At the airport, there are the usual stock shots of planes landing and so on. Then a brief cut to a black-clad figure, screwing a silencer onto the barrel of a gun. Joe Dawson and Duncan MacLeod appear, walking with other passengers over the asphalt. Joe and Duncan are relaxed and smiling, chatting as they walk. Duncan is carrying a duffel over his shoulder, both of them wearing mighty cute sunglasses. Back to the gunman checking the ammunition, then to Joe and Duncan. The sniper, standing now, so that it can been seen that he's wearing a black ski mask, aims the scope at Joe and Duncan, and pulls back the hammer. At that moment, Duncan senses another immortal and looks around to see Andrew Cord standing nearby, looking at him. Before either he or Cord can say or do anything, the sniper pulls the trigger. The sound of the shot is lost in the roar of the planes, but Cord slumps against a nearby van, clutching his stomach while Duncan looks on, confused. The sniper fires again, catching Cord in the heart, and Cord falls. The sniper drops the gun and flees, and as he does so Duncan spots him.
Duncan to Joe: "Get him out of here!" He drops his duffel and sprints after the sniper. Joe, left behind, walks over and looks at Cord, then casts a startled look back to where Duncan fled.
The sniper runs, jumping over cars and so on, but he's soon stopped by a chain-link fence and grabbed as he tries to climb over. Duncan pulls him down and they fight, but Duncan soon gets the upper hand and pins him down on a car hood. He pulls off the sniper's mask, and is amazed when he reveals the features of Charlie DeSalvo.
Duncan, stunned: "Charlie."
Charlie glares, breathing hard, but doesn't say anything. He pulls away from Duncan and stands, and Duncan makes no move to stop him, still staring down in shock.
Still at the airport, Duncan confronts Charlie as planes continue to land and take off.
Charlie, voice over as a plane takes off from the runway: "It's private, MacLeod, it's got nothing to do with you."
Duncan, also voice over: "You let me decide that." Cut to Duncan looking inquiringly at Charlie. "Since when did you start shooting from cover, Charlie?"
Charlie shakes his head: "It's not what you think."
Duncan waits a moment: "I'm listening."
Charlie: "For what? Hear me say I'm sorry? It's done."
Duncan: "To hear why."
Charlie, controlled: "Because the son of a bitch deserved it, that's why." Duncan looks skeptical. "It was a righteous action."
Duncan, gently: "Hey, it doesn't go away that easy, man."
Charlie: "Look, MacLeod, I did it. And I'll take the heat. Now, if you want to call the cops, I'm here."
Duncan: "I'm not going to turn you in. But if you're in some sort of trouble I'll--"
Charlie interrupts: "It's nothing I can't handle."
Duncan, calmly: "You can't handle this one, Charlie."
Charlie: "I already have." He walks away.
In another part of the airport, Joe drives his (presumably his, anyway) truck-thingy (another Jimmy?) to a patch of grass and parks. Music is playing loudly over the stereo. Once he's parked, Joe leans over a little to look at Cord, who's slumped dead in the passenger seat. As the music reaches a loud point, Cord revives with a jerk. He starts coughing and gasping, wincing in pain as he struggles to sit up straight.
Cord: "Turn that crap off!"
Joe snappily: "Oh, right away, Sergeant!" He shuts off the stereo and grins at Cord.
Cord, panting: "Do I know you?"
Joe looks down, then turns to Cord and starts chanting: "I don't know but I been told / Good Marines, they don't grow old--"
Cord lunges over the seat at him and puts his arm across Joe's neck: "I don't know what you're talking about."
Joe, unperturbed: "Viet Nam, son. You trying to tell me you don't remember Tien Duk?" [Best I can do with the spelling. If my remote worked, then I could read the closed captioning off USA, but nooooo, all the menu stuff has to be controlled with the remote, and god forbid that there should be any buttons on the TV anywhere to use in case the remote breaks . . . Oh, sorry. Back to the show. --Jinjifore]
Cord subsides, staring at Joe, and as he slumps back down a shot of soldiers trotting in formation slowly fades in, along with the sound of their chanting, referring to "Bravo Company". The scene never fades in completely, and dies away as Cord sits in the passenger seat, remembering.
Cord: "My platoon." Joe grins, nodding.
Cord sounds vaguely disgusted: "Boy Scout, is that you?" He laughs shortly. "Joe Dawson. I'll be damned." Looks at Joe, grinning, and booms, "Outstanding!" He and Joe laugh and shake hands, but he's gripping Joe's hand too hard, and Joe looks at him, brow furrowing as they both remember.
A group of soldiers are moving along a narrow track toward a village.
Joe, voice over: "Been a long time since anybody called me 'Boy Scout, Sergeant.'"
As the soldiers walk along, Cord follows in the rear.
Cord: "Boy Scout!"
A young Joe turns to him, startled: "Me?"
Cord: "Yeah, you." He walks on by. "Follow me."
Joe, gun at the ready, falls in behind him. In the village, there are dead bodies everywhere, mostly Vietnamese. The villagers are crying and wailing, and the American soldiers are shouting, moving among them. It's all very loud and chaotic, and Joe looks around at the carnage, his face a little disbelieving. Over the rest of the noise, a woman starts screaming, and Cord moves towards the sound.
