“Eye of the Beholder,” originally aired May 8, 1993. Nostalgia and spoilers within.
Oh, the sappiest over-the-top romantic dialogue. I admit it, though, Gabriel (played by Nigel Terry. He reminds me of someone, but I can’t quite put my finger on it) is an attractive older man, so that woman (Cynthia) would be lucky if, you know, he wasn’t evil (not that we immediately know he’s evil, but it’s Highlander, so I’m just making an educated guess). And while his lover is searching for her missing earring, she happens to find a secret area where his stolen art collection of beautiful women is. So, you know, he has to kill her because he has serious issues. Wow, dude. It’s stolen art. No need to overreact.
Meanwhile, Richie hasn’t learned enough French to know that ‘fruits de mer’ doesn’t mean fruit but seafood. Lucky for him, it ends up being a better pick-up technique than he’s used to, because the French woman next to him, Maya, explains everything. But she has to run off, and Richie has to meet Mac and Tessa to go backstage to a fashion show–where SURPRISE Maya is a model and Gabriel is the designer. Mac and Gab are BFFs from a time when Mac liked more debauchery and Gab was less psycho killer (qu’est-ce que c’est). I really do take pleasure in drunk!Immortal flashback fighting shenanigans.
Sidebar: THEY PLAY “SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY” IN THE BACKGROUND AT THE MODELING EVENT. NOTHING IS BETTER THAN THIS SHOW. If only Xavier St. Cloud were here. I wonder if for the musical guest stars, they have to play so many songs in the background. Anyway.
By now you can probably guess the complex of what’s going to happen with Richie, Maya, Gabriel, and Duncan. Oh, and guess what, Maya’s roommate was Cynthia, who had been about to do the show when, you know, she “went out of town.” But as Maya and Gabriel are leaving the event, the police tell them that Cynthia’s body was found:( Richie is Suspicious (rightly, this time) about Gabriel, but Mac defends him, and so there’s some tension with their various perspectives as Maya steps up to take Cynthia’s place (in more than one way, wink nudge). Richie gets jealous because he likes Maya, and Mac just assumes that Gabriel is just really good with women.
BUT, twist, Maya finds Cynthia’s missing earring in Gabriel’s room. So that is more reason to do some investigation, which Richie does, but that means sneaking into Gabriel’s apartment and setting off the silent alarm. Oh, Richie, Richie, Richie. But at least he was smart enough to throw alcohol at Gabriel and then set him on fire…
Okay, so that happened. <i>What, what, what are you doing?</i> Look at your life. Look at your choices. <i>Richie</i>.
Mac is still loathe to believe Gabriel killed Cynthia, buuut, when they have this sparring match, Gab says some creepy things about beautiful women. MacLeod does remember how Gabriel once did duel him for serious over a necklace, so maybe Gabriel should not be trusted as much. (sidenote: I also really can’t wait for Fitzcairn now, who is the better ladies’ man and 100% less psycho). But for now, Mac heads back to the barge and…Richie is playing with Mac’s sword? Rude, but at least he can beat Tessa at chess. Gabriel calls Richie, and…Richie buys a cane and pretends to be blind? So he can pickpocket a cop’s gun. Sure, that was less complicated than just buying a gun. And when Richie gets there, it was all just a set-up so Gabriel could have him arrested for breaking into his apartment (and setting him on fire, but I have a feeling he didn’t mention that to the cops). Okay, Gabriel, you get a point for that. But Mac ends things in the way that Mac does, and is this the first time he’s actually had to kill a friend? Because he is crying at the end of it. I think this is the first time he kills a friend, because he let Kiem Sun go in “The Road Not Taken,” and everyone else has been a total evil monster. Never easy to behead a guy who’s turned into a jerk but you used to be friends with.
The show does better with this later, because honestly, it’s hard to feel any sympathy for Gabriel at scene one. He literally just kills a woman for seeing some stolen art. That’s it. Mac might have liked him a couple hundred years ago, but the show doesn’t really have subtle down enough for us to feel sympathy for him AND feel Mac’s moral dilemma. This will get better, I think, as the show progresses, but for now, Mac, you knew he wasn’t a good guy.
Gabriel: “Ah, the famous MacLeod sense of honor.”
MacLeod: “I consider their friendship is their most valuable asset.” ❤