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Season 2.1 Overview

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  • Season 2.1 Overview

    This is the longest season in the history of the Highlander franchise, and it is quite an improvement over season 1. The action is more epic, the characterization is more nuanced, the arcs are more defined, the politics are more developed, and the tone is darker and more mature. Clyde and Gaul are still around, but the show also plays up the decapitations and violence.

    2.1 The Price of Freedom
    Quentin complains about the lack of freedom to play, and Ramirez decides to take him to a run-down city controlled by gangs of children. Quentin tries to break up a fight, but is met with hostility from all sides. When he attempts to bring them together to work things out, conspiracies upon conspiracies are formed, and soon Arak is on his way to capture MacLeod. Meanwhile, Gaul is taken captive by the gangs, so Clyde and Ramirez go in search for the pet. Ramirez knocks out a Hunter and impersonates him to terrorize one of the gang leaders. When the assembly is held, Arak and his forces arrive. Quentin convinces the gangs to unite to take them down. The Hunters are defeated and Gaul is returned. This story was done better on Star Trek.

    2.2 The Secret Prison
    Quentin, Ramirez, and Clyde find themselves in a booby trap-filled labyrinth where prisoners are held and worship The Almighty K, aka mechanized totems with the head of Kortan on them. These nameless prisoners have lived there from birth and are trained to be Hunters. Quentin befriends one of them and gives him a name: Connor. Arak arrives to lead the prisoners to hunt down the escaping heroes. Ramirez discovers that Arak was born in the prison. Quentin employs his immortality to short-out the electric fence, and the prisoners turn to follow MacLeod. Kortan unleashes an army of giant ants to wipe out the prisoner tribe. Arak provides the prisoners with an escape route, and they see the outside world for the first time. They are free to take on their own destinies. A harrowing and unmissable episode.

    2.3 Dead Ringer
    A trap for Quentin and Ramirez apparently fails. However, when Ramirez reunites with Quentin and his sister at the site of the Jettator oath ceremony, he acts out of character and tells Quentin that it is time for him to face Kortan, and then hands him the MacLeod sword. When Clyde insists that Quentin is not yet ready, Ramirez slaps her and declares that his decision should not be questioned, and then leaves to plan the fight with Kortan. Meanwhile, the real Ramirez escapes the underground tunnels and abducts Asklepios to interrogate him for the location of Quentin. When the doppelganger returns, the real Ramirez confronts him. Quentin discovers that the MacLeod sword is a fake and that the other Ramirez was a man in a mask. Kortan waits at the other side of a suspension bridge, and Quentin cuts it down, leaving Kortan unable to reach him and the doppelganger hanging for his life. One of several silly stories that sneak their way into an otherwise solid season.

    2.4 Orion's Reign
    Terrorists attack Moganda in the name of Orion. Ramirez wants Quentin to learn about astronomy, so they journey to find Cornell. They discover that Cornell is Orion, and he has challenged Kortan to a duel at a specific time and place. Ramirez is angered that Cornell has broken his oath, and is determined to kill the Jettator personally. Ramirez and Cornell fight beside a telescope, and Ramirez learns that Cornell is blind. Quentin stops the fight and informs them that Kortan is coming. Cornell gives his Quickening to Quentin and challenges Kortan as Quentin and Ramirez escape. The fight is designed to occur during an eclipse, but Cornell is now too weak to defeat even a blinded Kortan. This episode features a really nifty concept that is executed well.

    2.5 Rage of the Hurricane
    MacLeod and Ramirez see that the Hunters are moving in to attack the Hurricanes, a secret cult that gathers natural electricity during thunderstorms. The Hurricanes do not believe them when they try to warn them, and Ramirez and Clyde are taken captive while Quentin escapes. Arak does not arrive in time, but is sent back during the next storm to ambush them. The leader of the Hurricanes refuses to listen to Ramirez, and Quentin is electrocuted when he tries to free them. Quentin revives and frees them in time to get to the hill and warn the Hurricanes moments before Arak's tanks arrive on the hill. Quentin uses a power cable to disable the tanks, and the Hurricanes pledge to help Quentin in the future, while swearing him to secrecy about their group. Another satisfying episode.

    2.6 The Blood of My Enemy
    Arak mortally wounds Asklepios in an attempt on Ramirez's life. Fellow bureaucrat Valka begs Kortan to help him, but he denies her requests. She captures Ramirez and Quentin, takes them to an abandoned funhouse, and asks for them to donate blood to save Asklepios, since immortal blood has a universal blood type. Ramirez is at first reluctant, but agrees. When Kortan and Co. arrive, the bureaucrats try to betray the heroes. Quentin threatens to kill Asklepios if they do not show them a way to escape. Kortan and Arak smash their way through the house of mirrors, but MacLeod and the weakened Ramirez escape before they can be stopped. Asklepios and Arak agree to not let Kortan know about either the cause of the injury or the means of escape, mutually saving each others' necks. This is not only a brilliantly-written episode with great character moments, but it adds a new element to the franchise mythology without betraying the essential concepts of the immortals.

