Highlander - Series Season 1 - Reviews

Highlander II

There can be only one!!
Jun 6, 2001
Okay - i was thinking, since i decided to sit down and watch all my Highlander tapes, we could do something of a review section and that we could start with season one (i'll list the eps below) and move through the series. Reviews can point out good and bad points and mention changes that would have made the ep better.

Season 1 episodes:

The Gathering
Family Tree
The Road Not Taken
Innocent Man
Free Fall
Bad Day in Bldg A
Mountain Men
Deadly Medicine
The Sea Witch
Revenge is Sweet
See No Evil
Band of Brothers
For Evil's Sake
For Tomorrow We Die
The Beast Below
Saving Grace
The Lady and the Tiger
Eye of the Beholder
Avenging Angel
Nowhere to Run
The Hunters
The Gathering

Okay - i'm gonna chat about "The Gathering"

Good points:
Connor MacLeod is in it!
Introduction of the new MacLeod is actually done well
Richie has some pretty good lines
Connor has some even better ones
Connor had some nice threads
Connor had the white sneakers and the trenchcoat ;)
Tessa had some good lines
Tessa was introduced w/ just the right amount of background info - leaving the viewers wanting a smidge more (yeah, i kinda liked Tessa, she was a bit of a wimp sometimes, but she could hold her own if the mood were to strike)
Connor had good hair!

Middle ground points:
the plot is a lot like the one from the original Highlander movie, but that can be accepted b/c they put Chris in the episode!

Bad points:
Adrian's fake ponytail
Richie's bad outfit and boots
They made Connor a big wuss by not letting him at least wound Slan (yeah right, that cut to the face? whatever)
The bad dummies they had falling off the bridge
Weirdly placed footage of Connor and Duncan sparring
Connor's bad hair in the flashbacks
Richard Moll trying too hard to be like the Kurgan!
Connor's ugly-@$$ car (i'm assuming is a rental)

All in all - this is the single most well put together episode of the series! (slight bias b/c i LOVE Connor! b/c there is that slight 'error' regarding the sparring scenes)
Okay, time for some 'review': I liked the way that Connor was brought in -- typical Connor style really -- he just 'drops' in (not in the same way Slan did, but anyway). The entrance of Slan and Connor makes Duncan think about all of the things he hasn't thought about in a while and he is forced to tell, and sort of confront, Tessa about some of them. Duncan is stubborn and hard-headed, but eventually realizes what's best. Connor is pretty prevalent, but after this episode is hardly even mentioned again, let alone brought back into the show. There are just enough hints (in retrospect) of Richie's 'future' immortality to give a taste and make you look at the later episodes a bit more closely. I'm not completely happy with the way they ended it; I mean, I understand that Duncan needed to kill the 'bad guy' b/c the show is about Duncan, but Connor could have been a little more like his actual character. The trip to holy ground was interesting, though I don't really see Duncan as the type who would leave everything behind just b/c life got a little complicated. But, like i said, all in all, one of the best episodes of the series, and it's the first one that was broadcast.

Trivia: If i recall, this was the 3rd episode they filmed, Free Fall being the first (don't remember which was second), so as pilot eps go, this one was pretty good.
Anyone else gonna do these? or comment? i know not everyone has the episodes on tape, but comments can be made - these are set up for dicussion of the eps -- so feel free!

Family Tree

I'll admit, this isn't one of my favorite episodes, mostly b/c it's typical, someone needs money so he/she cons someone else to get it. But - we'll just move on to the review.

Richie is looking for his long-lost father. What he finds is a con-artist who is in the red and he latches onto Richie as a potential money source. He also learns that the woman he thought might have been his mother, was actually a foster mother.

This episode is a 'journey into Richie's past' of sorts. Since he's only about 17/18 years old, he doesn't have much of a past, and what he does have, is further insight into his potentially becoming an immortal. (ie: if you've already seen the later episodes and know how everything works, this is great foreshadowing) There are also some tidbits dropped about how Duncan was exiled from his family and told that he was a foundling (which is another hint about immortals - all are foundlings).

I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly why I didn't like this episode, except that it was rather cliche, but I think it has a lot to do with its focus on Richie (who isn't one of my fave characters), though the episode does some good things, and Richie needs to be explored or he's a very flat character. So, kudos to the writers for exploring the kid.
It's been a while since I saw the first season eppy's...but I'll go ahead with what I remember.

The Gathering

I though that this was one of the better episodes in the series actually. Might have something to do with Connor being in it since I am not a big Duncan fan. I always figured that as far as Highlander's go there is only one...and Dunkie isn't it. But back to my review.

