ďIn case you donít know it, our kind donít necessarily have a liking for each other. Some of them even lose their heads over it.Ē - Mako
"Under Color Of Authority" was a watershed episode for Richie. Sooner or later, he had to face another Immortal and kill or be killed. But it isnít his studentís first kill that makes the Highlanderís heart heavy, itís the reasons why Richie challenged an older and stronger Immortal. Reasons that lead to a parting of the ways that wonít be ended until a forced reunion in Paris, when teacher and student must join forces again in "Prodigal Son". All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.
Written by Peter Mohan
|Duncan MacLeod||Adrian Paul|
|Richie Ryan||Stan Kirsch|
|Joe Dawson||Jim Byrnes|
|Laura Daniels||Deanna Mulligan|
|Tim Ramsey||Lochlyn Munro|
A glass of wine and a good book was how Duncan had his evening planned, but that goes out of the window when Richie turns up with a young woman who he has rescued from a man chasing her - a man he felt coming a block away. The girl is shaken and has a cut on her head and, after Duncan tends to her, he takes Richie on one side and asks him to describe the Immortal. Richieís description isnít a million miles from that of Melvin Koren, but Duncan recognises that this Immortal is Mako. Curious, knowing Mako to be a lawful man, he asks Laura if she knows why he was chasing her.
Initially, she denies knowing why, but when Duncan suggests calling the police, she admits that he is chasing her. She tells Duncan and Richie that she is from a town where you can still be born on the wrong side of the tracks. She married the son of the richest man in town, but left when he started beating her. Now, Daddy has sent Mako to bring her back. Duncan is not convinced, but agrees to look after her overnight. Richie is keen to help her, but accepts that Mac can check out her story. Later, Duncan talks with Laura, who senses his reserve. He tells her that he is concerned for Richie, who is like family to him.
Duncanís curiosity has been piqued. Although he first met Mako in Europe, in the latter half of the 17th century, he last saw him in the Pacific Northwest around 1882, when Duncan was running the local newspaper in a frontier town. Mako came to town as a Federal Marshall, hunting a man wanted for a train robbery ten years before, in which a Wells Fargo man had been killed. The man he wanted was Duncan's friend, Tim Ramsey, a likeable young man whose wife was expecting their first child. Tim admitted being involved in the robbery - his brother rode with the Daltons and he had gone along to hold the horses, but he had nothing to do with the murder. As Mako scours the area for Tim, Duncan advises him to hide out in the hills. Despite MacLeodís advice, Tim decides to shoot it out with Mako and is killed. Mako leaves town, after reminding MacLeod that the law was on his side and this was never between them.
Determined to find out the truth about Laura, Duncan asks Joe Dawson to use the Watcher network to find out why Mako is doing something so out of character. When he gets back to the dojo, it isnít long before Richie arrives, having had an unexpected early morning visit from Mako. Richie told him that he had let Laura off at the bus station, but Duncan knows Mako wonít be fooled. They go up to the loft and Richie decides to go with Laura. As they turn to leave, the Immortals feel Makoís presence. As Richie and Laura leave by the stairs, Duncan confronts Mako in the dojo and stops him from pursuing them. As Mako leaves, MacLeod is less and less sure that what they are doing is right, as Mako still seems to be obsessed with being a lawman.
Richie and Laura spend the night together in a motel, but by daybreak, Mako has found them. They flee from the motel, back to the dojo, where Duncan has an unpleasant surprise waiting for Richie. Joe Dawson has discovered that Laura is wanted for the murder of her husband. Laura explains that she lied because she was scared that Richie wouldnít help her, but she did kill her husband, in self-defence. Duncan urges them to think where all this is leading, but as Richie agonises about the right thing to do, Mako arrives, this time with reinforcements. Richie and Laura make a run for it, pursued by Mako, whilst his deputies keep MacLeod distracted long enough to give everyone else a head start.
Richie realises that they arenít going to elude Mako and tries to persuade Laura to give herself up. Terrified of what will happen to her if she goes back to her home town, she frantically pulls away from him and falls into the path of Makoís jeep, which hits her, killing her instantly. Enraged, Richie wonít listen to Makoís condolences and pulls his sword. The two Immortals retreat into a shopping mall, closed for renovation, and fight it out. By the time Duncan arrives, Richie is not prepared to back down, although Mako would let him walk away. As they fight, Mako falls through a table and Duncan looks on helplessly as Richie presses his advantage and takes Makoís head. Duncan turns his back and walks away as Richie feels, for the first time, the power of the Quickening. Later, a heavyhearted MacLeod tells his student that it is time for him to leave..