Cord: "Follow me." He walks toward a hut near the water.
Woman, from inside: "No! Go away! Go away!"
Inside the hut, Butler is pulling up his pants while a Vietnamese woman huddles in a corner of the hut, hugging her knees, crying and screaming as she cowers in front of him.
Cord, from the door: "Butler!"
Butler whips around, startled, as Cord comes in. Butler doesn't say anything, but practically cringes when Cord comes up to him.
Cord: "Wait for me outside." Butler leaves without a word, and Cord turns to the woman.
Woman, hysterical: "No! No more hurt, no more hurt!"
Cord tries to calm her down: "No, no hurt. See?" He puts his gun down. "See?" He takes off his helmet, speaking to Joe while keeping his eyes fixed on her. "Joe, what have you got in your pockets?"
Joe: "Some rations, chocolate, maybe a couple of bucks."
Cord: "Give it to her." Joe fumbles in his jacket, pulling the stuff out. "Now!"
Joe holds the money out to her, but she knocks it out of his hand, still sobbing hysterically.
Cord reaches in his pocket and pulls out a watch.
Joe: "Where'd you get that?"
Cord: "It fell off a truck." He holds it out to the woman. "See? Rolex. Three thousand dollar."
Woman: "No money. Me no wiki-wiki (sp again!) girl! Me tell, me tell everybody!"
Cord pulls back, holding his hand up to calm her: "Just tell me what you want, and I'll give it to you." His voice is adamant now. "But you're not going to report him."
Woman: "Yes! Yes! Me tell!"
Cord to Joe, still looking at her: "Go find me a radio or something."
Joe: "Maybe I should get the lieutenant."
Cord whips around to glare at him: "Maybe you ought to do what I tell you!"
Joe leaves, with a shove from Cord to help him. Joe goes outside, where Butler is standing, buckling his belt. Joe looks at him, but he's unfazed, practically swaggering. He sits down cockily on a barrel while Joe steps off the porch, out onto the grass.
Inside, Cord turns the woman again.
Cord, quiet: "One way or another, we're going to make a deal."
She shrinks back, sobbing. Outside, Joe closes his eyes as he hears her start screaming again, then starts as he hears the shot from inside. He throws his hands up, muttering incoherently under his breath as Cord storms out, pushing Butler off the porch and on his way. Cord walks off in another direction and Joe follows, grabbing at his arm.
Joe, nearly frantic: "Jesus, Jesus, Andy, what the hell did you do?!"
Cord: "What I had to. She would have had him court-martialed."
Joe: "He should have been court-martialed."
Cord turns and grabs Joe's jacket, slinging him around to face him: "Butler's scum, but he's one of our scum."
Joe, almost hysterical: "He raped that woman, man. We're supposed to help these people--"
Cord, yelling, drowns him out: "We're supposed to stay alive!" Softly. "And the only way you do that is take care of your own." Joe shakes his head minutely. "No matter what."
Joe: "We can't do crap like that--"
Cord interrupts: "No matter what, Joe. Look around you. Look around! They want us like they want another dose of the clap. All we got is each other." He walks off, leaving Joe shaken and stunned.
The action moves to slo-motion as we see Butler, standing with some of the others, smoking a cigarette. Someone yells, "Hey, Butler! Are you in love yet?" Butler laughs, but the next second goes down with a bullet in the head. Everyone takes cover.
Soldiers: "We got snipers! Incoming!"
The American troops scatter, and the Vietnamese troops start firing from the trees. One of the huts blows up, and more Vietnamese men run up, firing. The American soldiers return fire, and the villagers start running.
Cord, shouting, leads the platoon along the track: "Hold your ground! Hold your ground." He's in the lead when they come out of cover, and as they step out he takes a full load in the chest. Cord falls, and the rest of the platoon takes cover around him. Joe falls down next to Cord, searching out his injuries.
Joe (in weird slo-mo voice): "Come on! Andy!" Another soldier feels Cord's neck.
Soldier (in slo-mo voice): "He's dead. Come on." He grabs Joe's collar and drags him away. "Let's go! Come on." They run off, leaving Cord lying there.
Joe and the other soldier run over a bridge, Joe in the lead, and the man behind him goes down. Joe turns as he falls, and as he steps off the bridge his foot comes down right on a mine.
Joe: "No!" He looks down in horror, dropping his gun, then looks up, panicked, just as the mine blows. Joe goes flying through the air, arms and legs waving. He lands in the river, tumbling over helplessly, and the screen fades to white.
Cord is swimming through the water, quiet and cautious. Everything is silent, and he swims up quietly to where Joe is floating next to a piling. He takes hold of him, and Joe manages to roll his eyes enough to see him.
Joe, weakly: "Sweet Jesus. You're dead."
Cord puts his arms around Joe's chest to pull him along: "Does this look like heaven? You got no expectations, Joe." He glances up as a Vietnamese fighter moves through the trees above them.
Joe, gasping in pain: "I saw you die, too."
Cord puts his hand over Joe's mouth: "Keep your mouth shut, all right?" He moves off, towing Joe. "You're going to be okay."
