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"I am going to destroy Duncan MacLeod" - James Horton, Counterfeit

This page recounts the present day storyline of "Highlander", for Season 2. The title chosen for each season is taken from an episode from the Season and is of my choosing, reflecting my feeling about the entire season. Episode titles are shown in italics. For Season 2, I've chosen "The Darkness", as the series took on a darker tone, with the recurring efforts of renegade Watcher James Horton to murder MacLeod, and the death of MacLeod's mortal lover, Tessa Noel.

Season Two - 1993/94

"The Darkness"

Regular Cast

Duncan MacLeodAdrian Paul
Tessa NoelAlexandra Vandernoot
Richie RyanStan Kirsch
Joe DawsonJim Byrnes
Charlie DeSalvoPhilip Akin
MauriceMichel Modo

The WatchersThis Season opened with a new title sequence and a mysterious voice over explaining who Duncan MacLeod is and giving a quick summary of the Rules of the Game. Not so mysterious a voice, as we were to find out, as it is the voice of Joe Dawson. In the first story, ("The Watchers"), a bitter MacLeod returns to Seacouver, determined to find Darius' killers, but with only the Chronicle left by Darius to guide him. He follows a clue to a bookstore, where the owner, Dawson, denies knowing about the book. When MacLeod chases down two men watching from across the street, Dawson follows and tells Duncan that he is his Watcher, one of a secret society of mortals who observe and record the history of the Immortals, but never interfere. He refuses to believe MacLeod's assertion that Darius was murdered by mortals, but is forced to when the leader of the killers is revealed to be his own brother-in-law, James Horton. MacLeod confronts Horton, who shoots him, but not before MacLeod extracts his vengeance for Darius and runs Horton through with his sword.

Studies In LightBelieving Horton dead, but now aware of the Watchers, MacLeod carries on with his life and tries to help two old friends, but with differing results. Gregor Powers has become a photographer but has lost touch with his humanity, pushing his feelings for others away to avoid the recurring pain of loss, ("Studies In Light"). Duncan helps him to learn to value his life and the gift of his Immortality, whilst watching his own former lover, Linda Plager, who is mortal, die of old age and infirmity. Soon after, another Immortal friend, Michael Moore, appears, looking for Mac's help in hunting down Quenten Barnes, Michael's long time enemy, who has reappeared after a long absence, ("Turnabout"). Also reappearing is Joe Dawson, who tries to enlist Duncan's help, as Barnes is hunting down and killing the men who tried and executed him years beforeTurnabout. Barnes was buried and has only recently been disinterred. An uneasy peace is struck between Watcher and Immortal, as the terrible truth dawns - Michael is Quenten Barnes, the two sides of his personality fragmented into a schizophrenic existence. As Quenten slowly takes permanent control, Michael pleads with Duncan to end it and MacLeod kills his friend. During this episode, Mac takes Richie to a martial arts gym, or "dojo", run by Charlie DeSalvo, where they intend to train.

The DarknessAll thoughts of extra-curricular activities are put aside as the reopening of the shop gets nearer. After a spooky encounter with a palm reader reminds Mac of the gypsies' warning that he will never marry, he tempts fate by asking Tessa to marry him. Overjoyed, she accepts and, as they plan the wedding, Mac is lured from the shop by a group of Watchers, whose leader, Pallin Wolf, stuns Richie and kidnaps Tessa. Using her as a lure, he entices MacLeod to his home, where he has a lightless room in which he hunts and kills Immortals, using a nightscope to see his prey, a la "Silence Of The Lambs". Fate smiles on Mac by allowing him to defeat Wolf and rescue Tessa despite "The Darkness", but he makes a decision that will haunt him. Sending Tessa with Richie, he stays to rifle the man's files, but as they leave, they are mugged and shot. MacLeod runs out to find them dead in the street. As he holds Tessa in his arms, Richie revives, a newborn Immortal. Grief stricken, MacLeod sells the store.

