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Synopsis: Take Back the Night

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Take Back the Night

TAKE BACK THE NIGHT

Revenge and justice are recurring Highlander themes. By itself, revenge solves nothing, bringing no one back and often changing the avenger into that which he abhors. Justice, on the other hand, makes people accountable and demands punishment for evil acts.

Vengeance destroys the soul. Justice validates it.

Mac learned this lesson years ago from a female warrior. He now returns the favor, finding it especially hard, since memories of Tessa's unsolved killing resurface to plague him anew. He'll confront his desire to avenge her death in a later episode (Leader of the Pack).

Ceirdwyn also convinces Mac-using her relationship with Steven as an example-to rekindle his affair with Anne. If they love each other, insists Ceirdwyn, Anne should be allowed to make her own choice about living with an Immortal. She pleads with Duncan not to make Anne's choice for her and Duncan finally concedes.

Richie's motorcycle racing exploits reach an untimely end. Not that we particularly care.

'Revenge is barren of itself; itself is the dreadful food it feeds on; its delight is murder; its satiety despair'-Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

'Men have sight; women insight'-Victor Hugo

New Characters:

CEIRDWYN - An old Immortal friend of Mac's from his days of fighting the English with Bonnie Prince Charlie. She is much older, from an ancient time in the British Isles when women fought side by side with men.

CALLUM - A mortal Celtic warrior.

NEVA - Callum's wife, mortal, also a warrior.

STEVEN - Ceirdwyn's present-day mortal lover.

PAOLO - mortal street kid who picks pockets for a living.

MARIO - Paolo's brother, member of a small gang of five street toughs.

GASTON - Leader of the street gang.

BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE - Charles Stuart. 'Pretender' to the British throne. He led an unsuccessful rebellion against the British Crown in 1745. The Roman Catholic house of Stuart had been banished from Great Britain by the Protestant House of Hanover. The Highland Scots aided Prince Charlie in his quest for the throne.

A HISTORICAL NOTE

Prince Charlie, at the age of about 24, actually started his ill-fated march toward London from the Scottish village of GLENFINNAN, (ring a bell?). He was doing fine until, for some reason, he turned around and went back north. Cumberland chased him to Culloden; a flat moor unsuited to Highlander guerilla battle tactics. The Scots were slaughtered, but Charlie did escape (aided by Flora Macdonald), to the Isle of Skye. Charlie never saw Scotland again, despite songs predicting his triumphant return. He died in Italy, at age 67, a drunken and debauched sot (as he was depicted in a later Highlander episode –'Through a Glass Darkly').

Flora Macdonald, after spending some time in the Tower of London, reached the New World and settled in North Carolina where she founded a family.

How do I know this? I watched the History Channel. 'The Battle of the Clans.'


Paris Restaurant

'I thought you'd be happy.'
Steven's pleading with Ceirdwyn,
'A chance of a lifetime,
To advance my career in'
Ceirdwyn's close ties in Paris-
She's reluctant to sever.
'We have time.' Then he says-
'We don't ALL live forever.'

They'll sort it all out-
Like the lovers they are,
Meanwhile, Steven pouts-
As he goes for their car.
Not knowing he'll soon-
Be a victim of crime.
In a very wrong place,
At a very wrong time.

The Street, After Dark

Paolo's job is to bring-
All the wallets he swipes-
To the gang, but tonight-
There's no thanks, only gripes.
'I'll do better, tomorrow.'
They shoo him away.
Then Steven approaches-
And it's time for some play!

'Be cool! Get his wallet! '
Lots of money inside.
Gaston's leaping for joy-
But he's not satisfied.
'Give me your watch! '
When Steven resists-
Gaston pulls out his gun,
While the others use fists.

Ceirdwyn hears the scuffle,
She arrives just in time-
To see Steven shot!
Witnessing the foul crime...
'NO! STEVEN! ' she shrieks,
Gaston cocks, aims and fires,
He must shoot her three times-
Till she finally expires.

In the dark, Paolo watches,
Sees the violence explode.
His brother took part-
In this bloody episode.
That woman... kept coming!
Paolo's eyes bugged with awe.
Now he'd better clear out-
Or he'll meet with the law.

Motorcycle Track

MacLeod's brought Maurice-
To watch Richie race.
Richie jostles with Dornin-
Coming close to first place.
Mac asks, 'Would you push-
So hard, if you thought-
That you could get hurt?
Pride hurt, Rich is taut.

'Do you think I'm cheating? '
'Don't know, you tell me. '
Mac does not approve-
Of Richie's wild spree.
Mac would not exploit-
His immortal condition-
For personal glory.
(Boy Scout inhibition.)

Track Parking Area

Paolo's searching for juicy-
Pockets to pick.
He elbows MacLeod-
But Mac's just as slick
Mac follows the perp,
Paolo's trapped and restores-
Mac's wallet to him.
Orders Mac, 'Give me yours!'

