Highlander: Band of Brothers

Grayson: "Another century and you might have beaten me."

Again, not a favorite (none of the season one episodes are among my favorites), but this one introduced several important Highlander themes.

1. This was a more complex story about immortals, and specifically, very old immortals. Darius wasn't the most interesting of the continuing immortal characters, but he was the first, and a big step in the right direction. And he was clearly instrumental, long ago, in moving Duncan from an unquestioning soldier to a thinking activist. Like smuggling refugees, like the Underground Railroad.

2. They introduced the concept that a quickening can alter the recipient. Darius was a devoted warmonger until he took the head of a holy immortal, and became one himself. That's really interesting, and worth future exploration.

3. The show made its first annual move from Seacouver, Washington to Paris, France. Filming in a gorgeous, historic city like Paris was a major step up in the set and scenery department. The cast and crew of Highlander continued to move from Vancouver to Paris around the middle of every season, and the Paris episodes always tended to be stronger. At the very least, they certainly looked better.

4. The duels took a step up in intensity, too. Grayson was much older and much better with a sword than Duncan's previous opponents. The first duel between Duncan and Grayson was actually interrupted by innocent bystanders, which one would assume does happen now and then, so hey, realism. The second duel on those pyramid-like piles of (symbolic) sulfur was dirtier, bloodier, and more violent and immediate than any of the others, and we really got the feeling that Duncan might lose. Well, okay, maybe just a little.

Flashbacks:

— 1815 Belgium. Flashback number one showed Duncan meeting Darius at the Battle of Waterloo. Duncan, with a mild Scots accent, was fighting on the side of the English. Shaggy but relatively short hair. Civil war hair.


— 1816 Paris. In flashback number two, just a year later, Duncan was out of uniform. He told Darius he was leaving for America.

— According to the DVD chronicles, Darius was born in 50 AD, and Grayson in 325.

Bits and pieces:

— Ancient runes? A headless toy soldier? Flashy and attention-getting, but why not a postcard? Or pick up the phone, why don't you?

— Sexy love scene. And we also got Duncan working out, stripped to the waist. Can't be bad.

— The increasingly pointless and annoying Randi still thought Duncan was Secret Agent Man.

— Tessa is going to be a curator for a museum in Paris. Does she have a doctorate and extensive work experience I don't know about? They don't usually give jobs like that to antique dealers who create bad metal sculpture.

— Grayson and Duncan (on holy ground) discussed the Gathering and that there weren't that many immortals left. This is pretty much inconsistent with future episodes.

— We haven't seen it yet, but Duncan mentioned that he bought a barge. When I was in Paris, I saw a lot of those barges on the Seine. I assume they're very pricey.

Quotes:

Richie: "What do these things say, exactly? I mean, it's got to be more than just 'Grayson arrives on the noon stage. Sharpen sword. Darius'."

Richie: "It's a ticket to Paris. What can I say? (pause) How am I going to communicate?"
Duncan: "Sign language."
Richie has a passport? Is he even 18 yet?

Nearly three stars. Not entirely for the episode itself, but for the change in direction,

Billie
---
Billie Doux knows that there can be only one.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a very good episode which worth 5 stars instead of your 3 and Darius was a very unique character, really more interesting than Duncan

Phil said...

I was disappointed Grayson lost his head here - that we never got to see him dealt with again. I thought he was one of the more interesting evil immortals, even down to the delight he seemed to take in the moments before his own death. He really seemed like the first bad guy with some depth.

Also good that his name didn't begin with a K...

Loving the reviews.

Shane Brannon said...

This was a great episode. It was one you could watch and say, "Now THIS is a show!"