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Synopsis: Line of Fire

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Line of Fire

LINE OF FIRE

Duncan MacLeod usually channels and controls his anger, especially when he's battling another Immortal. However, the Immortal Kern did something so ghastly, so unforgivably horrific, it has driven MacLeod over the edge. Enraged beyond logic...beyond coherent thought...MacLeod loses it; charging down a city street, waving his sword in combat, risking the public spectacle he has always been careful to avoid. (The writers conveniently made sure there were no witnesses in the street at the time.)

We learn, by agonizing flashbacks, what drove him over the brink.

Another thread in this story highlights the poignancy of Immortals who, because they do not age, can never plan a normal family life- with spouse, children, etc. Worse, they suffer the awareness that as targets, their loved ones may someday become collateral damage.

On a lighter note...
This episode includes awesome shots of Duncan working out in the dojo-deliciously sweaty stuff.

And...
Joe opens his new blues bar, featuring...what else? Blues music.

New characters:

DONNA - Mortal, Richie's former girl friend has a surprise in store for him.

JEREMY - the eighteen-month-old surprise.

LITTLE DEER - Mortal Sioux woman, one of the genuine loves of Duncan's life. When her husband (Duncan's friend) was killed, Duncan took over as head of the household.

KAHANI - Little Deer's son, treated and loved by Duncan as his own.

KERN - One of the most evil Immortals Duncan MacLeod has ever known. He kills for the sheer joy of it.


Seacouver
Richie's Old 'Hood, Present Day

They are playing some B-Ball,
Just shooting some hoops,
One-on-one, friend-to-friend-
When suddenly...Whoops!
Richie sees old flame Donna,
Two years have gone by-
Since she disappeared,
Without telling him why.

She is looking terrific,
Her smile is a treat,
Then she says, 'There is someone-
I'd like you to meet.
He thinks it's a boyfriend,
But it is none other-
Than a toddler named Jeremy,
And Donna's his mother!

Donna's proud of her son,
She is beaming with joy.
Rich: 'Joey must surely-
Be proud of his boy.'
'His father's not Joey,'
'Then who', Rich implores-
Is the lucky guy?'
'Richie, he's YOURS!'

The Dojo

MacLeod's skipping rope-
When Richie walks in.
Though late for his training-
His face wears a grin.
'Fellas, I've got a son!
Isn't that inconceivable?' (Terrible pun alert)
Without missing a step-
Mac replies, 'Unbelievable.'

Charlie offers congrats,
'Save me a cigar,'
Mac keeps up his rhythm,
He knows how things are.
An Immortal have children?
Something smells funny.
He must find out from Richie-
About his new honey.

The Loft

'Donna made a mistake!
It's not in the cards,
We don't get to choose-
Picket fences, backyards,'
'But I wasn't Immortal-
When I had this kid.'
'That's NOT how it works!'
Rich responds, 'It just did.'

Richie's Apartment, Later

Donna: 'I wasn't sure,
Didn't know if you would-
Accept both of us,
Or leave, if you could.'
Rich smiles, he's supportive-
'Don't worry or pout,
I give you my promise,
We'll work something out.'

A Biker Bar, Another Part of Town

A tough-looking bouncer-
Doesn't faze Kern at all.
'Ah'd like a beer please.'
In a rough western drawl.
'Go away, we are closed!'
'Too bad, Ah'm real thirsty.'
Then Kern wrecks the bar,
Shows the bouncer no mercy.

Richie's Apartment

Rich senses the Buzz,
It's Mac at the door.
'Let's finish the talk,
We started before.'
Before they begin,
'Mac, meet Jeremy-
Mac looks at the boy-
Thinking back, bitterly.

Flashback, 1872, Lakota Sioux Encampment

On a sparkling, blue lake-
A canoe makes for shore.
Kahani shows Mac-
His skill with the oar.
Little Deer will cook fish,
All is tranquility,
MacLeod is at peace,
With his Sioux family.

