“The End of Innocence,” originally aired October 11, 1996. Nostalgia and spoilers within.
RICHIE. YAY, YOU’RE BACK. AND IN SEASON 5 MODE (which means very attractive). And Richie’s still having nightmares about evil!Mac. In case Richie’s issues didn’t hurt enough, while Mac is working out, Dawson drops in. He’s all excited that the Watchers are changing things, but Mac is like OKAY NO SERIOUSLY THIS TIME LET’S NOT TALK. But then Joe mentions Richie and Mac listens. He’s really upset since the whole almost beheading, and he internalized the whole There Can Be Only One and is just killing anyone he comes across. ;_; Mac is concerned, so even though he blows off Joe, he goes to visit Richie, who wants none of it. Betrayaaaaal. This part breaks my heart, poor Richie.
But his delinquent roots are in high gear. He starts some fights, is really rude to people, and is generally the sort of Immortal Mac usually would kill without feeling bad about it. Stop acting out, kid. You’re better than this. Unfortunately, Richie’s latest beheadee has a BFF with a really nice suit. And he is Serious about revenge. He busts into Richie’s house and fights, fights, fights. Richie makes a run for it -this time-. But he left without his sword, sooo. Haresh Clay has got him on tenderhooks.
Mac is concerned. He remembers a time hanging out with Connor’s teacher’s teacher (Graham Ashe) who gives him some nice lessons about remembering to live and not just fight. And that dude really wanted to avoid Haresh, but too bad, because Haresh challenged him and beheaded him even though he begged for his life. He still seems disinclined to help Richie, but Richie’s going to go to Joe anyway. Richie hasn’t gotten the memo that Joe is trying to be a good Watcher, and he’s pissed about that. So he has to go try to steal a sword. Haresh is close on his heels, and Mac has to get him out of jail. Joe at least figures out where Clay is. And he also quits the Watchers to stop the conflict of interest. Yay?
So they start patching things up, and they talk to Clay at his friend’s funeral. Poor Clay. And then Mac fights him because Haresh made fun of him. Clay’s reasons for wanting to fight Richie are way more understandable. “He killed my BFF of 900 years” “You made fun of me”. Sadly, Haresh dies, because I wouldn’t mind knowing more about him.
And after all this, Mac decides that Joe should rejoin the Watchers and try to change the organization from the inside. Yeah. Great idea, team… Nothing’ll go wrong about that in the future.