“The Hunters,” originally aired May 22, 1993. Nostalgia and spoilers and love of Roger Daltry within. You are not prepared for this episode emotionally, just trust me.
Duncan and Tessa are interrupted from some sexy times by Hugh Fitzcairn, everyone’s favorite immortal (at the time of writing, I’m becoming convinced that ’80s rock musicians are actually immortal, and this show is just a cover. THINK ABOUT IT). And it’s all fun and games until Fitz explains he’s there about missing immortals, so they go to confer with Darius, the font of all wisdom, and SHOCK HE’S BEEN KILLED ON HOLY GROUND.
SAY THE WHAT. NO IMMORTAL WOULD DO THIS.
Mac and Fitz begin exploring, but they’re separated, Hugh is kidnapped, and Mac only sees that the men after them have a strange tattoo on their right inside wrist. Okay. He goes back to the rectory to search for clues and finds a book with the same sign! Meanwhile, Tessa has a really weird encounter with some guy who must be one of the people who killed Darius, because he’s not so subtly checking to see if she’s immortal (if only). Duncan engages with one of them and gets into a fight, and for once, Richie is super useful and motorcycles in to save him.
We finally see where Fitz has been kidnapped to (nice D&D reference, Fitz. Wouldn’t it be fun to play a D&D campaign in an actual dungeon? Other than the smell… Okay, maybe just a D&D campaign set in the Highlander world. Note to self.), and the leader of these people (The Hunters, Horton, for future reference) wants the book back, which Mac has and Fitz is clueless about, so not smart, Horton. Why didn’t you find it in the rectory, dude? Fitz was literally kidnapped like the next day. Don’t trust him to know anything. He’s there to be pretty. Meanwhile, MacLeod is not really getting anywhere because the book is in archaic German or something (and probably written in Fraktur script, which screw that) and continues to be sad about Darius (rightly).
Horton on the next day gives a nice anti-Immortal rally speech before they kill Fitz (who is trying to charm his way out of this). He keeps his cool until he sees the guillotine and realizes HOLY CRAP they are REALLY GOING TO DO THIS and NO IMMORTAL WILL RECEIVE HIS QUICKENING WHAT. WTF, Hunters. Why are you so mean? Thankfully, somehow Duncan figured out where to go, saved Fitz, and scared off Horton.
But then they have a funeral for Darius which must be the SADDEST MOMENT EVER. Like I am seriously revising this at a cafe and about to burst into tears. If you don’t know why:
;_; Poor Werner Stocker.
So it’s definitely hard to talk about this episode and this death objectively. But during the ceremony, MacLeod puts his ashes into the Seine why “Forever” by Queen plays, and I just can’t — “1500 years ago, you led an army of barbarians to the gates of Paris. You disbanded your army and spared the city. But you broke a promise to yourself to march west from the old mountains until you reached the sea. So now, old friend, travel on. Go where you never went, to the sea.”
<i>now, old friend, travel on. go where you never went</i>
It’s easy to mock this show most of the time, but frankly, that was beautifully written and beautifully delivered and I just have a lot of feelings.
Next time is a whole Season 1 recap, and I’ll address the narrative value of this episode more then. I just needed everyone to be aware of this wonderful eulogy, and I don’t know where the words for Darius end and the words for Werner begin, but travel on.