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Season 1 Overview

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  • Season 1 Overview

    In a post-apocalyptic future that follows The Great Catastrophe, the remaining immortals have decided to end The Game and form the Jettators for the sake of humanity at large, hoping to preserve human knowledge in this desperate time. One immortal, Kortan, has refused to take the oath and has claimed the Prize (defined as supreme knowledge and absolute power). One man breaks the oath: Connor MacLeod. He falls by Kortan's blade, but it is prophesied that one Immortal will eventually arise to challenge him who is not bound by the oath.

    Seven centuries pass. Kortan sends Arak to attack the Dundees of the Highlands. There lives a young man named Quentin, who was visited at a young age by a stranger with a Spanish-Scottish accent (sound familiar?). During the raid, he and his mother are killed. When he revives, she tells him with her dying words that his true surname is MacLeod, and that he must follow the stranger, save the Dundees, and take care of his sister Clyde. Soon, the stranger returns. He is Don Vincente Marino Ramirez, an immortal who intends to train him to take on Kortan. He gives him the MacLeod sword and takes him to the various Jettators that he may receive their Quickenings and gain their knowledge. And thus the adventure begins.

    This animated spin-off suffers a bit from being toned down for kids, and the animation is not too hot (even though the backgrounds are splendidly detailed and brilliantly conceived). Still, the show is far more consistent than the live action series, and it has a very strong arc. Season 1 is burdened by the need to set up the universe, and it was short-ordered, but it's still fairly good. The following list is more summary than review, as the show has few major peaks or lulls.

    1.1 The Last of the MacLeods
    An attack on the Dundees leaves Quentin and his sister orphaned. Ramirez arrives to begin MacLeod's training. Quentin goes to Moganda to free the captured Dundees with the help of the Jettator Mangus, who helps them sneak into the place. Kortan confronts the group, and Mangus sacrifices himself to allow the Highander & Co. to escape. A serviceable enough pilot with plenty of intrigue.

    1.2 A Taste Of Betrayal
    Ramirez takes Quentin to see Stevenson, a Jettator specializing in hydroelectric power. When they arrive, they are drugged and Quentin is taken to Moganda. Quentin escapes Arak's forces with the help of Aria, who had participated in his capture to trade for Stevenson, who was supposedly being held captive in Moganda. Ramirez disguises himself as a Hunter and sabotages the city. Stevenson turns out to be working with Kortan, having lost his faith in the Jettator cause. Ramirez convinces Kortan to let Quentin and himself escape Moganda in exchange for instructions on how to undo the sabotage. Stevenson loses his head to Kortan. Decent episode.

    1.3 Melvyn The Magnificent
    Ramirez takes Quentin to find Erol, but they are captured by his mortal former assistant, Melvyn. Driven insane by the apparent loss of his daughter Dana in a Hunter attack, Melvyn becomes convinced that Clyde is Dana and that he is an immortal. He leaves for Moganda with the MacLeod sword, and Ramirez and MacLeod escape and follow. Inside the city, Quentin meets an older Dana, who has been living there since the attack. As Melvyn challenges Kortan to a duel, Quentin steps in and takes over. Everyone escapes and Melvyn regains his sanity at being reunited with Dana. Merely okay.

    1.4 The Last Weapon
    Ramirez is teaching Quentin about balance in a fashion that should seem very familiar to fans of the original film. Nearby, the Dundees are terrorized by a gang sporting a machine gun. MacLeod and Co. hunt them down to their headquarters, where the group's leader is intending on attacking Moganda. Quentin takes the gun away from a priest and begins using it on the gang. Ramirez admonishes him to not use this weapon, but Quentin is drunk on the power it gives him in wielding it. Eventually, he accidentally shoots Clyde in the arm and comes to his senses. The gun is discarded and the heroes continue on their journey. This episode is notable for a flashback to 20th Century warfare, and it is one of the best episodes of the series.

    1.5 The Suspended Village
    Ramirez is trying to teach MacLeod how to conquer his fear of heights. Meanwhile, Arak and another Hunter major, Gorth, are fighting over slavery procedures. The conflict is brought to Kortan's attention, and the court jester Malone suggests that the decision be made by a slave duel to the death. Arak goes to a village of suspended bridges and captures the son of the man who he wants to serve as his slave warrior. Quentin's fear of heights results in the father being injured, which makes the Jettator Olak wary about giving his Quickening to the young Highlander. Ashamed of himself, Quentin goes to Moganda to take the man's place, and Ramirez has to follow him to make sure that he does not end up losing his head for his foolhardiness. Ramirez, Quentin, and the captive son escape, and an impressed Olak transfers his Quickening to Quentin, and then rejoices in the gift of mortality as MacLeod leaves to continue his quest. Fairly good.

    1.6 Exodus
    MacLeod and Co. are on the run from the Hunters, and they arrive on an island with a drawbridge. The bridge is pulled up to prevent Arak from pursuing, but he takes two hostages. The island is filled with women, since all the males were taken away as slaves. The islanders are experts in shipbuilding, and have constructed a sailing ship and ample supplies for a journey to a new world outside of Kortan's reign. Meanwhile, one of the women tries to betray MacLeod and Ramirez in exchange for the return of her family. Arak falsely promises this until he is shown the entry hatch into the city, and then imprisons her as well. Quentin saves the hostages as Ramirez seals the hatch. As the Hunters try to get over the rusted and only half-lifted bridge, Quentin strikes at the chains to make the bridge fully close and then hurries to the ship as it begins to sail away. This is a rather memorable episode, so I'd strongly recommend it.

