"When it is over, the sword is yours" - Hideo Koto
The mutiny against Kincaid, (in Reunion), was ill-fated and Duncan MacLeod found himself washed ashore in Japan, very much the stranger in a strange land. It was the beginning of a journey for MacLeod, one that would change him and bring him home with the sword he would always carry thereafter, the sword of his friend and mentor, Hideo Koto. A bit of trivia - Tamlyn Tomita, who played Maya and Midori, played the original second in command on Babylon 5, Laurel Takashima. All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.
Written by Naomi Janzen
|Duncan MacLeod||Adrian Paul|
|Charlie DeSalvo||Philip Akin|
|Hideo Koto||Robert Ito|
|Midori Kent/Maya||Tamlyn Tomita|
|Michael Kent||Stephen McHattie|
Returning to Seacouver from Paris, MacLeod is surprised to find a beautiful Japanese woman waiting to see him at the dojo. He is powerfully reminded of a woman from his past, with good reason. She presents him with an old telescope, which is the symbol of a promise he made to her family over 200 years before, a promise made in tragedy.
In 1778, MacLeod was shipwrecked and washed ashore in Japan. He was rescued by a samurai, Hideo Koto, who took in the gaijin, or foreigner, and trained him in the martial ways of the samurai. The two men became firm friends, in contrast to Duncan's relationship with Hideo's daughter, Maya, who took a strong dislike to the Highlander. MacLeod soon found out why. The Shogun had decreed that all gaijin should be crucified, then beheaded and, for defying his master, Hideo Koto had been sentenced to death. However, he would be allowed to commit ritual suicide, rather than be executed, so as to preserve his family honour.
Desperate to save his friend, Duncan told him of his immortality, but Hideo refused to countenance any deception. He asked MacLeod to protect his family and Duncan promised that the Kotos could always come to him for help. He had given his telescope to Hideo as a gift in friendship, now it became a mark of the bond between them. Hideo asked MacLeod to stand as his second whilst he kills himself and, in return, gave MacLeod his katana, which the Highlander would keep as his sword thereafter. So it was that the first man that Duncan MacLeod beheaded with his sword was his friend, Hideo Koto.
The woman is Midori Kent, a descendant of Hideo, and she is not sure that what had been a legend in her family for generations was true, but desperate times lead to desperate measures. Midori tells MacLeod that she killed her husband, Michael Kent, after she saw him murder her lover. Perturbed, MacLeod nonetheless agrees to honour his promise and help her. Returning to their apartment, Midori is stunned to see her husband walk out of the lift, alive and unharmed. MacLeod is also surprised, for he feels Kent coming - Midori's husband is an Immortal.
They return to the dojo, where Midori says that she cannot ask Mac to help her further. She married Kent for his money, to prevent Hideo's shrine from being turned into a car park, as the family had fallen on hard times. Mac leaves Midori with Charlie whilst he goes to see Kent. Kent is obsessed with his wife, regarding her not as a person, but as a prized "possession". He has sent his bodyguards to Midori, having found the dojo. Mac warns him hat she is under his protection, but Kent is unimpressed. When Mac gets back to the dojo, he finds Charlie holding his own against Kent's men, who flee when Mac appears. But Midori has gone, leaving behind the telescope - she is releasing him from his promise.
MacLeod pursues Kent and Midori to Japan, where he tracks them to Hideo's shrine. He tells Midori that she cannot release him from the promise - it was made to Hideo. He challenges Kent and, as he does, Midori sees that Duncan has Hideo's sword. MacLeod and Kent face each other and Kent is defeated by what has to be one of the most improbable techniques ever used on Highlander, his own sword blade caught and used to pull him off balance. Duncan leaves Midori at the grave of her ancestor, to start her life anew, as he returns to Seacouver.