    2.7 The Sword of Evil
    Quentin's nightmares about Kortan haunt him to the point that he decides to journey to Moganda during the night. Meanwhile, Kortan remembers how he first obtained his sword in centuries (or even millennia) past, and he swears to take Quentin's head just as he had Connor's. Quentin is attacked by thieves, but he helps them flee from the Hunters. They take him to an underground dwelling, Shantytown, where the leader plans to kill them until Quentin recognizes her from childhood. They enter Moganda through an arcade; the renegade forces go to sabotage Moganda, and Quentin disguises himself as a Hunter to take Malone back to the palace, since Malone is the human key to Kortan's weapon chamber. Malone realizes that he is an impostor and sets off the alarm, but Quentin retrieves the sword anyway. Meanwhile, Ramirez has entered Moganda to find Quentin, and is captured by Kortan. Quentin threatens to drop Kortan's sword in molten lead unless Ramirez is set free. Even after Quentin throws down the sword, the molten lead pours onto the sword as they escape. Kortan reaches into the pool of lead and retrieves it before it is destroyed. An excellent Kortan story that gives him some extra dimension.

    2.8 Lord for a Day
    The Jettator Volta is captured by the Hunters, and Ramirez and Quentin hatch a plan to free him. Kortan receives a challenge to fight Quentin, and he leaves Asklepios in charge. Ramirez and Quentin go to the arcade and order a large number of beers to get the Hunters drunk and draw too much water consumption. The bureaucratic forces come to close down the place, and Ramirez instigates a bar fight between the two groups. The Hunters are arrested, which infuriates Arak to the point that he sends soldiers to attack Asklepios in the Glass Organ. Two Hunters, Ramirez and Quentin in disguise, convince Arak to destroy the Glass Organ, thus shutting down power in Moganda. They free Volta and escape as Kortan comes back in furor over being stood up by MacLeod. The system is reactivated, and the escape tunnels flood, but Volta passes the knowledge of nuclear energy to Quentin, and the Quickening protects them from the water. An entertaining if plotty episode.

    2.9 The Eye of Heaven
    Ramirez and Quentin find a satellite station run by Shepherd, who blames himself for an error that resulted in the Great Catastrophe. He never joined the Jettators out of shame, and he stays hidden when they arrive. He has a change of heart and tracks down Quentin with a computer, while Kortan goes to the station to receive Shepherd's knowledge himself. Shepherd challenges Quentin to take his head, but Ramirez explains that if he takes the Oath, the power can be transferred without decapitation. Shepherd becomes a Jettator, and passes the knowledge just as Kortan closes upon them on a suspension bridge. Quentin cuts the bridge and Shepherd detonates a bomb on the satellite, destroying it before Kortan can learn to use it. Essential viewing.

    2.10 Oblivion
    Kortan becomes fed up with Malone, and chooses the recently-captured Neil Dundee to be his new human key. Neil will be placed in the Room of Oblivion, which will erase his identity. Arak is sent to find Malone, who is on the run. Malone comes to Quentin for help, and tells the story of his own experience in the Room of Oblivion. Malone leads them into a trap in the tunnels under Moganda, hoping to buy back Kortan's favor. Quentin reaches the Room of Oblivion in time to save Neil, and he takes Malone hostage and threatens to kill him (thereby preventing the armory from being accessed) if Kortan does not let them go. Yet another solid character episode.

    2.11 The Siege of the Dundees
    Quentin warns Glenn and Neil of oncoming Hunters, and the Dundees set up defenses. The clan wins the battle, but fear reinforcements. Ramirez tells Quentin to make himself seen, and Kortan decides to lead the next attack himself. With the Hunters away from Moganda, Ramirez and Quentin sneak into the city and set off alarms to draw away the rest of the guards from the bureaucratic level. They threaten to destroy the control center if Valka does not tell Kortan to call off the Dundee attack. Kortan's forces are defeating the Dundees, but Valka arrives in time to stop the seige. A good action story.

    2.12 The Treasure in the Sand
    The bureaucrats have discovered the creation of a new city by renegade Hunter 451, and Arak is sent in to take it out. Clyde is abducted by 451's men to be used as slave labor in excavating the city, and she discovers a forgotten library. Arak attacks and declares that the books should be destroyed in the name of Kortan, which reminds Ramirez of the burning of books in the New World by Spanish conquistadors. Ramirez sets up bombs to seal the library, not realizing that Quentin, 451, and Arak are fighting inside. Everyone escapes just in time, and the "treasure" is safe. Probably the best of the openly didactic episodes, as it really captures the wonder of the written word.

    2.13 Orane
    Quentin & Co. are on a raft in a storm, and Arak is in pursuit. The raft overturns, and while looking for Clyde, Quentin discovers an underwater city built by the oceanography Jettator Orane. Kortan remembers fighting her and departs for the city himself. Orane shows Quentin the city and then gives him her Quickening. Kortan's attacks on the city require evacuation, but Quentin devises a plan to move the city itself. Kortan attacks him underwater, but Quentin draws whales with a whistle to take out the Hunters. Serviceable action adventure.

    2.14 Ice Dwellers
    Ramirez and Quentin, running from the Hunters in an icy terrain, come across a tribe of Inuits who have not learned of the Great Catastrophe or Kortan. As Arak's forces close in, Ramirez gathers the people and asks to be brought to their "ice monster," a submarine. Ramirez remembers commanding a submarine in a World War. Quentin is sent to steal a tank in order to draw the Hunters within torpedo range. The torpedoes fire underneath the ice, sinking the Hunters' tanks. Pretty good, but the flashback is certainly the highlight.

    "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