Highlander: The Valkyrie

"Old friends are the worst. They claim more of your soul."

The last two were about religion. Time for one about politics, I guess.

Immortal Ingrid Henning couldn't put her failure to assassinate Hitler behind her, so she became a political vigilante. What made her sympathetic was that she might have been right; it's a somewhat appealing idea. Except you just can't go running around taking out nasty politicians out of fear they'll turn out to be Hitler, because what if they don't? And what about free speech? If she hadn't moved on to innocent bystanding cops, Duncan probably would have continued to justify doing nothing. Immortals tend to go bad. It's what they do.

I liked the idea of Duncan and Ingrid in the flashbacks taking action to eliminate Hitler. If there was ever a politician that good people could justify killing, it was him. Immortals could pull off an assassination like that without too much risk to their immortal lives. Except I seem to remember Duncan talking a lot about staying out of the history books. I suppose Hitler justified an exception.

This one was (again) enlivened by Methos and Joe kibbitzing and discussing Duncan's problem. Methos even showed up in the jail as Duncan's lawyer, and talked Duncan down in the end after he had to kill Ingrid. Methos often acts like everything is a joke, but he was there in the clinch, wasn't he?

Flashbacks:

— 1935 Berlin. Duncan and Ingrid were both actively working against Hitler, and Duncan was already working for British Intelligence.


— 1944 East Prussia. Duncan, Ingrid and their friend with the eyepatch were trying to carry out Operation Valkyrie, the assassination of Hitler. There actually was an attempt on Hitler called Operation Valkyrie, carried out by an officer with an eyepatch. (Note from later: There was a pretty good movie about it, too, called Valkyrie.

Bits and pieces:

— The boxing match was the "Charlie deSalvo Memorial."

— The guy from Interpol was memorable. We haven't had a new cop for awhile.

— Musetta Vander, who played Ingrid, had a continuing role on Stargate SG-1. She was also in an early (and really bad) episode of Buffy.

Quotes:

Methos: "Look at this. It's an exhibition of Greek antiquities."
Duncan: "Oh, yeah. Can't wait. A two-thousand year old garage sale."
Methos: "Listen, some of this stuff could be mine."

Joe: "Just what is so entertaining?"
Methos: "MacLeod tussling with another of his moral dilemmas."
Duncan: "There are times I really don't like you."
Methos: "That's okay. Sometimes I don't like myself."

Hitler: "The hand of God himself protects the Fuhrer!" Good performance there.

Duncan: "Since when are you my attorney?"
Methos: "Whatever you need. Lawyer, doctor, Indian chief, I got paperwork to cover it all."

Methos: "Stefanovich killed, and Ingrid judged him. Wilkinson killed, and Ingrid judged him. Ingrid killed, and you judged her."
Duncan: "So who judges me?"
Methos: (long pause) "You hungry?"

Somewhere between two and three stars,

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

2 comments:

Christian said...

As a German native speaker, I found the scene in which Duncan "proves" to Stauffenberg that he is able to speak German to be absolutely hilarious, because his accent is actually extremely terrible and totally over the top. Lovely. Also, I have to agree that Jan Triska did a great job playing the Interpol investigator. In fact, the producers of Highlander brought Triska back to reprise this very same role (same name, same outfit, same tragic background story) in the Raven episode "Thick as Thieves". Took me a while to figure out where I had seen this guy before...

Hana - Marmota said...

Tríska and his character are definitely a highlight of this episode for me (outside of Methos, who's a given). Highlander does not get that sort of an actor every day - no insult to the regular favourites intended, but I really think that if Tríska wasn't a Czech who has emigrated, he'd actually be a real household name (meaning, either he'd be more famous here in the Czech Republic had he not emigrated, or more famous outside were he not Czech). But then, that sort of an international background probably made the character all the more believable.
The character is interesting, and Tríska obviously makes him more so. He pulls off a bad cop/good cop routine all by himself, and has idiosyncrasies that do not feel at all far-fetched (the toothpick and his comment about cigarettes, a slight hint of possible torturing techniques in the past?). And his tragic background story rings genuine to me, unlike many other background stories on Highlander (or elsewhere, for that matter). You really hear about that sort of thing all the time if you dig just a little bit into 20th century European history. Stories of completely ordinary people (if there's such a thing as ordinary people) are often like that. The way he tells the story, so casually - that made it much more powerful than the usual lengthy expositioning that goes on on Highlander. (It's actually a lot like Methos' off-hand remarks...) It really feels like - that's the only possible way to tell such a story. Good job from both the writers and the actor.