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Rite of Passage

RITE OF PASSAGE

This episode is about misunderstandings and not letting go. It is also about remembering to treasure those you love every day. One never knows which day is the one you'll have.

A beautiful, headstrong, eighteen year-old drives off in a rebellious snit, cracks up her car and dies. However-don't forget this is Highlander-she bounces back as an Immortal.

Michelle is brand new, fresh, gorgeous, and-just as in real life-there are predators out there waiting to exploit her youthful innocence for their own ends.

Michelle misinterpreted her parents' love and concern as 'smothering,' and Immortal Axel Whittaker's selfish interest as 'love.' Her parents, understandably, were reluctant to see their baby independent of them. Neither does Axel, but he sees in her a possession, a tool to use and cast aside when the shiny novelty wears off.

This 'enfant terrible' has a lot to learn. Lucky girl; she has Duncan MacLeod on her side.

New Characters:

MICHELLE WEBSTER - young, willful, and obstinate new Immortal. She was a handful for her parents, now for MacLeod.

CRAIG WEBSTER - Her mortal adoptive father.

NANCY WEBSTER - Her mortal adoptive mother.

AXEL WHITTAKER - young, handsome and exploitative Immortal. Mac has met him before and almost lost his head.

SHARON - one of Axel's Immortal conquests. Mac tried in vain to save her from Axel's influence.


The Luxurious Webster Residence

Nancy and Craig-
Pour their hearts out,
Of Mac, they beseech-
What's their daughter about?
Tattoos, kinky jewelry,
She drives like a hellion.
Mac assures them it's normal.
Just youthful rebellion.

As an old family friend-
Mac attempts pacifying,
But strong-willed Michelle-
Only craves gratifying.
When, at last, she comes home-
To Mom and Dad's questions,
'You're not my real parents!'
Mac lacks more suggestions.

The quarrel escalates,
Angry words multiplying,
Accusations and tears,
Generations colliding.
She stomps from the house,
Peals out of the drive,
Speeds away from those who-
Most want her alive.

Hot tears and anger-
Her judgments impair.
She is driving too fast!
She is spinning in air!
In her shiny new car-
She flies off a sheer drop.
Flesh and metal destroyed,
When they finally stop.

The Hospital

Into ER she's rolled,
Dr. Anne Lindsey's case.
Though Anne tries her best-
Defeat lines her face.
The Websters have waited-
To retract the words said,
That chance now is gone.
Their beauty lies dead.

Mac offers his comfort,
Craig and Nancy look dazed.
They walk to their car,
Bodies limp, eyes are glazed.
MacLeod stays behind,
He has no time to mourn.
He knows that Michelle-
Will soon be reborn.

The Morgue

She wakes up in panic,
Stretched on a cold slab.
'C'mon! Mac is urging,
'There's no time to blab!
He throws her some scrubs,
'Hurry, get dressed!'
She cannot understand-
And becomes more distressed.

In the hallway, she balks,
'That's the MORGUE!' Michelle bawls.
'Keep going!' Mac hisses-
As they race through the halls.
He spots Dr. Lindsey,
With no time to spare-
Shoves Michelle in a closet,
Turns blasé, debonair.

A sheepish expression-
Adorns MacLeod's face.
Anne inquires, 'Can I help you?'
He stares off in space.
'I'm...looking for a friend.'
(Not quite a lie.)
Ann looks at him strangely,
She's intrigued by this guy.

The Loft.

They escaped without notice-
But Michelle's far from calm,
It is time that she learned-
What it is she's become.
'I won't turn nineteen?'
'You may reach a thousand.'
This talk of long life-
To Michelle, is arousin'.

'Us together, forever!'
She flirts with poor Mac.
'That's NOT how it is!'
He tries a new tack.
She won't let it go,
He has long been her crush-
Since she was eleven.
This filly's too much.

The telephone rings,
A scramble ensues.
Mac wins the tussle-
And hears Craig's sad news.
No surprise...Michelle's body-
Has vanished, by heck!
Craig cannot leave Nancy,
Could Mac go and check?

Sure, Mac will go-
But Michelle's getting slicker.
She's all over him-
And into his liquor.
'I can do what I want!
Smack, booze or speed!
The whole candy store,
Whatever I need.'

Mac hasn't had time-
After dropping the bomb,
To talk of the Game,
Of the others, who'll come.
Meanwhile, 'Stay put!'
Is his only warning.
He is off to the hospital-
For Craig, who is mourning.

Later

As she jives to CDs-
The Buzz hits, heavy-duty.
No one's there to explain-
To this nubile young beauty.
When the shock dissipates-
She begins to feel curious.
After all, she's Immortal.
It cannot be injurious!

