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22 January 2008 @ 08:42 am
HLS4: 'Judgement Day'  
Now that the holidays are over, and I'm back from vacation, I'm starting up the episode discussions once more. This is the last episode for S4, so I'll be putting up the S5 poll soonish like here!

Thanks to everyone who has participated in these discussions. They're much fun!

Highlander Season Four

Judgement Day, Air Date: May 1996

Dawson's life is on the line when the Watchers try him on the charge of treason for his friendship with MacLeod. Watcher deaths have risen dramatically since Dawson first told MacLeod about the Watchers and the Tribunal is determined to punish Joe and stop the killing. MacLeod and Dawson argue his case, but even as the trial goes on, the Watcher killings continue.
~ recap via TV.com

Next week: Season Five!

pat: HL Methos dirty thoughtspat_t on January 22nd, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, what to say about this show? Do you know this was the last first run show I saw when we moved to Mississippi and our new satellite carrier did not have the channel Highlander was showing on? I didn't know if Joe lived or died for almost 5 years.

I liked the way they kept bringing in Horton and the Hunters. Shows it wasn't just a one-time thing they used, but that they were truly a deadly part of the Watchers and they had been around for a long time. I liked Jacob and Irena and the general story-line. How sad, yet understandable, that Jacob reacted the way he did.

Of course, at first we don't know who is killing the Watchers. But interesting that they have been keeping an eye on Joe and Duncan's relationship. You would think they would have questioned Adam Pierson's relationship with Duncan MacLeod a bit more though. Of course, Duncan wasn't going to let Joe die for this. And equally predictable, Joe wasn't going to let Duncan martyr himself. He took full responsibility and was willing to pay the price.
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on January 22nd, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
I made analyzed this episode several years ago, with full descriptive detail, at:

Despite the passage of time, I think the summary observations still hold, as follows:

You know, I liked the idea of this episode, but I wasn’t sold on the execution of it. It was chock full of clips from previous episodes, which always makes me feel a little cheated since it cuts way back on the original material. I liked seeing lots of Joe, and the scenes between Duncan and Methos each had a little ‘oomph’ to it, a kind of snapping energy that made them sharp and memorable.

I loved the notion of Adam Pierson giving an impassioned speech about a secret journal of one of Methos’ watchers, and I caught the irony and humor of it, but it seemed to cross a little too far over into camp for the gravity of the moment (“I say, let friendship thrive!”) and seemed too much like a gimmick, especially when it made no difference at all.

The Watcher hierarchy came across as mean-spirited and paranoid (although with them dying like flies, they apparently had some reason for paranoia). Jack Shapiro, in particular, was annoyingly self-righteous, even before his own son turned up murdered. I think it would have played better, and Joe's willing martyrdom would have been more believable, if we had seen a couple of more sympathetic Watchers as well as a more reasoned argument of the Watcher's case against Joe that at least acknowledged good intentions.

Certainly, they managed to keep the tension going all the way to the end, although it was a little bewildering when Duncan said he would accept the same fate as Joe if they gave him a trial of his peers, but then leaves him to his martyrdom. It seemed like breaking faith, but however much weight you give promises, for Duncan to willingly die, especially at the hands of the Watchers, especially for something he feels no guilt for, especially after he tried so hard to get Joe to leave with him… it may have felt uncharacteristic, but to have done otherwise would have been monumentally stupid, and Duncan’s not stupid.

So, while I liked the plot, and I liked the many of the original scenes, my enjoyment was frustrated by all the flashbacks and by what was for me an overuse of all the “filmic” devices that both Peter and Jim admired when they talked about them in their video commentary on the DVD.
amberleewriter on January 23rd, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
You know, I liked the idea of this episode, but I wasn’t sold on the execution of it. It was chock full of clips from previous episodes,

This is my biggest problem with the episode. It really seemed unnecessary to go over and over the situations with the clips. It's as boring to me as watching the pod race in SW:TPM. Totally unnecessary to the real plot. Presenting the trial as a trial instead of a way to stretch footage would have seemed more meaningful to me and might have given the episode a more powerful punch of character development for both Joe and his Watcher brethren. Methos' arrival at the trial was great but the moment turned into a soliloquy of near Shakespearean proportions (could you give Peter a mirror please?) without the quality and seemed to cross the line of show don't tell.

In spite of this I still like this episode (particularly when I can use the fast forward to skip the never-ending clips). It would be worth watching for me for Joe's execution scene alone.

"On your knees."

"Not in this lifetime."