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20 November 2006 @ 10:49 am
'Under Color of Authority'  
Highlander Season Two

Under Color of Authority, Air Date: February 1994

Richie wants to protect Laura Daniels, a young woman who's on the run from an Immortal bounty hunter, Mako. MacLeod has met Mako befoe and doesn't like his methods, but he knows the other man is lawful. He questions whether Laura is necessarily innocent. Richie doesn't care, he wants to help her anyway, no matter what it takes. MacLeod is torn between doing what's right and helping his friend. Richie defeats Mako and receives his first Quickening, and he and MacLeod realize it's time for him to move on. ~ recap via tv.com

Next week will be 'Unholy Alliance'

pat: Jimmy Scenepat_t on November 20th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
You know, I really like this episode. I thought it was very well done, although I still have some questions about the ending and why Duncan thought he had to push Richie out the door. The pics from this are so sad as Duncan stands there, tears rolling down his face.
Unovisunovis on November 20th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
Wow, did I love this show when it first aired. This is the Duncan we don't see later in the series, after he suffered so many losses so close together. He's firm, he's questioning, he's intelligent, he's tough. My jaw dropped when he pushed Richie out the door, even though I should have trusted him and seen it coming.

Duncan's no kid. He's no starry-eyed romantic. He's got more street smarts than Richie ever had; he also has the balance and maturity to know when to use them and when to let himself be vulnerable.

This is the guy maybe Methos didn't appreciate in the short time he knew him.
Ith: Helm - Who?ithildyn on November 20th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
This is the guy maybe Methos didn't appreciate in the short time he knew him.

[curiosity piqued]Care to expand on that? Yeah, I'm a pest :)
macgeorge1macgeorge1 on November 21st, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
My entire episode description and summary of commentary by TPTB is at:

My comments were: Great emotional potency in this episode. Mako lives in a world of black and white, of rules that he believes defines and maintains society. He is not evil, just blind to any value but the law. Mac believes in the law, but is more focused on the people, on the reasons and circumstances surrounding their lives and their actions. It was interesting that I recently watched a little of FUOT on TNN, where Mac desperately tries (unsuccessfully) to explain Sean Burn's death to Steven Keane, who is equally uninterested in reasons. ("I don't judge your reasons, MacLeod, only your acts.")

Richie is caught up in his own world of wanting to be a hero, of having a pretty girl who needed him, but at the very end, just before Laura is hit by Mako's car, he finally tries to convince her to give herself up, that running isn't going to achieve anything. Was Richie wrong to go after Mako? Well, in the flashback, MacLeod had been faced with the same choice - of challenging Mako for killing his friend, even though Mako was merely following the Law, and all his friend had to do was give himself up. Mac chose not to challenge. He did not see evil in Mako, nor did he believe vengeance was justified.

But Richie was young, still had many lessons to learn, and it was time he learned them on his own, as Mac had learned them. That last scene is a heartbreaker, for both of them. Richie is confused and hurt and feeling rejected and insecure, needing reassurances that Mac can't give him. Mac could have railed at him, which wouldn't have achieved anything other than disaffection. He could have "forgiven him", but the act wasn't up to Mac to forgive. He could have accepted it, but he didn't believe it was acceptable, and ultimately, he had to acknowledge that Richie had now taken his first Quickening, had killed his first Immortal, and done so in anger and vengeance.

