"I've been practicing. Next time you pull a sword on me, it won't be so easy" - Richie Ryan
Settling back into his life in Seacouver, there is one piece of unfinished business that haunts Duncan MacLeod. Richie Ryan. His student vanished after the Highlander nearly took his head in the aftermath of the Dark Quickening in "Something Wicked". Now Richie is back in town, Dawson is back from Europe and the pieces are in place. Will friends become enemies or can Duncan rebuild his friendship with the man he tried to kill? All opinions expressed here are my own, as is the retelling of the storyline.
Written by Morrie Ruvinsky
|Duncan MacLeod||Adrian Paul|
|Joe Dawson||Jim Byrnes|
|Richie Ryan||Stan Kirsch|
|Haresh Clay||Real Andrews|
|Carter Wellan||Chris Martin|
|Graham Ashe||Chris Humphreys|
Joe Dawson isn't certain of the reception he should expect when he walks into Duncan MacLeod's dojo, but the Highlander picks up where he left off on the Quai de la Tournelle, barely acknowledging the Watcher. When he finally does, it's in words that amount to a formal, polite "get out". Joe persists, wanting to talk to Duncan about Richie. That gets Duncan's attention, but he still won't open up to Joe. Frustrated, Joe tells Duncan how Richie came to him after the events in "Something Wicked", confused and hurt. Now, Richie has been picking fights and taking heads. Joe wants Duncan to intervene, but he tells Joe it's none of his business. Angry, Joe storms out, telling Duncan where Richie is staying. Despite what he says to Dawson, Duncan goes to see Richie and finds his former student hostile, as much for the shattering of his illusions as for the attempt to take his life. Whilst Duncan tries to build a bridge, Richie warns him to stay away.
Unnerved by the sudden appearance of MacLeod, Richie decides to buy back his bike, but the dealer he sold it to wants $600 more than he paid for it. Only when Richie douses another bike with petrol and threatens to burn it does the guy give in and let him have it back. On his way back to the rooming house, Richie stops at a bar and is having a drink when he feels another Immortal walk in. Carter Wellan is not looking for a fight, but Richie challenges him and they leave. The fight is short, with Richie taking Carter's head. As Richie leaves the scene, Carter's friend Haresh Clay, another Immortal, arrives and swears revenge. Later, back at the rooming house, Richie is surprised to feel another Immortal close by and stunned when the enraged Clay smashes through his door. Richie makes a run for it, but in the fight, his sword is broken.
Duncan is surprised to see Dawson twice in one day, but exasperation turns to concern when Joe shows him the remains of Richie's rapier and tells him how it was broken. He tells Dawson not to get involved. Joe returns to the bar, only to find Richie coming through his door. Richie wants to borrow the money to buy a new sword, but Joe finally accedes to Duncan's wishes and refuses. Desperate, Richie breaks into the museum that night, trying to steal a blade, only to find Clay waiting. As Clay tries for his head, Richie trips the alarm and runs outside into the arms of the police. The next morning, Duncan bails him out and persuades him to talk with him. He tells Richie that Clay killed a friend of his, an Immortal called Graham Ashe, who was a master swordsman and had taught Juan Sanchez Ramirez, Connor's teacher. Richie is determined to finish Clay and, as they both come to accept that Richie must stand on his own, Duncan gives Richie Ashe's sword.
Duncan has his own reasons for wanting to face Clay and goes to see Joe. Dawson has done a lot of soul-searching about his relationship with the Immortals and has reached a momentous decision. He has quit the Watchers, rather than abandon his friends. He has used his experience as a Watcher to track down Clay and gives Duncan the address of his hotel. When Duncan arrives there, he feels another Immortal, but it is Richie. A chance encounter with the hotel manager sends them to a graveyard by the sea, where Clay is saying his goodbyes to Carter, his friend and companion for 900 years. Richie and Clay want to fight each other, but Duncan tells Richie why he wants Clay. Revenge. Not for Graham Ashe, but for his pride.
In 1657, Haresh Clay had been hunting Graham Ashe, who was teaching Duncan as he had taught Ramirez and others. When Clay appeared, Ashe tried to escape, but was forced to face the Moor. Clay defeated him, but Ashe did the unthinkable and pleaded for his life. Clay held him contemptible and took his head without a thought. Horrified and betrayed, Duncan watched from a ruined church as Clay taunted him after the Quickening and was terrified as the Moor advanced on him, thinking that Clay was going to kill him on Holy Ground. Clay rode away, still taunting MacLeod. Now, Duncan wants his revenge.
Richie sees that this is important for Duncan and gives way. Clay and MacLeod face each other and it is the Highlander who triumphs. He would let Clay walk away, but the Moor won't let it go and Duncan takes his head. Later, at Joe's, he tells Dawson that he too has been thinking. The story of the Immortals has to be chronicled by people who feel, someone with honour, not some dry historian. He tells Joe that he should rejoin the Watchers. As for friendship, they'll work it out. As he and Richie must.