HL Ep Review: The Gathering, S1x01

In the Highlander Worldwide group, we’re rewatching the series, one episode a week. I thought it would be fun to try to review each episode as I rewatch it with the group. Please be aware there are spoilers not just for this episode but the whole series.

The Gathering

HLS1x01-00First lines in the episode:
Richie: “Check it out. One night only… everything must go.”

Last lines in the episode:
Tessa: “You didn’t say goodbye?”
Duncan: “We never do.”

Favorite quote:
Duncan: “I know this won’t come as a surprise, but you’ll live.”

Things I love:

  • The beginning of the episode really sets everything up beautifully. Richie the ignorant and wisecracking kid in need of guidance, Duncan/Tessa being intimate, bad guy ruining everything, immortals just dropping into town, a teacher knowing what’s best and a student following, sword-fighting, and covering up the truth as soon as the cops arrive
  • Connor’s trench coat. I love that thing so much
  • Birthday gift scene-Duncan and Tessa discussing their relationship and Duncan’s immortality, Tessa saying “maybe I want someone I can grow old with” and Duncan replying “You know I’ve wanted the same thing—to grow old with you” (I love how they say every word of these lines)
  • Duncan and Connor looking at each other through the door window.
  • Duncan and Connor training scene. Love the way they are around each other from the barbs and jokes to the quick sword work to the seriousness to the teacher/student bond
  • “And then I found him… the way someone found me.” Just the way he says it and the whole conversation with Duncan, Connor, and Tessa as they talk about the Gathering, especially Connor saying “There can be only one” in such a perfect way
  • Connor comforting Duncan after the tribe slaughter… I’m a hurt/comfort junkie and SUCH a sucker for men comforting each other
  • “Damn your whole race!” and then Duncan’s broken “Come. I’m not your enemy, you know.” This breaks my heart every damn time without fail
  • Duncan building his cabin. I love the cabin
  • The entire sword-sharpening scene, especially Connor laughing and both “End of conversation”s
  • Unintentionally tag-teaming the big fight. Artistically shot bits with their shadows on the wall of the building, the sparks on the bridge, the perspective of looking up at Duncan just before the beheading, etc.
  • Richie needs watching and Duncan saying that he will do it; I like how ambiguous that is
  • Tessa choosing to stay with Duncan after all of this, because I think Tessa rocks and is a super strong lady. Even knowing the danger she faces, she makes that choice.
  • Duncan and Connor never say goodbye

Things I dislike or don’t get:

  • Slan’s facemask. Why? A neck guard would make sense, but any injury on his face will just heal. So why? Because the writers weren’t sure what the details were yet and wanted to give an interesting characteristic to a baddie? His visibility in that thing must be terrible.
  • The scene where Tessa is walking and Slan is in the car. OMG too long. Far too long. It didn’t even need to be half that long
  • Why isn’t Tessa screaming the whole time before the dramatic reveal that she’s under the cloth when Slan is “playing”? I can understand when he has the tool near her head, but there’s a whole lot of time between the time when he turns it off and she makes a sound; the fact that she doesn’t move or say anything even when Duncan calls out for her is unrealistic
  • “Drop it!” Duncan does not drop his sword and, instead, hits his sword against a post. Instead of hurting Tessa as promised, Slan steps away and engages Duncan. Then he puts his sword to Tessa’s throat and threatens to kill her, then doesn’t kill her at all and just runs off. He makes no sense.
  • Duncan and Connor sword fighting again… and wearing the exact same clothes as before because it’s the same scene shot all at once but edited into two different scenes. This hurts my head. And how does Richie find them anyway? And why do they loop “Princes of the Universe” so badly here?
  • Why is Richie not more concerned that Connor was essentially just murdered in front of him? If it had been me, I would have booked it down to the river to see if I could do anything to help the poor guy. And what’s he do during the however many hours between the fight and the moment when Duncan carries Connor out of the water?
  • The way this episode bridges the movie and the show with only some minor problems with the timeline. Love the way it establishes the show and characters and the immie-of-the-week concept.

Things that make me squee:

  • “Same clam, different vintage.”
  • Queen music
  • “Why’re you smiling, because I’ve been thinking?”
  • The sounds Connor makes when he’s injured and when Duncan pulls the spike from his chest
  • Connor forcing Duncan and Tessa together again and his adorable “He didn’t tell me. But I can guess”
  • Connor laughing. I LOVE HIS LAUGH. Also that Duncan MAKES him laugh. Their bond is sacred to me.

Things that make me think:

  • The talk about the possibility of immortals living together as a race with a common culture/language is so fascinating to thank about
  • Duncan’s “I’m not your enemy” to Tessa reminds me of the common theme throughout the series, but especially the moment at the end of season 5 when Duncan’s looking at the teddy bear “watcher” and says “I’m not your enemy.”

Ten images:
Richie’s Really Awful Green Jacket From Season One:

Duncan and Tessa have a heart-to-heart about their relationship:

Playful!Connor appears:

Duncan & Connor practice sword fighting:

Duncan & Connor hug:

Connor comforts Duncan:

Sword-sharpening time:

“Artistic” and obviously rather attractive shot of Duncan about to behead this week’s immie:

Duncan pulls Connor from the water:

The old ones are whispering that these two want to be alone:

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