'MacLeod, will you leave me?'
The boy wants to know.
'Your father was taken,
He did not want to go.
I promise, Kahani-
I will never leave you.
Here is a present-
For a fearless young Sioux.'

Mac gives him the amulet-
That he always wore,
'It's powerful medicine-
For a brave warrior.'
Kahani displays it-
To his mom, Little Deer.
Her eyes shine with love-
As she holds Duncan near.

They talk of the Bluecoats-
Invading their land.
'If they come, we will move,'
She does not understand.
'The Bluecoats won't stop,
They will push till they have-
Everything that they see,
All the land they can grab.'

'You are all that I need,'
Mac tells Little Deer,
After three hundred years-
He found happiness here.
A good woman's love,
A child's merry smile,
Mac has made a real home.
He's at peace, for a while.

Back at Richie's Apartment, Present Day

'He has Richie's face,'
Says the proud, beaming mom,
Mac remembers that Rich-
Is the reason he's come.
He takes Richie out-
For a walk to discuss-
'It's a lifetime commitment-
That is not meant for us.'

The Street

'They will see you don't age.
Can you explain how?'
'Mac, I know this-
They need me right now.'
'Is it their needs...or YOURS-
That this is about?'
Mac sees Richie sinking-
Too deep to get out.

They pass, quite by chance-
The neighborhood priest.
A light-hearted Father,
Not aloof in the least.
'I'll see you in church,'
He says to the pair.
Sooner than he expects,
MacLeod will be there.

Kern is lurking nearby-
On his big motorbike.
His Buzz fills the air-
Filling Mac with dislike.
'My fight!' blasts MacLeod,
Pushing Richie away,
'Who is it?' asks Rich.
'He's a dead man, today!'

Kern guns the bike forward-
Directly at Mac!
MacLeod stands his ground,
Swords engage with a crack!
Kern stops and dismounts,
Mac charges, sword raised.
Face contorted by hate,
Turned savage and crazed.

They are fighting in public!
Something Immies don't DO!
At the church's glass door-
Their momentum breaks through!
A wedding's in progress!
The priest is aghast!
Holy Ground! The combatants-
Hide their weapons...at last!

The bride's not been kissed-
And Kern won't deprive her,
He tongue-licks her face-
Smearing it with saliva.
Duncan mumbles, he's 'sorry.'
Feeling partly to blame,
He retreats from the church-
Embarrassed with shame.

The Dojo

Mac drills with the staffs,
Practicing with the wood.
He endures Charlie's lecture-
About Rich doing 'good.'
'You're handling this wrong,
Showing no flexibility.'
'Charlie, what if it's not-
Richie's responsibility?'

The Loft, Later

Rich: 'I didn't know-
If I'd find you alive!'
Rich and Mac are alone,
But MacLeod won't describe-
His issue with Kern,
Richie has his own stuff,
'This is my problem-
Rich, you've got enough.'

'I can't turn away,
Like my dad did to me.
This is my chance-
To have some normalcy.'
Mac remembers the Sioux-
Before tragedy struck,
His life too, was normal.
He murmurs, 'Good luck.'

Flashback, 1872, The Woods

The roast meat aroma-
Wafts through the air.
Mac sits by the fire,
He hasn't a care-
Until the Buzz hits.
He looks up with a smile...
'Connor?' He hasn't-
Seen him for a while.

But, it's not MacLeod's clansman-
That has come to this place.
A new sight greets Mac-
Kern's rough, grizzled face.
Mac warily greets him,
Offers food to the stranger,
Kern drawls, 'Relax!
You're in no danger.'

'Workin' hard for the Army,
Can't get no rest.'
You work for the Bluecoats?'
Kern notes how Mac's dressed.
'Yer a Squawman!' he jeers.
'Live in that pretty village?
Not much of it left-
When I finished my pillage.'

