Highlander: The Darkness

"You will have hundreds of women, but you will never marry any of them."

I started watching Highlander fairly late in its original run. By the time I saw season one for the first time in reruns, I already knew that Tessa was toast and Richie was going to become an immortal. But I had no idea these two major events occurred at the same time.

Alexandra Vandernoot may indeed have asked to be released from her contract, but come on. They had a drop dead gorgeous leading man, and tying him permanently to Tessa with her blowtorch and aluminum bagels was a monumental error that had to be corrected. Plus, Tessa as a character had nowhere to go, no way to develop. I think they were trying to recreate the pathos of the Heather character in the original movie, but it didn't go anywhere in the movie, either. Basically, the best we got out of Heather was a montage where she aged and died and Connor buried her and vowed to remember her on her birthday. "Who wants to live forever." The end.

But I've always liked that they didn't just kill Tessa off out of the blue. They devoted an entire episode to it, and gave the actress some challenging acting to do. Not a bad swan song at all. We can feel throughout the episode that she's going to buy it, and then when she escapes safely, we think we're wrong. It was a good twist, having her escape the bad Watcher, only to be killed by a mugger.

Richie will now be nineteen forever. My major complaint about this episode is that we don't get to see Richie awaken from his first death. The brief glimpse of Richie opening his eyes was actually cut from the original U.S. release. (What were they thinking? Cut anything but that, guys.) Even though there were extended flashbacks to the Tessa/Richie death scene later in the series, I still felt cheated. Although I liked the final scene in the alley. "Richie. Watch your head."

Duncan's eternal single state added an interesting facet to his character. Four hundred years old, and he has never been married? Why not? And did Greta's premonition really scare Duncan into proposing marriage to Tessa? Actually, the whole psychic plot thread didn't add much, since the bad guy eventually called and left his address. Although Greta did give Duncan the matches that made all the difference.

Flashbacks:

— 1848 Alzette River Gypsy Camp. What country? And what was the purpose of this flashback? I suppose that all it really did was establish that Duncan had never been married, and that he never would be. And it correlated to Greta and her questionable psychic talents, too.

Bits and pieces:

— Like Darius, Tessa got a beautiful montage. It's pretty effective because it always gives me a lump in my throat, and I never liked Tessa. Maybe what gets to me is Duncan in black, just standing there looking devastated to "Dust in the Wind." I'm a sucker for a guy in mourning.

— The infamous Traci Lords was mildly interesting as Greta, the half-assed psychic who was pretty much playing the Whoopi Goldberg character from Ghost. I suppose she wasn't all that bad. She wasn't all that good, either.


— Speaking of movie rip-offs, we also had Silence of the Lambs, right down to the bang-whine of the camera and the infrared goggles.

— Taxidermist: "Dying art. People just aren't killing things like they used to." Was this a little in-joke, perhaps?

This episode wasn't really all that good. If it had ended happily, it wouldn't have had much impact. But it didn't, and so it does. Three out of four stars,

Billie
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Billie Doux knows that there can be only one.

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