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Highlander: The Messenger

Richie: "I'm talking about a chance to change our lives forever, to live without being afraid."
Duncan: "What, without a head?"

This one was fun. And it was the second episode in a row with a quasi-religious theme. At least the immortal in question was a lot more like Jesus than Larca was.

Except we never did learn what the fake Methos was up to. Was he sincere or deluded? The immortal equivalent of a mental patient who thought he was Napoleon? Or was he a poor swordsman who was cleverly reducing the immortal population by guile?

Was Richie just an emotional yo-yo, or did the writers make him change with the plots? A few episodes ago, he killed another immortal just to watch him die. Here, he was ready to die for peace. Maybe it was just that Richie never thought anything through. Richie did learn that Adam Pierson was Methos during this episode, and he wasn't impressed. I think I'd be impressed.

It was in character for Methos not to care that someone was impersonating him and possibly drawing off assassination attempts... except he apparently did care enough to go and confront the guy, to question him about his motives. You'd think this would be one person that Methos would hit with the truth of who he was. But no. Methos is too cautious. We also learned that, when faced with an insoluble dilemma, Methos tends to do nothing. That actually makes sense, since he can just outlive the problem.


— 1864 Georgia. Andersonville was a horror. I don't know a lot about the Civil War, and even I've heard of it. Jeffrey was a noble soul; he wouldn't run and leave Duncan, and it earned him a horrible death. Poignant. It got to me, especially when he begged Duncan to kill him.

— Flashback to season one, where Duncan met Darius at Waterloo.

Bits and pieces:

— As usual, we got tantalizing, unverified tidbits. Was Methos really friends with Socrates? Did he know Cleopatra? Or does he just like to name-drop? Who could call him on it?

— Richie got the quickening this time, and it had haunted faces from Andersonville. Stan Kirsch gave it his best, but I don't think he ever got the hang of making a quickening look good. Adrian Paul had it down to a science.

— William Everett Culbraith was the 40th evil immortal with a K/C name. I was sort of hoping that my favorite evil immortal, Kronos, would be number 40. Ah, well.


Duncan: "Thought you were out wandering the world."
Methos: "Ah, Tibet. Yak butter plays hell with the digestion."

Duncan: "Turning the other cheek only gets you slapped harder."
Methos: "But it's got such a nice ring to it."

Joe: "He's young, all right? Young people make mistakes."
Methos: "Yeah. Look at disco."

Duncan: "I've got to get going. Got someone to find." (leaves)
Joe: "I'm going to go check on this other Methos. Maybe I'll turn something up." (leaves)
Methos: "Maybe I'll go buy some socks."

Three out of four stars,

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


  1. I'm totally with you on all the Methos episodes. This one, I love his unrepentent 'do-nothing' stance. The quotes... I love the disco quote, and the socks quote.

    On a more serious note, I could see why Methos prefers to do nothing. Firstly, no doubt he's tried everything in the past and perhaps prefers the 'first, do no harm' approach. Secondly, I felt that no matter what Methos does, it would never be enough for anyone. Some would expect him to intervene with wisdom or whatever, but here even when he made his little speech about integrity that got Duncan going, all Methos got from Joe was the accusation that he was a cold blooded bastard.

  2. About half way through the episode I started wondering - what if the messenger was the real Methos and our Methos, who has a history of assuming roles to keep himself safe, was the imposter? After all, he never tells anyone his name. I don't even think that he originally told Duncan that he was Methos, but that Duncan inferred it. Sure he had become a watcher and was working on the Methos chronicles, but maybe he was just another immortal who picked a job where he thought that he'd never have to do more than research the legend and that he'd never run into the actual immortal. So he can name drop and remain aloof and mysterious and all of it is just an act.
    Anyway, that's the crazy place that my brain went while watching the ep.

  3. Dustin, I will admit I had the same thought once. But what about all of the ancient chronicles Methos had in his flat back in season three? Plus was he also faking his identity in the "Comes a Horseman" flashbacks? I don't think he would fake it for thousands of years. And he never tells *anyone* who he is; he confirmed it for Duncan because he knew Duncan knew.

    It's really a funny coincidence, but we're doing a Highlander rewatch (of the good episodes only) and we're up to this one -- we saw it last night! What are the odds?

  4. Haven't seen "Comes a Horseman" yet, so will have to pay attention when I do. This is my first run through of the series. I have loved Highlander since the 80s, but I never managed to catch more than a few episodes of the series when it was on TV. Cool that we saw the same ep at almost the same time though.
    Yeah, obviously the writers didn't go in the direction of my thoughts, and it wouldn't have been the best direction to go with the character anyway, but it could have been an interesting choice.
    My other thought was what if "Methos" was more of a title than a name. Both of them could have been so old that they both thought that "Methos" referred to them. Most likely, the other guy had something major happen to him and assumed the "Methos" persona and pacifist attitude.

  5. Dustin, I'm glad I didn't say more because I'd hate to spoil "Comes a Horseman" for you. (We have a "don't spoil future eps in the comments" policy and it would have been bad if I'd broken my own rule, huh?)

    I think Methos is and has always been the only Methos. He's just perverse enough to enjoy the fact that someone was impersonating him.

  6. On the Season 5 DVD set; the creative team said they had considered the idea that the Methos we knew was an impostor and not actually Methos (because they felt there had to be more to the character than what we saw on screen, largely because of how Peter Winfield was playing the character in his earlier appearances). Obviously they took that in a different direction later in the season.

  7. Methos was all for Duncan saving Richie _ if it was in Duncan's power to save Richie _ because Richie was Duncan's friend. He wasn't interested in the conversation about whose worldview was the truth. How could he be after 5,000 years of living? Of course, Richie would have expected a 5,000-year-old man to be Wise and have figured out the Meaning of Everything. Methos probably gets that all the time. But after 5,000 years he can only conclude that if there some kind of ultimate Truth, it's hidden from us and the only meaning you can ascribe to life is in the present and in the relationships you form with people and with whatever Earth has to offer. Methos likes being a regular guy. He's found meaning, or at least value, in that. He likes life most of the time. He's not interested in killing. He's actually living the message the fake Methos and even Darius preached. Except he has no interest in preaching it and certainly has no interest in being a martyr for it.


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