"So I lose my head after 5,000 years so you can play marriage guidance counsellor?"- Methos
This episode fell as the light relief between the intensity of the "Something Wicked" arc, the tragic resolution of the Methos and Alexa storyline and the gathering clouds of "Judgement Day". Methos, newly homeless, is prevailed upon to help MacLeod act as matchmaker to keep eternal lovers Robert and Gina de Valicourt together, in an episode not to be watched by lovers of Ming vases. The original version of the story, by Beatrice Mathouret, was a much darker story than the finished product might lead you to realise. The wedding reunion was intended to feature more characters from previous Paris episodes, but Nigel Terry, Julia Stemberger and others were not available, leading to 'Lady Caroline' replacing Grace Chandel, which lends credence to her friendship with Sean Burns. It wasn't only the guests who couldn't make it - the character of Robert de Valicourt was written for Michael Praed, but once again Jeremy Brudenell had to fill in for a missing actor, as he did previously for Billy Idol in "The Vampire", (all of which comes courtesy of Q&A's featuring Donna Lettow). All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.
Written by Michael O'Mahoney and Sasha Reins, from a story by Beatrice Mathouret
|Duncan MacLeod||Adrian Paul|
|Hugh Fitzcairn||Roger Daltrey|
|Gina de Valicourt||Cécile Pallas|
|Robert de Valicourt||Jeremy Brudenell|
|Sean Burns||Michael J Jackson|
Duncan MacLeod comes back to his barge to find two surprises waiting for him. One is a pleasant surprise - an invitation to the wedding of Robert and Gina de Valicourt. About the other, he isnít so sure - Methos has taken up residence, having been rendered homeless by the sale of his apartment building and being reluctant to live anywhere that his alter ego of Adam Pierson could reasonably afford. Leaving Methos to his own devices, Duncan goes to see Robert and Gina, only to walk in in the middle of a row that ends with Gina smashing a Ming vase on the floor. Robert tells Duncan that things havenít been good for a while, in fact things havenít been good since the sixties. Duncan tells Robert that he knows she is the only woman for him. Robert tells Gina heís sorry. Gina tells Robert she wants a divorce.
Duncan knew Gina before he ever met Robert de Valicourt. Both he and Hugh Fitzcairn were besotted with Gina and were rivals for her affections, but things got seriously out of hand on the night that Gina agreed to go out with both of them, but not together - to the Opera with Hugh and to dinner with Duncan. As the two rivals tried to persuade her to accept their respective invitations, they ended up outside the Chateau de Valicourt. Gina told them that the piratical Baron de Valicourt had stolen a shipment of gold. The two rivals broke in, ready to recover her money, but when the Baron appeared, Duncanís challenge went ignored as Robert had eyes only for Gina and Gina for him. A few months later, they were married, with Gina asking both Duncan and Fitzcairn to give her away.
One hundred years later, they invited their Immortal friends to attend their second wedding. Duncan and Hugh were there, together with Sean Burns and other Immortal friends of the lovers. The wedding celebrations were interrupted almost before they started when Robert, dispatched to bring the priest, failed to return, having been arrested by officials of the Revolution. Gina rode out with Duncan and Fitz, in danger of becoming a widow on her wedding day as Robert was almost permanently wedded to Madame la Guillotine. The trio rescued Robert, but once again it was the Baron who got the girl.
Now, on the eve of their three hundredth anniversary, itís all coming apart. Robert pleads with Duncan to intercede with Gina on his behalf, but Duncan is unable to persuade Gina to stay. Frantic, the two Immortals try to come up with a plan that will bring Gina back to Robert. Duncan decides that she would rethink things if Robertís life was in danger. However, they know that she wouldnít take a challenge to Robert seriously if it came from Duncan, but the Highlander tells Robert he knows just the man for the job.
Methos flatly refuses to be drawn into the de Valicourtsí marital problems and, in the end, MacLeod's persistence wears him down. However, his cooperation comes at a price and only the promise that he can have the barge if he goes through with it entices him to help. He and Robert stage a fight in an abandoned building and Duncan brings Gina. Horrified at what she is seeing, Gina disregards the Rules and is ready to interfere, leaving Methos to beat a hasty retreat after a convincingly dramatic fight culminates in Robert being run through. The plan has worked - Gina swears she will never leave Robert - apart from one tiny detail. Gina vows to find this mysterious Immortal who challenged the man she loves and to take his head.
More convinced than ever that he shouldn't have got involved, Methos demands that MacLeod keep his end of the deal and give him the barge. A disgruntled Duncan goes to see Robert, who tells him that he and Gina had another argument. Robert wanted Duncan as his best man, Gina wanted him to give her away. But, theyíll sort it out when she gets back. From the barge. Panic stricken, Duncan drags Robert to the barge, only to find Gina walking onto the Quai, having seemingly taken her revenge. It is Duncanís turn to be horrified, until he senses another Immortal and realises heís been had by Gina and Methos, who have patched up their differences and turned the tables on the two plotters. Invited to the wedding, Methos tells Duncan that he had planned to give them the barge, but had decided on a toaster. As he hates the water, Duncan can have the barge back. He tosses the keys to MacLeod, who instinctively catches them. And another Ming vase hits the deck.