Highlander: To Be

Duncan: "I have no choice."
Methos: "That is existentially inaccurate."

Please, no. Anything but It's a Wonderful Life. For me, an aspiring television critic, it's like Indiana Jones and the snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

This wasn't the worst series finale I've ever seen, but it just never set well with me. I had a hard time seeing Amanda so evil instead of just naughty, Joe as an alcoholic street musician in a state of despair, Tessa still alive for any reason at all. (Okay, that was mean.) I also think one reason this particular movie theme ripoff didn't work for me was that in truth, some of Duncan's friends actually would have been better off without him.

Sadly, I didn't even like Fitz as the Ghost of Christmas Past. As nice as it was to see him one last time, he wasn't Fitz-like. He wasn't himself. He didn't make me laugh once. And I wish they hadn't brought back Horton. He returned way too many times, and I never thought his character worked in the first place.


Yes, bringing back lots of guest stars and former cast members was a good idea. And showing Duncan what his life actually meant was a valid theme for the finale. I suppose it could have been worse. It could have actually been set at Christmas.

Flashbacks:

— 1946 London. Liam O'Rourke and his mortal girlfriend Tara wanted Duncan to join him in terrorism against England, and left a bomb that killed a bunch of people. Duncan held them back long enough to get them arrested.

— Tara went to jail until she died, and O'Rourke stayed in prison until then. I wonder how he explained looking the same for fifty years.

— There were flashback clips to nearly every significant episode in the series.

Bits and pieces:

— I liked the opening Duncan/Amanda sex scene, with all of the breakage. "Gives a whole new meaning to the word 'layover'." If only the rest of the episode had lived up to it.

— O'Rourke didn't feel Methos coming?

— Most Obvious Symbolism: Duncan had to fall unconscious or dead or whatever on a moving train, didn't he?

— In this week's hair report, Amanda looked cool in that long black do. But I don't know where they got the wig they put on Jim Byrnes. It was beyond bad. It looked like someone cut bits off randomly with a pair of blunt scissors, stomped on it, and just tossed it onto his head.

Quotes:

Joe: "In the vomitorium."
Methos: "The place you went to vomit."
Joe: "I mean, they actually did do that."
Methos: "You eat a seventeen course meal where the main garnish is honey-coated asps and peacock brains... we ate, we drank, we vomited."
Joe: "But, see, it doesn't say anything in his chronicle about him dying in a vomitorium."
Methos: "Well, is that how you'd want to go down in history?"

Duncan: "I've got to get Amanda out. It's my fight, not hers. (Methos gets up) Where are you going?"
Methos: "Well, I'm kind of fond of the little vixen myself."

Note the lack of Fitz quotes.

I'll save my rating for part two,

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

2 comments:

Erika said...

So many flaws in this two parter. Firstly, Amanda was much older than Duncan, and had spent a lot of time with her teacher Rebecca, and her character was formed by the time they met Duncan.
Ditto Fitz.
Secondly, he had to have known that the evil dude wouldn't spare Joe or Amanda, so wanting to go in there without ensuring their safety wasn't just stupid and throwing his life away, but a betrayal of them.
And the whole idea of Methos 'reverting' to Death was a bit overdone. Admittedly that's not impossible, but given that he's spent several millennia changing himself it's a bit unlikely. And even if he did start killing Watchers and things spiralled from there, a couple of years before this an immortal named Jacob Galati saw his wife killed by Hunters (Horton, even) and went on a killing spree. Duncan wanted to save him, even though he was killing innocent Watchers. Anyone might go temporarily insane after something like that, and you wouldn't be looking for explanations from millennia ago. Duncan himself went a little crazy after Culloden.
It's just a little inconsistent. Did he really expect that Darius might suddenly revert to his evil warrior status? (Shame they couldn't put Darius in the dream. Oh wait, maybe not. Who knows what they'd have done to his character?)
And lastly, it's a DREAM, you big dummy.

Dustin said...

This wasn't as bad as I was expecting it to be. That's not exactly praise, but my expectations were so low that the episode couldn't help but exceed them.

IMDb lists the original airdate as May 10, 2008. I wonder if I'd looked out my window on that date, would I have seen Kronos, Methos, Silas, and Caspian go riding by on horseback? Surely having all four main credited season six cast members actually appear in an episode was a sign of the apocalypse.

This type of situation is what should have been Duncan first killing after Richie instead of the events of "Black Tower." An unavoidable choice to save the people he loves would have been a much more compelling reason and maybe could have been crafted into a better vision than It's a Highlander Life.