Highlander: Something Wicked

Richie: "Whatever happened, Mac, we can work it out."
Duncan: "Sorry, wrong number."

Jim Coltec considered it his spiritual job to absorb evil, so he spent his immortal life taking out those nasty immortal serial killers. Unfortunately, it caught up with him. And when Duncan was forced to take Coltec's head, it subsequently caught up with Duncan.

The concept that an immortal can be completely changed by a quickening was introduced back in season one, when Darius said that he took the head of a holy immortal and was no longer a warmonger. Coltec saw a dark quickening coming, which was why he stopped taking heads years ago. How many is too many? Are dark quickenings like a chain? Maybe that's why there are so many immortal serial killers, huh? Were Korland and Kent once good? Coltec's comment about monsters suggested that it wasn't just that you hit a number and tip over, that instead, one particular immortal can hold a tremendous amount of evil. Whatever. It was definitely a cool story idea.

I have to give gold acting stars to Adrian Paul, especially when you consider how limited his acting skills were at the beginning of the series. He was so evil in those last few minutes that it was unsettling. He kept coming after Richie, cutting him over and over (which just felt horrible), and then he kissed Richie on top of his head before setting up the killing blow, almost like a mockery of their former father-son-like relationship. But Duncan also kissed the blade Joe was holding to his neck, as if part of him truly wanted to die. And then he let Joe live, as if his old self, and maybe Coltec's, wouldn't let him kill Joe.


The good and evil sides of Duncan were clearly at war. He didn't go rob a convenience store and start murdering people, after all; he got a job on a ship and left Seacouver. Now what?

Flashbacks:

— 1872 Dakota Territory. After the massacre of the Sioux, Duncan was filled with rage and a thirst for revenge until he encountered Jim Coltec, who helped him release the hate in his soul.

— 1958 Greenwich Village. Coltec took evil beat poet Bryce Korland's head before Duncan could. We never saw what he did, but Korland must have been a very bad guy.

— In 1872, Duncan said he'd been with the Sioux for three years.

Bits and pieces:

— The first time I saw this episode, I found Korland and Kent sort of confusing. They were just two of the baddest guys that Jim Coltec killed and was channeling in turn.

— Coltec was a cool immortal. Not much of an actor, but the idea of a spiritual calling like his was rather lovely. As was what he did for Duncan in that prison cell back in 1872.

— Richie concluded that, since immortals exist, werewolves might exist, too. That whole werewolf/vampire discussion was probably intended to defuse some of the more magical aspects of this two-parter.

— Korland and Kent had K/C names and were numbers thirty-one and thirty-two. Should we count Coltec, since it wasn't his fault that he became evil? Why not? Thirty-three. That makes three in one episode. A new record.

Quotes:

Bryce Korland: "Maybe I'm paranoid, but I think that cat has come here to kill me. Hey, baby, that's cool. 'Cause we all know there can be..."
Duncan: "Only one."

Guy: "You are utterly, completely square."
Duncan: "I like it square."

Jim: "A man can't take too many monsters like this inside him. Trust me. I do this for a living."

Duncan: "It's not easy, is it, Dawson? Is it? Taking somebody's head. Cutting the head off."

Excellent. 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...

When this episode started, it seemed like it was a hokey castoff from season one. It definitely exceeded my expectations.

Evil Duncan really creeped me out. Shudder... Good job to Adrian Paul.