Written by: Karen Harris
Claudia: "Whoever you are, you're fired!"
Duncan: "If I ever work for you I'll remember that."
Claudia turns, surprised: "Duncan?"
He comes forward, and as he does he senses Walter. He tells Claudia to get off the stage, "now!"
Claudia, indignantly: "No one talks to me like that, Duncan, not even you."
As she stands, Walter finally succeeds in sawing the rope the rest of the way and a rack of lights falls, crushing the piano. Claudia reels back into Duncan's arms, unharmed, and Walter curses and leaves.
Claudia and Duncan come into the loft.
Claudia: "What's the phrase? I wouldn't be paranoid if they weren't out to get me?"
Duncan says he doesn't need convincing, that's why she's staying with him. ("Um, I'll have the couch."). Claudia says people have been jealous of her for years, that she doesn't understand why he's taking this one more seriously than "all the others."
Duncan: "All what others?"
Claudia cites a competition where "someone tried to poison my dinner."
Duncan laughs: "That was Moscow. And you made yourself sick by gorging on too much caviar."
Claudia: "All right then, the Horowitz Competition. You know I almost died."
Duncan: "No, you didn't almost die, it was just a very good excuse for playing badly."
Claudia, sulking: "I hate you." Looks around. "Somehow, Duncan, I never imagined you living in one room."
Duncan: "You really are a spoiled brat."
Claudia says she was when they met, but "now I'm a genius."
Duncan: "Silly me, I forgot."
Claudia goes on to complain that just because "you think you own me, doesn't give you the right to tell me how to live my life." Duncan protests that he doesn't think that.
Claudia: "If you hadn't paid for Juliard, the Paris Conservatory, I would probably be stuck in some crummy lounge in Las Vegas, doing my one-millionth redition of 'Proud Mary.'"
Duncan, astonished: "Is this a thank you I'm hearing?"
Claudia: "I thank you by being brilliant."
They hear something downstairs, and Claudia goes down to where a crew is setting up her piano. Duncan asks why she didn't just cart in Carnegie Hall, and she says she would if she could. She shooes the flunkies away, and Duncan says, "I'm going to leave you here with your one true love." He makes to leave to "meet some friends," but Claudia stops him and makes him take her with him, "Please?"
At Joe's. Joe Dawson is explaining the concept of baseball to Methos. Methos is listening and nodding, but he keeps looking over his shoulder, distracted. We find out why when waitress Alexa Bond comes up to pick up another order. As Joe fills it, Methos turns to her and asks, "Excuse me, if I sat at a table would you be my waitress?"
Alexa to Joe: "Is he a good tipper?"
Alexa: "Too bad. Makes up for it in cute, though." She moves off.
Methos: "Cute. I can do cute."
When she returns, he introduces himself and she asks where he's from. He uhs a moment.
Alexa: "Your accent. You're not from around here."
Methos: "No, I've travelled a lot."
Alexa, lighting up. "Really? Paris."
Methos shakes his head: "No, Paris is too full of Parisians, even the French don't like Paris."
Methos: "Venice, the smell alone will kill you."
Alexa, quiet: "You're a little young to be so cynical, aren't you?"
Methos: "If you say so."
Alexa (cold): "I just did."
Walks off. Methos asks what he said, and Joe tells him to forget it, that "Alexa's not your type."
Claudia and Duncan arrive at Joe's. They park on the street and Duncan gets out to hold the umbrella (it's raining most of his episode, by the way) for Claudia. Cut to interior of a car, piano music playing on the stereo while the driver taps his fingers on the wheel. As Claudia and Duncan walk out, he puts the car in gear and peels out, trying to run them down. Duncan gets her out of the way just in time, and the car drives off.
Duncan: "Someone doesn't like your Chopin."
Inside Joe's. Joe looks up as Methos gets le buzz thing, a moment later Duncan and Claudia walk in. Joe comes around to greet them, impressed. "MacLeod, you have really outdone yourself this time. Claudia Jardine in my tavern."
Introductions are made to Joe and "Adam Pierson", and Joe tells Claudia she's "brilliant."
