Leader Of The Pack
Series Highlander: The Series
Season Four
Episode 4
Protagonist Duncan MacLeod
Friends Richie Ryan
Joe Dawson
Enemies Peter Kanis
Set In Seacouver
Flashbacks 1785: England
1993: Tessa Noël's death
Previous Story The Innocent
Following Story Double Eagle
Written by Lawrence Shore
Directed by Mario Azzopardi
Produced by Ken Gord
Broadcast On October 16, 1995
Running Time 60 min.
Production Code 95404-70

Plot SynopsisEdit

Immortal Peter Kanis is using attack dogs to injure Immortals so he can easily take their heads, and Duncan is his next target. Meanwhile, Richie encounters the young man who killed Tessa and made him Immortal, and demands vengeance. In flashback to 1785 England, Kanus has his dogs hunting a young boy and MacLeod kills one.

In detail (spoilers)Edit

Opens with an immortal running through the underbrush, his sword in his hand. He's  running from something, and he's dirty and bleeding. He turns as he hears a dog snarl, and he falls back as a black dog jumps on him and starts tearing at his sword arm. He eventually succeeds in pushing the dog off, and it dashes back into the bushes. The immortal staggers to his feet and runs in the opposite direction. As he runs, he hears more dogs, and three dogs burst from the place where the first one disappeared, running in a tight pack after the immortal. He runs and they pursue him until finally he takes a stand with his back to a tree, sword ready. But instead of attacking, the dogs sit, forming a semi-circle around him. Then the immortal senses another immortal, and Kanis strolls from the bushes, his sword resting on his shoulder. "Kanis." The Immortal says recognizing him. Kanis merely dips his head in acknowledgment, and when the other man raises his sword he strikes it from his wounded hand with an easy blow. The dogs rise up, still growling."And friends,"  and takes the man's head.

MacLeod is walking through a narrow passageway, like an alley between buildings. As he passes an opening, a dog steps out, and starts to follow him. Duncan walks up to the street, the dog behind him, and he turns as he hears it. He walks on, then stops and turns around. The dog stops when he does, and waits. Duncan: "Hey, big fella. Don't you got anything better to do than follow me around?" He takes a step forward, holding out his hand. "It's all right, I won't hurt you." But the dog becomes aggressive, growling and barking. Duncan takes a step back, and shrugs. "Have it your way." He turns and walks off, and the dog trots after.

In the dojo office, Richie Ryan is sitting at the desk, staring at the accounting program scrolling over the computer screen. He sits up, suddenly alert, as he senses another immortal, but it's Duncan. He returns to the screen. Duncan walks in and tells Richie that he has taken a teaching job at a local university.

Later, Richie is buying a hot dog from a street vendor. He glances idly at Mark Roszca, who's just coming down the steps to the street. Richie  frowning as Roszca walks by. Richie's glance follows him, and he remembers the holdup in "The Darkness," and the kid who shot him and Tessa. Richie attacks the man chasing him all the way to his apartment util the police arrive and arrest Richie and take Roszca and his pregnant girlfriend Julie to the station fpr questioning. Meanwhil,e At the University, Duncan is getting started with his class. After the lesson Macleod and a student are clearing up and having a laugh when he catches sight of three dogs, sitting and watching him from a distance. Duncan puts the last of the swords in the car, still watching the dogs.

Flashback, England 1785

Riders, along with a back of baying dogs, are riding over an open field. Duncan is among them, and he pulls up as he hears a child's voice, yelling for help. As he watches, a young boy breaks from the trees, running across the field with a pack of dogs in pursuit. Kanis, on horseback, watches from a distance as the dogs chase the boy back into the trees. Duncan rides in pursuit of the boy, who finally fetches up against a tree. One of the dogs leaps, and Duncan fires his pistol, hitting the dog. The boy closes his eyes in relief, and Duncan dismounts, pulling out his musket. He goes to the boy as Kanis rides up, looking in distress at the wounded dog. Duncan asks if the boy is injured and replies that he is ok. Duncan and Kanis sense each other, but Kanis only spares a moment for Duncan before kneeling down by the hurt dog. He glares at Duncan. "You did this."

Duncan : "I had no choice. They would have killed the boy,"

Kanis: "They were supposed to kill the boy!" He stands, pointing. "He threw a rock at one of my dogs."

Duncan: "It is not sport to hunt a boy!"

Kanis, passionately: "Men like us hunt what we wish." He snaps his fingers, and the dogs begin to growl. Duncan raises the weapon, the boy cowering behind him. "You killed the finest hunting dog in the land!"

Duncan aims his weapon telling Kanis to call of his dogs but Kanis does nothing, even as they stand there the rest of Duncan's party rides up, led by the Duchess.