She ignores Duncan's warning,
Walks out in the street,
Axel lurks with sword drawn,
Doesn't know whom he'll meet.
When he hears her soft voice-
Sounding sweet as can be,
He steps out, arms empty.
She's thrilled, 'You're like ME!'

'You're so fresh, it is splendid-
To be all brand new.
Come with me, and I promise-
I'll take care of you.'
'I don't need TWO teachers.'
'Who? Duncan MacLeod?
He'll be your Daddy,
With me you'll be wowed!'

'When you've chosen between us-
Then I'll be there.
But remember Michelle-
I do not like to share.'
He kisses her hard,
Her head spins surreally,
'How will I find you?'
'Don't worry, you'll FEEL me.'

The Loft

When Duncan comes home-
He's convinced he has failed,
Michelle didn't stay,
She must have felt jailed.
But-there's her Buzz,
She comes back in view.
'I told you, 'Stay put!'
She: 'You have it, TOO!'

'Who else did you meet?
You said, I have it TOO.'
'His name is Axel,
We connected like glue.'
'That sensation you felt-
Makes you aware-
An Immortal is near,
It is how we prepare.'

'Prepare?' 'Yes, for combat.
Until one is dead.
The one way to kill you-
Is to cut off your head.'
She refuses to listen-
To MacLeod's seminar,
Duncan's no fun.
Chopping heads is bizarre.

Mac: 'I'm not your father!
This is no fairy tale!'
From nowhere...his katana-
At her throat...she's death-pale!
'Your choice is clear,
If you want to get by-
As an Immortal-
Learn the game, or you'll die!'

The Cemetery

Michelle's come to watch-
Her funeral service.
She hides by a tree,
The sight makes her nervous.
Axel's there too-
Still stalking his prize.
He yearns to view life-
Through Michelle's fresh new eyes.

At the graveside, her mother-
Still patently stressed.
They are laying an empty-
Casket to rest.
MacLeod does his best-
To ease their despair,
Then he feels the Buzz-
And sees Axel there.

Flashback, Boston, 1896

A brothel, upscale,
Patrons in formal dress.
Seduction is heightened-
By culture, finesse.
A sweet-throated songstress-
With gown neatly cleaving-
Warbles a song.
She's MacLeod's date, this evening.

Mac arrives with panache,
An obvious regular,
An Immortal accosts him.
She's (to him) unfamiliar.
Her name is Sharon,
She tries to allure him,
When that doesn't work,
Will teardrops procure him?

'Please help me! One of us-
Is after my head.
I do not have a sword,
I can't fight, I'll be dead.'
The Boy Scout agrees,
'You didn't need tricks.'
'Please, Duncan. Come up-
To room thirty-six.

He enters the room,
And what does he see?
On the bed, she is lounging-
In boudoir finery.
While he stares perplexed-
Axel bursts in, sword flashing!
But Duncan is quicker,
Axel suffers a trashing.

The Cemetery, Present Day

'You can't have her,' Mac warns
'Her whole life lies ahead.'
Axel knows they can't fight-
So he threatens, instead.
'We'll meet again soon,'
Mac returns to Michelle.
'Please stay far from him,
He will not treat you well.'

'Maybe it's YOU-
That I should not trust.
Axel didn't behead us,'
She pouts in disgust.
'We are on Holy Ground,
The one place we truly-
Are safe', Mac explains.
After all, she's a newbie.

It's too much to grasp,
Her head's in a whirl!
'Axel doesn't make me feel-
Like a small foolish girl.
He cares about me,
Every word that I say,'
Mac looks at her sadly,
'He's clever, that way.'

Flashback to the Brothel, 1896

Axel leans over Sharon,
She quivers with dread,
'You should have seduced him,
Then I'd take his head.
He wants to take ours-
Of that I am sure.'
For him, she's beginning-
To lose her allure.

He insists she continue.
She must trap MacLeod.
She will use all the gifts-
With which she's endowed.
The next time Mac visits-
She arrives with his brandy,
But Mac now suspects-
Axel's modus operandi.

Axel's made her dependant,
Sharon's helpless without him.
She pleads with MacLeod.
Telling Mac all about him.
'He showed me the world,
Taught me how to BE!'
'All she taught you to be-
Is BAIT, don't you see?'

'I can't get away.'
'Yes you can, if you try.
There's a boat bound for London,
Your ticket, I'll buy.
A teacher will meet you,
A very good friend,
You will learn how to fight,
On yourself, you'll depend.'

But when the time came-
Mac arrived to escort her,
He heard her last scream,
Axel managed to thwart her!
Mac raced up the stairs-
Through the Quickening's flash,
On the floor, she lay crumpled-
Like discarded trash.

