Last time: Duncan MacLeod made new friends…at about a tenth of the rate at which he makes enemies. But one of them is Dawson, so how bad can it be?
41. A Methos to the madness.
This will probably be a short one, since I talked about the series formula last week and a few of the overarching conflicts (the research monkey in me notes with regret that every time there is an erudite secret society calling themselves The Watchers, large numbers of them turn out to be evil. Where are my people?).
While still keeping the formula alive, the show in its later seasons suffers from the same problems afflicting a lot of supernatural-inflected television series, with new rules and new evil creatures popping up everywhere as the stakes are constantly raised. (Spoiler alert! There’s even a plot arc in which, thanks to the machinations of a demon, Richie Ryan is finally sent to the Great Scrappy-Doo Kennel In The Sky.)
And then there’s Methos (portrayed by the awesome Peter Wingfield), a name you probably know if you’ve ever looked for Highlander fan fiction—or possibly any fanfic that could cross over with the world of immortals. An ancient immortal who was undercover for years as a Watcher, Methos is kind of a uniting figure, and not just across the two groups that make up the world of Highlander: the Series. As we eventually learn, he used to ride with a band of barbarians called The Four Horsemen before settling down to a quiet life.
Yep, that’s right: Methos is what you get when the Kurgan decides he wants to be Connor MacLeod when he grows up. He is pretty much the Highlander universe incarnate (only likable! I kid, mostly), which presumably explains his popularity. And it doesn’t hurt that his one impersonator, in the inevitable episode where such a thing happens, is played by Ron Perlman. That’s a mark of quality if I ever saw one.
You can probably tell from this that I’m not altogether fond of the series as a whole, even if Duncan is an engaging protagonist and many of the supporting characters are great. For all I whined about not being able to gauge how things worked for immortals during the original film, learning more about them in the series is a bit like finding out how a magician does his tricks: some of the gloss is gone.
Not that this will stop me from linking to my favorite episode, which is highly entertaining in the vein I described in my Lois & Clark post last week:
Next time: I reread a childhood classic…well, my kind of childhood classic… for the first time in decades. I am terrified.
Next time on TCBOM!: The last Highlander movie I’ll be writing about, i.e., the one I tend to call Highlander: the MacLeod Popularity Referendum.