    1.7 The History Lesson
    Quentin cannot understand the importance of knowing the past. Ramirez takes him to the city governed by Lancerlay, the history Jettator. Kortan predicts this move and sends Arak to attack the fortressed city. Lancerlay feels the Buzz and assumes it is Kortan, but is relieved to find that it is Ramirez and the prophesied Highlander. As Arak tries to break into the gates, Lancerlay gives Quentin his Quickening, which incapacitates the attacking army. A good action episode.

    1.8 The Cursed
    The Dundee clan has caught malaria in the marshlands, and found only hostility from another clan led by Scott, a former Hunter whose own people is suffering from the same disease. Quentin is called to help, and soon Clyde catches malaria herself. As Quentin and Ramirez seek the medicine Jettator, Ilrick, Scott contacts Arak, who has just lost leadership authority to the bureaucrat Asklepios, and is looking to prove his worth to Kortan. After Quentin receives Ilrick's Quickening, he makes a cure for malaria; however, he and Ramirez are captured by the Hunters. The Dundee clan comes to the rescue, Scott has a change of heart as the malaria sets in on him, and they escape to cure Clyde and the people of the clans of the deadly sickness. Merely okay.

    1.9 The Valley Of The Thorn Pods
    Ramirez and Quentin are attacked by giant thorn pods in the forest, and Ramirez is taken away. Quentin arrives at a village in the trees, where dissent stems from the fear that Sahevy the botany Jettator has unleashed the thorn pods upon them. Quentin journeys with the leader to take Sahevy's head for breaking the Jettator oath, and discovers that Sahevy was not behind the thorn pod attacks. Clyde informs them that a dissenter who gave them 48 hours to complete their mission before burning the fields has not waited that long, and has gone to an airship to retrieve fuel. The group arrives to stop him, and they are attacked by the thorn pods. Quentin drives the plants away with the Quickening of Sahevy, and then realizes how to stop the plants by freeing some hibernating insects. Ramirez is reunited with Connor and the tree colony begins a pilgrimage, with Sahevy coming along to teach them agriculture. Once again, decent.

    1.10 Fallout
    Ramirez and Quentin journey through a desert that was at one time a garden before it was destroyed by atomic weapons. A group of blue-skinned, web-fingered guardians take them to the Sandman, aka Prometheus, the Jettator with knowledge of nuclear power. He has been mutated by radiation and suffers great pain, despite his immortality. Meanwhile, one of the guardians has told the Hunters the location of the former military base, and Kortan arrives personally. Arak kills the traitor, lest he betray anyone else. Quentin refuses to take the horrible knowledge until Kortan seeks to take it himself. Quentin takes the Quickening as Kortan fires off the nuclear missile from a silo, and Quentin uses his new knowledge to program a counter-missile. Prometheus destroys the base as they leave, and Quentin swears to never pass on this knowledge. This episode has a flashback to the bombing of Japan in WWII, and it is another one of the shining stars within an already-solid series.

    1.11 The Courage Of Love
    Ramirez wants Quentin to learn multiple languages, so it's off to see Brana. Meanwhile, the Hunters raid Brana's home town. Brana is a coward, and hides behind the Jettator oath rather than defending the people. Arak takes a female prisoner for himself, and Asklepios plans to report him. Ramirez, Quentin, and Brana break into Moganda to save one of the abductees, who Brana claims has knowledge of the location of the Jettators. In truth, it is merely the woman he loves, who happens to be the woman that Arak is holding. MacLeod & Co. capture Arak and force him to help them, lest they turn him over to Kortan for punishment. They are about to leave through the hatch when Kortan appears. Brana finds his courage and takes on Kortan so that the others can escape. Anti-establishment vendors stop Kortan, and they all get free. Arak convinces Kortan that he was not an accomplice to the escape, much to the chagrin of Asklepios. Quentin receives the Quickening at the end, and Brana can live the rest of his mortal life with his lover. Not the best.

    1.12 The Setup
    We start with a flashback to an earlier age in the Far East, one in which Kortan tried to take Ramirez's head in a training exercise under Yoshoda and was sent packing. In the present, Ramirez takes Quentin to see Yoshoda, and along the way, they meet a young man who convinces Quentin to build an army to defeat Kortan, against Ramirez's wishes. Ramirez recognizes this man's sword as once belonging to Kortan. This is all a test by Yoshoda, who was wanting to see if he would become a tyrant like Kortan if given power. Yoshoda will not give Quentin the Quickening...yet. He must first receive all the other Jettators' Quickenings first and prove himself worthy. One of the essential episodes and part of the thematic core of the show.

    1.13 The Sound of Madness
    Kortan catches Malone dressed in his cape and goofing around in the throne room. Asklepios determines the location of MacLeod, and Kortan makes plans to challenge Quentin on the remains of a rusted ship in the desert. A flashback shows the death of Connor MacLeod at Kortan's hand during the Jettator ceremony. In the present, Quentin is temporarily blinded during the fight, and then both duelists are struck by lightning, sending Quentin into the ship. Ramirez finds Quentin and knocks him out, lest he continue the fight. When he revives, the blind Highlander goes for Moganda. Kortan exits the city gates in a tank to fight him. He sends Malone out in disguise, and then attacks Quentin from behind. Quentin's eyesight returns, but he finds himself on his back with Kortan's blade at his neck...and Kortan finds Ramirez's blade at his neck. Kortan chooses to enter the tank and escape, leaving Malone to chase behind him. A rousing season finale.

    "Really? We are trapped in a room with a machine that can cut off my head. Now that's a longshot."
    --Connor MacLeod in Peter Bellwood's original Highlander II script