Duchess: "MacLeod. It is deer we are hunting, not hounds."

Duncan: "They were after the boy, my lady. This man owns them." Kanis bows to her. "If I hadn't stopped them they would have killed him."

Duchess: "On my lands?" She jerks her head at the pack. "Destroy the dogs."

Kanis protests and threatens the duchess, who has him arrested.

Back in the present, Duncan meets Kanis, and the two men talk. Duncan glances at the studded leather collar Kanis is wearing around his neck. They talk about Kanis’s new dogs then Duncan offers to fight him. Kanis replies "What, just like that, MacLeod? Where's the fun? The anticipation?" He faces him. "Soon enough." He turns as if to go, then stops and turns back. His voice drops into almost a whisper, low and intense. "You can't sense them coming." The dogs begin to growl, and Duncan glances at them, almost nervous. "The first thing you feel will be their teeth, as they tear you down. And as they rip out your throat, I'll be right behind them, MacLeod." He smiles and walks off, and the dogs go with him, except for one, who barks and growls as Duncan starts after Kanis. The dog stays there only a moment, but it's long enough for Kanis to escape. The dog then runs off, leaving Duncan to look after Kanis. At the police station, Detective Sheridan is talking on the phone, while Richie, Roszca, and Alicia wait. Duncan walks in,. "No. Yeah. Hold the file, will you?". Duncan stares at Roszca.

Controlled but clearly furious: "Is that him?" Duncan asks "That's him. That's the punk who killed Tessa." Richie says. Sheridan asks who he is. Duncan tells him his name. Richie tells Mac We got a little problem here, Mac, though. They don't believe me," angry but keeping it in: "If Richie said he did it, he did it." Sheridan stands up: "Mister, I don't know you, and I don't know him and I don't know him. What I do know is that this report says there were no witnesses. And if you did see it, why'd it take you two years to come forward?" Richie and Duncan don't answer, and Sheridan waves at Roszca. "You can go home." Alicia and Roszca stand up and start to leave, but Alicia stops in front of Duncan. Angry she tells the Highlander that her man didn’t do i.t She leaves, but as Roszca starts to follow Richie puts a hand on his chest, holding him back. One of the cops pulls Richie away.The cop escorts Roszca past Richie. Roszca tells Duncan that everything is cool that he will not press charges seeing that a mistake was made. Duncan and an angry Richie leave.

Later at Roszca's place, Roszca is loading up a compact pickup, shoving boxes around. There's furniture as well, and it seems he's moving out. Alicia comes out, carrying a sleeping bag, and puts it in the truck. Duncan stands in a nearby alley, watching. Roszca jumps down from the truck, and Duncan takes a step forward, then stops as Roszca starts talking to Alicia. Duncan, takes a step back, watching as Roszca kisses her, then hugs her tightly. Then Duncan turns and leaves. At the house, Richie is watching Duncan clear out the rafters, throwing debris down to the floor. Richie asks what he is going to do but Duncan tells him not to do anything much to Richie’s disgust. Duncan closes his eyes, but before he can say anything else he hears a dog bark outside. He starts up, swinging himself down from the rafters without even bothering with the ladder. He goes out to the deck, his sword ready, only to see a kid walking a perfectly ordinary dog by on a leash. Duncan puts the sword down, looking after the kid.

Flashback, England 1785

Duncan and the Duchess are inturrupteed by the sound of hounds barking Duncan tries to calm her down when a sheriff arrives telling her that Kanis’s dogs tried to help him escape. Leaving one man dead and another maimed. The duchess orders Kanis executed.  The Duchess and Duncan, mounted, watch as the Sheriff reads the charges to Kanis. Kanis is sitting on a horse, a rope around his neck. After the hanging  the dogs are sitting around Kanis's grave, growling and waiting patiently until a hand thrusts up from the earth.

At Joe’s bar, Richie goes to see Joe about his problem with Duncan concerning Roszca. but he leaves. At a park, Duncan, in the T-bird, pulls up in the parking lot of a park. As he shuts off the engine. He gets out, and as he shuts the door his katana is visible, propped between the seats. Duncan's wearing sweats and running shoes, and he walks to the grass and heads for the jogging trail. As he remembers how he and Tessa were, he also sees Roszca and Alicia holding each other, remembers how Roszca put his hand on Alicia's stomach, held one another like he and Tessa used to. Duncan rounds a curve and stops short, seeing one of Kanis's dogs sitting in the middle of the trail. He backs up slowly, and as he does so another dog appears from a side trail. He turns calmly and starts to walk back, and the two dogs growl and follow. As he walks, a third dog appears on the trail in front of him, cutting him off. Duncan steps off into the undergrowth, takes a few slow paces, and then breaks into a run. The dogs run after him. Duncan runs, making it almost back to the car before they run him down. He falls with one of the dogs mauling his arm, and the others set in, biting his arms and legs. He struggles with them, before he finally gets away and makes it to the car door. Another dog latches on as he reaches inside, but Duncan pushes him off and gets his sword. He waves it at the dogs, his back to the car, and they stay, barking and growling, but not attacking. Duncan: "Come on, Kanis!" There's no answer, and Duncan eases the door closed. One dog jumps on the hood, but then jumps off as Duncan starts moving. He drives out of the parking lot, the dogs in hot pursuit, and speeds across the intersection. One dog, is hit by a van.

