Highlander: Duende

Duncan: "I'm better now."
Richie: "Yeah. But maybe he is, too."

Lousy episode. Incredible duel.

In fact, I think the duel may have been the best in the entire series. There was something striking about that stone with the skeleton and the footprints and the red lines. And there was a lot of power in that duel, especially as it dragged on through the rain and into the dark. Using both rapier and dagger was interesting and new. If there had been a good story to go along with it, this might have been a classic Highlander episode instead of forgettable.

I did like that Duncan decided to take on Consone on Consone's terms and beat him at his own game. And I think Anthony de Longis did a good job with a shallow, melodramatic villain, making him an utterly despicable sort of sexual threat as well as obsessed with vengeance. It made one wonder how many women Consone had done this to over the centuries.

The extras on the DVD were actually more interesting than the episode. The episode came about because of a combination of circumstances: (1) Adrian Paul was studying flamenco, and (2) the producers wanted very much to bring back Anthony de Longis, who was a swordmaster as well as an actor. Adrian Paul did his own dancing, of course. And when they filmed the final duel, the freezing rain wouldn't stop; at a certain point, they stopped waiting for the weather to clear and the actors just went for it. Imagine filming a duel with rapiers and daggers on a slick stone in the freezing rain. Impressive.


Flashbacks:

— 1971 Madrid. When dancer Anna Hidalgo refused to marry Consone, he killed her lover, Rafael.

— 1851 Madrid. Duncan, a student of the sword with Consone, was in love with a forward-thinking young woman named Theresa, who married Consone to save Duncan's life. For some reason, they did a steam room scene with Consone and Duncan in what looked like big diapers. I don't think that quite worked.

— 1853 Madrid. Duncan finally returned for Theresa, but Consone had already killed her and gotten away with it. It wasn't even a romantic suicide.

— I didn't care for Duncan's clubbed hair look in the flashbacks. Appropriate look for the place and time, I suppose, but too restrained for Duncan.

Bits and pieces:

— I liked the title. "Duende" was the point when you got so lost in the dance that the spirit of the dance took you and your body went on on its own. Which was what happened to Duncan in the duel.

— According to the DVD extras, the type of swordplay was the "Spanish Mysterious Circle."

— While undercover, Richie introduced himself as Richard Redstone. And again as a rich American.

— Duncan just made young Luisa the widow of a rich immortal. Did she inherit bunches of stuff?

— Anthony de Longis (Consone) played another evil immortal, Kurlow, in the third season episode, "Blackmail." Which means that he got to be both the 15th and the 43rd evil immortal with a K/C name.

Quotes:

Consone: "Maybe therapy would help."
Duncan: "See you soon."
Consone: "Wrong choice."

Consone: "Highlander. I always seem to find you sniffing around my women." You know, it's not easy delivering a line like that with the appropriate level of sneer.

Duncan: "Still think you can make a swordsman out of me, Consone?"
Consone: "You were born a pig farmer. You'll always be a pig farmer."

Let's see. One star for the story, four for the swordplay, three for the dancing... what does that make?

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

4 comments:

Max said...

Hi

Do you know what location in Paris is used for the final fight under the rain?

Im sure I saw it somewhere but cant find it now

Thanks

Billie Doux said...

Max: Sorry, I have no idea. There's a lot of information in the DVD extras, but I don't remember if they actually talked about the location. Probably not in Paris proper.

Anonymous said...

Where did they film the final scene?

Billie Doux said...

I'm sorry, but I have no idea!