I thought it was pretty good all around...The new characters were introduced well and there was a lot of good interaction scenes. I especially like the sparring scene between the Highlander's and Richie's reaction to it all.

I didn't like the fact that they made Connor look so incapable of taking care of himself..I mean really...this Slan guy was no Kurgan no matter how much he pretended to be. Connor should have been able to take his head relativly easily I think.

hmm...that's all I can think of right now...
Okay - i'm doing these in order b/c i just sat down to watch season 1 again - --

The Road Not Taken

Richie's friend dies mysteriously, Richie has to put up w/ some flack about b/c of Richie's reputation as a street thug-type kid, and he wants to find out who killed his friend.

Duncan steps in and tells Richie to cool his heels, which he doesn't, of course, and gets into a few messes on his own while Duncan's talking w/ an old friend. This old friend had been developing an ancient Chinese root for purposes of 'scientific' nature - to help mankind.

This friend - Kiem Sun - had spent the last hundred years or so on Holy Ground and was out of practice, so he was trying to develop this root so he could 'stay in the game'. Duncan gives Kiem Sun a lecture about the game and such (1st appearance of holier-than-thou Duncan, but not quite to the extreme of later eps).

This is a rare ep where a mortal who knows about immortals actually fights an immortal -- and w/ a sword, no less --- actually, a pair of wakisashis --- but, like most who discover an immortal's immortality, he dies.

There were many references to "The Gathering" (the actual 'event' not the 1st ep), which is really common in the first season, these references dwindle later.

Okay - other notes - Duncan's hair doesn't look as fake, we see come compassionate Richie here - he's grieving for his friend and reuniting w/ another old friend, and some mischievous Richie for not doing as he was told and looking for the killer anyway - again, trying to get himself killed, and he gets into some trouble.

Not really a bad episode, but not a great one either.
Quick note about "The Gathering" - it's one of the only eps where we actually get to see the headless body - and visibly see there is no head!

Innocent Man

This episode had some interesting points. It is the one and only time (as best I can recall) that we see an immortal have a violent physical reaction to the death of another immortal, and that immortal is not in the vicinity. (visibly, anyway). Duncan falls to his knees on the road and feels 'ill' for a moment and says that he knows his friend is dead. Odd that we never see anything like this again, nor is it ever mentioned as one of the 'perks' of being immortal.

Randi McFarlane - fearless reporter- makes her first appearance. And, she actually raises some very good questions, most of which never get answered. (I'm still wondering what happened to her. She was probably a creation of Philip John Taylor's and when he left, so did she)

Another oddity -- there are numerous references to 'headless' bodies, and these trickle off, the pretty much disappear as the series progresses, esp after the Watchers are introduced. (tiny continuity problem - either that or the Watchers were 'sloppy' during those first few months Duncan was getting back into the Gathering --> this is probably b/c the PTB didn't know they were going to bring in the Watchers organization until later in the season).

The interrogation of Leo --> I have a feeling that, given the chance to make it to trial, the case against poor 'ole Leo would be dismissed b/c 1) i don't recall him ever being mirandized (ie: he wasn't aware of his rights); 2) he was 'denied' counsel (never offered a lawyer); 3) he's not mentally competent to stand trial. The man was shot in the face; the doctor said the bullet hit his brain, and i'm pretty sure Leo suffers PTSD. So, even if he were to confess, the confession would be thrown out after he spoke w/ a psychiatrist. (this actually never became an issue, b/c Leo was set free -- i just had a Law & Order moment watching the interrogation).

Richie eats some wierd stuff. Corny looking back-woods roadblock, and the typical small town v. big city government types issue. Then, of course, Duncan steps in to save the day. Deveraux - the sherrif - fights w/ a Claymore - interesting choice.

Randi does this odd attempt at being 'sexy' to solicit a response from the cop, and Duncan disappears before she can ask him anything.

The Quickening from this ep --> if the one that Duncan got blew up the cabin, why did the quickening to the cop from Duncan's friend not? Esp since I think they were near the cabin during the fight.

This episode? pretty good, but typical w/ the small town thing. Big city guy goes to the small town to answer some questions, but the small town folk don't like his 'style' so they try to scare him off, but he won't go away and wins in the end. But, since there are only so many storylines w/ which writers can work, I guess they can be forgiven - but just this once.
Free Fall

1st - there was way too much Joan Jett music for my taste
2nd - Joan Jett was a fashion emergency for sure - bad clothes

So, Felicia Martins kills herself and runs to Richie for help, seeking out someone to train her. Of course, this is all a plot - she already was immortal and knew what she was doing when she jumped off that building, and was seeking out 'the highlander' to train her so she could kick his butt later, well, and this other guy's too.