'How will I get home?'
Paulo's pleas won't get far,
'Walk! ' says MacLeod-
And returns to his car.
But Paolo is faster-
Jumping in, begs, 'Please Mister...
Give me a ride,
I've got a sick sister.'

Ceirdwyn's Home

Ceirdwyn reverts back-
To her warrior days.
She paints face and arms-
In the old Celtic ways,
Her lover was killed-
By a street gang of five.
She'll hunt down each one-
Till none are alive.

In the soul of a Celt-
Tradition runs deep.
Vengeance for slaughter,
A promise to keep.
Ceirdwyn remembers-
The day that she died.
A warrior's death,
Close friends at her side.

Flashback, England, 60 A.D.

Callum and Neva-
Loving husband and wife,
Though heavy with child-
Neva enters the strife.
The barbaric Romans-
Invaded their land.
On their forefathers island-
The Celts take their stand.

All of them slaughtered,
Only Ceirdwyn comes back.
She mourns for her dead-
Then resumes the attack.
Now Ceirdwyn, the warrior-
Will go forth again-
To exact blood for blood,
In her dauntless campaign.

Run-Down Neighborhood, Present Day

There goes one of them!
No-she's made a mistake.
'You're not the right one.'
His life she won't take.
But her search will go on-
Until she gets even.
She'll exact her revenge-
On the gang that killed Steven

MacLeod's Car, Same Neighborhood

Paolo guided MacLeod-
To this rough part of town.
Decrepit, abandoned,
Bricks and dreams falling down.
'You live here? ' asks Mac
'Just Mario and me,
We do okay,
He's my whole family.'

MacLeod feels the Buzz,
He stops and gets out.
'Don't touch anything,
Don't wander about.'
He enters a warehouse,
Furnished in early crud,
There draped in a bathtub,
Gaston, dripping blood.

Paolo steals in,
'Don't know him,' runs out.
He's too scared to stop-
Despite MacLeod's shout.
But as Mac continues-
Through dark, misty air.
A figure emerges.
An Immortal is there!

'Ceirdwyn?' calls Mac-
He knows her so well
'Are you walking or hunting?'
Ceirdwyn knows she must tell-
MacLeod of her mission-
To make killers pay.
Her request of MacLeod?
'Stay out of my way.'

Flashback, Scotland, 1746

Bravely they fought,
Badly they lost.
But they'll not lose Prince Charlie,
Whatever the cost.
Every soldier's bone weary,
Heartsick, saddle-sore-
From their staggering defeat-
At Culloden's Moor

MacLeod takes the lead,
'Sire, let the men rest.
There's a tavern nearby.'
'Aye, MacLeod, that is best.'
They reign in outside,
Ceirdwyn rushes to greet-
'Duncan MacLeod!'
She is swept off her feet.

'Who are these sorry lot?'
MacLeod: 'Hold your tongue!'
'Does he think he's Prince Charlie?'
By those words she's soon stung.
Prince Charlie reveals-
Yes it's he, woebegone,
'Lass, you are right,
We had better move on.'

With grace, she recovers-
To apologize,
She'll feed them, and help-
To fix Charlie's disguise.
He'll escape Cumberland-
As a woman bedecked,
Charlie's honor, as a Stuart-
Claims Mac, won't be wrecked.

Charlie sails with the tide,
But MacLeod wants to stay.
Four thousand Scots slaughtered,
'Sire, I'll make them pay!
Men, women and children,
Some mere babes in arms,
These were farmers not soldiers,
Simply tending their farms.'

Ceirdwyn sees Mac off,
His face grim and set.
Much blood he's seen flow-
And, there'll be more spilled yet.
'More blood does no' make-
It better,' she strives.
But, he mounts up, rides off-
To avenge Scottish lives.

Back in the Warehouse, Present Day

Mac watches her leave,
Just as she once watched him.
As she fades into shadow-
He recalls that time grim.
Did he find peace of mind-
In his enemy's death throes?
From a hiding place, Paolo-
Watches him as he goes.

Motorcycle Track

Richie suits up,
Getting ready to ride.
Mac tells him that Ceirdwyn-
Has done homicide.
'Do you want her stopped?
Or a reason not to?'
'Either way works for me.'
Mac's unsure what to do.

Mac leaves to find Paolo-
While Richie gets set.
Then Dornin approaches-
With a not-so-veiled threat.
'Watch out on the track,
Anything can go wrong.'
If his look could kill,
Richie wouldn't last long.

Duncan finds Paolo,
He's working the track.
The kid's terrified,
He saw Ceirdwyn 'COME BACK!'
This 'dead' woman takes-
Revenge with a bang.
Gaston was her first,
Soon she'll kill the whole gang!

Mac's Car

'No one can stop her.'
Paolo frightened, tells Mac
'I can...I can try.'
Gently Mac answers back.
'Where are the others?
Your brother's in danger.'
Should Paolo betray-
Mario's gang to a stranger?

Paolo's reassured by-
The way Mac reacts.
'He cares.' Paolo thinks-
And divulges the facts.
'They're at the Black Door,
Don't tell them I squealed.'
'I promise I won't.'
Mac's relief well concealed.