Joe hesitates: "This may be pretty presumptuous, but I play a little blues, and I would love to play some music with you."
Claudia looks less than ecstatic, but Duncan says, "Oh, Claudia plays some blues. Not well, but passable."
Claudia: "How would you know, you're tone deaf." She finally accedes to Joe's request, and as they get on stage Methos sidles up to Duncan.
Methos"How long have you known her?"
Duncan: "Since she was 14. She was living with a foster family, they were pretty poor and intimidated that they had a prodigy in their midst."
Methos: "And does she know...?"
Duncan: "That she's one of us? Doesn't have a clue."
Joe and Claudia begin to play. Duncan and Methos listen for a moment, then Duncan tells him that somebody knows.
Duncan: "One of us tried to kill her, at the recital hall, and again a few minutes ago."
Methos: "Who'd want her dead before her time?"
Duncan: "I don't know."
Back at the dojo. Claudia and Duncan return, Claudia admitting that she did, after all, have a good time, but wonders why Joe is "wasting his talents in a place like that."
Duncan: "Maybe he doesn't think he's wasting them."
Claudia: "He's wasting his talents."
Duncan turns as he senses another immortal, and sees Walter in the doorway, a theater mask in his hand...
"The Taming of the Shrew" is being performed on a crude stage in the middle of a field. We see the back of a red-headed "woman," adjusting her dress, as Grumio says, "they be ready; the oats have eaten the horses." (Note: It's Grumio's line in the play, but the credits have the actor listed as "Gremio", who's another character.) There's a bit of a pause (the next line is supposed to be Kate's :)), then Walter (as Petruchio) says, "O Kate, fair maiden; content thee, prithee be not angry." He repeats the line again, then a third time before Kate (aka Duncan) turns around. (Duncan is priceless in this scene. He simpers, he falsettos, and the fact that Kate is rather larger than Petruchio is only an added bonus! :)) The audience erupts in laughter, and as they continue the scene a man (Jeremy Beaufort) begins to boo. Duncan and Walter exit, Duncan complaining that he hates the dress, and that "the play makes no sense," that if "I were Petruchio, I wouldn't give Kate the time of day." He looks at Walter and pouts, "I want to play her nicer." Walter has a hissy fit about Duncan wanting to "rewrite Shakespeare!" and tells him "if Kate were nicer, there'd be no play." The crowd begins to clap, and Walter smiles. "Listen to them, they love us."
Duncan: "Aye, all 6 of them."
Walter: "Music to my ears." Turns and goes inside...
Back in the dojo, Walter goes up the Claudia and starts quoting poetry to her, saying "it is cruel that music should be so beautiful" etc. Claudia is flattered, but Duncan asks Walter who said it, saying that, he "hasn't had an original line in his life." But Walter has still charmed Claudia, and he persuades her, over Duncan's protests, to play for him. As she begins, Walter listens, enraptured. "Astonishing, isn't she?" he whispers to Duncan. "At the peak of her talent. Breathtaking." Duncan says he always did have an eye for talent, and Walter says he's been watching Claudia for some time.
Duncan: "Okay, Walter, what do you want?"
Walter, smiling beatifcally: "To kill her."
Duncan and Walter come upstairs, Duncan saying that immortality isn't a game of tag, that "it isn't up to us to decide when a mortal life is over." Walter says she has to die now, at the pinnacle of her genius, or it could be lost. He says he's found his purpose, to see that Claudia's gift lives through the ages.
Duncan: "Walter, get a life."
Walter says that Claudia will thank him. "She will always be young and beautiful and passionate." Duncan asks what will happen when her fans begin to notice that she isn't ageing, and Walter says she'll simply disappear for 20-30 years, come back for the next generation. Duncan protests that it doesn't work like that, but Walter isn't listening. Claudia comes in, furious that Walter walked out after asking her to play. Walter shoves the copy of Shakespeare he was holding to Duncan, telling him to read it ("You never did know your lines.") and rushes to her, crooning, "my beautiful girl." Claudia isn't having any of it, though, and Duncan grabs Walter and shoves him towards the elevator as he protests, telling him "don't try it, don't even think about it."