The Dojo, Present Day

Michelle's still rebellious,
'These rules are bizarre!
Like a bad acid trip,
This is lousy, so far.'
'Michelle, it gets better,
There is so much you'll see,
You'll have plenty of time-
To adjust, believe me.'

Michelle's dad has come!
He is falling apart.
While Michelle hides from sight-
He opens his heart.
Mac has always been there,
A good, loyal friend.
They both loved Michelle.
Mac was there at the end.

Craig blames himself,
'I didn't stop her.'
Mac assures him his actions-
Were totally proper.
'You didn't drive her-
Over that cliff.
She did that herself.'
But Craig thinks, 'what if?'

'She died without realizing-
How much she meant-
To Nancy and me.
I will always lament-
Though her real parents' names-
To us were unknown,
We could not love her more-
If she was our own.'

Both Michelle and her dad-
Desire one more chance.
But he'll never see-
Her tear-stained countenance.
'She could do what she wanted-
If I had her back.'
A sad lonely man-
Says goodnight to Mac.

Mac hugs her for comfort,
She cannot feel worse.
'You were the center,
Of their universe.
I knew you were special.'
She is safe in his arms,
She is crying and clinging...
Whoops! Off go alarms!

She kisses his neck,
Smoothes her way to his lips.
For a wee little moment-
His self-control slips.
Then he pulls away.
'I am your FRIEND!'
'Axel would love me.'
'Till he's bored, he'll pretend.'

The Loft

'You may think he's young,
But inside, he's old.'
He'll feed off your youth-
Till his passion turns cold.
Then he'll use you for bait,
He's done it before.
I know a good teacher,
Someone you will adore.'

'She'll teach you the ropes,
You'll learn how to fight.'
But a small problem looms,
Michelle must stay the night.
She undresses beside him,
This cutie's no slouch.
MacLeod's flabbergasted,
'I'll take the couch.'

Next Day, in the T-Bird

The strain between both-
Can be cut with a knife.
'You sure take the fun-
Out of eternal life.
You remind me of Dad,
Lecturing me like a preacher,
Why do I need-
An old dried-up teacher?'

'I gotta go!'
She's out of the Ford.
'Wanna ride?' says a biker,
She hops right on board.
Like a slippery eel,
Or a little greased monkey,
Michelle is determined,
To escape from poor Dunkie.

Axel's Yacht

'My turn?' queries Axel,
As Michelle steps on board,
His passionate kiss-
Is her instant reward.
'Trust in ME, not in Duncan-
If you want this to last.
Say 'hello' to adventure,
'Goodbye' to your past.'

She telephones Mac,
Lets him know she's okay.
'I'm sorry for being-
So bitchy today.'
Mac begs her to leave,
Knowing Axel will ruin her,
Axel gets on the line.
'Come!' We're at Cape schooner!'

She feels Mac's approach,
Terror-stricken to see-
The sword in his hand.
'You've come to kill ME?'
'Don't be ridiculous!'
MacLeod's staring past her.
'It's for ME!' retorts Axel.
He'll show her who's master.

She is torn between both,
Mac orders, 'Don't listen-
To him... OR to me-
YOU make the decision.'
She: 'I'm out of here.'
Leaving Axel behind.
Duncan owes him for Sharon-
And the others, combined.

Duncan wins the fierce battle,
Michelle looks with horror-
At the powerful Quickening,
Her future's before her.
This is the Game-
With its triumphs and terrors,
She has much to learn,
She cannot afford errors.

Later

The dried-up old teacher-
Has come for Michelle.
It's Amanda! These two-
Will get on very well.
'You'll train in an abbey,
It is on Holy ground.'
Mac is so gratified-
He has turned her around.

Not quite! Michelle wonders-
'Did you two.... ever....?'
'None of your business!'
Mac's afraid they're too clever.
'Bye, Duncan!... How was he?'-
She asks, bold as brass.
Amanda smiles smugly-
Tweaking Mac in the...!

Peace, Emit
© 2001-2003

From 'Under the Kilt from Highlander: The Official Website:

David Abramowitz, Creative Consultant
'This is the first Karen Harris script and this got Karen to work with me onward because I thought she did a lovely job on the script.'

Don Paonessa, Creative Consultant, Post Production
'We played around with some transitions.'

Ken Gord, Producer
'Mario Azzopardi's first show. Mario is a really talented director, but he's about at crazy as Dennis Berry. He's the Maltese version of the Frenchman, but a terrific director and he tells a great story. And we brought in our guest star, Rob Stewart, from a show that Mario and I did together for late night CBS, 'Sweating Bullets.''

~ Courage