“Innocent Man,” originally aired October 10, 1992
Synopsis: Leo may be one of my favorite one-time characters on Highlander. I’m a sucker for the abused veteran trope. I’m less thrilled with the reporter Randi McFarland, and I can see why her role got cut out pretty quickly. But this week on Highlander, the homeless vet Leo comes across an Immortal fight and ends up getting framed for the beheading by the sheriff. MacLeod, of course, is friends with the victim and realizes that this was an Immortal fight and that the cops are likely holding the wrong man. Richie and MacLeod investigate, and we get lots of small jabs at narrow-minded people, the human preference for weapons over productive technology, and our first Civil War adventures. We learn via flashback that MacLeod is on good terms with the deceased immortal–Lucas Desiree–because while MacLeod was being punished as an abolitionist, Confederate leader Desiree ordered the soldiers to give them water and generally acted all noble aristocrat. Meanwhile in present day, there is so much tension with this city, only spurred by the new sheriff. When Leo and the city investigator whom I love but whose name I can never remember (Thomas Powell) leave, MacLeod finally realizes that the town sheriff is evil and killed Lucas. Some of the town’s residents make a lynch mob to try to stop Leo et al., but of course MacLeod and crew save the day. Then MacLeod takes the sheriff’s head. Shock. Afterwards, MacLeod gives Leo lots of money and refuses to take the vet’s Purple Heart ;_; *sympathetic tear
After the first movie-tastic episode, “Innocent Man” feels more natural. The characters are still finding their stride–even which ones to keep and which ones to go–but it has more of the heart and morality of the TV show that I really love. Much more excited about the rest of Season 1 now!
MacLeod: “I’m sorry the mill closed, all the wells dried up, all the grasshoppers ate your crops, or life isn’t what you hoped it would be.”
Lucas: “Oh, we just get attached to the people, don’t we?”
Sheriff: “People aren’t as dumb as we wish they were.”