Eye For An EyeThe dojo where he and Richie train is up for sale and by the beginning of "An Eye For An Eye", Duncan has bought it, moving into the loft on the floor above it. Charlie DeSalvo stays on as manager, but the peace does not last long. Richie and Mac break up an attempt to kill the British Ambassador, but one of the IRA terrorists is killed in the process. His wife, Immortal Annie Devlin, swears revenge on Richie and ignores Duncan's plea to let the matter go, even though she is an old friend of his. Realising Annie is serious, Duncan puts Richie through a crash course in swordsmanship, but advises him to get out of town. Richie elects to face Annie and defeats her, but cannot bring himself to take her head. Annie accepts her own life back, in lieu of taking Richie's, and leaves. Later, Mac gives Richie a Toledo Rapier as his own sword.

The ZoneInanity returned with "The Zone", a mindless story of MacLeod single handedly deposing a stereotypically Latin gangster terrorising the poorest area of Seacouver. It did, however, serve to develop Duncan's relationship with the mysterious Dawson, who pops up again, and define his relationship with Charlie, who has a growing conviction that there is something very odd about his new friend and employer, but is not destined to find out what until far too late.

The Return Of AmandaA bad habit was how Duncan once described her, and sure enough, in these early episodes, "The Return Of Amanda" is never good news for the Highlander. Trying to alter some banknote printing plates has her being hunted by the F.B.I. and, before Duncan manages to extricate himself and her, they are wanted for the murder of one of the F.B.I. men, having been framed by his partner, who wants the plates. Richie breaks into motion picture production as he films the crooked F.B.I. agent shooting Duncan and Amanda for the plates. Our heroes triumph, although Amanda is not too pleased that Mac makes her give up a chance to print her own money.

Revenge Of The Sword"Revenge Of The Sword" sees Duncan helping a brattish would-be martial arts movie star to escape the clutches of the Tong which he once belonged to and that is all we can charitably say about that. Carl Robinson, would be baseball player and former slave, appeared in "Run For Your Life", Run For Your Lifebeing hunted by an evil Watcher, who is a policeman and a racist as well. There can be only one, as long as he's white? Carl, who has a real chip on his shoulder about being a black man in a white man's world, escapes death when the Watcher cop's partner shoots the bad cop to stop him from beheading Carl. Duncan persuades him to recapture his dream of being a professional baseball player, which Carl does.

Epitaph For TommyOne morning, when out for a run at an abandoned funfair, MacLeod is attacked by Immortal Anthony Galen, ("Epitaph For Tommy"). Before they can finish their fight, Galen flees, in the process running down and killing a young man who has just arrived. MacLeod goes to the funeral and finds that the young man was an investigative reporter for a local newspaper magnate called Honniger, but when he and Richie investigate further, no one at the paper knew Tommy, but he was receiving three paychecks from Honniger. It turns out that Honniger's daughter isn't prepared to wait for Daddy to die and has hired Galen to kill him and Tommy, who was too close to the truth. She foolishly double crosses Galen, who kills her after he kills Honniger, but fails to make it three in a row when he tries for Duncan's head.

The FighterIn "The Fighter", Immortal Tommy Sullivan is in town, trying to get support for the next Great White Hope. Sullivan has been on the fringes of boxing and bareknuckle fighting for years, but as the dead bodies begin to mount, MacLeod is forced to realise that his old friend cannot distinguish between fighting Immortals and murdering mortals who cross him. Reluctantly, Duncan confronts Sully, who refuses to back down and loses his head over it.

Under Color Of AuthorityRichie arrives at the loft one night with a girl he has rescued, who was being pursued by an Immortal, ("Under Color Of Authority"). From the description, Duncan recognises that the hunter is Mako, an eternal lawman. The girl is evasive, but it transpires that she is on the run for murdering her husband, who abused her, but she fears that she will be killed if she goes back, as her husband's father runs the town. Mako doesn't care - he has a warrant and will take her back to stand trial. Richie refuses to stand by and helps her to flee, but when Mako accidentally kills the girl, Richie is enraged and challenges Mako, who he kills, despite Duncan pleading with him not to. For the first time, Richie feels the power of a Quickening, but it is tinged with sadness as Mac tells him that he is now on his own and must leave.

