"Your friend said you were in trouble and that you needed the sword, so I gave it to him. The convincing lad." - Rachel MacLeod
MacLeod arrives in France with a trail of destruction in his wake and Methos races between Athens, Glenfinnan, LeHavre and Paris in an increasingly desperate attempt to save Duncan from the consequences of Coltec's Dark Quickening in "Something Wicked". All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.
This episode featured a scene in Europe omitted from the U.S. broadcast, which took place on the barge at the end of the episode. The scene explained Rachel MacLeod's presence in Paris in "Promises" and tied up a few loose ends. Although not the full Eurominutes for the episode, click on the button to the right to read what happens, comprehensively illustrated.
Written by David Tynan
|Duncan MacLeod||Adrian Paul|
|Joe Dawson||Jim Byrnes (voice only)|
|Rachel MacLeod||Kristin Minter|
|Sean Burns||Michael J Jackson|
|Robert Davis||Carl Chase|
|Dominique Davis||Valeria Cavalli|
The freighter that MacLeod signed on for at the end of "Something Wicked" arrives in LeHavre, France and the captain, Robert Davis, is glad, if only to be rid of the troublesome MacLeod. He docks Duncan's pay for the damage he has caused on board and, after a fight, has MacLeod thrown off the ship. As MacLeod walks away, he warns Davis that he hasn't seen the last of him. Walking into town, Duncan is followed by a man waiting on the quayside. In the town centre, MacLeod rings an old Immortal friend, Sean Burns, but before they can speak much, Duncan sees Davis walking along the street and hangs up on Sean, then jumps Davis from behind and beats him senseless. He rifles through Davis' wallet, then picks up his bags and walks away. The man following is a Watcher, who rings Joe Dawson. Joe tells him to follow, but to stay at a safe distance.
He goes to Davis' home and tells Dominique, Davis' wife, that her husband has been held up at the ship and had asked Duncan to bring his bags home. Dominique invites him in and asks him to stay for dinner. As they eat, Duncan turns on the charm in full and has her laughing in no time. When they have finished the meal, he makes to leave, saying he can't carry on, and when she asks to explain, tells her that Robert sent her to lie, as he had gone off with another woman. She is shocked and easy to seduce, but next morning she regrets her infidelity with MacLeod. Duncan, dressed in Robert's clothes, is unwilling to leave, being unsympathetic and gloating about what he has done. As they talk, Robert walks in, to see Dominique and Duncan on the kitchen table. As he lunges at Duncan, MacLeod grabs a knife from the table, but is unable to use it as Dominique throws boiling water on him. Whilst he is dazed, Davis grabs a gun and threatens to kill MacLeod if he doesn't leave. Davis is no match for MacLeod's martial skills and is easily disarmed. Duncan is about to brain Robert with a bottle when Dominique grabs her husband's gun and shoot him.
MacLeod runs from the house and collapses in the gutter, shot several times. As he looks up, a car stops alongside him and the door opens. The driver is Methos, who drags Duncan into the car and races off, whilst the enraged Davis is still shooting at them, presumably having stopped to reload, as that gun fires at least eight shots in this sequence. When Duncan revives, he is in a church with Methos. Whilst Methos tries to reach whatever is left of the MacLeod he knew, Duncan denies that he needs help or that he is lost. He doesn't understand Methos wanting to help him and pulls his sword on his friend. Reminded that they are on holy ground, he throws Methos down on the altar steps and storms outside. He sees a sports car with a young couple in it parked nearby and drags them out of it. He steals the car and drives off wildly, trying to run Methos down in the process. Methos contacts the Watcher, who is surprised to see a researcher in the field, but tells "Adam" that MacLeod called Sean Burns and might be going to him.
Duncan has known Sean for centuries, but last saw him during the First World War, when Sean ran a clinic for shell-shocked French soldiers. The Immortal is a student of the mind and used his understanding to reach past the trauma that those men suffered, to bring them back to a normal, human existence. For Duncan, the peace of Sean's hospital is an abiding memory and he is seeking his help now. He arrives outside Sean's house, closely followed by Methos. He asks Sean what happens when an Immortal has one too many Quickenings and Sean realises immediately what troubles Duncan. Sean tells Duncan that they both know who is better, but he can't help him without his head. Duncan reminds Methos that he can't interfere and, as Sean tries to talk Duncan round, Methos watches agonised, then horrified as Duncan fights the evil within him and loses. He takes Sean's hand, offered in friendship, and pulls Burns forward, taking his head. Methos shies away to avoid any part of the Quickening, but grabs MacLeod's katana before he can recover and threatens to take Duncan's head. Duncan warns him that he will become what he destroys and, with Methos distracted, charges him, throwing the Immortal over a wall to fall to the ground below. Rather than pursue him, MacLeod recovers his sword, gets back in the stolen car and drives away.
At war with himself, MacLeod returns to Paris and the barge. Instead of being his refuge, he finds it empty and his possessions meaningless. In frustration, he trashes the barge and walks the streets, until he comes to Darius' chapel. Inside, he finally admits his pain and cries out for help. It isn't God or Darius who come to his rescue, but the persistent Methos. Whilst MacLeod's Scottish guilt denies the possibility of salvation, Methos reminds him that he isn't alone. He may be possessed by the evil that was Bryce Korland and all of the others, but Sean Burns is with him as well. He asks Duncan to go with him, (first taking the precaution of getting him to surrender his katana), and takes him to an abandoned abbey, lost since the 7th century, which has a spring reputed to have magical properties. Before he can take Duncan inside, the evil overwhelms him and he strikes at Methos. This time, Methos is ready and challenges MacLeod to take his father's sword, which Methos has in the car. Duncan hears his mother's voice urging him to take the sword and follows Methos to the spring.
Lowered into the ruins of the abbey, Duncan finds the spring and immerses himself in its wellpool. In his mind, he sees himself, armed with Ian MacLeod's sword, fighting his dark half, which carries his own samurai. The dark Duncan is faster and stronger, taunting him that he cannot kill what he has become. Duncan draws on the innate goodness of Sean Burns and finds both forgiveness in the energy of his friend's Quickening and the strength to defeat his demon, in the only way he truly knows, by taking the head of his dark twin in his mind. As he destroys the evil within his soul, the pool erupts around him and showers him in its baptismal rain. Methos helps him from the pool, giving him back his katana. He takes Duncan back to Paris, where a surprise awaits. As they go onto the barge, Duncan finds Rachel tidying it up. She gave Methos the sword, but came to help Duncan, just as he had helped the MacLeods in "Homeland". Methos tells them that he has left Alexa in Athens and has to go, leaving Rachel and Duncan alone to get to know one another better.