Claudia: "Think what?"
Duncan: "It's all right, Walter's going to be leaving. Say good night, Walter." Throws his coat over his head and bundles him into the elevator.
Walter: "Good-night, Walter."
Claudia: "Your friend's very weird."
Duncan: "You have no idea."
Claudia turns the pages of the book, and we pan to...
Duncan is putting on his makeup, while Walter reads Sonnet 104. "To me, fair friend," he reads to Duncan as he dabs on his rouge, "you never can be old, / For as you were when first your eye I eyed, / Such seems your beauty still." He asks Duncan his opinion, and Duncan says the language is "passing fair." Walter says Shakespeare was "a genius, better than Chaucer, better than Mallory." He says he's been writing for 500 years, and all he has to show for it is "drivel. Cases and cases of drivel, mountains of it. And not a single verse to equal that of some mortal who lived a few-score years." He starts tossing papers in the air as Duncan watches, adjusting the wig he's just put on. He goes to get another, and Walter stops him to make adjustments to the dress.
Walter: "Who do you think supported him" (grabbing Duncan's bodice and pushing it up) "who lifted his spirits," he goes on, yanking the top of the dress, "when his muse had all but abandoned him."
Duncan: "I presume it was you."
Walter goes and gets a length of cloth, winding it around his hands.
Walter: "I am doomed, doomed to spend a thousand lifetimes recognizing genius, and never have a speck of it to call my own,"
He stuffs the double wads of cloth down the front of Duncan's dress, settling them in place.
Duncan, looking down: "You are very good at what you do."
Walter: "Damned by faint praise."
Duncan says that there are other things in life, but Walter says not for him.
Walter: "All I ever wanted was to touch brilliance, to smell it, at the very least to help it live."
Duncan looks thoughtful, but at that moment Jeremy starts yelling from outside, calling Duncan to come out. Jeremy says Walter gave Duncan his job because he was "younger and prettier." He slashes at Duncan, who dodges and says he doesn't want to fight. Jeremy lunges again, and this time the tip of the blade catches on the dress.
Duncan: "Och, you tore my dress!"
He draws his sword. They fight, Duncan hampered by the tight skirt, but before long he disarms Jeremy and knocks him out.
Duncan: "Next time, take care how you address a lady." Picks up his skirts and flounces off.
In the loft, Claudia is looking over sheet music while Methos is talking in the kitchen with Duncan about Alexa. "There was something, there was a spark. I wonder if she felt it." He says he doesn't want to make a fool of himself, and asks Duncan if he ever felt like that.
Duncan looks at Claudia: "Couple of times." Turns back to Methos, "I don't see what the problem is."
Methos: "What if she doesn't like me?"
Duncan, smiling, amused: "What if she does?"
Methos doesn't answer, just looks hopeful.
Duncan, looking at Claudia again: "What am I going to tell her?"
Methos: "What about the truth? At least then she'd know what she's facing."
Duncan says that once he does that, any possibility she has for a normal life is over.
Methos: "You can't keep her here forever."
Claudia a comes over: "I'm tired and I'm bored of being locked up in this dump. No offense."
Duncan hands her a glass of wine. "None taken."
Claudia takes the wine, smells it, and makes a face. She suggests they go out for a drink, and Duncan agrees. Claudia graciously says that "your friend can come along if he'd like."
Methos: "Uh, no, thank you. I have other plans."
At Joe's. Alexa comes in, apologizing for being late. Joe asks how "it" went.
Alexa: "It's not getting any easier, if that's what you mean."
Joe hands her a tray and tells her she has a customer waiting. Alexa looks past him to see Methos sitting at a table. He grins nervously at her as she looks at him, then ducks his head (I should mention, btw, that our cynical, hard-nosed, "man who was born long before the age of chivalry" becomes positively goofy around Alexa. Very sweet, in my opinion :)). Alexa isn't thrilled, but she goes over and tells him that either he likes to drink or he's crazy about the blues.
