Highlander: Justice

Katya: "I went from being her mother, to being her older sister, to her younger sister. But she was always my little girl."

Immortal babe audition episode number three: Justina Vail as Katya. I actually liked Katya. And Justina Vail did end up with a series, although it wasn't a Highlander spin-off; shortly after this episode aired, she landed the female lead in the science fiction series, Seven Days.

I thought the core of Katya's story was intriguing. Immortals adopting and raising mortal children would be an ultimately painful exercise, but it would certainly happen at times. And there was an interesting feminist theme as well, injustice toward women, women as property. There was a lot of good interaction with Duncan, too, and you could tell Duncan was relating to Katya because of what happened to Richie. Duncan and Katya had some convincing chemistry.

On to our established criteria.

1. Charisma? Yes, absolutely. The camera loves Justina Vail, and she definitely carried her part of the episode. I thought she was one of the two strongest candidates. (The other hasn't auditioned yet.)

2. Acting ability? Yes, she was good. Katya had more of an immortal vibe than the others so far; she felt older and wiser while still looking quite young, and she was able to pull off being the "mother" of a woman who looked older than herself. She did fine with the accent in the final flashback, too.

3. Athleticism, especially with a sword? She didn't look silly with one in her hand; in fact, she looked pretty good. She looked scary with a crossbow, too.

4. Compelling immortal flashbacks? The Buenos Aires flashbacks really didn't tell us much about Katya herself, but the 1362 one certainly did. No wonder Katya didn't have much faith in men, or in the justice system.


5. Really great hair? She had a distinctive shorter hairstyle that worked for her. She also did several hair styles and colors in the flashbacks, and they all looked great on her.

But where could they have gone with a series about Katya? Would she have been some sort of feminist avenger? What did she do with her life, other than raise Elena? I don't think we ever even learned what she did for a living. And now we never will.

Armando was a bore as well as a murderer. It was a shame so much of the episode was about him. And what a terrible father. All those guards and servants, and he didn't have anyone watching his little girl, who was roaming alone around the huge estate that had a pool full of dirty water? So okay, he showed he really loved his daughter in the end. He still didn't deserve her. What if she does something to really piss him off at some point? Will he shoot her, too?

Flashbacks:

— 1958 Buenos Aires. Katya encountered and adopted Elena, a homeless six-year-old.

— 1996 Buenos Aires. After ten years of marriage, Armando discovered Elena in bed with another man, and he killed them both. Learn to count to ten and walk away, Armando. Really.

— 1362 England. Katya, a barmaid, was the victim of serious injustice; her noble lover's father had her convicted of witchcraft and stoned to death just to get rid of her.

Bits and pieces:

— After six years of the series, we finally learned Duncan's official current cover story: that he was born in Glasgow in 1962, orphaned very young, and he was raised in the United States by his maiden aunt Judith, who died of a stroke when he was 17.

— The long arm of coincidence wasn't quite as long this time since Duncan met Armando in a fencing club. (When Armando invited Duncan home for lunch, I thought for a moment that Armando was just hot for Duncan.)

— Duncan said that he had never raised a child. I bet that with 68 marriages to mortals, Methos probably has. Connor MacLeod had a mortal daughter, Rachel, in the first movie, too.

— Duncan's barge was still in its minimalist phase.

One of the better audition episodes,

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

1 comment:

Mark Greig said...

This is one of the better spin-off showcases but is I think its still average by Highlander standards. The plot was also similar to ‘Take Back the Night’ from season three only with a murdered daughter instead of a husband.

As a character I didn’t find Katya that engaging and don’t think a show centred around her would’ve worked. Watching these episodes today is also a bit frustrating because we know that none of these female immortals end up getting the spin-off. It feels like we’re just killing time before the big finale.