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18 December 2006 @ 09:29 am
'Prodigal Son'  
Highlander Season Two

Prodigal Son, Air Date: May 1994

Richie returns, on the run, turning to MacLeod for help. An Immortal has been following him, refusing to confront him, but committing grisly murders wherever Richie goes. Richie is arrested for the murders. Mac learns that Immortal hunter Martin Hyde is behind the murders: considering the Quickening of a green Immortal like Richie not worth the taking, Hyde has been hounding him in order to drive him to his teacher. MacLeod must clear Richie of the murders and defeat the evil Immortal. ~ recap via tv.com


Just one more after this -- Counterfeit -- before we reach season three. so head over to the season three episode poll and vote for the episodes you'd like to see on the roster.

 
 
 
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on December 20th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
My comments and episode description are at:
http://www.wordsmiths.net/MacGeorge/episodes/Season2/Prodigal.htm

This episode was about two things, really - the re-establishment of a new and slightly different relationship between Duncan and Richie, and a view into Duncan's past, how he is in some ways different and in some ways the same as he was so long ago.

Richie goes to Mac, even though he isn't sure of his welcome, because he is the strongest person Richie knows, someone who has the experience and wisdom to deal with the chaos that Richie's life has become. In his heart, he knows that he can always rely on Mac, even though they did not part on comfortable terms after Richie killed Mako over Mac's strenuous objections.

And of course Richie is right. Duncan would never turn away a friend in need, especially a student who had come to him for help. The feeling between them is that each wanted that sense of friendship back, but wasn't sure if the other was willing or ready. At the very first opportunity, within minutes of Richie showing up at his door, Mac was offering him a place to stay, and they had hugged, both of them looking very relieved.

But it wasn't exactly the same relationship. Duncan didn't try to dictate to Richie what to do, didn't lecture him, just advised him. And Richie didn't want to rely on Mac, and his first reaction when the police showed up was not to turn to MacLeod and ask him what to do. Instead he made up his own mind, and ran. In this case, it didn't work and Mac would probably have advised against it, but rather than try to stop him, MacLeod just watched.

As for Mac and his own past, this episode shows a brash, young Duncan, full of himself and his "manhood", all of which gets humiliatingly stripped away by a vastly superior fighter who mocks him and taunts him with his own failings. Interestingly, Duncan still clings to his bravado, refusing to lead Hyde to Connor, offering up his own head, instead. Methos would have told him he was a fool, that Connor could take care of himself and it wasn't up to Duncan to "protect" him, nor would Connor thank him for giving up his life for such a cause, but I don't think that is a lesson that would ever be heard, even today. Duncan considers it his role in life to stand between the people he cares about and anything that threatens them, even when they don't need or want him to.

We see him under a similar circumstance later, with Harrish Clay and Graham Ashe, but by that time Duncan was a little more cautious, a little more aware of his own limitations. Still, the notion of running from a fight remains an anathema to Duncan. We see it in his conversation with Richie, where he admits, "I ran!" in disgust at himself, even though it was the right thing to do. You can take the boy out of the Clan, but you can't take the Clan out of the boy, and his notions of honor and standing and fighting when challenged are embedded in his very soul. So he is very different - wiser, more cautious, and chooses sometimes to act against his own instincts when experience and logic dictate that choice. But he is also very much the same - still brash, still stuffed to the gills with a sense of purpose and honor, still convinced that he has the duty to stand guard.

Did I like this episode? I liked many parts of it. I liked Hyde's character, and the notion that there are Immortals out there who just really like to hunt and get a thrill out of it. I liked the relationship bits with Richie and Duncan, and the flashbacks. I didn't care for the police Inspector, who seemed like she was working way too hard to be Miss Snippy and Suspicious. Her character (or lack thereof) was typical of all the plot-advancement scenes, which I didn't care for. They seemed without grace or style, merely bits of dialogue whose only impact was to make the sure the audience "got" the plot bits. The only saving grace in those was when they used Maurice, who managed to inject a bit of humor and real character even into the most mundane moments.

MacGeorge

P.S. Just in case you're a wee bit curious about what AP wears under that kilt, you can take a look at:

http://www.wordsmiths.net/MacGeorge/pictures/under_the_kilt.jpg
keerawakeerawa on December 22nd, 2006 10:06 am (UTC)
What?!? I don't have permission to look at the picture? *cries*
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on December 22nd, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
I haven't a clue why you weren't allowed access. Maybe if you try it from the original episode description page, from the link at the top of my previous post??