14 Episodes of Highlander You Need to Watch

By Liz Ohanesian in Daily Lists, TV
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

7. "Methuselah's Gift"
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Amanda snooping back in the 800s.
Amanda is my favorite recurring character on the show. She's over 1,000 years old. She has a penchant for thievery. She's not a perfect person, but she's not evil either. "Methuselah's Gift" is an Amanda-centric episode and gives some good insight into her character.

There's a crystal called Methuselah's Stone which is purported to give the gift of immortality. Years ago, the stone was broken into smaller fragments. Amanda has one of the pieces. It was a gift from Rebecca, Amanda's mentor and seemingly the first person to show her any kindness or encouragement. Now someone is after the shard in Amanda's possession.

It's an episode that takes a lot of different twists and turns. It's a story about friendship and betrayal with hints of a crime caper and a lot of action. It's fantastic.

6. "The Immortal Cimoli"

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Becoming Immortal could make this magician famous.
The really cool thing about being an Immortal is that you can pull off death-defying stunts without actually risking death. That's what happens with magician Danny Cimoli finds out that he is one of the Immortals.

There's another part of being Immortal that poses a big problem. Once your mortal life ends and your Immortal one begins, you're alone. You don't know what this gift that you have is all about and you don't know how to use it. You just think that you can't die. New Immortals can have teachers. Danny doesn't, so he's living out in the open as an Immortal, gradually becoming more famous for doing tricks on stage that would let Immortals know that he's one of them. When Duncan and Amanda see his show, Duncan steps in to teach Danny the Game. However, Danny is stubborn. This is a good episode to get an idea of what it takes to survive an Immortal's life.

5. "One Minute to Midnight"

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It's Immortals vs. Watchers in "One Minute to Midnight"
The Watchers and the Immortals typically don't have contact. In many cases, the Immortals don't know of the existence of Watchers, mortals who keep track of their moves throughout history. There are exceptions. Duncan is friends with his Watcher, Joe. Methos lived undercover as a Watcher named Adam. Amanda had run-ins with Watchers as well. Now that the Watchers and Immortals lives have intertwined, there are big problems. An Immortal is killing Watchers. The Watchers are fighting back.

"One Minute to Midnight" delves into the fear of Immortals. What happens when people learn their secret? What kind of bigotry falls upon them? Because Immortals come from all different backgrounds and have lived through many periods of history, they have an acute awareness of the kind of prejudice that has existed and continues to exist in the world. Some have experienced this for reasons other than their Immortality. Stories of persecution and revenge and friendships that cross imagined enemy lines all find their way into this episode.

4. "Revelations 6:8"

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A Four Horsemen reunion is not something you want to see.
Methos may be wise, but he has a streak of cowardice running through him that's as long as he is old. If that weren't already obvious to Highlander viewers, it will be after this episode. Methos was one of the Four Horseman, who inflicted their apocalyptic brand of misery upon people living during the Bronze Age. He was responsible for the gruesome treatment of people, possibly because of his own spinelessness more than anything else. A couple thousand years later, Methos still can't stand up to his "friends," the three brutes who make up the rest of the group.

Maybe this episode is so good because it's so aggravating. It's hard not to yell at the screen, "Methos, you jerk! Stop acting like a baby! Take his head already." Even after 5,000 years on earth, some people fear death more than they care about their friends.

3. "The Modern Prometheus"

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Lord Byron, rock star.
Of course, an Immortal Lord Byron would live out the late 20th century as a rock star. I imagined Byron as more of a 1970s David Bowie or Lou Reed type, but I guess generic rock dude in a poet's shirt works.

When Byron catches up with his old friend Methos, he's even more of a degenerate than he was while the two were hanging out with Mary Shelley. He's a talent ravaged by drugs, drink and the kind of over confidence that comes with knowing you are Immortal. Duncan is not impressed with Byron's antics. Methos makes excuses, arguing that great artists are usually a mess. Duncan counters with "normal" great artists like Da Vinci. It's a good question, do you have to be self-destructive to make amazing art?

2. "Archangel"

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A demon is about to ruin the lives of Duncan and his friends.
Grab a box of tissue for this one. "Archangel" is one of those episodes. A demon appears in the forms of people that Duncan has killed and someone for whom he cares. That pushes Duncan into a devastating battle.

This would have been a decent conclusion to show, not because of the demon, but because of the spoiler that I'm trying not to reveal even though this episode is more than 15 years old. There is another season and, if you watch "Archangel," you will need to dip your toes into season six just to find out how the story arc ends.

1. "Avatar"

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Duncan is a skilled sword fighter and a talented hair stylist.
After the events of the season five finale, Duncan tries to tell Joe that the demon used him to commit murder. Joe isn't buying this. He says that it's ridiculous that a Zoroastrian demon would arise once a millennium. This skepticism is coming from someone whose work is to watch people who could, theoretically, live forever. He knows that Immortals, some of whom are over 1,000 years old, will get into battles that end with fireworks and lightning, that the winner will fall to their knees as they consume the opponent's power. A demon isn't ridiculous. What is ridiculous is that Duncan gave himself such a sweet new haircut with a knife.

A lot of people have commented that season six is where the show goes downhill. The final season isn't abysmal, but you don't need to worry too much if you can't find time to invest in all the episodes. The first few, like "Avatar," tie up the loose ends from the fifth season, so make sure you watch them.

Previously by Liz Ohanesian

"7 Lessons Learned From Watching Star Wars with Someone Who Never Saw It"

"9 Awesome Things You Might Not Know About Cartoon Network Studios"

"7 Reasons Why Marvel Superhero Movies Are Really Boring"

"10 Surprising Facts About Titmouse Animation Studio"

"The 8 Goth-Rockingest Episodes of The Venture Bros."

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