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03 October 2006 @ 09:00 am
'The Darkness'  
Sorry this is a day late.

Highlander Season Two

The Darkness, Air Date: October 1993

A mortal named Pallin Wolf, one of the renegade Watchers who believes the Immortals must be eliminated, lures an Immortal to his house and kills him, getting the advantage by tricking him into a sealed room that is completely dark, then stalking him with night vision goggles. Meanwhile, a Gypsy fortuneteller they meet in a restaurant, Greta, warns Tessa that she is in danger. When Tessa is kidnapped by Wolf, MacLeod returns to Greta, asking for her help. But she's mostly a hustler, and not accustomed to getting actual visions, so the clues she is able to provide are meager.

Finally, Mac finds Wolf's house, where Wolf is waiting for him. He meets Wolf in the dark room and all seems hopeless until he remembers a matchbook Greta gave him with her phone number in it. Lighting the matches, he regains the advantage and kills Wolf. However, as Tessa and Richie are heading for the car, a young junkie accosts them for money, and in an act of senseless violence, shoots them both. As Mac mourns, Richie tentatively sits up, healing -- he is an Immortal. But Tessa is gone.
~ recap via tv.com


 
 
 
pat: Duncanpastpat_t on October 3rd, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
I don't know. This one is a hard show to watch. I think we see Duncan at his happiest and at his lowest. He loved Tessa - there is no doubt. And then to see him lose her like that - so needlessly - was simply heartbreaking. What's funny is that every time I watch this show, I see something different that I had never noticed before.

Favorite scenes - when he asks her to marry him. When they are sitting in the shop and drinking champagne and talking about the future.

And I think this show really shows Tessa at her best - that she has brains and spirit and how much she loves Duncan.

I think in the end, it was the best thing for both the actress and the show. Duncan needed to go in a different direction. Otherwise the show would have continued on in the "Immie of the week" vein. But it was still very painful to watch.
black_op on October 3rd, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
How many other Highlander episode names have become the names of musical groups? Any of them intentionaly?
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on October 3rd, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
For a detailed description of what TPTB had to say about the episode, and a blow-by-blow of the episode itself, see:
http://www.wordsmiths.net/MacGeorge/episodes/Season2/Darkness.htm

My observations were:

The emotionally important moments in this episode are many, but at the top of the list is Duncan's defiant statement that no one's fate is predestined, followed by his immediate proposal to Tessa. His love for her was a tangible thing, communicating with remarkable power virtually every time we saw them together. During the midst of the kidnaping crisis, Duncan was cool, but fiercely determined, not at all cowed at the notion that Fate was playing with him in the person of the psychic and the gypsy who told him he would never marry. And he saved her. He got the bad guy. Everything was okay. But then she was dead, violently, suddenly, in a way he couldn't protect her from, didn't even know he was *supposed* to protect her from. But protecting her was his job. The helplessness of that, plus the pure sense of loss, would be utterly crushing. His reaction seemed absolutely understandable, to me. In that moment he had to believe that in defying Fate he had caused her death as surely as though he had pulled the trigger himself. So what could he do but go to his knees, and hold her. Not weep, not cry out. Just hold her.

There is a whole other story going on, though. Richie is not dead, at least not permanently. He is Immortal, and is now Duncan's responsibility, at a time when he would have no emotional energy to spare for such a task. But as we see in later episodes, I think it is that responsibility and Richie's irrepressible nature that keeps Duncan from sinking back into that dark place where he retreated after Little Deer was killed.

I liked the emotional set-up - the defiance of Fate which represents to me a fundamental part of DM's character - a refusal to be controlled by anything other than his own acts, skills and decisions. I think Tracie Lord did (as DA said) have a certain vulnerability that communicated well on screen, and I liked Tessa's determination to get out of the bad guy's control. I have a few nits to pick about some plot points, but on the whole the plot more or less held together. The final scenes were hard to watch, but certainly are memorable, and have become an essential part of an understanding of DM's character.
lillielilliew on October 3rd, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
As a casual HL fan (haven't seen every episode), this eps always annoyed me with the way they killed off Tessa and made Richie an immortal. The random act of violence at the last minute just seemd so cheesy and not realistic for me, like it was thrown in there at the last minute. I guess I just like these types of things to be a little more dramatic and real.

The Dust in the Wind song still sticks with me after all this time (was it this eps or the next one?) Well, Kansas is still one of my favorite classic rock bands.
black_op on October 3rd, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear! I once went to a concert with Kansas and Styx. Good times.
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on October 3rd, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
Well, it was a shocker, but I think there was more thought put into it than you may have recognized. First, the actress playing Tessa (Alexandra Vandernoot) had asked to be let out of the show because she wanted to move back to Belgium, so they had to kill her character off (she couldn't be alive, but not around, not with her history with Duncan). Second, they had always had in mind that Richie was going to end up an Immortal.

To do it as they did, following Duncan's proposal and rescue of her, was really about Duncan's determination that Fate wouldn't control his life and that he could protect the people he cared about. Then Fate kicks him in the ass. Unkind, but the fact that Duncan's life was imbued with darkness due to the nature of who and what he was became a theme that the writers exploited again and again.

You may not have liked the result, but it wasn't done without some consideration of what came before and what was to come after.
Ekaterinn: duncan and horse (by beeej)ekaterinn on October 3rd, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
Gah! Sadness! I don't remember much of this ep - it's been years since I saw it - but I do remember my shock and horror at the shooting in the end. I really liked Tessa - it was devasting to watch her die, and to watch Mac react.
dadaginnydadaginny on October 3rd, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
This is one that makes me cry every time -- I loved Tessa's character, and Ritchie was just a little young in my opinion to become an immortal. But at the end I'm always like, "Get in the car!!!!"
belleimani on October 5th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
This was one of the hardest episodes to watch. It was so well written and acted and the feeling of mindlessness of Tessa and Richie's deaths initially just blew me utterly away. Even though Richie didn't die the way it all went down, especially after the thing with Wolf shocked the hell out of me.
keerawakeerawa on October 5th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
How timely - I've just been working on a vid that pulls several clips from "The Darkness".

Tessa is so impressive here. You can really understand why Duncan is head-over-heels in love with her.

The first time I saw this episode I was terribly upset about the way that Tessa was killed. But over time I've come to respect it. Duncan tries so hard to protect and save people. He even does it with strangers, but when it comes to those he loves ...

Once again, one of Duncan's enemies threatens the people he loves. And once again, he saves them, because he is smart, skilled, lucky and good. But eventually, luck runs out. Bad things happen to good people, and that IS reality.

It doesn't take a gypsy curse to know that Immortals will lose the ones they love.