Joe: "You're dead."
Cord: "Look, you're in shock, all right? You took a mine." There are more Vietnamese soldiers moving around, but Joe doesn't notice them.
Joe: "No way. I saw you. I checked your pulse. You're dead."
Cord snorts: "You're a pain in the ass, Boy Scout, all right? Just hold in there, we're going to get you out." He swims away, taking Joe with him.
Cord is saying: "You look good. Better than the last time I saw you."
Joe looks down, his voice regretful: "No, I got old, Sergeant." Turns to look at Cord. "You look good."
Cord, failing utterly at being casual: "Well, yeah, you know, not bad for someone who just got clipped."
Joe, sarcastic: "Clipped. Right through the pump, Andy."
Cord glances at him, trying to be exasperated: "Do I look like I just got dusted?"
Joe, calmly: "It's okay. I know what you are. I know about immortals."
Cord leans back, snorting: "Well, that's a hell of an icebreaker."
Joe: "Ain't it, though. You got any idea who that shooter was?"
Cord shakes his head, reaching down to dab at the blood on his shirt: "Could have been anybody. Got a lot of past, Joe. Things accumulate."
Cord, casual again: "Must be, uh, pretty much the same for your friend."
Joe nods knowingly: "Duncan MacLeod." Looks at Cord evenly. "A very good friend, Andy. The best. But don't worry. I know how to keep a secret."
Cord looks over at him: "Semper Fi." Joe sketches a salute. Cord slaps his shoulder as he adds, "You always were a Boy Scout, Joe."
At the dojo, Joe is saying to MacLeod: "Mud. Those damn leeches everywhere. You know, that guy carried me on his back sixteen miles through the jungle." Cut to inside, Joe pacing around the couch while Duncan sits, shuffling through some papers.
Duncan, still looking at the papers: "I understand, Joe."
Joe: "You know, he'd be really pissed if he knew I came to talk to you. I just want you to know that he didn't come for you. He's . . . he's just passing through."
Duncan: "Fine. If he's not looking for me, I'm not looking for him."
Joe, babbling: "Yeah, that's good. I--I just don't want there to be any . . . accidental encounters."
Duncan, patiently: "Joe, I'm not looking for him." He looks up at Joe and smiles.
Joe relaxes: "Thank you, my friend." He walks toward the elevator. "Oh, yeah, by the way, what happened to that sniper?"
Duncan, barely skipping a beat: "He got away."
Joe: "It's good. Poor bastard doesn't know who he's taking on." He walks off, leaving Duncan looking after him soberly.
Downstairs in the dojo, Duncan is working out with the punching bag when Charlie comes in. Duncan doesn't notice him until he speaks up.
Charlie: "Hey, don't let me interrupt, man."
Duncan turns, and stills the bag: "Well, I'd just finished, Charlie." Smiles at him. "Unless you're here for a workout."
Charlie, coming closer: "Ah, no. Yesterday was enough for me. I'm a little rusty." He picks up a towel and starts folding it idly.
Duncan, trying to be bright: "Hard to argue with that." He picks up a dustmop resting against a bench and tidies it against the wall.
Charlie: "Look, MacLeod, it's not so easy coming here, man."
Duncan grunts as he puts a barbell back on the rack: "This is your home, Charlie." Lets the barbell fall into place. "Always will be." He turns and reaches for the dustmop.
Charlie, looking around: "Yeah, well, um, it's changed. I don't know, something's different."
Duncan starts running the dustmop over the floor: "Maybe it's not the place."
Charlie watches him for a moment, still fiddling with the towel.
Charlie: "Look, MacLeod. something's going on. Look, I called the cops, I went to the newspapers, I even went out to the airport, and they all tell me the same thing: Nobody died."
Duncan stops, turning and leaning on the mop: "Well, maybe you just winged him."
Charlie, confident: "No. I put him down, MacLeod. I put one in his heart. I don't get it."
Duncan, shaking his head: "No, I don't get it, Charlie. Why'd you do it?"
Charlie: "It was Mara."
Duncan: "What happened to her?" Charlie doesn't answer. "Charlie, what happened to her?"
Fighters are running and falling and being dragged off by their comrades while bullets and explosions rain all around. A woman in a wedding dress is kneeling in the street, sobbing over a man wearing a tuxedo, the white shirt stained with blood. Inside the headquarters, Mara slams the phone down, breathing hard.
Mara looks up at him: "We had to break off the attack, Charlie. We lost forty men."
Charlie: "That's not possible." He turns to the map on the table. "We had them flanked, we had the high ground, the tactics were--"
Mara, tightly: "Don't blame yourself."
Charlie, upset: "Look, I sent them, Mara! The raid was my idea!" Turns away, frustrated. "I screwed up."
Mara walks around to face him: "No, love. It wasn't you. It was the Kalishnakhovs." [According my hubby, this is the full name of AK-47s, it's just a lot harder to spell! --Jinjifore]
Charlie: "What are you talking about?"
Mara, angry and frustrated: "The rifles! The goddamn rifles were no good! And the ammunition was worse. And now they're dead." Takes a drag on her cigarette. "Forty men, Charlie, forty men."
