A common thief named Richie Ryan breaks into an antiques store and soon finds himself in more trouble than he bargained for: a man wielding a sword appears to protect the shop, introducing himself as Duncan MacLeod. Richie’s predicment gets even stranger as two more men appear, each brandishing their own swords – one says he has come for Duncan’s head, and the other claims to be Connor MacLeod, a relative of Duncan’s. Richie uses the confusion of what appears to be an impending swordfight to sneak away; Duncan’s girlfriend Tessa watches the proceedings with alarm as Connor and the other swordsman leave.
The following day, Connor returns, as does the other swordsman, Slan Quince – harrassing Tessa and Duncan. Where Richie was terrified by the crossing of swords, Tessa has reluctantly become accustomed to it – Duncan is an Immortal, a human being both cursed and blessed with the ability to survive any injury, even a fatal one, except for decapitation. When one Immortal beheads another, he gains the fallen Immortal’s experience and power in an explosive transfer called the Quickening. Both Duncan and Connor try to lay claim to Slan Quince, but Connor knocks Duncan out and takes the initiative. He meets Slan on a bridge elsewhere in the city, and though he wins the swordfight, Connor finds out the hard way that Slan has a secret weapon: a gun built into the hilt of his sword. As Richie watches, Connor plunges into the river beneath the bridge – and Duncan appears, ready to take up the fight. But even if he survives, Duncan has already pledged not to put Tessa any further through the ordeal of his Immortal struggle.
written by Dan Gordon
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Roger Bellon
Cast: Adrian Paul (Duncan McLeod), Alexandra Vandernoort (Tessa), Stan Kirsch (Richie), Christopher Lambert (Connor MacLeod), Richard Moll (Slan Quince), Wendell Wright (Sgt. Powell)
Notes: Until the fourth Highlander theatrical movie, which brought Duncan and other TV characters into the movie mythology, Connor’s appearance in the Highlander series pilot was the only definitive connecting tissue between the original movies and the series. This was the only episode in which a cast member from the movies appeared, though careful examination of the opening credits in the first season reveal at least one shot of Connor – not Duncan – experiencing a quickening from the original Highlander film.
LogBook entry by Earl Green