It is the last thing Richie asks that is at the core of his despair. "Are we going to have to face each other?" It is the defining tragedy of their lives.
shiroken: McCleodshiroken on November 21st, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
I always thought that Duncan's reason for pushing Richie out the door was that he felt that Richie allowed his emotions to blind him to the reality of the situation. Richie, of course, did this habitually, but now that he was an immortal, he had to learn the consequences of letting the heart rule the reason when life and death were at stake. Just sayin'......
Also, I had a real hard time suspending my disbelief during the final scene. I just couldn't believe that Mako wouldn't have sliced Richie's head off in about two seconds. Just sayin'.....
(Anonymous) on November 21st, 2006 08:59 pm (UTC)
Of course the ending is so intense it takes the focus off the rest of the epi. I found the plot a little confusing last I saw it, but that was an old recording that had bits missing where I'd tried to cut out the commercials.
Mako's character certainly poses interesting questions. Is law justice? Mako is pitiless, and he may be wrong, but could one justify challenging him on those grounds?
holde_maid: Royoholde_maid on November 21st, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)
oops, that was me. I keep forgetting to log in. Or alternatively, lj forgets to keep me logged in *pout*
Anyway, here I am, so you have a target for those rocks *LOL*
Kathyh: Kathyh Duncan goodkathyh on November 21st, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
It's a fascinating episode, which would be strong whatever happens, but gets stronger because of the ending. Mako believes in the Law, but not necessarily Justice, whereas Duncan believes in Justice but respects the fact that Mako upholds the Law. I think Richie is too young to comprehend the nuances that Duncan does and eventually goes after Mako as vengeance for Laura's death. It's almost an essay on the different elements of Justice and when the Law needs to be tempered by mercy.

The ending seems to underline the fact that the rules Immortals live by aren't the same as humans live by, so Richie, having taken a Quickening, can no longer be Duncan's student. It's heartrending and hard for both of them, but seeing the feral look on Richie's face as he killed Mako makes me think that Duncan had to do it. Richie had made his own decision on who to kill, regardless of what Duncan had said, so I presume that meant he couldn't be considered a student any longer.
Ith: Yoda guyithildyn on November 21st, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
It had Jonathon Banks! One of my favourite actors. Now if he'd only had scenes with Jim, it would have been perfect [g] (Yeah, I'm a Wiseguy fangirl) (first time I ever met JB was at a Wiseguy, Doctor Who con)
mamamia1964mamamia1964 on November 23rd, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
I often wondered whether Duncan sent Richie away at the end of this episode because he couldn't face teaching Richie to become more cold-blooded, ruthless. Duncan was raised to be this decisive person, but Richie was a hanging out with the guys, having fun kinda person. He wasn't taught the responsibilities that go along with making judgements. Richie seemed like he wanted to be like Duncan, but he just didn't have the wherewithal to do so. He didn't have the foundation in personality or background to be decisive, to make quality judgements about people and situations. He hadn't grown up enough. Duncan, however, had spent that his youth learning to become a leader with all of the heavy load of expectations that came with it. (Dad must've been tough to please!)

I think that Duncan, in the emotional mess that was his life (grief over Tessa and Darius, worry about Richie, plus the constant pressure of being an Immortal), realized that Richie was trying too hard to be like him, but couldn't be. He realized that Richie needed to experience life on his own as an Immortal. Richie also needed to absorb the reality of his new life and the issues/responsibilities that are part of the Immortal world. Richie needed to walk in his own shoes, instead of trying to step in Duncan's footsteps. (In the meantime, Richie was a typical kid, rebelling one minute against every thing his "parent" suggests, and going overboard the next minute in trying to be just like the man he admired most in the whole world.)

(Just imagine how Duncan impacted Richie's life. Until he lived with Duncan and Tessa, he'd had a pretty unsettled life with little guidance or love. Along comes this really cool guy that's lived forever and knows everything. *At least it would seem so to Richie!* Duncan is a true blue hero, suave, handsome, brave, everything that a needy young man wants and needs for a role model. It's just that Duncan's a tough act to follow.)

Ummm, crazy day in my classroom, so I'm hoping that I make sense. Long and short, Duncan loved Richie and didn't want to lose him, but realized that Richie needed to leave to grow up and appreciate his mentor's advice.
keerawakeerawa on November 27th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
I agree with you, mamamia. Richie was trying to be a hero, just like Mac. We've seen him do this before. If you compare young Richie to MacLeod at age 50, Richie actually comes off pretty well.

I always wonder if this was a decision based on how and why Richie Challenged Mako, or if this is some rule of Immortal society. "Thou Shalt Not Keep a Student After He Has Taken His First Quickening."