There was a really bad mural on the inside of the elevator in the bldg.

This is the 1st of several episodes where Duncan refuses to kill a female immie - tho in this case Richie was rather persistent.

Duncan was wearing an interesting tie. (I have a production still from this episode w/ him wearing this tie - he's also carrying that sword tube)

The sword - let me just saw AWESOME! that Masamune - beautiful piece (yeah, so what, it's not real)

Richie was rollerblading.

Tessa's red and gold-flame outfit, and she's smoking - something she never did before nor does she do again. (one of those little things that probably exists b/c this ep was filmed first)

The dining room -- beautiful table and chairs.

Richie gets laid.

Duncan fashion thing -- what's w/ the vests?

Richie gets beat up a little.

Felicia finds conveniently dropped wallet of her enemy.

The warehouse where Duncan teaches Felicia is the same one used for his sparring match w/ Connor.

Good point: Duncan looks pretty good teaching her how to fight in those black jeans and blue shirt.

Fashion emergency #2 - Felicia's Joan Jett look - bad.

Richie falls for Felicia's stupid lines, etc.

I have no idea why they used grainy black and white footage for the fight scene on the beach.

Duncan breaks the Masamune sword -- to prove that Felicia didn't do as he had instructed -- fought nobly w/ a noble weapon.

There are some other 'discrepancies' in this episode:

Felicia says that she had 'feelings' about something; she said she 'felt weird' and found herself walking to the antique shop. Duncan tells her that this might have been something that occured as 'the time' neared - the time when she would die her 'violent' mortal death and become immortal; ie: she instinctively sought out someone who could help her. This is never mentioned before, nor is it mentioned since. Students don't seek out teachers, the teachers seek out students, and pre-immies don't know that they're gonna die, none ever get a 'feeling' that they're gonna die so seek out someone to help them. See "Highlander" for details -- Connor was sought by Ramirez, not the other way around.

If Duncan got his sword from Connor 400 years ago, then why did he use so many different ones throughout history?
Free Fall

Okay...I hated this episode...don't now why...maybe it was the really bad clothes or the equally bad hair.
Originally posted by Diamond9697
Free Fall

Okay...I hated this episode...don't now why...maybe it was the really bad clothes or the equally bad hair.

oh - it wasn't one of my faves either -- probably had a lot to do w/ Joan Jett -- but after taking notes for the above post -- i like it even less -- mostly for all the things it brings up that never get answered --

and -- the story was pretty lame -- they could have done a lot better w/ it -----
Bad Day in Bldg A

Bad Day in Bldg A

this ep was actually pretty good --

Tessa has to go to court to pay all of her parking tickets (tho we never do find out if she paid them or not!) and Duncan was gonna wait outside for her to get back, but then..... shots are fired and alarms sound and he leaps from the car and rushes inside to help. (well, save Tessa and Richie)

Only Duncan would run *into* a bldg where alarms are sounding; well, Duncan and MacGyver -- but MacGyver always helped everyone ---

continuity glich -- the little girl's doll moves from being in her hand while she's outside the room, to being w/ her other toys once she walks into the room --

This is the 1st real face-off w/ a non-immortal that we see in the series.

Randi McFarlane is back reporting on the Bryan Slade story.

Gary Jones plays Myron Klein, Slade's lawyer. (Gary Jones is the technician/dialer guy on Stargate SG-1)

We see Duncan 'die' and come back, then he wanders the courthouse like a ghost -- giving him an edge. He protects the little girl like Connor did w/ Rachel (more semi-recycled storylines here); tho Duncan's interaction w/ the little girl is pretty good, it's nothing like those of MacGyver or Bailey Malone (Profiler), but really, it's not bad. Then, he's got to tell Belinda (the little girl) a story, and since he's, apparently, not so good w/ making up stories, he alters the story of immortals and turns them to fairies who protect ppl (good move, but kinda weak from the writing dept).

I totally dig the purple restroom stalls! (NOT) what was up w/ that?

Don't forget, when you're in a pinch - one of those garbage picking spikes makes a great weapon! (if there just 'happens' to be one lying around you can use!)

Richie calms a man down (he has a good line here that i can't remember); then Tessa makes a phone call while Slade is temporarily away.

Duncan slips away from Randi and her questions again.

Okay, one thing I really didn't understand: Duncan's reaction at the end of the episode - why does he just wander off all alone? what did he do or see that was so trying? Was it b/c he beat up all those 'bad guys'?? or something else? What??