Bless The ChildWhen you've thrown your student out on his ear, there's nothing like a camping trip to take your mind off things, especially if you happen to run into a deranged woman whose baby was killed by toxic effluent from a mine or something and has run off with the mineowner's own baby. If you end up trapped halfway up a cliff at night, being hunted by the mineowner and his psychotic brother, (who, by the way, doesn't want his brother to find out about the toxic goo), you must be Duncan MacLeod in "Bless The Child". If you're wondering what the hell you're doing there at all, you must be Charlie DeSalvo. Or any of the crew filming this strong contender for the most pointless Highlander story of all.

Unholy AllianceBut as always with Highlander, each dodo of a story only throws the good ones into sharper relief. The past comes back to haunt both Dawson and MacLeod in the two part "Unholy Alliance", when Xavier St Cloud walks into the dojo, accompanied by two mortal gunmen who try to kill Mac and Charlie. Xavier, sporting a mechanical hand to replace the one Duncan cut off in "For Tomorrow We Die", has a new way of surviving in the Game, and an unexpected friendUnholy Alliance. Duncan discovers that they are not the only ones interested in Xavier, as Army Intelligence are after the mercenaries and he finds an unlikely ally in Special Agent Renee Delaney. Tracking the mercenaries to a warehouse, Duncan confronts Xavier, but the tables are turned when James Horton appears and shoots both Duncan and Charlie. Xavier is unable to kill MacLeod, who escapes as Delaney and the police arrive. At the hospital, Duncan sees Dawson and confronts him about Horton. Dawson denies that Horton is alive, but Duncan breaks open Horton's tomb, to find it emptyUnholy Alliance. Horton is waiting at the tomb, safe on Holy Ground, and taunts Duncan that he is the man MacLeod cannot kill. Mac follows Dawson to a waterfront rendezvous, where he sees him meet Horton. When Dawson gets home, he finds MacLeod waiting for him and Duncan promises him that the next time they meet, it will be the last. A critically injured Charlie cannot understand how MacLeod, who he saw shot through the heart, is alive and walking around and Mac promises to tell Charlie the truth before he dies. Whilst MacLeod and Delaney try to work out their next move, and whether it's to go to bed together, Dawson surprises everyone by turning up at the dojo with the address of Horton's hideout, a waterfront warehouse. He swears that he didn't know what Horton was up to and tells MacLeod that, after Duncan gutted him in "The Watchers", Horton was thrown out of the Watchers and sent abroad to recuperate and live quietly. Duncan goes to the warehouse and, when Xavier feels him approach, he escapes with Horton in a helicopter, but Duncan tracks them to Paris. Leaving Charlie to recover, MacLeod goes after them.

Unholy AllianceArriving in France, Duncan is amazed to find Renee Delaney waiting for him at the airport. She used the US airforce to race him across the Atlantic and threatens to have his passport revoked if he doesn't help her. She drops Mac at the barge, which has been moved by the police when the Seine flooded. Haunted by memories of Tessa, Mac reluctantly goes on board, only to find a middle aged Frenchman in residence. Unholy AllianceMaurice, from the boat next door, is the inveterate scrounger, but will become a friend and innocent ally for MacLeod. After evicting Maurice, Duncan meets Delaney to plan their next move, only to find it planned for them. A mercenary hired by Horton tries to kill them, but is shot by Delaney. As she tries to explain her actions to the Sûrete, Duncan uses a cufflink dropped by the getaway driver to identify him as a disgraced cavalry officer. Learning that the dead man was a member of a rich family, Delaney is at a loss how to proceed, but they learn that the family had a stables. Unholy AllianceThey call at the stables, interrupting Horton and Xavier, who are planning a raid on the barge. Xavier escapes, but Horton is shot by the mysteriously well-informed Joe Dawson, who appears in the nick of time. Using his contacts from his days as a chef, Maurice helps MacLeod to locate Xavier, by tracking the source of his favourite golden caviar. Mac makes a special delivery and Xavier loses his head. In the closing shot of the episode, we see that James Horton is still alive.

