Highlander: The Blitz

Diane: "I guess none of this would be important if it wasn't our last day on earth."

Maybe it's the romantic in me, but I've always loved this one. And I'm talking specifically about the exceptional flashback story, which was more than half the episode.

That flashback story packed an emotional punch because it so beautifully captured the most tragic aspect of immortality. Diane was a wonderful woman. She lived her life with such courage and enthusiasm even during the horrors of World War Two. She believed that even though she and Duncan would never marry and grow old together, at least they were dying together. But Duncan knew that he was going to live on without her. The way he kept trying to make her death easier by telling her everything she wanted to hear? Heartbreaking.

Duncan held Diane in his arms as she died, and he held Anne in his arms as she gave birth. Those scenes were beautifully interwoven, climaxing with the old song, "We'll Meet Again." Interesting choice of music, and what were they saying? I don't think it had to do with the afterlife. Maybe it was about hope reborn, about the world going on even after the massive destruction of World War Two. Maybe it suggested that baby Mary might become a strong, courageous woman like her mother and Diane. Whatever it was, it worked. I've never gotten through it with dry eyes.

Duncan gave Anne the house he had so lovingly restored. And it again showed what sort of man Duncan is. He'll be a part of Anne's and Mary's lives forever, even though he won't actually be with them. It was the best gift anyone could have given them.

Flashbacks:

— 1940 London. Duncan was working for MI-5, and Diane was an American reporter. Duncan was risking himself on the rooftop of the Savoy, too. He could have been blown to bits.

— Lots of stock footage of planes dropping bombs on London, as well as newsreels. Not something they do a lot of on this show. Some of the effects don't hold up. But that's okay, because the story does.

— Diane thought Duncan would make a good teacher because he made the past come alive. Perceptive.

Bits and pieces:

— I understand why Anne went into the wreckage; she was the leader of the team of rescue workers and it was an extraordinary disaster. But a woman that pregnant shouldn't have taken that big a risk. Duh.

— Anne got a farewell-to-the-character montage, key moments from past episodes that defined her relationship with Duncan.

— Duncan bought that house nine episodes ago. Nice, long-term set-up with a lovely pay-off.

— In the DVD extras, the executive producer said that he was always dissatisfied with this one, and with hindsight, he would have made the whole thing a flashback. I agree that the flashback was the strongest part, but the rest worked, too. I don't see how it could have been much better.

— Anne named her baby for Duncan's mother. And that was even before he gave her the house.

— Duncan has good taste in women. Anne and Diane were both exceptionally courageous professional women, risking their lives to help others.

Quotes:

Diane: "So, Mister Hitler. The beer is warm, the food inedible, this is still England. There aren't enough bombs to undo that. So my message is to the Nazis. I was dancing when you got here, and I'll be dancing when you're gone."

Diane: "Have I known you all my life, or does it just seem that way? Do you believe in fate, Duncan?"
Duncan: "Sometimes."

Anne: (in labor) "How do you feel about natural childbirth, Karen?"

Richie: "Helluva gesture, Mac, giving up the house. I used to think a dozen roses was a nice gift. A sweater. Maybe even an ankle bracelet."

As many times as I've seen it, this episode still gets to me. Dan has always loved it, too. Four out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux knows that there can be only one. And that's Methos.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

The whole episode as the flashback without the modern day disaster elements would have been a much better episode. Actually, an episode that was nothing but flashback would have been great concept to do from time to time.
Having said that, the payoff of Duncan giving the house to Anne and her child was very touching.