All in all, a pretty good episode. Much better than Free Fall, but not quite up to The Gathering.
i remember quite liking this one.. but ive not seen it for *ages* so I dunno really about Duncs reaction..cant remember..
i know i know --- you're waiting for the series to come out on DVD so you can see it since you don't have NTSC format VCR's where you are ------

so - see, i could help you out, but you can't view my VHS tapes, so, guess you'll have to wait ----

website says 2002 -- like mid-2002 -- so, May, June? i dunno -- DPP is taking a long time tho --- what's with that? don't they understand that they could get SOOOO much by putting them out in time for the holidays?????

should we start a rating system for episodes?

"Free Fall" meaning that the ep is bad (b/c i'm thinking that that was one of the worst eps ever!)

and "The Gathering" meaning that it's good, or "Bad Day in Bldg A" means it's good b/c most don't quite measure up to "The Gathering"

** and, we will, of course, have to alter the entire rating system when we hit season 6 b/c the whole thing, pretty much, sucked!
Originally posted by markpud
well its an interesting system... i guess star ratings are too simple then ;)

well, i could have done it by quickenings --- or immies:

if it's really bad it would be like Slan Quince, or the Immortal Cimoli, and if it's really good, it would be like Darius or Connor -- and if it's average, it would be like Duncan or Amanda

or a number of quickenings, or power of quickenings -- weak quickening means it's bad, really powerful means it's good -

stars are boring - everyone else does that! ;)
Mountain Men

Mountain Men

***NOTE --> Phillip John Taylor is no longer a supervising producer for the show, now it is Abramowitz and Droney***

(what does that mean? umm - simplest terms, some loss of continuity - but not much really in the long run -- these are the money guys)

Tessa goes into the woods to draw and take photos, and write in a journal, but she's kidnapped by 3 men -- Mountain Men. Of course, Duncan rushes off to find Tessa. Anyone else notice his pocket watch? He has it later, but it just seems - different.

Oh - the mountain trading post in this episode looks a lot like a trading post/store scene location from an episode of MacGyver.

Duncan's ponytail still looks bad, but not as fake as before; it's really 'poofy' looking, but Adrian's hair is longer on top. (slowly growing out); however, his fake long hair is attached really funny.

There's a really stupid flashback that shows us nothing of any real importance; it only shows that Duncan was told that men go north, but doesn't give us a reason WHY men would go north, so, this flashback had no real purpose, except to give Duncan an excuse for knowing where the men went and to fill time.

Caleb's Bowie knife isn't well cared for, or sharpened --> there's a really big nick near the end of the blade. Not very wise for a man who lives off the land to have a crappy knife.

Okay, so Duncan's hunting the mtn men to find Tessa, and he's caught and jumps off a cliff, then puts himself back together and kicks butt. The weird bone-cracking thing isn't done much in the series (however, it IS done in Highlander II after Connor falls down the elevator shaft).

Caleb, he's one of the only immies we see who uses a blade that is NOT a sword - he has an axe (Silas uses one too, but most of the guys use swords).

Um, need i say more than shirtless Duncan and his Baywatch bouncing man-boobs?? (as he runs across the river)

The immies switch weapons durning the fight -- another oddity. Tessa sees a quickening for the first time, and she's not overly freaked out about it. And there are several people who are fascinated with Duncan's tracking and other skills in this episode.

Hmmm - aside from the fact that Marc Singer is in this ep, it doesn't have all that much going for it. Tessa gets kidnapped - ooh, there's an original storyline - and Duncan has to rescue her. Why couldn't it be that Duncan was kidnapped and Tessa had to rescue HIM?? (just a thought). It's not quite "Free Fall" but doesn't measure up to "The Gathering" either. It's just an average episode.
Re: Mountain Men

Originally posted by Highlander II

Um, need i say more than shirtless Duncan and his Baywatch bouncing man-boobs?? (as he runs across the river)

hehehe! another eppy i saw once, a while ago, but the way you describe it sounds about right...

(not much use for episode rating am i? ;))
don't worry about the ratings -- i haven't really been using them anyway ---

i was just talking about something while waiting for ppl to catch up! ;)
Deadly Medicine

Deadly Medicine

Okay i'll just start this one off really nicely by saying, i didn't like this episode much, mostly b/c Joe Pantoliano is in it; and tho he's wonderful as the other Fratelli brother in "The Goonies" (w/ Robert Davi who sings wonderfully in Italian), he plays an annoying little **** in a movie w/ RDA and he bugged me, so i didn't like him and thus didn't like his character, instantly, in this ep.

Now - on w/ the rest of the show....

