"Your hate is not destroying him. But it is destroying you." - Kol T'ek
"Something Wicked continues the arc of stories from season 4 about Methos and Alexa that started in "Timeless". Although the story does not include them, it is necessary as a set-up for the following episode, "Deliverance". After the lovers have departed on their endless vacation, the arrival of Jim Coltec in Seacouver should be light relief for the Highlander. Instead, a dark myth is proved to be a reality and the proving destroys Coltec and shatters Richie's trust in Duncan. All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.
Written by David Tynan
|Duncan MacLeod||Adrian Paul|
|Joe Dawson||Jim Byrnes|
|Richie Ryan||Stan Kirsch|
|Kol T'ec/Jim Coltec||Byron Chief Moon|
|Bryce Korland||Benjamin Ratner|
A phone call lets Duncan know that his old friend, Jim Coltec, is en-route to Seacouver. Duncan arranges to meet Coltec out of town and takes Richie to meet him. Duncan tells Richie that Coltec was a Hayoka, an Indian whose task was to defend his tribe from evil. When Coltec's tribe were wiped out by famine and disease, Coltec turned outward and became Hayoka for the world. Richie is unsure about the normally pragmatic MacLeod's belief in Indian medicine. The two friends are joking with each other when they sense Coltec nearby. As Richie goes to introduce himself, Coltec tries for his head and is only saved by Duncan's quick intervention. After a short struggle, Coltec takes a swan dive off a bridge and is swept away by the river below. Richie and Duncan search for some evidence of him along the river, but only find Coltec's medicine pouch.
Duncan tells Richie that he met Coltec, going by his Indian name of Kol T'ek, in 1872, when he was hunting Kern, the Immortal who murdered Duncan's Sioux family, ("Line Of Fire"). Duncan rode into an Army camp and was arrested when he attacked an officer who would not give him information about Kern. Thrown into jail, where Kol T'ek was imprisoned, the two got to know each other and Kol T'ek saw how Duncan's anger and pain were destroying him. Ever the Hayoka, he used his medicine to take Duncan to a spirit place where he could take Duncan's anger within himself. As Duncan tells Richie this, a news item comes on TV which shows Coltec robbing a Chinese store and killing the owner, caught on the store's security camera. Whatever Coltec was, he's a stone cold killer now.
Duncan and Richie go to see Joe, to find out what the Watchers have seen. To their knowledge, Coltec hasn't taken a head in years. When Duncan asks Joe what he knows about Dark Quickenings, Richie is confused. Duncan explains that it is believed that if you take in the power and strength of too many evil Immortals, you could become evil yourself. Joe protests that it's a myth and the Watchers have never known one to happen. Duncan asks him what they do know and Joe tells him that Coltec was seen fighting another Immortal, Harry Kant, just before the robbery. Kant was bad to the bone and Coltec intervened to stop him robbing the store. Another Watcher thought that Kant was seen later on, but it was Coltec in Kant's jacket. Duncan asks where this was and Joe tells him it was on the east side. Duncan goes there and finds Coltec just after Jim has mugged someone. The two fight and Duncan overpowers Coltec, knocking him out. He takes Coltec to holy ground outside the city, where he tries to draw the evil out of him, but it is too powerful and he cannot be a Hayoka for his friend. Coltec escapes, swearing that the next time they will not be on holy ground.
Joe and Richie are waiting for Duncan at the bar, where Richie is having problems coming to terms with the possibility of Dark Quickenings. When Duncan arrives, he confirms that Coltec has been consumed by the evil inside him and tells them that he intends to stop him. Later, Joe comes to the loft to tell Duncan that Coltec has robbed a pawn shop, killing the owner and burning it to the ground. Duncan remembers that he hunted an Immortal called Bryce Korland back in the fifties, but Coltec got to him first. Rob, kill and burn was Korland's modus operandi and Duncan realises that he is facing all of the Immortals who Coltec ever killed. Having tracked Korland in 1958, he tells Joe that he can track him now. When he found Korland, the Immortal was performing as a two-bit philosopher in Greenwich Village, delivering a jive monologue about Death to a room full of young hippies. Now, Duncan finds Coltec delivering the same inane drivel in a club and they step outside, as Korland and Duncan did years before. This time, it is Coltec who is cut down and Duncan takes his friend's head, watched by Joe in the shadows. As the Quickening surrounds MacLeod, the evil in Coltec transfers to the Highlander.
By the time Joe gets back to the bar, Duncan is well on his way to being drunk. He tries to chat up a woman sitting at the bar, but when he comes on with absolutely no subtlety, she tries to get away from him, only he won't let her. When she slaps him, he knocks her to the floor and decks Joe when he interferes. Before a full scale mêlee can ensue, Joe intervenes and lets Duncan walk out. MacLeod goes back to the dojo, where Richie is waiting, unaware of what has happened. As Duncan walks in, Richie tries to express sympathy for the death of Coltec, but Mac attacks him. Richie defends himself, but is unable to withstand the experience and power of MacLeod, who toys with him before cutting him down. On his knees, Richie tries to ask Duncan why he has turned on him, but gets no good answer. At the moment when Duncan is about to take his head, Richie hears shots ring out and turns to see Joe Dawson in the doorway, having just shot MacLeod. Joe tells Richie that this isn't the MacLeod they know and tells the young Immortal to get out.
When Duncan revives, he finds himself tied to the bars on the dojo wall. Dawson has his sword and tries to reach whatever is left of MacLeod inside, telling him of his strength, his goodness, but is mocked by the Dark Highlander. Joe threatens to take Duncan's head himself, but cannot and, trusting to instinct, lets Duncan loose. MacLeod tries to attack Dawson, but finds that he can't. Instead, he lurches out of the dojo into the night. Later, he packs his bags and signs on board a freighter sailing out of Seacouver, destination unknown.