- Duncan—like Connor, but interesting;
- Methos:—complicated fan favorite;
- Joe Dawson—Yaaaaayyyy!!!;
- Richie—I would rather own a Ramirez-themed alarm clock. Two.
42. The answer to life, the (princes of the) universe, and everything: Endgame.
Highlander: Endgame (which, yes, isn’t the last film) brings together the movie and TV Highlanderverses and reunites the two MacLeods.
The answer to the question most viewers probably asked themselves is answered when, in the first minutes, the villains kill Rachel from the original movie. Endgame is very much a series-mythos story rather than any sort of return to Connor’s world—though that means we get a little Methos and Dawson in this tale of a self-hating immortal who’s formed his own ruthless death cult.
One of the cult’s members is Duncan’s ex-wife, who is understandably bitter about that time he stabbed her on their wedding night because he knew she was an immortal (she didn’t) and because good old Cousin Connor put the idea in his head that she should die while in her full youth and vitality (in fairness, he presumably meant later: Connor isn’t stupid, though I have a harder time making that argument about Duncan once he does this Groom of Lammermoor bit here). Eventually it becomes clear that they will have to combine forces to defeat the evil Jacob Kell—and that means one MacLeod must take the other’s head.
[If anyone cares after all this time, spoiler a…head?]
That would be Duncan, of course, after some convincing and a long speech from Connor about how tired he is of being immortal and losing everyone he loves. I don’t think this result could have been planned since 1986, but if the Highlander movies were intended as a long-form portrayal of living with depression, my hat is off to everyone involved, because it works completely and would explain Connor’s apparent ennui in the first film.
I find myself struggling to explain what I dislike about Endgame, since “It’s so dark!” inevitably leaves me wondering why the first movie seems less dark. Possibly it shouldn’t: it’s a thematically similar idea, except the Kurgan wasn’t allergic to fun like the ex-priest villain here, but there were also a few genuinely comic moments. I don’t miss Ramirez—hoo boy, I do NOT miss Ramirez—but I miss the effect he had on the tone of the first Highlander.
Still, Endgame has its moments for viewers like me, and for the part of my cinematic credo which reads, “There is no such thing as a bad swordfight.”
Next time: I finally got around to starting 2013’s Dracula TV series (would someone pleeeease let Daniel Knauf finish a show?), so I’m going to re-view the Coppola movie.
Next time on TCBOM? The audio plans are still up in the air, so though there may yet be an audio discussion or two, next week I’ll be doing something else on Mondays. It’s been fun!