Charlie: "Look, the one thing the Russians know is how to make rifles. They don't screw up." He stops as a thought hits him. "It was Cord. It was Cord, he sold us crap. Imitations, cheap imitations."
Mara shakes her head: "Why?"
Charlie: "For money."
Mara, frowning: "Is it possible he didn't know?"
Charlie: "Oh, no, he knew all right. Where is he?"
Mara: "He's in his hotel room, waiting for the rest of his money."
Charlie looks at her a second, then reaches over and gets his gun.
Mara: "What are you doing?"
Charlie, holding up the gun: "I'm going to make sure he gets paid."
Mara, quietly: "All right. Let's go."
Charlie shakes his head: "No." Takes her face in his hands. "This one I'm going to do myself." He kisses her, then touches her face tenderly and leaves.
Outside the headquarters, a Mercedes pulls up. Cord gets out and strolls inside. Mara is on the phone, her back to him.
Cord: "Hey, bright eyes." He leans on a cabinet inside the door. "Hell of a fire fight you had out there." Sighs. "You guys lost a lot of good men."
Mara: "You should know. You killed them."
Cord moves into the room, dusting off his jacket: "It's not my fault your men can't shoot straight."
Mara: "They can shoot." She stands, her voice rising. "Your damn rifles wouldn't fire!"
Cord smirks: "Take it up with quality control."
Mara shakes her head in disbelief: "How could you do this to our men?"
Cord: "Not 'our' men, sweetheart." Walks over to face her. "Your men."
At the hotel, Charlie bangs on the door of Cord's room. He opens it, and walks in, gun ready, only to find that Cord is gone. He runs out.
Back at the headquarters, Mara is saying: "Bastard! Son of a bitch!"
Cord just laughs: "Mara, Mara, Mara." Spreads his hands. "I am absolutely perturbed to hear you say something like that. But, seeing that I'm a good soul, I'll just forget about it and take my money and leave."
Mara raises a gun to point at his chest: "You'll collect nothing."
Cord: "You want to play? Fine. I bet that Beretta in your hand has never been used." Mara hesitates. Cord steps deliberately closer to the end of the barrel. "You see, it's one of mine. It won't fire."
Outside, Charlie is walking down the sidewalk when he hears a gunshot. He runs in, and finds Mara on the floor, a bullet wound in her neck. Cord is standing over her with a gun in his hand.
Charlie: "Oh, you're dead."
Cord, not even looking at him: "Sorry, Charlie. I have a reputation to think of." Whirls and fires on Charlie, forcing him to duck and cover and eventually flee through a window. Cord goes to the window, but his clip is empty and Charlie is gone before he can reload. He lets the empty clip fall to the floor, staring after Charlie.
Upstairs, in the loft, Charlie is finishing the story, standing near the kitchen island while Duncan sits on the desk.
Charlie: "We trusted him, and he killed her."
Duncan: "Charlie, I understand what you're going through. But you have to forget about Cord."
Charlie turns to stare at him, not believing his ears: "If you think I'm going to forget about him, you don't know squat." Paces over to stand in front of Duncan. "Just tell me, did you see me take Cord down or not?"
Duncan: "You didn't kill him."
Charlie makes a noise and starts to stalk off. Duncan grabs his arm.
Duncan: "I'm your friend."
Charlie pauses, then nods: "Sure." He leaves. "Later."
At "Joe's," Joe is stocking the bar, putting bottles on the shelves. He looks up as Duncan comes in.
Joe, happy to see him: "Hey, Mac. Little early in the day for you, isn't it?"
Duncan stops in front of the bar: "Yeah." He pauses uncomfortably. "I'm looking for Cord."
Joe, not looking at him: "I thought you said you were going to let him be. We had an understanding."
Duncan: "We still do. I need to talk to him. I want you to arrange a meeting."
Joe, still facing the shelves, his back to Duncan: "You know, I don't know if I can do that."
Duncan leans his arms on the bar: "You're the only one who can."
Joe half turns to him, then turns back: "Don't put me in this position, Mac."
Duncan: "Joe, it's just to talk. I know he saved your life."
Joe: "He did more than that."
Joe is lying in a hospital cot. A nurse is sitting next to him, reading a magazine. He starts to stir, and the nurse jumps up, calling for the doctor.
Nurse: "Doctor. Doctor, it's Dawson, he's coming around."
Dr. Hank Weldon comes in, and Joe turns his head towards him.
Joe: "This pain is killing me. Where am I?"
Weldon: "Du Sai (sp?). Field hospital. You were brought in four days ago, son."
Joe turns his head, grimacing: "Right. I remember." He makes sound halfway between a laugh and a sob. "Andy brought me." He turns back to Weldon. "Sergeant Cord. Who are you?"
Weldon sits down: "I'm Hank Weldon, the resident shrink. And yes, somebody staggered in here and dropped you off, but it wasn't anybody named Cord."
Joe, confused and angry: "What are you talking about? Cord. Sergeant. Andrew. Cord."
Weldon checks his notes again: "The only Cord with this unit is dead. Couple of guys brought in his tags."