Methos: "No, I was waiting for you." Waits. "I see I leave you speechless. This is an excellent start."
Alexa: "Start to what?"
Methos: "To...(starts ticking them off on his fingers) dinner, a film, a concert, a smile, a sunset, a walk, uh, all of the above, whatever you would like."
Alexa: "Do women really fall for that line?"
Methos: "I have no idea, I've never used it before."
Alexa, quiet: "Never is a really long time."
Methos: "Well, to the best of my recollection."
Alexa taps her pad: "I'm waiting."
Methos orders a draft beer, and Joe calls that he'll get it.
Alexa turns back. "Why do you want to go out with me?"
Methos: "Because the alternative is unthinkable."
That does it. Alexa finally agrees to the date, and they set it up for the next night. After Alexa leaves, Methos goes to the bar.
Methos: "Looks like you were wrong. Turns out she is my type."
Joe: "I dunno. Looked like a lot of arm-twisting to me."
Methos: "Girl like that, you're lucky if you find one every ten lifetimes."
Joe turns away.
Methos: "Joe? Joe, what?! You got some kind of house rule about dating the help? What?"
Joe: "Alexa is dying."
Duncan and Claudia are returning from their outing. Claudia gets out so Duncan can park the car, and as she walks towards the dojo Duncan senses another immortal. Walter approaches Claudia and hands her a bouquet of of white roses. Duncan starts to run, but it's too late. As Claudia bends to smell the flowers, Walter pulls the gun from his belt and shoots her. Duncan catches her while Walter looks on, grinning, and the flowers fall to the ground.
In the loft. Claudia is asking Duncan if he knew all along, and why he didn't tell her.
Claudia: "It's unbeleivable. It's incredible." Turns to Duncan and Walter, smiling. "It's wonderful."
Walter: "Do you have any life insurance? Cash it in!"
He and Claudia laugh, while Duncan protests that it isn't funny. "He murdered you!" But Claudia is ecstatic with the prospect of living forever, with the idea that "my competition will grow old and feeble."
Walter: "They will simply fade away."
Claudia: "I'll have no arthritis in these fingers." Says there's nothing to be angry about, and asks Duncan why he didn't tell her.
Walter: "I told you she was ready."
Duncan says he didn't have the right.
Walter: "For centuries, I've stood beside the most brilliant artists. Chopin, dead at 39. Mozart even younger. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, self-destructing before they'd even tasted their potential." Says that Claudia "will be eternal."
Claudia says she needs to play the piano.
Duncan: "No, you need to learn to use a sword."
Claudia: "A sword? Moi?"
Walter says he'll protect her, and they leave together, Walter spouting Browning the whole way.
Cut to Methos, sitting listening to music in the rain. Alexa comes up, to his suprise, and she sits down with him, holding her umbrella over them both. She says she came because she's a little concerned about something. "This date we're supposed to go on. I don't think it's a very good idea."
Methos: "I thought you liked me. A little."
Alexa: "It's not that..."
Methos: "It's my nose, isn't it? Yep, it's the nose."
Alexa: "No, it's not your nose, you have a very nice nose."
Methos: "It's because you think I'm English. It's my accent. Now, I don't have to be English, I can be...Russian." Says something in Russian. "Means, 'Is this the right platform for the train to Karkov.'"
Alexa, laughing: "You're outrageous!"
Methos, undaunted: "Okay, Russian doesn't turn you on."
Offers Swahili, then Lithuanian... Alexa is laughing harder, and pleads with him, "Don't make me laugh!"
Methos: "Why not?"
Alexa: "Because it's not fair."
Methos touches her face. "It rarely is." He makes as if to kiss her, but she jerks back at the last second.
Alexa: "I'm sorry."
Methos: "What? You can tell me."
Alexa, after a long time: "I'm dying." He nods.
Alexa: "You see, don't you? We can't go out tomorrow."
Methos: "Absolutely. We'd better make it tonight."
Alexa looks at him in amazement, like she can't believe he's for real.
