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Highlander: Under Color of Authority

Richie: "I'm a big boy. I can take care of myself."

Teenagers tend to get into jams. Immortal teenagers get into jams that have life and death consequences.

So we had a first kill for Richie, and it wasn't a clean one. What worked in this episode was the ambiguity. Richie automatically defended a pretty damsel in distress from a scary immortal – except that we never did learn whether or not Laura was telling the truth about killing her husband in self-defense, and the scary immortal was just doing his job. Deeply in trouble, Richie ran to Daddy Duncan for help, but Duncan had to stand back and let Richie live or die on his own. Richie was clearly outclassed, too. Only luck and a cardboard box full of packing peanuts saved Richie's life.

Duncan may have been furious about the execution of his friend Tim in the flashback, but Tim was a wanted man and Duncan respected Mako and his rigid interpretation of law and order. I got the feeling that Duncan probably would have fought Mako to save Richie's life, but he strongly preferred not making that choice because the world was most likely better off with Mako in it.

Angry with Richie for blundering into such a mess and killing an immortal who was basically on the side of right, Duncan threw Richie out to sink or swim on his own. Richie is so not ready to be on his own. He's immature, reckless, and impulsive, very much nineteen. As Richie left, Duncan cried again. Duncan has been crying a lot lately. Maybe it's residual emotional fall-out from losing Tessa.


— 1882 Davidson, Washington Territory. Duncan had a different job: a newspaperman at the "North West Ledger."

— Mako said that the last time he saw Duncan, Duncan and Fitzcairn were just learning to read. That was intriguing, especially since Duncan was making a living with the written word.

— Duncan and his soon to be dead friend Tim Ramsey were drinking from a bottle labeled, "Uncommonly Smooth Fine Old Brandy, 1820 Vintage."

Bits and pieces:

— Mako, played by Jonathan Banks from Breaking Bad, was very good as an unstoppable, immortal lawman. Slightly more threatening than Richie's first opponent, Sheena Easton.

— There was intentional wild west satire, high noon in the dojo. Duncan and Mako faced each other. Close-ups of both of their eyes. And then, instead of guns, they drew their swords out of nowhere.

— At the motel, again, Richie "felt" Mako before Mako felt him. Oops.

— Amazing quickening, with lightning flashing and paint flying out of its cans. Is a quickening stronger when the immortal is older and more powerful?

— "Mako" doesn't sound like an English name, but the Watcher Chronicles state that he was from England.

Richie: "Mac. Are we ever going to have to face each other?"
Duncan: "Maybe."
Not a fun thought.

Again, not a favorite (none of the episodes in seasons one and two are favorites), but an interesting episode. Three out of four stars,

Billie Doux knows that there can be only one.

1 comment:

  1. I have to disagree. I think this is one of the best shows in the series. Mako wasn’t a nice guy, but he found a way to give his immortal life meaning. His quote about seeing cities burned and children slaughtered which is why need the law hits hard.

    Tim was a criminal. He willingly participated in an armed robbery that ended in murder. Mako was bringing him to trial, which is only right. It was Tim who pulled the gun on a law officer serving a legal warrant. What did Tim expect? Richie was helping a fugitive flee. Mako, while being a lesser version of himself was doing a job. And Richie killed a guy who was willing to stop the fight that Richie started. And Mako was incapacitated. Hardly a shining moment of chivalry.

    Mac gave Richie the honor of making his own choices and Richie was responsible for two deaths. No wonder Duncan sent him packing.

    I really like this episode.


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