Joe, grim and tight: "You don't spend sixteen miles on a guy's back and not know who he is."
Weldon: "You took a heavy hit, son. It's normal to be a little confused."
Joe: "I don't know what the hell you people are up to, but . . . I mean . . . can't you give me something for my legs?"
Weldon hesitates, then sighs: "It's called phantom limb syndrome." He puts a hand on Joe's shoulder. "Sometimes the pain continues even after a limb's been amputated."
Joe's face crumples, and he lifts the blanket to look. He falls back, sobbing, after he sees what's underneath.
Joe: "Oh, no. Oh, Jesus, no. No!"
Later, Joe is lying on his side in the bed, holding his pistol, turning it over caressingly in his hands. Behind him, Ian Bancroft walks up slowly, looking at him pensively.
Joe quickly puts the gun under his pillow: "Go to hell."
Ian: "If you've got a minute, I wouldn't mind talking to you." Waits. "I came to talk about Sergeant Cord."
Joe takes a deep breath: "I wasn't out of my head, and I don't need another damn shrink. Andy brought me here."
Ian: "I have no doubt about that." Joe turns to look at him. "Ian Bancroft. And I'm no . . . shrink." He pulls up a chair next to Joe.
Joe: "They keep telling me he was killed."
Ian nods: "You're right, Joe. It was Cord who brought you in." He glances around, and leans closer. "And he was killed back in that village."
Joe stares, then turns away: "Take it somewhere else. I don't need this crap."
Ian looks around again, then leans forward, stretching his arm over Joe's shoulder to show him the Watcher tattoo on his wrist.
Joe shrugs: "What the hell's that?"
Ian, quietly: "It's a symbol. It means I belong to an organization called the Watchers." Joe turns to look at him again.
Joe: "Watching who?"
Ian glances around: "Those that can't die, like Sergeant Cord."
Joe, confused: "Andy Cord--"
Ian: "--died. You saw him. You were there, you know it's true. He's an Immortal."
Joe: "This can't be real."
Ian nods: "It's real." He smiles a little. "Who are they? Why are they here? The biggest questions on Earth, Joe. That's why we watch, why we record their lives. Why we don't interfere. You could belong. Or you could say no." Joe is staring at him, puzzled, and curious, but listening to every word. "You could go on with your life. I could just fade away, and you'd wonder whether this ever really happened."
Joe listens as he finishes, then looks away, his expression thoughtful.
Joe is showing his tattoo to Duncan.
Joe: "If it wasn't for Andy Cord, I wouldn't have this. I wouldn't know you. I might not even be alive."
Duncan, amused: "You know, no one knows more about me than you. But about Joe Dawson, I don't really know a thing."
Joe comes around the bar and sits next to him: "You never asked. And even if you had, I don't know if I'd'a told you." Duncan smiles, and Joe turns to look at him. "When you got a secret, you get in the habit of not opening up."
Duncan, smiling, nods knowingly: "Yeah, I know."
Joe laughs: "We gotta talk more often."
Duncan: "Joe . . . About Cord." He turns to face him. "The sniper at the airport was Charlie DeSalvo."
Joe: "Charlie's in the Balkans."
Duncan: "Not anymore."
Joe: "Well, why would he want to shoot Cord?"
Duncan: "That's why I want to talk to Cord. For Charlie's sake. It's just to talk, you have my word."
At Cord's "training ground." It's inside some kind of warehouse, but there's a lot of junk scattered around, like barrels and stacks of old tires and even some abandoned cars. There are sheets of plastic hung everywhere, and there are splotches of bright paint all over everything. Cord, wearing a face shield and armed with a paint gun, is stalking and being stalked by a number of other men, all similarly armed. Cord strolls up, almost casually, to where a Confederate flag is stuck in a barrel, and efficiently dispatches the two men who try to get in his way.
Cord: "Yeah!" He strips off his face shield. "Outstanding." He snatches up the flag and tosses it aside, the knocks the barrel over. He walks over to Joe, who's observing from the sidelines.
Joe snorts: "You know, I can't believe you still think this is fun."
Cord, seriously: "It's poetry, Joe. Poetry of war."
Joe jerks his head at the grounds: "Knocking off a bunch of yuppie rabbits? Isn't really fair is it?"
Cord: "Nah." Turns and grins at Joe. "But the rabbits don't know it."
Joe looks down: "Andy, I still need an answer."
Cord: "This MacLeod, how well do you really know him?"
Joe: "Like I said, he's a friend."
Cord: "And the shooter? What's the story on him?" Joe shakes his head, but doesn't answer. "Got a lot of friends, Joe. Regular Sesame Street over here."
Joe: "Believe me, he just wants to work something out."
Cord: "Okay, Joe. Friend of yours is a friend of mine. We'll meet. We'll work something out."
Joe: "Okay." He leaves.
At "Joe's," Joe is sitting on the edge of the stage, playing the guitar while Duncan sits nearby. Joe finishes and slumps over the guitar, staring at the floor.
Duncan: "How long you been playing, Joe?"
Joe glances at him: "Oh, since I was a kid. 'Course after Viet Nam, I kinda had a lot of time on my hands." He puts the guitar down, and pauses. "Don't worry. He's going to be here. He keeps his word."