Richie finds Alice who tells him that he has made a mistake and to let his anger go. In the loft, Duncan  hobbles to the kitchen island and grabs a bottle of water, drinking some and pouring the rest over his face. He then receives a call from Kanis who threatens him for killing his dog. Richie steps out the elevator to find Duncan waiting for him, dressed in a robe and holding his sword. He lets the blade relax as he sees it's Richie who tells him that Roscza has moved. Duncan tells him he knows Richie asks why he didn’t stop him when Duncan mentions Alice being pregnant Duncan: "So she's pregnant. What are you going to do, make her a widow, too?"

Richie: "Mac, I don't care. I'm going to keep looking until I find that boy's ass."

Duncan turns to him, speaking intently: "Richie. I've tried revenge. I've hunted men and I've slaughtered them with their wives and children watching." He pauses, and looks away. "You'll care."

Richie, quiet: "Are you going to stop me?"

Duncan looks at him, and shakes his head slowly. Richie gives him a look, and walks off.

Kanis is at a dog kennel talking to Miss Meach talking about her work. Kanis then appears threatening, grabbing her arm, trying to get free, but he has her held tight. Just then, though, Kanis senses another immortal. He turns, looking around worriedly, then smiles as he sees MacLeod roar up, stopping with a screech of tires. Kanis lets Meach go and walks off, and Duncan gets out and follows. He pauses by Meach, still leaning against the fence and rubbing her wrist. Duncan asks if she is ok. She nods, and he walks after Kanis. He finds him leaning against a tree, looking at something. Duncan walks up behind him.

Duncan: "It's time, Kanis."

Kanis: "Not quite yet."

Duncan follows his gaze, and sees Billy sitting at a park table, petting one of Kanis's dogs. Kanis heaves away from the tree and strolls to Duncan.

Kanis: "All I have to do is think about it, and he'll rip the boy's throat out." He walks around Duncan, and points a hand down at his feet. "Stay." He walks off, leaving Duncan staring helplessly at the dog and the boy. Meach, Billy and Duncan are walking by the kenneled dogs. Meach tells Duncan that Kanis wants to breed his dog with a bitch named Lucille.

At a loading dock, Richie confronts Roscza threatening to kill him and making him remember what he did those two years before.

At the house, Duncan is working when he senses another immortal. He straightens up, and looks around to find Kanis lurking behind some sheets of plastic, sword in hand and the two men fight with Kanis‘s dogs standing by. Duncan continues to retreat, the dogs following. He snatches up a jacket, and wraps it swiftly around his arm. He's backed up to an inner wall now, beside a door, and he reaches down and opens it. Lucille is sitting inside the little room. "Hey, Lucille. Your dates are here." Duncan shouts The two dogs start whimpering, and edge forward. Duncan watches as they dash past him, into the room. "Come on, boys. She's waiting."

Kanis, furious, rips aside the plastic: "On him. Now!" But the dogs ignore him, too busy checking out Lucille whose in heat. Duncan shuts the door: "Nature, Kanis. You can't fight it." He shakes the jacket from his arm. "But you can fight me."

He lunges for his sword. Kanis leaps in, but Duncan gets to his blade just in time, and they start to fight. Kanis quickly takes the fight outside, retreating along the porch, then attacking. But before long he starts retreating in earnest, leaping from the porch and trying to run down the slope of the lawn. Duncan pursues him, forcing him to defend himself even as he retreats. Duncan leaps into the air, twisting over Kanis's head in a move worthy of Xena, and takes his head with a swipe as he lands. He picks up Kanis's sword, and moves away before the Quickening starts. As the lightning crawls over him, it starts hitting the house as well, flashing along the porch and crawling down to the foundation. As Duncan falls to his knees on the lawn, the house levitates behind him, lifting a good ten feet into the air before settling back down again as the Quickening ends.

Later, sitting in the loft, reading a book and petting Lucille.  Duncan looks up as senses another immortal, and Richie lifts the gate. He takes a step inside, sees Lucille, and gives a little laugh. Richie tells him he found Roscza ut decided to let him go. Duncan tells him "There is no justice." He smiles a little. "Just mercy." He smiles again, and he and Richie sit in silence.




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