'Which one is hers?'
He displays on a stick-
A collection of scalps!
Mac starts to feel sick,
Then he rallies, goes off!
With a fury unbound-
Hurls himself at this fiend-
Beating him to the ground.

Mac can't spare the time-
To behead and to quicken.
He jumps on his pony,
Gallops off, panic-stricken.
Did Kern speak the truth?
Are his loved ones no more?
Will there ever be peace-
And an end to this war?

The Village

Smoldering ruin.
Smoke-stench fills the air.
Belongings lie scattered,
Bodies flung everywhere.
The amulet's torn off,
Young Kahani died here.
Mac picks it up slowly,
Then he sees Little Deer.

He caresses her hair,
Holds her close, teardrops flow.
All his peace died with her,
Now where can he go?
Later, he sobs-
As the flames 'round her rise.
Why live forever,
When all you love dies?

He leaves, dressed in clothes-
Of the white man, and now...
Staring down at the amulet-
Pledging a vow.
He will avenge-
Their spirits one day.
He swears in Sioux tongue,
Their killer will pay!

The Loft, Present Day

Time has not altered-
MacLeod's resolution.
For mother and son-
There will be retribution.
Once again, the Sioux charm-
Encircles his throat,
Every ounce of his being-
To Kern's death, he'll devote.

Joe's Bar

First, he must locate-
This S.O.B. Kern.
A Watcher would know-
To Joe, Mac will turn.
Mac's face shows distress,
'Who is it?' asks Joe.
'His name is Kern.'
'That's a name I don't know.'

'Now is no time for lying!'
'OK,' Joe relents.
'Down by the East docks-
There's a place that he rents.'
'MacLeod!' Joe advises.
'He kills just for fun.'
'I know.' Mac's aware-
What this monster has done.

Flophouse, East Dock Area

The desk clerk's afraid-
Mac will rip off his ear.
He shows Mac Kern's room-
Then heads for the rear.
MacLeod goes berserk!
He trashes the room-
Then leaves Kern a feather,
A promise of doom.

Richie's Apartment

Donna found Richie's rapier,
He's firm-'It will stay!'
'It's not safe to have-
What's it for, anyway?'
They start disagreeing-
On matters of trust.
One issue comes up-
As Rich knew it must.

'How do I know,
That I'm Jeremy's father?'
'Do you want us out?
Are we too much bother?
I'm not a kid, Richie!'
Her anger upsurges,
'Donna, I'm trying!'
'Try harder,' she urges.

Joe's Bar

'Everyone comes to Joe's!'
As Rich walks through Joe's portal.
'Can you father a child-
Before turning Immortal?'
'The kid can't be yours,
You have no need to worry.'
When Rich turns, dejected.
'Richie, I'm sorry.'

The Church

Donna's come to the priest-
Arranging to christen-
The boy, but the Father-
Has a duty to listen-
To the man in the booth-
Who wants to confess.
In five hundred years-
He has made quite a mess.

Kern recites all his sins,
Of the long list, he's proud-
Then attacks the good Father,
'Where is MacLeod?'
'I don't know,' gasps the priest.
Kern raids the cash box.
'Don't forget stealing!'
And grins like a fox.

The Loft

'She found my sword, Mac.'
'Rich, decide, don't be slow,
Either tell her the truth-
Or, you must let them go.
You cannot protect them.
When our lives get rough-
All your trying and love-
Will not be enough.'

Richie's Apartment

'I know he's not mine,
But I still want to stay-
And there's more...' Richie stops,
The Buzz gets in the way.
He looks out the window,
Waiting calmly below-
Is Kern, 'Donna, quick-
Run to the dojo!'

Rich resists with his sword-
When Kern breaks inside,
'I wanted the Squawman,
But I'm satisfied.
You'll do,' But Rich sees-
He can't win this fight.
The wide-open window-
Is his ticket to flight.