Duncan: "It's going to be fine, you know. I just want to talk."
Joe: "I just wish that I'd set this meeting up in a church, or on holy ground somewhere. At least that'd keep you two from killing each other."
They both look up as the door opens, and Charlie, not Cord, walks in.
Joe mutters: "Aw." He raises his voice. "Hey, what are you doing here?"
Charlie stops: "Thought I was welcome."
Duncan stands up: "Um, Charlie, this isn't a good time. I can't explain but . . . you gotta go."
Charlie: "Seems to be a lot you can't explain, MacLeod. Look, you got a program? Am I part of it? What?"
Duncan takes his arm: "Not now, Charlie. Come on."
Charlie moves his arm away: "Hey, if you guys had just told me what went down at the airport, I wouldn't be here right now." He walks over to Joe. "Hey, Joe. What's going on, man?"
Joe, a little desperate: "Look, tonight, Charlie. You come back later tonight I'll tell you anything you want to know."
Duncan, looking around: "It's a little late for that."
Charlie turns to him as Duncan turns to face the door, sensing Cord as he walks in.
Charlie, in a whisper: "Son of a bitch." He starts for Cord, but Duncan grabs him, pushing him against the bar.
Duncan: "No, Charlie, no! Let it go. Let it go!"
Charlie pushes him off and whips out a knife. Joe buries his head in his hand. Duncan grabs the knife and bears Charlie back, pushing him out the door while Cord looks on, unruffled.
Charlie yells: "Get out of my face, MacLeod!"
Duncan pushes Charlie out and against the wall outside, Charlie still yelling at Duncan.
Charlie: "What the hell's going on? What's he doing here?"
Duncan, letting him go: "They're old friends. They have a history from way back."
Charlie, furious: "And you?! What the hell are you doing hanging with Cord?"
Duncan: "That's not what's going on!"
Charlie, almost screaming: "He killed Mara!"
Duncan: "And he'll kill you, too, if you go after him."
Charlie: "You don't know that." He makes as if to go, but Duncan grabs him, pulling him back.
Duncan: "I do know that, I know exactly that, Charlie. There are things about him you don't know. You have to stay away from him." He calms down a little. "Dammit, man, you're my friend. I'm trying to keep you alive."
Charlie: "What the hell do you expect me to do, MacLeod? Walk away?" He paces off, rubbing his mouth. "Forget her?! Pretend it didn't happen?"
Duncan, reasonable: "Give me a chance to straighten this out with Cord, a couple of days!"
Charlie, angry: "Straighten what out? There's only one way to settle this."
Duncan: "Not today." Holds the knife to him. "Please, Charlie. For me."
Charlie shakes his head, but takes the knife: "Okay." His voice hardens. "Not today." He leaves.
At the training ground, Cord is taking out more "yuppie rabbits," but this time he's not having fun. He stalks over to where Joe's standing, stripping off his shield and tossing it aside.
Joe, soothing: "Hey, lighten up, Andy. It's a game."
Cord paces back and forth angrily: "I want to set up another meeting with MacLeod, but this time not at your place."
Joe, suddenly grave: "Why?" Cord doesn't answer, and Joe raises a hand. "Aw, dammit, you gave me your word. This is not about MacLeod. It's about Charlie."
Cord shakes his head, smiling: "Not any more." Laughs. "Come on, Joe. You know about us. We're all after each other."
Joe: "It doesn't have to be like that."
Cord, impatient: "Grow up, Joe. That's the way is it."
Joe: "He is my friend."
Cord raises his voice: "And what am I?" Softer. "I saved your life." He reaches out, curling his fingers around the back of Joe's neck while he speaks, tightening his grip as his voice rises. "I carried you sixteen freakin' miles on my back, I own your ass!" He steps back, letting him go.
Joe, quiet and defiant: "I owe you my life. Not his."
In the loft, Duncan is repairing a clock, cleaning the gears and wheels. Behind him, Joe is pacing back and forth.
Duncan, inspecting a gear: "Are you going to lay it out or wear a hole in my floor?"
Joe mutters: "Everything is wrong, just . . . that everything is wrong."
Duncan: "So he does want me."
Joe: "At first it was Charlie, but now I don't know."
Duncan, still inspecting gears: "Well, it's not the first time someone's come looking. If he wants me, I'm here."
Joe: "Mac, I have never asked you for anything. But will you do this one thing for me? Can you--can you just go away for a few days? And let me talk to him?"
Duncan, gentle but adamant: "Joe, I'm not going to hide. It doesn't work that way for me."
Joe: "It's not about hiding. I mean, you are my friends, both of you. Let me work this out."
Duncan: "We work it out ourselves, you know that!"
Joe, frustrated: "Dammit, don't do this to me!"
Duncan, raising his voice: "I'm not doing this to you!" Turns to look at him.
Joe looks away, still frustrated, but before he says anything Duncan senses another immortal. He stands up, and glances at Joe.
Duncan: "Stay here."
Joe: "Mac, please!" He watches him walk off.
