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5-3: Haunted, Little Tin God, The Messenger

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  • 5-3: Haunted, Little Tin God, The Messenger

    Discuss these Season 5 episodes:

    Haunted
    Little Tin God
    The Messenger
    __________________________________________________

    "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

  • #2
    Another solid run of episodes. "Haunted" is a strong vehicle for Richie, "Little TIn God" is Endgame told much, much better, and "The Messenger" is a wonderful showcase of the ultimate question: What if all Immortals stopped fighting? Well... it just can't happen, sadly. Its also this episode where Richie should've left the show for good (and in my head-canon, he did).

    Comment


    • #3
      I love all three of these episodes. But I don't like the hokey bit near the end of "Little Tin God" where Joe seems to be wondering whether Jesus might have been a fraud like that Immortal, and all Mac can think to tell him is that he should rely on "faith." Whether a person is or is not a Christian believer (I'm not), there are better arguments than that!

      To me, the most important part of "The Messenger" is the flashbacks, the Andersonville Prison material...such wonderful acting, by Adrian and the actor playing the escaped slave! A sad reminder of a terrible era in our history.

      And...when Stan Kirsch was planning to leave the show if a pilot he'd been in was picked up, wasn't "The End of Innocence" going to be his final episode?

      Comment


      • #4
        Another thought about "The Messenger": David Abramowitz (whom I've come to dislike) complained in the DVD Comments that Ron Perlman had just "phoned it in," not taken the trouble to give a good performance, maybe because it was "just a syndicated show." I wonder whether Abramowitz ever asked the director whether he'd been satisfied? Maybe Perlman was going light on the dramatics because they'd come to realize the Andersonville Prison story would be, for most viewers, the "A" story.

        Still another thought: It was a bit unbelievable that Richie would so readily accept the idea of going around unarmed. Avoiding swordfights whenever possible would be a good thing, and workable. But in the world of Immortals, not carrying a sword for self-defense was...completely unreasonable!

        Comment


        • #5
          Cinedigm has provided the episodes on YouTube.



          Episode 94: "Haunted"

          A widow is haunted by the memory of her late immortal husband, and she finds herself drawn to Richie, who just happens to be her husband's killer. Strong guest actors and a script that never comes off as artificial ensure that the winning streak that began in Season 4 continues. The franchise hardly ever handles the issue of coping with death and guilt as well as it does here.
          __________________________________________________

          "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

          Comment


          • #6


            Episode 95: "Little Tin God"

            Whereas the previous episode explored spirituality as a coping mechanism, this one explores it as a means of exploitation. A brilliant flashback to conquistador-era Peru is the highlight of this story of an immortal (played by the Wishmaster, who played a mortal villain from Bad Day in Building A) who has an affinity for convincing people that he is a god. The fourth film would touch on similar ideas, but the execution is far better here. The two weak points of this episode are the silly Quickening and an out-of-place discussion between Joe and Duncan about the effects of taking heads on holy ground (with an absurd implication that the only known occurrance led to a volcano erupting and wiping out Pompeii).
            __________________________________________________

            "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

            Comment


            • #7


              Episode 96: "The Messenger"

              Another strong Richie episode that also sets up the upcoming revelations about Methos. An impostor Methos (played a bit underwhelmingly by Ron Perlman) convinces Richie to lay down the sword and promote peace. Duncan tries to convince his protege that such idealism will only lead to his death, while pseudo-Methos points out that Duncan has failed to live up to the hopes of the late Darius. The story explores the terrible fatalism of There Can Be Only One, which is inescapable thanks to the immortals' nature (or at least their nurture).
              __________________________________________________

              "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

              Comment


              • #8
                Aleander thinks "Little Tin God" is Endgame told much, much better. And Tootsie Bee says something similar. I don't agree at all! (And I like both the TV episode and the film.)

                I see only these similarities between the two: in each of them, the Immortal villain has a small "gang" of Immortal followers; and he has a grudge against one of the MacLeods.

                In "Little Tin God," the main thrust of the story is Lorca's desire to be, really, worshipped as "God." Before his long-ago encounter with Duncan MacLeod, he'd reigned as "God" over a primitive South American people, for centuries (his claim to "divinity" based on his never aging, and the rapid healing of any injuries he might suffer). In the present, his claim to "divinity" was based on his having convinced new Immortals he'd made them what they were. In at least one case, we know he'd actually "killed" the pre-Immortal, though the man himself didn't realize it. (The writer was using some dramatic license here: elsewhere in the series, we don't see Immortals being able to control exactly when others will revive after "deaths" - their first, or subsequent ones.) His wanting revenge on MacLeod is almost a sub-plot; what means most to him is being worshipped as "God."

                In "Endgame," the main thrust of the story is Jacob Kell's desire for a long, dragged-out revenge on Connor MacLeod...after a traumatic episode that left each of them with grounds for making a case that he was the wronged party! Before that, the pre-Immortal Kell had been perfectly content with his life as a Catholic priest. In the present, while he certainly had hangups about religion, there's no basis for imagining he claimed to be divine, or pretended he'd made his followers Immortal. (The character of Jin Ke is supposedly based on a historical character, who would have been much older than Kell.) And as the story progressed, he became more and more...delusional, probably insane.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I forget what was said by Mac and Joe, in "Little Tin God," about killings on Holy Ground. But I've always understood that there was a tradition among Immortals that a Holy Ground Quickening had caused that eruption, and the burial of Pompeii. No one claimed to be sure; but they'd heard the story. And they'd never heard anyone say it had been proven Holy Ground killings wouldn't cause any kind of calamity! Presumably, even Methos had "heard from others" that Quickenings of that type would be unacceptably dangerous, before he could have learned from experience that they weren't.

                  What I do remember from "Little Tin God" is Joe's wondering whether Jesus might have been a fraud like Lorca, and Mac's telling him to rely on "faith." A woefully inadequate answer! Here's what he could have said (in a universe in which Immortals are real):

                  First, most Immortals believe they're all foundlings - or at least, of unknown parentage. Jesus's mother is named in two Gospels, and he also had known siblings. Catholics insist the siblings must have been "cousins," but no one disputes that he had close blood relatives.

                  Most important: Joe was probably wondering, really, whether Jesus might have "risen from the dead" because he was an Immortal - and been able, during his ministry, to "raise" others, like Lazarus, because he'd known they were pre-Immortals. In fact, according to the Gospels, Jesus had been brutally whipped before the crucifixion. There's no reason to doubt that. But if he'd already been a full Immortal, those injuries would have healed immediately; and something that remarkable surely would have been recorded! So if he was ever Immortal, the crucifixion had been his "first death." And as a pre-Immortal himself, he wouldn't have been able to recognize others.

                  Finally, none of his reported appearances after he supposedly "rose from the dead" are consistent with the abilities of Immortals. He's said to have "appeared" in rooms without entering through a door; tricked people into not immediately recognizing him; and had open wounds that could still be touched, even though they clearly weren't causing him any discomfort. And finally, he'd "ascended into Heaven."

                  No reason to think he was an Immortal, at any point!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am happy to agree, though, that Jesus in the Highlander universe was not an Immortal. I don't know if that would make that reality a smaller, or larger story.

                    As far as I can tell, what was said about Holy Ground was only that Watchers have a story. Let me see...

                    ====================== You know, in all our records, there's only one mention of an Immortal killing on holy ground. Yeah? Well, it's never been confirmed. It's, I don't know, it's more of a legend. About two guys going at it in a temple in Italy. Yeah? And? It was in Pompeii.

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