Highlander: Comes a Horseman

Methos: "You know who I was? I was Death! Death on a horse!"

If you're going to go big, why not go Biblical?

Methos' past caught up with him in a great big way, which is a massive statement when you consider how much past he actually has. I never thought of Methos as a marauder, but watching him killing, pillaging and raping (okay, pre-rape) wasn't a stretch at all. Primitive was a good look for him. He managed to pull off a huge, spiky wig, and blue paint on his face, too. Behold a pale horse. Methos was actually in the Bible. How cool.

Immortals tend to keep themselves hidden from human history. The Four Horsemen made history, even though they were later thought of as mythical beings. Why did four immortals decide to rampage about the countryside? Probably because they could. Huddling in a tent and scrounging for food would get boring after a few hundred years. Nothing could kill them, and pillaging was what the strong and merciless did back then. (Unfortunately, they still do.) And of course, there's that immortal serial killer thing.

The scene where Duncan and Methos ended their friendship could very well be the best dramatic scene in the entire series: it was that good. It showed how deeply the two of them had grown to care about each other. Duncan was devastated; the shock was visible on his face, and we could tell he wasn't going to get over this one any time soon. Methos was defiant, deliberately rubbing his past sins in Duncan's face with something very like glee. What was Methos feeling at that moment? Why did he go so far?


To scare Duncan off. To protect Duncan. Outwardly, Methos was a hundred percent with Kronos, but when he was alone, he acted exactly the opposite. Instead of killing Duncan as instructed, Methos did his best to turn Duncan off and make him go away angry. Then he set a fire to keep Kronos and Duncan from dueling. He saved Cassandra, too, by dumping her into the bay. Needless to say, these are not the actions of a man who cares only about himself.

The flashbacks took place three thousand years ago, according to Kronos, and back then, Methos was already about two thousand years old. He was clearly into the Horsemen and a full participant, but Kronos said that Methos never could take Cassandra's head. Did Methos truly enjoy the killing back then, or did he think of it as a necessary evil? Will we ever know?

Flashbacks:

— 1867 Texas. Duncan and some Texas Rangers tracked down Kronos, aka Melvin Koren, who was on yet another murderous rampage. We got a recreation of the gunfight at the OK Corral. I always loved Duncan's western bandito look.

— Bronze Age, three thousand years ago. The camels hinted that it was Africa. The Four Horsemen slaughtered Cassandra's adopted tribe, caused her first death, and Methos took her as a slave and hostage.

— Tracy Scoggins got to do another affected accent. I really shouldn't trash her so hard, I suppose; she was somewhat good in this episode. Methos and Cassandra have what you might call an unfortunate past. I couldn't blame her for wanting to slaughter him.


Bits and pieces:

— Methos as an unsuccessful contestant on the "Wheel of History" was pretty funny. We could probably take that as a statement about Methos himself, too.

— It's hard to do historical scenes going so far back that look convincing, but I think that, considering the size of their television budget, they did pretty well. Maybe it was the cool face paint and the camels.

— Joe compared what the Four Horsemen did to what some soldiers did in Vietnam. Good point. It's not like it's not happening today.

— Kronos' appearances were marked by a distinctive, primitive and eerie vocal score. Very effective.

— A few episodes ago, the Reverend Bell theorized that some of the prophets and other characters in the Bible could have been immortals. Good call.

— Note the piles of sulfur behind Duncan in the scene where he and Cassandra nearly beheaded each other. I think they did one of the early duels and quickenings in the series on those piles.

— Peter Wingfield actually did toss Tracy Scoggins over that railing. No stuntpeople for that shot.

— Kronos/Koren was the 41st evil immortal with a K/C name. And Caspian was number 42.

Quotes:

Duncan: "Tom Jones didn't popularize the Twist."
Methos: "So I'm a little weak on pop culture. Who the hell is Chubby Checker in the grand scheme of things, anyway? I know how tall Nero was, I know Caesar's favorite food, I know Helen of Troy didn't have that great a face, and it only launched a hundred ships, not a thousand..."
Duncan: "Blah blah blah."

Kronos: "Been a long time. How are you feeling?"
Methos: "Like I left my heart in San Francisco."

Kronos: "You weren't the strongest or the toughest. But you were the survivor. It's what you do best. Or did."
Methos: "So you've come to kill me."
Kronos: "It's what I do best."

Kronos: "You know Cassandra's here."
Methos: "We didn't exactly exchange gifts."

Methos: "The times were different, MacLeod. I was different. The whole bloody world was different. Okay?"

Kronos: "You look different somehow. Maybe it's because you're on your feet for a change, instead of your back."
Cassandra: "Centuries pass. Nations come and go. You remain the same."

One of my favorites. Five out of four stars, and stay tuned for part two,

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

1 comment:

Dustin said...

I first saw Peter Wingfield (Methos) in Stargate SG1 where he had an episode arc as a Goa'uld. I'd forgotten how delightfuly evil he can act.
This episode helps shed some light on Methos and why he's so cagey about his past.