Downstairs, Duncan lifts the gate and strolls out to meet Cord, who's standing with his sword in his hand. Duncan has his katana held hilt down behind his arm, not holding it out yet. He walks up to fighting distance and stops.
Duncan, casual: "Joe Dawson thinks he owes you."
Cord: "Good old Boy Scout. He does!"
Duncan, nearly sing-song, like he's reciting: "Then walk away. We don't have to do this."
Cord: "But I'm afraid we have a little situation here." He lifts his sword, inspecting it. "You see, I went through a lot of trouble flushing out old . . ." He extends his sword resting it at neck level on Duncan. " . . . Charlie."
Duncan, lifting his own sword: "You wanted him to come for you?"
Cord: "Well, let's see. He finds me, I find him."
Duncan, circling: "He doesn't know what you are, you can let him go."
Cord thumps his own head with the hilt of his sword: "MacLeod!" He assumes a fighting stance. "He's a lot like us. We don't walk away. En garde."
They fight. Cord gives Duncan a run for a while, dashing over and around the stairs, losing his sword and then getting it back with a jump from the banister. But then Duncan kicks his feet from under him and steps on his sword, holding his own blade to Cord's throat.
Duncan: "Let it go." Cord drops the blade. Duncan kneels down, smiling. "Joe Dawson just saved your life. You're even. So long as you stay away from Charlie."
Cord, lying there, laughs: "For the Boy Scout."
Duncan stands up: "Now get the hell out of here." He backs off, watching as Cord leaves.
At "Joe's," Joe is pouring two shots for himself and Charlie.
Joe: "You make a lot of friends over there, Charlie? I mean, guys you'd trust your life to."
Charlie, wary: "Couple." He downs the shot, listening.
Joe: "Say you're dug in, in the hooch, up to your ass in swamp water. Just praying to God the chopper's coming, 'cause otherwise they're going to send you home in a bag." Pauses. "Somebody covers for you, he's your brother. No matter who he is. That's forever."
Charlie nods, understanding: "Cord."
Joe: "I'm asking you, Charlie." His voice breaks just a little. "Please leave him alone."
Charlie, quiet: "I can't do that."
Joe: "He'll kill you."
Charlie: "Everybody keeps saying that." He starts to leave, then stops. "Thanks for the drink." He walks off, leaving Joe staring down the bar in despair.
Outside Joe's, Charlie walks around the corner and stops as he sees Cord, leaning against the wall in the alley, a knife in his hand.
Cord: "Everybody comes to Joe's." He strolls out and walks off, looking back as he hops up on a platform. "Chaaar-lieee." He leans down, looking at him. "Come to play."
He jumps away, and Charlie smiles and follows him up to the roof. On the roof, Cord is waiting, tossing the knife while he swaggers toward him.
Cord: "You're a good soldier. And a brother. And I don't like to kill brothers."
Charlie, holding his own knife ready: "Kiss my black ass, man."
They fight, and Charlie slashes at Cord, whipping the knife around him while Cord sways back, dodging without much effort.
Cord, impressed: "Ooh, Charlie. That was nifty. MacLeod teach you that?" He glances around, spreading his arms. "Please. Entertain me for a while."
Charlie attacks, and this time Cord doesn't escape as easily. They break off again.
Cord: "You son of a bitch. That was good."
They fight again, and this time Cord finishes it. He gets hold of Charlie's arm, forcing him to drop the knife, then pulls him around to stab him in the gut.
Cord: "Say good-bye to MacLeod for me." He gets in Charlie's face as he stabs him. "Oh, yeah. Say hello to Mara." He lets Charlie fall, watching him kneel, clutching his stomach. He kicks out and pushes him off the roof into the alley, watching as he falls. He winces as Charlie crashes to the ground, crying out. "That must have hurt," he says dispassionately, then turns and walks away.
Duncan walks hurriedly into "Joe's."
Duncan: "Joe! Are you here? I need to talk to you." He takes off his jacket, then turns as he senses another immortal. He doesn't see anyone, and turns to leave.
In the alley, Charlie is lying by the wall, not moving. Duncan, holding his katana behind his arm, walks up, looking for Cord. Instead, he sees Charlie. He runs to him.
Duncan: "Charlie? Charlie!" He touches his shoulder, seeing how bad he's hurt. "Hang on."
Charlie, weakly: "Forget it, MacLeod."
Duncan: "I'll get some help. Hang on, man." He starts to rise, but Charlie stops him.
Charlie: "MacLeod! We both know it's too late."
Duncan lifts Charlie into his arms, holding him against his chest, taking his hand and holding it over the bloody hole in his shirt.
Charlie, feebly: "Aw, man. I don't get it. He should be dead."
Duncan, still holding him: "You can't kill him, Charlie. You never could." He pauses. "Cord . . . is immortal."
Charlie, incredulous: "What?"
Duncan: "I promised I'd tell you the truth one day. Cord is immortal and . . . so am I."
Charlie coughs, and then smiles: "I always knew . . . there was something weird about you, MacLeod." He tries to laugh. "It all starts to fit." Duncan stares grimly over Charlie's head, saying nothing. "Don't suppose you could spare some, could you?"
Duncan swallows, his voice breaking: "I wish I could have told you, man."