The Black Door Bar

Overriding the grunge,
Mac perceives Ceirdwyn's Buzz.
She remains undeterred-
Won't abandon her cause.
'It has always been so,
A death for a death,
Body for body,
Since man first drew breath.'

Flashback, Scotland, 1746

Through campsites and homes-
MacLeod raged with wrath.
No Englishman lived-
That crossed MacLeod's path.
He hacked and he hunted-
Through thickets and mud,
Till not even he-
Could endure all that blood.

Shattered and weary,
He yearns to erase-
Endless visions of death.
To find breathing space-
Back to Ceirdwyn he reels,
Exhausted, collapses,
Not knowing or caring-
How much time elapses.

When he wakes, he must see-
Before it's too late...
'I'm becoming,' he says
The thing that I hate.'
Ceirdwyn tells him, 'The English-
Paid dearly, it's true.
But the price of revenge-
Was high, paid by you.'

'You need to taste life,
You've seen too much killing.'
She offers him comfort.
He's tired, but willing.
She's taught him that vengeance-
Will not gratify.
Killing for killing's sake-
Does not satisfy.

The Barge, Present Day

Two Immortals converse-
As their kind only can,
She talks about Steven.
Mac tells her of Anne.
'Does she know what you are?'
'No...I died...then I left.'
They comfort each other,
Broken hearts, both bereft.

The Black Door Bar

The rest of the gang-
Have planned a surprise.
They've loaded their guns,
Plotting Ceirdwyn's demise.
'Mario, don't do it! '
Paolo's voice, tremulous.
Mario: 'We must get her-
Before she kills us.'

Motorcycle Track

Rich and Dornin have entered-
A dangerous zone.
Their adrenaline's laced-
With testosterone.
Each sideswipes the other,
As they round the far turn.
Together they crash,
Together, they burn.

MacLeod and Maurice-
See it all-Richie dies!
A horrific explosion,
In front of all eyes.
Only Mac knows that Rich-
Will survive the great blaze.
Dornin's needless death-
Is to Rich, just a phase.

The Barge

Maurice shares Mac's grief,
Poor Mo does not know-
That Richie's outside,
(Just the morgue sheet for show).
Mac sends Maurice off-
When he feels Richie's Buzz,
Reminds Rich, he'll live-
With the deeds that he does.

'Did you ever screw up?'
'Sometimes,' Mac admits.
Rich must vacate Paris,
As for racing? He's quits.
There's a knock at the door-
It is Paolo, none other
'They've gone to kill Ceirdwyn.'
He's afraid for his brother.

Ceirdwyn's Home

Her lights have gone out,
Now the gang is all here.
They've invaded her home,
Ceirdwyn's choice-very clear.
She will take her revenge-
With a bittersweet savor.
They murdered her man,
She's returning the favor.

There is one on the stairs,
One more in the hall,
MacLeod 'gently' guides them-
To a 'premature withdrawal.'
Only Mario remains,
To her room, he bulldozes,
Ceirdwyn kicks him downstairs,
On his back, he reposes.

There he lies, all-atremble,
Ceirdwyn has him floored,
From his vantage point he-
Sees the point of her sword.
She's ready to plunge it-
Deep into his gut.
'No! ' Mac and Paolo-
Save Mario's sad butt.

After Mario's arrest-
Mac consoles her again.
'My short years with Steven-
Were worth all the pain.
He knew what I was-
Yet he chose to stay.
Don't you think that your Anne-
Might feel the same way?'

'Mortals are not children
Let this choice be hers.'
She strokes MacLeod's face,
His loneliness stirs.
'Don't make the choice for her.'
Sweet memories remain.
After Tessa's cruel loss,
Does he dare try again?

Joe's Bar.

'You said it's important,
I came right away.'
Anne's nervous, not knowing-
What Joe wants to say.
'You remember,' says Joe-
'How you would complain-
All the stuff that MacLeod-
Could never explain?'

'Well, now you will know,
Everything will be clear,
Mac left this for you,
This envelope...Here'
'A ticket to Paris?'
The mystery just grew.
Right then, the phone rings,
Joe says, 'It's for you.'

Her face says it all,
Disbelief! Joy revived!
'Duncan? ' The love-
Of her life has survived!
She does not know or care-
What may lie ahead.
One thought stirs her heart,
MacLeod is not dead!

Peace, Emit
© 2001-2003

Under the Kilt from Highlander: The Official Site:

David Abramowitz, Creative Consultant
'Kim Johnston Ulrich was the wife of the casting director that I used when I was the producer of 'Jake and the Fatman,' so there's a little bit of trivia.'

Don Paonessa, Creative Consultant, Post Production
'I revoiced the entire performance of the kid. The actress, whom I've used a number of times, did the voice of a thirteen-year old guy. That was fun because she's a good actress and we were able to take that impish looking kid and give him a voice that really worked very successfully.'

Ken Gord, Producer
'I think this show should have been better and I don't know why it wasn't.'

~ Testimony