Joe's. Claudia is trying to play the piano, but it's not working. "I can't play Bach, I can't play the blues." Says "there's no feeling. It's dead." Duncan tries to tell her that it's probably the shock, she's had a traumatic day, but Walter says, "No, I can hear the difference."
Duncan: "You're a big help, Walter."
Claudia leaves the stage, and Duncan asks Walter if he stopped to think if "there was a reason why Shakespeare or Bach or Mozart were mortal?" Walter cuts him off, saying he won't listen, and goes to Claudia.
Joe to Duncan: "Maybe when the candle burns for a shorter time, it burns brighter."
Duncan goes to Claudia and Walter. Walter is trying to get Claudia to keep trying, but she just wants to be left alone. Walter and Duncan start to argue, and Claudia turns to leave, then claps her hands to her head as she feels the buzz. Methos comes in, and stares at her as she pushes past him and leaves, pursued by Walter and then Duncan.
Duncan: "Don't say a word."
Turns to Joe once they've gone and asks, "Where's Alexa? We have a date."
Joe: "She called in sick."
Methos: "Where does she live?"
Joe: "Adam, she doesn't want to see you, okay? Just leave her alone."
Methos: "Joe, I didn't ask for your opinion. I know she's dying, okay? You are all dying. 20 years, six months, what's the difference?"
Joe: "She's protecting herself. She's protecting you, don't you get it?"
Methos: "Yes, I get it. Now, tell me where she lives."
At the recital hall, Claudia is still trying to play, and it isn't working. Walter tells her to play harder, and she says she is, but she can't. She pushes him away when he tries to get her to play more, and Duncan intervenes, telling him to back off.
Claudia: "It's all your fault. You did this to me."
Walter says he was trying to preserve her genuis when he killed her.
Claudia: "Preserve my genius? You've destroyed it. I'd be better off dead." To Duncan "Make him go away."
She walks off, and when Walter tries to follow Duncan stops him, telling him to back off.
Walter: "We go back a long way, MacLeod. But it can be deadly to come between a man and his dreams. I can kill you."
Duncan: "You can always try." Walter leaves.
In the loft. Duncan is presenting Claudia with a sword. He tells her she'll have to use it to keep on living.
Claudia: "Why? I'm already dead?"
She's too upset to even be upset anymore, and Duncan, very gently, tells her to sit down and listen to him (His voice is very kind in this scene, soft and soothing, very sweet). He tells Claudia that when he first became immortal, "I had the same fears that you have. My life changed, in a way I couldn't comprehend." Tells her that he doesn't know if she'll ever get her gift back, and says further that "things will never be the same. That's the way it is for us. But there's future upon future, lifetime upon lifetime out there for you."
Claudia: "But I'm nothing now."
Duncan says talent is something you have, "it's not who you are."
Claudia: "But who will care about me if I can't play?"
Duncan: "I will."
Cut to Alexa and Methos on the porch of her house. Alexa is saying that she shouldn't have agreed to see him.
Alexa: "Because you don't need to be a witness to what I'm going through. It's going to get ugly."
Methos: "You look beautiful to me. Look, whatever it is that you're going through, I can handle it. If you'll let me."
Alexa: "Why would you want to?"
Methos: "Because the alternative is unthinkable." Looks down. "How long..."
Alexa: "Less than a year...they don't know." Looks up. "Do you ever just wish that time could stand still?"
Methos smiles, then gives her an envelope.
Alexa: "Plane tickets? Where?"
Methos: "Anywhere you like. Everywhere, if there's time."
Alexa: "It's not that easy."
Methos: "Yes, it is. You spend whatever time you have left dying, or you spend it living. With me." Takes her hands. "Please, say you'll come with me, Alexa."
Duncan and Claudia are walking up a path leading to a Bhuddist monastary. Duncan is telling her that she can stay here while she makes the adjustment. They are still not quite to the monastary when Walter pops up out of the foliage and shoots Duncan. Walter comes up, sword drawn, as Duncan dies. Claudia asks what he wants, he says that he wants to "guide your genius." Claudia says she can't play anymore, that Walter stole her genius from her. Walter is furious at that, and puts his sword to her neck. She kneels down, terrified, as Duncan stands and puts his own sword to Walter's neck.