Charlie: "So there's no way I could have killed that son of a bitch."
Duncan, grim: "No. But I can."
Charlie starts coughing again, his face screwing up in pain, then he relaxes. Duncan touches his forehead, then lifts his hand awkwardly, pressing the back of it to his mouth as he realizes that Charlie is gone.
Joe is sitting inside, a drink in front of him, when Duncan storms in. He barely looks up as Duncan stalks over, furious.
Duncan: "Where is he, Joe?" Joe just shakes his head, and Duncan leans over the table, shouting, "Charlie's dead!" Joe looks at him stunned, as Duncan goes on. "I let him go and he killed Charlie." He thumps the table, spilling Joe's glass. "Now where is he!"
Joe sighs and looks away.
At the training ground, Duncan stalks through the barrels and spare tire towers, sword ready. He whirls as he comes on Cord, standing waiting for him.
Cord: "Watch your step. You're in my camp now." He ducks away, calling, "You should have killed me, MacLeod!"
Duncan takes off his coat: "It's not too late."
Cord, yelling, still out of sight: "Reconnoiter, that's the key! I scouted this place especially for us!"
Duncan stalks warily through the place, whirling and cutting down a target as it swings toward him, then taking a slash across his face as Cord attacks from behind one of the sheets of plastic. He whirls, slashing at the plastic, then retreats, doubling over in apparent agony as Cord slinks out to face him, his sword over his shoulder. Duncan straightens up, taking his hand away from his face, miraculously better.
Duncan grins ferally at Cord: "It's not that bad." He raises his sword.
Cord: "I'm not done yet."
They fight. They exchange a series of blows, then disengage, Duncan beckoning Cord as he backs away.
Duncan, still grinning: "Come on."
Cord: "Search and destroy, little snake."
Cord follows, scraping his sword along the ground as he prowls after Duncan. He emerges into a large, open space and finds Duncan kneeling in the middle of it. He lopes up to him and takes a swing, and they fight once more. Cord gives Duncan a good fight, both of them using feet and hands as well as their swords, but eventually Duncan manages to stab Cord through. He disarms him, putting his blade to Cord's throat.
Cord: "Damn! Outstanding!"
Duncan: "I'm not done yet."
He takes his head, and his Quickening. (This has got to win some kind of award for "Shortest Quickening." 45 seconds, start to finish, including the interval waiting for the glow to start.) The walls of the warehouse are blown full of holes, then fall, leaving Duncan standing in the middle of the empty space.
Duncan is standing in the dojo office, looking at a picture of himself and Charlie, standing grinning into the camera. He looks up as Joe comes in, dressed in a suit. Duncan puts the picture down and walks out to face him.
Joe, his eyes red, as if he's been crying or is about to cry: "I don't know what to say." He pauses. "This never should have happened. Never. I'm responsible."
Duncan, his voice none too steady: "Charlie's dead because I let Cord live."
Joe: "Aw, Mac . . ."
Duncan: "I let you get between us, Joe." Shakes his head, clenching his jaw. "I shouldn't have." He's holding back tears now. "You and I, we're different." He looks away, swallowing. "We got too close."
Joe: "But we're friends, Mac."
Duncan: "We're different." He walks to the window. "There's a reason we stay apart." He takes a deep breath and concludes, "We crossed the line."
Joe's eyes are brimming now: "So that's it, huh?" He takes a deep breath, controlling the tears. "We just walk away."
Duncan nods, still looking out the window: "I am . . . immortal."
Joe looks at him, then away, then back again. He turns and walks out, wiping his face, leaving Duncan alone, still staring out the window.
You may note that I used a number of unusual verbs to describe how Cord moved, and there's a reason for that. The man never just walked anywhere. He slithered, slunk, prowled, strolled, etc. Very graceful man. One might even use the word "feral" . . .
And now, for a short installment of "Name that Clip." The first shot of Joe and Duncan as they're walking from the plane made it into the fourth/fifth season credits as part of Joe's introduction. It's the one that shows up just as the song is reaching the "I am immortal. I have inside me blood of kings" part.
Notes for Latecomers
This episode stands pretty well on its own, but if you're not familiar with the earlier episodes here's some background information that might help enhance your viewing pleasure:
The character of Charlie DeSalvo was introduced in the second season episode "Turnabout," the episode that aired before "The Darkness" (which is when Tessa and Richie were shot). He was the original owner of the dojo, and stayed on as manager after Duncan bought the business from him. He was a member of the regular cast through the second and third seasons, and departed with Mara for the Balkans in the third season episode "The Revolutionary." In the second season two-parter "Unholy Alliance," Charlie was seriously wounded while following MacLeod in pursuit of James Horton and Xavier St. Cloud. Duncan promised at the time that he'd tell him the truth about himself before he died, but Charlie pulled through and Duncan never revealed his immortality.
Although it's implied in the dialogue and so on, this episode does indeed mark the first time we hear anything substantial about Joe's past, including how he lost his legs and how he first joined the Watchers. In other words, a must-see for any Joe fan!
Next, "The Innocent."
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
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|Last Rev: H71 [ 1 Jul 97 ]|