It's filled with tomatoes-
But the sight of a truck-
Gives Rich an idea,
All he needs is some luck,
He leaps! And he lands-
Splat! On top of the fruit.
But his head is still on-
Dripping salad, to boot.

The Dojo/Loft

Donna holds Jeremy-
While blurting her story,
Downstairs Rich resembles-
Beef cacciatore.
'Mac, he would have killed them.
I couldn't do more.'
Mac looks at Rich sadly,
'He's done it before!'

Rooftop, Richie's Apartment Building

'Over here, Squawman!
It's time to die!'
'You're so right,' growls Mac.
There is blood in his eye.
No katana this time,
Just his warrior's spear-
Has been readied with care.
Kern will fight a Sioux here.

Kern slashes Mac's chest,
Mac touches the place,
Coats his fingers with blood,
Painting stripes on his face.
From his throat, shrieks the cry-
Of a warrior Sioux,
His spear finds its mark,
And he runs Kern clear through.

Duncan flings the spear down-
When its work has been done.
He wants only peace,
Now his battle's been won.
As the Quickening lifts him,
He smiles at the sky,
Little Deer and Kahani-
Wave a final good-bye.

Later

Rich's letting them go.
He has learned Mac was right.
He watches his 'family'-
Walk quickly from sight,
Although Donna's bitter-
She is strong, she'll survive.
Mac: 'You did the right thing.'
'Did I?' 'They're still alive.'

Peace, Emit
© 2001-2003

Who Wants To Live Forever
Written and performed by Queen

There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams yet slips away
from us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever....?

There's no chance for us
It's all decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Who dares to love forever?
When love must die

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
Who wants to live forever
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?

Under the Kilt from Highlander: The Official Website:

David Abramowitz, Creative Consultant
'The day we were shooting, Randall 'Tex' Cobb had a couple of beers and, lo and behold, on his way to the set, he walks out into the street and what happens to him? He gets hit by a beer truck. And he breaks a couple of ribs and he gets up and his ribs are broken and he wants to go back to work. We insisted he go to the hospital. He was wonderful. But he figured it was no different than the beating he got from Mohammed Ali, a beer truck wasn't anything. But he was great fun.'

Don Paonessa, Creative Consultant, Post Production
'Randall 'Tex' Cobb went through a series of misfortunes in shooting this episode. I shot second unit on the scene where Richie runs through the apartment and jumps down into the tomato truck. So on the day that they had this fight in the apartment, Stan throws the chair at Tex. Tex puts his hand up to stop the chair and broke his hand. So Brent-Karl Clackson gets one of the drivers to take Tex to the hospital. He's dressed in that black grungy jacket and he looks like a street person. And this is an actor on a show. And the driver drives him up to Emergency, let's him off and drives away. He's American, right off the set, so he doesn't have any identification with him and they just left him. But he kept going; he was like the Energizer Bunny. And I am sure Ken and David told you the beer truck story. Anyone who can get hit by a truck the second day into production and finish the week, my hat is off to them. Also in season three, we got into doing these silly kinds of Quickenings where we were trying to do cheap visual effects. And in this show, we designed this thing to have MacLeod start to float a little bit and then the image of Little Deer and Kahani come into his head and he reaches out and they reach out. It was one of those kinds of things that was pretty hokey, but they had heart to them.'

Ken Gord, Producer
'Randall 'Tex' Cobb is a great guy, but he's a little punch drunk and he's got a laugh that will shake you out of your office. The first day of filming, we're filming at the bar, and I get a call from the set, "We have a little problem here, a beer truck has hit Tex." As it turns out, he didn't tell us that he wore glasses, but didn't wear his glasses and he has very bad eyesight. He was walking across a busy street, got hit by a beer truck and got knocked like fifty feet. And I can hear him laughing in the background when we're on the phone. He ended up at the hospital and we shot the entire show with him with close-ups and most of the rest of the action, all the motorcycle stuff, was done by one of the heads of Hell's Angels in Vancouver.'

~ The Revolutionary