Duncan's hit by a car. Okay, i can see that happening, weird things happen, and of course, someone's gonna see it - usually, except on L&O when they actually need to find the killer, but that's a whole other thread/story - and the car speeds off w/o stopping. This twisted doctor (who is already a whacko b4 he sees Duncan) witnesses Duncan's 'miraculous recovery' and carts him off to his little lab for experimentation.

Randi McFarlane (who disappears in about 2 or 3 eps) discovers that Duncan has no medical records of any kind (ya know they didn't keep records like that in the 1500's) and she rushes to give this info to the doctor, who brushes her off, but finds the info very intriguing for his research.

The doctor's lover begins to question him and threatens to go to the disciplinary board, so, what happens? he kills her. What a guy!

We now know that immortals are affected by drugs and suffer memory lapses as a result, it that's one of the side-effects (whether Duncan's memory lapse was a result of the drugs or his head injury is hard to tell from the ep).

This fits with the stuff about whether immies can breathe underwater or not -- Duncan wears a wetsuit, but no breathing apparatus and dives to 18 feet, and there's no way to know exactly how long he was underwater searching for that camera. So, i STILL don't know if immies can breathe underwater or not.

The dark room - developing the film - there is WAY!!! too much light in that room for pulling the film out of the canister and rolling it onto the spindle for processing. When you develop film, absolutely NO light can touch the film or it gets overexposed and you have problems (like no picture). The red light is okay for printing the photos (x-ferring image to photo paper) but not for the processing part. (studied some photography too, this is a HUGE peeve of mine!)

The ring in the photo --> Duncan says the ingraving is the Greek letter Omicron. where did that come from? just b/c it looks like the letter "O" is must be Omicron? that was a wild hair out of no where.

Oh, and just love the old Tandy-looking computer system. Doesn't this series take place in the 1990's?? That computer looked older than the ones on MacGyver!

And how convenient was it that there was only one organisation in the whole COUNTRY that used Omicron as it's first letter? Somehow I just don't see that being the case!

And, how easy was it for Tessa to get that doctor's address? She just walked in and told the nurse that she was an old friend and couldn't remember the address? Huh? aren't hospitals supposed to 'protect' private info? even for the doctors and such?? what if Tessa was really a suave serial killer?

Like I said, not a great episode. Some plot holes and some weird things that were too easy and didn't make sense. I understand the pull to do an ep where someone wants to figure out how immortals live forever, but there wasn't really a lot of focus on the experimentation stuff - more on 'oh dear, how do we get Duncan out of this mess?' - I know Duncan is the focus of the show, but sometimes it's just TOO Duncan-centered -- shift away from him a little every now-and-then (even in the 1st season) and focus on story.
The Sea Witch

The Sea Witch

Richie is helping his friend and her daughter, and he runs into some heavy duty drug dealers who are associated wtih Alexei Voshin - an immortal.

Well, see, Richie's friend stole drugs and money from the drug dealers and the dealers, see, they want it back, so they're looking for her. Well, Duncan, the goody-two-shoes makes like MacGyver and dumps it in the sink.

Richie's friend decides to leave her daughter, Belinda, behind w/ Tessa and Duncan, then she's taken hostage by the drug dealers, who don't believe her when she tells them Duncan flushed the drugs.

Belinda replaced the money in the bag w/ socks, smart kid!

Hair - there was lots of bad hair in this ep! Marco, one of Alexei's goons, had some really bad hair, and Duncan's was pretty gross too.

Knives - why does everyone feel the need to use a stilleto/switch-blade style knife? (or a butterfly - equally as useless) One guy had a stilleto and one guy had some dorky thing w/ no real handle -- well, no grip on it anyway.

Alexei - big dork - names his new ship after his old ship - this one's the "Sea Witch II" - no way Duncan would have EVER figured out that was him! man - this guys just sharp as a tack.

Accents - Alexei's isn't too bad -- but Duncan? boy did his suck!

More on that whole 'can immies breathe underwater thing' -- Duncan jumps into the water (in the flashback) and stays under for a very long time. I'm still confused on this question tho -- can they or can't they?

The fight between Alexei and Duncan is pretty cool - good, fair fight -- no major weird tricks - just Alexei is dumped into the ocean.

Oh - if Tessa will 'always remember' Belinda, they why is the girl never mentioned again? If they had at least had the little girl send a letter or something - it ties bits and pieces of the show together --- makes the characters lives seem more 'real' if stuff like that is done - ya know??

okay...this eppy was posted a bit ago but I have a question....what was up with Richie's polka dotted shirt in "Free Fall" *shudders*:eek:

Similar threads