The VampireA chance encounter leads Duncan to find that an old friend of his has been murdered by Nicholas Ward, ("The Vampire"). Ward murders and marries to get his money and is set to marry his victim's daughter. With the unexpected help of Joe Dawson, Mac interrupts the wedding before it gets underway and so spares the blushing bride from becoming a widow on her wedding day.

WarmongerA promise means a lot to MacLeod, so when he encounters Arthur Drake, he abides by his promise not to kill him, ("Warmonger"). However, as the body count of the murderous Drake increases, Duncan finds it harder to ignore his actions and, when Drake kidnaps a reporter and murders an old man, Mac cannot stand aside any longer and finds that being true to yourself sometimes means breaking a promise. And taking a head.

Pharaoh's DaughterDuncan had never killed a woman until he met Nefertiri, an Egyptian handmaiden to Cleopatra, ("Pharaoh's Daughter"). Trying to help Nefertiri to come to terms with nearly 2,000 years of change proves impossible when she murders the mortal wife of the Roman who ransacked Cleopatra's palace. When Marcus Constantine will not fight Nefertiri, who he loved, Duncan is forced to and takes her head.

LegacyAmanda appears in Paris, looking for revenge in "Legacy". Her teacher, Rebecca, has been killed by another of her students, Luther, who is trying to gather together all the pieces of a crystal Rebecca once owned. She had given each of her students a shard from it and Luther is killing them all, one by one, believing that possession of the whole thing will grant him the power beyond all other Immortals. Amanda goes to face Luther, who defeats her, but Duncan has the last piece of the crystal and Luther goes after him instead, losing his head in the process.

Prodigal SonLike a "Prodigal Son", Richie appears at the barge, being hunted by the police for murders across Europe. The murders were committed by Martin Hyde, who has a long established technique of harassing young Immortals, to make them run back to their teachers, who Hyde then kills, as there is nothing like the Quickening of a seasoned Immortal. Mac proves Richie's innocence and the police close the case, believing Hyde dead. Mac confronts Hyde, who believes Duncan is not good enough to take him. MacLeod shows Hyde that he is wrong.

CounterfeitRecovering from his encounter with the law, Richie is startled to find himself surrounded by Watchers at a funfair. He escapes them with the aid of a passing youth, Pete Wilder, who takes him to the barge. When the Immortals return to the funfair, the Watcher tattoos have mysteriously vanished from Richie's attackersCounterfeit. This is an elaborate plot set in train by James Horton, who kidnaps a woman from a prison and subjects her to plastic surgery and intensive coaching in a new identity. Richie grows to trust his rescuer, unlike Duncan, who is suspiciousCounterfeit. After a series of set pieces, opinion is strongly divided between the friends about Pete, leading to Mac setting up a trap to prove he is right. The trap is sprung, only for Pete to be shot by Horton, who wants the two Immortals divided. With Richie and Mac at odds, Horton sends the surgically altered woman after MacLeod. She is a doppleganger of Tessa, a "Counterfeit" called Lisa MilonCounterfeit. Whilst Mac tries to distinguish reality from illusion, it is Richie's turn to be suspicious, especially when he is shot protecting Joe Dawson. Now knowing that Horton is alive, Mac, Joe and Richie have to play Horton's game. Lisa is kidnapped and Duncan rescues her, but she takes him to Tessa's graveCounterfeit, only to find that Duncan is not the fool she took him for. Hearing a gunshot and believing that Lisa has shot Duncan, Horton comes to cut off his head, only to find MacLeod waiting for him. His plan turned back on himself, Horton flees, after killing Lisa, but Mac catches him off Holy Ground and proves that, unlike his taunt in "Unholy Alliance", Horton is not a man he cannot kill. Mac decides that he has mourned Tessa long enough and, after selling the barge, returns to Seacouver with Richie.

Next... Song Of The Executioner