go along with Kronos in order to save his own life, but he simply couldn't help fighting him every step of the way. I've always thought it was a little sad (as well as fortunate, of course) that the Four Horsemen were unable to translate their evil deeds into a viable present day equivalent. The Horsemen were over millennia ago. Methos, the ultimate survivor, changed with the times, but the other three never really did.

Kronos has always been my favorite Highlander villain (with the possible exception of Clancy Brown). Valentine Pelka made Kronos real and memorable. And he was terrific with a sword; that final double duel was one of the best in the series. We got a massive double quickening for two extremely old immortals, and the way Duncan and Methos moaned together as lightning wracked their bodies in tandem was almost romantic. Since Methos rarely showed emotion, I always loved the way he fell to his knees and sobbed at the end. "I killed Silas. I liked Silas!"

This was the 100th episode of Highlander, and the best two-parter of the series. For many fans, it's their favorite. It was certainly the biggest, most ambitious story they ever did. It could have been silly or forgettable. Instead, it was classic.

Flashback notes:

-- Bronze Age, three thousand years ago. Cassandra, a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome, thought she loved Methos. He obviously preferred her and had a fondness for her. And then he had to give her to Kronos. It explained a lot.

Bits and pieces:

-- Revelation 6:8: "And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

-- According to the DVD extras, Silas was war, Caspian famine, Kronos pestilence, and Methos was death. Methos did ride a pale horse, just as advertised. Caspian was eating bugs and rodents, and Kronos had a biological weapon he wanted to use to bring on the apocalypse. I can't find a way to relate Silas to war, though. Big axe?

-- This episode's Most Obvious Symbolism: when the Four Horsemen clasped hands and arms, Methos was the last and made them wait. And then he leaned over an obstacle, a table, to do it.

-- I liked the Methos/Cassandra interaction in this one. As much as I didn't like Tracy Scoggins, I wish they had brought her back before the end of the series and explored that relationship a little more.

-- I'm confused about dates. Methos said it had been over a thousand years since they saw Silas; Caspian said that Silas had lived in the woods for two thousand years. How long did the Horsemen ride? When did they break up?

-- I always liked the cleverness of Duncan killing Caspian and then jumping off the bridge before Silas could take his head. Silas should have seen it coming, but he was obviously not that bright. Silas also didn't like the idea of the virus; Methos made a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to talk him around. You should have listened to Methos, Silas.

-- Abandoned submarine base in Bordeaux. Just like a James Bond movie. Kronos's idea of Camelot, according to Methos.

-- We just transitioned from Seacouver to Paris. Yay.

-- This episode was directed by our star, Adrian Paul. Good job, sir.

Quotes:

Methos: "Would I lie to you?"
Kronos: "Have you ever done anything else?"
Cassandra said the same thing to Duncan about Methos, too.

Methos: "Have you read Aristotle's Poetics? No, of course not. You haven't even seen Casablanca. What is the first rule of great drama? Start slow and build."

Kronos: "We think alike. We always have."
Methos: "I doubt that, Kronos. No one thinks quite like you."

Kronos: "You still don't understand, MacLeod. I am the end of time!"
Duncan: "You're history."

Duncan: "What about Cassandra?"
Methos: "One of a thousand regrets, MacLeod. One of a thousand regrets."

Four out of four stars,

Billie

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/highlander-official/

10 comments:

Mark Greig said...

Have to agree totally, this two-parter was not only the series best but also its absolute peek of excellence. It’s a shame that, despite many good episodes still to come, Highlander was never this good ever again.

Part of me has always wondered if Methos manipulated the entire situation to his own end. It was after all his idea to seek out the other horsemen and get the band back together. Did he do all this in the hope that if Ducan killed either Caspian or Silas first he would become strong enough to kill Kronos?

Sometimes Methos is kinda like a less evil (and funnier) version of Iago, someone who keeps his head low and manipulates others, his close friends included, to serve his own purpose for reasons known only to himself. But that’s just one of the things that makes him such a fascinating character to watch.

Looking forward to your remaining reviews, Billie. Especially “The Modern Prometheus” and “Indiscretions”.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Mark. At the risk of sounding stupid, who is Iago? Other than the Shakespearean character, that is.

"The Modern Prometheus" is my favorite Highlander episode. "Comes a Horseman/Revelation 6:8" is a close second, though.

Mark Greig said...

I meant the Shakespeare character from Othello, sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.

Billie Doux said...

I knew it was a stupid comment even as I was typing it. All I could think of was, what sci-fi character was named after Iago? :)

Mark Greig said...

I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a science fiction character called Iago somewhere, in an obscure film or TV show. Sci-fi writers have a long history of raiding the Bard for influence.

Josie K said...

This string of comments got me interested, and I did a little Googling. As far as I can tell, the only other Iago, in the entire canon of Western fiction, is the parrot in Aladdin.

Which, in its own way, is sort of a fantasy film.

[Sigh. How much longer until the fall TV season?]

Remco said...

All this Shakespeare talk reminds me that I have to experience some more of it. I mean, if you're into narrative art (whether it's plays, books or video) you just can't *not* know some Shakespeare. That's like studying history, but not knowing what the Renaissance is.

I've seen two modern Shakespeare interpretations: Othello and MacBeth.

The Othello interpretation was about a black police officer, with Christopher Eccleston as 'Ben Jago'. And MacBeth was about a restaurant where things go horribly wrong. That one was a little boring.

Mark Greig said...

If you want to get into Shakespeare I recommend watching Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and Hamlet. Henry V is great (especially the St Crispin's Day speech) but his all star production of Hamlet is a true cinematic masterpiece. All four hours of it.

David Tennant and Patrick Stewart are also doing a TV version of their recent production of the Danish play some time later in the year. Defiantly looking forward to that.

Anonymous said...

Very powerful and dramatic episode. The best of the series perhaps. I doubt bringing Cassandra back would have been a wise move. She forgave Methos as much as she could by not taking his head at the end.
Any type of relationship beyond that would have been creepy and carried echoes of the Bronze age Stockholm syndrome to me.


Terrific acting by all concerned also.

Anna

Narbiz said...

Good episode, but I absolutely HATED the filming of the final duels. I mean, wtf is happening? All you see is darkness, the glimpse of a blade and, before you realize...pop! Heads off.