Claudia: "Don't Duncan. Let him."
But Duncan tells Walter to put down his sword, and orders Claudia to get inside the monastary and wait for him. Walter turns and beats Duncan's sword aside, adding to Claudia that he'll "be in in a moment. Macleod knows which of us is the better swordsman." Duncan says he's had a little practice since then, but Walter says he never had that much talent.
Duncan: "I never pretended to. You on the other hand, couldn't write a sonnet to save your life."
Walter: "Lay on, MacDuff! And damned be him that first cries 'Hold! Enough!'"
Duncan: "Will you shut up already?"
They fight, with lots of nifty stagey stuff, jumping on rocks, "pirate" moves, etc. (Very theatrical, in fact. ;)) Duncan eventually succeeds in disarming Walter, and tells him if he swears that he'll leave Claudia alone he'll spare him. Walter (after some more Shakespeare) says, "What value will my life have, without her genius to color it?"
Duncan: "Fine. Have it your way."
Whips his sword back, but Walter raises his hands.
Walter: "Waitwaitwaitwait." Crosses his fingers behind his back. "I promise."
Duncan: "Promise what?"
Walter: "I promise to leave her alone."
Duncan: "Good. Now let me see your hands."
Walter raises them: "I promise."
Duncan: "Good." Tosses him his sword, and starts to walk away.
Walter: "I've watched the stars / Burn bright and sure / And then with a flash disappear / And still, I'm the one who endures."
Duncan: "That was pretty good. Who wrote it?"
Walter: "I did."
They walk to the monastary together, Walter quizzing Duncan on the trick he did to disarm him.
Duncan: "I told you I'd gotten better."
Claudia is playing the piano in the dojo. Duncan is watching, and as she finishes she turns and looks at him, pleased. "It's almost there. Not quite, but almost." Says that when Walter was about to kill her, she was afraid to die.
Duncan: "We'll start your sword training."
Claudia: "No. I was afraid to die. I have to fear death in order to feel my music, in order to feel mortal."
Duncan says she's not mortal, that she's in the game now. "While you're out there chasing your dreams, someone else will be chasing you." Claudia says she has to. "Duncan, it's okay," she tells him.
Cut to Joe's. Methos is loading a beat-up VW van.
Alexa is telling Joe: "We're going coast to coast in the van. Adam likes to call it our tour of the New World."
Joe says it sounds great, asks "Then what?"
Alexa: "Isn't that romantic?"
Joe: "Well, he's certainly the man to take you."
Alexa gets in, and Methos walks around to Duncan, saying "It's not long enough."
Duncan: "It never is."
Joe and Duncan watch them drive off.
Joe: "They don't know if she'll make it to Egypt."
Duncan: "It doesn't matter. Even if she lives to be a hundred he'll still have the pain of losing her."
Joe asks where Claudia is, and Duncan tells him she's gone.
Joe: "On her own? Unprotected?" Shakes his head. "One of them trying to die, and the other one trying to live. It's crazy."
Duncan: "Not for her. Listen, Dawson, when you get a Watcher on Claudia..."
Joe: "Don't worry. We'll keep an eye on her."
Duncan nods, and walks off.
These pages are written by Jinjifore and are translated into HTML and maintained by Ian.
Disclaimer: All the dialogue, characters, situations, and darn near everything else belong to a bunch of fine and talented folks at Rysher Entertainment and Panzer/Davis, and in particular the dialogue belongs to the credited writer of this episode. Me, I just wrote the rest down in my own words, which belong to me, but the episode itself was made by the aforementioned people and is owned by them. This humble synopsis isn't meant to infringe on their rights, and I'm sure as heck not making any money from doing these.
Everything not belonging to Rysher, et al, ©Copyright 1997 by Jinjifore
Feel free to copy and distribute as long as this copyright notice and disclaimer are included, except where local bandwidth laws apply.
Also, check out Ian's home page.
Celtic clip art courtesy of the Celtic Art Web Page.
|Last Rev: H71 [ 1 Jul 97 ]|