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Malifact

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Highlander Amanda Duncan Highlander

"Just a bad habit." - Duncan MacLeod

She was a little different when we first met her, but all the elements of the Amanda we've come to know and love (?) were there - the sense of fun, the danger and the open dishonesty. Intended to be no more a permanent character than Zachary, fate had other things in mind for Amanda and she would recur again and again in the coming seasons of Highlander. Jason Isaacs has gone on to appear in a number of major feature films, including "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson and the Harry Potter movies. All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.

The Lady & The Tiger



Written by Philip John Taylor

Seeing the funny side They all carry big swords Cool reception The head of Duncan MacLeod

Cast

Duncan MacLeod Adrian Paul
Tessa NoelAlexandra Vandernoot
Richie RyanStan Kirsch
AmandaElizabeth Gracen
Zachary BlaineJason Isaacs

SchemingBy the end of the 18th century, the wanderlust had abated enough for Duncan MacLeod to set up house with Amanda in Bavaria. However, on his return from a business trip to Munich, he found that his light-fingered lover had been up to her old tricks in his absence. Apology acceptedDistracted by her not inconsiderable assets, he didnít have time to find out what exactly she had been doing until he woke to find Amanda gone and a group of soldiers breaking into his bedchamber. Not for the first or last time, Duncan found that he had been left to take the rap for Amanda, who had robbed the local Baron the previous evening. After a short fight, Duncan fled, taking the Captainís horse, as Amanda had stolen his.

Head for heightsWhen he caught up with her, she apologised and swore that she had not meant for him to get into trouble. Which is exactly what Duncan gets into when he tells that part of the story to Tessa and Richie. Invited to go the visiting circus, it hadnít taken Duncan long to realises that the person who had sent the tickets was Amanda and he took delight in her consternation as she sensed his presence..... Just an old friendwhen she was walking on the high wire. After the performance, Duncan and the others stop to talk with Amanda, who is a little unsettled to find that Tessa and Richie know about her immortality. The sparks fly immediately between Amanda and Tessa, who is less than pleased to find one of Duncanís old flames around. Sensing the ice beneath his feet thinning, Duncan makes his goodbyes and leaves, ready to make his peace with Tessa.

GhostsIf that had been it, things might not have been so bad, but Amanda shows up the following day at the barge, where she and Tessa would have picked up where they left off, if Tessa hadnít been going out. Duncan had been out and returned to find Amanda waiting for him. She tells him that there is another Immortal hanging around the circus, one who doesnít have her health in mind. She has to work hard to get him to agree to go with her, as he knows her of old and is reluctant to get drawn into her schemes again. No immortalThey go to the circus, but they sense no one else there. Duncan is convinced there never was any mysterious Immortal and that this is a ploy by Amanda. She is offended and, as Duncan leaves, he is challenged by an Immortal who doesnít give his name, but clearly wants Duncanís head. The fight is interrupted by the circus hands and, now that the manís face is known, Duncan tells Amanda that sheíll have no problem, as the carnies can keep an eye out for him.

Don't do that A man who handled a sword This wasn't the plan Leave the book

In the newsBack at the barge, Duncan tries to find out more about his attacker and, remembering something on the news, finds that the man is Zachary Blaine, recently escaped from a maximum security prison. Interestingly, he had previously tried to escape twice by walking out on the prisonís telephone wires. Tessa goes to see an old circus agent, who doesnít know Amanda Darieux, but does remember an Amanda from before the war. Perfect memoryAmanda LeFauvre and her partner Zachary were stars of the high wire. Rooting in his office, he finds a poster of them, with pictures of a very familiar Amanda and Zachary. Tessa tells Duncan this and is convinced that they are setting him up, but Duncan isnít so sure. Against Duncanís better judgement, Richie follows Amanda and sees her meet up with Zachary, although she doesnít look happy about it. They go to a museum and Richie is sure that Amanda sees him, even though she says nothing.

No competitionDuncan decides to confront Amanda with what they have learnt, but has to deal with Tessa before he can leave the barge when she tells him how insecure Amanda makes her feel. Reassuring her that the thief is no competition, he goes to the circus, where Amanda gives in and tells him the truth. She and Zachary have been partners in crime for centuries, almost as long as heís detested Duncan MacLeod - mostly because Amanda has always told him that heís second best to the Highlander. Zachary got greedy, so Amanda arranged her own death and had Zachary convicted for her murder. When he came for her after breaking out of prison, the only thing that stopped him taking her head there and then was the offer of $10 million for the book at the museum, Rubetogether with the head of Duncan MacLeod. Amanda asks Duncan to go with her, but heíll have none of it. To prevent him interfering, Amanda has Duncan overpowered by the carnies, who are to hold him until the morning. MacLeod has other plans and persuades them to let him prove his circus heritage. In the middle of his equestrian act, Duncan throws a knife into the junction box supplying the power to the big top. As the lights go out, Duncan makes his getaway.

Ooops!He follows them to the museum and, knowing their background, it doesnít take him long to find the wire theyíve used to walk in. He follows, in time to see Amanda suspended above the book in its cabinet, about to disarm the alarm. He turns on the lights and, under the pretext of tossing a coin to see if heíll let them get away with it, drops the coin on the floor, triggering the alarm. Their plan in tatters, Amanda and Zachary grab the book and flee, followed by Duncan. He catches up with them in a closed brasserie, where Zachary is about to shoot Amanda until Duncan disarms him. But Zachary would rather have Duncanís head anyway and they start to fight, At least I stayed out of jail!crashing out of the door into the street. Zachary fights a good fight, but Duncan manages to separate him from his sword. Turning, Zachary all but walks into the swing of Amandaís sword, as she takes his head and his Quickening. After the fury subsides, Amanda makes one last attempt to get Duncan to leave with her but he is committed to Tessa. Amanda makes to leave, but is heartened when Duncan calls her back. But it's only to leave the book that she stole.


Next, a new and deadly enemy stalks the Immortals in "The Hunters"