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The Road Not Taken

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The Road Not Taken
Series Highlander: The Series
Season One
Episode 3
Protagonist Duncan MacLeod, Richie Ryan
Friends Tessa Noël, Angie Burke, Gary Correll
Enemies Kiem Sun, Chu Lin
Set In Seacouver, WA
Flashbacks China, 1780
Previous Story Family Tree
Following Story Innocent Man
Credits
Written by Terry Nelson
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Produced by Gary Goodman & Barry Rosen
Broadcast On October 17, 1992
Running Time 48:42

When a friend of Richie's dies apparently of a drug overdose, Duncan suspects the work of an old Immortal "friend".

Plot SynopsisEdit

Seacouver resident Gary Correll is bicycling his way along the road, when he suddenly stops and marches into the local diamond mart. Inside, customer Chu Lin is inspecting a prize diamond at the window counter. Correll enters, unresponsive to all around him, stares at the counter clerk, then goes berserk, beating customers out of the way, then ripping the window glass away with superhuman strength. In the midst of all this, Chu Lin calmly takes photos and times the incident with a stopwatch. As security guards arrive on the scene, Correll grabs the clerk, holding her hostage and dragging her out of the building. Seacouver police arrive outside, and train their weapons on Correll, who without warning, drops the hostage and grabs his head, screaming in pain. As Correll falls to the ground, Chu Lin looks on, unobserved.

At MacLeod's antique shop, Tessa is departing for France, to put some of her work on review. After a heated kiss, Duncan sees her off, then turns to find Richie looking downtrodden. Gary Correll, Richie's friend since childhood, has been taken to the hospital. Arriving to make an inquiry, Duncan and Richie run into Sgt. Powell, who says Gary has just died on the table. Examining the body, Duncan notes a pair of odd bruises on Correll's temples, and points them out to Powell. Powell dismisses them, thinking them injuries from the scuffle or the result of a drug overdose. Duncan, however, finds himself remembering something similar ...

China, 1780. Duncan, travelling abroad, has arrived at the temple residence of his long-time Immortal friend, Kiem Sun, who is overjoyed to see him. After a brief exchange of pleasantries, Kiem Sun announces his latest breakthrough: he has fermented The Quanla Root, an ancient herb that raises strength and endurance, and instills discipline and obedience. As a demonstration, he summons two warriors, and pits them against each other in combat. Duncan, however, is horrified at Kiem Sun's abuse of mortals. When the warriors fall to the ground and die, Duncan is further outraged. He chastises Kiem Sun, telling him his way is not the answer.

In the present, Richie is brooding over the loss of his friend. When Duncan fills him in over what happened between himself and Kiem Sun, Richie wants in on the action. Duncan tells him to stay out of it, and that he will handle Kiem Sun. After Duncan leaves, however, Richie sets out on his own, looking for his own answers.

At a local bar, Chu Lin arrives, and is immediately accosted by the local patrons, members of Correll's old biker gang. When one throws a punch, Chu Lin easily beats him down with martial arts, and announces his intentions: he has a way to rob The Diamond Mart, and is looking for a few willing recruits. At the police station, Duncan talks to Sgt. Powell, who confirms that Correll died of a cerebral hemorrhage and had no drugs on his body. Elsewhere, Richie is questioning residents of his old neighborhood, looking for information on his own. When a local turns on him, Richie finds help from his old friend Angie Burke, now working at a homeless shelter. Angie fills in details on Gary's past, including Gary's association with Chu Lin.

Duncan, meanwhile, has located Kiem Sun, now residing in a local Shaolin temple. Kiem Sun has indeed been continuing his work on The Quanla Root, with only a small amount remaining. However, he reveals that he is not behind the death of Gary Correll - his assistant, Chu Lin, is. Chu Lin stole Kiem Sun's completed portions of The Quanla Root in order to form a band of powerful, obedient thieves. Duncan tests Kiem Sun's sword skills, and finds them wanting. He reluctantly agrees to join with Kiem Sun in finding Chu Lin and The Quanla Root.

On their hunt for information, Richie and Angie arrive at the biker bar. Where Richie's attempts to gain information fail, Angie succeeds with a well-placed bribe. With the location of their quarry, Richie and Angie arrive at Chu Lin's warehouse to find the former herbalist discussing his plans to rob The Diamond Mart with Correll's biker friends. Interrupting Chu Lin before he can administer The Quanla Root, Richie attacks Chu Lin, but is easily subdued. Angie attempts to fight as well, but is likewise defeated. Then Duncan and Kiem Sun arrive on the scene. Chu Lin draws blades, and attacks Duncan, but The Highlander proves more than a match for him, and disarms him easily. Duncan demands that Chu Lin surrender himself to the police and make a full confession, but Kiem Sun has other plans. Drawing his own blade, he cuts down Chu Lin in cold blood, then turns on Duncan. Displaying hidden prowess with his sword, Kiem Sun challenges his former friend, fighting MacLeod to a standstill, until Duncan slips through with a last-minute stab. Rather than take his old friend's head, however, Duncan pours out the only remaining portion of The Quanla Root, to Kiem Sun's dismay. He reveals that he knew Kiem Sun's reasons for perfecting The Quanla: to obtain personal guards to fight against Immortal opponents in the Game. Duncan informs Kiem Sun that their friendship is now ended, and the next time MacLeod sees him, he will take his head. He leaves Kiem Sun to ponder his fate, departing with Richie and Angie.

The next day, Richie takes the opportunity to show Angie around the antique shop, wowing her with the wonders MacLeod and Tessa have collected. They flirt, but are interrupted by Duncan and Tessa, who has just returned from her art show in France. As Richie and Angie depart, Duncan prepares to welcome his love back properly ...

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